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Two line jet pump diagram (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Diagnostic Guide to Well Pump Problems

  • WATER PUMP PROBLEM DIAGNOSTIC TABLE - CONTENTS: Diagnostic checklist in table form provices water pump problem identification, diagnostic steps, and repair steps. Deep-well Two Line Jet Pumps & Drinking Water Wells, Well Problems & Repair Advice. Shallow-well pump diagnosis and repair guide and checklist. What types of wells use a two-line jet pump for water delivery. Electric pump motor troubleshooting guide
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This article provides a table of diagnostic checks and procedures for fixing well water pump problems.



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Well Pump Troubleshooting Diagnostic Guide

Things to Check if the Well Pump Will Not Start

Pump Trouble Cause Diagnostic Procedure Repair Procedure
Electrical Power is Off 

Check that all service switches for the equipment are in the "on" position.

Check for voltage at the pump motor or pump controls. If no voltage is found, check for voltage at the electric panel.

If power is on to the building, check fuse or circuit breaker serving the electric motor that won't run.

Check for local reset button on the motor (popped out = off )

Check for other power reset or power off buttons such as an access door compartment safety switch that turns off power to the equipment (found on A/C blower compartment doors)

Turn on "off" switches.

Replace bad fuse. Reset circuit breaker; if necessary replace bad circuit breaker.

Let hot electric motor cool down, then push in its reset button.

Be sure all safety interlock switches such as on compartment doors are depressed and that the doors are securely shut.

Replace a bad safety switch.

Replace bad or damaged electrical wiring that shorted and tripped the breaker.

See
ELECTRICAL POWER SWITCH FOR HEAT

WATER PUMP ELECTRICAL SWITCHES

ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION

Blown fuse, tripped breaker

Replace fuse or breaker - does the pump run and keep running normally?

If the breaker keeps tripping most likely there is either a short circuit in the wiring or the pump motor is drawing abnormally high current

Be sure proper breaker or fuse size in ampacity is installed - ELECTRIC PANEL INSPECTION

See

CIRCUIT BREAKER FAILURE RATES

WATER PUMP WIRING DAMAGE

Low voltage to the pump Check with VOM at the pressure control switch or at the pump wiring Be sure the proper size of wire is used for the ampacity and length of circuit; Test for low voltage to the building.

ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
Loose or broken pump wire

Check wiring against the pump installation manual diagram, check all connections for tightness, shorts, burns, damage.

A loose wire can cause intermittent pump or other electrical device failiures as well as a hard failure that means no power or blown fuses.

Rewire or repair or replace wiring

WATER PUMP WIRING DAMAGE

Burned out pump motor Check that the pump pressure control switch is trying to turn on the pump and that there is voltage at the pump wiring

Repair or replace the pump motor

ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE

Bad motor control switch

Check the control switch contacts for burning or wear.

If the motor control is a well pump pressure control switch,check the pressure control switch settings - cut-in and cut-out; inspect for burned, pitted switch contacts or for dirt or wear.

For water pumps, adjust or replace the pressure control switch.

Temporary emergency repair by cleaning the switch contacts may be possible.

See WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH

Bad pump pressure control switch Check the tubing connecting the pressure switch to the pump housing for clogging Clean or replace the tubing and be sure the connections are not leaky - an air leak will prevent the switch from sensing pressure properly
Bad water pump control switch tubing

Clogged or leaky tubing connecting a water pump pressure control switch to the water system results in failure to properly sense and respond to water pressure.

Debris clogging can also occur in the bottom of the pressure control switch where it mounts or connects to the tubing.

 

Check and clear tubing blockage (blow air through tubing). Or install new tubing.

Be sure tubing is proper diameter and type to seal properly with other fittings.

Tighten tubing fittings to be sure there are no water or air leaks. Soap solution may help find air leaks in tubing fittings.

Clear or replace clogged pressure control switch if the bottom sensor opening is clogged and cannot be cleared.

See  
WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL REPAIR

PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL REPLACE

Bad pump impeller or impeller seal leak Turn off electric power to pump, see if you can move the impeller or motor - if it won't turn it is jammed or damaged Remove obstruction in impeller housing, inspect for and replace damaged impeller or frozen motor.
Bad pump motor starting capacitor Use a VOM in ohms setting to check resistance across the capacitor. If the meter does not move (no current flows) the capacitor is "open". If there is zero resistance the capacitor is shorted. Replace the starting capacitor
Pump motor shorted out, jammed, burned up Fuse blows or breaker trips as soon as the pump tries to turn on. If the external wiring is ok (no short circuits) the motor is shorted internally Replace the pump motor
 

Things to Check if the Pump Motor Starts but Overheats and Trips its Reset Button

See ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH for how to find and reset this button
Bad line voltage Use a VOM to check the voltage level at the pressure control switch If voltage is too low, check voltage at the electrical panel and check that the proper size wiring was used for the ampacity and length of run and that there are no partial shorts or damaged wires or connectors
Incorrect motor wiring Check the actual electrical wiring against the motor wiring diagram or the installation manual for the equipment Reconnect wiring properly
Motor is too hot due to surroundings - inadequate ventilation Check the air temperature where the motor is located. If the air temperature is over 100 degF, the pump may be too hot and its thermal overload switch tripping because of the environment, not a pump problem. Install adequate ventilation, or if needed, shading, or relocate the motor/equipment to a cool location

ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE

Pump operates too long at low water pressure If the well recovery rate is too poor and the pump is operating at low water pressure, possibly because a tailpiece is installed to prevent air injection and pump burnup, the pump may be overheating. Install a valve on the water discharge line and reduce water flow to increase water pressure inside the pump itself.
 

What to do if the well pump runs continuously or runs too often

If the Well Pump Motor Runs Too Often If the pump runs too often the cause may be a control problem, water tank problem, piping problem, or a well problem.

See INTERMITTENT CYCLING WATER PUMPS if the pump runs at odd times for no apparent reason.

See SHORT CYCLING WATER PUMP and also

see WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING CAUSES if the pump is turning on and off too frequently.

If the Well Pump Motor Keeps Running & Won't Stop If the pump won't turn off the cause may be a damaged pump control, a plumbing or fixture leak, or a well problem.

Watch out: If the pump motor won't shut off you should turn off electrical power to the pump to avoid damaging it, then diagnose the problem.

See WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING

Other well pump troubles

If the Well Pump is too Noisy If the well or water pump has gotten quite noisy the cause may be a worn pump bearing or damage to the pump impeller.

Review our list of common sources of water pump noise before replacing anyhing.

See NOISES, WATER PUMP

Notes:

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. Page top illustration courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.

Also see our other diagnostic guides for water pumps, wells, motors, in table form:

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Continue reading at WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE which offers an example of diagnosis of loss of water pressure, loss of water, and analyzes the actual repair cost, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC TABLE FAQs - questions & answers posted originally at this article

Or see WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - other well pump Q&As

See WELL FLOW TEST PROCEDURE if your well runs out of water entirely

See WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT to increase the yield (flow rate) of your well

Or see WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS to improve water pressure or flow rate

Suggested citation for this web page

WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC TABLE at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to WATER SUPPLY, PUMPS TANKS WELLS

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