One Line Jet Pump (C) Daniel Friedman Water Pressure Diagnostic Table FAQs
Troubleshoot water pumps & water pressure

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Questions & answers about diagnosing problems with water pressure:

These FAQs help diagnose the reason that a water pump or well pump won't start, won't stop, or cycles on and off too often.

This article series provides a series of 3 tables giving step by step checklist for diagnosing water pressure, water pump, and water well problems. We give diagnostic and repair procedures for both municipal water supply problems and well water supply problems.

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FAQs on Diagnosing Poor Water Pressure from a Pump & Well System

These questions & answers about how to figure out why a water pump won't start running, won't stop running, or runs switching on and off too often were posted originally at TABLE 1: PUMP WON'T RUN, WON'T STOP, or CYCLES - so you will want to be sure to review that advice, or start right at the top: WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE.

On 2017-06-04 by Mod - good pressure inside the pump but the pump doesn't draw water

Yes Peter a check valve could be stuck but the problem could also be a clogged foot valve.

On 2017-06-03 by Peter

Lots of pressure in impeller/difusor compartment, but does not suck or discharge water - Do you think there could be a stuck check valve?

On 2017-05-26 by (mod) re: what to do if the pump won't stop


Use the website search box found just above to find our Diagnostic and repair particle that's best for the problem you describe: WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING

Please take a look at that article and let me know how well that works for you. If you have further questions don't hesitate to ask and will be glad to research and advise further.

On 2017-05-26 00:06:52.207795 by Annie

My pump won't stop running but pressure shows 0!?
First time dealing with a well

On 2017-05-13 23:47:08.420780 by (mod)


Please see the diagnostic suggestions at

And let me know how that works for you, or if you have additional questions

On 2017-05-13 22:27:56.170959 by Linda

We cannot get pressure above 25 and it drops when we turn it off. Thus, the water tank will not fill up. We have inspected the lines and there are no leaks, we have replaced the foot valve. The pump can pump water into the cottage, however the tank will never fill, so we have to keep shutting off the pump or it will continuously run. Do you think we should go a buy a new tank, ie, the bladder is collapsed, or do you think it is the pump itself and we should call someone to take it apart

On 2017-05-06 16:52:18.845672 by (mod)

When the pump delivers water but cannot reach the cut-off pressure, I suspect a damaged pump impeller, or low flow of water into the well, or a leak in well piping, or less common - low voltage to the pump.

If you use the search box just above to search this website for the article


You will see a more detailed list of causes and cures

On 2017-05-05 by (mod) re: primed the tanks but still don't have water; water pressure doesn't build above 32 psi

Doug if the pump has been properly primed and can't deliver water one can suspect that either there's a gross well piping leak or the well is out of water - OR the foot valve is leaking back into the well and you're actullally losing pump prime. (We don't prime water tanks we prime the pump) -

Search InspectApedia using the box just above to find our articles on HOW TO PRIME THE PUMP to see alternative ways to attack the problem

Bean: if your pump can't reach the cutoff pressure either you're out of water, have leaky pipes, or the pump or its impeller is damaged (or there's low voltage delivered to the pump) (or something else in our table above).

Also see WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING as if a pump can't reach cut-off pressure that's what's likely to happen.

On 2017-05-05 by Doug

Have primed both tanks and still no water.

On 2017-05-04 by Bean

Water pressure is suppose to build up to 50 and shut off at 30 but stays at 32 so cones on and off.

On 2017-04-21 by (mod)

I can't tell from your brief question, Amitanshu. Please try going through the steps in the diagnostic table WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE

On 2017-04-20 by amitanshu singh

Today i am instoled samersibleIn my bore start samersible after Few min. Water pressure Done please tell me what is the problem

On 2017-04-12 by (mod) re: water pump doesn't turn on the pump even though pressure is below the CUT IN setting

When a water pump control doesn't turn on the pump when pressure drops below the CUT IN I suspect a bad or debris clogged pressure control switch.

See WATER PUMP WON'T START for a table of diagnostics

On 2017-04-09 by KandeHorse

We have a borehole pump to a 5000L tank raised about 2m off the ground, and then an on demand pump with a pressure switch; all on a level plot. It all works fine for everything at ground level, baths, sinks, outdoor taps etc. To run water from the shower, which outlets only 1m above the sink, you have to run a tap in the bath or the sink to kick the pump into action.

We thought it was the pressure switch, so we got a new one, but the problem persists. The pipes are fine and the pressure out of the shower head is at full power when the pump is on. What could it be? My thoughts are that we have quite a lot of piping out to various outdoor taps in the stable yard, could the pressure drop be absorbed by the rest of the system?
Any help is appreciated as this has me and my mate scratching our heads. Thank you.

On 2017-03-26 by (mod) re: when to replace debris clogged pressure control switch and tubing or nipple

I'd replace the pressure control switch and be sure that the tube or pipe bringing water pressure to the switch is not clogged.

On 2017-03-26 by george

my shallow well pump goes to proper pressure 40 then after pump stops it goes down to under 30 it goes on when using and stops but it goes on very often unike before is the pump dying?

On 2017-03-10 by (mod) re: where to look if the pump won't turn off


Common diagnoses and repairs for a pump that doesn't shut off are at WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING

On 2017-03-10 by Aaron

Have a well with two houses on it. Had low pressure. Pump running constantly but not pressure, no loss of well water. Disconnected pump, doesn't seem to be putting out much water (3 hp, 12 year old pump). Put in new pump. Pressure started to build at both houses to about 25 pounds then stopped. Pump keeps running. Each house has its own pressure tank.

On 2017-03-04 by (mod) re: shorted the pressure control switch contacts - now what?

I'm not sure what has happened, or what you did, Jim, but if you shorted the pump control even briefly you may have damaged the control, the pump, or the wiring.

Separately, if you changed the pressure switch adjustment nuts inside the switch, you want to search for PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL SWITCH ADJUSTMENT to see how to get the switch properly-set again.

