Wondering whether your well water pressure is normal compared to the average? Here, we’ve shared everything you need to know about well water pressure, answering the question: “What’s a good water pressure for a well?”
📌 Key Takeaways:
- A good water pressure for a private well is 55 PSI.
- If your water pressure is lower than 40 PSI, it may be too low to meet your water demands.
- You can measure your well water pressure using a pressure gauge.
Table of Contents
- 🤔 What Is Well Water Pressure?
- 🔎 What’s A Good Well Water Pressure?
- 📉 What’s A Low Water Pressure For A Well?
- 📈 What’s A High Water Pressure For A Well?
- 📖 How To Measure Well Water Pressure
- 📋 Factors Affecting Well Water Pressure
- 📥 What To Do If Your Well Water Pressure Is Low
- 📤 What To Do If Your Well Water Pressure Is High
- 📑 Final Word
🤔 What Is Well Water Pressure?
Well water pressure is the force of water that’s delivered through your home’s water pipes from a well system.
The exact measurement of well water pressure depends on where you take the pressure reading.
If you take the pressure reading before the pressure tank, you’ll learn of the water pressure from the well pump.
If you take the pressure reading after the pressure tank, you’ll learn of the tank pressure.
The first reading tells you whether or not your well water pressure is adequate to deliver water to the pressure tank, while the second reading tells you the performance of the pressure tank.
🔎 What’s A Good Well Water Pressure?
A good well water pressure range is 40-60 pounds per square inch (PSI). This equates to a flow rate of about 5-8 gallons per minute (GPM).
With the ideal water pressure and flow in your home, you’ll get the optimal amount of water delivered to your pipes and appliances, allowing them to operate efficiently and deliver enough water when you need it.
📉 What’s A Low Water Pressure For A Well?
Generally, anything lower than 40 PSI from a well water system is seen as low pressure in a home. However, this depends on the situation, and pressure fluctuations are common. Some well pressures might occasionally dip down to 30 PSI without causing any water flow issues in the home.
The lower the water pressure, the slower the flow of water through your home’s plumbing system, which may affect the performance of your appliances and water-using fixtures.
In certain scenarios, you may need to take steps to boost your well pressure and flow rate. We’ve discussed this in more detail later.
📈 What’s A High Water Pressure For A Well?
A pressure above 75 PSI is considered too much pressure in the average home. However, 60 PSI is the maximum water pressure needed in most residential situations.
High water pressure may damage your water supply pipes, so you may need to adjust your pressure tank’s pressure setting if you get a reading above 60 PSI on your pressure gauge.
📖 How To Measure Well Water Pressure
To measure your well water pressure, you just need a water pressure gauge.
Follow these steps to measure your well water pressure:
- Buy a pressure gauge if you don’t have one already.
- Choose a location to take a reading. Ideally, this should be a fixture or faucet near the well’s pressure tank.
- Switch off any appliances and fixtures in your home. This will allow you to take the most accurate reading.
- Install the pressure gauge. Screw it tightly onto the faucet or fixture and check that there are no leaks. Use a wrench to further tighten the gauge if needed.
- Take a pressure reading. Switch the faucet or fixture on full and take a reading on the device. Remember, a pressure reading of 40-60 PSI is generally considered normal for a well water system.
Note: You can follow the same process to measure the pressure from the well pump, but choose a spot to take a reading that’s upstream of the pressure tank. If all your home’s water outlets are supplied by the pressure tank, this may not be possible.
Looking for more detailed step-by-step instructions? Read our full guide on how to check water pressure in your home .
📋 Factors Affecting Well Water Pressure
There are a few factors that may affect the pressure of water delivered by your well system. These include:
Well Pump Age
A well pump’s age affects its performance. An old, worn well pump is likely to have issues delivering adequate water pressure compared to a new, fully-functioning pump.
The capacity of the pump can also affect water pressure. The greater the pump’s capacity, the more water it can deliver through the pump system and pipes, and the higher the water pressure.
The diameter of your pipes affects the volume of water that can be delivered through your plumbing system, which may allow for higher flow capacity (if you have a big enough pump) or may reduce flow rate and pressure.
