Why Does My Well Pump Keep Running?

Having a well pump that keeps running can be a cause for concern for many homeowners. Not only does it use up energy and increase your electricity bill, but it can also put unnecessary strain on your pump and potentially lead to damage. Understanding the reasons behind this issue is crucial in resolving it and ensuring the proper functioning of your well pump.

1. Lowering the Flow Rate

In some cases, the flow rate of the pump may be lower than the amount of water being used, causing the pump to run continuously. This can occur due to various reasons, such as:

  • A significant increase in household water usage
  • A decrease in the well’s water supply
  • A malfunctioning pressure tank or pressure switch

It is essential to address these issues promptly to prevent further problems.

2. Leaks in the Plumbing System

Another common cause of a continuously running well pump is leaks in the plumbing system. Even small leaks can lead to a drop in water pressure, triggering the pump to keep running. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Unexplained increase in water bills
  • Damp or wet areas around your property
  • Low water pressure in faucets and showers

Identifying and fixing any leaks in your plumbing system will not only solve the issue of the pump running but also help conserve water and reduce wastage.

3. Faulty Pressure Switch

The pressure switch plays a critical role in controlling the operation of your well pump. When the pressure drops below a certain level, it activates the pump to start running. However, if the pressure switch is faulty or out of calibration, it may not properly sense the pressure and keep the pump running continuously. Signs of a faulty pressure switch include:

  • The pump not turning off even when no water is being used
  • Short cycling (frequent turning on and off) of the pump
  • Inconsistent water pressure

In such cases, replacing the pressure switch may be necessary to resolve the issue and restore the normal operation of your well pump.

4. Stuck Check Valve

A check valve is responsible for preventing water from flowing backward and helps maintain the appropriate pressure within the plumbing system. If the check valve becomes stuck in the open position, it allows water to recirculate, leading to the continuous running of the well pump. Some indicators of a stuck check valve include:

  • Air hissing out of faucets
  • Reduced water pressure
  • Possible system damage due to cavitation

If you suspect a stuck check valve, it is crucial to have a professional inspect and repair the valve promptly.

5. Well Pump Sizing

The size of your well pump needs to be appropriate for your household’s water demands. If the pump is undersized, it may struggle to meet the required flow rate, leading to continuous running. On the other hand, an oversized pump may result in short cycling. It is essential to consult a professional to assess the proper pump size based on your specific needs and make any necessary adjustments.

In conclusion, a well pump that keeps running can be caused by various factors, including a lower flow rate, leaks in the plumbing system, a faulty pressure switch, a stuck check valve, or improper well pump sizing. Identifying the underlying cause and taking appropriate measures will help resolve the issue and promote the efficient and trouble-free operation of your well pump.