I just bought a new house that was winterized and vacant for about 6 months. It has a deep well with a jet pump. When I turn the pump on, the tank does not fill up but water does come out of the taps. The pressure doesn't go over about 40 kpa and the pump never shuts off. I've been keeping the pump turned off unless I actually need water.

I had a plumber look at it and he said it was probably something obstructing the jet in the well, but he won't be able to come back to work on it for several days. Is his diagnosis accurate? Is this something I could do myself? I couldn't find any instructions for pulling a jet out of a well online.

  • I don't know jet pumps all that well; one reason for that is that pretty much as soon a surface suction won't do, I'd go to (and have gone to) a deep well submersible rather than a jet. Jets are wickedly inefficient, and made a lot more sense when electric motors were a lot less reliable than they are now. The details on how to pull any given well pump (or your jet) depend a lot on exactly how it's installed. I do recall that deep well jets may need to be primed in order to work, though if that were the problem I'd expect you to have no water, not some water at low pressure.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 2, 2016 at 22:58
  • If it is a deep well and there is a air lock/ air filling the system prior to water getting there this may be your problem. Try turning on the pump opening the pressure tank just enough to keep the the water flowing until there's no air in the line, make sure the pressure tank bladder has not ruptured and has 35-65 lbs on the bladder when empty. If the problem continues there is something stuck in the foot valve or this has been the cause on quite a few deep wells that I have helped repair.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 2, 2016 at 23:08
  • 1
    It could also be the pump impeller has worn down from particulates in the water. I had that happen in an old house, but since the pump was in the basement I didn't realize it until I got a $400 electric bill and went searching for the cause. Ended up replacing it with a submersible which is far more efficient.
    – Mark
    May 4, 2016 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


Sounds like there is too much air in the tank. Or he bladder is actually broken in the tank.

Depending on where the valve stem is you can check by removing the valve core and seeing if water come out of where the air should be. Meaning you have to replace the tank. Or add air to the tank with a nearby faucet open and if possible close all valves leading to the house in order to shorten up and isolate the tank. If air comes out of the open tap. Bad tank. Also the tank could be flat. In which case add air and start draining the tank. Don't add too much air this could rupture the bladder

If you get the tank drained you want to set the air at around 2-3 psi lower than your low pressure switch setting

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