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.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
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
WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING
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 http://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Pump_Runs_On.php
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 InspectApedia.com 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 http://inspectapedia.com/water/Water_Pressure_Booster_Pumps.php.
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 InspectApedia.com 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 InspectApedia.com 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.
INTERMITTENT WATER PUMP CYCLING
WELL PUMP SHORT CYCLING
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 http://inspectapedia.com/water/Air_Discharge_at_Faucet.php
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
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?
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
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 InspectApedia.com 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 problem.at 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
Please see WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING
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.
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?
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.
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
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
Or see WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS.
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Just wanted to share a problem that occurred with us the last time we put air in the water pump tank. After putting air in the tank, we turned the pump on and the pump worked fine. Pressure to the first water filter was excellent but there was little to no water coming out in the outlets in the house. Turns out it was the primary filter.
Apparently when you run the water down in the tank to zero, there is a lot of sediment in the line when you turn it back on. This clogged up the primary filter causing little to no water to go to the house outlets.
We discovered this was the cause by removing the filters and just putting the casing back on and then checking the water pressure in the house. Without the filter we had great pressure. So we changed the filters and everything was fine (even though we had just changed the filter two months before). Lesson to learn is when you zero out the pump, make sure you change ALL the filters after the water has built back up (want to wait until it builds back up or you will just get the sediment in the new filters). - Douglas Erb
Thanks for this helpful tip, Douglas - indeed we need to remember that doing any plumbing work can stir up debris in the system that then clogs a water filter. Sometimes where there is no main water filter installed, we can see a similar problem showing up as reduced flow at individual faucets after some work on the plumbing system - unscrew the faucet strainers and flush out the piping and clean the strainers if you see that additional problem.
I have an outside well with an above ground pump. Until a year ago, when I replaced the gas hot water tank located in the attic, I had no well water pressure or water flow problems . The most I could complain about was the occasional specks of fine dirt in the garden tub. Its one year later, and I have started to experience good pressure on hot and cold water for about a minute and half before the water slows and then stops. I simply shut the faucets off and wait for about a 2 minute period and then turn them both back on and the water flows without interruption or loss of pressure. In two recent times the outside sub panel breaker box which houses the A/C and the Well pump breakers, the Well pump breaker was tripped. Do I have an electrical issue (electric pump intermittent failure), a filter or bladder clog, or some other age or sediment related issue. The well is 12 plus years old and delivers throughout the worse droughts here in NC. What should and could I do to fix this? - Vince NB, Charlotte NC
I'm not sure, Vince, but I don't think that a clogged filter will recover when water is shut off; a flapping bit of debris at a hot water tank or cold water pressure tank can behave that way. The tripping pump breaker is a clue that the pump motor may be failing or overheating. I'd check there.
I recently replaced my water heater without any problems and filled it according to standard practice. While refilling, I noticed a lot of sediment from the faucets, which is pretty common in this area every time water is cut off. I replaced my sediment filter but noticed the pressure tank is empty. Water pressure of the house meets any single appliance demand, but it we try to run two fixtures at once, the water will cut off, about thirty seconds, then turn on again. My current well level is relatively high. My guess is that I have a sediment clog preventing the tank from filling. Would you please offer your insight and perhaps supply a link if this specific issue has already been addressed? Thank you. - Kevin
I agree that your diagnosis sounds reasonable - if water is not entering your water pressure tank a symptom will be short cycling on and off of the water pump. The sediment you report could have clogged the water entry port at the tank.
Provided your water tank is not waterlogged (lacking any air charge) you could try forcing water into the pressure tank by temporarily holding the pressure control relay closed to pump water to say 70 psi to see if you can force through a blockage at the tank entry.
WATCH OUT not to over pressurize your tank and blow it up (you can be hurt or killed) and Watch out not to get shocked - there are live wires in the pressure control switch.
