How to Increase Pressure on a Well Pump

Reviewed by: James Layton
Updated on:
January 15, 2024

Are you tired of getting poor water pressure every time you turn on the faucet or step into the shower? 

If this sounds like you, and you rely on a well pump system for your water supply, fear not! This article explores methods for increasing pressure in your well pump and unleashing the full potential of your water source. 

From simple adjustments to essential maintenance tips, I’ll help you take charge of your water flow and enjoy more robust and consistent water pressure throughout your home.

How to Increase Water Pressure in a Well Pump System

First, use an air pressure gauge to determine if your home’s water pressure has dropped. If it has, here’s a list of measures you should take to remedy the issue:

1. Check for clogs and leaks 

Clogs in pipes, fixtures, or fittings can restrict water flow, leading to pressure drops. Additionally, leaks result in wasted water and reduce overall system pressure. Regularly inspecting and fixing any clogs or leaks will help maintain optimal water pressure throughout your home.

2. Check for sediment buildup

Sediment accumulation in the well pump or supply lines reduces water flow and pressure. Regular inspection and cleaning prevents these issues.

3. Clean the well screen 

The well screen, if present, prevents debris from entering the pump. Over time, it can accumulate sediment, reducing water flow into the pump. Cleaning the well screen ensures efficient water intake and better pump performance.

4. Verify pump pressure control switch settings

The pump pressure control switch settings determine when the pump turns on and off. Properly adjusted pressure switch settings are essential for maintaining consistent pressure. Adjusting the cut-in and cut-off pressure to match your household’s needs prevents unnecessary cycling of the pump.

5. Adjust pressure tank pre-charge 

Pressure tanks with bladders or diaphragms need a pre-charge of air to maintain system pressure. An incorrectly set pre-charge can lead to pressure fluctuations. Adjusting it to around 2 PSI below the cut-in pressure ensures proper operation.

6. Check pressure tank air volume control

The air volume control (AVC) maintains the correct amount of air in the pressure tank. If the air fill valve is not functioning correctly, the tank may lose its ability to provide consistent tank pressure.

Air trapped in the system can hinder water flow and lead to pressure fluctuations. Bleeding the air from the lines ensures smoother water flow and consistent pressure.

Some cases may benefit from hydropneumatic constant pressure systems. A hydropneumatic system utilizes an air compressor with the pressure tank, offering constant pressure by adjusting air volume as needed.

7. Test pressure relief valve

The pressure relief valve protects the pressure tank from over-pressurization. Regularly testing this valve ensures safety and prevents pressure issues.

8. Upgrade the pump size

If the existing well pump cannot keep up with household water demands, upgrading to a larger pump with a higher GPM capacity will improve water flow and pressure.

9. Install a constant pressure system

A constant pressure system, often achieved with a variable speed drive, adjusts the pump’s speed based on demand to maintain a constant water pressure regardless of usage.

10. Install a water pressure booster pump 

A water pressure booster pump, installed after the well pump, increases water pressure in the plumbing system, enhancing the overall pressure delivered to fixtures.

11. Conserve water

Practicing water conservation helps reduce the overall demand on the well pump system during peak usage, allowing it to maintain better water pressure.

Install water-saving fixtures

Water-saving fixtures reduce water consumption without compromising performance. Lower water usage reduces strain on the well pump system and improves overall pressure.

12. Perform regular maintenance

Regular maintenance by a qualified well pump technician includes checking for worn-out components, cleaning filters, and ensuring all elements of the system work optimally.

13. Check well depth and yield

Ensuring that the well is deep enough and has an adequate yield is crucial for meeting household water demands. If the well’s yield is insufficient, it may not supply enough water, resulting in pressure drops.

If the well pump is too deep, it may struggle to draw water efficiently. Evaluating the pump’s depth and making necessary adjustments can enhance its performance.

Of course, your well may not be deep enough. If feasible, drilling a deeper well can increase the well’s yield and, subsequently, improve water pressure in the system.

