How to Increase Water Pressure From a Well System

A garden hose with a spray.

When living outside of the city, you're likely living off of well water. Water services within cities often offer water pressure of about 60 pounds per square inch (psi), which is much more than most well water systems.

For new country folks, having a huge drop in water pressure from their well is a disappointment. While fixing low water pressure on a well water system can be tricky, it's not impossible. In fact, you should be able to do it yourself. There are a few different reasons why you may have low water pressure, so it's important to find out what's causing it so you can fix it. Here are a couple of checks you can do, and what to install the solve the problem.

Check for Clogged Pipes

A shower head with water coming out of it.

Low water pressure could exist because you have clogged pipes with a build-up of hard water, sediment, or minerals. In this case, you'll have to clean out your pipes. Increasing the water pressure won't help, but it could cause water system damage if there are clogged pipes. Not only that, but you could spend a lot of time and money trying to change the pressure control switch (mentioned below) when that's not even the problem.

That is why you must be certain that the problem is not a clogged pipe before trying something else. Next, check to see that all of the faucets and showerheads are also clean and clear of buildup that could be blocking water flow. If they're clogged, take the time to clean them off.

Install a Constant Pressure System

Someone washing a pan in the sink.

If you know clogged pipes are not an issue and you notice that whenever you're running water from more than one tap and the water pressure drops, the solution could be as simple as installing a constant water pressure system. This will keep your well water pressure constant, even when you use more than one faucet at a time.

Fortunately, a constant water pressure system is pretty easy to install, too. You can install it on the line where your water enters your home, usually in the basement. This can also be used if the height of your building is impacting the water pressure on the upper floors or if your water pressure tank and pump are too far away from the point of water use.

Adjust The Pressure Tank

Another solution is to adjust the pressure tank. Pressure tanks have gauges that will tell you how much pressure is flowing through your pipes. If it's below 40 psi, you might want to increase it. Just remember to not adjust it to above 60 psi because that could cause water pipe breakage, leaks, and switch failure.

To adjust the pressure tank, first turn off the circuit breaker, which supplies power to the well pump. Once that's done, locate the air fill valve on top of the pressure tank. This valve is much like a tire valve. To find out what the psi currently is, attach a tire pressure gauge to get the pressure reading.

If you're positive that this is the problem, you can increase the water pressure by adjusting the pressure switch, located on the piping from the well to the pressure tank. It's usually grey or black in color, and is about 4 inches long and 3 inches wide. Some pressure switch manufacturers will provide a diagram that shows the specific settings.

Once you've adjusted the pressure switch, turn the circuit breaker back on to test the pressure switch settings. Turn on a faucet nearby to drain water from the tank until the pump comes back on. You will have to note the psi setting while the pump is on, and again when it turns off, to get a good reading. Regular settings are 20/40, 30/50, and 40/60.

Once you are done you can flip the circuit breaker back on.