Well pumps

Maintaining your well pump in good operating condition can save energy and avoid expensive repairs.

If your well pump continually cycles on and off, the pressure tank could be waterlogged or the controls may be malfunctioning. The extra starts and stops caused by rapid cycling will wear out your pump’s motor before its time. To reduce cycling, your pressure tank should have an air cushion that helps maintain the tank pressure at around 40 pounds per square inch (psi). This pressure forces water out of the tank for small demands without forcing the pump to start immediately. Have a pump technician show you how to check this air cushion periodically.

Check for water leaks around your home. You’ll know you have leaks if your pump runs when no one is using water. Remember that if your well pump is located in a closet or outside the house, it could be cycling on and off frequently or even running continuously without your knowledge. Pay a visit to your basement or pump house, and note how often your pump cycles on and off.

Check to see if you have electric heaters or heat tapes to prevent frozen pipes at your pump. These can consume a lot of energy during cold weather. Consider whether you can improve the insulation on your pipes, or in the walls of your pump house. This simple improvement could prevent your heaters from running in all but the coldest weather. Make sure there is a thermostatic control on those heaters, so they don’t run until the temperature near your equipment is near freezing. These controls are often sold for use on automobile engine heaters. Check the rating for any thermostatic control to be sure it is designed for the wattage of the heater you’ll connect it to.

See Residential Energy and The Homeowners Handbook to Energy Efficiency for more information on saving energy in the home.