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Photograph of a 1-line jet pump (shallow well) and water softener Water Pump Won't Stop Running Diagnosis, & Repair

  • WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING - CONTENTS: Why Won't My Well Pump Shut Off? How to diagnose a water pump that won't shut off - the well pump keeps on running. Table of causes and cures of continuous water pump operation. Water Pump malfunction diagnosis guide. How to avoid damaging a water pump
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Water pump won't stop running:

How to diagnose & fix a water pump that doesn't shut off: this article explains how to diagnose & repair a bore hole or well water water pump that keeps on running and won't shut off.

We include a Table of Diagnostic Steps for a Well Pump that Won't Shut Off and manufaturer contact information for many borehole or well pump brands.



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Why Won't My Well Pump Shut Off?

Following our description of reasons that a well pump won't stop running (just below) we provide a Table of Diagnostic Steps for a Well Pump that Won't Shut Offnt.

The photograph at page top shows a one-line jet pump, the water pressure tank, and a water softener. We know from the fact that this is a single line jet well pump that the well is a shallow one, probably less than 27' deep. Well depth may have implications for water quantity and quality and vulnerability to surface water contamination.

Watch out: the first thing to do to protect your pump from damage if it simply wont' turn off is to shut off electrical power to the pump. If the building has no water pressure, turn off the water pump immediately. Running a water pump "dry" risks causing internal damage to the pump. If there is no water pressure,
see WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR.

If your building has some water pressure (check at a nearby faucet) but the well pump keeps on running and won't shut off, that's what we are discussing here. Several problems can cause a water pump to keep running instead of shutting off when it should, and each of these suggests its own diagnostic step to finding out what's happening with your well pump.

Table of Diagnostic Steps for a Well Pump that Won't Shut Off

Here we provide a Table of Diagnostic Steps for a Well Pump that Won't Shut Off.

Watch out: the first thing to do to protect your pump from damage if it simply wont' turn off is to shut off electrical power to the pump. If the building has no water pressure, turn off the water pump immediately. Running a water pump "dry" risks causing internal damage to the pump. If there is no water pressure at all,
see WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR.

What to Check if the Well Pump Will Not Stop Running
Pump Won't Stop Cause Diagnostic Procedure Repair Procedure

Water running in the building

If water is running somewhere in the building water supply system (don't forget outside garden hoses and lawn sprinklers) at a rate faster than the pump can deliver from the well, the pump will run continuously.

Turn off the main water supply to the building, typically found at the water pressure tank. If the pump continues to run the problem is not likely to be a running fixture or pipe leak downstream (in the building) from this point.

If you have turned off water at the water pressure tank and the well pump is still running, before blaming the pump, controls, piping, well, lookonce more for water supply piping that may be ahead of the valve where you turned off water.

Turn off or repair running toilets, outdoor garden hose hook-ups or lawn sprinklers, or supply piping that is leaking.

If this was the problem source the well pump will continue to run until pressure builds up to the pressure control switch cut-out level and the pump should stop.

If the pump runs on, check the remaining diagnostic steps below.

Lost prime at the well pump

If the above-ground (jet pump) pump has lost prime the pump may be running "dry" continuously.

Watch out: turn off the pump immediately to avoid damage.

If no water is being delivered and the pump is running and it's an above ground pump, turn off power and inspect the pump cavity for the presence of water by removing the priming plug.

If the pump is a submersible unit in the well, loss of prime is not normally an issue.

A bad check valve or failed foot valve can lead to loss of well prime.

Re-prime the pump - see WATER PUMP PRIMING PROCEDURE

If the problem is recurrent see

WELL PIPING CHECK VALVES

WELL PIPING FOOT VALVES

WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS

WELL PIPING TAIL PIECE

Water pressure control switch setting errors 

Improper switch adjustment can cause too-rapid pump cycling

 

If you or someone else has tried "adjusting" the cut-in or cut-out settings of the pressure control switch, it may be set improperly.

Setting the cut-out pressure above the pump's capacity can cause the pump to run continuously.

