Bought a house 6 months ago. It has a well, the water pressure was never amazing but it was fine. Last week it started to get bad so I checked the well pressure. The switch was designed for 40/60 but it was cutting on/off about 35/50. So I drained the tank reset it to 40/60 and pre charged it to 38psi. The pressure seemed to be working great... sometimes and on some faucets.

The pressure on the 2nd floor shower is pretty good along with the faucets up there. But the 1st floor kitchen sink has poor pressure. Theres also a faucet on the first floor that has no cold water coming out of it all but a faucet in the room 3 feet away has fine pressure.

The above is the average condition, but when the tank is low, around 45psi, the water pressure everywhere drops, many go to zero and you can hear air in the pipes.

I did notice that the well tank, when at 60 psi, is only about 1/5 full of water. And I have seen the if I have a few larger faucets on, like a tub and 2 showers, the pressure goes down even when the well pump is on. I wonder if theres a problem with the pump and or my water level dropped but I can't f ind anything online with a similar problem. I've tried clearing air out of the pipes by running everything but when I do that the pressure drops to basically nothing.

  • possible mineral deposits in pipes
    – jsotola
    Feb 4, 2018 at 2:10
  • "Precharged to 38psi" does that mean you put 38 lbs of air in the bladder? If so that's why you tank is only 1/5 full. The tank bladder should only have minimal psi, like 15.
    – Tyson
    Feb 4, 2018 at 3:57
  • I read that the bladder should be 2-4 psi below the shut on level of the tank. Is this not right?
    – Peter Lee
    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:17
  • Peter ~ Can you tell how you were able to resolve this?
    – Carmen
    Nov 13, 2018 at 18:11

3 Answers 3


Have you checked the faucet shut-off valves? Aerator screens? Is there an in-line water filter? Do any of your fixtures have low-flow inserts? I would first check these things. Inconsistent pressure throughout the house at a given time makes me think you have problems beyond the pressurization system.

Pressure gauges and pressure switches both are mechanical devices prone to failure. If you notice an inconsistency between the pressure you see at an outlet and what the gauge says, you have a suspect gauge. If you have a secondary pump (one that pressurizes the tank from outside the well) then it's easy to see if the pump comes on at a consistent pressure on the gauge, but also consistent at a faucet. If not consistent, then the pressure switch is suspect. If the pump won't keep up with normal demand then the pump or motor is suspect. If your tank is pressurized from a submersible pump suspended in your well, it becomes more difficult to diagnose and much more expensive. Lastly, don't be afraid to contact a well company.

  • I've removed aerators, I'm pretty sure the gauge is good as it matches the reading I take off the valve on the bladder when pressurized. I've bypassed the filter and softener when working on it and saw no difference in it there. The faucets that don't work are not low flow. The pump is submerged.
    – Peter Lee
    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:21
  • I agree with @d.george and feel we have exhausted options. It sounds like it's time to seek some hands-on help. Only thing I can think to add is sometimes older wells will go dormant if they set idle for a long period of time, such as while a house is unoccupied waiting to be sold. I am not sure why or how long is too long but I've see this happen in volcanic strata.
    – Nathan
    Feb 5, 2018 at 18:05

Check all the things that @Nathan suggested, then remember that a well pump will only pump a certain amount of water, so if you open too many faucets the well pump will not keep up and the pressure could fall. Please state the type of tank you have and is it a tank with a bladder. I would again drain the tank completely, pre-charge it to the 38 lbs, install a new "good quality" pressure gauge, turn on the well and see if that corrects the pressure problems. Please state the type and name of the tank you have.

  • I have a water worker ht 86. We used to he able to run 2 shower heads at once with no issue, now the 2nd one kills the pressure. When I had multiple faucets on I would see the pressure on the gauge fall despite the pump being on.
    – Peter Lee
    Feb 5, 2018 at 3:23

If you have a submersible well pump here are things that have happened to me or my neighbors in the 25 years that I utilized well water. The inlet screen and/or the impellers of the pump would become clogged with dirt or mud greatly reducing the pumps capacity and would have to be cleaned. A neighbor's well would diminish in capacity due to mud plugging the water channels. On his well, this happened every 6-8 years and a well guy would come and pull the pump and flush out those channels with high pressure water. My son had a jet pump that needed motor service and some of the plastic piping replaced to correct his lower than normal water flow. Water valves and transitional piping (hook-ups) can become plugged with the stuff found in hard well water, and need to be cleaned if possible or replaced. This gives you some ideas of problems that I have seen and all required that we/they call a well guy or handy nan to have the problem corrected. Hope this helps

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