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Yesterday I turned the hose on to fill a swimming pool. We have been running it for about an hour every other day.

I got distracted and totally forgot about the water and it was left on for about 5 hours.

We have an artesian well with a submersible pump. We stopped using water in the house for 24 hours and I can see water down the well hole which we could not see yesterday but the water in the house is coming out but no pressure.

We always had city water till we moved here 4 years ago and have no clue what it could be.

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  • For clarification - The artesian well is not capped and the well opening is at ground level. The runoff from the hose ran into the well. Currently, the pump still brings the water up to the house, but with no pressure? Is this correct? – Programmer66 Apr 15 '20 at 16:55
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    Gut feel is to give it more time to refill. Turn the pump off while you wait. If it's "sucking air" you can damage the pump. Sadly that may have already occurred. You say it's artesian, but technically that means water that actually rises to the surface and runs naturally. What do you mean by "water coming into house but no pressure"? – George Anderson Apr 15 '20 at 16:58
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    You say you can see water down the well hole and you also say the well is capped ?? – Alaska Man Apr 15 '20 at 17:21
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    Is the lunch bus the school district coming around with food because the kids are out of school because of the virus? If so, here is yet another consequence of this pandemic. Also I love that you included the second paragraph too. Instead of “I ran the hose for several hours and now the well isn’t working,” we got a story. – Damila Apr 17 '20 at 4:41
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    @WoJ Oh wow... I always thought you had to have a certain rep to see edit history, but when I saw your rep was was than mine I researched further and found out all you have to do is click on where it says "edited" – Michael Apr 18 '20 at 16:22
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My neighbor came over and we found that the filter was clogged.

When we installed a new filter the water started to work.

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    I'd recommend looking into getting some sort of float switch installed inside the well, so if the water level drops anywhere close to the pump, the float switch kills power to the pump. That could save a future clog or pump burnout. – Carl Witthoft Apr 15 '20 at 19:04
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    Don't forget to also mark your answer as accepted (this is encouraged and helpful to the site) – Ack Apr 15 '20 at 19:11
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    A "float switch" might not fit into the well, not knowing size I can't be sure. There are also wires you can drop into the well (assuming a typical well) with electrodes at the ends to trigger relays that allow the pump to run when the water level is high enough and cut it off when the water level drops too low. This approach is very useful when you have a low producing well. – George Anderson Apr 16 '20 at 0:32
  • @CarlWitthoft Wasn't the problem that runoff swept stuff (leaves, dirt, etc) into the well, which then clogged the pump? While a float would be generally useful, it wouldn't prevent this from happening, would it? Wouldn't a direct solution to this to either cap the well, or put a rim around it to prevent runoff from entering the well? – Michael Richardson Apr 17 '20 at 14:54
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To summarize all of this...You found a plugged filter that was causing the problem. Congratulations!

We all need to be careful about giving advice in situations like this without knowing more. There are many types of water systems: Old, hand dug wells; Cisterns; Surface wells; drilled wells with steel casing; Springs feeding a holding tank that is pumped out of; and who knows what else. We did learn it was a submersible pump, but really didn't know much about the well. Please don't snip me for offering this suggestion. We are helpful people or we wouldn't be here. Still, the advice needs to be solid.

Wells all have their own characteristics based on underground geography. That affects the rate the well can "produce" water. Ack is right, it'll recharge. The amount of pumping done may have stirred up sediment at the bottom of the well that may take a while to clear out. The OP may have to repeatedly clean the filter for a while.

I would also suggest to the OP that they get more familiar with their system. Maybe get a reputable well/pump guy to evaluate their system and how to manage an on site water system.

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    Fair points all - additionally it may be worth checking the cost for a tanker to fill the pool rather than starving the well on and off. Buying a truckful of water sounds ridiculous at first, but its a lot faster than a well, and leaves the house water supply for the house and stock. – Criggie Apr 16 '20 at 6:10
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    The last sentence is the most important one. When you're living with your own well, you have to get to know how it works - this is so important, especially when something suddenly goes wrong. – J... Apr 16 '20 at 16:03
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The filter at the entrance to the pump could be clogged. Enough water is getting through at the start, but the pumping cause debris to quickly clog up the filter, reducing pressure.

The water in the casting at the bottom could have a lot of debris now, clogging the filter at the inlet of the water pipe at the bottom of the well.

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We have a low-producing well, and I installed a "pump saver" electronic device that detects when the pump is under no load (sucking air or no input) and shuts it off. It stays off for an adjustable period of time. These devices run about $200 but can really pay off in saved pump motors.

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  • Yes, that is also a method that works well (no pun intended!). – George Anderson Apr 16 '20 at 23:03
  • I agree that it works well (pun intended) – Michael Apr 18 '20 at 3:47
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Water can only flow so fast underground because it is flowing through soil. This is unlike above ground where flow can keep increasing either by getting faster or deeper or wider.

You probably took more water out than the well can supply over that given time. It takes time for it to recover because the soil and water profile around your well is affected for some distance away from the well. To visualize, think of a shop vacuum sucking up water on the floor, it sucks some up in the general area without affecting the entire floor and then takes time for the surrounding water to flow into the now water-less area. During the recovery period you can still get water out, or see it, but it will not be the full amount and will deplete completely faster.

Your well will recover soon, just give it time. Then don't over use it. In fact, it sounds like it did already recover

If you have water in the house but no pressure it sounds like your pump got damaged when the well went dry. A capped artesian well is a pressurized system which is why you have some water flow. Your pump provides the remainder of the pressure and flow.

When a well pump goes dry it can be damaged. There are parts of it that need lubricant and the lubricant is the water. If the water goes away, so doe the lubricant.

You'll need to have the pump pulled, checked and probably repaired

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    Thank you everyone for your advice and thank you jesus my neighbor come over and it was just the filter clogged. Waters working fine now. – Michelle A Captain Apr 15 '20 at 18:41
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    @MichelleACaptain You can post this as your own answer, if you like. It will let other people know who may have the same problem as you, what to do. – Jack Apr 15 '20 at 18:51

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