Water pressure tank (C) Daniel Friedman InspectApedia.comNO Water Pressure Diagnostic FAQs
Problems with complete loss of water flow /water pressure

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No water pressure at all:

Complete loss of water supply at a building, diagnostic FAQs: this article provides answers to frequently-asked questions about how to diagnose problems with the complete or periodic-complete loss of building water pressure & flow.

These lost water pressure questions & answers help sort out the causes of water pressure problems and help determine if the problem appears to be at the water pump, pump controls, pump wiring, or the actual water source such as a private well or water storage tank.

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No Water Pressure: lost all water pressure, problems, solutions

Recently-posted questions and answers about loss of water pressure posted originally at NO WATER PRESSURE - topic home where we offer diagnosis and repair advice.

Some of these questions may have been posted at the bottom Comments Box for this article.

On 2017-08-26 by (mod) - tracking down occasional pump refusal to turn on

I'd want a technician who could check the operation of the pump motor, check for overheating (and tripping off on thermal overload), voltage levels, and for the presence of and operation of any pump protection controls.

I agree with your hesitation and agree that before replacing an expensive motor I'd want a more reliable diagnosis.

Be sure that the tank air pre-charge when all pressure is drained is at 2 psi below the cut in.
Inspect the switch for arcing burns, loose wires, bad contacts.
Take note if the pump is having trouble reaching the cut-off pressure.

BEWARE of fatal electric shock - live voltage in the switch.

Be sure you've reviewed the causes of water pump's not-starting at TABLE 1: PUMP WON'T RUN, WON'T STOP, or CYCLES


On 2017-08-23 by Brian W. - we replaced the pump

The repairman did clean sediment out of the nipple which the switch sits atop. I have called the well company a number of times and they have "no idea" why I can turn the breaker off and on and the pump will start.

The repairman returned and couldn't figure out what is wrong though he gave me some half-assed guess that the pump maybe has too much head pressure and that is keeping the pump from turning on.

Of course he thinks I should just replace the pump and check valve at $2500.

When it turns on the pump seems to be working correctly so I do not think there is anything wrong with the pump. I am not aware of any other protection features for the pump.

Should I make any more adjustments to the air pressure of the tank or just try re-wiring the switch?

On 2017-08-23 by (mod) - a few reasons a pump won't turn on besides

Certainly when pressure drops below the cut-in and the switch doesn't turn on the pump then
- the switch isn't getting the water pressure right, perhaps from a clogged sensor tube
- the switch is defective
- the switch is miswired
- the switch has or elsewhere in the system there is a pump protection feature that's tripping off

Be sure you reviewed the diagnostics at WATER PRESSURE INTERMITTENT LOSS

On 2017-08-23 by Brian W. - intermittent loss of water pressure, already replaced pressure switch

I have a home well approximately 143' deep with a submersible pump. Entire system was installed 12 years ago. I recently had issues with intermittent loss of water pressure where the pressure would drop very low.

I called a well company and the repairman they sent over decided that it was a faulty pressure valve and/or pressure switch and replaced both.

I now have issues where the water pressure will drop and completely run out.

I have attempted to diagnose this problem myself and I have determined the following things:

- The new pressure switch is factor set at 40/60.

- When the water is turned on, the water pressure will drop below 40 on the gauge and then drop to nothing and the low-pressure switch does not activate.

- If I turn off the breaker to the pump and then turn it back on, the pressure switch will then engage and pressure will build-up very rapidly to 60psi at which time the pump shuts off.

- Once I have flipped the breaker and the pressure has built up, I can then run water and drop the pressure to about 40psi and the pump will engage; however it may fail to engage at low pressure the next time.

- With the system at 0 and no water coming out, I have checked the pressure tank and found initially that the air pressure in the tank was approximately 50psi. Everything I read about the pressure switch indicated that the air pressure needed to be several psi below the low pressure switch setting so I let air out of the tank until it is now approximately 36 psi when empty of water.

- I still lose pressure several times per day with the pump failing to start at low pressure unless I turn off the breaker and then turn it back on.

Any ideas why the pressure switch doesn't seem to be working correctly? Is the air psi for the tank set appropriately? Could the new switch have a wiring issue or a short? Should I disconnect all the wires and then reconnect to make sure that every contact has a good connection?

Any ideas would be appreciated!

On 2017-08-21 by (mod) - waiting a day and then having no water despite installing new equipment


About waiting a day and then having no water despite installing new equipment:

There are lots of little parts and controls in a water supply system, but basically we've got

- a hole in the ground that might or might not have water in it

- piping that brings water from well to building and to pressure tank

- a pump in the well or somewhere else

- a control that turns the pump on when pressure drops and off when pressure reaches the CUTOUT

- a pressure tank that smooths the delivery of water so that the pump doesn't cycle on and off so rapidly as to be damaged

For the case you describe there's either no water in the well - a bad recovery rate, or an improper installation, or a total well piping leak that someone hasn't found.

On 2017-08-21 by (mod) - no water and a pressure gauge reading zero


Turn the pump breaker OFF and back ON just to double check that the breaker wasn't tripped, since a tripped position can sometimes be difficult to see.

If you have no pressure and the pump is not running, you will probably also see zero pressure on the pressure gauge installed at your water pressure tank or control - if a gauge is installed at all.

With no water pressure and gauge zero and pump not running, unless you're qualified to safely work on electrical stuff it's time to call for help from a well plumber.

But try TWO more things first.

1. Give a sharp RAP with a ruler or a SMALL tool onto the top of the pressure control switch. If it was "stuck' it might re-start. Repairs are still needed buy you may have water meanwhile.

2. Take a look at the pressure control switch. Does it have a metal wire-like lever on one side? Some pressure controllers include a pump protection feather that will shut the circuit switch off if it thinks the pump is running dry. Some of those require a manual re-set - typically done by lifting and releasing the lever.

Details are at
MANUAL PUMP ON/OFF SWITCH - side lever on pump control switch

Let me know what you find.

On 2017-08-21 by Tara - no water and a pressure gauge reading zero

Hi, I came home to no water and a pressure gauge reading zero. I immediately checked to see if it was a breaker issue but there were none tripped. I do not hear the pump at all. Any suggestions? Thanks.

On 2017-08-06 by chris

can wait for a day and will work fine for unknown amount of time checked water in well it has plenty cant figure out this problem

we replaced submerssible pump,wire,pressure switch,tank,worked fine for three weeks then lost water again why?changed everything in well but pipe

On 2017-07-24 by (mod) - Pump running - no water coming out


We have a diagnostic procedure for the problem that you have named the water pump that won't stop running. Please check out this article


Let me know if that works for you or if you need more help

On 2017-07-24 by Ed

Pump running - no water coming out

On 2017-07-22 by (mod) - possible dirt clogs controls after piping repairs


Do you think dirt from the broken water line might have gotten into the system, thus clogging the pressure control switch?

I would not replace the pump before confirming that the switch is sending power to the pump - in that case if the pump has power but doesn't run, it's jammed or shot.

Your water tank comments are spot-on: if the tank's air pre-charge pressure (with pump off and water pressure drained from the system) is above the pump's cut-in pressure then the pump won't turn on. That's where I'd start.

On 2017-07-21 16:45:06.880207 by Rich

over at my in-laws house they have a bad leak underground and right there by their water heater they have a whole there and the breakers right there as well

so for the last I believe about we can have two weeks they been shutting off their water pump with their breaker so the water will overflow and go all over the floor well yesterday the water pump wouldn't turn on at all after we turned on the breaker the contacts are touching the

so we drained the tank of a pressure and water and we brought the pressure back up to I believe 38 PSI

and as far as the control switch goes I'm really not too sure that we have gotten the pump to turn on but it immediately shuts off but the pins do not open back up and the gauge stays on 0 on the pump

and change the tubing clean the control and someone is recommended that they need a new pump and I don't know if that's the right way to go first or if they could be just the switch

or did we possibly put too much air in it in the tank

because we're not getting water and the house

like if it does turn on every little bit of search how to turn on by itself and it just shuts right down immediately

I don't know if the guy messed with the Springs itself what what would I do do I try to do buy a new control switch first or does it sound like there's an internal problem with the motor because of turning it off from the breaker so many times it might have faulted the motor itself really

could use some advice on this one because they definitely don't have money to for trial and error

On 2017-06-26 by Anonymous

We had watere this mrnibg, my daughter did a load of laundry and took a shower and 20 minutes later I took a shower , an hour later I went to kitchen to do dishes and the water came out normal and then trickled down now nothing is coming out

On 2017-06-24 by Amanda

I keep loosing pressure once a week, always after the water has not been running for about 8 hours.

