Whenever there is a disruption in the water flowing from a well water system, the first inclination is to search for a problem in the above-ground components. After looking for a tripped circuit breaker, the pressure tank and control switches are usually then examined. A less obvious cause of decreased flow, however, could be a small water pipe connecting the pressure control switch to the main water line.

Most of the pipes in a well water system are wide enough to virtually eliminate the possibility of a complete blockage due to sediment buildup. The same pipe size, however, is not typically used to connect the pressure control switch to the rest of the system. The short section of narrow pipe connected to the pressure switch is usually as small as one-quarter or one-eighth of an inch in diameter.

Used only for measuring pressure

The small pipe leading to the pressure control switch does not carry the main flow of water. The pressure control switch simply monitors the system pressure within the pipe. Electrical wiring is connected to the switch, which starts and stops the well pump as needed to maintain water pressure within the desired range. After several years of use, a buildup of sediment may accumulate in the interior of the small pipe.

Not readily accessible

An obstruction within the small pipe connected to the pressure control switch is not readily apparent. For that reason, the more obvious components of a well water system should be accessed first. A well pump repair technician can test the pressure control switch, as well an any other above-ground components. If all other obvious parts of the system are working properly, the small pressure control pipe can be removed to inspect it for any blockage.

Subject to inspection and replacement

After disconnecting the electrical supply, the pressure control switch must be removed to gain access to the small pipe. The threaded pipe is then removed from the main water line. At this point, the small section of pipe should be examined for any obstructions. A pointed tool such as a spike can be used to clean the interior of the pipe. If the interior is corroded or clogged, the pipe section should be replaced.

During freezing temperatures, the pipe leading to the pressure control switch needs the same level of protection as larger pipes. Unless the well components are in a heated environment, a frozen spot anywhere along the small pipe could interfere with proper switching. Contact a plumber, such as County Pump & Supply Co, for more information about well pump repair.