Water’s Sediment Content
The concentration of sediment in your well water may affect water pressure, too. High-sediment water could cause a clogged well screen, reducing the flow of water out of the well system and causing low water pressure.
Or, sediment buildup on pipes could cause resistance that slows the flow of water through your plumbing, leading to a similar outcome.
Pressure Tank Settings
All pressure tanks should have settings that affect their water delivery to your home. An issue with low water pressure might be caused by incorrect settings.
You can change the pressure tank’s settings by draining the water from the tank and adjusting the pressure switch settings using a wrench. You will then need to adjust the pressure inside the tank accordingly.
Pressure Switch Function
A bad pressure switch might also be to blame for problems with low water pressure. The role of the pressure switch is to send signals to the well pump to switch on when the pressure in the tank drops below a specific pressure measurement, usually 40 PSI.
If the pressure switch is bad, the pump’s cut-on pressure or cut-off pressure might be affected, leading to low pressure in the water system.
Air Bladder Function
The air bladder in the well pressure tank could be causing a drop in water pressure in your home plumbing system.
The air bladder should contain enough compressed air to exert force against the water in the tank. If the air bladder is under-inflated, it won’t provide enough force in the well tank to increase water pressure and deliver a constant pressure around your home.
Stuck Pressure Valve
Finally, a stuck pressure valve might be the cause of low pressure from the well pump.
📥 What To Do If Your Well Water Pressure Is Low
If your well pressure is too low, there are a few things you can do to resolve the issue:
Size Up Your Well Pump
If your low water pressure problems are caused by a well pump that’s too small for your needs, the best way to achieve the required pressure is to increase the pump size.
A bigger pump will have a bigger capacity, meaning that a faster flow of water can be delivered to the well tank.
Of course, this is an expensive solution, so it might not be the best choice for you, depending on your budget.
Adjust Your Pressure Tank Settings
If the problem is caused by the pressure tank, check the air fill valve with an air pressure gauge and make sure the pressure settings are correct.
You might need to get the pressure tank inspected if you can’t figure out the problem or you think you have a broken tank.
Install A Water Pressure Booster Pump
Booster pumps are designed to increase low pressure and flow to the ideal pressure for your water demands.
A booster pump is worth considering if your incoming water pressure is naturally low, and you can’t resolve the issue in the pump and pressure tank.
Install A Constant Pressure System
Another option to consider is a constant pressure system, which is installed at your home’s point of entry (POE) and ensures constant pressure in the tank is maintained.
A constant pressure system will signal to the well pump to switch on as soon as the water pressure in the tank drops (usually by as little as 2 PSI).
The problem with this option is that in order to maintain a constant pressure of just below 1–2 PSI of cut-off pressure, the pump has to work constantly while water is being used. This will wear out the pump faster.
Consider Installing Water Treatment Systems
If certain contaminants in your well are reducing water flow and pressure, consider installing an at-home water treatment system to remove these contaminants before they can cause a nuisance.
Here are the common well contaminants, their effects on flow, and water treatment systems that can remove these contaminants:
|Contaminant||Issues Caused||Addressed With|
|Iron||Staining and clogging that reduces water flow||Oxidation system|
|Hard water minerals||Form limescale, which reduces flow rate by creating resistance in pipes||Water softener|
|Sediment||May clog or stain pipes and restrict water flow||Sediment filter|
📤 What To Do If Your Well Water Pressure Is High
If you have very high pressure from your well, there’s one simple solution that we recommend: install a pressure regulator.
Pressure regulators can be used to maintain a normal water pressure range. You can install a pressure regulator on your main water pipe and adjust the settings to reduce water pressure to a safe reading.
📑 Final Word
You know what’s considered a good water pressure for a well – and now you need to maintain it.
Keep your well water pressure in the optimal range by:
- Regularly inspecting the pump and well tank and addressing issues when you notice them
- Getting your pipes inspected and addressing blockages or leaks if these cause water pressure issues
- Hiring a contractor to perform scheduled well servicing and maintenance
A water pressure problem can usually be resolved easily, but if you need any extra help, hire a professional to inspect your well and help you to resolve the issue with the best solution.