Check / change pressure switch pressure settings to correct adjustment for cut-in and cut-out. Normally we see about 20 psi between cut-in and cut-out pressures.

Lower the pump cut-out pressure setting. If the pump stops, this was the problem.

See:    
PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT

Water pressure switch tubing clogged

Clogged pressure sensor or switch pressure sensing tubing can cause improper switch performance.

See WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL

If the switch is not responding consistently to changes in building water pressure the pressure-sensing component of the switch or the tubing connecting it maybe defective.

Try removing the tubing and blowing air through it.

Check pressure switch tubing for leaks or clogging. Clean or replace the tubing.

The clog could also be debris in the orifice on the bottom of the pressure switch sensor, or inside the sensor requiring that the switch be replaced.

See:    

PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT

PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL REPAIR

PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL REPLACE

Water pressure switch contact points burned/welded 

 

Arcing may have burned the pressure control switch contacts. In some cases the contacts may become "welded" together in the closed (power on) position.

Turn off electrical power (for safety) and examine the contact points. If they are stuck together and burned this may be the problem.

You will need to replace the switch.

See PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL REPLACE

Water pressure switch or pump electrical wiring incorrectly-installed

A reader reported that their well pump had been wired incorrectly when it was installed, such that the pump ran continuously. This dangerous error is more likely to occur with a submersible pump whose noise is not going to be heard.

The reader noticed that building water pressure was sometimes dangerously high, around 100 psi! A burst pipe or water tank can both flood the building and injure anyone who is nearby.

The effects of an always-on also include pump damage and failure, exhausting the water well and of course an elevated electric bill.

Ask your licensed electrician to review the pump circuit wiring and control wiring. Also check for a pressure control switch whose contact points have welded shut as that too will keep the pump running.

Well piping leak

A bad leak anywhere in the well piping between the building water pressure tank and the bottom of the well can leak enough water when the pump is running that the pump cannot raise pressure in the pressure tank up to the cut-out level and the well pump will continue running.

Close the main building water supply valve between the pressure tank and the rest of the building.

Turn off the well pump electrical power.

Watch the water pressure gauge. If pressure continues to drop there may be a leak in well piping. If the gauge does not move, tap it to be sure the gauge is not itself stuck.

Also air coming out of building plumbing fixtures can be caused by air leaks into the same well piping when the pump is not running.

Leaks in well piping will usually require pulling the piping in the well and if no leak is observed there, it may be necessary to excavate along the path of the well line between well and building.

Start excavation by looking for wet spots on the ground that could be caused by a well piping leak.

See WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS

also AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES

Loss of water in the well

If the well water level has fallen too low or the well recovery rate is too poor, or if the well pump is oversized for the well flow rate, the pump may run continuously.

Other symptoms of this problem include air discharge at plumbing fixtures.

Install a properly-sized well pump matched to the well flow rate.

Install a tailpiece and/or low water cutoff device to protect the pump from damage.

Investigate and fix the cause of a poor flow rate or low-yield well.

See
WELL FLOW RATE

Define Safe Yield for a Well.

WELL LIFE EXPECTANCY

WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR

WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT

WELL PIPING TAIL PIECE

Low voltage in the electrical supply

Some pumps will continue to pump but with less power (in gpm or lift) if the supply voltage falls below the pump's design level.

More rarely, we've had a report of a 240V pump that continued to run on 120V when power had been lost on one leg of the circuit - a condition that I [DF] found doubtful.

VOLTS MEASUREMENT METHODS
Plugged ejector assembly, tailpiece,or foot valve or well screen in the well

Debris clogging the screen at the water pickup in the well can reduce the water flow rate.

To diagnose and correct this problem it is necessary to pull the well piping and inspect the ejector, tailpiece, foot valve or well screen for clogging

Clean or replace the clogged parts.

See
  WELL PIPING CHECK VALVES

  WELL PIPING FOOT VALVES

  WELL PIPING LEAK DIAGNOSIS

  WELL PIPING TAIL PIECE

Well pump capacity is inadequate

A well pump that cannot pump water pressure up to the pressure control-switch cut-off point.

