Copper tubing on pressure control switch (C) Daniel FriedmanWell Water Pump or Control Switch Noise Diagnostic FAQs
Questions & Answers about water pump or pump control noises

  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about diagnosing problems with the water pump or pump controls that show up as sounds of humming, clicking, banging, rattling, hissing, etc.

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Well water pump or pump control noise & sound diagnostic FAQs:

This article provides answers to frequently-asked questions about how to diagnose noise problems with the water pump or pump controls such as clicking at the control switch, humming or rattling at the water or well pump, or banging or hissing sounds associated with water or well pump operation.

This article series gives diagnosis & repair advice for well or water pumps, controls, tanks, water pressure, water flow, water quantity.

We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.

Water Pump & Pump Control Noise FAQs

Well Pump Noises & Sounds

Question: well pump noise - noisy well pump or horrible sounds coming from the water pump

The pump keeps running & making a loud noise - Ron 7/10/12


Ron, some well pumps are just noisy to begin with, depending on the motor and bearing quality (and cost) of the pump itself. But if your pump has changed in the volume or type of noise it is making here are some common sources of that sound:

Question: well pump is very loud on my sprinkler system

I have a well pump that provides water for my inground sprinkling system (there is no tank). The pump is VERY loud and it seems like the pressure has been gradually decreasing over the past few years. Is there any regular maintenance I could/should do on it? - Bill 7/11/12


Bill, check for the pump noise problems I've described just above. I'd add that running a water pump with no pressure tank makes the pump work harder and may lead to shorter pump life.

Question: Shallow well pump keeps shutting off

My shallow well pump shuts off after 15 seconds. Looks like no water is getting to the tank. When the pump shuts down the water flow stops.
I disassembled the pressure switch, cleaned contacts and diaphragm and made sure the hose for the sensor was clear of debris.
Same problem.

Next I removed the tank and let the pump run for a few minutes. It didn't get overly hot and kept on pumping.
So it looks like the tank diaphragm is stuck.

My question is - Could it still be a defective pressure switch or is it definitely the tank?
Thanks - Mike 7/13/12

In reference to my (the) last comment.
I connected the tank to a garden hose from my house water supply and the tank filled up!
So it's either the pump or the pressure switch.


Mike regarding your good steps in well pump diagnosis,

"I connected the tank to a garden hose from my house water supply and the tank filled up!
So it's either the pump or the pressure switch." earlier you said "When the pump shuts down the water flow stops. " which to me indicates that the pressure tank had no charge - it could have been waterlogged and thus full, so no water would enter, but if it had zero air, it would not function to push water into the house when the pump was not running.

Check the pressure tank - and its air charge.

Water Pump Control Noises

Question: humming & clicking pump pressure control box

18 July 2015 Allen said:

Today my pump control box started making constant loud humming and clicking noises. I removed the pump control box and brought it to my local plumbing supplier. He connected it to his system, ran water for a minute or so and it performed accordingly. We repeated this process a couple of times without fail. I brought it home, reconnected it and the previous issues were still present. The water pressure tank appears to be fine. It is not waterlogged, has no apparent leaks and has not lost any air. Any suggestions as to what could be causing these symptoms?


Check the supply voltage level and the amps / current draw of your pump; the problem can be low water in the well, damaged pump, low voltage, damaged wiring

Allen said:
Thanks for your prompt reply. After checking the voltage, the main and start windings are within specs. I did however receive a reading suggesting the motor is grounded. Could a damaged wire in the well casing be causing the symptoms?


Watch out: Allen if the pump or a control is humming I'd shut it off as I suspect a short or seized motor.

Question: after replacing pump and pressure tank the pump switch keeps clicking

relay switch on water pressure device clicking when water is being used why and what is the fix please. - Anon 9/30/12

i replace my pump and pressure tank. but when i turn on my water. i here the pressure switch go click click click non stop when i turn on water - Jerry 11/16/12



Watch out: If the clicking pressure switch is switching the pump on and off very rapidly, say every second, TURN THE PUMP CIRCUIT OFF immediately to avoid damaging the equipment. Then check for a clogged water filter, a water valve that should be open is closed, or a waterlogged preside tank


It is normal for the relay switch to "click" on and off when you are running water continuously. It's a sound that folks don't notice if the swithc is right next to a (noisy) well pump, but when the well pump is submersible (located in the well) the pressure control switch click may be about all you hear. If the pump control relay clicking sound is rapid - see WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING - home.

