Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Well Pump Repair Issues in Eugene?
- 2 What Factors Cause Premature Well Pump Failure in Eugene?
- 3 How Much Does Well Pump Repair Usually Cost in Eugene?
- 4 How to Avoid Costly Well Pump Repairs in Eugene?
- 5 When Do You Need Permits for Well Pump Repair in Eugene?
What Are the Most Common Well Pump Repair Issues in Eugene?
Well pumps and tanks are, in general, low-maintenance pieces of equipment. When installed correctly, they shouldn’t require much maintenance or work on your part to keep running. However, there are a few issues we see more often in Eugene. If you have a problem with your well pump, it’s probably because of one of these three issues:
- It is not pumping enough water. There are a few reasons your pump may not be delivering enough water to your household. One of the most common in Eugene, though, is that there is no water to pump. The groundwater supply in Oregon has been severely depleted. That means we’re using more water than the natural water cycle is replacing. Eugene’s residents are familiar with drought conditions, and that includes the area’s aquifers. If your current well runs out of water, you may need to dig a new one. Wells used to be less than 100 feet deep to tap into a fresh water supply, but new wells need to be between 200 and 400 feet deep, with some as deep as 800 feet.
- Sediment in the water. Eugene has many soil types, but it is primarily Jory soil. Jory is also the official state soil of Oregon. It’s well-drained and suitable for farmland, which is why our area is so good to grow crops. However, as you get deeper into the soil, you’ll find a lot of clay and sand. Both of these materials can be detrimental to your well pump if they get inside the system. They can clog or corrode the moving parts of the pump. When your well was initially drilled, the well construction team should have included some screens and filters in your system to help keep clay and sand out of the pump. Over time, though, these screens and filters can wear out, break, or become damaged by larger debris. If you notice sediment in your drinking water, you’ll want to get your well pump checked out right away.
- Pump cycling on and off. If you notice your well pump repeatedly cycling on and off for short periods, you’ll want to call a Eugene well pump repair team. This issue is called short cycling. It’s not necessarily a sign there is something wrong with your pump, though. It is often a sign that you’ve lost air in your water pressure tank. It could also be a sign of a defective control switch or a clog in the system. It’s an issue, though, so you’ll want to call a repair technician right away if you notice your pump short cycling. They’ll be able to diagnose the issue and correct it for you.
What Factors Cause Premature Well Pump Failure in Eugene?
With frequent maintenance, well pumps should last between eight and ten years. That means over their lifespan, they can provide you with inexpensive water for your household. However, there are a few things that can make your well pump fail prematurely. Here are the most common reasons well pumps fail early in Eugene:
- The pump is too small for the household. Pumps can be expensive. Well pumps cost anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand dollars. Some people try to cut corners when installing their well pump and choose one that’s not powerful enough to meet household demand. If you do this, you’ll end up burning out the well pump much sooner because it has to work so much harder to pump the right amount of water into your home. The average household size in Eugene is around 2.25 people. Each person uses about 100 gallons of water per day. You’ll need to ensure your water source can supply that much water and your well pump can handle the demand. Most single-family homes in Oregon will need a pump that can do six to 12 gallons per minute.
- There is not enough water for the pump. If your groundwater source dries up, it can end up burning out your well pump, too. That’s because the pump will continue to try to pump water even when it’s not there. Unfortunately, this is becoming a bigger problem for Oregon private well users. Groundwater levels are going down. Above and below ground, all water in Oregon belongs to all people in Oregon, not just to the landowners. So not only will you be replacing a broken well pump, you may need to dig a new well.
- Water quality. Water quality has a significant impact on your entire well system, including your pump. Groundwater tends to be higher in mineral count, as the water often has prolonged contact with rocks below the surface. Minerals like calcium carbonate and magnesium attach themselves to water molecules before the water reaches your home. The minerals are safe to drink, but they can be tough on your well pump. They can cause limescale build-up within the pump, eventually corroding parts and causing them to seize up or stop. Using anti-corrosive additives is an excellent way to prevent these issues.
How Much Does Well Pump Repair Usually Cost in Eugene?
A well pump repair in Eugene will run anywhere from $200 to around $1,600. The average private well owner can expect to pay an average of $900 for well pump repairs. How much you’ll end up paying will depend on hourly repair rates, the materials cost, and any additional fees required.
Hourly Labor Rates
Most well pump repair teams will charge an hourly rate for the labor. Labor charges will vary depending on their experience, how many people are required for the job, and the repairs. They’ll estimate how long they think the job will take, multiply that by their hourly rate, and add that to your estimate. If you are trying to save money, you may be able to do some work yourself. For some tasks, though, you’ll require a licensed contractor.
Most well pump repairs will take some materials to complete. The materials needed could be anything from a bit of wiring for a few dollars to an entirely new pump for a few thousand. Once your well repair person has inspected the pump, they should estimate the cost of the materials for you. They’ll get the materials for you and add the cost to your bill.
Permits and Emergency Fees
Well construction repairs will require a permit from Lane County. There will be a cost associated with this, but your contractor can get the permit for you and add the cost to your final bill. It’s essential to keep in mind that you may pay more for emergency well pump repairs, too. These are most common during Eugene’s thunderstorms when lightning and flooding can cause severe damage to your well. You don’t want to delay emergency repairs, though. The longer you wait, the worse the damage can become, leading to well contamination issues.
How to Avoid Costly Well Pump Repairs in Eugene?
The best way to avoid expensive well pump repairs on your Eugene property is to focus on good well maintenance. Well maintenance should include:
- Comprehensive annual inspections by a professional. Sign up for a contract with a local well repair team and make sure you get this annual inspection done. They’ll examine every part of your well, as well as do contamination and flow rate testing. These inspections can help spot potential issues way in advance before they become a major problem for your well. The inspections can give you peace of mind that your well pump is ready to provide safe, clean water for the year ahead.
- Regular inspections of the wellhead. The wellhead is the part of the well that’s above ground. You should do regular inspections of the wellhead, as least once a month. Take a look at the area and make sure it is clean and undamaged. Ensure there are no cracks in the cement or pipes and no debris lying around nearby. Also, take note of any unusual smells or soggy ground around the wellhead. If you do see an issue, call your repair team right away. Issues at the wellhead can be indications of more serious problems underground.
- Check your water after every storm. Eugene can have some extreme weather, from severe thunderstorms to issues with flooding. You’ll want to inspect your well after a storm. The inspection will help you make sure a lightning strike hasn’t affected the well pump and floodwaters haven’t contaminated your water supply. If you have concerns, call a professional for an inspection and water quality testing right away.
When Do You Need Permits for Well Pump Repair in Eugene?
Lane County requires a permit for the construction, repair, or abandonment of a private water well. They also require a permit to install a well pump for the first time or the alteration of any equipment. Most private wells will be outside Eugene’s city limits, as city residents will use the municipal water supply. For those outside city limits, your contractor can apply for the necessary permits through Lane County’s permit website. Your contractor should be able to answer any questions you have about the permit process. Otherwise, you can contact the Lane County permit office with additional questions.