If you are confident that none of the explanations above diagnose a well pump that runs on, check that the pressure gauge is itself accurate - that's how we make sure that the pressure control switch is not set above pump capacity.

Having eliminated all of the explanations above, we suspect the pump may have become internally damaged and it will need repair or replacement.

 

Turn off electrical power to the well system, remove system water pressure (save water for pump re-priming if necessary).

Remove and inspect the well pump and pump motor for proper operation. Check the pump impeller assembly for mechanical damage, broken internal parts, or mineral deposits or debris clogging that reduce water flow through the pump.

Replace the impeller assembly and other pump parts as needed or replace the entire pump assembly.

See
WATER PUMP CAPACITIES TYPES RATES GPM

WELL PUMP TYPES & LIFE EXPECTANCY

WELL PUMP PRIMING GUIDE

Some of the well pump troubleshooting suggestions in this list can be found at the Betta-Flo Jet Pump Installation Manualfrom the National Pump Co.

Examples of Reader Reports of "Water Pump Won't Stop Running: Causes & Cures

Question: bad pump pressure control switch blew out a water line

(Apr 27, 2014) David said:

I found that my water pressure suddenly went 80 psi. It blew a water line. I adjusted it to 60-70, and can not get it to drop below 60 psi. Bad pressure switch?

Reply:

David, you asked this question on several article pages (please just one would suffice) - we suggested replacing the pressure switch. Check also for debris clogging of the pressure sensing tube that connects to the switch.

Question: my PUMP would NOT STOP RUNNING - the tech says I need a new drilled well

My pump began running non stop and when the well person came out they said they were able to set psi to 38 and the pump would shut off correctly however most likely the jet is plugged or a hole in casing for it to change suddenly and It will eventually just quit. Does this sound correct. It is now functioning fine at 38 psi but I am concerned since winter is coming and I shoul get a well drilled now. I am not planning in investing in repair if it needs repair because it's an old 2" - Amanda 8/26/12

Reply:

Amanda I don't understand the question you are asking. A hole in a well casing may admit dirt and contaminants and might speed up clogging of the well screen on a foot valve or pump pickup; But some more accurate diagnosis is needed before drilling a new well.

Question: pump runs forever if the cut-out pressure is raised above 38

I have a Goulds 1/2 hp J5 deep well pump with a 20 gal pressure tank. I am operating with a differential of 14 psi (20/34 cut-in/out). Due to well limitations, the maximum pressure generated by the pump is 38 psi (pump runs forever if the cut-out pressure is raised above 38).

At this setting, the small nut is completely loosened.

I would like to operate at 24/34, but if I increase the cut-in pressure to 24 (large nut), then the cut-out pressure is also increased, and the pump runs forever (small nut still completely loose).

It seems that I am limited by the Goulds pressure control switch (which is attached to the pump and monitors the pressure by a plastic tube from the pump housing).

Any solution to this? It is a fairly new pump, so simply replacing the Goulds pressure conrol switch does not guarantee a solution, since the specs of the Goulds switch apparently do not allow one to operate with a cut-in/out differential of 10 psi. - Antony 9/14/12

Reply:

Anthony

You're right that the "range nut" (see article above) shifts the whole water pressure cut-in/cut-out range up or down, while the "differential nut" widens or narrows the cut-in to cut-out pressure gap. I SPECULATE that Goulds and other water pump pressure control manufacturers don't allow the range width to be less than 10 psi because you'd find that when running water in the building the pump would be cycling on and off too rapidly.

You'd be better off to set the range so that the cut-in is at 20 psi, and then you can set the cut-out up to 34 psi.

Question: pump keeps running, can't get over 30 psi, pump can't reach cut-off pressure

(Nov 5, 2012) Charles said:

Change the platic tube from pump to pressure switch and the pump keep running and can't go over 30 PSI ?