On 2017-03-04 by Jim

I was adjusting water pressure on my pressure switch when I touch a hot wire pop breaker switch. I turn switch back on and and it still run but it only goes to 20 lbs pressure . What can I do now. Thanks

On 2017-02-01 by bahbah

Water is installed with pressure booster to force the cold water to bathrooms..At the same time the solar water heater also is installed where hot water has to go to the bathrooms.

The problem is that sometime the cold water where the pressure booster is install push the cold water to the bathrooms and goes back to the solar tank and from the solar tank it goes back to the cold water tank, which is a reverse process, for that reason the water in the solar tank is not heater since water is not heated if not used also.

The reason is the water gets circulating from the cold water tank to the bathrooms and then goes to the solar tank then push to the cold tank above the solar tank and then overflow to the main water tank..Please suggest where can this be the problem.?

On 2017-01-30 by Lori

I am on well water On Friday my water would only run for 4 minutes and then start up again. It continued to do this. I noticed my toilet fill tube running so I called a plumber. He put in new toilet parts. This didn't fix the problem Water continued to start and quit. Plumber checked pressure tank and said it was full of water so the bladder was wrecked inside.

He put in a new pressure tank and water ran but the pressure was poor. So today he put in a new pressure switch and water runs and then stops. He told me to lift lever on pressure switch and hold till it gets to 40 and it would keep pressuring up to 60. So everytime I run water the pressure goes to 0 now on pressure tank and I have to lift lever. Plumber says he doesn't know problem. What could it be.

On 2017-01-21 by (mod) re: signs that the pressure controller has failed

This sounds as if the pressure controller right on the pump has failed. I agree that the system is unsafe.

Examples of rooftop water tank type booster pumps are at

On 2017-01-21 by Guner

In my weekend house there is a water tank on the roof. below the water tank there is a pressure pump there start when we use the water (2 - 5 sec delay). when no water use... motor close down. The other day i burn my hands on the "cold" water.

the pump do not stop running and the heat from the motor make the water in circulation loop very warm. I trip to close the loop, clean the filter (take it out) there is no use anywhere in the house (i close the outlet) but the pump continues running. I opened the pump to see if the rubber was broken... it was intact... I can find the error... any suggestions?

On 2017-01-19 mujeeb

In villa there is grand force pumps. we are suffering from low water pressure 2 months ago motor running properly but taking air so thats why motor not build the water . We replaced NrV and there is no leakage in pipe also. so please give me some suggestion . I m waiting for reply

On 2017-01-17 by Anonymous

Thank you. I'll do that with each one. This will take a little while...

On 2017-01-17 by (mod) re: bad water pressure at sinks and showers

I would start by going to sink or shower head with poor flow and there I would unscrew the shower head or the faucet strainer at the sink.

Then turn the water on. If you have good flow, then you know that the strainer or shower head was debris clogged.

If the flow is still poor, I would be looking for a partly closed valve or debris clogging at an elbow or valve in the supply piping.

On 2017-01-16 by Sandiy L Ward

I am a homeowner with a well. On Xmas eve the well motor burned up *diagnosis and repair was done by a wonderful local company who called us back immediately and came out & fixed on that same day. I don't know much about all of that stuff but I felt they were very through *after replacing the motor they ran water from the well until no sediment was visible and then hooked the system back up to the house, they checked the bladder tank & softener that is in the basement and so on.

Christmas eve and day all was back to normal but since then my water pressure at all sinks, showers and the washing machine has been okay to fair to nothing and mostly with the hot water. We have a fairly new (I think about 7ish years old tank-less water heater). Where & how can I start troubleshooting this?

On 2017-01-15 by (mod) re: good water pressure except at one toilet


That situation is usually easy to diagnose as we know there is a blockage at some place in piping or at a shutoff, pipe elbow, or fixture shutoff found between where pipes are successfully delivering water to other areas in the building and the one you cite.

A common toilet fill problem is a fill valve that's debris clogged. That's where I'd start looking.

It's also diagnostic to note whether the problem happened suddenly or it occurred over time with pressure fallling then stopping, and also helpful to know if anyone has been doing anything to any plumbing components (like closing a valve)

On 2017-01-15 by Sheree

I have water pressure every where but one sink and one toilet

On 2017-01-04 by (mod)

Jon, search InspectApedia for WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING CAUSES to read a probable cause and the likely cures.

On 2017-01-04 by Jon

Oops my water is surging not a lot but it is noticeable my tank is fiberglass

My way is surging my tank is fiberglass

On 2017-01-04 by (mod) re: signs of a leak in well piping: air discharge at fixtures


I suspect there's a leak in the well piping or a similar problem. Search for AIR DISCHARGE at FIXTURES to see some suggestions.

On 2017-01-04 by (mod) re: we added water to the well but that didn't help

Filling a well, unfortunately, does not help you much - a well that's low in water to start-with will simply send most of the water you poured into it back into the surrounding soils.

Search for INCREASE WELL YIELD for better suggestions.

On 2017-01-03 by Anonymous

thought well almost dry had well filled turn on pump runs less than a minute and kicks out why? pump, wiring, piping and pressure tank less than 2 yrs old. pressure switch is calling for water due to low pressure. any ideas?

On 2017-01-03 by vinoth

How to over come airlock in the well pump...each and every time i need to fill it with water..wats the way to fix it..?

On 2016-12-10 by (mod) re: bad water pressure at just some fixtures


When waterpressure is particularly bad at one fixture but not other, particularly when the bad fixture is at a lower floor, I suspect it's a local problem: a clogged sink strainer for example.

"Water pressure" properly is really water flow rate in gpm. Clogging at a strainer or valve reduces the flow rate.

On 2016-12-09 by Thomas Costello

It seems I have almost the same pressure in the upstairs bathroom and my first floor toilet, but the kitchen sink is where the pressure is really bad. Could the pressure tank need air pumped in?

I moved my well pump closer to where the lines come into the house. Changed nothing, but now my pressure is very low. The pump is running good and the pressure reads correctly, but the pressure is way low compared to what it was before hand. What should I check for?