When I loose pressure I have to release some pressure from the bladder, remove the switch cover, and replace it. This resets the switch and it will go up to 100 then back down to 50 then back to 100 and settles at about 60. Pressure returns. Why is this happening weekly and how do I fix it?

On 2017-06-19 by Tune - fixing the pump after a power outage

Here is my problem. I am alone, NO HELP, and 73 Yr Senior Woman. So PLEASE explain in My terms. Pump/pressure tank both work Very Good, until there is a Power outage. Then Power returns - but Pressure tank does not turn back ON.

So I have to go under house and Push a Allen Wrench like thing UP and then the Pressure tank starts just fine. I was TOLD new switch needed. I DONE THAT - Power went out yesterday, same ole Problem. Can you tell me WHY this pressure tank does not automatically restart it'self ? THANKS A MILLION, Tune

On 2017-06-14 by Anonymous

My well pump trips the points when water is on all the way or when using washer and try to take shower at same time please help thanks in advance Bill

On 2017-06-12 by (mod) - well runs out of water

John that sounds as if the well is being exhausted, probably because there is a low flow rate of water into the well.
The first supply of water comes from a small volume in the water pressure tank and a larger volume in the well's STATIC HEAD (search our site for that phrase to read details). Once that's exhausted your system may be limited in flow rate by a protection device that prevents the pump from running "dry" (which will damage it).


On 2017-06-12 by John

I've got great water pressure for about 30 minutes then it drops way down .If iTurn water off and wait 30 minutes pressure is great again

On 2017-06-12 by (mod) re: signs of a low flow well

John that sounds as if the well is being exhausted, probably because there is a low flow rate of water into the well.
The first supply of water comes from a small volume in the water pressure tank and a larger volume in the well's STATIC HEAD (search our site for that phrase to read details). Once that's exhausted your system may be limited in flow rate by a protection device that prevents the pump from running "dry" (which will damage it).


On 2017-06-12 by John

I've got great water pressure for about 30 minutes then it drops way down .If iTurn water off and wait 30 minutes pressure is great again

On 2017-05-30 by Sharee

What do we got to do to get water pressure into our house from the well pump outside. All we got is a trickle of water

On 2017-05-28 (mod) re: reasons for problems with water pressure

Reserve a table listing all of the reasons I have been able to find at this link

Let me know how that works for you or if you need to ask for the question

On 2017-05-28 by Dylan

No water pressure at all changed pressure switch checked all the cicurts nothing tripped what else could it be

On 2017-05-06 by (mod) - Primed both tanks and still no water.


I'd start by going through the common no-water causes given at - WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE

On 2017-05-06 by Doug Troth

Primed both tanks and still no water.

On 2017-04-21 by (mod)

Sounds as if the well is running low on water.

This diagnostic table should help:

On 2017-04-21 by Pamela D. Massey

I was taking a shower and then there was no water. I checked the pressure on the tank and there was no pressure.

I waited about 30 minutes and I heard the pump running and I had water again, but when I checked the pressure on the tank because it wasn't shutting off was 60 and climbing. I was forced to cut the electricity to the pump. I really need your advise on what I should be looking at. Thanks.

On 2017-03-28 by (mod)


If you mean the pump itself is heating the water then the pump motor is probably failing and overheating. I would turnoff the pump as there could also be a fire or shock risk.

On 2017-03-28 by Banda

Water and pipe heat with pump and it doesn't pump water further

On 2017-02-28 by Terry Turner

Why water stops going to get water to the tank

On 2017-02-19 by (mod)

Thanks so much for the feedback,Ricky, that discovery of a pebble jamming the check valve open will doubtless help other readers.

On 2017-02-19 by Ricky

I took the check valve out and found a small rock setting inside of it. My best guess is that the rock had been lodged in the valve preventing it from closing. It must have finally worked its way free allowing the valve to work properly hence no water to mother-in-law's home. I gutted the check valve and replaced it and everything is working again. Disaster averted!

On 2017-02-19 by (mod) - pebble jams check valve open: loss of prime, loss of water pressure

Thanks so much for the feedback,Ricky, that discovery of a pebble jamming the check valve open will doubtless help other readers.

On 2017-02-19 by Ricky

I took the check valve out and found a small rock setting inside of it. My best guess is that the rock had been lodged in the valve preventing it from closing.

It must have finally worked its way free allowing the valve to work properly hence no water to mother-in-law's home. I gutted the check valve and replaced it and everything is working again. Disaster averted!

On 2017-02-12 by (mod)

Ricky, I'm puzzled too - and am thinking about the problem. There could be a leak in the well piping to the new house, but in general I'm unclear how your system works in the first place.

Without a pressure tank serving the new house, IF there is a check valve at the inlet to your main house water system it ought to prevent - as you say - water from flowing back out of your tank to the new house.

So if no water is running in the main house but is on in the new house, and the new house is plumbed by a tee off of the well line from well (enroute to main house) - what turns on the pump to provide water to the new house>? I'd give the installer a call to ask how the system is designed.

On 2017-02-11 by Ricky

One and a half years ago we had a mother in law house put on our property. The well guy spliced into the water line between the main house and the well in order to provide water to the new house.

We are on a private well system. Yesterday she lost water pressure. I checked the main house water pressure and it was fine. I noticed that the only time she had pressure was during the time the pump kicked on.

Once it kicked off she no longer had pressure. Her house does not have a tank at all. I shut off the main house water and turned on a faucet in my mother in laws house (no water flow) and watched the pressure gauge on my tank and it did not drop.

I am not for sure how the system works for her to have water. I have a check valve next to the tank but that should not allow back flow into the water lines which would in turn not provide her house with water however she has had good water pressure ever since the house was put in. I am at a loss on what to check.

Everything seems to work just fine but she doesn't have any water pressure!

On 2017-01-14 0 by (mod) - water line freezing problems & solutions


I can't diagnose this from your e-text, but I suspect there's a frozen water line. The fact that you had hot water but no cold is often a clue that supply pipes are starting to freeze. SOme plumbers are good at finding and thawing frozen pipes but until you find and fix the cold spot you'll have the problem again.

See for help finding where the pipes are frozen

also will help with more examples of where pipes freeze

See about using heat tapes

On 2017-01-14 by marca

only had hot water comeing well had two plumber out two different answers now have no water at all but we had very cold wheater now no water all dont know what to do

On 2016-11-04 by Chelsea

ok i live in the country on well water and of a morning the washer works but of a night it wont even start what could the problem be

On 2016-10-17 by Beth

While the washing machine is filling up with water & if your taking a shower the water stops working.

On 2016-10-15 by William hurt

I plugged in my dryer when I did some lights went out and my well stopped

On 2016-07-18 by (mod)

Perhaps a slow leaking check valve or foot valve.

On 2016-07-18 by Jody

our pump works fine for about two weeks and then we lose pressure and pump won't turn we recalibrate the pump it works for about two weeks and then it stops. why is it working only for about two weeks at a time?

On 2016-07-15 by (mod)

... if the pump control switch is closing and turning on the pump then the switch isn't the problem. However, sandpapering the pump pressure control switch relay contacts isn't a durable repair.

I suspect either reduced pump output - e.g. a damaged impeller or a leak in well piping - or clogged piping.

On 2016-07-15 by Michelle

Our well is 14 years old and we have always had great water pressure but this summer (past 2 maths or so) every time we turn on the water hose outside we lose water in the house. Any idea So?

Question: we have no water pressure and the pump is running. What should we do?

(Dec 11, 2014) Margie said:
There is no water coming into the house. The pump is running but shows 0 PSI

(Dec 1, 2015) Chris Gagnon said:
Hello! First time well owner here. Have a house from the 80's, bought it ten years ago. Old style well, 30" dia., concrete casing, well pump at bottom, pressure switch and gauge are in the well, at the top of the casing.

