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Determining Your Well Water Flow Rate On Systems With Pressure Tanks

Flow rate is tested when a well is initially drilled and can be tested again to determine if there are problems with the well. It can also be important to determine your flow rate if you are looking to install new pumps or filters on your well water system.

If you have a standard well with a pressure tank and pressure switch, you can use the steps below to determine your well’s flow rate in gallons per minute. This type of system turns on the well pump at one pressure and off at a higher pressure, usually about a 20 PSI difference.

Standard Well with Pressure Tank and Pressure Switch
Standard Well with Pressure Tank and Pressure Switch
Pressure_Tank_and_Well_tank
Pressure Tank and Well Tank Setup Similar to Diagram Above

If you have a variable speed pump, or ‘constant pressure’ type pump, that keeps the pressure in the house the same all the time, then this type of method won’t work. For a constant-pressure type system, consult your well contractor or send us the specifications on your system and we can help you find out what it might be.

Well Diagram For A Typical Household
Well Diagram For A Typical Household

Calculate Your Well Flow Rate:
It is easy! All you need is a 1 or 5 gallon bucket and a watch or clock! It takes just a few minutes. Just follow these steps:

1. Open any hose bib or faucet until well pump turns on.

2. Close hose bib or faucet and let pump fill up pressure tank until well turns off.

3. Using a 1 or 5 gal. bucket, open faucet, collect and measure all water discharged until pump turns on.

You do not have to fill the buckets as fast as you can, simply measure the water.

4. When pump turns on, immediately close faucet and start timing pump cycle in seconds until well shuts off.

5. Divide the number of gallons collected in Step 3 by the number of seconds in Step 4.

6. Multiply the answer from Step 5 by 60.

7. The answer in Step 6 is the average pumping capacity of the pump in gallons per minute (GPM).

If you are still experiencing trouble, try our easy to use pump flow rate calculator on our website (Click on image below).
pump flow rate calculator

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