If the click occurs say once every 30 seconds, that's normal. It's the pump switching on and off as pressure falls and rises.

Question: pump or control noises

(Sept 30, 2014) their is a loud bang noise under my house when my pump kicks off said:

their is a loud bang noise under my house when my pump kicks off sometimes when a have not used the water

(Oct 1, 2014) Anonymous said:

Has humming noise in pump part

(Oct 1, 2014) Donnie Bouknight said:

humming in pump and water spurts in side house


See the diagnosis & repair advice at WATER PRESSURE SWITCH NOISES - what causes humming or clicking noises at a building water pressure control switch: diagnosis, warnings, advice

Question: pump or control noises

(Sept 30, 2014) their is a loud bang noise under my house when my pump kicks off said:

their is a loud bang noise under my house when my pump kicks off sometimes when a have not used the water

(Oct 1, 2014) Anonymous said:

Has humming noise in pump part

(Oct 1, 2014) Donnie Bouknight said:

humming in pump and water spurts in side house


See the diagnosis & repair advice at WATER PRESSURE SWITCH NOISES - what causes humming or clicking noises at a building water pressure control switch: diagnosis, warnings, advice

Question: horrible humming noise at submersible pump control

Recently, we had a power surge and we believe that killed the submersible pump, (horrible humming noise when we threw the switch) so we replaced the pump (went from 1/2hp to a 3/4 hp). Every since then, when we turn our outside hose on, after about a minute we lose water pressure and it trickles out. We then replaced the water bladder, (a larger tank) still the same problem, and then we replaced the pressure control switch. ....still the same issue. I don't want to have to pull the pump back out if I don't have to. (that and i have no idea what i can check on the pump).

I ahve a 40/60 pressure switch, I drained the tank and put 38psi in the top of the tank and filled it back up. overall I have no water pressure issues on any other faucet in the house (sure I would like stronger pressure but it's tolerable) only the water hose. when that goes down the rest of the house stays down until the bladder can get back up to pressure.

It's definitely an unusually dry season but our well is 200 ft deep, and you hit water at just 15 ft. so I don't think it's a issue of the water level but again I know nothing at the moment.. - Chris 7/9/12


Chris in addition to the diagnostics above for poor water pressure, see the article titled WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE found near the end of this article in the links section for a table summarizing things to check.

Sometimes when we install a more powerful water pump onto an existing well the new pump takes water out of the well faster than the well can recover - and you run out of water; that could be happening here.

The static head in a 200 ft deep well with water 15 ft below the surface is 185 ft. 185 x 1.5 is what, 280 gallons of water - not so much that you couldn't run out if the well recovery rate is slow.

Reader comment:

the water pressure is fine for about 5 -10 gals of water, if that. (so Im assuming that isn't putting a dent in that 280gals) I went down later and checked the timing on the pump and pressure control switch, and when it goes. The control switch kicks on right at 40psi, it holds for about 5/10 seconds at 40psi, (this is all within 30 seconds to a minute)and then it quickly plummets to 10-15 psi on the gauge, and it stays there till I turn off the hose. At that point it will slowly fill back up to 60 psi in about 5-10 mins. After reading that Chart I'm leaning towards maybe I need to change the breaker? could the pump not be getting enough power (due to one of the breakers being bad) and that's why the psi is so low even when the pump is on? - Chris

Question: humming water pressure pump control switch

My water Pump Pressure Switch seems to be emitting a low hum all of the time It sounds sort of like you hear around electrical transformers. This is a new thing for the unit. My electric bill has also been high and my water pressure is intermittently low. I can make the hum stop by pressing on the plate that's connected to the springs. It sparks when I do this. Yikes! I suspect that the switch is stuck in the on position. What do you all think? Thanks! - James 11/27/12


James, the pressure control switch might click on and off, but humming?

First - make sure that the sound is coming from the switch itself and not from nearby water piping or from a nearby pump. Well pumps are not silent, and pump noise can be transmitted via water piping.

