I have a house with a well (shallow about 40 feet). The pump (jet
pump) is above ground. Recently, I have gotten some air coming out of
the faucets (some amounts). Is a sign of a dropping water table or
something else? This has only happen a couple of times.
Well, it means you are pumping air -- ie -- no water at the pump, so
it pumps in air instead of water.
The real question is why is this happening. In my house, it usually
means someone sets out three or four hoses and turns them on high,
runs the washing machine and flushes a couple of toilets all at the
IF YOU HAVE NOT been using any excessive amount of water, then you
have more of an issue -- also -- remember, at least for North America,
this is the end of the summer, and some water tables are lower than
usual and will stay that way until winter rains.
I suspect the water table is low. I couldn't figure out any other way
air could get into the system. I believe this is the orginal well
(house is 40 years old). My family is smaller than the previous owner
who was also a big entertainer. So we should be using less water. It
has been a very dry and hot summer. Hopefully, this won't become a
Good point on the possibility of a broken line between the well and
You might check the likely line "run" area between the well and the
house see if you find a soggy patch of ground, indicating a leaky
Another method is to pump compressed air through the line and see if
you can hear the hissing as it escapes at the break.
Finally, if it is not too big a run, you can dig carefully along the
line of the pipe and see if you find anything. In my case the well is
about 130 yards from the house, running through heavy trees -- so none
of the above really works at my place.
If I had to bet, I would guess you are just suffering from an usually
dry summer. You can always check the static water level in the well
and see what is going on from that end, also.
On Thu, 16 Sep 2010 12:42:31 -0700 (PDT), tim birr
Before you start digging up pipes and all of that. Shut off every
faucet in the house and be sure there are no drips. Shut off the
toilet valve (under toilet) because toilets can run a little bit
without being noticed. Now open a faucet (there is likely one on the
tank next to the jet pump), or any other one, until the pump runs. As
soon as it starts to run, shut off the faucet. When pump shuts off,
read th pressure on the gauge (there should be one on or next to the
pump or tank, and i it's bad, replace it).
Now, watch the pressure gauge. It should NOT drop in pressure for
quite a while. If you dont want to stand there watching it, shut off
the pumps electrical switch and check a half hour later. If you have
a large pressure drop, you might have a leaking pipe in the well, or
the horizontal pipe from the well to the house. If there is no
pressure drop, your pipes should be ok. (If it drops a couple pounds,
that's probably normal, but if it drops a significant amount, you
likely have a leak.
If no leaks, take the cap off the well, and take a piece of nylon
string (you want string that wont break easily. Not that cheap string
for packaging). Tie a metal weight on the bottom, (like a bolt nut, a
5/8" or 3/4" nut should do). Drop the weighted end down the well till
it hits bottom (you can feel it when the string starts getting slack).
Pull it out and measure how much is wet. The next time you start
getting air, do the same thing and measure it. If it's dropped quite
a bit, you are likely low on the water table. (which cant be fixed
other than a new well). On a 40' well, you can likely see down there
fairly easily with a hi-power flashlight too.
On Fri, 17 Sep 2010 07:19:14 -0400, Bill who putters wrote:
Interesting - do they always have such valves integral to the pump? We've
got a jet pump on an 80' 2" well; once I did have the water shut off for
a couple of hours while I was working on the water heater, and the pump
spluttered (and threw out a few bits of sediment amongst the water) for a
couple of minutes after I turned it back on until it sorted itself out.
That surprised me because I expected the pump body to still be primed.
Maybe that's natural behavior - but maybe it could also be explained by a
check valve that's not working properly?
(our pump and motor are dated 1977, so if there is an integral valve it's
getting a little on the old side!)
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