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Two line jet pump diagram (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Well Pump Diagnostic FAQs

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This article provides a table of diagnostic checks and procedures for fixing well water pump problems.



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Well Pump Troubleshooting Diagnostic Table FAQs

Copper tubing on pressure control switch (C) Daniel FriedmanRecently posted questions & answers at WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC TABLE - a well pump troubleshooting article, are provided below.

On 2017-06-13 by (mod) sweet corn irrigation well loses prime, runs out of water?

Tim:

Since you report that the well pump was running successfully as an irrigation pump for 4-5 hours before it stopped giving water, I suspect you are exhausting the well's water inflow.

15ft of water, if it is a 6" casing, is less than 30 gallons in the static head or water column when the well is fully rested. So when you run water for 4-5 hours you are depending on the well flow rate - rate that water flows into the well.

With global warming, seasonal changes, and depending on where you live, with many users pumping out the aquifer, it would be no surprise if the flow rate and yield of your well has been reduced.

When you face this condition again I would

1. immediately turn off the pump as running the pump dry will damage it
2. take a look into the well to see if there is water at all, and if so at what level,
3. take note of the time and then see if you can observe the rate at which water flows into the well enough to re-fill the casing.

Keep in mind that even then, you can't re-start and re-run the pump successfully unless the rate at which water flows into the well is greater than the rate that water is being taken out of it.

If this is the only water source for your sweetcorn, and assuming we can get the well running again but now know that its flow rate is
diminished, I would investigate using a slower watering rate, maybe drip irrigation.

Keep me posted

Daniel

On 2017-06-13 by Tim G.

I have a shallow well used for watering sweet corn. It has over 15' of water and the suction line is less than 25' in total length. Check value has been replaced and all connections for leaks. Problem; it will pump for 4-5 hours then stop delivering water when pump is running. Then impossible to re prime even after 7-10 times. What's happening?

On 2017-06-10 21:49:20.009283 by (mod)

Jon:

If the pump motor stops then I suspect it is overheating OR is being shut down by a pump protection switch that responds to low water in the well.

If the pump is overheating it may be due to a binding impeller, motor bearing, or low voltage.

On 2017-06-10 by Jon

Thtis is an existing pump that has been in use for 3 or 4 years. Recently it started acting up where it produces a small amount of water then the pump will quite running.

On 2017-05-29 by (mod) re: signs of an air leak in the suction line or in the water pump

Gary that sounds to me as if there is an air leak into the suction line or into the pump itself. Inspect the pump and piping carefully as you might also see signs of leaks out at the leak point. If you have plastic piping try adding a hose clamp and tightening it at each connection point.

On 2017-05-29 by gary

i cannot get the jet pump to prime-a 5ft. lift and 30ft. distance-it blows a lot of air out the priming inlet

On 2017-05-19 by (mod) re: how to replace the Goulds J Plus pump diaphraghm

Larry,

Take a look at the parts explosion for the Goulds J-plus pump, as I did, and I think you'll see the illustration shows the seal ring on top of the diaphragm rather than fitting into it.

On 2017-05-19 14:32:34.893290 by Larry

Rebuilding a Gould jplus , should the diaphragm gasket be fitted into diaphragm or placed on top?

On 2017-05-13 by (mod) re: Goulds J7 pump failure report

MJ

Unless all four Gould J7 water pumps came from the very same manufacturing run (check manufacturing dates and serial numbers) it's not likely that the pump is the root problem. Typically short cycling (water logged pressure tank) or low voltage are more likely to cause pump damage as would running the pump dry if your water source were inadequate.

On 2017-05-13 by MJ

We are in our 4th new Gould j7 pump in 4 years. Keeps seizing up and plumbers just replace units without insight into whAts causing failure.

Water supply is drawing from lines submerged in lake wAter which is sufficiently suspended off the bottom and has a screen and foot valve. We removed and replaced the hose going from pump to pressure switch and now it works again. Any idea for why this is a repetitive problem?

On 2017-05-05 by Anonymous

I hope you can help my boyfriend took off the condenser on our water pump because water pump quit working now he dont know how to put new one on

On 2017-04-14 by (mod) re: irrigation pump trips circuit breaker

Bob,

A tripping circuit breaker on an irrigation pump circuit is usually caused by
- a pump motor that is overloading, seizing, failing or otherwise is damaged, drawing high current
- a short circuit in the pump system wiring

It's pretty easy to diagnose those conditions if the electrician is familiar with use of a DMM or VOM and can check the wires for shorts as well as checking the current draw of the pump. I suppose one of your timers could also be shorting.

