Troubleshooting with Viking Pump Service

More times than not, the reason your water system is not providing you with the water that you are used to is due to a control or switch that has failed or is not functioning properly. This, of course is excluding any breakers or reset buttons.

Check underneath all well control boxes and look for any red buttons. Some manufactures have them in plain sight like on the front of the control box. Often you will have to push hard to get the buttons to reset.

If you are certain the breakers and or reset buttons are not tripped the next common thing to consider is the pressure switch. This is a little box usually either gray blue or black, and about 3 and a half inches square. It's usually located near the pressure gauge but does not necessarily need to be.

There are two basic styles of well systems:

  • With a Storage Tank
  • Without a Storage Tank (DO NOT confuse a pressure tank for a storage tank)

If there is a storage tank, there will be a booster or pressure pump which gives you your water pressure. If you do not have a storage tank, your well pump pumps directly into your pressure tank(s). Both types of systems typically have pressure tanks. If you have a storage tank, look into it somehow or dip a stick into it to see if or how much water there is. If the tank is low or empty, the well pump is to blame. If it's full, the booster pump or pressure switch may be to blame. Cleaning out a pressure switch is easy. You will need a small piece of sandpaper or emery or a point’s file which were used to file the points on the older car type distributors.

Make sure the electricity is off and you know for sure it's off!

Then, and only then, can you think about cleaning the points. Take the plastic cover off by unscrewing the little nut on top of the cover and lift it off. You may notice an ant or a bug has made its way onto the contacts and gotten burned. This is very common and an easy fix. Just pass some sandpaper between the four sets of contacts and clean them up reasonably well. It doesn't take much to make those points arc and not work. This is probably the most common fix on a well system and as you talk to other people with wells, you will find everyone has had to do this same "fix" to their well at one time or another.

 

Other Scenarios:

Problem:

Well pump runs all the time, but not at full pressure.

Solution:

  • Check for broken irrigation lines or misuse.
  • Check toilets and float valves.
  • Have a pump guy check via well pump flow test and deadhead test to determine if well pump is worn out. A pipe could have holes in it down in the well.

 

Problem:

Booster pump runs all the time, but not at full pressure

Solution:

First thing to do is shut down/off the booster pump in case it's running dry, which is often the case.

  • It may have lost its prime.
  • The suction line (feed line) may have an issue.
  • The check valve or the foot valve may have failed.
  • The suction line may be cracked and taking in air.
If the pump has been run dry for any length of time, it is quite possibly damaged and functioning improperly or leaking. This is very common. A dry-run situation is the #1 killer of booster pumps. The pump or pressure switch may be to blame.

There are a lot of well system variations, with the ones discussed being the most basic. Your system may be different in design. Possible using Variable Frequency Drive (V.F.D.) technology. These pumps and controllers run the pumps at variable speeds and use more complicated sensors and controls and rely on circuit boards which are typically hard to troubleshoot. Usually there is a blinking light which helps to diagnose the problem based on the number of blinks. For this you will usually need a manual depending on the brand, model, and manufacturer.

 

These are the most common issues we have seen on a day to day basis. Do not try any of these repairs if you do not fully understand the procedure, and follow all instructions.

  • ALWAYS make sure the power is off before attempting any repairs or solutions.
  • Most well systems run on 220 volts A.C. and it is always to be respected.
  • Always assume the power is on unless turned off and verified.

We fix so many systems over the phone and feel that is a fair way to help earn our customers respect and also their business. If it's something easy and you can do it, we will try to help you whenever we can. For assistance, please feel free to give us a call.

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