Got water, if I taKE WATER (open faucet) the pressure will go down and will come back to 30 psi but can't go over that. Usually it's go to 50 psi. Pressure switch is 30/50.
hanks

Nov 12, 2012) George Frank said:

Hi, Thanks for the awesome website. We have a shallow jet pump in a 20 ft well. It will not go above 40 PSI. We tried 3 different pressure switches, changed the foot vavle, bought a new pump which is set at 30 to 50psi, adjusted the tank bladder to 28 psi, and it still will not reach above 40, so will not shut off. THe water table is fine, in fact we didnt have a problem even when we were in a drought. The water pressure does not drop when the pump is shut off. We are more than a little perplexed.

(Jan 16, 2013) Ray said:

Hey there, jet pumps are my nemesis!!!. I found a leak at the intake line of the pump which i assumed was why the pump would not cut off so i fixed the leak . at the same time i noticed the pressure gauge was shot so i replaced it with a new one. Primed the system turned on the pump and ran it with the water shut off to the house right after the pump it went to 15 psi and stayed there .

The pressure switch was replaced last year along with a new small bladder tank. I ran all the lines today to make sure all air was out of the system but the pump still will not build enoughpressure to cut out. Any insight would be helpfull. I am thinking the impeller is shot even though pump is 7 years old. ray

(Mar 1, 2013) raymond ager said:

my house hold water pump wont stop runnung the power went off the other day ,i am still getting good presure no problems but it wont stop runnung can you help

(Mar 22, 2013) dee said:

I have a constant sound resonating thru my home,could something in the well cause this?I also hear it a few feet from my home.

(Jan 24, 2014) Anonymous said:

my well pump wont shut off. I replaced the pressure switch and it still runs. its not a submersible pump and it is not losing pressure. please help!!!

(Jan 31, 2014) Wilma said:

My well is in ground with two feet of snow on ground. Pump appears to run constantly. When I shut off the electric to the well pump...I still hear it running. Should this be happening. I have no water faucets turned on, apparently no leaks in my crawl space pipes and can't get to the well in these temperatures and snow. Is there anything else I can temporarily do to prevent wrecking my pump entirely with it running all the time. I do have water but when faucets are turned on it runs in a stream, then pauses shortly and a bigger blast of streaming water comes out. Any suggestions for a widow, who is trying to prevent further damage and costs. Thank you.

(Feb 12, 2014) tom said:

I have a shallow well and the pressure goes to 30 psi, the pump stays running but the pressue won't go any higher. I drain water from the system and then it will climb to 40 psi and shut off normal. So long as we are using water the system will work, but if we use water enough to start the pump and don't use anymore water the pressure goes to 30 psi no hight and the pump stay running. When i bleed off water I do get a lot of air in the system. Could this be casuing a vapor lock no allowing the pressue to go higher then 30 psi?

(Apr 17, 2014) Gina said:

I have a new pump, it gains pressure to 20 psi but won't cut out. Water runs from the taps and the pressure will drop p, but will build up again when the water is turned off. Help.

(May 24, 2014) jim said:

pump set to cut off at 50psi. When it drops to about 48-49 psi it cuts on again and cuts off at 50psi. This happens when no water is being run. cuts on and off every 5 minutes or so. Help.

Question: waterlogged pressure tank, pump keeps running

(May 20, 2014) Anonymous said:

How do i get the max out of my pressure

(June 1, 2014) Laniceguy said:

I have an 80 gal tank (old style) where air and water are not separated by membrane. Recently, I noticed the tank is not releasing air pressure and appears to be 'waterlogged'. I drained and changed switch (40-60) and it seems as though the switch never powers down. It's wired correctly. Is it possible that the condition of the tank (fiberglass, indoors, 12 years old now) has caused the submerged well pump to overwork and by not cutting off power, become weak? (I changed pressure switch thinking this might solve this problem, and the old switch has seen better days.. but also never cut off power to pump) Any advise would be great! Thanks

Reply:

Watch out: everyone: if a well pump runs continuously when you are not using any water you should shut it off at its power switch. It may be too late but continuous running can damage the pump parts.

Charles,

Was the old plastic tube clogged? If so your pressure switch sensor port may be clogged as well. If not, Check through the causes listed above. Air in the system, a damaged pump impeller, or a well piping leak are examples of what could be wrong.

