Troubleshooting Common Well Pump Problems

July 7, 2023 8:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Troubleshooting Common Well Pump Problems

Well pumps play a crucial role in delivering a reliable water supply to homes and properties that rely on well water. However, like any mechanical system, they can encounter issues that hinder their performance. In this blog post, we will explore some common well pump problems and provide troubleshooting tips to help you identify and address these issues promptly.

1. Lack of Water Pressure

One of the most prevalent problems with well pumps is a lack of water pressure. If you notice a decrease in water pressure or a complete absence of water flow, several factors could be at play. Start troubleshooting by checking for the following:

– Power supply: Ensure that the well pump is receiving electricity and that there are no tripped breakers or blown fuses.

– Pressure switch: Examine the pressure switch for any signs of damage or malfunctioning. Adjusting the switch’s settings or replacing it may be required.

– Water level: Verify the water level in the well. It should be above the pump’s intake. A low water level may indicate a problem with the well or the pump itself, such as a broken foot valve or worn-out impeller.

2. Short Cycling

Short cycling refers to a situation where the well pump turns on and off frequently, resulting in inefficient water flow and potential damage to the system. Some common causes of short cycling include:

– Waterlogged pressure tank: A waterlogged pressure tank fails to maintain the proper air-to-water ratio, triggering rapid pump cycling. Use an air pressure gauge to check the pressure tank’s air charge. If necessary, drain the tank and restore the recommended pressure.

– Faulty pressure switch: A malfunctioning pressure switch can cause the pump to cycle erratically. Inspect the switch for any signs of wear or damage, and consider replacing it if necessary.

3. Air in the Water

If you notice air bubbles or sputtering when you turn on the tap, your well pump may be drawing in air instead of water. Air in the water supply can be attributed to:

– Leaking pipe connections: Examine the pipe connections leading to and from the well pump. Tighten any loose fittings and replace any damaged or worn-out seals or connectors.

– Pump priming issues: Well pumps should always be properly primed to ensure they are drawing water correctly. Consult your pump’s manual to learn how to prime it effectively. If the issue persists, there may be a problem with the well’s water level or the pump’s intake system.

4. Constantly Running Pump

A well pump that continuously runs, even when no water is being used, can lead to excessive wear and potential motor damage. This problem can be caused by:

– Leaking check valve: Inspect the check valve, responsible for preventing water from flowing back into the well, for any leaks. If it is not functioning correctly, it will require replacement.

– Pressure tank issues: If the pressure tank’s air charge is too low or the tank itself is faulty, it can cause the pump to run continuously. Check the air charge and inspect the tank for any signs of damage.

5. Discolored or Contaminated Water

If your well pump delivers discolored or contaminated water, it is crucial to address the issue promptly to ensure the safety of your water supply. Common causes of water discoloration include:

– Sediment buildup: Sediments can accumulate in the well over time, leading to murky or dirty water. Professional well cleaning and maintenance can address this issue effectively.

– Bacterial contamination: Well water can become contaminated with bacteria, resulting in foul odors or tastes. Well disinfection treatment or the installation of a UV water purification system may be necessary to ensure water quality.


Recognizing and troubleshooting common well pump problems is essential for maintaining a reliable water supply. By understanding the potential causes behind issues like low water pressure, short cycling, air in the water, constantly running pumps, and water discoloration, homeowners can identify and address these problems promptly. However, it is important to remember that well pump systems can be complex, and in many cases, it’s best to seek professional assistance to ensure accurate diagnosis and safe repairs. Regular well pump maintenance and inspections can go a long way in preventing these common problems and ensuring the longevity and efficiency of your well pump system.

Got questions about your well pump system? Let us help! Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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