On 2016-12-09 by (mod) re: water pump causes breaker to tripo

OK so we know there's either a short or a seized motor. Pump protection devices may prevent a pump from running but not by blowing the breaker.

On 2016-12-06 by Kathy Lanning

We have replaced the pressure switch and the breaker is throwing the main when turning the power back on. We've had Level 4 drought in GA. If water level in the well fell below the pump would it cause the breaker to trip in order to save the pump?

On 2016-11-29 by Jim

I have good pressure coming out of drain for pressure tank but poor pressure in house especially hot water. ANY suggestions

On 2016-11-25 by (mod) re: water runs then shuts off, then comes back

Two diagnostic articles I recommend can be found using the search box just above.



On 2016-11-25 by Jack

Water runs then shut off then few it comes back on then goes off

On 2016-11-08 by (mod) re: pump for water holding cister in southern Mexico

Hi Dan, thanks for the question. We spend time in central Mexico ourselves so I'm well aware of water concerns.

I suspect that the pressure control switch is debris clogged. The switch is operated by a rubber diaphraghm. Water pressure in the system communicates with the switch through a small hole in the switch bottom. Often that hole clogs, or the small tube or pipe conducting water pressure to the switch base can also clog. I'd check for debris or just replace the switch. There are rebuild kits but I'm not sure how easily you'll find one.

On 2016-11-08 by Dan

I have a water holding cistern, a jet pump and pressure tank set at 30 - 50 in southern Mexico where I work as a missionary. Recently I had to change the diaphragm in the pressure tank. All worked well, but for the last few days there is a long pause of 30 seconds or so when the water quits flowing before the pump kicks in. I checked that the pressure settings on the switch are working at 30 - 50, and the air pressure in the tank is 30. Any help?

On 2016-11-01 by michael seriva

my pump is building pressure on suction side blowed pipe apart

On 2016-10-26 Nicholas B. Rowland

Switch cuts in at 10psi and when gage reach's 74psi pressure stops but pump keeps running for five or so minutes. Reading up on adjustments but can't seem to to change the cut off. Thinking best to replace the whole switch out with a new one.

On 2016-10-08 by michael

lost water pressure in kitchen-- bathroom sink and shower ok??? is this most likely a clog somewhere?

On 2016-10-06 by Scott

I have noticed my T&P valve dripping periodically throughout the day, (we've been in this house for 12 years with no issues) so I measured the pressure at both an outside spigot and at the water heater. Both immediately jumped to 80PSI and then did a slow climb all the way to 120PSI. My regulator coming in from in from the municipal supply has a max setting of 75PSI. I turned it down and measured again.

This time the gauge jumped to 60PSI but still did the slow climb to 120PSI. I'm guessing this means I need to replace the regulator, but would like a second opinion.

On 2016-10-01 by (mod) re: bubbles when the toilet flushes

There are two different situations, Janice, that can give air in water at a faucet or fixture, and perhaps others I've not thought-of.

1. very fine air bubbles in water that disappear in a glass of water in seconds to a minute or so can be due to the water treatment equipment or something as simple as an aerator.
2. well and pump equipment may be inserting excessive air into the system

Details are at

On 2016-10-01 by janice

when toilet is flushed bubbles appear and then disapear. when drawing water from sink bubbles appear and disappear?

On 2016-09-28 by (mod) re: signs of an air bound pump impeller

Air would cause trouble IF the pump impeller were airbound;

Is the pump a submersible or above ground?

On 2016-09-28 by Brian Andersen

Dan, thanks for the encouragement. I will check the impeller and draw. The pulsing is gone now, but we can't get enough pressure. There are no filters on the line and I have checked all of the valves. I thought for awhile that I might be chasing an air bubble, but haven't had any success with all of my attempts to bleed any air out of the line.

One more item of note is that I cannot get the priming plug out of the pump housing. The water level in the break tank is higher than the pump so I didn't think I needed to prime, but I wanted to try and get some air out of that port, but sadly cannot.

On 2016-09-28 by (mod) re: at my wit's end: pressure bounces around, pump cycles 20-35 psi.

Never give up, Brian.

Besides a water-logged pressure tank, other causes of pulsing include a valve nearly shut or the pump pushing against a nearly-clogged water filter. Could either of those be the trouble?

Separately: when a pump won't reach a mere 40 psi shutoff, AND if you are sure your gauge is accurate and not debris clogged, then I suspect the pump impeller is damaged or the voltage to the pump is low.

I'd check voltage, then try another pump, or if you want to get fancy, bring in your electrician to check the pump motor's current draw to see if that looks abnormal.

On 2016-09-28 by Brian Andersen

I'm about at my wits end. I work in a hospital where the water to the morgue tables is set up with an air gap into a break tank. The piping at the bottom of the break tank runs through a volume control valve and a balancing valve (I'm not sure why and both appear to be broken and fully open). We, the Plumbers, were called because of a pulsing effect at the tables. I shut down the pump which was bouncing between 20PSI and 40PSI, as it should be due to a waterlogged pressure vessel.

The pressure vessel is a horizontal bladderless tank with an air volume controller and a Burks jet pump sitting on it. I drained the tank and break tank, replaced the air volume control and filled it all back up. Now, the pressure is constant at the pump and fixture, but the pump will not reach the 40PSI shut off setting (max. 35 PSI) and continues to run.

No problem, we adjusted the on/off controls and the pump will cycle normally between 20PSI and 35 PSI. The problem we are having is that there is also an eyewash station on this line which requires more pressure than the 35PSI that the pump seems to be maxing out at. In summary, we had plenty of pressure out of the pump before we started working on it and now it will only reach 35 PSI. Any thoughts?

On 2016-09-22 by (mod) re: 1/2 horsepower pump only pumps up to 10 psi


The horsepower is not the whole story of a well pump; if the pump lift height is too high the pump's output in GPM will be reduced. But if the pump can't even get above 10 psi I suspect one of the problems listed in the table in the article above, such as low voltage or a well piping leak.