Watch out: for electrical shock hazards - if you're not trained to do these steps I'd call an electrician.

On 2017-04-14 by Bob

I have a 220v irrigation pump pulling from a lake. The pump is controlled by 2 Hunter timers separately wired to two hunter pump relays. The system has worked flawlessly for a couple of seasons. This season, something keeps tripping the breaker.

I can start the timers manually and the pump will run through complete cycles. It might work automatically for a day or two but then I'll find that the breaker has tripped. I have been unable to determine if the trip occurs while the pump is running or on timer controlled startup. I have replaced the breaker and the wiring from the pump to the relays. I have checked the wiring in the relays and all are tight. This has not fixed the problem. Could a bad pump capacitor be the problem?

On 2017-04-12 by (mod) Re: where a short cycling pump will show up: at the tap

Jo

Short cycling will be observed right at the tap - the water pressure and flow will decliine then increase in rapid pulses of 15 seconds or less.

I suspect your pressure gauge and maybe pressure control switch are debris clogged.

On 2017-04-14 by (mod) re: irrigation pump trips circuit breaker

Bob,

A tripping circuit breaker on an irrigation pump circuit is usually caused by
- a pump motor that is overloading, seizing, failing or otherwise is damaged, drawing high current
- a short circuit in the pump system wiring

It's pretty easy to diagnose those conditions if the electrician is familiar with use of a DMM or VOM and can check the wires for shorts as well as checking the current draw of the pump. I suppose one of your timers could also be shorting.

Watch out: for electrical shock hazards - if you're not trained to do these steps I'd call an electrician.

On 2017-04-14 by Bob

I have a 220v irrigation pump pulling from a lake. The pump is controlled by 2 Hunter timers separately wired to two hunter pump relays. The system has worked flawlessly for a couple of seasons. This season, something keeps tripping the breaker. I can start the timers manually and the pump will run through complete cycles.

It might work automatically for a day or two but then I'll find that the breaker has tripped. I have been unable to determine if the trip occurs while the pump is running or on timer controlled startup. I have replaced the breaker and the wiring from the pump to the relays.

I have checked the wiring in the relays and all are tight. This has not fixed the problem. Could a bad pump capacitor be the problem?

On 2017-04-12 by (mod) re: short cycling pump & diagnosing trouble with a pump returned to service after long disuse

Jo

Short cycling will be observed right at the tap - the water pressure and flow will decliine then increase in rapid pulses of 15 seconds or less.

I suspect your pressure gauge and maybe pressure control switch are debris clogged.

On 2017-04-10 by Jo

One more note, the pressure gauge was not all the way down to 30 when I turned on the breaker, and the pump kicked on. Could this be related?

We just moved into a new house a few months back. It was a foreclosure, no one had been in it for a year and the water that came out at first was... dirty.
In the meantime, I started to notice that our power bill was double what we payed before.

So I started testing, turned off the heat for a month and watching electricity usage. We went out of town, and decided to shut of breakers to most of the house, leaving on a few key ones such as water so that the someone could water animals, etc.

I noticed that the electricity had only halved when we went out of town, so I re-examined the 3 breakers that we had not shut off. I shut off the water pump for a full 24 hours and my energy usage halved in that day, leading me to believe something is going on. After some calculations, and close observations, my water pump is using an average of 20KWH per day. There is only two adults in the house, both of which are out of the house for most of the day.

In addition, our electricity usage is significantly higher on "Laundry" Days. We do 3-4 loads. Not a little higher, much higher.

The pump is a submersible pump, and I am not sure how often it is running. On one hand I think it is short cycling because it is using more electricity when water is being used, but that doesn't explain the high electricity usage even when it is not being used (like when we went on vacation and the pets were given water once a day).

I then turned off the water pump for a few hours to see if the water pressure tank holds pressure. I waited overnight, and there is no change in pressure. I ran some water, which lowered the pressure in the tank, and then turned on the breaker. I watched the needle promptly return to 50PSI. Then I ran water again until it was about 40PSI and watched again. Nothing happened, the needle stayed in the same place.

I'm honestly just not sure where to go from here. Can you give any suggestions of what to check next?