George,

Could there be a leak in the piping? Could there be debris clogging the pressure switch sensor port? Are you sure the well is nor low on water?

Raymond and Dee,

Please first take a look at the diagnostic steps in the article above - where we list reasons that a water pump may not stop running. If questions remain just let me know.

Wilma:

Indeed I would shut off the pump to reduce the chances of ruining it. Running constantly may be because a pipe is frozen - the pump can't get water into the house. With electrical power off you should not hear the pump - if you do, I'd imagine you haven't found the right shut-off.

Surging water pressure: sounds like a pump turning on and off with a waterlogged pressure tank.

Tom,

When a pump keeps running and never shuts off I expect one of the problems in the article above: most often the well is running out or has a low flow rate, occasionally there is a bad pump or a leak in well piping, and less often there is a control or control sensor failure.

When you are finding a lot of air in the system I suspect a bad snifter valve or a leak in the well piping;

And yes air in the pump will limit or even cut out its pumping capability.

Tom I think we've replied to this question elsewhere - which can be confusing; in short, if the pump keeps running it's most likely due to one of the SNAFUs listed on the page below. I commmented that if you're finding air in the system there may be a leak in the well piping or a bad air volume control or snifter valve. And yes air in the pump will prevent it from pumping - for many pump models & designs.

Jim:

Sounds like a waterlogged pressure tank causing short cycling of the pump. If that happens when water into the building is turned off then there is perhaps also a leak in the well piping or a bad foot valve

Question: Xtrol pressure tank and everything set to 28 psi, multiple pressure tanks, pump won't shut off

I have 3/4 HP pump with its own pressure switch. The output of the pump will feed the Xtrol 120gal bladder tank (straight tee without gauge and valve). The second and last bladder 40gal tank has a standard tee with pressure switch (30-50psi), valve, gauge and pressure relief. Both are pre-set at 28 psi. These two tanks have different draw capacities. Primed the pump properly; turned on the pump and its gauge read 40-42 psi.

The reading at the second tank is 30 psi. pump never stopped until automatic shut-off kicked in due to heat (ran straight more than 5 mins.) When it stopped, its gauge read 40 psi, the gauge on the last tank read 30 psi. I have water at the toilet. It filled the toilet tanks about 5-6 flushes and then the pressure at the second tank read 20 psi and then the pump kicks in.

I was able to tilt both tanks easily. Note that the pressure switch at the 2nd tank is not connected to the pump but to the power supply only. Do I need a pressure switch at the tank at all since there's one at the pump or vice-versa?

No leaks as far as I know between the well exit pipes to the 2nd tank.

Any help is very much appreciated. - Antoine 10/1/2012

Reply:

Antoine, without a sketch I don't have a clear understanding of your installation. It sounds as if you may be installing pressure tanks in series, or in parallel, maybe feeding different building areas - I just don't know.

But in general, if a pressure control switch is set higher than a pump can achieve, the pump will never shut off. We offer diagnostics for this problem at WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING.

Also take a close look at exactly where your pressure control switch is located - it needs to be near the tank whose pressure it is to sense.

Finally, check that the pressure control switch sensor port has not become debris clogged - that will prevent proper pressure sensing. The fix is to replace the switch.

Question: my pump cannot reach the cut-out pressure setting - my pump runs all the time

I have replaced the Pressure swtch and I can not acheive cutout, pump continues to run. Switch is adjusted very low for cutout. The units cuts in about 26-28 psi. but exceeds the desired 50 -60 psi cutout. - BK 6/6/11

I had to put a new pressure switch on, the pump was running all the time and it burn the points up. The new one is letting the pump run all the time too, when the pump is running the water pressure keeps going up and down, until there is a small amount of water coming out. I'll turn the pump off and back on then the pressure will come back up and if it runs about a couple of minutes it will do the same thing again. I have no leaks, could this be the water tank?
I need help - Ed 6/18/12

My pump does not exceed 32psi and constantly runs then fails to cut back on even though pressure drops below 20psi. Only way to start it is to manually connect the flow switch to engage the pump. - Jack Nelson 7/7/12

Reply:

BK: Well pump won't stop running: try setting your pressure control to turn on at 20 psi and off at 40 psi. That should be achievable by most well pumps unless the pump itself is damaged. Once you have the pump operating normally in that pressure range you can try increasing the cut out, or both cut-in and cut-out gradually. Don't operate the pump too close to the highest cut-out pressure that it can attain, since there is the risk that when you're not watching the system may through wear or other factors leave the pump running until it burns up.