Factors That Can Influence Well Water Pressure

Here are five factors that influence your well pump’s water pressure:

Pump capacity

The well pump’s flow rate, typically measured in gallons per minute (GPM), determines how much water the pump can supply to the plumbing system. The pump’s capacity should match or exceed the household’s peak water demand to maintain adequate pressure.

Pressure tank size

The size of the pressure tank affects the amount of water it can store and, consequently, the duration of stable pressure it can provide when the pump is not running. A larger pressure tank can provide a longer period of steady water pressure before the pump needs to turn on again.

Well yield

The well’s yield refers to the amount of water it can produce over a given period. A well with a higher yield can supply water more readily, leading to better water pressure. However, if the well yield declines over time, it can cause pressure drop issues.

System design

Proper system design, including the appropriate pipe sizes and plumbing layout, can ensure efficient water flow and minimize pressure losses. Improperly designed systems may experience pressure drops due to friction losses or other inefficiencies.

Pressure switch settings

The pressure switch’s cut-in and cut-off pressure settings determine the pressure range in which the pump operates. These settings should be adjusted to match the household’s water needs and prevent excessive cycling of the pump.

Potential Causes of Drops in Water Pressure

A water pressure drop in a household well pump system can be caused by various factors:

Increased water demand

When multiple fixtures and appliances in the household are used simultaneously, such as showers, faucets, washing machines, or irrigation systems, they draw water from the well at a higher rate than the pump can supply. 

This increased demand can lead to a pressure drop as the water well pump struggles to keep up with the required flow. Water pressure may decrease significantly during peak usage times.

Well drawdown 

Every well has a certain amount of water it can provide before the water level drops below the pump’s intake point. This is known as the well’s drawdown. If the pump continues to draw water from the well faster than it can replenish, the water level will drop, causing a decrease in water pressure. 

Drawdown can be affected by factors such as the well’s depth, the size of the well casing, and the rate of water recharge in the aquifer.

Pump size and capacity

If the well pump is undersized for the household’s water needs, it may not be able to maintain adequate pressure during peak usage times. An insufficiently sized pump will struggle to keep up with the demand, leading to pressure drops. 

Choosing the right pump size and capacity that matches the household’s water requirements is crucial for maintaining consistent water pressure.

Well pump issues

Mechanical problems with the well pump, such as a worn-out impeller, a damaged motor, or a clogged intake, can reduce the pump’s ability to deliver water at the required pressure. Issues with the pump can hinder its efficiency and result in pressure fluctuations or drops.

A waterlogged pressure tank

A pressure tank stores water and compresses air to help maintain consistent water pressure. If the pressure tank becomes waterlogged (i.e., too much water and not enough air), it can lead to pressure fluctuations and a decrease in overall system pressure. Waterlogged pressure tanks are often caused by a ruptured air bladder inside the tank.

Air in the system

Air can enter the well pump system through various means, such as a leak in the suction line, a faulty check valve, or a damaged pressure tank. When air is present in the system, it can interfere with the pump’s ability to generate consistent pressure.

Clogged filters or pipes

Accumulated debris, sediment, or mineral deposits in the well filter, pump, or pipes can restrict water flow, reducing the overall pressure in the system. Clogs can occur over time and affect the performance of the well pump system.


Boosting your well pump’s water pressure doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. In some cases, identifying the cause of a drop in water pressure may require the expertise of a professional well pump technician or plumber to inspect and troubleshoot the system thoroughly. 

But don’t underestimate the power of regular maintenance. A well-tuned well pump system is a happy one, so schedule check-ups with a pro to keep everything in tip-top shape.

Armed with these simple yet effective measures, you can reclaim the power of your well pump and enjoy a more satisfying water supply and pressure.

If you’re looking to gain a more profound comprehension of well water pumps, here are additional how-to guides providing comprehensive and detailed information for you.

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