Air tank, filters, and water NEUTRALIZER,not softener, are in the garage where the pipe comes out of my slab. this morning, the Wife and I noticed a drop in pressure.

Happens sometimes, I just go change the filters. Well, didn't have any filters, so when I got home from work, I bypassed the filters(built in feature of the GE filters)until after my shower when I was going to get more,and had a great shower.

One hour later, the Wife comes home....and NO WATER IS ISSUING FROM THE VALVES!!! All of a sudden, water started flowing, but really weak.

Went and popped the cover on the well, and shone a flashlight down there.

Somehow, my well has dropped about 20'. I can see the old water level on the side of the casing(it was still wet. Pump is running constantly, even with the feed valve from the pump to the house shut off.

I cannot tell if all the action at the bottom of the well is the pump vibrating the water, or if a relief valve is blowing off. I have no clue on the brand of pump.

So, I shut off power, and am going to get new filter cartridges.

Even if the pressure switch was bad and making my pump run constantly, why would my well be so low? the water should just be circulating back into the well, right? Any help you can give me is GREATLY appreciated.



Watch out: Shut off the pump right away to reduce the risk of ruining it. Running a water pump when no water is flowing through it can damage the pump's impeller assembly, internal bearings, or other parts.

When you've turned off the water pump please see the diagnostics at


or at


and let us know if questions remain.

Question: sometimes water pressure drops to zero

Sometimes our water pressure drops to zero - no water flows, later the pump turns on and we have water again. What's going on? - Anon 20 June 2015


I'd start by checking for a debris-clogged pressure control switch sensor. If the water pressure is at zero and the pump is not runing, try tapping on the pressure control box cover. If the pump starts the switch is sticking.

Even if the pump doesn't start the switch may not be sensing water pressure if rust or debris has clogged its sensor port or the mounting tube that conducts water pressure to the switch.

Question: Lost Water Pressure following an Electrical Power Loss - lightning strike?

After a power loss that lasted half a day [my neighbor] ran out of water. When power I was restored the water pressure was only about that of pouring water and would the volume of water rapidly dropped.

I reached down to her water tank and could easily tell it was empty.

I connected a water hose to her outdoor spigot, unplugged the pump and allowed the water to fill her tank. The tank only filled about a quarter full. I opened a faucet to try to allow air to leave the system the tank did not fill any further.

The water pressure was at normal flow after I disconnected the hose. The pressure gauge showed a drop from 60 to 40, with about a minute for recovery to 60. Even though the tank was only a quarter full I thought the problem was resolved only to get a call a few hours later that there was no pressure again

. The tank was empty, with no signs of leaking. Water is filling the tank, it is slow and I am not sure what pressure the system might build as before it only filled to a quarter full.

She has what appears to be a submersible well a hundred feet from the well house. A pipe about 8-10 inches in diameter with a cap bolted on, there is wiring on one side of the pipe. In the well house (below grade) she has a blue tank about 18-24 inches
in diameter and a little over four feet tall.

A pipe comes through the side of the concrete that tees with the pipe that comes up from the side of the bottom of the tank. Just above the tee is the pressure gauge and then the pressure control switch. On the top of the tank is a plug( and I do have teflon tape if I need to remove it).

I have a few ideas from looking at your website but don't want to screw anything up so I decided I should email and see what you think.


We were puzzled too. Sometimes a power loss leads to total pressure loss that leads to disclosing a pre-existing defect like crud inside of a pump impeller, a failing foot valve (loses prime in the well), or a failing pressure control. Also some power outages include an
electrical surge or even a lightning strike that can damage or destroy a pump.

But we recommend that you first look for the simplest solution that does not require multiple odd failures to have by chance occurred at once.

Remember that a water pressure tank is never "full" - as it needs to contain an air charge.

First be sure you have an accurate picture of what was happening before the power outage.

Then start by reviewing the normal pump sequence operation and comparing it with what's happening at this home.

Follow up from the reader explained that only 120V was being delivered to a 240V submersible pump because one fuse of a pair had blown. -- This question is answered and explained more fully

Thanks to reader EK Woodard for these details.


Question: Water pressure loss after electrical power outage - lightning strike & lost well water

Hi,after a power outage that lasted the entire day, I now have no water at all. I'm new to all of this, so please bear with me.

Although, thanks to your very informative site I'm learning. I have a single line jet pump and am not sure what the depth of the well is. I tried to re prime with no success, so had a well person check it out. He spent over an hour adding water, turning the pump on and off, gradually bringing the water and pressure back up to the top.

Right as he was ready to give up it worked, and water was flowing strong out of the faucet. It didn't last long though, and he said there must be a crack or hole in the piping of the well, which is letting air in.

What I don't understand is I had water before the power outage with a supposed cracked or damaged pipe. So since he got the water back up to the top and flowing, why wouldn't it continue and keep the prime since it was before?

He advised that since the well is older (25 years) and the cost to find out what is wrong with it would be $1500 plus the cost of repair, that I would be better off having a new well dug, which is $3800.

I looked into claiming it on my insurance, but was told it had to be caused from a lightning strike, not just a power outage. Is it a possibility that whatever is wrong could have been caused by lightning, and if so, how could it be confirmed? - Valora

Reply: check for bad foot valve and replace it; refer to details of well pump priming procedure, check valves, foot valves

Indeed, Valora, a lightning hit can burn up electrical wiring, controls, pumps, and can even damage plumbing pipes.

But your description sounds as if there was a loss of prime and difficulty re-priming the pump. If the water system has a bad foot valve (located on the bottom of well piping) and power stays off for some time, you are more likely to lose well prime. The proper repair is to pull the well piping and replace the foot valve.

The reason this problem shows up after a power loss is that even though the foot valve may have been leaking for some time, as long as you had electrical power, when the foot valve leaked the dropping pressure at the water tank caused the pump to turn on by itself, restoring water, pressure in the water tank, and prime before so much water was lost that the pump couldn't recover by itself.

But when power was lost for hours, so much water drained back into the well that the well could not re-prime itself when it started again.


Question: Lost water pressure and smoke coming out of pressure switch

(Aug 24, 2014) Alice Stephens said:
got up this morin with no water my pump has a box on the side with two different deals in it but my points is not kicking in right what would cause this I replaced the box on the side with a new one and when we tried to restart it and when we did smoke came out of the box on the side what would cause this



TURN OFF ELECTRICAL POWER to the pump circuit immediately if you havent' already.

From what you describe I fear either an unsafe electrical wiring error or short circuit or a seized pump motor.

Question: lost water pressure after well took a lightning strike, now find sand in the water

we had a lightning strike last night and lost power to the pump. Replaced the pressure switch which was damaged and now the well is pumping a lot of sand in with the water??? - Barb 5/17/12


Barb that's a tough one - how might a lightning strike generate sand pickup in well water?

If the water level in the well has dropped, or if the well casing has become damaged, those could explain the phenomenon.

Presuming we're talking about an in-well submersible pump, I figure if the pump itself or its wiring had taken a hit - which often happens with lightning strikes around wells, either the pump would stop entirely, or if it's getting low voltage or wiring is partly grounded it may be pumping, but more slowly or weakly than normal.

Try flushing everything out and running the system again; let us know if water pressure and pump behavior are normal.

Next will be to investigate the well and well casing themselves. On occasion a severe lightning strike might damage the well casing itself - or damage may have already been present but not recognized. A rust hole or split in a well casing can open wide enough to begin to add sand and debris to the water supply.

Nearby blasting can also change the properties of a water well

In the well that served our lab in New York we had excellent water quantity and quality from the time the well was installed in the 1920's until the 1980's when a road crew decided to move the highway. Local blasting near our well appeared to amend the underground rock cracks and crevices such that our well water suddenly contained debris from the day of blasting onwards to the present.

Question: water pressure lost and pump turned off, won't come on after we left pump turned off for a few days

Gone from home for a few days turned pump on at fuse box ran 2 minutes then shut off will not come on - Dave

Reply: Sequence of steps to check if the well pump is not turning on.

