What Causes Air In Water Pipes With A Well

In the Northeast, homes have a well or are on town water. Having a well is nice as it is the most cost-effective way to get water into the home . In addition, for those who live outside of major cities, this may be the only way to get water. Over 15 million people in the U.S. rely on wells so maintaining them is important.

No matter how well you maintain the well, sometimes, air can get into the water pipes. What causes air in water pipes with a well? The valve and foot valve may be loose, low water level, or it may be the hot water heater tank.

Let’s take a look.

Areas to Check to See What Causes Air in Water Pipes

When noticing air in the lines of your water well system, you will want to consider some simple fixes before calling a professional. However, do not be surprised if you will need to call on a professional after you attempt the fix yourself. The worst-case scenario as a do-it-yourself project is that you simply have a dry (or failed) well. Let’s take a look at some areas that we can check:

  1. Valves-check to make sure the foot valve and check valves at your pump are hand-tight and free of allowing air into the pump.
  2. Water levels-low water levels that the pump pulls from will allow for air to get into the pump as it attempts to pull water into your system.
  3. Hot water-double check the water heater is working properly and all valves are tight and properly sealed. A damaged part on your water heater could also allow air into your well water lines.

Gaining an understanding of how your well water system works, will allow you to troubleshoot if issues arise. Knowing that for the system to work properly it must be free of air and closed off is vital to the success of your well water getting to your home.

Well water and purification system shows how the water gets into the home through the pipes.


Well-water supply and purification system.

Best Ways To Remove Air in Water Pipes With a Well

Now that we understand how air can get into our well water lines, we can conduct the steps necessary to remove the air.

  1. Turn off the main water supply to the home. It is inside or outside depending on the location of your home.
  2. Open every faucet and let them run. Start with the faucets closest to the main water valve and work your way farthest from the valve. Do not turn them all on full blast, just enough to let the air out of the line.
  3. Turn on the main water supply and let water flow through all of your faucets and outside spigots for 10 to 15 minutes. This will flush the system all at once and give you the best chance of getting air out of the well water lines.

Once these steps are taken and you are still experiencing low-pressure situations or air in the well water lines, then it is best to call a professionally licensed plumber to assist.

What goes on underground in a yard with a well


Well water system for a home.

What Does This Cost

If you need to replace the well water pressure tank, the national average is $250 to $500. It is relatively inexpensive to get the air out of your well water lines, however, you might need to hire a professional to help troubleshoot the issue. Hiring a professional plumber could cost you around $65 per hour for their services.

If it is the hot water heater, this runs about $800-1500 with an average of about $1,176.


Inspection of the well should be done at least once a year.  In colder states, such as here in Vermont and New Hampshire, the warmer months are the better times for inspecting. Additionally, you will want to have it inspected more often if you find there is a water pressure change, color change, or air in the lines as mentioned above, the water is cloudy.

Since you are having to troubleshoot your system for air in the lines, you should consider having a well water inspection at this time. Have a professional check for water pressure, color changes, or even the air in the line that you are unable to get rid of.

When Should I Call A Professional

If you are unsure of what is going on with the well water and want an opinion of someone who is trained in this area, contact a professional. Hiring a professionally licensed plumber can help you determine what’s going on with your well water and recommend ways to get rid of the air in your well water lines.


Anytime that our well water does something strange, we get nervous.  Most of the time it isn’t a big deal but it is good to have it checked just in case. It is important to ensure that the air in the well water plumbing is not harming us.  With this in mind, maintenance and well inspections should be done regularly.  We will take a look at the water coming out of your faucets and how the well is working, during our home inspections in the twin state areas of VT, and NH.