Water well

Any person that wants to install their own water well has my total respect. Because of the lack of equipment, this is one of those projects you should leave to the professionals. You can save between $1,000 and about $5,000 by digging the waterline, pump cable line, and doing the inside electrical and plumbing work. Be sure to connect the 30-amp breaker very last so you aren’t working on energized circuits. 240-volts circuits are very unforgiving.

water well

Yeah, I know, my drawing is a mess. If you stare at it long enough, you’ll see how it goes. A water well is a little complicated.

When I describe well systems, I like to start at the pump which is really starting backwards. When I describe Electrical systems, I start at the breaker box.

I’ll do it right. Let’s start at the breaker box. A 30-amp, 240-volt breaker is perfect for most residential pumps. You can use 10-2 Romex from the breaker to the pressure switch. It will need both white and black wires as hot lines. Each carrying 120-volts.

pressure switch wiring

Could this picture be any fuzzier?

Anyway, the pressure switch is usually a 40-60 switch. That means when the pressure drops to around 40 lbs psi, the pump engages, and when the pressure reaches 60 lbs psi, the pumps shuts off.

The pressure tank is what keeps the waterlines pressurized so the pump doesn’t run all the time.

You can use 10-2 Romex from the pressure switch to the control box.

well pump

From the control box, you will need to use special pump wire. It will need to be buried in the ground clear to the well casing. The pump cable will enter the well casing at the cable opening.

The friendly well drillers can connect the wires to the pump because they have the right equipment. The wires will go to the pump which is submersed all the time. Water well pumps are very durable.

well casing

Now from the pump is the waterline. it goes up the well casing until it reaches the pitless adaptor. The pitless adaptor is usually at least 6 feet underground. It’s just where the waterline exits the well casing and runs deep enough underground to not freeze.

This line runs back to the house and enters the pressure switch/indicator assembly and the pressure tank.

From there it goes to the house water main.

pressure tank

well pressure tank

The pressure tank has a rubber bladder with air that compresses to keep constant pressure in the waterlines all the time.


It’s a good idea to have at least one big spigot that connects directly to the water mainline. This gives a lot of pressure. You can connect directly off the water-well mainline without hurting overall pressure.

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