See SHORT CYCLING WATER PUMP, and if you confirm that the water tank is not taking in water, you'll probably need to drain the tank, then
make sure it's air charge is correct (WATER TANK AIR, HOW TO ADD)
I found your articles extremely helpful for trying to diagnose my poor water pressure/quantity problem. They helped me to understand how my system works and to figure out that our problem wasn't with the pressure tank or pressure switch. I did, however, figure out on my own that the problem was with the control box/relay switch (your articles did help me figure out what the heck that box was and what it did, though). It was an easy fix once I diagnosed the problem. Maybe there should be more mention of the control box and that being a potential cause of poor water pressure. I'm glad I didn't believe the well technician who thought our well was running dry! - Dawn T.
Dawn thanks for the nice note, and I'm so glad our information was helpful.
If you would take a moment to let me know what you did to track down the problem to the "control box relay" (I am guessing you mean the pump control relay switch) I'll be glad to write up and add that information as it would certainly help other readers. Some photos of the equipment you are discussing would be very valuable too. Use the CONTACT link found on our pages to send me photos or more suggestions.
Thanks so much
I have a 7yr old submersible that feeds our whole house. Turned a faucet on and it has low pressure. Worked fine hours prior. Never had low pressure so never checked air pressure in bladder tank. I looked at the PSI gauge and it reads 10psi. The tank seems empty or close to it. When turning the breaker on and off I hear a gurgling in the pipes tool. The contacts look perfect, I put some air in the tank with a hand pump but nothing changed. I have low low pressure but don't want the pump running so i turned it off for the night. its of course 2am now.
I have read the website and still cannot figure out where to start diagnosing this mess. It happened suddenly so that scares me but do have some although very low pressure. It just seems like the pump is on low speed and just pumps to the house an not the tank.
Does the piping have a valve in it or just the pipe that goes up to the switch box and the spigot for the PSI gauge? Other than that don't see why the tank wouldn't get filled. any help on this would be awesome. Thanks
my email is 3010ict @ Gmail - King Ray
KingRay it sounds as if your pump is not coming on, or if it is running, that it is not reaching pressure, either because of a control problem or perhaps low water level in the well. Try going to the table above and scan through the steps from the top of the table (making sure there is electrical power, figuring out if the pump is turning on) to see what helps.
I just replaced my "non-pressurized" cold water tank with a "pressure tank". Now, when the pump reaches the low, on pressure, my water slows way down and my pressure drops. What could be causing this? It did not do this prior to the tank change. - Anon
Particularly if your new pressure tank installation did not include a new pressure control switch, the tank change out may have stirred debris that has clogged the sensor port on your pressure switch. Clogging occurs in the small diameter mounting tube (typically 1/8" NPT) that connects the pressure control switch to the water supply piping at the tank bottom, or at the still smaller orifice at the bottom of the pressure control switch. A quick fix is to simply replace these parts.
I have an outside deep well that runs all outside irrigation. My pressure tanks are located in my barn about 50 yards from the well head. The well produces 40 gal per minute. Irrigation lines run from my barn to around my house which is 150 to 200 yards away. The where the well and barn are located is a slightly higer elevation than the house. Since installing the system 4 years ago, we have had periodic breaks in the lines between the well and barn. Guys were out this week to test pressure at various points. What we have discovered is that the pressure spikes for about 1 second, at just one spicket to 200 psi. any thoughts? - Rick Gilbert 11/5/11
Watch out: A sudden pressure spike of 200 psi is very dangerous, likely to cause a burst pipe or burst water pressure tank - that can injure anyone nearby. It sounds as if your pressure control switch is not properly sensing the water pressure and not turning off the pump; also check for a double error of both a debris clogged pressure switch and a waterlogged pressure tank.
Recently replaced the well water pressure tank since we loose pressure when a toilet is flushed and faucet is turned on immediately after - we called the well people who did the installation, they came out and checked the equipment and told us everything is normal. We never experienced this problem until they replaced the tank - any help will be greatly appreciated. thank you. - George 11/18/11
I don't agree that it's normal to have inadequate water pressure when a toilet tank is filling and you turn on a nearby faucet. If the cutoff pressure at the building is normal (40-50 psi) then you may have a clogged pipe problem.
