Questions & answers about how to diagnose & fix water pump problems:
FAQs about fixing problems like no water pressure, low water pressure, water system noises, or just about any other well pump trouble diagnosis & repair.
This article series describes how to diagnose and repair all types of well water pump problems and includes questions and answers from and to homeowners who lost well water pressure. We outline how to diagnose and fix bad water pressure (and link to articles in greater depth). We describe tracing a water pressure problem to the pump pressure control switch or to a bad water pressure tank (and what to do about it).
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Page top illustration of a water pump, tank, controls & water well is used with permission of Carson Dunlop Associates.
(May 13, 2015) Brenda said:
What would be the problem when the pump is not pulling water from the lake and there isn't any pressure?
Electrical power to the pump is off
Failed pump motor
failed pump control
pump intake screen clogged
piping leaky or disconnected enroute
See WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE for a complete and easy-to-read catalog of possible explanations for loss of water pressure or well pump problems.
On 2017-02-13 21:09:49.782563 by (mod) - water pressure OK except at toilet and sinkJay
On 2017-02-13 16:19:59.984795 by JayWater pressure is fine,except in the bedroom in between the tiolet an the sink
On 2017-02-12 18:25:31.004786 by (mod) - tap the water pressure gauge to see if its stuckTap the gauge gently; does it move? It's probably debris-clogged and needs replacement. It won't affect how your pump runs but the same clogging can foul up the pressure control switch so watch for a switch that doesn't respond to a drop in water pressure.
On 2017-02-12 11:07:17.336906 by norman millerPressure gauge stays at 50lbs is it bad?
On 2017-02-02 10:04:06.908352 by Anonymous - dirty waterreplaced submersible well pump but water is dirty. will this clear up ?
On 2017-02-02 04:07:37.218059 by vickie - using 2000 gallons a dayWe are going thru about 2000 gallons a day with only about 7 people using the well water. Can not
On 2017-01-30 22:29:18.606952 by (mod) - pump keeps tripping the circuit breakerSounds like shorted wires or a motor that is binding or seizing. Perhaps your electrician can do a continuity check on the full wiring. Also a motor may start and run without load but perform differently loaded.
On 2017-01-30 22:25:48.028065 by BettyElectrical problems, pumps runs fine out of well, checked wires, purchased a new control box, yet it still will not click in. Keeps throwing the breaker. Electrician cannot figure it out. Any suggestions
On 2017-01-23 14:26:36.253704 by (mod) - pump keeps turning on and off when no water is runningAlan
On 2017-01-23 13:03:10.493246 by alanmy well pump keeps turning on and off with 5-10 sec bursts of pressure. It also turns on when no water is being used, like in the middle of the night.
On 2017-01-22 10:06:07.724257 by arafathi was not able to rotate the wings of the home water pump which was not rotating even when switch is onned
On 2017-01-17 00:10:11.219540 by (mod) - running water sounds in pipesI suspect a leak in well piping. Another possibility the less likely would be a whole or damage in the side of the casing, admitting surface groundwater.
On 2017-01-16 22:47:00.980478 by AnonymousWell sounds like running water
On 2017-01-13 23:13:15.421572 by (mod) pump won't stop runningI would turn off the pump to avoid damaging it.
On 2017-01-13 22:40:18.921938 by AnonymousWe have a dual-feed line ,50'under..a 20 gal tank.The pump kept running and it wouldn't shut off
On 2017-01-13 04:41:44.088062 by (mod)If the water pump motor is running and no water is being delivered there are several possibilities but two common ones are no water in the well, or a damaged impeller in the pump itself.
On 2017-01-13 03:59:56.401169 by Sims.I can feel pump running but no pressure. The pump is almost 18 years old and contact points or pressure switch is too. I was wondering if that could be my problem
On 2017-01-12 16:08:24.638451 by (mod) - pump control points won't disengage
On occasion the contacts in a relay can become welded together, OR another defect such as debris clogging in the pressure control switch or a failed switch diaphragm can keep the points closed.
Or debris clogging the pressure port on the control switch can keep the switch from sensing that pressure has reached the cut-off.