On 2016-09-22 0 by Rock

I put a 1/2 up pump in and my pump only will get 10psi but will build up if I turn the valve off after the pump,in the house my cold water will come out but not hot water.the blabber tank has no pressure and has 6 elbows in a 1ft distance. Does anyone have any ideas what could be wrong,?

I'm thinking about doing all new plumbing....I'm new to the well and pumps

On 2016-08-19 by (mod)

Sounds good, keep me posted.

On 2016-08-18 by Norbert re: air in the water hose

Sorry for being late.

That air must have been in the hose - it's away now.
As for the switch: I have not the slightest clue about how that switch could not stay in place as it has no »intelligence« of it's own, of course. I checked it electrically and all readings were OK. Still: With the new switch the whole thing works as supposed to, with the old it did not.

I admit: For the time being I will leave everything in place until late fall when I have to prepare it for winter.
Thanks for your input – much appreciated!

On 2016-08-11 by (mod) re: replacing a pressure control switch won't cause air in the water piping

About replacing the pressure control switch: I'm unclear how that would cause air in the water supply; Perhaps there was a leak in the water connections around the switch-mount? Usually those fittings are under positive pressure but maybe there's a different situation we haven't considered.


Impeller looks ok.

Cavitation: you usually can hear the pump making a horrible noise and you'll see - if you've got a clear water filter or clear piping anywhere - a lot of air coming out of the pump as well as a reduced pump output.

When I've had the air problem I've started at the pump and worked towards the well, tightening every fitting to see if that reduced the bubbles. If it does, even if it doesn't fully stop the problem I figure I've found the bad connection and I remake-it using new fittings or doubling hose clamps, etc.

You should remember to inspect the pump itself for cracks or damage or a leaky gasket. YOu can lube O-rings usually Si grease is ok.

On 2016-08-10 by Norbert

Hi, Dan,
in the meantime I inspected the possible other chink: the control unit. Turned out that the switch (that would not stay in place) was done. Replaced it - everything works like it should.
Thank you very much for your valuable time. Best – Norbert

Thank you, Dan. Before I set the pump to work again I opened it to inspect the impeller - looked fine to me, spinned as supposed to, and re-assembled fine, so I guess the impeller is out. How could I check for cavitation? And: Does the fact that I get the proper amount of water not speak agains that?
Is there any way I could check for an air leak? Of course I put teflon tape where it belongs. Should I apply any o-ring grease (or lubricant) at the filter and/or at the connection suction hose/filter?

On 2016-08-09 by (mod) re: small amounts of air won't stop the pump

A couple of air bubbles shouldn't prevent a pump from working but more bubbles suggests either an air leak or that the pump is cavitating rather than pulling water. Its impeller could be damaged.

On 2016-08-09 by Norbert


I have a pump that did not run for years (but does now). It has a run-dry protection and a filter before it.

The entrance to the suction hose is, in my opinion, a little too close to the bottom of the cistern (which is full), but works nevertheless.

I primed the pump, then let it run for a while (for a moment during that procedure I saw dirty water running through the filter, but the pump continued to run). Pressure built up to the auto-shut-off-point, and I get water running at the installed faucet. The pressure falls accordingly, but the pump does not re-start when the pressure drops below the cut-in point. If I hold the lever in »On« position the pump works OK to the cut-out point and stops, but the switch would not stay in place.

I checked the nonreturn valve and the small filter at the suction hose input end, and both are OK. I removed the filter and put a temporary hose into an open barrel filled with water - the pump sucked OK, but it does that with the filter installed, too.

I am after the reason the lever would not stay in the »On« position by itself. I suspect the connection input hose/filter not to be airtight (when the pump starts, I see bubbles in the filter for a while, then they vanish), but how could I prove that? Besides: I disassembled the filter and cleaned it OK, but seemingly I cannot re-assemble it tight, as some water drops from the coupling nut that holds the glas jar (with the filter in it) to the part that has the disjunction from water-in to water-out (and is connected to the suction hose on one side and the pump on the other) – I checked the O-ring for being clean and intact and in place, but still... Any ideas? It's about four inches in diameter.

Thanx a lot for any input!

On 2016-08-04 by (mod) re: look for an old snifter valve and chck for short cycling pump


I would look for an old snifter valve system (search InspectApedia for SNIFTER VALVE to read details) that's not working properly;

And I'd search for SHORT CYCLING WELL PUMP to read about the causes of that problem; You certainly want the paperwork for your pump; if the installer won't provide it or cant because he used it to wrap his lunch, go to the manufacturer with the pump brand and model; look at both the installation specifications and also the rated flow rate for your pumping depth; compare that with your usage rate.

On 2016-08-03 by Phil Grubbs

I replaced my submersible well pump 10-15. Two things are happening. First, I get surges like air is in the system, most notable after they system comes on. Second, my pump cycles on for 40 seconds and off for 40 seconds when pumping to zones with four sprinkler heads set at 2 gpm each.

I have one zone with 5 heads set at 2 gpm and its cycle is 60 seconds on and 40 seconds off. I have two zones k--with spray heads and they come on and after a couple of minutes it sounds like water is running back into the well. My installer didn't give me any paperwork with my pump, so I don't know for sure what I have, he told me it was a 1 hp motor. The first time I called him on my problem he told me it was my tank and he replaced it. NO change. I called him and told him the problem continued.

He came when I wasn't at home and texted me that it had been fixed. Again, no change. I'm calling again is week to ask for paperwork so I will know what I have and ask a third time that the problem be fixed. Any thoughts on the likely source of my problems?

On 2016-07-29 by (mod) re: why does my kitchen have no water?

A shutoff valve that's closed, a pipe that's blocked, or crud inside the faucet strainer.

Less likely, a pipe that has burst open so that all water is pouring out somewhere else.

If you are located in a freezing climate I'd add: a frozen pipe.

On 2016-07-29 11:54:14.248171 by Marilou Elles

I have no water pressure only in my kitchen- what could be the cause?

On 2016-07-15 by (mod) re: signs the pump wasn't primed successfully


I'm not sure that you've properly primed the pump; Search InspectApedia for HOW TO PRIME THE PUMP to see two detailed procedures for doing so.

