Copper tubing on pressure control switch (C) Daniel FriedmanWell Water Won't Stop Running - FAQs
Q&A on fixing a pump that won't turn off

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Well water pump keeps running: diagnostic FAQs:

This article provides answers to frequently-asked questions about why a well pump, water pump, or irrigation pump might run continuously without reaching the cut-off pressure and without turning off.

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FAQs on Why a Water Pump Won't Stop Running

Priming plug on a jet pump (C) Daniel FriedmanQuestions & answers about well pumps that won't stop running, posted originally at WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING - home page for this topic.

Question: The water pump keeps running and won't shut off, what do I do now?

I lose pressure seconds after turning the well water pump off. When the water pump is running it only gets to 25 to 30 psi and stay srunning all the time. The pump never satisfies pressure switch so I turn the pump off to avoid damaging it. Any idea of what I can do? - Arthur

I live in a mobile home with a point well system (2"). Today the pump kept running while I was sprinkling the garden. It did shut off when I turned the water off. Usually it cycles on & off while the water is running. Any suggestions? - Sharon 9/1/12


Arthur and Sharon:

When a well pump keeps on running - just won't stop on its own, you will want to follow the well pump diagnostic steps at WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING.

The cause of a well pump that keeps on running could be any of a number of problems that we list in the reference I gave above, but because you are also losing water pressure, it sounds as if there may be a loss of water supply in the well itself or a serious leak in the well piping.

Question: pump keeps running

(Feb 24, 2012) mike z said:
pumpstill running and have ok pressure



Question: The water pump keeps running and I hear water running, I may have damaged the pressure gauge

I have a 285ft well. Sometimes the pump goes on when no water is being used in the house. Tonight, after running the outside sprinklers, the pump kept going on. When I went to check the guage, I could hear water running. All water was off in the house and outside. I turned off the valve which is between the pipe to the well and the bladder tank and the noise stopped.

What could be leaking? I opened the valve up and the running water noise slowly subsided. I also made the mistake of shutting off that valve before I turned of the pump and the pressure gauge went crazy. After turning everything back on the gauge shows the pump shutting off at 80psi and on at just below 60psi. Always went between 40-60. Did I blow the gauge? - Doug


Doug: Indeed the sequence of closing the valve between a water pump and the tank and pressure control switch that control that pump turning on and off will make the pump "go crazy" rapidly turning itself on and off - risking pump damage. If you caught it quickly and turned off the pump you're probably OK. But wild gauge pressure oscillations might have damaged the gauge. If the gauge is not behaving normally just replace it.


See INTERMITTENT CYCLING WATER PUMPS for a procedure to figure out why the well pump goes on when no water is being used in the house.

Question: well pump won't shut off - water pump keeps running

(July 5, 2014) sue j said:

We hooked a hose up to our well pump in the basement and we have great pressure but the pump will not shut down it keeps on running until we shut it down we spend more time in the basement turning it on and shutting it off just so we can get water up to the house.we have to fill buckets to use the toilet and its getting frustrating.

(July 21, 2014) ron said:

The pump is not cutting off and the is getting hot some times

(Aug 1, 2014) Lauren said:

My well pump keeps running , My electric bill is through the roof!



In the More Reading links above please see the article titled


where we suggest some diagnostic steps to find and fix the trouble you report. Keep me posted and let me know if that material is unclear


Turn off power, let the well recover for 3-6 hours, then try power on again.

Look also foe piping leaks or a switch cut out pressure set too high.


In the More Reading links just above you'll want to read the diagnostics in the article titled


Question: pump runs but no water

(June 23, 2014) Anonymous said:

pump runs but won't pump water?


