How Long Does it Take for a Well Pump to Build Pressure?

One of the common questions asked by those who want to install a pump in their well is how long it takes for the pump to build pressure. There are many advantages that you can get from giving your well to supply your household with water. Aside from having lower monthly costs, you have easy access to your water supply when you need it. On the other hand, it is your responsibility to maintain the condition of your pump. The usual problem that occurs with well pumps is regarding pressure. We have shared tips and information to help you learn more about well pump pressure.

How long does it take for a well pump to build pressure? In general, the usual pressure tank will take 45 seconds to 2 minutes to build pressure. For larger pressure tanks, it might need 30 seconds to a few minutes of drawdown before the water volume pressure drops and turns on the pump.

Why is my well pump not building pressure? What should the pressure be on a well pump? Why does my well pump take so long to build pressure? What is water pressure? These are some of the questions that we will discuss. Read the rest of the article below to find out more about the topic.

Why Does My Well Pump Take so Long to Build Pressure?

One of the reasons why your well pump takes so long to build pressure is because of the sediments. Over time, sediments can wear down the impellers which make the pump slow when it comes to building pressure. Another reason is that there is a hole in the pipe. A sign that there is a hole somewhere in the pipes is when you turn off the power with no water being used and the pressure drops.

Why is My Well Pump not Building Pressure?

There are a few possible causes why your pump is not building proper pressure. One of the causes is when the pump sucks air. Pressure also takes too long to build if the depth of water in the well is too deep, and debris blocks the venturi, impeller, or nozzle of the pump.

What is Water Pressure?

Water pressure is how many pounds per square inch your water is under. In residential plumbing systems, water is under pressure. This means that it is pressurized by gravity or a pump to provide the flow and pressure that a household requires. If your storage tank is elevated 100 feet above your house, you need 43 pounds per square inch of pressure. We have also shared this article that discusses if a submersible pump needs a pressure tank. You can check out the article for more tips and information.

How Does a Water Pump and Pressure Tank Work Together?

Depending on the type of pump that you have, it will pull or push water from the well and send it to the pressure tank. The pressure tank is the one that will hold the supply of water under pressure until your plumbing system is turned on. Bear in mind that the pressure tank creates pressure as a portion of its tank is filled with compressed air. When you open a water valve, the tank pushes out the water via the piping system. The tank then fills up again when the pressure falls below a certain pressure rating. The pressure tank should hold a significant amount of water. This is because there will be less wear and tear on the well pump as it does not need to cycle on and off often. Well pumps are hard to repair once they get damaged. This is why it is important to have the right size of pressure tank for your well.

Water pressure plays an important role in providing the right water supply for your household. In a municipal water supply, the city or township usually controls the water pressure. Take note that there are some internal plumbing problems that can decrease water pressure. If you have a residential well, the pressure tank will provide you with adequate pressure through your pipes. To provide a stable supply of water from the well to your home, the well, water pump, and pressure tank should work together.

How to Solve Low Water Pressure on Well Water Systems

Like any other fixture in your home, your well also needs routine inspection and maintenance to make sure that it is working properly. Among the common problems that homeowners encounter is having bad pressure tanks. A lot of homeowners also experience having low water pressure. These issues will need troubleshooting. The good thing is that there are signs that you can look out for so that you can be alerted if your well or pressure tanks are experiencing any issues. Below are some of the common water pressure and well system issues that one may experience and how to solve them.

Problem 1: Low Water Pressure

There are many causes of low water pressure which include pump failure, the check valve is stuck, the gate ball valve being partially closed, and there is leakage or failure in the pressure tank. Another cause of the problem is that iron bacteria can clog up the pipe that leads to the pressure switch which causes the pressure switch to sense pressure incorrectly. If there is a high presence of iron bacteria in your well water, it can clog your pump or well screen. To avoid this issue, make sure that the well is regularly cleaned with a solution that is specially made to remove iron bacteria, scale, and smile from the water.

In some well systems, the pressure is usually set to turn on at 30 PSI and to turn off at 50 PSI. However, this pressure can be too low for a modern home with many appliances. While it is possible to raise the pressure higher, adequate water pressure in the home should be maintained. If the well pump and well can be able to run at higher pressure with no difficulty, you can adjust the pressure switch to your specifications. Make sure that when you adjust the pressure switch, the air pressure inside the pressure tank should also be adjusted.

✅ Video – How to Diagnose Low Water Pressure

Tom Leeman shared the video below on YouTube. In the video, Tom discusses how to diagnose low well water pressure. He also discusses the steps that you need to do when making your inspection. Check out the video below for more information.

Problem 2: Pressure Switch Set Too Low

If you have a standard system, you might be wondering if you can turn up the pressure switch to achieve higher pressure. While it is possible to adjust the pressure switch, you need to be extra careful in doing so because it can decrease the amount of drawdown in the pressure tank. You also need to consider that adjusting the pressure switch higher might not work because a pump may not be able to build higher pressure than what it is set to. Make sure that you clean and inspect your pressure switch so that there are insects or ants that can damage it.

Problem 3: Failed Pressure Tank

Another issue that you might encounter is failed pressure tank. The pressure tank has a captive air bladder or diaphragm that allows it to hold a certain pre-charged air pressure amount. To check if it is properly functioning, you first need to turn off the pump power and then open a faucet or hose bid to drain out any water pressure in the tank.

Problem 4: Clogged Piping

Most of the time, you will not know that you are already dealing with clogged piping unless a plumber identifies it. However, a common sign that you have clogged piping is to take out a section of the pipe and to look inside. Sludge, sediment, and scale can be the cause of clogging which also results in low water pressure. You can also check out this article that we have shared that talks about the reasons why submersible pumps fail.

Problem 5: Clogged or Stuck Gate Valves

Both ball valves and gate valves should be regularly turned on and off. Because of this, gate valves can get stuck and cannot open or close. This is especially true if they have not been used for a long time. Make sure that you replace these types of bad valves. While you can clean a valve that is full of sludge, replacing it would be better.

Why is My Pressure Tank Losing Pressure?

For standard captive air bladder type pressure tanks, losing pressure is a common indication that the bladder inside the tank has ruptured. Take note that these are not serviceable and you will need to replace the pressure tank. Another reason why the pressure tank loses pressure is that the air valve on the top of the tank is leaking.

What Should the Pressure Be on a Well Pump?

The normal well water pressure should be between 40 and 60 psi. If your pressure tank is above the normal range, you can easily adjust the pressure switch. We have also shared this article titled, can submersible pumps run horizontally? We have shared an in-depth discussion about the topic.


You have reached the end of this article that discusses how long it takes for a well pump to build pressure. We have also shared the different causes of why well pumps take too long to build pressure. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about wells, water tanks, and how important it is to have the right water pressure. Thank you for reading!

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