On 2016-07-14 19:35:53.933938 by Burrell

I have a two line deep well 1 Hp pump motor went bad I replaced it now it will not build up pressure. I put the city water on the pump outlet but it shows no pressure; it runs but will not build up pressure I take the pressure gage out to prime it but it is full of water, it has 25 lbs on the tank bladder How can I test it?

On 2016-07-12 by Anonymous

anyone want to help me with a well problem?

On 2016-07-11 by (mod) re: pump runs longer than it used-to

Not from your description, Anonymous. Perhaps you've simply corrected a tank that previously held less air.

On 2016-07-11 by Anonymous

I have a double pipe deep well jet pump that sits on an old sears water tank.recently changed pressure switch &air volume control on the end of the tank.set @25psi on & about 50 psi off. doesnt seem to have any problem reaching cut off pressure might run a little bit longer than it used to get there .any ideas?

On 2016-07-11 by (mod) re: let the well recover

The well needs time to recover;

A tired submersible pump may express its fatigue as a damaged impeller or an internal or external leak (as would a leak in well piping) that would result in a reduced ability to reach the cut-off pressure. Air in the water, IF originating in the well, suggests water below the water intake of the pump or perhaps (though operating a bit differently) a leak in well piping. A leak in piping or a worn impeller wouldn't come and go intermittently.

On 2016-07-11 by Anonymous

if I were running the well dry why can I just throttle the hose valve back just a bit & start building pressure again? been here 22 yrs and haven't replaced the motor and or pump. just wondering if they could be getting a little tired?

On 2016-07-11 by (mod) re: living with a well with a low flow rate

low flow rate well can meet low flow rate demand.
Or , yes, its something else. Unlike other electronic seers, we don't claim infallability.

On 2016-07-11 by Anonymous

why then do I never run out of water in normal household use? been here 22 years & never had it do that out of hose.wondered if the pump and or motor could be the issue?never have changed either

On 2016-07-10 23:08:24.758951 by (mod)

Sounds as if you are exhausting water in the well.

On 2016-07-10 by Anonymous

run hose into pool for awhile then lose pressure to a point of air being seen . have deep well jet pump. shut off hose and builds normal pressure. could this be the motor starting to get weak?

On 2016-06-30 by (mod)

I'd follow the Recommended reading link TABLE 2: PUMP RUNS, WEAK or NO WATER PRESSURE as that seems to be your situation.

On 2016-06-30 by Anonymous

Sso what do you think that I should check first? I do have a whole house filters on the line so I think that the problem is somewhere before this filter???

On 2016-06-30 by (mod) pressure drops to a trickle - pump is in the lake

Typically this is not a pressure problem but a clogged pipe or small diameter pipe problem.

On 2016-06-30 by Dick Lally

My water pressure drops to a trickle in the sink when the toilet is flushed. Pressure set (SquareD Pumptrol) 60/40psi. Pump is submersible version 1/2hp in my lake. Working fine for many years now. Lost as to what to do. Thank you all

On 2016-06-19 by (mod) re: good water pressure except in the kitchen

1. pull off the faucet strainer and check flow again at that fixture; you may just need to clean the strainer.

2. follow the water piping from the point at which the kitchen water pipes split off and go only to the kitchen; a blockage can be somewhere in that route.

3. compare hot and cold pressure as that's diagnostic.

On 2016-06-19 by Chris

My water pressure is good everywhere, except for the kitchen. What should I check to fix this problem?

On 2016-06-17 by (mod) re: why does my hose lose pressure?

Kinked hose,
Clogged sprayer
Lost water pressure from any of many causes: search InspectApedia for NO WATER PRESSURE and also check the diagnostic suggestions in the table in the article above.

On 2016-06-17 by Jennifer

My hose has started to lose pressure. I went to water the flowers with my sprayer and it hardly has any water pressure. What could cause this?

On 2016-05-14 by (mod) re: customer's water pressure drops close to zero when the washer starts - could this be a pressure relief valve probelm?

Geoff: if the customer is on well water or a booster pump system I suspect the pressure switch is not cutting in when it should;

On municipal water? Check for clogged piping or a mis-set pressure regulator valve.

On 2016-05-14 Geoff Seastrand

Got a customer whose pressure drops to almost 0 when washing machine starts filling. Could this be a prv issue? Kinked pex line maybe? Meter issue?

On 2016-05-11 by (mod) re: make an independent pressure check on water system if the main water pressure gauge looks odd

I would make an independent gauge check on water pressure at the tank, connecting my test gauge to the tank drain. Your tank's gauge could be sticking.

On 2016-05-11 by John

I have a 1 year old system. Recently, I had a low water problem. I checked the tank pressure ( following protocol), it was 29psi, my cut in was at 40. I raised tank pressure (protocol) I still have a problem. Noticed that when draining out water to get guage down to zero, guage will drop to zero suddenly, when it gets below 40 psi. The other symptom is that as the water pressure dwindles closer to 40 psi, the pressure gets really low. As soon as the pump turns on, the water pressure at the outlet, shoots right up.

On 2016-04-04 by (mod) re: if the pressure tank is waterlogged


If the pressure tank is waterlogged then the pressure will fall off quickly to the point where the pump should turn on.

Also, watch the pressure gauge at your pressure tank and pump controls. It may be that the switch is not kicking in when it should - it may need cleaning or replacement.

On 2016-04-04 by Ryan B

We just moved into a house with a well system two weeks ago (my first experience with a well system), and I am trying to troubleshoot a low pressure issue. The water pressure at first seemed to be OK if maybe a little weak in the second story bathroom. I initially attributed this to the simply being a difference between well and municipal systems, and something I needed to get used to.

However, over the last week the pressure has been getting progressively worse. It always initially comes out with decent pressure, but then rapidly (within 30 seconds) dies off to a trickle for both the hot and cold water.

There isn't enough pressure to run either the first or second floor showers. The pressure gauge on the tank is reading anywhere from about 42-62 PSI. I have watched the pressure switch cut-on at 42, and it seems to run normally and bring the pressure back up to 62 psi. I don't know how long this should take though? From cut-on to cut-out takes maybe 1-2 minutes max.

