How to Increase Water Pressure From a Well

If you own a well, your water pressure may be less than you'd like. Or maybe the pressure is good ... except when you try to take a shower while the washing machine is filling. You don't have to suffer with poor water pressure. Depending on what's causing your problem, you may just have to do one, quick no-cost task to increase water pressure from your well

Step 1

Make sure your pump capacity can handle enough gallons of water per minute to cover you during times of peak water usage. To calculate your peak usage, write down which appliances (including the shower) you use during peak water use times. Find out how many gallons of water each activity uses per minute and add them all up. A general average is about 35 gallons per minute. If you have a large family, run more water-using appliances than most or water a large yard, make it at least 40 gallons per minute. If your pump can't handle your peak usage, it's time to upgrade or your efforts to increase the water pressure from your well will be wasted.

Step 2

Check that your pipes are large enough to support your water usage. Most pipes (some wells use hoses, too) that come from wells are less than an inch in diameter. If your well water has to run through hundreds of feet of pipe to get to your house, the pipe needs to be larger to accommodate more water, or you'll lose pressure. If you add pipe or hose length when you add on to your home, as with an extra bathroom, you'll decrease well water pressure if you don't also upgrade the piping. A plumber can tell you your pipe size.

Step 3

If your pump is large enough and your pipes are appropriately large for the distance they cover, try adjusting your pressure control. Shut off the main power at the breaker before you open the pressure switch box. If you're not familiar with it, look for a very small, gray box (roughly 2"x2") that has wires running out of it. It's usually near the well pump. Open the box and you'll see two springs with nuts, one long and one short. Turn the large nut clockwise to increase the water pressure. Turn the nut three times, and then test the water pressure. If the well water still isn't at the pressure you'd like, try three more, and so on.