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Troubleshooting Submersisble Well Pumps 101: Pump Won't Shut Off / Low Water Pressure

Is your submersible well pump not shutting off?

Has the system operating pressure dropped in your submersible well pump system?

If you answered yes to either of these questions it is important to do some troubleshooting before your well pump wears out or you burn out the motor. I have outlined some steps to follow below.

Caution! Electricity can be very dangerous, especially if you are inexperienced. Always use caution working with electricity and turn off power supply breakers when testing components within the electrical system. If you are not 100% confident you can perform any of these tests safely call a professional.

  1. Check for a closed valve. If a valve between the pump and the pressure switch has been closed the pressure switch will call for water and the pump will run continuously.
  2. Check the Pressure Switch. Look for any obvious signs of wear. You are looking for contacts that are stuck open or close, burnt contacts, or a melted wire. Ensure that all the wire connections are tight. Keep in mind that the pressure switch is a key element to a properly working system and they are relatively inexpensive. I recommend replacing them rather than trying to repair them. Check the nipple or tube leading to the switch for sediment or debris (the power must be disconnected and all system pressure relieved prior to checking). Check that the contacts are opening are closing properly by turning on the system. For example, the contacts will close at 40 PSI and open at 60 PSI on a 40/60 switch.
  3. Check for Leaks. If you have any valves, you can shut them one at a time and check for pressure loss in either direction which may indicate a leak.
  4. Check Water Supply for low or no water in the well. If the pump is running and not delivering water it could be an indication that there is little to no water in the well. Be cognizant of drier times of the year and whether your static water level may be low to begin with. There are upgrades available that will help protect your pump and motor in the event of low or no water in the well. An inexpensive option is a pressure switch with a low pressure cut-off and a little more expensive option is an electrical motor protection device.
  5. Check Equipment for Wear. The last thing that you may be faced with is a problematic pump or motor. The first thing to check would be the amperage. If a pump is high or low in amperage it can be an indication of problems that will require that you pull the pump for further inspection.

Hopefully this blog has given you some insight or a solution to your problem. You can also check out our video titled “Troubleshoot: Water Well Pump Won’t Shut OFF” on the RC Worst YouTube Channel or give our experts a call at 855.329.4519.