On 2017-04-01 by (mod) re: pressure switch won't keep pump running - may not be sensing water pressure

Elton,

I would start by checking or replacing the pump pressure control switch.

On 2017-04-01 by Elton

Woke up no water checked well good level of water pulled outside breaker near pump pushed it back in heard tank try to build pressure shut off after 5 seconds went in house had water for 2 to 3 seconds then dry again any suggestions

On 2017-04-01 by (mod) re: hooking up a garden hose since pump stopped working?

Garr,

I'm not sure I understand the exact question. If you have a working well and pump then the pump Outlet which would normally feed a pressure tank could be connected to a temporary pressure tank and hose hook up that then could connect to your building

On 2017-04-01 by Gary

How can I hook up a garden hose to my house since the pump burnt up? I have another well with power a few yards away.

On 2017-03-20 by (mod) re: dangerous signs of a shorted well pump or wiring

Trudy

Assuming no wiring errors it sounds as if either the pump is seized or the pump wiring is shorted together or to the casing.

Watch out: there are risks of death by electric shock.

If your pressure switch is controlling a second (heavier duty) pump relay control, there could be a failure therein - ahead of the pump - such as a shorted relay.

So that'd get checked.

But it's pretty easy (as I suspect you know) to check the pump wiring isolated from the switch or a control box: just disconnect the pump wires entirely at that point then check for continuity between them.

On 2017-03-20 2 by Trudy

My 1/2 HP Single Phase - 3-wire 230V 6Amp submersible well pump in my 81 ft. well quit running; I started with replacing the pressure switch and cleaning out the pipe connecting it to the water line as pipe was 1/2 plugged, rewired same as old switch and when breakers turned on it made breakers crackle, etc. but not turn on the pump. Researched pressure switch wiring on mfg. website and rewired as shown, with the same thing happening. (Further research indicates both ways were correct.)

Bought a new control box; same thing happening. With front off Control Box checked the voltage w/ a voltage tester at the breakers, at in lines at pressure switch, at out lines at pressure switch and at in lines at control box. All checked out 120V single line and 240V for both.

With both the old and new Control Box fronts connected, pump does not run and the breakers crackle and fizzle, but do not when Control box front is off with wires still all connected up to Control Box with voltage readings correct; also plug in still working in pump house.

Can I "assume" there is a short somewhere in the wiring inside the well or the pump motor at this point? Or................. Thanks!

On 2017-03-16 15:39:07.045894 by (mod) re: tapping on the pressure control switch can diagnose clogging or sticky points

Good going, Kristi! I love that diagnostic trick of tapping on the control.

Often debris or silt in the water supply can clog a pressure control switch. The first to clog is a very small orifice on the bottom of the switch through which water pressure is conveyed to a diaphraghm that in turn operates the switch. But debris can also clog the small-diameter tube on which some switches mount, or the tube that otherwise connects between a switch and the pump body or another system pressure source and the switch itself.

So if your water supply has mud, silt, debris that may be the underlying problem.

Of course there are other causes - found by searching InspectApedia.com for WATER PUMP WON'T START or for NO WATER PRESSURE

On 2017-03-16 14:37:24.730437 by Kristi P

We have a 1 HP Goulds SJ10 pump ( # C48A95A06) 2 days ago woke up to no water. Checked under the house for leaks, checked the pressure in the bladder tank, no issues. Replaced the Water Pump Pressure Switch and everything started working again.

Water worked fine at 7 am this morning then no water again 2 hours later. (of course now my husband is at work!) Went out and tapped on the top of the pump itself and it immediately cut on! Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

On 2017-03-14 16:38:23.477307 by (mod) re: signs of a failing pump motor

I suspect that there is a failing pump motor, improper voltage, improper wiring, or wrong capacitor has been installed.

On 2017-03-14 12:33:23.935051 by Ed

Pump works fine for about 20 to 30 minutes, then the run capacitor burns out on the submersible motor control model number 2801084910.

On 2017-03-11 16:40:06.785650 by (mod)

Ask your plumber to check for lost pump prime, and if that's the problem, you probably need to replace a bad check valve or foot valve.

On 2017-03-11 16:05:09.753285 by Vicki

We had a power outage. When the power came back on, the water isn't pumping from our well. We have water for a few seconds from the faucet then it dies down. You can normally hear the faucet pulse/pump and we don't hear that either.

