Why Won’t My Well Water Pump Stop Running?

well water pumpYou’ve purchased a water pump for the well and it’s been functioning well for quite some time. Today, though, as you turned on the shower before work, you noticed there was no water pressure at all. Upon further inspection, however, you noticed the water pump was still running. In fact, despite your efforts to turn it off, it seems to want to keep going.

What do you do?

Here are the proper steps to take in this situation so your water pump remains undamaged and you can find a solution to the problem.

What to do When the Well Water Pump Won’t Shut Off

The first step to take when a water pump won’t stop running, despite the fact that the house has no water pressure is to shut off the power to the pump. If no water pressure is present, it often indicates that the pump is running “dry.” This can cause serious internal (and often irreversible) damage to the pump. Even if the house still has some pressure, the electrical power should be shut off immediately and the following actions taken.

  • Check for Water in the House- Check to see if water is running somewhere else in the house. Test all the faucets and fixtures, toilets, and even outside garden hoses. Look for leaks that may be causing the pump to continue running. If no leaks are present, make sure to inspect for burst pipes and leaky water heaters or heating boilers.
  • Lost it’s Prime?- If a pump won’t stop running, there is a chance it has lost its prime, which means it is running “dry.” This only happens to pumps that are not submersible, as submersible pumps are self-priming. Re-priming the water pump will likely fix the problem.
  • The Controls Aren’t Correct- Check the control switch on the pump and make sure it is not set to a higher pressure than you intended. If someone has messed with the switches and altered the pressure on the pump, the pump may be attempting to reach a pressure it can’t possibly achieve. Adjust it back to normal to fix this issue.
  • Well Water Level- If the water level in the well has dropped too low, which can often occur during seasons of drought, the water pump may not be able to pick up and carry water into the home with enough volume. If this is the case, your local well services contractor may have to dig the well deeper in order to allow access to more water.
  • The Pump May be Damaged- In some cases, the problem lies with the pump itself. If it has suffered damage to a bearing, seal, or impeller, the pump will continue to run, but will not be able to support normal water pressure.
  • Leaking Well Piping- The well piping may be leaking, either inside the well or between the building and the well.

Have you noticed that your water pump is still running even though it shouldn’t be? Whether you notice a change in water pressure or not, make sure to investigate this problem thoroughly, requesting the help of a professional if needed. Simply allowing the pump to run this way can result in internal damage and high utility costs.

About Richard Humphries

Richard is the General Manager of Trade Tested - NZ and AU's leading outdoor and garden equipment retailer. Connect with Richard on Google+