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Residential Frequently Asked Questions
The answers to the following questions are below.

    1.  What is the big tank in the basement?
    2.  My water pressure changes and I hear a lot of clicking by the pressure tank,                  what's wrong?
    3.  How much air should be in the pressure tank and how big should the tank be?
    4.  Where is the pump?
    5.  How big must the pump be?
    6.  How much does the pump need to run?
    7.  What is the green/gray box on the wall by the pressure tank with wires going to it?
    8.  My pump does not have a control box what's the difference?
    9.  Is there an advantage with using a 2 wire verses a 3 wire pump?
   10. Will my pump burn up if it runs steady while I am using a lot of water?
   11. Should my well be "shocked"?


1. What is the big tank in the basement?
It is a pressure tank which supplies water pressure for small demands such as flushing a toilet, washing hands and drawing a glass of water.

2. My water pressure changes and I hear a lot of clicking by the pressure tank, what's wrong?
The pump is turning off/on rapidly and the contacts for the pressure switch are making the clicking noise.  The most common cause of the problem is a water logged pressure tank that is low on air.

3. How much air should be in the pressure tank and how big should the tank be?
For a pressure tank with an internal bladder, the air pressure should be 2# below the pump turn-on pressure setting.  (Example: Pump runs from 40# to 60# - Inflate the bladder to 38#.)  The size of the tank is mainly determined by the discharge rate of the pump.  If your pump delivers 12 gallons per minute which is most common, then the tank should deliver 12 gallons of water while the pump is turned off.  When there is a demand for water, the pressure will drop from 60 to 40 lbs.

4. Where is the pump?
For most water systems, a submersible pump is inside the well.

5. How big must the pump be?
Pump size is determined by the amount of water required for the home, how far the water must be lifted in the well and the pressure desired when being used.  The vast majority of well pumps are ½ horsepower with 12 gallons per minute (gpm) flow rate.

6. How much run time does the pump need?
When the pump turns on, it should run for a full minute to fill the pressure tank.  See #3 above.  This is recommended by the motor manufacturer for longest pump life.

7. What is the green/gray box on the wall by the pressure tank with wires going to it?
If it is not a disconnect or fuse box, it is a control box.  The control box contains the start and run capacitors to operate a three wire pump motor.

8. My pump does not have a control box.  What is the difference?
The other type of pump motor has a solid state start control built inside the motor.  This is known as a two wire pump.

9. Is there an advantage with using a two wire verses a three wire pump?
Both types of pumps perform the same.  The initial cost of installing a two wire pump is less due to simpler wiring. The disadvantage is when the two wire pump needs to be serviced.  The two wire pump must be removed from the well for any internal electrical problem.  A three wire pump is generally cheaper to repair because the capacitors are in the control box and can be replaced without entering the well and replacing the entire pump.

10. Will my pump burn up if it runs steady while I am using a lot of water?
As long as the well can keep up, this is the best way to run the pump.  It is the frequent starting and stopping of the motor that will wear on the pump.

11. Should my well be "shocked"?
Once a year the well should be treated (shocked) to control bacteria growth inside the well.  The methods vary with the type of well so it is best to contact us.