Jack, if the pump does not start at pressures below the cut- in point of 20 psi, the switch may be bad. But the pump running continuously and never delivering cutoff pressure is something else _ such as lost well water flow rate or a well piping leak or someone has lest a faucet open in the home.

Question: pump won't stop running and got very hot - my well pump won't turn off

Pump has worked fine until today for some reason it kept running after the 'timer' stopped. I didn't notice for a while and by the time I got to the pump, it was really hot. I killed the power and water/steam shot out of a PVC pipe on the bottom. If I plug it in, it won't stop running. I turned the timer on and tried to send water to a sprinkler zone to no avail. Please help! - pumpwontstop 6/17/11

I have been having a problem with my well for a couple years now with it staying running.
I hired a well guy and he told me it was a 30 year old system and it needed to be replaced,
so i started to replace things and it has fixed some problems, but has cause others.
We replaced the air tank, pressure control switch, the run capacitor, and the start cylinder.
When we turn it on after about 4 hours it will run for 5 to 10 min, but if we let it sit off
for 8 hours or even 10 hours it will run for 15 to 20 min. I have no clue what is going on and seeing if someone could help. Also as I was down at the well, and it was turned on their was some sloshing in the system as it starts and turns off. If you need any more details just ask. - Mike 7/25/12

Reply: things to check when the well pump runs continuously or cannot reach cut-out pressure

If your well pump won't stop running and it is delivering water then I suspect that the pump is unable to reach the cut-off pressure.

That can happen for a variety of reasons like loss of water in the well, a well piping leak, water running somewhere that you didn't realize, a pressure switch set too high, or a damaged pressure sensor component of the pressure control switch.

See the article above on this page beginning at WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING for a thorough diagnostic procedure

Ed:

If the pump runs all the time even when you turn OFF water from the pressure tank into the building, then since you've excluded the control itself:

- the pressure sensing port on the pressure switch may not be seeing actual water pressure if the small diameter tube or pipe feeding pressure to the switch is clogged

- you may have a leak in well piping in the well or in the ground between house and well.

- you may have a damaged pump impeller that is not developing enough pressure to reach switch cutoff

- or something else

Hi Mike. It sounds as if perhaps you are losing well prime back down into the well - could be a bad foot valve - or a leak in the well piping.

Is the pump in the well or above ground? If above ground, is it a one line or two line jet pump?

Followup from Mike:

the pump is in the well about 600 ft down how do i find a leak that far down or where is the foot valve in the pump? thank you for answering me fast

Reply:

Mike, first establish that there is a leak, and in what segment of the whole system it exists - say in the building vs between the water pressure tank and the bottom of the well. If it appears that the leak is in the well piping and if the leak is in the well piping that's in the well itself (as opposed to between well and building) you're in luck because you can pull the whole well piping and pump (use a professional to do this) to find and repair the leak as well as replace the foot valve. If the leak is between house and well then unfortunately excavation is in order.

If the leak in the well pipe is in the well and is between the water surface and well top, you'll hear or even see water squirting out of the leak when the pump is running; if it's under-water you may never see it without pulling the line.

All of this means that you start by determining that the leak is between house and well.

Search InspectApedia for

"find leak in well piping" to find our diagnostic article

Question: I increased water pump pressure switch settings - now I think the pump is bad

Last week I increased the cut-in cut-out pressure switch setting on my well. The system was running at 20-40 and after making the pressure switch adjustment it has been running at 40-60 just as I planned. I checked the cut-in and cut-out over several days after the change and it was working fine.

