My well installation has a submersible pump. I know very little about the installation; the installation was done in 1970 and the installer is not in business anymore. I've read what I could find here and at manufacturer's sites, like Well-X-Trol, but still have questions.

Problem started a few weeks ago...I noticed that the pump was running more often, including at times when no water was being used. The well is a few feet from the front of the house and I can hear/feel it running when it's otherwise quiet in the house. I was hoping that things would hold until warmer weather (it's been super cold here and we've had over 10 feet of snow total this year)...but the past two days it has been running constantly. The Well -X-Trol tank and water softener are in an unheated garage, currently 39 degrees F (it's about 10 degrees outside) as I worked on the problem for 3-4 hours this afternoon.

It seemed like the old pressure switch relay was sluggish and the contacts were quite pitted, plus the pump wouldn't shut off, so I replaced the pressure control switch with a unit that is virtually identical, made by Square D, 30/50 switch. I couldn't get the old one to switch off no matter what I had tried, including turning off the valve at the air tank. The new switch was the same, no joy.

So, after reading a bit on the WWW, I measured the air pressure at the top of the tank...20 psi, pretty constant...and some water at the air valve. I drained the tank and tried re-charging it with air...yeah, I know it was all in vain and it was. So, I am pretty sure I need a tank (not sure what this model is....they installed it with the label against the wall, so I'd have to remove it to read the label).

At this point I am back where I was. The pump runs continuously and I see 20 psi water pressure in the house. On to my main question...shouldn't the pressure be higher than 20 psi? At least I have water to use, but why should the pressure be so low that the pressure switch won't even turn off?? Could the pump be limping along, nearly worn out, and still give 20 psi reliably? Water quality, other than when I messed with the tank (it got rusty for awhile), has been good.

My thought is that I'll need a new tank and maybe a new pump....perhaps I should consider a CSV and a smaller tank, as long as I'm replacing major stuff.

Any suggestions? Anything else to try? This house used to belong to my mother-in-law, who had an opportunity about 10 years ago to connect to municipal water, but didn't. I could do it now for $10,000 or so, but the well water was excellent up til now and I'd like to get it back to where it was.

Bob L.
Erie, PA