Dave: re "gone from home for a few days turned pump on at fuse box ran 2 minutes then shut off will not come on"

See WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE for a comprehensive list of things to check when you've lost water pressure, including well pump troubles. By your message alone, and just guessing, as so little information is provided, I'd check things in this order:

  1. Make sure that electrical power is being delivered to the pump. Check for live voltage at the control switch and if a separate pump relay is used, check for voltage there too.
  2. If there is voltage at the pump controls, look for a pressure switch or relay that has become burned or damaged. If there is a separate pump relay control switch, make sure that its cover, removable "on-off" control that some switches use, or fuses are secure and in place and not burned out.
  3. If all of the electrical components have power, but the pump is not turning on, the pump itself could be damaged or the pressure control switch may be clogged and not calling for the pump to turn on. Manually closing the pump pressure control switch should turn the pump on. If not there's an electrical problem to find and fix in wiring or at the pump.

Watch out: for electrocution hazards when checking electrical wiring and devices. If you lack training and equipment have those checks made by a professional.

Watch out: often when a pump is turned OFF for a few days we discover a pre-existing problem that had been covered-up, namely a bad foot valve or check valve that allows water to slowly leak out of the pressure tank and back into the well.

As long as the pump power is turned on, when the leak causes pressure to drop below the cut-in point the pump cycles on and re pressurizes the water system and so the pump never loses prime.

But when power to the well pump is left off long enough, a slow leak can lose all of the water above ground (back into the well) and you lose prime.

So that's where I'd start looking.

Question: We lost all water pressure in the middle of a shower. We turned up the pressure switch. Do we need a new well pump?

I have a well, and this morning was taking a shower when we lost all water pressure in the middle of the shower. There was no water running in the rest of the house, so no pressure was being taken from the shower.. this had never happened. In the past, when you ran water, flushed the toilet or took a shower at the same time the water pressure went down.

We turned up the pressure coming into the house on the water tank to try to "fix" the situation. I'm worried we may need a new pump. Any suggestions in which way to turn? - Amy

Reply: when water pressure is lost do not just turn up the pump pressure switch. First diagnose the problem.

Amy, with no other information but that in your message it sounds as if there may be trouble with the well itself (running out of water), the well pump, or the pump controls.

Watch out: Don't just turn up the pump pressure control switch settings if your system has lost water pressure. Turning up pressure at the pressure control switch will not fix having run out of water and it can make the problem worse. For example, if you set the cut-off pressure higher than the pump can achieve then the pump motor may just keep running on until it burns up.

It is more important to first figure out why you lost water pressure. When the cause is diagnosed we'll know the proper repair needed.

Take a look at WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE as a starting point for figuring out what's wrong by looking a bit further into more clues. Let me know what you find or what specific questions arise and we'll be glad to research and comment further.

Question: water pressure lost when run the washing machine

(Sept 8, 2014) Chris said:
We lost all water pressure while running the washing machine. We replaced the tank/power supply switches(both 20yrs old) and it worked for a few hours. Could use showers, faucets, dishwasher and did 1 load of laundry. Started a 2nd load of laundry and lost all water pressure again. We have a private artesian well. What else could we try. Thanks



Is it really an artesian well? If so you might want to start by confirming that the well is continuing to push water to the surface on its own. Even then, you'll want to measure the well's flow rate. It's possible that the flow had declined.

Also some well pump switches will shut down the pump if the switch thinks the pump is running dry.

Question: lost water pressure after water turned dirty or nasty

(Dec 1, 2014) Anonymous said:
have a deep well submerged pump water turned nasty lost pressure now I have no water.replaced breakers and pressure switch and still have no water their is power going to pump and switch don't what to do now



An experienced well-pump plumber can perform some tests to determine if the motor is drawing normal current or not -which is a clue about whether the pump needs to be pulled and replaced. But the "water turned nasty" suggests that the well may have been pumped dry. If so and if it recovers then we've got an idea of the problem: reduced well recovery rate.

Question: water pressure starts off normally then slows to a trickle

Deirdre said:

We are having a problem with water flow in several bathrooms. While taking a shower, the water will slow down to a dribble, or get cold in my daughter's shower. In my son's bathroom, the water starts off with a normal flow, then reduces to a trickle.

In our master shower, the rain shower head starts off normal then trickles. Last night I went to take a bath and there was no water coming from the hot water faucet. It is random in all bathrooms. I don't see how it can be a valve problem since it is happening in three separate showers in the house, plus our tub. Where do we start?



In the More Reading links above see WATER PRESSURE VARIATION CAUSES

If the problem seems random or intermittent check for a debris clogged pressure switch or a well with a poor flow rate

Question: Water pressure switch set to 50/70 cut-in/cut-out for house and irrigation system. Now water pressure drops down to 10 psi. What's wrong?

I have an issue with my well. I have my pressure switch set to cut in at 50psi and cut out at 70psi. Its been this way for years. I run my house and an irrigation system and in the past never had a problem. The last I knew my well recovery was more than 16gpm. I have a lot of iron an have two filtration systems, one for the domestic water in the house and one for the irrigation system.

This year I'm having a problem maintaining pressure when the irrigation system is running. In the past the well maintained a constant 50 to 60 psi flow. Now it drops to as little as 10psi. I thought I had a pump and or yield problem. I bypassed all my filters and ran a facet wide open, approx 7gal/min for an hour and a half. Everything performed normally.

The pump kicked in at 50 psi and off at 70 psi. It pumped faster than the depletion rate. Now the puzzling part. I turned on my irrigation system and about 20 minutes in the pressure dropped below 30psi and would not build back up unless I turned the system off. At the time that I checked the water was metering under .5gal/minute. I'm perplexed. I would assume if the issue was pump or yield related I would have had a problem when I bypassed all the filters. Does anyone have a logical explanation for this. Thank you. - Tony

Reply: Check the water pressure switch mounting pipe nipple or switch pressure sensor port for debris clogging, or replace those parts

Tony from what you've said I wonder if your pressure sensor switch or its mounting tube are clogged with iron deposits? If the pressure control switch cannot accurately and quickly sense changes in pressure at its mounting point the pump behaviour may become erratic or even stop entirely. Try replacing the switch and cleaning or replacing its mounting tubing, and while you're at it look into those openings for evidence of clogging and let me know what you see (or send along a photo).

Question: Leaks found in well piping, now the pump is not working properly. What may be wrong?

My pump is 20+ years old, however it's been working fine. I recently replaced the pressure switch and it began working again. Tis past Saturday I discovered a hole in one pipe and I replaced the galvanised pipe and PVC. Again it worked fine. The next day the pump will not start and the zone solenoid was warm for the zone that was to be on. I'm at a loss. - Bernie

Reply: Leaks in well piping lose pressure & can let air and dirt into the system, clogging the controls or damaging the pump

Bernie: hole in the pipe ... was this a buried pipe? I wonder if dirt can have entered the system and plugged the pressure control switch. Try changing the switch and also checking its mounting tube for blockage.

Question: we have no water coming out of faucets - what do we check first?

water does not work how do i test pressure switch - Doug


Doug: under the article series titled WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE see these articles on installing, diagnosing, and repairing the pump pressure control switch:

Question: no water at all from our deep submersible pump well, Is there any way to tell if the pump is bad with out having to pull it completely out?

I have a private well 365' deep submersible pump approximately 9 yrs old. woke up this morning and have no water at all i replaced the pressure switch a few months ago.

There seems to be power going into the switch. Is there any way to tell if the pump is bad with out having to pull it completely out? - Joe 6/27/12


Joe, check the current draw using a clamp on ammeter to see what the pump is doing. That can detect a motor that is seizing. If the pump impeller is broken or damaged, the motor may run without being loaded - no unusual current draw; If it draws zip you've got an open wire; if there is no resistance between the wires they're shorted -


Watch out: to avoid death by electrocution or shorting and burning something up, some of these tests must be done with power off.

Question: the well suddenly went dry and I got an electric shock

I have an odd one for you.

I used to get a lot of taps on my chimney, so I grounded it with a utilities style grounding triangle – tied to the main on the house – seemed to solve the problem.

Sunday before july 4th I was in the basement with my bare foot on the concrete floor, on my computer.

We got tapped again, I yelled “YEOOOOWCH!” and then couldn’t breath in for a while, I was locked up. It felt like my mouse exploded in my hand. Then I was able to breathe again, with no apparent permanent effects – save feeling like I’d been pulling a semi truck all day.