We have progressively less water pressure as time goes by. We also have a water softener system. Our water pressure tank read 20psi. Any ideas want is wrong? - Jim Jones 2/18/12
I suspect that your pipes are clogging with mineral deposits - check the water pressure tank at the point when the pump has just shut off; you should see 30-50 psi. If not then the problem is pump or control switch; If yes the problem is not system pressure but rather poor flow.
I was told by someone that my loss of pressure when i run my lawn irrigation system is caused from air leak in my deep well submersable pump. I was told to take the cap off and put a box of cream of wheats and 5 gallon bucket of water down the pipe. he said it would plug up the air leak and fix the problem. - Anon 2/5/12
The advice you received is in my opinion idiotic.
First of all a submersible pump is normally under water, so it's not going to suffer an air leak at the pump; if the pump is NOT under-water and thus is picking up air, that means that the well flow rate itself is inadequate - that's a well problem not a pump problem. If that were the case you'd see air coming out of faucets or sprinklers.
Second, dumping goop into a well is not going to fix the well. The best you can hope for is that your cream of wheat clogs up and ruins your pump itself.
Do not dump cream of wheat, nor oatmeal, nor any other gobbeldygoop into your well.
If there are leaks in the well piping anywhere from the well pump to the final sprinkler heads, yes, when the system is running the pressure will be worse than previously.
1 hp shallow well jet pump for home shallow well 70-140'. pump was giving 60-70psi easy at first but nearby orange groves keep drain the local wells. Have to shut off pump when they water for frost or during dry season then reprime a day later to stop over heating. we have one bladder tank but no resivor tank. hot water tank is in house also shut off when well shut off. now pump can only barely reach 50, so we lowered the shut off by turning the big spring. the bladder tank doesn't seem to have much water in it but it does seem to have air, but don't know how much is suppose to be in that tank of air or water. has the running dry for a hour or 3 before we noticed the well went dry damaged the impeller or is the problem with the pump they are only about a year old or could it be a problem with the well.
what has been done so far:
adjusted shut off, reprimed pump, redid any screw on pipe seal with plumbers tape that seemed to have an air leak pipe seal have to be redone if the well goes dry and the pump gets hot until no water drips and no air leak can be heard
the pump is a goulds pump itt jplus jet pump
model c48a95a06-j10 b0865194
the guys that installed it decided that it the well didn't need the jet adapter and did the nonjet install. - Arachia 3/21/12
In general, the choices are to improve well yield, drill a new well, or add large capacity water storage at the property and fill those tanks slowly without exceeding your well's flow rate.
We just replaced a submersible pump (well is about 350 ft deep). When we turned it back on the pressure on the gauge goes up to 50 and turns off and drops down to about 30 but doesnt build back up. Do we need a new pressure tank? - Roger 5/1/12
Roger, if the pressure does not return after falling in your water system then either the pump is not turning on when it should or there is a well piping leak or a control problem.
The water pressure tank smooths the flow of delivery of water as the pump cycles on and off and avoids rapid pump on-off cycling, but it does not determine system pressure.
Try checking for dirt or debris clogging at both the gauge and the pressure control switch, or just replace them.
we just built a well for my family back home in the Philippines but until now is not done yet. they already dig 85 ft. it works but the water running for 30 t0 45 mins then it stop. they thought that there is no enough water. they dig more until they reach 110 ft but still do the same. please help us what's the problem? the Pipes, pump or the water level? thank you! -Jean 5/21/12
Jean, by looking into the well you will see where in the course of the depth of the well shaft water is entering. Digging deeper, if it does NOT get lucky enough to disclose new water entry points, is not going to increase the well flow rate. It can, however, increase the volume of water stored in the well and thus give a reserve of water for daily use. Beyond those general remarks, you need someone on scene to determine if you have a well pipe or pump problem.
I all of a sudden started having pressure/flow problems. If I am running one fixture and turn on another I lose pressure to the other. For example if I run the shower and the washer starts to fill, the shower will lose all flow. Garden hose being turned on will do the same thing, or just any other faucet in the house.