I suggest that you replace the switch and check that the close nipple or tubing that communicates water to the switch is not also debris clogged.
On 2017-01-12 15:56:17.589098 by JohnPoints will not disengage to shut well pump off
On 2016-12-30 18:57:28.062643 by (mod)Brian:
On 2016-12-30 00:10:29.857806 by BrianWater pump kicks on for about 5 seconds and cuts off with pressure switch contacts still closed tanks about 5 times on and off to build pressure up to 50 psi and open contacts?
On 2016-12-18 16:39:46.880369 by Barry
We woke up this morning and do not have any water pressure. We have a Cellmate water pressure tank. The pressure gage was at 0psi. We also checked the pressure of the actual tank using a pressure gage and we didn't get pressure.
We read online that if the bladder is broke or there it is water logged than when we check the pressure both water and air will come on. This did not happen. We used an air compressor to try and fill the tank up but the gage will only reach 20 PSI.
Any ideas what the issue could be? Since it is a Sunday we can't find anyone to come out and look at it without charging an arm and a leg.
On 2016-12-17 15:33:48.850799 by (mod)Typical pressure switches cut IN/OUT at either 20/40 or 30/50 PSI.
On 2016-12-13 20:17:03.902410 by HankNew pressure switch,gauge and tank. 30 lbs of pressure max. Was 60 at one time?
On 2016-12-05 13:51:43.643165 by DavidHow do you fix a damaged diaphragm on a bore hole
On 2016-12-05 01:11:18.800107 by sam billIam a mechanic i came across so many fg wilson generator problem with the water pump and what is the cause the water pump to fail.
On 2016-11-30 07:41:12.560434 by Cleo
I switched my pump on by the plug but forgot to open the valve to allow the water to go to the garden.
Only realized it wasn't pumping water a half an hour later so switched it off the switched it back on with valve open but no water came out and the pump was super hot. What did I damage and how bad is it? Is there a way I can fix it myself?
On 2016-11-29 21:25:50.180299 by (mod)Thanks Danni.
On 2016-11-29 21:21:35.194497 by (mod)
Danni Black said:
I am really glad that I came across this article! My husband and I have been thinking that there might be something wrong with our water pump because it keeps turning off at randoms times.
We will have to call someone in and see if they can figure out what the deal is. Thanks for the information!
On 2016-11-16 12:54:38.986332 by vincentMy water pump keep turning on and off ever 1min to 2min. is it the selinoid needs to be replaced or the tank?
On 2016-11-08 16:48:22.372745 by (mod)I'd not leave the pump on as if it's stuck or broken you risk further electrical hazards. Check the current draw as that may indicate a seized motor or no load indicating no water.
On 2016-11-08 16:10:04.946488 by Tim
I have a second well hooked up to my house. I wanted to see if it works as a backup.
However when I plugged it in it won't bring up any water to the house. It's a submersible pump and the motor control box has been making a clicking noise. It's not the pressure switch as it works fine for the other well.
On 2016-11-06 22:36:58.718965 by Robin ShultzAlso to let you know we have city supplied water. We DO NOT HAVE A WELL.
On 2016-10-27 22:43:40.505332 by (mod)Gary
On 2016-10-27 17:37:38.350637 by AnonymousI have replace the pressure control switch and the valley instrument
On 2016-10-27 17:35:27.572214 by Gay CroftMy pump will not turn off
On 2016-10-25 22:10:59.128640 by (mod)Sounds as if the pressure tank is waterlogged and/or the pump's not turning on when it should.
On 2016-10-25 19:59:45.529521 by JasonHad plenty of pressure for the last 10 years now pressure drops when toilet flushed or other faucets turned on. Pump seems to work correctly. Any ideas?
On 2016-10-17 01:44:48.108645 by NCNeighbor just had a new well drilled ( all the noise and "vibrations" included). Next day my well develops a leak (bubbling up out of the ground 15 feet from my well pump). Coincidence or not? Your thoughts?
On 2016-10-07 13:43:46.066855 by dexterif a pump is running slow could the motor have something to do with the cause.
On 2016-10-07 12:38:17.735073 by emilyI turn off the hot water switch to conserve oil. Will this cause damage to the equipment?