Second - if you are convinced it's the switch, if tightening the electrical connections at the switch doesn't fix it (do this with power OFF) I would replace it promptly. The pump relay is an electromagnetic switch. If it is humming and vibrating it is probably failing and you're about to have

Watch out: I wouldn't keep pressing on the relay. There's live 120V or 240V in that switch - touching exposed wires or connectors is asking for a potentially fatal shock. Keep me posted, what we learn will help other readers.

Question: well pump won't run - humming noise may mean a seized pump motor or control relay

26 July 2015 Joseph said:
I have a shallow well pump for irrigation. Was running perfect yesterday, and now all of a sudden will not run. When plugged in, makes a humming noise and trips off (in about 4 sec). It almost sounds like a small puff of air blowing when it kicks off. I replaced the capacitor, no problem there. I can turn the shaft - with no problem from back of motor with screwdriver. What else can I trouble shoot without having to disconnect entire system or call in a professional?



In the diagnostic table at WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC TABLE check out the section titled

Things to Check if the Well Pump Will Not Start

Humming sounds like a seized motor. The fact that you can turn the shaft argues against that so we might have instead a seized switch or control.

Watch out: If the motor is drawing high current (amps) that's a good reason to leave it shut off to avoid further damage and to reduce the risk of a fire or electrical shock.

Question: hissing noise at the water pump

(June 13, 2015) George said:
Regarding the hissing noise referred to by Tara, I experience this running a simple booster pump with pressure vessel on a spring supply where there is insufficient drop. My pump cycles every 5 minutes with no demand which seems a little odd but seems to cause no harm. The only explanation I have managed to come up with for the hissing is that there is air in the supply side which is pumped with the water into the pressure vessel where it gradually bubbles out from the water?


Diagnosis of hissing at water pumps depends on where the hissing is occurring.
Excess air in a bladderless pressure tank may be released by the air volume control valve on systems that use an in-well snifter valve to keep air in the pressure tank.

Search for SNIFTER VALVE to read details.

Question: running water sound in pipes but no fixtures are running

(June 15, 2015) scott said:
I can hear water running through the pipes but see no leaks or water dripping from any faucet or toilet. The pump cycles every 12 minutes. I have experienced leaks in the pipe from the pump to pressure tank and could clearly hear the water leaking from the pipe and falling back into the well.



If you hear water running, water is running. Sometimes a subtle leak such as a running toilet is not obvious without close inspection. One way to narrow down the culprit is to begin selectively shutting off water supply to various areas of the building.

Try shutting off water into the building: if the noise stops then water is probably running somewhere that you've not located.

If the problem is a leaky foot valve or well piping, with water to the house shut off if pressure drops you've probably guessed that that's the probelm.

Also search InspectApedia for AIR DISCHARGE at FIXTURES


Water Pipe Noises: Banging Clanging Pipes when Well Pump Stops

Will the pressure pump damage the washing machine, water heater etc? in a one story house?

Is it true that Preasure pumps fitted in a house with one floor only spoils the washing machine,water heater etc and presure pumps should not be used for such one floored house. - K Sriram

14 Feb 2015 Doug said:
When checking or adding pressure to bladder style tank should the pressure be set a few pounds below the set on pressure (40-60) switch (38) or should it be set at the higher level around (58) ?

Seems to be a water hammer effect as pump shuts off at (58)



K Sriram

I cannot undertand any reason why a well water pump would damage plumbing in a one story house in some way related to the house height. The pressure operating range - 20-40 psi or 30-50 psi is within the normal operating range of plumbing fixtures and appliances. In other words, No not in any way I can see. Maybe there is some condition someone knows about that we've never come across??

Watch out: other water pressure variations such as that caused by water hammer can indeed damage appliances, piping, controls, valves, etc. Details are at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE

Doug, in addition to looking into and addressing the water hammer noise, you want to see

Water Tank Noises: Boom, Clank, or High Pitched Sound, Groaning, or Hissing


Water Heater Tank Noises


Water Pressure & Water Pump Article Series Contents


Continue reading at WATER PRESSURE SWITCH NOISES for table listing causes & cures for well pump or water pressure problems, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE to diagnose clanging banging water pipe noises traced to well pump turning on or off.



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WATER PUMP / SWITCH NOISE FAQs at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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