We replaced our pump 2 months ago. The water since then will have pressure then go to a trickle then come back up to pressure. Last week it has not done that. It has had full pressure.
But yesterday it totally stopped working. Then it would come back on after a few minutes. My water now runs black and we have severe sediment in it. Our water has always been very yellow and rusty with some dirt in it but never black. Our power bill went up over 150 last month.
Someone please help. Could Our well be collapsed, could we have bad bladder tank, is the pressure switch bad, do we have broken pipes allowing air into the system mixing with the water causing it to turn black.
What idea's or knowledge do you have?

  • Far more details about your well and pump would be needed to make any decent guesses. Size and depth of well? Type and location of pump? Setting of pressure switch? Does the pressure make it all the way to the cutoff setting, or does it sit below that and never shut off?
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 19, 2023 at 12:04
  • Did you choose the pump yourself, or did a well/pump service select it for you?
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 19, 2023 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


As commented, more details are needed.

The water since then will have pressure then go to a trickle then come back up to pressure.

It generally seems like you have been over-pumping the well and evidently don't have a low-pressure cutoff on your pressure switch, so the pump has presumably been running dry. That might well lead to excessive power bills. If the pump can't make enough pressure to shut off, that will also make excessive power bills. Damage to the pump is likely if run dry, which is why low-pressure cutoff is a fairly normal thing to have.

Black water that I've met usually has a terrible stench to go with that's sulfur related. A high-iron water might turn much darker if the pump is churning away sucking air, though I'd expect it to still have some brownish/rusty cast. Manganese often associated with iron does tend to go to a black powder (non-stinky) when oxygenated, but it's relatively heavy (settles out if you leave a glass of water on the counter for a while.)

  • I am not sure the depth or size of the well. I do know the pump is a submersible pump and we have a bladder tank that is also buried under ground.
    – Jenn Avery
    Feb 19, 2023 at 12:58
  • OK, so you have a submersible pump. You might want a new pressure switch with a low-pressure cutout, but that may (probably won't) not solve all your problems. Can you report what your pressure gauge shows and your drawdown (while using no water else where in the house, draw enough water to kick the pump on (and close faucet, noting pressure), watch the water pressure rise to cutoff (and note pressure, and how long it takes), then draw enough water to kick the pump on again, keeping track of how much water that takes this time.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 19, 2023 at 13:50

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