On 2016-10-04 01:22:57.544355 by joyce maddenmy pump won,t come on replced pressure switch and still no water help
On 2016-09-24 14:04:08.662000 by (mod) - pump won't turn on even when pressure dropsWhen a pump doesn't turn on as waterpressure drops, the gauge and pressure control switch may be debris clogged; try replacing them before starting other more costly repairs. That's such a common problem that it's almost a favorite response to this sort of question.
On 2016-09-23 22:41:45.324329 by Mike O.What I just posted was really a Question and not a comment. Sorry.
On 2016-09-23 22:34:13.785708 by MikeO.
Several weeks ago, I noticed pressure gauge was on 20PSI. I checked the pressure in the take and topped it off at 28PSI. The water throughout the house is very slow and pressure is very low. Today, I shut off the power and drained the pressure tank of water and then tried to restore it.
I didn't notice a change in the tank from prior to that. It still seemed empty. I tapped it and tilted it and it does seem empty. I lowered the PSI's to 10 and tried filling it again but to no avail. The house still has slow water with little pressure.
I checked at the well by lifting the well cap and when I did, water sprayed everywhere and then I realized I left the power on.
But then again, should water have sprayed out from under the cap? Anyway, I disconnected the hose from the elbow at the well cap and turned the power back on and water flowed from the water pipe with no problem. Anyone have an idea of what could be wrong? I replaced the pump last year.
Help! I've read a lot of the articles here but can't find and answer. I wonder if there might be a split in the pipe coming from he pump itself. Pump is 364 feet down. I would appreciate any information anyone could give right now. Thank you, Mike
On 2016-09-19 15:37:58.437419 by (mod)Sounds as if the well is running low on water or there's a piping leak.
On 2016-09-19 14:41:46.904569 by marshallI just had a new water pump installed 4 months ago, now the pump is turning itself off and is making spurts of water pressure instead of a steady flow. Do I need to drain the pump and get out any debris that has been pumped into the new pump ? When moving here we flushed out the tank that the water goes into before coming to house ?
On 2016-09-14 17:51:42.931760 by (mod) air discharged at faucets or air in water pipingDan please search InspectApedia for AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS to read details of diagnosis and repair.
On 2016-09-14 13:25:25.964168 by Danwhy do I have air in my line?Air tank is ok \
On 2016-09-14 02:38:02.515463 by (mod) - delay in pump turning-onCommon cause of the symptom you describe is mud silt or debris clogging the pressure control switch or the tube that brings water pressure to the switch. Replacing both of those May fix the problem.
On 2016-09-11 18:22:47.045081 by Cindy Irby
Water well for home use, several years, no problems. A few weeks ago began to notice pressure would drop a few seconds before pump kicked on and brought pressure back up.
Over the past few weeks the delay has gradually increased to the point that water flow now fully stops for 30-35 seconds before kicking back on. What tests or repairs are indicated?
On 2016-09-05 21:55:40.368312 by Darcy dibbleLower than normal water pressure ( taking longer than normal for washer to run and dishwasher leaves dishes dirty. Pooled water around well head.
On 2016-08-29 19:57:33.032757 by (mod) - causes of muddy waterDamaged well casing
On 2016-08-29 18:34:51.232540 by Anonymousmuddy
On 2016-08-29 17:12:55.637337 by (mod) - no water at our fixturesAmy to see a nice orderly sequence of things to check, search InspectApedia.com for NO WATER PRESSURE
On 2016-08-28 21:08:13.321737 by AmyNo water, changed the pressure switch and made sure it wasn't clogged. Still no water.
On 2016-08-25 14:20:34.836631 by Brad BaumanWe have a Grundfos MQ 45 booster pump. The sound that it makes when running took on a different pitch and it is pretty loud. The pump seems to still be working properly but something has changed in the operation to create the sound change. Any ideas?
On 2016-08-23 23:21:27.019292 by (mod) - leaky foot valve causes lost primeIf your well has a leaky foot valve it will repeatedly lose prime.