Today we found that we had zero water pressure. I looked over our system and found there is no water flowing into our pressure tank so no water is being pumped. I tested for power at the pressure switch and it is getting power but I did not check the voltage. The well pump was here when we bought the house about 10 years ago so the pump is at least 10 years old.

I don't know the specifics of the pump but the control box for the pump states 1 hp, 230 volt, single phase and includes a capacitor and some other blue device. I assume my increasing the pressure switch seating has lead to a pump failure. Anything else I should test before running out to buy a new pump? - John M 8/34/11

Reply:

John M:

Changing a pump pressure control switch from 20/40 all the way up to 40/60 has an understandable appeal: much higher water pressure, faster flow rate. But the risk is that you set a cut-off pressure that the pump simply cannot maintain. If that happens the pump might just keep on running - never reaching that 60 psi. If your pump was a submersible you might not know that the pump is spinning itself to death down in the well. Until it stops working or until the pump overheats and shuts down on thermal overload.

A second possibility is that sometimes when we start pumping water out of a well faster than before we can exceed the well's flow rate (especially if the well is not very deep- doesn't have a big static head). Even if the well later recovers, we can lose prime and lose water pressure, or in some cases run the pump dry and damage it.

Sorry about the bad news, but those are the worries that occur to me from your description.

Followup:

Thanks for the reply Dan,

The pump is working fine now, the following morning after my post I replaced the thermal protection device, turned on the pump and it immediately started pumping and has been running fine since. Just for clarification and as I explained in my original post, the pump is cycling properly (cutting in and out) with the higher presser setting of 40~60 psi.

I suspect the problem occurred due to my extended continuous use of water while I was working on a landscaping project which had the water running continuously for 8 plus hours. It appears the thermal protection device which is designed to protect the pump from burning out did its job.

Happy to report the pump and well are working great.

Reply:

Thanks John M - I will add "replace the thermal protection device" to our list of diagnostic suggestions when a pump motor won't run. Can you send along photos of the parts and pump? Use the CONTACT link found at page top, left, bottom.

Question: pump takes a long time to reach the cut-off pressure

(Feb 3, 2014) Mike said:

Once faucets are shut off, pump will run 10 to 15 minutes, then shut off. Shallow well one line system

Reply:

Mike, that's a bit long just to re-pressurize the water tank. Could be that the well yield has diminished or there could be a well piping leak. Or you could have a huge water storage tank.

Before messing with anything else I'd check that the cut-out pressure is not set just a little too high. If we set the pressure control switch cut-out at the very edge of what the pump can deliver then we might get a long on cycle. Try just backing off the cut-out to a few psi lower - OR tell us the pressures you're seeing on the gauge.

Question: driven point well & pump, pump can't get over 28 psi; possible air leaks?

5/20/2014 howard said:

I have myers 3/4 hp pump that is hooked to a well point that Is 13 foot down in the basement of my house the pumpis hooked u to a 85 gallon holding tank from that I water my lawn and it all has worked fine usually can run at 4o psi and the pump shuts on and off at 30 then 50 - all has worked fine in the past however, now the pump will not get over 28 psi (tank pressure and will not go high enough to cycle on and off.. the pump I sine I just too it to the shop and had it checked out... there was a new sleeve they put in and cleaned it out etc.

I hooked it back up and no luck. I would suspect there is an air leak down in the point that is causing the problems... I have taken the point up many times in the past and don't want to have to go through it again. Question is there any kind of sealant etc. that I can use to eliminate the air problem is that is the problem. thanks for the help

Reply: air leaks into well piping or low well water can cause air cavitation in the pump; find & fix the leak

Howard there may be such a product for sealing leaks in well piping by injection through the pipe interior but I haven't found it. There are putties, epoxies, mechanical devices and ven liquid coatings and sprays intended for sealing leaks from an exterior surface, and there are interior sealants intended for automotive and similar applications, not for water supply systems.