Often my pressure in a single faucet/shower will be o.k., but not great, other times I will have excellent pressure like before. I seldom have enough water pressure at my outdoor spigots for my hoses to run a sprinkler. I have an approx. 15 year old submersible that seems to be working fine, if I open the ball valve where the water comes into the house from the pump I can fill a 6 gallon water can in a very short time with high pressure and it doesn't seem to slow at all before I have to close the valve.
I have replaced the water pressure switch with the next higher switch, with no real improvement. I do have an approx. 4' tall bladder tank that I increased the air pressure to so it would match the new pressure switch. I'm at a loss, but it would be nice to be able to run a sprinkler again, or not have to run downstairs to shut off the washer before getting in the shower. None of this was a problem until recently, any suggestions would be helpful. - Dan 7/10/12
Dan, if water pressure reaches a normal level at pump shut-off when you are not running any water in the building, say 40 or 50 psi, then the pump is capable of delivering adequate pressure and the problem is elsewhere.
Examples of possible problems in this case include
Help! I have a cistern with 1 1/2 inch plastic piping and a 1HP (non-self priming) pump. Water is drawn up 6ft vertically, approx. 30 ft horizontaly and down 6 ft to the pump & pressure tank. It is an additional 20 ft to my house. The system was new 3 yrs ago. When it works, it works fine.
The problem is it will work perfectly for a few weeks/months then the pump will not shut off causing a loss/or no pressure to the house. It is increadibly difficult to prime the pump. Once it is running it usually works fine for a few days, weeks ect. I have replaced the pressure switch twice and the pressure tank.
The recent pressure switch change was a couple of weeks ago and it features an automatic shut off component so the pump won't burn out.Lately when the pump won't shut off I have been wacking the switch and everything starts working again (generally for a few days). I have had several plumbers make adjustments.
Comments range from.....air leak somewhere in the line, adjust pressure switch, to insufficent power to overcome check valve. I am unable to make a logical decision what to do. Also if there is an air leak at a joint would silicon be sufficent to fix the problem or should it be replaced? I am considering buying a 1.5 HP self-priming pump? - Mike 11/9/12
A 1hp pump ought to be able to lift 6ft, but a bad foot valve or check valve could be losing prime. Sometimes a bad check valve will stick open, but just on occasion, making the problem intermittent, but more likely after a longer period of disuse.
Keep us posted.
It has recently developed that ocassionally all flow at all users will be lost for about 3-5 seconds. It occurs when one user is active (shower) and another turns on (toilet, sink). It may occur sometimes when only one user is active (shower or sink) but I have not been able to verify this.
The pressure switch seems to work OK, but the pressure gauge doesn't work well (must be tapped for the needle to move - I need to change it).
Is this likely to be an air tank problem or a pump problem or something else? I have reviewed the articles and have not found clear direction. - Gary 12/3/12
For a pump problem to explain what you describe I'd expect the water tank to have no water in it at all, or to be almost completely waterlogged, having no air charge at all. Otherwise the water tank would keep pressure flowing across pump turning on and off. So I don't suspect a water pressure tank problem.
If the water pressure tank is completely waterlogged, then it is not going to keep ANY water flowing on its own. In that case, as soon as you turn water on the pump comes on as well and runs almost constantly (depending on water usage rate); it may be that your pressure tank is almost completely waterlogged, so when the pump stops (though just briefly as the tank has so little air charge), water flow also stops.
