In SW Florida, we find that ants are very common. They’ll squeeze themselves into any nook and cranny they find just for a drip of water or a crumb on the floor. Annoying? Yes. But did you know that they’re capable of shutting the water off to your entire home?
Here’s how it happens: A pressure switch controls the water pressure supplied by wells. It has contacts that snap together for the electrical connection that turns the well pump on. Anything blocking the contacts will prevent the circuits from closing and turning on the pumps. It’s very common for ants to crawl on the contacts due to the attraction of water or the sound/vibration from the pump. When this happens, the ants are killed by impact or voltage due to the electrical contacts snapping together. Then, other ants will come to carry the remains away and they’ll be killed from the connection. Soon enough, ant carnage blocks the contacts from touching at all. Water pressure to the home continually drops until there’s no water flow at all.
What do you do when this happens? Well, since your well pump is dealing with electricity and water (a dangerous combination) it’s not the best idea to try to handle it yourself. Call Aztec Plumbing! We would be happy to help. But the question is - What can you do to prevent this from happening?
Check around your well pump and equipment to see if there are any ant trails or hills. If so, do your best to either exterminate them or at least get them to move their colony elsewhere. Ant killers and pesticides may work, but may not be the safest thing to use around your homes water supply. You could use natural alternatives, though, such as a vinegar and baking soda mix to pour on top of an ant colony. If you can’t get yourself to kill them, try getting them to move. Asking politely won’t get you very far, but ants do steer clear of certain foods such as orange peels, lemon juice, garlic powder and pepper! Petroleum jelly can even be used as an effective barrier around your pressure switch due to its thick, sticky substance that makes it impossible for ants to cross. These few simple steps should keep the ants away from your well pump and the water flowing freely to your home!
Categories: plumbing tips.