We have an iron filter and a water softener in the system as well. But I put both systems on bypass temporarily to determine if they were contributing to the issue, and there does not appear to be any difference with the water pressure when they are bypassed.

I also noticed this morning that the pressure tank is very light and easy to move. It doesn't feel like there is much, if anything in the tank. However, there must be water in the tank if I am getting water to flow (weak as it is) without the pump on correct?

I am not sure how accurate of a measurement the Iron filter or water softener meters provide,
but when I am running the faucet on the washtub in the basement wide open, or any of the faucets upstairs, the iron filter and water softener meters typically read only 0.5-0.8 gpm.

After reading many articles on this site, it seems most likely to me that there is a problem with my pressure tank. What can I do to verify the pressure tank is the problem and determine specifically what the issue is? Or is there likely some other cause entirely?

On 2016-04-02 by (mod) re: we have too much water pressure


If your system uses a pump and well, repair, adjust, or replace the pressure control switch.


If your water system is from a municipal supply source, repair or adjust the pressure regulator usually found close to the point at which the water main enters your building.


On 2016-04-02 by sandy gala

To much water pressure

On 2016-03-05 by (mod) re: running a tub faucet can reduce pressure in the kitchen

Yes Lora.

On 2016-03-04 by Lora

Can a high flow tub faucet cause lower pressure in kitchen sink while running?

On 2016-02-11 by (mod) re: air in the pressure tank won't usually keep a well pump motor from running

No, the presence or absence of air in the pressure tank won't itself keep a pump motor from running. However if the tank was waterlogged and thus caused the pump to short cycle, a pump protection switch may have tripped and may require manual reset.

On 2016-02-11 by Anonymous

i have a fairly new water pump in my home it just wont start could this be a case where the air vale is that it needs more air

On 2016-01-25 by Eric

Well system about 1 year old all worked fine until recently but now -
without using water rapidly looses 3 lb pressure about every 30 minutes.
Is the check valve going bad?

On 2016-01-24 by (mod) re: what to check if the pump won't shut off


in the WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE check out the suggestions in the section titled Water Pump Keeps Running or Won't Shut Off

On 2016-01-23 by dan

pump kicks on at 30 psi takes 30 minutes for it to reach 50 psi

On 2016-01-10 by Anonymous

I have a new wortek water pump. The pump is connected via a flexible hose (ex a washing machine)from a 500 litre JOJO tank. The water flows in spurts, from a trickle to a torrent every 20 seconds or so. The flexible hose jumps in time with the full flow.

On 2015-12-19 by (mod) re: water pressure drops down and then recovers suddenly

Sounds like a bad pressure control or perhaps mud-clogged nipple to which the control is mounted

On 2015-12-17 by Cindy

I have the same problem add Johnny, intermittent loss of water pressure. Especially noticeable after flushing toilet. Water pressure can be normal at the sink, them flash the toilet and pressie at sink drops to 1/4 of normal. A few mins later it is back to normal. Holding tank checks out fine. We have replaced the check valve and the well pump and problem is the same.

On 2015-12-13 by (mod) re: water pressure varies over 1-30 seconds


If you mean that water pressure varies constantly - say every 1 to 30 seconds, search for PUMP SHORT CYCLING to read the diagnosis and cure

If you mean that you completely lose all water flow for a time, search for "WATER PRESSURE COMES AND GOES" to read the diagnosis and cure

Let me know if after seeing those articles you have further questions

On 2015-12-13 by Johnny Randle

When my water is running or my toilets have been flushed,the water pressure comes and goes. The level in the bowls are replaced,but the pressure comes and goes.

On 2015-11-26 by (mod) re: hoyno cycles ok but only a trickle of water comes out of our faucets

Look for a blockage at the pressure tank outlet or valves or house water main valve

And you checked and cleaned the faucet strainers, right?

On 2015-11-24 by Greg

1HP pump sitting on pressure tank; tank set at 28psi air; pump cuts in at 28#, cuts off at 50# - new foot valves, (2) with 1 1/4 pipe running to bottom of two 55 gal drums - 3/4" to 7/8" discharge line, ending at 1/2" pex to faucets - Problem: the pump cycles fine, but only at steady trickle of water from both hot and cold faucets - Solution...?

On 2015-10-26 by Lynn

New 3/4hp pump (shallow), new 89 gal diaphragm tank, new switch 30/50, new foot valve.
Lift on pump is max 25'. Actual lift required is very close to this.
Pump runs, delivers water but doesn't fill the pressure tank. If tank pressure is reduced to 18 (20/40), tank takes on water but never fills to capacity to trigger pump shut off.

Stumped. Could a pump just not have the guts to push the water into the tank? (shallow well 25' lift 3/4hp pump). **NOTE** the 89 gal tank is new. The previous tank was 20 gal and this same pump would fill, not beyond 30 psi and shut off. (someone tinkered with the forbidden switch screw).
Welcome any ideas.

On 2015-10-20 by murrillheath

My submersable pump does not seem to put enough water to pressure tank after changing pressure switch and re-pressuring air in ballast.
Now no water pressure but little. tank does not feel full.

On 2015-10-17 by (mod) re: signs of a poor flow rate well and an overheating pump motor

This sounds as if your well may have a poor flow rate. An overheating pump motor or pump motor damage can indeed happen if the pump is left running dry.

