If your household water comes from a private well on your property, you're probably already aware that you're lucky to have a ready supply of clean, fresh, low-cost water at your disposal. However, private wells aren't maintenance free, and parts such as well pumps are one of those things that no one thinks much about until they stop working. A malfunctioning well pump can leave you and your family high and dry with no water. Fortunately, several ways exist to determine whether or not your well pump is not working properly. Following are five of them. 

Increase in Electric Bills

A sudden increase in household electricity bills with no known cause could be a sign that your water pump isn't working as well as it should. Your well pump may be working overtime simply to maintain normal water pressure, and this is bound to increase power usage significantly. 

Decreased Water Pressure 

Sudden decreases in overall water pressure is another sign that something could be wrong with your well pump. After all, that's its main job -- maintaining consistent water pressure throughout your household pipes. You should expect slight decreases in water pressure when you flush the toilet, for instance, but a consistent decrease is a sign of trouble. 

Dirty Water

Discolored water is an obvious sign that something's not working right with your water system, and it could be the well pump. The presence of sediment in the water is another sign that it's time to have your well system looked at by a professional. You should also have your water tested at this time for contaminants such as e coli and other common bacteria that poses threats to human health. 

Funny Noises 

If you hear strange sounds coming from your pump house, they could be caused by a malfunctioning well pump or one that's on the verge of going bad. Keep in mind that your well pump is essentially a small motor, so be alert for classic noises that indicate a motor in distress, such as pings, grinding sounds, and knocks. 

Sputtering Faucets

Otherwise known as air discharge, faucets that sputter and spit when they are turned on are frequently signs of water pump failures. Well pumps that are failing to do their job properly often leave pockets of air in the system's pressure tanks, resulting in sputtering when the faucet is turned on. Even though water usually starts to flow after several seconds, this should be taken seriously because the situation will probably continue to progress until your pump fails completely. 

For more information, contact Valley Drilling Corporation of VA or a similar company.