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Does a home warranty cover well pumps?

Typically, well pumps are covered, but there can be limitations

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man repairing a well pump

More than 15 million households in the United States depend on wells to access drinking water. If you have a well, then you have a well pump. Well pumps pull water from an underground water source (the well) through your home’s pipes. To keep your home’s water flowing, your well pump needs to work properly. This takes maintenance, and sometimes, things can go wrong.

Paying out-of-pocket to fix or replace a well pump can be expensive. A home warranty plan that covers your well pump can be a big help to cover the costs. With home warranty coverage, you typically just need to pay a small fee, and the repair or replacement is free. There are some things you need to know, though.

Key insights

  • Many home warranties do cover well pumps.
  • Some policies are limited to repairing and replacing the well pump, not other components.
  • There may be a cap to how much of the repair or replacement a home warranty will cover.
  • Proper maintenance is important to keep your well pump running smoothly and to keep your warranty coverage.

What does a home warranty cover?

A home warranty covers essential systems and appliances in your home. Coverage often includes electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, as well as major appliances like well pumps, refrigerators, ovens and washers.

Think of a home warranty plan like insurance for systems and appliances in your home. You pay a yearly or monthly fee for the warranty, and if something breaks down in your home that is covered by your plan, you pay a small service fee (like a deductible) to have the item repaired or replaced.

» LEARN: What does a home warranty cover?

Home warranty well pump coverage

Well pumps are often included in standard home warranty plans. If a well pump is covered, it would typically be listed in the terms and conditions of the policy under the systems or appliances section. Homeowners should review the contract carefully or contact the home warranty provider directly to inquire about well pump coverage and any potential limitations or additional costs.

If a well pump is not covered by the standard policy, some providers might offer optional add-ons or higher-tier plans that include this coverage as an extra feature.

It's important for homeowners to consider their specific needs, the condition of their well pump and the cost of potential repairs or replacements before deciding on purchasing a home warranty plan.

Are there limitations to home warranty coverage for well pumps?

“Home warranties can seem like a way to make it easier for homebuyers to fix problem areas around their home — but they can cause a headache of their own,” said Tom Nolan, the founder of All Star Home, a home improvement company. “Each home warranty company has its own rules and policies, including what it covers, further contributing to the confusion.”

While well pumps are generally covered in standard home warranty plans, there can be certain limitations and exceptions to their coverage. These limitations might include specific age restrictions. Pre-existing conditions or improper maintenance by the homeowner may also limit coverage.

Your coverage may be capped as well. For example, American Home Shield pays up to $1,500 per contract term for well pump repairs or replacement. If your bill is over that cap, you’ll need to pay the rest.

Home warranty coverage for well pumps typically includes the pump itself and its primary components. However, the coverage may not extend to other well-related components, such as:

  • The well itself (redrilling and repairs, for example)
  • Well casing
  • External piping leading to the house
  • Electrical lines
  • Booster pumps
  • Storage tanks for your well

Homeowners should carefully review their policy to find out the extent of coverage for their well water system.

» LEARN: 10 questions to ask a home warranty company

Tips for well pump maintenance

“Generally, problems related to the improper maintenance of an appliance or part of the house won’t be covered by home warranty companies — so make sure you know how to maintain your home before committing to one of these programs,” said Nolan.

  • Call a professional when the pump is short cycling (turning itself on and off). “Most people don't know this, but a common goof-up homeowners make is letting their pump continuously cycle on and off,” said Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal and landscaping expert. “Based on the results from hundreds of systems I’ve installed, this frequent cycling can drastically slash your pump’s lifespan.”
  • Check on your well pump and look for leaks, unusual noises or worn wires. Also, listen to see if the pumping rhythm sounds off. “And as if that is not enough, keep tabs on your water pressure,” said Clayton. “A dip in pressure could be a hint something’s amiss with the pump or maybe even the pressure tank or pipes.”
  • Do regular (annual) pressure tank checks. A healthy pressure tank keeps your pump running, so don’t overlook it.

    “When the pressure tank isn't working properly, the pump has to turn on every time you need water, which puts undue strain on the pump and can lead to premature failure,” said Andrew Miles, a master plumber with more than 30 years of experience. “You might notice this happening if you're experiencing water pressure fluctuations or if your pump seems to be turning on and off frequently.”

    A simple way to test your pressure tank is to tap on it, says Miles. It should be full of water at the bottom and only contain air at the top. If it sounds hollow at the bottom, the tank's internal bladder could be damaged, which might mean the tank needs replacing. Be careful when doing this, though, as a well-charged pressure tank can be under a lot of pressure.

  • Be careful about overworking the pump. “This comes down to managing your water usage,” Miles said. “If everyone in the house is trying to use a lot of water at the same time, like running the washing machine, dishwasher, and taking showers all at once, the pump has to work overtime to keep up. Doing this occasionally is fine, but making a habit of it could shorten the life of your pump.”

    Even if you keep your well pump well cared for, Nolan also recommends getting a professional checkup once a year to catch any problems you may have missed.

» LEARN: Best home warranty for plumbing

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    How much is a home warranty?

    Home warranties typically cost around $40 to $80 per month.

    » MORE: How much does a home warranty cost?

    How much is a well pump?

    Depending on the type, a new well pump will cost you anywhere from $100 to $3,000. For example, solar pumps are more expensive and can cost several thousand dollars.

    Shallow well pumps, on the other hand, can cost just a few hundred dollars. Installation, though, can add to the cost, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, depending on how complicated the installation is.

    How do I know if my well pump is bad?

    If you have water pressure issues, the pump is making unusual noises, or your pump switches on and off, you may need to get it repaired professionally.

    Bottom line

    A typical well usually lasts around 20 years. You can get the most out of it by keeping your pump running well. Home warranty plans often cover well pumps as part of their standard offerings.

    Still, homeowners should be aware of potential limitations and exceptions. Be sure to look over different plans, compare coverage and choose the one that best suits your specific needs related to your well water system before settling on a policy.

    Also, keep your well pump well maintained to avoid voiding the coverage from your home warranty policy. Yearly checkups from a professional are a must, but also aquatint yourself with basic maintenance to keep your pump in good working order.

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Private Ground Water Wells.” Accessed Aug. 2, 2023.
    2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Well Maintenance.” Accessed Aug. 2, 2023.
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