Anon if a pump motor runs but no water is delivered there are several different directions of possible expanation:

no water in the well

Loss of prime in the system

damaged pump impeller or parts

well piping leak or disconnected in the well

Question: well pump runs but water pressure won't get past 30 psi

(Mar 29, 2014) Anonymous said:

my house runs from well water and bought a new pump and new lines and all that but for some reason not getting no water preasure pass 30 and it is like there is air in the line and done everything I can think of to get it out so woundering what I am doing wrong need some advice plese


When the pump runs and delivers water but can't pressuize the water tank enough to shut off the pump, and water pressure reading is low as you describe I'd look for

- a damaged pump impeller

- low voltage to the pump

- a leak in the well piping

- low water in the well

Conversely if the pressure reading on the gauge doesn't change as the pump turns on and off, or if the pump switch doesn't seem to be turning off the pump or turning on the pump when it should, I'd guess the pressure switch or its sensing tube is debris clogged and is not sensing water pressure - change the switch itself and also tube or small diameter pipe nipple on which the switch mounts. You may also need to replace the pressure gauge.



Question: low well pressure

(May 5, 2014) Low well preshure said:
I have a deep well pump in my garage simer 2805d with 20 gal presure tank.I has 19 lb of air on bladder . The preshure switch is a 20 to 40 preset.It turns on at 20 lb fine but wont build up past 30 lb . It has to be manually shut off. I can leave it for days shut off an it still holds 30lb. I dont have to reprime it but it wont build over 30lb.Any help would be great. Connor Rhoney


I suspect a damaged impeller or low water in the well.

Connor, Check through the table above for some ideas; from what I see in your note you may be looking for a damaged impeller, low voltage to the pump motor (that could also be a wiring damage problem), or low well flow rate.


Question: jet pump pulling from 30 feet - pump stays on too long on well, OK on city water

(June 17, 2014) walt said:

I got a jet pump pulling water from a 30 feet well.The pump stays on for a long time and is pumping to a pressure tank but never reaches the right pressure to cut off the pump. when the pump is switched to the city water it immediately reaches the required pressure and switches off, It never does this when switched to hauling water from the well.what could be wrong for the pump not to reach its pressure when pumping from the well.


Walt your description suggests that there is a problem with the well flow rate (low flow into the well) or well piping (such as a leak out).

Question: No water pressure, pump won't shut off,

(Aug 4, 2015) Anonymous said:
No water pressure, pump won't shut off, already changed air volume control piece

(Aug 4, 2015) Sandra said:
Oh, and the water stops after just a minute.

(Aug 8, 2015) jay said:
we have checked the pump and impeller and that is working fine



It sounds as if the pump may have been damaged from short cycling, overheating, or running dry.

Turn the pump off right away to (maybe) avoid damaging it.

After checking that your pressure tank has a proper air charge, if the problem remains let us know and we'll take it from there.

Sandra a short-cycling pump usually means the pressure tank has lost its air charge. Short cycling pumps can cause damage to the pressure switch or to the pump itself.


Have you checked for piping leaks or loss of prime - I've lost track of where we are.

Question: left water on, is pump life reduced?

(Jan 22, 2013) Anonymous said:
someone may have used the hose outside and left it running; found pump on with no water coming out. prime lost. pump only one yr old.
impeller a bit messed up and wobbling on its shaft. replaced impeller and seal.

had pump been damaged? is it defective? why would a one yr old pump's impeller be worn and wobbling? home is only occupied occasionally in past year.

are more troubles ahead? pump life shortened?


If the pump ran dry it's likely to have been damaged.

Protection for a Pump That Cannot Reach Cut-out Pressure

For a well pump that cannot reach the cut-off pressure most likely it just keeps running.

In addition to the FAQs just below, see WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING - things that make the pump keep running without ever reaching the CUT-OUT pressure.

See these articles for devices that shut off a well pump to protect it from damage from loss of water in the well (pump won't stop running) or to protect a pump from short cycling:


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

Or see these articles

Water Pressure & Water Pump Diagnosis & Repair

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WATER PUMP WON'T STOP RUNNING FAQs at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


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