More suggestions are found by searching inspectApedia for poor water pressure diagnosis

On 2015-10-17 by april

continued... I've cut the breaker off to prevent damage to Pump if that wasn't the least keep in mind two to three times a year for about the past 7 to 8 years I have to replace the point and/or compacitor Inbox. not sure if that's relevant or not. also there is no water pressure when I have cut the pump back on in the past week now twice I've done it. and no water throughout the whole house except for bathtuband even that is a little more than I sprinkle it takes 6 to 8 hours to fill the tub

needing some advice please I'm having the same problem almost exactly as I had two years ago. the problem starts with water pressure or how much water comes out I guess, like for instance when I take a bath the water will only go if I'm standing up probablya foot deep and then the pressure will start slacking off until the water doesn't run anymore.

the water wont cut back on or start to flow again until the pressure gains back up I guess.and then when this happened two years agothe water continue with this problem for about a month or so and then there was no water at all. I replace the pump itself and the water came back fine. but now less than a year later which is today I'm running into the same problem. I've cut the breaker to the pump

On 2015-10-08 by Anonymous

Sounds as if the tank bladder has burst and the tank is waterlogged

On 2015-09-30 by bud

water is coming out of value at the top of the tank when you try and put air in

On 2015-09-08 by (mod) re: what to do when the pump won't shut off



On 2015-09-08 by Melissa

The switch turns on the pump and the tank seems to recover ok until it gets almost to the shut off then it just keeps running. It will eventually shut off but takes a very long time. It used to recover fairly quick and would make a loud noise when it stopped. Now it's quiet but seems to take forever to reach the cut out pressure. Do i have a problem or is it just a normal change in my well?

On 2015-08-31 by (mod) re: could the water softener be causing water pump problems?

Normally there is only one pressure switch; however some submersible pumps of higher hosepower use a second heavy duty relay; the pressure switch turns on the heavy duty pump relay that will be in a separate electrical box

Check pressure and flow on either side of the water softener; try putting the softener in BYPASS mode: if that makes a difference then you've spotted the blockage.

Or listen at the pump and switch control: if the pressure falls below the cut-in and the pump switch is not turning on the pump then the switch is defective or its sensor port or pressure-communicating tube debris clogged.

On 2015-08-31 by Horace

We had a new tank installed 3 years ago and then a new switch outside the tank put in 6 months ago when water pressure was becoming erratic. The water pressure is erratic again - even more than before. It runs fine then gets very low and after a minute or so comes back fine. The gauge by the water tank indicates the pump kicks in at about 48 psi and runs to about 68psi and then shuts off.
The outdoor faucets do not seem to be affected. Could it be the water softener? The well/pump people charge $125 to just come out so I'd like to see if I really need them or not.
Thank you.

In your response to Sonia you stated it may be a clogged pressure switch. Would this be the one outside the water tank or are there others to check out? Water softener? Water heater?

On 2015-08-19 by (mod) re: should the pump run whenever we open a faucet or flush a toilet or randomly between ?


The answer depends on the pump type. Most pressure booster pumps work with a pressure tank - that keeps the pump from cycling on and off rapidly - a source of damage. If your pump is cycling on and off every few seconds either there is a pressure control that has failed or the pressure tank is waterlogged.

On 2015-08-19 by crystal

we just bought a large home that has a whole house water booster pump that increases our water pressure. should this run every time we run a faucet, flush toilet, or randomly in between?

On 2015-08-12 by william

pump comes on takes a very long time to turn off,I replaced pressure tank (old tank had bladder leak ) 80 gal. tank , set tank air press at 28 psi. also replaced pressure switch set on pressure 31 psi & off pressure at 52 psi. well is 150 feet deep, pump is at 100 feet deep. pump is 230 volts & 10 gal. per minute rated. the static water level is 30 feet with 46 feet draw down. it,s been like that for 12 years.
it seems as if the pump may be hampered. could this pump run on 110 volts ? I,am on solar power but have never had a problem with the power

On 2015-08-08 by (mod) re: plastic junk in the wate rpiping


Plastic pieces in the water supply may be coming from a damaged pump impeller or from a disintegrating dip tube in a water heater tank.

Repair costs vary tremendously depending on where the problem is. Even pulling a well pump has widely ranging costs depending on depth of well and ease of access to it.

Let's get the problem diagnosed before guessing at costs.

On 2015-08-08 by Anonymous

Plastic pieces and junk is causing pressure to be low within the coated valves and solinoids

Suspect pump -buried in well -is the pump 100ft down? What is casing the coating which prevents valves,etc. To function? From some part of the pump? What is approximae cost to repair?

On 2015-08-03 by Anonymous

We have good water pressure in some rooms but this week, just the hot water, in our kitchen sink and the pressure from our actually outside spicket for the hose as barely any pressure? any ideas?

On 2015-08-02

by (mod) re: types of debris that clog the pump pressure control switch

Let's distinguish between weak water flow rate, low water pressure when the pump stops at the end of the on-cycle, and weak flow at just some locations. IF water flow rate is strong in some places and weak in others then the problem is a clog or valve, not a pump or tank issue.

Iron and debris can clog a pressure switch sensor and cause erratic behavior, but that'd affect all water pressure.

On 2015-08-02

by Sonja

We have a private well and for about a year now we are experiencing intermittent water pressure problems. The company that installed the water softener has been out twice this year to work on this issue to no avail. We have spent about $400 trying to get this figured out. The first time they came out, the pressure tank needed air and he reset the psi.

Everything seemed to work fine, but we started having the problem again so we called the same company out and they replaced a couple of burned out electrical parts and again things worked OK. We back washed the filter about twice a week, our water is full of iron, now sometimes we have to back wash the filter system more than twice a day. What seems very odd to me is that there appears to be plenty of water at the site of the pressure tank to the hose that is attached, but when it comes to the back yard sprinkler which is connected at the pump house and the rate of flow into the house, there is sometimes very little pressure.

We don't know if we need a new well drilled, a new pressure tank, the right adjustments, a new hot water tank or what? We keep reading and researching and talking to people but have not come up with the appropriate resolution to our issue. I am afraid to run the washing machine as we have already burned up one washer due to low water pressure. Sometimes we have to run around in the shower to get wet it seems also due to low water pressure and other times things are great. I am not sure where to go from here! Any thoughts or ideas on this issue?

Oh yes, the ground around the well was very open when we moved into this house about 9 years ago, now it is filled in with dirt and rocks thanks in part to the moles that are in abundant supply around here. We also live on wetlands and the water table has always been very high out here. I am at a total loss right now! HELP PLEASE! Thank so much for your thoughts and ideas. Sonja B.