Went upstairs and the wife heard the boom, but it was so close she didn’t hear me yell at all. Several battery backUPS were toasted. Both washing machines – oddly enough both wanted to fill and drain at the same time – although one wanted to spin too, and would not shut off until smoke came out of it. Half the halogen lights in the kitchen wouldn’t come on, the other half would not shut off?

And my well went dry.

That’s the one the insurance company won’t cover – but I had 65# of pressure before the tap – and now have none. The pump draws appropriately, no break in the water lines at all, you can't hear the well filling now - like you used to. The water has literally run out of the well – and it’s over 300 feet deep!

Anyway, I’m looking for information on others who may have had well problems after being tapped. Even if they won’t cover it I’d damned sure like to prove to them that it does happen. What other explanation would cause a 30 gal/min well to go dry overnight?

Got time to help with this? - Brent 7/7/2012


Watch out: apparently Brent you're dealing with an electrical shock hazard and possible death by electrocution.

Brent, certainly improper electrical grounding, improper lightning protection installation, shorts and shocks can kill you as well as damaging your equipment, including a pump relay, motor, even the well casing itself.

If a lightning hit knocked out your well pump controls, wiring, pump motor, or even split the well casing, any of those problems would mean that you've lost water completely at your building. A shorted well pump wire could have a similar effect. See WATER PUMP WIRING DAMAGE

Question: lost water pressure, storage tank empty, reset pump and it came back on

Just replaced old water pump and pressure tank (& pipes) with new pump (no more pressure tank)and also new circuit box and breakers.
All has worked well for a couple weeks. This AM no water- the deep well switch had tripped, and the storage tank was nearly empty.

So something caused the breakers to trip, shutting off well pump. After a reset, well pump came on, and is now filling tank again.

Question: what would cause it to trip? we did not have a larger than normal electricity drain, nor were we using extra amount of water.

Is the new stuff putting a drain or something on the older stuff? (the deep pump and its lines?)
Any ideas appreciated! - BTP 7/22/12

Follow up- spoke with plumber- he thinks it is likely the deep pump circuit box-'pumptech'

if I reset- it will run for a few minutes and shut off-
Sadly- its sunday and where i live the one place that might carry replacement is closed.

Any tricks or things to try? Or is it likely the circuit board is simply fried?
Its probably 25 to 20 years old


Gary, I'd start by replacing the questionable control switch. You might also check the current draw of the pump to see if you can detect a bad pump motor or a wiring short.

Watch out: there are death by electrocution hazards when messing with electrical wiring.

Question: we are on a well and no water comes out at the taps

My water is not coming out of the taps i am on a well , - Theresa


Theresa, take a look at WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE for a list of no-water diagnostics

Question: no water in the house but water at an outside spigot

(Apr 3, 2014) michelle said:

when we woke up this am we had no water anywhere in our house or at our well pump. my husband just cleaned the contacts at the pressure tank and now we have water in the house but still no water coming out of well spicket. Any suggestions on why this would occur?


Michelle. If there is water in the building, then it's clear that not having water at an outdoor spigot is not likely to be due to the earlier no-water condition. Check for a shutoff valve that's remained closed; another possibility, seems less likely to me, is a debris clog in the piping.

Also look for a clogged water filter.

Follow the water piping. I'll bet you will see that the outside hose spigot is taken off of a water supply line ahead of other water treatment equpment such as a filter, water softener, or water conditioner.

Question: pump motor froze, got it to run, broke off pressure sensing tube,

(Apr 20, 2014) Jesse Oatrander said:

Inherited a house with a well system about a year ago. Pump was frozen (the motor, it was summer time) gut it to run and start pumping water to the house. Had excellent pressure. Had to give up during the winter but started again this summer.

When I I was preparing to get the system running again this spring I broke the line off of the air volume control valve and now have no pressure to the house.. Well fluxing between 8-12 psi. Replaced valve, but cannot find tubing to replace the line to the pump, but from what I understand this should not be causing the issue.

Only thing that had changed from what I can see is the avc line. Also multiple people suggesting to replace pressure switch, but the pump is turning on though some are saying it actually creates the pressure as well, but it looks to me like a check switch.. Bellow threshold. Turn on. Above. Turn off type deal.



The air volume control "line" or tubing, depending on just what we're talking about, if it failed, would probably show up as loss of air charge in the pressure tank and short cycling pump on and off operation - that in turn could of course burn up a pump or its pressure control switch.

The pump pressure control switch turns the pump on and off - if the pump runs but you have no water pressure then you need to go back to one of these two articles in the ARTICLE INDEX given at the end of this article:



Question: water smells like earth, lost water pressure, pipes clogged with black particles

(May 25, 2014) Amy said:

Woke up to water having a very earthy smell. Water pressure stopped working. Newer softener system and AIO tank, 1 year old.

Had service man look at and he found both pipes to be clogged with what looked like shredded black plastic with dirt around it? Said he has never seen before. He got everything working again. One day later, water pressure stopped again.

A trickle is coming out of faucets? Any suggestions on who to call to resolve problem?



Sorry to say this sounds as if plastic components somewhere are being shredded, OR this is a new piping installation that left plastic debris in the supply piping.

If it's an older system I'd look for trouble inside the well pump.

If it's a problem on hot water only I'd look for a failing plastic dip tube in a water heater tank.

The dirt description, however, suggests a damaged well casing that's letting debris into the well. For that diagnosis you need a well company who can use a camera to inspect the well casing.

Question: pressure falls to zero before the pump engages; delayed pump start

(June 22, 2014) Steve C. said:

I have a deep well (430'). The pump is over 15 years old. My problem is that when if hit the low pressure cut in at 30psi, the pressure switch engages normally but the pressure continues to drop all the way to zero. It takes about 15 seconds after the switch engages for water to start flowing into the pressure tank at which time the recovery seems fine

. I also watched the pressure gauge for about 30 minutes with no water draw in the house and it seemed to drop less tan 1psi. One other note is when the water pressure returns, I get a lot of air in the system.


Interesting question.

If the pressure gauge is on the house side of the pump and controls, seeing no pressure drop when nothing is running suggests that there is no leak on the house side of any pump, controls, or check valves, but doesn't rule out a leaky well pipe or foot valve and loss of prime or problem with air volume controls.

If the pressure gauge is on the well side of house tank and pump controls and there is no pressure drop then that does argue against a leak in the well piping or foot valve.

Look for debris clogging of the sensor port on the pressure control switch - or try just replacing the switch and the connector tube that allows it to sense water pressure and let us know if that works.

Question: can a bad pressure regulator cause loss of all water pressure?

(July 13, 2014) Doyle said:

Can the pressure reducer valve get out of adjustment or go bad and no water flow thru it.
I have water at the shut off valve which is just before pressure reducing valve but none in the house at any outlet. No water leaks can be detected anywhere.



Pressure regulators can fail - though usually the failure results in an unwanted increase in water pressure, depending on the product sure, it might clog and block flow.


(July 27, 2014) Ben Seguin said:

My water system consist of a submersible pump with pressure tanks. The pump is about 15 years old but the tank and control are just over 1 year old. The systems works fine most of the time except when we happen to create a large water demand - shower, dish washing and flushing the toilet at at once.

IN that instance the control trip off and we loose all water pressure in the house. We then have to go to the control and reset the pump by using the small lever on the side of the control. Could use trouble shooting advice.



From what you describe most likely the control is working properly, protecting the pump from damage by shutting the system down when your well is running out of water - when the demand exceeds the well flow rate. When you wait a time for well to recover the pump is then OK. Some pump pressure control switches require manual reset.


for details.


(Aug 6, 2014) sandy said:

the breaker switch shut off and then I flipped it back on and had water for a couple hours then off the switch went again. now this morning the switch is still on and I have no water coming in the house at all.



when a circuit breaker keeps tripping off we figure there is a real overcurrent on the circuit - an unsafe condition for which the breaker is doing its job. The problem could be a shorted wire or a motor that is failing, drawing high current.

I would leave the circuit off (avoiding a fire risk), and call a well plumber to test and inspect and fix.


(Aug 7, 2014) toni said:

Pump motor was loud so we replaced it then we had intermediate water pressure. Found a leak under holding tank, replaced tank still have intermediate water pressure. Pump keeps sucking air but we don't find any other leaks. Any suggestions?