Watch out: trying to seal well piping leaks with an internal sealant product (like radiator stop-leak) has a number of risks:

Using a driven point well and 85g storage tank to water a lawn sounds like an iffy design to me, unless the lawn is tiny and the watering infrequent. More likely you're over-taxing the well, which speeds the rate at which the driven point strainer tends to clog.

When a pump can't reach cut-off pressure and you suspect there's cavitation due to air in the system indeed you'd want to find and replace the leaky part. With frequent pulling and replacing of the well point and piping I'd look out for leaks at ABS/PVC pipe connectors that have been re-used. Sometimes we can fix such a leak by adding a second stainless steel hose clamp on both sides of the fitting; experienced plumbers don't like to re-use those connections just for this reason - they leak.

Other causes of a pump not reaching cutoff pressure include a worn or damaged impeller and even low voltage.

Question: ZDS pump in my bore hole with no pressure tank: pump won't turn off when we turn off water

1 Feb 2015 Anonymous said:

I've got a ZDS pump in my bore hole and it requires no pressure vessel. We have had the filter and back wash system moved. Since the move the pump will not switch off when we turn the water off. If I turn the incoming stop tap off then the pump stop. If I turn the stop tap off to the backwash tank it carries on. The pipe work has been fitted with an inverted " U". Could it be air any ideas I think it may be air trapping in the "U"?

Reply:

I suspect the pump's pressure and flow sensing control is debris clogged or has failed.

ZDS Innovation sells pumps throughout much of U.K. Europe, and some of Scandanavia. You might want to contact the company - nearest office to you or through their contact information I can give just below:

ZCS Innovation pumps:
ZDS srl - Via Grecia 8 - 35127 Padova Z.I. - Italy - Company Registration Number: PD – 402204 - Tel: +390497994854 - Email: info@zdsgroup.com
Wegsite: http://www.zdsgroup.com/

This article series answers just about any question you may have about pumps, wells, and drinking water. Even before performing water quantity, quality, equipment function tests, there is an enormous amount we can determine about a building's water supply just by looking at the equipment.

Question: pump runs forever if the cut-out pressure is raised above 38 & differential set too low

I have a Goulds 1/2 hp J5 deep well pump with a 20 gal pressure tank. I am operating with a differential of 14 psi (20/34 cut-in/out). Due to well limitations, the maximum pressure generated by the pump is 38 psi (pump runs forever if the cut-out pressure is raised above 38).

At this setting, the small nut is completely loosened.

I would like to operate at 24/34, but if I increase the cut-in pressure to 24 (large nut), then the cut-out pressure is also increased, and the pump runs forever (small nut still completely loose).

It seems that I am limited by the Goulds pressure control switch (which is attached to the pump and monitors the pressure by a plastic tube from the pump housing).

Any solution to this? It is a fairly new pump, so simply replacing the Goulds pressure conrol switch does not guarantee a solution, since the specs of the Goulds switch apparently do not allow one to operate with a cut-in/out differential of 10 psi. - Antony 9/14/12

Reply:

Anthony

You're right that the "range nut" (see article above) shifts the whole water pressure cut-in/cut-out range up or down, while the "differential nut" widens or narrows the cut-in to cut-out pressure gap. I SPECULATE that Goulds and other water pump pressure control manufacturers don't allow the range width to be less than 10 psi because you'd find that when running water in the building the pump would be cycling on and off too rapidly.

You'd be better off to set the range so that the cut-in is at 20 psi, and then you can set the cut-out up to 34 psi.

Question: my pump would not stop running - the tech says I need a new drilled well

My pump began running non stop and when the well person came out they said they were able to set psi to 38 and the pump would shut off correctly however most likely the jet is plugged or a hole in casing for it to change suddenly and It will eventually just quit. Does this sound correct. It is now functioning fine at 38 psi but I am concerned since winter is coming and I shoul get a well drilled now. I am not planning in investing in repair if it needs repair because it's an old 2" - Amanda 8/26/12

Reply:

Amanda I don't understand the question you are asking. A hole in a well casing may admit dirt and contaminants and might speed up clogging of the well screen on a foot valve or pump pickup; But some more accurate diagnosis is needed before drilling a new well.

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