On 2015-08-01 by (mod) re: left garden hose running, now we have a short cycling pressure pump


I speculate that when you ran water for a long time you drew down water level in the well far enough that you pulled dirt or sediment into the water piping system. That crud can clog the pressure sensor port on the pressure control switch, causing it to misbehave.

Provided your well has had 24 hours to recover if you are still having the problem you describe, replace the pressure control switch and also check that its mounting tube or tube conducting pressure from the water system to the switch base is also not debris clogged.

On 2015-07-31 22:16:49.854372 by Anonymous

I have a 180ft deep well built in 2005. Everything has run fine until now. I screwed up and left the garden hose running full blast for around 12 hours. The next day I'm having this problem. The pressure switch turns on at 40 psi and turns off at 60psi. The pump runs for about 10 seconds shuts off for about a minute and then comes on for another 10 seconds and repeats this until the pressure switch kicks it of at 60psi.

It has been doing this for about a week now. When taking a shower it runs until there is no pressure and the water flow ceases. It will come on again and run at good pressure while the pump is on for the 10 seconds then dissipate for a minute matching the cycling of the pump. It is a submersible pump with a pressure switch, and capacitor and relay next to the pressure tank. I have tested the pressure on the pressure tank and it is fine. Do I have a problem with the relay switch in the control box? I'm at a loss. Thank you in advance for any help.

On 2015-07-17 by (mod) re: will a leak at the bladder tank affect the 40 psi pressure?


A leak in the bladder itself will ultimately send water into the air space of the pressure tank, increasing the effective pre-charge pressure until it's above the cut-in pressure.

A leak elsewhere that removes water from the pressure tank will mean that the pump will cycle on intermittently.

Other than those conditions, in a normally-operating system with a 20/40 cut-in cut-out pressrue switch, the pressure may sit a few psi below 40 just after the pump shuts off; that's common and not a problem if the pressure at that point is not creeping up or down over time.

On 2015-07-12 by Richard

Will the leak in the discharge of the bladder tank affect the 40psi pressure?
Is this a reason why the psi is lower than 40 psi? Pls help anyone. Thanks

On 2015-07-12 by Anonymous

Will the leaks in the piping affect the pressure? The pressure is below 40psi we suppose.

On 2015-07-12 by Anonymous

We a bladder tank that is suppose to give us 40 psi. But sad to say it did not give what we expect.
It is because due to leak at the discharge of the bladder Tank. Someone pls help me. Thanks, Richard G.

On 2015-06-18 by (mod) re: sprinkler system won't work after winterizing

I would start by tracing the piping and finding all of the shutoff valves. If a drain valve has been left closed that could be it. If a pipe has burst I'd think we'd be able to observe that.

On 2015-06-17 by Alice 1st Time Homeower

Every year we have out tract homes sprinkler system blown out for the winter,winterizing it. My home is under 10 years old. One year one of my outside faucets in spring would not work after winterizing. Then the other faucet a couple of years later would not work after winterizing.

Now I do not have any yard faucets but the sprinkler system works fine. Also my faucets are connected to my house. So they are not independent free standing in the soil. What has went wrong with the blow outs? What did they forget to do to cause this? How can I get pressure in my pipes to the faucets again?

On 2015-06-12 by (mod) re: no water pressure and control switch full of mud

Pressure switch full of mud - presuming you don't actually mean the electrical components but rather the pressure sensing port - means that mud is clogging the switch pressure sensor. If your water well source has changed to begin delivering muddy water and did not before I'd be looking for a cracked or damaged well casing, a well piping leak, or perhaps an actual change in the water table. If the well is still usable you may need a sediment filter.

On 2015-06-11 by HELPPP

So the night before last out of the blue we had ZERO water pressure!! none at all!! no running water in the house!! before that everything was fine!! we took off the old pressure control switch and it was full of mud and stuff. we replaced it with a new switch and we are now getting 20psi. Our pressure has always been at 40 not 20.

We ran water and the pressure went down to like 17-18 and once we stop running water it goes back up to 20 but that's as far as it goes. we can hear the pump outside continually running but nothing is changing pressure wise. We turned off our well pump and our hot water heater because we didn't want anything to become damaged. What should we do in a case like this? What could be causing this to happen?

On 2015-06-05 by Wade

I'm on a private well that includes a pressure tank and switch for 40 psi cut in and 60 psi cut out. I recently noticed that the pump was running constantly, so I reduce both the cut-in and cut-out pressures until the pump stopped running, at which time the pressure was 42 psi (with a new pressure switch, so fairly sure it's reasonably accurate). So, it appears that the pump can no longer pump up to the original 60 psi cut-out pressure. It there anything that might be done to the pump to increase the pressure it can pump at, or is a new pump the only way to accomplish this?

On 2015-05-31 by Paul Roland

we have a well that we use to pump our water to use for the yard and garden. The pump gets real hot and shuts off and then loses its prime sometimes. What could be our problem?

On 2015-05-19 by (mod) re: hot but no cold water after replacing a pump


So we know it's not a pump problem - or you'd have no water pressure, hot or cold. Look for a closed valve or blocked valve in the cold piping system

On 2015-05-19 by john forsythre

I replaced a jet well pump ..I started pump .opened faucets to get air out of lines...I get good pressure for hot water ,but I get no cold water at all

On 2015-05-18 by (mod) re: pump motor keeps burning out


If your pump keeps burning out I would check for low voltage in the electrical supply or a motor and pump not properly matched to the application. Also check for sound wiring - no shorts or leaks.

On 2015-04-24 by Atif Aslam

my submersible pump have 5hp motor,hole depth 150 ft , total head 250 feet,problem is my submersible pupm burn out many times, we check all electric supplies, breakers, cable all set but after working one weeks or later my pump burnout again and again, kindly help me what is this problem.


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.

Or see this

Water Pressure & Water Pump Article Series Contents


Or see WATER FLOW RATE CALCULATE or MEASURE - how much water comes out of faucets & fixtures

Or see WELL FLOW RATE - how much water is in the well


Suggested citation for this web page

WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE FAQs at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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