Search InspectApedia for "Air Discharge at Faucets" to see a diagnostic procedure that may explain the trouble you describe. Either the pump is actually drawing air from within the well (low well water, missing safety controls), or there is a leak in piping or there is an old snifter valve or other air volume control that needs to be removed or replaced.

Question: pump only runs if bypass switch is held

(Dec 17, 2014) Shannon said:
Our well suddenly stopped giving us water one night. We tried resetting the switch the way we do when the power goes out and that did not work. The only time we got water was when the bypass switch was held.

So we got a new pressure switch twice (thinking the first replacement must be bad too) but are still only getting water when the bypass switch is held on. We have checked and could find no blockages in the pipe leading to the pressure switch. What else might be wrong with it and how might we be able to fix it?



ask your plumber or well repair company to check the current draw of the well pump and check for a damaged pump, binding motor, damaged pump impeller, or low voltage.

Question: water came out blue

(Jan 11, 2015) mary said:
yesterday we had water pressure n then all of a sudden the water cane out blue and we had no water pressure at all does anyone have any ideas to help us?


Blue water? If your home has a water softener or water treatment equipment I'd start checking there. Try putting that equipment in bypass mode temporarily and also check for clogged faucet strainers.

Copper can also give blue-looking water, for example if there were copper oxide deposits that were disturbed anywhere in the water system.

Question: effects on water pipes if power loss in low temperatures

(Feb 13, 2015) pris said:
what happens to water pipes if there is a power loss in very low temps

sorry, meant power loss to well and very cold temps


The risk is frozen, burst pipes, water damage, etc.

Question: well pit cover left off means frozen pipes and no water

(Feb 15, 2015) Robert Martin said:
I came home after being away for 3 days. No water! It has been really cold. My pressure tank is in my crawl space, I thought I might have a frozen line coming into the tank, but pipes are very warm after heating them up.

The pressure gauge is reading 0psi and the pressure in the tank is 23psi. I am stumpped, looking for any suggestions or thoughts. I was thinking I might have bad pressure switch. The house is new construction less than 6 years old. I don't think problem is inside pipes.

I have a filter whit a shut off before the filter (after the pressure tank) and one after the filter. When I shut the valve off just after the pressure tank and leave the valve open after the filter, water drains from house into filter. When I reverse it I get no flow and 0psi on pressure gauge. No flow when they are both open and gauge is 0psi for everything. Thanks.

(Feb 16, 2015) Robert Martin said:
Figured it out. One of the kids this summer moved the cover to expose to well. It froze where the water pipe comes out of the well then goes into the ground. A little heat and about 500-600 feet of extention cord and walla!


Good going Robert.

In a similar case years ago we found that adding even a small amount of heat - a 75W incandescent bulb - did the trick of preventing the controls and pipes in the well pit from freezing in bitter cold weather. Keep the kids out of the well pit anyway. What the heck are they doing in there? No, don't tell me.

Question: loss of water pressure traced to pipe leak

1 March 2015 Mike said:

Hi, I have a question. I have a problem with my water well. The pump is deep and is about three years old and the pressure switch/control box and pressure tank are about two years old.

Everything has been working great until today. Capacitor in control box looks intact and there is electricty going to pressure switch contacts and I can hear/feel the vibration from the pump but there is almost no water pressure.

When I close the output valve after the pressure tank, the well pumps up to around 35PSI.

I turned off power to the pump and it seems to be holding pressure ok. When I turn power back on and open the output valve the pressure stays up for 30 secs and then drops to zero and will not rise until I shut off the water valve. I can feel the pump turning the whole time, and I don't see any major water leaks further down the line.



It can be tricky to diagnose a submersible pump, but there's some help.

Some pressure control switches will shut down the pump if it's pumping air, and other more sophisticated pump controls will detect various pumping problems and also protect the equipment.

Without opening the well or doing more diagnostics we aren't sure if the problem is the pump, the well, the piping.

  1. I'd start by checking the voltage to the pump, then the current draw when the pump is running - see ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE in More Reading links above.
  2. If you have to pull the well pump check for a clogged or damaged impeller.
  3. Also have you checked that there is no burst pipe [e.g. a leaky pipe or pipe connection] or open fixture downstream of the water pressure tank?

mike said:

update to previous question, I am able to partially close the water valve to stock up on water but am only able to acheive 10-15PSI before the pump cuts out, it is steady until flow rate reaches a certain breaking point.

I can still hear/feel the pump vibrating through the well housing top even when it cuts out. I'm guessing the problem won't be solved unless the submersible pump is pulled? Please confirm.

(mod) said:

It sounds as if you are getting minimal pump output.

YOu can do the electrical checks I noted before pulling the pump;

We don't yet know if the problem is pump problems or low well water flow rate.

I suspect ultimately you'll need to pull the pump and also to check the well water level and the foot valve.

Also watch for well piping leaks

Mike said:

update to problem, Well service came out and everything tested ok. They say there is a leak after the well house. It took some investigating but there was a pipe underground at the far end of the property that had popped loose. It was a simple fix with some PVC primer and glue. I suppose I underestimated the time it takes to pressure up to 50 psi when I was trying to troubleshoot the well. Thank you for your help. Case Closed.

(mod) said:

Thanks for the follow-up mike and on reminding everyone that leaks can be tricky to locate.

Question: replaced pump and lots of parts but we still have no water.

Hello! So my old pump died. so i got a new one. replaced it with a Unti-Tech Convertible Jet Pump.

It worked and then stopped. now the pump is new and has new Piping to the well. New pressure gauge. The well seal is new. The Hose is cleaned out and the jet is new with long jet inserted into it. A new foot valve.

My pressure switch is 40/60 and My bladder tank is at 38.5 psi. I replaced everything from pump to well I have NO WATER!! the pump is a 2 hole jet pump.Ive filled the the hoses at the top of the well seal up with water and primed the pump as well each time. Ive checked the wring to the pressure switch and haven't adjusted it at all due to it being preset to my bladder tank.

Could it be a broke pipe to the house?
Thanks in advance


Could be a broken pipe between well and house, but I'd try priming the pump more effectively using our garden hose method if you have a close neighbour.

See PRIME the PUMP using a GARDEN HOSE as a place to start.

Question: water pressure keeps declining

(July 7, 2015) Sherry said:
Hello, we have a well and for the last week the water pressure kept getting less and less, my fiance found that one of the outdoor faucets had a leak and replaced it, the next day we had water and then within an hour no water at all. I am by myself my fiance is at work for long hours and there is no professional available for a couple of days, I need water or all of my plants are going to die. Please advise.


Sherry if your running water has exhausted the well it may recover n 24 hours of little or no use. But if you ran the pump while dry it may be damaged and u able to deliver water.

Question: run out of water when watering plants

20 July 2015 Anonymous said:
water plants for 1 hour no water inside house turn water off and water comes back on why


You are running your well out of water or a pump motor is overheating and shutting off on thermal reset (or something else I've not considered)

Question: how to get a longer pump on-cycle

5 Aug 2015 Josh ( Mountain Well Water) FIXED!! said:

Thanks for all the help guys!! The first pump was tested and had a mechanical malfunction. The second one had a bad injector. The power to the well house was always turned off unless a test was being ran. Furthermore I was rewarded with a full refund on first pump and the second pump I was rewarded with exchange.

After this I decided to do a shallow well attempt instead of deep well. I now have 1 pipe to the house (discharge tee placement) and a pipe from the pump( Injector On assembly) to well. After this I took off the additional pipes and have foot valve and cycle stop valve with control box installed,(3 way) 30\50 pressure switch, (on pump instead of hose line to switch) and the bladder tank at 28.5 psi.

After using the blue glue I made a final check of the 2 pipes and all connections and made my electric connections secure. I primed the pump and did a operation test. i did get to 10 psi on first attempt. After 82 gallons of priming water I can now say i FIXED IT and working GREAT :-) :-)!

Now I do have a question. Can I do a longer cycle? Example: 30 psi cut in/on and 55 psi cut out/off?? Now with all my issues fixed I would like to look out for "short cycling". I wanna say thank you to everyone for the help and a special thanks to DanJoeFriedMan for sticking in there with me! Hope to hear from you soon!


Nice going, Josh and thanks for the follow-up.

You can get a longer pump on-cycle by

- installing a larger pressure tank

- spreading the cut-in and cut out pressures as you describe. Just don't set the cut-out higher than the pump can achieve, and when setting the cut-in down lower check that your building water pressure remains adequate on the upper floors.