(Dec 22, 2012) Art said:
Question: low house water pressure and significant delay in pump kicking in. We have a jet pump & pressure tank connected to a cistern. Recently the whole house will have a pressure drop in the water to nearly nothing and it takes a LONG time for the pump to kick back in to bring the pressure up. Before the water pressure would taper off, but the pump would kick in rather quickly to bring the pressure back up. Often you could just flush a toilet and the pump would kick in. Now, nothing will make the pump kick in. Thoughts? Art 12/22/12
(Dec 30, 2012) john said:
i have just brought a acreage and this is the first time i have had a well , since moving in i have had very little pressure and the water just trickles out of some taps, so i am looking for some sound advice as to what i should do next . Thanks john
(Jan 6, 2013) Wayne said:
Hi, I have a pump and Pressure Tank, My Problem. I Turn on pump all ok. The Pump Builds Pressure and runs water Great through the faucets as Normal when open... The Pump cuts off the pressure as Norma When Faucets are closed. ... THEN I hear the water running back down the Pipes.?. This cycle starts all over again. Pumps water Pressure Switch Cuts in ..Water runs down the pipes.
(Feb 14, 2013) Carolyn said:
I recently changed out a damaged pressure control box. Pressure box is a 40/60 psi. I believe the pressure only got up to 35 before the pump turned off. Do I need to prime the pump or what? I have less pressure now than I did then.
(Mar 4, 2013) Emma said:
Hi, I have a pump and Pressure Tank, My Problem. I Turn on pump all ok. The Pump Builds Pressure and runs water Great through the faucets as Normal when open... The Pump cuts off the pressure as Normal when Faucets are closed. .. But then it won't start again! It's been working perfectly since renewing pickup line and brand new pump installed! Help please!
(Jan 26, 2014) chris polte said:
I have a water well system that recently has poor water pressure. The house is vacant, so we turn of the breaker to the well when we are not there. The problem is suddenly we have a drastic drop in water pressure. I have done some tests and can't figure out the problem. The tank pressure is 45psi. I changed the pressure switch settings and the pump comes on at 30psi and goes off at 60psi. The only thing that did was let the pressure in the house last 3 minutes instead of one before the pressure goes bad and winds up to a trickle or totally stopping. The spigot on the pump house has wonderful pressure all the time and the spigot in the hot water heater shed has excellent pressure always. The hot water heater is gas. I did notice one of the 2 filters had a slow dripping leak. Never had a pressure problem before until recently recently. Am about to start digging up water line to check for breaks, but how can there be a break if it has great pressure all the way to hot water heater. I don't know what to do next, can someone please help me out here ??
Starting with some arm-waving and speculation, since I trust you've looked through the water pressure loss checklist above:
Something to check is the loss of prime - when we leave a water system off there may have been a slow leak - say a running toilet - that kept cycling the pump from time to time - enough to keep it primed.
Usually loss of prime means NO water rather than reduced pressure but still I'd watch what happens to the pressure gauge AFTER you've turned off the water.
Another ugly possibility is that the well flow rate has deteriorated - seasonally or permanently.
Make sure I understand this clearly before we continue: do you mean that water will run continuously but at lower pressure? Or do you mean you are running out of water?
(Jan 26, 2014) chris polte said:
What I mean is this, the water flows great at the spigot at the pump house and the one in the hot water shed, no loss of pressure at either of these. The loss of pressure happens when you turn something on inside the house. Within the last few days, when you turn on for example the kitchen sink, pressure would be fine at 1st, then it would trickle down to almost stopping in about a minute and a half. I increased the settings on the pressure switch to shut off at 60psi rather than 40psi and now the pressure lasts around 3 minutes before it losses pressure. I thought about the well drying up, but if that was the case the spigots would lose pressure to wouldn't they ??
Quite correct Bout well dry up.
Sounds as if there is a clog or a partly shut valve, clogged filter, or an in house pressure tank bladderroblem.
(Jan 27, 2014) chris polte said:
Dan, when you drain the pressure tank, shouldn't there still be some air pressure in the tank ? Wen I drained mine and checked the pressure it said 0. When I refilled it said 50psi. Also the pump kicks off at 60psi and watching the pressure gauge, it slowly goes down to 50psi and holds there, and the tank is still at 50psi. Is this maybe due to a bad bladder ?
(Jan 27, 2014) (mod) said:
Yes Chris. In short, when we drain the pressure tank we are emptying it of water and allowing air to enter at atmospheric pressure. So you are starting with an empty tank at 1 ATM which technically would be about 14.6 psi BUT your water tank pressure gauge is just not that sensitive, and is designed and calibrated to read water pressure in the piping. So your water tank gauge will read 0 when the tank is fully emptied of water and open to the air.