On 2017-03-10 03:25:49.115937 by (mod)

Anon
Please use the search box just above to search for PRIME THE WELL PUMP to see two priming methods one of which should work for you.
Also check for leaks in your well piping.

On 2017-03-09 19:45:47.221550 by Anonymous

I got all new 1 horespower pump pipe & foot valve. It 65 feet deep. And I can't get it to pump. Primed it many times and still nothing.

On 2017-03-02 17:08:49.984945 by (mod)

Search InspectApedia for LOST WATER PRESSURE to see diagnosis and repair procedures

On 2017-03-02 00:45:02.363655 by Amy

My well suddenly stopped pumping water. A couple days later it pumped water again for about a week and stopped again. The pump clicks on and then clicks off again.

On 2017-02-27 16:12:13.212061 by (mod)

Sounds like an overheating pump motor. Could be a failing bearing.

On 2017-02-27 15:22:59.344662 by Geoff

My Artesian well runs fine for around 5 minutes , then it trips the electric . If it is left for around 30 minutes it works again , then trips the electric again .

On 2017-02-15 21:00:09.344967 by (mod)

Submersible pumps don't normally lose prime as they're under-water. But you could have a leaky well pipe or check valve.

On 2017-02-14 02:28:42.409825 by Clyde

Pump runs to 60 lbs. and drops back to 40 lbs. I have water pressure and water but is my submersible pump loosing its prime, or is there another problem.

On 2017-01-27 01:29:38.897398 by (mod)

Anon: sorry if your post was deleted - I didn't do that on purpose but it might have happened by a too-hasty click.

Also when there are many questions at the end of an article we are sometimes forced to move them to an accompanying FAQs page - for page speed.

See http://inspectapedia.com/water/Well_Pump_FAQs.php

On 2017-01-27 01:12:50.765323 by Anonymous

Nice I posted for help with my jet pump only to come back n it's gone. Thanks for that whoever flagged it. Like my life ain't bad enough already. This just makes it worse. Now I know what to do to fix it

On 2017-01-23 18:35:15.655719 by (mod)

Look for a bad check- or foot- valve.

On 2017-01-23 15:47:40.054544 by Aldrin stein

Hi , my pump switches on and off after every 10 minutes without a tap being opened, I'm afraid the motor might burn out ?

On 2017-01-15 14:13:03.950088 by (mod)

I think you meant the pump will NOT achieve pressure over 20 psi.

Typical causes of that problem are in an article you can find by searching InspectApedia (use the search box just above) for WELL PUMP WON'T STOP RUNNING

for example : a damaged impeller, a piping leak, low water in the well

On 2017-01-15 00:17:11.984835 by -David

I have a jet pump which holds pressure to home but the pump will get over 20 psi ? The pump ran continuously until I lowered the cut off pressure. this is the 3rd pump from Home Depot over a period of 5 years that I have tried. Would it just be a poor pump design.

On 2017-01-13 19:11:19.934764 by Mike

I have a sub pump I have very little pressure I replaced contacts checked pressure on holding tank (28lbs) I check voltage ok(240) can see water in filter when I turn pump on pressure gauge stops at 20lbs could gauge be bad pump run all the time help!

On 2017-01-13 04:38:54.683474 by (mod)

If the sound is from an electrical problem the installation is very unsafe and should be left turned off. Do you smell smoke or see Sparks?

Another possibility is mineral deposits or debris inside the impeller of the pump assembly.

On 2017-01-13 02:20:40.161909 by connie joiner

Well water pump makeing a popping sound.!!! What will cause thst?

On 2017-01-12 16:54:53.223136 by (mod)

A short between well wires, short from well wires to well casing, short to ground, seized well pump motor, frozen pump contactor switch. Or less likely: a defective breaker.

Watch out, there are harzards of death by electrocution: leave the circuit off and call for repair by an electrician. It should be easy to use a VOM or DMM to check the current draw and grounding and continuity on the circuit as part of diagnosis.

On 2017-01-12 16:38:27.510247 by Richard

My well pump keeps blowing the circuit breaker what could be wrong

Comments:

(May 23, 2011) Anonymous said:
This guide was the perfect answer to our problem. Thank you so much for this donation of knowledge.

...


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

Or see WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE which offers an example of diagnosis of loss of water pressure, loss of water, and analyzes the actual repair cost,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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