30/55 is within the range of most pumps. You could even go to 20/50 or 20/55 if pressure is adequate at the low end.

Installing low flow rate plumbing fixtures will also slow your water usage rate and give the pump and well a bit of a break.

(July 27, 2015) Joshua (Well Water) said:

So I Got the water running. The Discharge Tee on top of the pump had to turned down to set flow. Also Pressure switch had sediments in line. Now as i got the water back on i had some faucet issues in kitchen and bathroom. I took the kitchen hose off and cleaned out the head of the handheld.

As for the bathroom. The toilet had some trash in it so i bought a new Korky Quiet Fill to replace. for the shower/tub. I Have a old 70s set up it has a new retractable shower head and new tub faucet but the water cut on is a round stem u could say. So Now the hot works great but the cold doesn't it runs but slow.

Clogged line? Air lock? FOR THE GRAND FINALE! As I was trying to fix this issue the water stopped!! The pump wont cut on!

All Pressue is at 0 in home. Did the step by step check and will still not come on. Could a new pump go bad this quick? burnt up? Thanks for the help in the last post and thanks for all in this one who helps

(July 27, 2015) (mod) said:
Thanks for the update Joshua.

It's no surprise that faucet strainers or toilet fill valves and shower heads would have been clogged, and usually an easy clean-up fix.

When hot pressure is good but cold flow rate is poor we can but guess that there is a clog at a pipe elbow or valve. It's not air lock as water pressure would force air through the lines and out at the nearest plumbing fixture.

Subseqent loss of all water pressure suggests further debris clogging. If your water source is silty even a new pressure swtich could become clogged rather quickly.

(July 30, 2015) Josh ( Mountain Well Water) said:

First of all I wanna say thanks for all the help. I redid a complete well pump with piping, pressure switch, pressure gauge, discharge tee with pressure indicator (Water tube from pump to tee). Replaced my 1970s shower/tub valve with a new one and all new fixtures.

After installation I did a pressure check for all faults and to check gauges for correct psi levels cut on and off with the 38 psi tank pressure and a 40/60 cut off. This was correct and works great. This morning I woke up and it was again fine.

Then I put on a load of laundry and after water cycled I was makin a bath for my children. the water pressure was giving out! I quickly ran to see the gauge in the basement near bladder tank and it was falling to 0.

The pump was VERY HOT at the pump house and it was doing the same but didn't go to 0 but stayed up about 0 due to the water pump pressure. I have several cut off valves thru the house One at pump house on line to the house. next is the one at the bladder tank.

next is at tee that goes to basement bedroom and rest of house. for the next one is at the water heater. lastly I have two on the cold and hot right under the bathroom which I installed just yesterday for further access and easier cut off for that room.

So in a nutshell i have all room with water I can cut off. I checked all of these to make sure no leak, or block was the problem.

So my question now is how come by pump is getting hot?

the pump house itself is about the size of a good size shed (Sorry don't have exact measurements) and the old pump didn't never just get hot. Now I did remove the pipe foam when installing this new pump. So the pipes are exposed but I do belive thats only for winter??? So what do i do? more air flow?

aim fan on pump? My well house has good installation in the wall I have a battery powered LED light and radio mounted in wall so its not to shabby and as for the rest is just ground and the well. So whats my options? New pump due to overheating? For adequate air flow? or ? thanks again!

(July 30, 2015) (mod) said:

Watch out: SHUT OFF THE PUMP if you have not already done so, so as to avoid burning it up.

f the well has lost prime the pump can run dry, hot, and may be damaged, thence losing the ability to pump water. I'm assuming this is a 1-line or 2-line jet pump.

I can't quite guess if the problem is the well running out of water (poor flow rate) or a piping leak, bad foot valve, loss of prime. I'd start by checking the pump to see if the pump housing is full of water or empty.

I'd also check the voltage being delivered to the pump (low voltage can cause trouble for some motors)

The fact that you've had previous debris problems could indicate

- low water in the well, poor flow rate, or a damaged, leaky well casing

- clogs at controls and switches

(July 30, 2015) Anonymous said:

Thanks for all the help guys. Pump housing is full. Voltage is good. checked the new well seal and no leaks there or on pipe. discharge tee has what looks like leak but may be sweat from heat. its 90 where I am now and the building is probably about 100+.

the pump and water heater is turned off until i get i narrow it down more.

so with water in housing and voltage good where does that leave me? As before all the components from pump to well is new. Can i upload pics or videos? It might help.

(July 31, 2015) (mod) said:
Josh use the CONTACT link at page bottom to send us some photos. My email is there.

An electrician would at this point check the current draw of the pump for a clue about a motor problem causing high current causing overheating.

(Aug 3, 2015) Josh said:

To begin with I wanna say this becoming a nuisance!! The old pump burned up, now my new pump died!

I got a new 1/2 hp this time. After the install it gave 20 psi to the house. so I checked the all the lines again under the well seal. Making sure to replace a already new but 3 month old foot valve. Making sure all connections was correct and leak proof.

After this put it all back together and did a re test. Now it's below 20 and the pressure is jumping The pressure switch isnt jumping but almost like not enough to get to pressure switch.

After cutting it off u can hear the water going back and forth. So Im back to no to VERY little pressure/water help? I did a measure depth test also. My well is 40 Ft with 33 foot of water leaving 7 foot from seal to top of water.

(Aug 4, 2015) (mod) said:

Certainly it's worse thatn a nuisance.

STOP just replacing pumps. It sounds as if there is either a control problem or the well is running out of water. You cannot allow a pump to keep running dry or it will be destroyed.

There are several approaches to protecting a pump from burn-up: a tailpiece in the well that recirculates water through the system for submersible pumps, or a pump protection switch that operates at the pump above ground.

A 33 foot static head in the well is about 150 gallons of water that can be pumped. After that quantity you are running on the flow-rate of water into the well. You may need to do a well flow test.


and see

(Aug 5, 2015) Josh( Mountain Well Water) FIXED!! said:

Thanks for all the help guys!! The first pump was tested and had a mechanical malfunction.

The second one had a bad injector. The power to the well house was always turned off unless a test was being ran. Furthermore I was rewarded with a full refund on first pump and the second pump I was rewarded with exchange.

After this I decided to do a shallow well attempt instead of deep well. I now have 1 pipe to the house (discharge tee placement) and a pipe from the pump( Injector On assembly) to well. After this I took off the additional pipes and have foot valve and cycle stop valve with control box installed,(3 way) 30\50 pressure switch, (on pump instead of hose line to switch) and the bladder tank at 28.5 psi.

After using the blue glue I made a final check of the 2 pipes and all connections and made my electric connections secure. I primed the pump and did a operation test. i did get to 10 psi on first attempt. After 82 gallons of priming water I can now say i FIXED IT and working GREAT :-) :-)!

Now I do have a question. Can I do a longer cycle? Example: 30 psi cut in/on and 55 psi cut out/off?? Now with all my issues fixed I would like to look out for "short cycling". I wanna say thank you to everyone for the help and a special thanks to DanJoeFriedMan for sticking in there with me! Hope to hear from you soon!

(Aug 6, 2015) (mod) said:
Nice going, Josh and thanks for the follow-up.

You can get a longer pump on-cycle by

- installing a larger pressure tank

- spreading the cut-in and cut out pressures as you describe. Just don't set the cut-out higher than the pump can achieve, and when setting the cut-in down lower check that your building water pressure remains adequate on the upper floors.

30/55 is within the range of most pumps. You could even go to 20/50 or 20/55 if pressure is adequate at the low end.

Question: Private well has completely quit in the house and low water pressure outside

(May 6, 2015) Donna said:
My private well has completely quit in the house when I am filling water tanks outside for my livestock and the pressure is very low outside when filling the livestock tanks.

When I turn off the outside water and go back in the house and turn water on, it spits and is weak for a few seconds then goes back to where it always has been in the house. I used to be able to fill livestock tanks and have running water in the house so what has happened?



It may be that the well flow rate has deteriorated. But there could also be a leak in well piping anywhere in the system or a damaged pump or even low voltage to the pump.

Start by determining that there is electrical power to the pump.