That's where we want to start. When you then turn the pump back on, the air in the tank is pressurized as water enters the tank. When the pump kicks off at 60 PSI and PROVIDED that no water is running in the house AND that the tank itself and its fittings are not leaking, THEN we should see 60 PSI on the gauge - or something close to 60. (These water pressure gauges are not precise lab instruments and also because of pumping effects often when the pump switch cuts off at your set pressure of 60 the gauge pressure will drop just a few psi.
The fact that you see pressure dropping slowly down to 50 argues that there is water running or a leak somewhere.
Try shutting water off into the building - downstream from the pressure tank and its controls - that is between the pressure tank outlet that feeds the house and the rest of house piping there should be a main shutoff valve.
Then go in to the house and open a faucet. After a brief spurt of water you should see nothing coming out. If you do, then the main shutoff at the tank is a little leaky OR water is running by gravity from upper floor piping backwards into the lower floor faucet you opened. (so maybe try this upstairs, or wait and see if the flow stops).
If you do NOT see any water flowing in the house then the main shutoff valve between house and tank is good.
Then if you STILL see tank pressure dropping I'm guessing a check valve or foot valve or well piping are leaky.
Keep us posted.
(Jan 27, 2014) Bill Schultz said:
Have had extreme cold weather here.
Last week we woke up one morning and had no water pressure.
Have submersible pump in 4" well casing.
After some heat application I noted a small increase in tank pressure - approx 10 lb.
Would not increase past that. I have been using panel switch to turn pump off and on
and I get a flow of close to pencil width. About 10 minutes to fill small pail.
Submersible has been in well for 30 years or so.
Can I check anything to get pressure or should I consider replacing pump?
Water line to house is close to surface and has a heat cable attached. It certainly
is a pain in this cold weather.
Leave some faucets open in hope that you will relieve increasing water pressure in water supply piping that may be freezing. There is a chance that that will reduce the chance of burst pipes. Of course if water begins to flow at normal rate you'll shut it off.
Often if water supply piping anywhere in the system is PARTLY blocked by freezing but you can get water flowing, by leaving water running you'll thaw out the frozen line. So I'd try that too.
But I would NOT leave a well pump running if no water is being delivered as I'm worried about damaging the pump.
Check that your heating cable is live and working.
Beyond that, you can try using a normal hair dryer to blow warm air on the coldest pipe sections indoors.
Search InspectApedia for the article PIPE FREEZE-UP POINTS for a series of articles on finding where pipes are most-likely to be freezing and how to deal with the problem.
Also search InspectApedia for our article
DE-WINTERIZE a BUILDING
for more suggestions about thawing frozen pipes
Keep us posted.
Thanks for your view.
I have not traced any frozen pipes to house, so I suspect outside pipe to well, Pipe in well,
or pump itself are the problem.
Still getting a pencil width stream of water when I turn pump on. Too weak to pressurize tank to
If water pressure is never improving I suspect
- a damaged pump
- a well piping leak
- low voltage to the pump
Keep us posted. What you find will doubtless help other readers.
(Feb 24, 2014) Bill Schultz said:
Finally getting around to telling what I found with my pump/wellhead.
After digging out wellhead, I found a major leak at a nylon fitting at top of water piping.
After rigging a fix, I tightened a nipple too tight, creating an even larger leak. My son
and I finally rigged a temporary fix for the wellhead that didn't leak. I immediately got full
pressure in the house and its been working well ever since. 33 year old submersible still going
strong - but I have a replacement on hand to install this summer.
Stupendous, Bill. Kudos for finding the issue. It's surely true that a well piping leak that is occurring inside the well casing can kill water pressure as well as be hard to spot unless someone pulls the casing top and takes a look. Sometimes we can see the problem as a loss of prime (if the pup is aboveground) but with a submersible pump in the well we don't get that clue.