On 2016-08-22 17:07:39.678254 by Ron
I have an above ground sprinkler well pump in melbourne, Fl approxiamatly 75ft deep put in 7 years ago and have lost prime, tried to prime and pump wouldn't hold so i replaced pump with new and still won't prime.
I filled the suction line with water and let it set for a few hours to ensure i didn't have a cracked suction line and water level never dropped. What do you suggest next? how do i test my well depth or water level?
On 2016-08-21 19:56:31.211927 by (mod)Anon
On 2016-08-21 14:58:43.022411 by Anonymousno water
On 2016-08-16 21:49:11.614527 by (mod)Sounds like a pressure switch is not responding to pressure changes: perhaps it's clogged.
On 2016-08-16 21:40:43.163861 by BethWe have new pump and pressure tank. When water is turned on it runs great for a couple of minutes then stops for about 4 seconds and then comes back on. Will do this twice during a 15 min. Shower.
On 2016-08-11 18:06:25.744018 by (mod)Ron
On 2016-08-11 11:19:58.532589 by ronzMy water pump turns very slow when pumping water. It used to have a very high speed but now very weak and pumps little amount of water for hours so it over heats.Sometimes it won't start until I apply some oil on its propeller. Sometimes it starts but doesn't pump. What could be the best remedy for this?
On 2016-08-04 20:59:32.606044 by (mod) - why a water tank can gain in pressure for no apparent reasonYes, from several causes including a malfunctioning air volume control, snifter valve, or other control, and in some odd cases, a leaky bladder in an internal-bladder type pressure tank.
On 2016-08-04 17:15:51.725516 by DavidCan a well water tank gain air pressure
On 2016-08-03 21:46:54.900638 by sheilaI have an in-house water pump for well water, replaced pressure gauge, pressure switch box, adjusted air in bladder tank, prime the pump, gauges all look fine, go upstairs, running water has slowed then stops and sputters off and on, I am at a loss, can anyone help me figure this out?
On 2016-08-03 16:52:14.098255 by DonitaMy well isn't working so we have replaced pump, wire, points, and the control box still nothing what else can it be?
On 2016-08-01 21:56:18.566466 by (mod) - pump running at too-high pressureI'd check for and replace the pump pressure control switch; Since you did that and nothing changed, I'd check that
On 2016-08-01 12:07:23.769587 by Dale IceI have a 15 yr. old 1 HP Jacuzzi pressure pump that is suddenly running at 80 psi.
On 2016-07-29 18:32:10.955022 by (mod) - pump runs but no water is delivered
If the pump motor runs but no water is delivered it makes sense to pull and inspect the pump for a damaged impeller. I'd do that before replacing it, or in general, I'd want a diagnosis in which I was confident before I'd spend to replace parts.
I'm unclear what "valve" costs $800. unless they're telling you that your well's foot valve has failed and has to be pulled. If the pump is above ground - say a jet pump - that could be the trouble.
On 2016-07-27 16:28:59.670480 by Beth Campbell
My well pump has been working fine for many years. A few days ago, I opened the faucet to allow the pump to start running. Water came our of the sprinkler for several minutes, then suddenly started sputtering, and stopped running.
The motor was still running (I could hear it). I flipped the breaker to the pump, and later turned the power back on. Motor runs, but no water comes out. A call to a local well company said it was likely a bad valve (approx $800) or a new pump (around $1400). Do you have any other thoughts?
On 2016-07-24 21:21:17.719473 by (mod)I don't start with that assumption, Joe. I'd first check for a broken well pump wire between the control and the well.
On 2016-07-24 18:08:38.925590 by joeevery thing has power but there is no water power to top of well cover outside I tested do I need a new well pump
On 2016-07-17 15:18:02.045526 by (mod) - use a pump protection switchSteve,
On 2016-07-17 12:13:38.850818 by Steve Gray
I have A submersible shallow well pump.The well runs normal with good water pressure for about 15 min. then shuts off.The points on my pressure switch are closed and thew pump makes A rumbling sound like its trying to come on.It does that about every 15 sec. or so.
The pump will never pump unless I turn the breaker off for about 15-20 min and then I will turn back on and will run normal and then the problem continues again.