Question: no water unless I run two taps

(Sept 16, 2015) dave said:
Having problems with pressure pump. No water coming out of tap unless I turn on two taps at once. Once flowing it will turn pump on and off.


Check for a pressure control switch that needs replacement - perhaps it's not turning on the pump.

Question: no water for our pets and I don't hear the pump

(Nov 3, 2015) Mary said:
This morning I went to give water to the pets and no water came out of the tap. I checked circuit breakers all was fine.

Went to the crawl space and found pressure gage near bladder tank read 10#. I don't know where to start looking for the problem. I do not hear pump.the pump is most likely age of the house which puts it at 24 yrs. the pump is submersible. Can you give me an idea of cost to replace and install new pump.

My location is central NJ. The bladder tank and switch were replaced about ten years ago. Could the gage be wrong, I ask as there is some rust forming, it's damp in the crawl space.


You need some diagnosis before replacing anything: the problem could be lost power, an open switch, a broken wire, a bad pressure sensor, bad switch, bad pump, or loss of well water.

An on-site experienced well plumber can help sort that out, or you can look at common causes of the problem you describe by searching (search box at page top or bottom) for LOST WATER PRESSURE or NO WATER PRESSURE and you'll see an organized list of things to check.

Question: new pressure switch but no water pressure

(Nov 18, 2015) Alvin said:
if the tank pressure was checked and found to be less than 2psi. If the pressure control switch and pressure gage is changed and power is re-established but nothing happens could that be because the tank has to have higher pressure to activate the contacts on the pressure switch?


If the water system pressure is below the cut-in pressure set at the switch then the switch should turn on the pump. But your pump may have lost prime. See WATER PUMP PRIMING PROCEDURE

Question: no water pressure after changing the water heater elements

(Jan 31, 2016) Anonymous said:
had to change hot water elements, turned water back on and filled up hot water tank, now neither cold of hot water have pressure, when turned on faucets at first alot of air came out and like i said no pressure


Check for a pump that has lost prime or is not turning on at the switch.

Question: Mitzie has no water

(Aug 22, 2015) No water said:
Hello! I need help! We had a storm 3 days ago where we lost power. Our water was working fine but we didn't use much because we were at work all day long. But yesturday I went to fill a kiddy pool and do dishes and noticed I was losing water pressure.

Now I have no water at all plus my gauge says zero pressure. I first went to the breaker box and it was fine. I did flip the breaker just to reset it but still nothing. I do have a well and everything should be around 10 years old. Can you please help me? I am hoping it is something we can fix and it's not the well. Can it be the pressure tank or the pressure switch?? Thanks in advance! Mitzie


No water after a storm often means that a lightning strike hit a well or power line or that an other electrical disturbance damaged a pump switch or controller. Rarely a lighing strike hits a well casing and causes it to split leading to loss of water (pump runs but no water is delivered in that case)

But a common problem that is easy to fix is loss of prime.

A bad foot valve in the well or check valve in the piping system leaks water back into the well. When you have power the pump cycles on and re-primes the system periodically even though this leak has been ongoing. But during a power loss the re-priming never occurs and you totally lose prime.

Search for "HOW TO PRIME THE WELL" to try fixing this problem using one of several pump priming methods.

(Aug 22, 2015) Anonymous said:
Thanks for responding. Do you have to prime a well if the pump is submerged?


No. In that case most common is damge to electrical parts though there cn also be a problem can be leaks in well piping or damage to a well casing caused by a lightning strikes.

Question: water pressure drops below 10 psi

(Sept 12, 2015) Lauren said:
I have been having well issues for about 5 days.

The trouble is that increasingly over the past 5 days, water pressure has been going lower than 10 psi, no water comes into the house at that point. THis is happening in the daytime starting about 7 am and continuing through about 530 to 8 pm.

The well tank is also empty at that point. We had a switch installed that will now shut down the pump at 30 psi. Today I shut off the water to the house for about 9 hours because of this problem,I noticed pressure at around 20 psi.

NO water came into the tank all day! We thought the well must be dry. Suddenly at 830 pm it started rapidly filling the tank and pump came on, by 9 pm tank was full and we had 60 psi. Now we have had nice water flow and pressure for about 4 hours.

We even did laundry and took shower etc. My question is, what could cause this? What should we do about it? Thank you!

I also meant to say, this is a continuing pattern over the last 5 days that got increasingly worse each day. I am just so perplexed because if the well were dry how could it possibly fill from NOTHING to full and 60 PSI in 1/2 hour after being empty and no pressure all day?

Also we notice that the tank when full but shut off to house, will continue to lose tank pressure How can this be if water to house is shut off? Does this mean there is a leak somewhere or ? THanks



If the pump switch is not turning on the well pump then the problem is probably the switch itself, or the tube or pipe that conducts water pressure to the switch: one of those may be debris clogged.

Indeed it sounds as if the switch is clogged or sticking.


(Oct 4, 2015) satomi said:
Hi, We changed the water sensor and it seemed to work fine for a week but now it still shuts off when the water pressure is reduced. what could be another problem that is causing this to happen.

(Nov 3, 2015) Nind said:
To replace a hot water boiler, I shut off the water main empty all the water from the pipes and replace the water boiler now I have no water pressure in the entire house after replacing the boiler what could it posably be?


Just a guess, but if you lose water pressure after turning water off in a building, and if you are on a private well system, then I suspect your pump may have lost prime due to a bad foot valve or check valve.

Question: no water in some building areas

(Feb 15, 2016) Richard M. said:
I have no cold running water but the rest of my building does.


Sounds like a valve closed or a pipe clogged.

Question: trouble filling a large walk-in bath tub

(Mar 16, 2016) Sealevel said:
I just installed a walk-in tub. Turned faucet on. Our deep well water pump runs for awhile, and then shuts off. Pressure dial reads 0.

I push the pressure switch closed a few times and eventually it starts up and runs normally, 30 to 50 PSI.
The tub has a very large fill rate. Is my pump just too small?


I don't know, sea level, but I suspect that's your tub fill rate exceeds the flow rate of your well. That's not a pump problem, it's a well and water flow rate problem.

Question: pump kept losing prime, now pump won't run

(Mar 17, 2016) Jason said:
The well pump was running constantly because it lost prime due to a power outage (I guess). Someone unplugged the pump to shut it off. Now we have plugged it back in, primed it, and pump wont come on at all. Tried shutting off and on breaker. still nothing.



Please search for WELL PUMP WON'T STOP RUNNING and also for WELL PUMP WON'T RUN to read detailed diagnosis and repair suggestions.

I suspect a burned-up pump motor or control relay.


(Mar 28, 2016) Anonymous said:
Pump runs but no water pressure...What is the problem?


Perhaps a damaged impeller or burst, badly-leakng well piping.

Question: How to start well pump again after it stops

2016/07/12 Anonymous said:
How to start well pump again after it stops.


Anonymous: if your well pump has stopped and won't run on its own there are two articles here that will help you out; please take a look at the following and let me know if questions remain - these articles were located by searching InspectApedia for "PUMP WON'T RUN"




Chances are there is a pump protection switch that needs to be manually reset, perhaps at the pressure control switch.

Or a thermal overload switch built into the pump is shutting it off - and will re-set itself after the pump cools down.

Question: cleaned well switch points with sandpaper but still no water

2016/07/14 Melissa said:
My well has pressure gauge 40 psi and points are not in gauged. I have cleaned the points with sandpaper. But still no water in the house. What could be my issue?


Melissa, if the pump control switch is closing and turning on the pump then the switch isn't the problem. However, sandpapering the pump pressure control switch relay contacts isn't a durable repair.

Question: every time we turn on the water hose outside we lose water in the house

2016/07/15 Michelle said:
Our well is 14 years old and we have always had great water pressure but this summer (past 2 maths or so) every time we turn on the water hose outside we lose water in the house. Any idea So?


I suspect either reduced pump output - e.g. a damaged impeller or a leak in well piping - or less likely unless this has been a longer-standing issue, clogged piping. A leak in well piping can also produce this problem as can low voltage at the pump.


Continue reading at WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.


Also see LOW WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - water pressure is weak

Also see WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS FAQs - various odd water pressure problerms: comes and goes, air bubbles, other

Or see this

Water Pressure & Water Pump Article Series Contents

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NO WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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