The unavoidable has happened. At some point during the year you lose power to your home during a large storm. Afterwards, when power has been restored (hours or days later) everything is functioning fine… except your well pump. For some reason, once the power came back on, you still don’t have running water. What is going on? Why isn’t your well pump working?
Worry not. This is a frequent occurrence in households all over the Hudson Valley, and normally easily remedied. The most common reason for water failure after a power outage is because the low pressure switch has shut off. When you continue to use water during a power failure, the pressure in your tank will drop below the minimum setting and shut the itself off. This is a safety mechanism, to avoid running your pump dry for an extended period of time which can cause catastrophic damage to your well system.
How do you restore water?
Once your home has power again the first thing you need to do is make sure the main breaker to the well pump is still on. If it is tripped, check the pump and wires for any shorts. Then reset the breaker. That may restore the water. If you still don’t have water that means the pressure switch is most likely shut off and you will have to reset it.
The pressure switch is normally around 3″ long by 2″ wide. It is located along the water line between the well and the pressure tank. Towards the bottom of the pressure switch box, there is a lever. Using pliers (to be safe) lift the lever upward, to reset the pressure switch. While the lever is raised, hold it in the upward position until you hear the pump start and the pressure raise on the pressure gauge to above 30 psi. Your water should now be restored!
If this still does not work then it’s time to call in the pros. Small well diagnostics can often be done at home by the homeowner, however once these options have been exhausted it is then in your best interest to call in a pump professional to diagnose the problem more thoroughly to restore water flow. You may have an electrical issue caused by a power surge, or something may be wrong with a component of your pump. Also, if the power outage occurred during the winter, it is possible you have a break in a water line or well offset leak outside your home.