On 2016-07-15 17:05:59.284885 by (mod)Before pulling a submersible pump, an experienced well tech will often check the current draw as that can diagnose some problems such as a failing pump motor or even low water in the well.
On 2016-07-14 00:34:11.796734 by NateShould I pull the pump up the well
On 2016-07-13 18:22:23.986091 by (mod)Jlogur - sounds as if there is a crack or leaky gasket in your pump, or a leaky pump connection
On 2016-07-13 17:41:54.071409 by (mod)Ask your electrician to check the circuit for shorts or loose wires, then to check for abnormal current draw by the pump motor - that might indicate that pump repair or replacement is needed.
On 2016-07-13 16:24:57.456739 by NateI have a well and a pressure tank
On 2016-07-13 10:55:34.201939 by JlogurWhen I turn on water in the house I find after awhile the water pump that is outside above the well has water coming out of the it .... What is going on?
On 2016-07-06 22:13:27.456062 by (mod)Anon: you need an onsite well expert; certainly if you search inspectApedia for WELL RETRIEVAL TOOLS you'll read a number of approaches to freeing and removing stuff dropped into or stuck in wells.
On 2016-07-06 16:34:30.805457 by Anonymousin the water supply well at the field the pump stuck and can not removed even we tried to pulled out by two cairn
On 2016-07-05 16:48:10.655526 by (mod)Sounds like a short in wiring at or in the pressure switch.
On 2016-07-05 13:10:08.416759 by Bill Eicher
something keeps tripping out 15 amp 2 pole breaker. Amperage is only 5 amps on each pole of breaker.
Pressure switch seems to be working properly. If I reset breaker it trips right away if I turn on the water first and then reset breaker, breaker does not trip for awhile. So when the pump is being called for water breaker holds
On 2016-07-05 13:06:22.083752 by Bill Eicher
something keeps tripping out 15 amp 2 pole breaker.
Amperage is only 5 amps on each pole of breaker. Pressure switch seems to be working properly
On 2016-07-04 17:06:30.733075 by (mod)Anon
On 2016-07-04 15:17:26.658127 by AnonymousWe have no water this morning after an electrical storm early this morning. Evidently my washer ran the tank dry. There are no tripped breakers or bad fuses. Now what do we?
On 2016-06-28 21:18:28.210460 by (mod)You need to find and fix the leak:
On 2016-06-28 00:48:26.982596 by Staci BashawHow do we fix our water pump if it won't hold pressure? Pressure won't stay up unless we tap on the pump.
On 2016-06-20 10:34:01.724307 by (mod)check for a bad check valve or foot valve
On 2016-06-20 00:29:08.300962 by Anonymousreplaced motor get water than loose prime
On 2016-06-12 21:31:37.822468 by (mod)Anon Search InspectApedia for PUMP WON'T STOP RUNNING to read how to diagnose and fix the problem you named.
On 2016-06-12 09:25:33.721692 by AnonymousI have water and pressure but the pump dont seem to be turning off
On 2016-06-11 20:55:45.438130 by (mod)
If your well ran out of water - ran dry - allowing the pump to continue to run risks damaging it. If you wait a few hours or longer the well should recover.
Try running the pump again. If your pump is above ground you may also need to prime it - search InspectApedia for HOW TO PRIME THE PUMP to read details.
On 2016-06-11 14:16:10.138193 by Gladys MartinMy water quit working. The pump will not come on and 2 capacitors were burned inside the large box. I was using a lawn sprinkler on top of my house to help keep it cool for my disabled husband and I think I might have run it dry because we have had a drought.
On 2016-05-27 16:27:21.758165 by (mod) - what to do if there is no water pressureNo
On 2016-05-27 15:36:57.606206 by NoWe lost water pressure in our house we have a well,what could be the problem?
Continue reading at WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE - home, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
Or see WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC FAQs
Or see WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE for table listing causes & cures for well pump or water pressure problems
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See the FAQs in the article above.
Also see WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR - home
Also see WATER PUMP DIAGNOSTIC FAQs
Also see LOW WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - water pressure is weak
Also see NO WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - no water is being delivered
Also see WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS FAQs - various odd water pressure problerms: comes and goes, air bubbles, other
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