If you've got any details that might help another reader home in on this particular water pressure loss problem - due to a well piping leak - it'd b a boon if you posted those added comments.
Thanks again for the follow-up;
(Feb 16, 2014) Ron said:
Here's my issue and I'm new at this so please be patient, lately we have been noticing that the water will run fine for awhile and then all of a sudden stop, then after about maybe 1-3 minutes the pump will kick in and then water will flow again. I would like to know where i should start in finding the culprit to maintain an even water flow in the house?
Ron don't worry about not being an expert, none of us knows everything and together were smarter than any individual.
Now for a first guess, have someone turn on the water while you wait by the pump pressure control switch. When water flow is very weak or stops take a look at the pressure gauge at the pump control or water tank and make note of its reading.
Then rap II tap theressure switch. Let me know if that turns it on.
(Mar 16, 2014) Allen Stewart said:
Anyone have any idea on how to find an airlock in a 2000ft, 6" PVC pip, most is buried 3-4' feet under. A Ping pong ball has not come out the other end a week later, I've even drained the pipe and refilled. I wasn't there when it was laid so don't know if it rises anywhere.
(Apr 3, 2014) Alison said:
After using some water, we lose pressure (to zero). If we reset the pump switch, pressure is regained. This happened a few times over the last month. It seems to have gotten worse today and of course now it is becoming an emergency (go figure). Thoughts?
If you are having to re-set the switch that suggests that the well flow rate is poor and the switch is shutting down the pump to protect it. OR the switch is defective and not turning on the pump - in which case I'd try replacing it.
Alison I've published your excellent question along with a researched answer at
take a look and let us know if that leaves you with questions.
Thanks so much for the QUICK response! We actually just finished replacing it about 2 min ago (it seemed the only fairly simple thing to try)....will go see now what happens. The diagnostic table is great (a little horrifying but great). We did check and the switch was getting power, but had a new one so went ahead and replaced it.
This may be a really dumb question, but because our pump is far from the house (switch is in garage)I don't hear when it is running or not. Is there a way to figure that out? It would likely help diagnose the issue if I knew when the pump was or was not running. Did that make any sense? Thank you again. - Alison 4/3/14
(May 8, 2014) Terry Roy said:
My water has started surging. Do you know what this could be from????
Terry, if your home is served by a pump and tank system I suspect the tank is waterlogged. In the table above see the second link from bottom titled
SHORT CYCLING WATER PUMP
(May 22, 2014) Gunther said:
After installing a new pressure tank l found that the pump cycles too frequently and a thorough diagnosis suggest that the chceck valve allows water to flow back into the storage tank which is elevated relative to the pump which is a 1/2 hp Sears model Shallow Well pump.
Same is on good condition except for the check valve which l will replace if l can obtain a replacement. The new pressure tank is a Flotec, an exact replica of the original Craftsman tank. That made the connections easy to transfer to the new tank. It is very likely that the pump cycled frequently for a considerable period unbeknownst to us since it sits in the back of our large property and we were not aware of the pump motor's noise.
It is quite obvious that as soon as we stop using water in the house, the pressure gauge shows a rapid loss of water pressure even after shutting off the valve on the pipe leading to the house. There are no leaks on or near the pump, mounted on the tank but water can be heard splashing into the tank concurrent with the gauge showing water loss until the pump kicks in when pressure gets to 28 lbs from the 45 lbs when the motor stops.
Are the check valves replacable?
Yes Gunther, it sounds as if you should replace the check valve. Yes they are replaceable
(May 28, 2014) Ron said:
I’m having some issues with my well system and was wondering if you could help. Overall, it seems to be working OK for basic household stuff, but when I have a higher volume situation like running the sprinkler system I lose pressure very quickly. For the first 4-5 minutes of the sprinkling cycle, everything seemed to be working fine. But then the pressure dropped way down and barely any water was coming from the heads. This happened on any of the zones that were being run, so I don’t believe it is a sprinkler system problem. When the pressure is low, the pressure valve reads approximately 20 psi. The on/off pressure switch for the pump is set at 45 psi and 65 psi. It appears as though the sprinkling system is pulling too much water and the pump/pressure tank can’t keep up – even though the same exact system worked fine last year.
