How to Replace a Submersible Well Pump – Comprehensive Guide

How to Replace a Submersible Well Pump

"How do I replace my submersible well pump?" If you have asked yourself this question to gain answers, you are in the right place. Replacing a submersible well pump is not an easy task. On the other hand, it not entirely an impossible task. You can learn how to replace a submersible well pump by reading and following the guide below.

How to Replace a Submersible Well Pump - Complete Guide


A Proper Diagnosis

Before replacing your well pump, it is essential to identify the problem. Some of the issues that will indicate the need for a replacement include;

  • Water is not flowing to the house.
  • High unexpected electricity bills.
  • You may also notice contaminated water.

A professional technician will conduct an extensive diagnosis to determine if the pressure switch or any other control switch is functioning accordingly. They may also assess the electrical connection of the pump's motor and wire. In most cases, a diagnosis will locate the problem above the surface, probably a defective control box or switch. Regardless, it is essential to know what and why exactly you need to replace your submersible well pump.

Understand Your Well

It is vital to ensure you know the depths of the well before you get in. Find and remove the well cap before proceeding. You can do this by shining a flashlight into the well to make a few conclusions regarding the replacement of your pump.

You will notice the connection to your house, either as a union or as a pitiless adapter. Verify if there is a PVC or a flex pipe for the main pipe. If you cannot easily tell which is which, white PVC is often reflective, while black flex pipes are not.

Gather Your Tools and Clear Area

Most submersible pumps can be extremely heavy. Therefore, if you own one of those, you can hire a crane to help you remove the pump from the well. Also, ensure sufficient space around the well to allow you to work smoothly. Depending on the length of the well, you should have a good laydown area to spread the pipe once you begin pulling it off the well.

It is advisable to have someone around to help you in pulling the assembly out of the well. You may need a winch and a derrick to remove the assembly out of the well if perhaps your pump has a rigid galvanized pipe.

It is vital to wear protective gear from this point. The piping may silt and iron residue which can cause a mess on you.

Switch off Breaker and Power

Ensure you switch off the breaker to the well pump by running water through. Handling water and electricity can be dangerous, so ensure the electricity is switched off. A technician is better equipped to disconnect the electrical and plumbing connections. If you feel comfortable doing it, ensure you are protected.

Water will not be available from the well at this stage. If it is quick maintenance or replacement, water may not be available for a little while. But if there is evidence that the casing is severely damaged, more time will be needed for full repair or cleaning, which ordinarily could last a few days.

Careful Removal of the Pump

Ask for someone to help you pull. The one pulling should pitch themselves directly above the well to remove the discharging pipe directly out of the casing. The other person should be at the end of the water pipe and lead it to the area it will be laid out on.

Ensure the one guiding the water pipe has a firm grip before the other person releases to get a different hold. Stopping midway is not recommended. Ensure both of you can pull it out entirely until it's out of the casing. Once it is pulled out, cover the well temporarily to ensure nothing enters.

Examine Both the Old and New Pump

Wash off the debris from the old pump to check for its specifications and check the valves. Information that may be relevant when trying to match the two pumps include;

  • Model
  • Brand
  • Voltage
  • Phase
  • Whether it has two or three-wire configuration.
  • Pump depth

Examine the old pump for damage and tidy the inlet screen. If you have a pump technician with you, they will help you record and make notes on the state of the machine pulled from the well.

Reinstallation a Submersible Well Pump

After removing the old pump and determining what needs to be replaced, it is time to install the new pump in the well. To install the new pump, splice the electric cables collectively in a waterproof connection. Attach the pipe clamps and the pipe fittings as mentioned in the manufacturer’s manual.

Tape the electric cable adequately to allow easy reinstallation back to the casing. Lower the pump back as gently and carefully as possible. You can do it with help from another person. If there are any electrical connections left at the top and you are not comfortable doing it, again, hire an electrician to help.

Check if you have a water supply. It may take up to ten minutes for the pump to resume full pumping operation. You can also do well flushing to ensure the water flowing in is clean and free from deposits and minerals. Once you are satisfied that water is flowing into the house, you can then install the well cap.

Lastly, there is a chance there your water may have been contaminated with bacteria. Therefore, have it assessed by a certified water company to detect for softness and bacteria.

Essential Tips to Recall When Replacing Well Pump

  • Have someone to help you while removing and reinstalling the pump in the well.
  • You should have background knowledge of electricity and electric connections.
  • Wear protective gear to avoid unnecessary mess.
  • Some parts of the pump may still be functioning effectively. Check for those to avoid spending more on replacement costs.

Bottom Line

A fully functional submersible well pump is considered more durable. However, if it encounters mechanical challenges or you notice a problem in your water flow, it may require replacement. A professional technician will also help you determine what needs repair or replacement to ensure the process is worth all the effort. 

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