Understanding Plumbing Basics
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Understanding Plumbing Basics

As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.


Understanding Plumbing Basics

3 Things That Can Go Wrong With Submersible Well Pumps

Jorge Alexander

Deep-well submersible pumps are a fact of life for homeowners without access to city water or those that wish to tap the natural resources around their homes. While above-ground and jet pumps are an option for shallow wells, deep wells often require submersible pumps. These pumps can pull water from hundreds of feet underground, all but guaranteeing a stable supply. 

Submersible pumps can fail like any other pump, however. When they do, you'll need to pull your pump from the well to inspect and repair it. In many cases, the failure will be due to one of these three causes.

1. Faulty Wiring

Like any electrical device, your submersible well pump needs access to your home's electricity. A submersible pump may require three or four electrical wires. Confusingly, these configurations are typically known as 2- or 3-wire designs, with the ground lead going uncounted. In other words, a 3-wire pump design requires four physical wires connected to the pump unit.

Pump wiring should usually be well-protected, but a variety of issues can cause it to fail. In some cases, poor choices during installation can lead to wiring that fails repeatedly. You may be able to discover wiring issues without removing the pump, but only if the damage is limited to the area near the wellhead.

2. Failed Torque Arrestor

If you have a deep well, then you may have one or more torque arrestors along the pipe in the shaft. Torque arrestors are not a component familiar to many homeowners, but they provide a valuable service. When your pump turns on, the motor may produce enough torque to spin the pump assembly. This spinning motion can place extra wear on the entire assembly, leading eventually to failure.

A broken torque arrestor may cause premature failure of the well pump. Alternately, a lack of torque arrestors (or stand-offs, which serve a similar role) may ultimately be the cause of your issue. You'll need an experienced well technician to determine if start-up torque may be causing damage to your pump.

3. Faulty Motor

The electric motor in your pump will eventually burn out, although they can last for a couple of decades (or longer) when treated well. Unfortunately, a failed motor is usually game over for any submersible pump. You may be able to salvage other components, however. Depending on the age of the system, this may moderately reduce the cost of a replacement.

Although pulling your pump will usually be the last resort when your system fails, it is sometimes a necessary step. Once the pump is above ground, an expert can help you to determine the cause of your issue and restore clean and reliable water to your home. Click here for info on well pumps or check out other similar websites.