I initially thought it might be a pressure tank issue, because the tank seemed to be completely filled with water. So, I turned the pump off, connected a hose and drained all the pressure/water from the system. I then checked the tank air pressure and found it to be at 12 psi. I added air to get the air pressure up to about 41-42 psi and turned the pump back on. Now the sprinkler system will only run about 1-2 minutes before it shuts down with no pressure. I again checked the pressure tank, and this time it seems to be empty of water and basically all air. I probably really messed something up, but I’m now looking for some help or advice on what to do next. Thanks a lot.
Ron I am *guessing* from your note that the problem is not the tank but EITHER
- the well flow rate itself is too limited to support a higher water flow rate
- the pump can't pump at the desired rate when you are running a lot of water
The pressure tank is limited in volume and flow rate - it can not give more pressure than the pump can deliver once the initial volume in the tank has been depleted.
The options are to install a higher capacity pump (which can in turn run the well dry) or to install a much larger water pressure tank that also stores a larger volume of water.
Thanks a lot for the response. I guess my question still is, why am I having trouble this year, when the same exact system was able to run the sprinklers last year? Could the performance of the pump deteriorated or could there be something wrong with the tank? It just seems strange that this problem cropped up this year when everything worked OK a year ago.
Excellent point. Ask what's changed. The well could have changed in its flow rate, or a pipe leak could have developed somewhere (for example).
Has anyone drilled a new well nearby?
Is there any evidence of a leak in the system?
Is there a malfunctioning air volume control or a snifter valve in the well?
Thanks for the ideas Dan. I did some checking this weekend with no luck. I'll keep looking and if I figure anything out, I'll give an update. Thanks again.
It would be diagnostic to know if, when the pressure has fallen off, the pump is continuing to run or not.
(June 4, 2014) Richard said:
My switch box tells me my pump is bound. What is/are my next steps?
Pull the pump, test the motor and impeller assembly, repair or replace it. Remember to check for proper voltage and for wiring errors.
(July 4, 2014) Anonymous said:
Can a faulty well pump, which still delivers some water, cause the pressure tank to not work properly? When I open a valve before the pressure tank, water spurts out but not at very high pressure. I have a radon bubbler installed after the pressure tank, and the pressure is now at the lower limit of allowing the bubbler to work so I have to reset the low pressure valve every few hours as the tank empties. My plumber tells me I need a new well pump, because its pressure is too low. I think the pressure tank may not be working. We had a basement flood in the winter and the pressure switch appears corroded. The pump works continually. Any thoughts?
A faulty pump doesn't damage a pressure tank as long as pressures remain within safe range (say under 70 psi), though air leaks into the system via well piping or a bad air volume control could be part of the trouble.
A pump that runs constantly needs to be diagnosed and repaired.
Please see the diagnostic suggestions at
Watch out: a pump that pumps to excessive pressures can rupture a pressure tank and even injure someone who is nearby. Be sure that your pump and tank system includes a proper pressure relief valve.
(July 27, 2014) Anonymous said:
When I fill up the clothes washing machine, the water pressure drops quickly blow the cut-on pressure of 30 and drops down to 10 although the pump is still running. If I close the water to the washer, it takes about 40 seconds for the pump to reach the cut on point; then the pressure goes up to 50 the cut-off point. What can I do to fix this problem
Did you try looking through the suggestions in the table above?
We don't know If the problem is pump damage or low well flow rate but your pressure tank is probably waterlogged as well.
8/15/14 Don said:
lost water pressure replaced pump tank switch and pump does same thing will run water all day just no pressure 5 to 10 lbs what could cause this
If a pump seems to run without exhausting the well and ony develops very low PSI I suspect that either the pump impeller is damaged or there is a leak in well piping between well and building. I've also on occasion had reports of this problem traced to low voltage.
Questions & answers or comments about how best to diagnose the cause of poor building water pressure or lost water pressure.
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