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Well Pump Running But No Water – What’s Wrong?

Well pumps are a common feature in rural homes. They pump water from the well and direct the flow to your house. At times, the pump may run without producing any water. What could be wrong? To help you fix this issue, we consulted experts who provided the following solutions.

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The following reasons are why your well pump is running, but no water is coming through your faucets:

  • Power not on
  • Power surge
  • Clogged filter
  • Decreased water levels

Keep reading to learn why your well pump is running but not producing any water and how to solve this problem. Included are tips on how to maintain your well pump. In addition, we will discuss the costs of repairing a well pump and replacing it, if need be.  

blue electric water pump on stand by. Well Pump Running But No Water - What's Wrong

Why Is Your Well Pump Running But Not Producing Any Water?

When you turn your faucet on and no water comes out, yet the pump is running, something is wrong.

It is a scenario that can present itself unexpectedly. But if you know what to look out for, you can solve the problem. If you can't arrive at a solution, call an expert.

The following are reasons your pump has this problem:

Power Not On

Your pump may not work because you have not turned on the power. This should be the first thing you check.  

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A well pump uses electricity to pump water from the well and into the storage tanks in your house. It has an electric motor that drives an impeller that pushes water from your well and through the water pipes.  

When you find out there’s no power, switch off the breaker for the well pump until the power comes back on. This is to protect the pump’s motor from being damaged. Power sometimes comes back with a surge causing damage to electrical appliances.  

When the power comes back on, wait a while before turning on the breaker and the pump switch. 

Power Surge

A power surge can cause the capacitors inside the control box to blow out. Thus, you may hear the pump running, but no water is flowing into your home. If this is the situation, call a professional to service your well. 

Other than blowing out, capacitors also wear out and will need to be replaced after some time. Normally, the pump control box has two capacitors. The start capacitor starts up the motor, and the run capacitor keeps it running. 

Ideally, a start capacitor lasts for three years. As it reaches the end of its life, it will need to be replaced. A run capacitor lasts longer because it has lower capacitance. 

unused black water pump

Clogged Filter

A clogged sediment filter can prevent water from being pumped from a well, even though it is running. 

Have a look at this sediment filter suitable for well water on Amazon.

Sediment filters are an integral part of your well pump. They are designed to prevent silt, sand, dirt, and other harmful particulates from entering the water. 

In addition, the filters play a role in protecting your plumbing and home appliances. The build-up of sediments in the water can damage appliances such as the dishwasher or washing machine. The sediment filter can also corrode the water pipes and valves, reducing their lifespan. 

Furthermore, a sediment filter can improve the effectiveness of UV filtration. Ultraviolet rays are useful in destroying bacteria in well water. But, with a faulty or clogged filter, the sediment can form shadows for bacteria to hide, allowing them to thrive in the water. 

Ideally, to prevent clogging, the sediment filters should be replaced every two months. However, other factors such as the size of your family and the quality of water can determine the number of times to change the filter.

A technician can help you draw up a plan on how frequently to change the filter.   

Low levels of water

Your pump may not pump water due to low water levels in the well. If you overuse the water from your well, the supply can run low.

For example, if you have been sprinkling your lawn, filling your pool, or washing a huge pile of laundry, the water levels will decrease. 

In such a case, you’ll have to wait for the aquifer to become saturated with water again. In the meantime, shut off the breaker. Allow it to rest for some hours, and wait for the water to flow into the well again. 

repairman at maintenance work

How To Keep Your Well Pump In Good Condition

Have you ever turned on your shower only to find that a few drops are flowing out? Or that no water is coming out at all? You may panic, especially if you are running late. It is a situation you would not want to experience.

For your well pump to function optimally and last a long time, you need to maintain it in good condition by following the tips below:

Clean The Cooling Fan

The well pump, like other mechanical appliances, heats up due to friction from the moving parts. The cooling fan reduces this heat, but it may not function as it should if debris such as leaves and dirt builds up on the fan.

You should clean the cooling fan often so that it continues functioning properly.

Use Anti-Corrosion Additives

Check out this anti-corrosion product on Amazon.

Well pumps are made from many metal parts. Though protected by coating with water-resistant treatments, they can still rust due to exposure to water. Rust can cause damage to the pump, leading to expensive repairs or replacement. 

To slow down corrosion, use anti-corrosion inhibitors. In addition, have pump serviced yearly to determine the extent of rust as well as other problems. 

Check For Water Drips

Check regularly for any water dripping from your pump, including other parts in the pump system. You might only need to tighten or replace loose parts. 

Check Your Pump After A Storm

Storms or floods can cause damage to buildings, and equipment outside, including your well pump. Thus, after a storm, check your pump for any damage, such as indentions or cracks.

The inside, like the outside, can get damaged. You should have a technician open it up and check if there are any repairs or replacements needed.  

Service Your Pump

Generally, a well pump should last for at least ten years. To make sure this is possible, you should call a qualified professional to check your pump every three or four years.

By doing this, you can save money rather than spending it on repairs, because a professional can identify a problem early before it gets worse.

motor for a water pump in a pump room against a white wall

Cost Of Repairing A Well Pump

It is recommended to replace a faulty well pump as soon as possible. To replace it costs between $100 and $4,000. However, this cost is dependent on the size of the pump, the method used to replace it, and the depth of the well.

Generally, labor costs to replace a well pump range between $300 and $500. Extra materials such as piping cost around $200.

To repair a well pump costs between $346 and $1,498. Replacing the most common parts, such as the pressure switch and capacitor, costs between $25 and $100.

A professional will charge you between $100 and $150 to inspect your well pump every year.

Water pump plumbing and pvc pipes exterior set-up in a home. Well Pump Running But No Water - What's Wrong

In Closing

Most rural homes use water from wells. To pump water from the well into your home, you need a well pump.

However, at times you may notice your pump running with no water flowing into your home. There are several reasons this happens, and we have provided solutions to solve this problem.

To last longer and prevent hefty spending on repairs, it’s crucial to maintain your pump in good condition. This is possible by following a few tips.

As soon as you notice that your pump has a problem, you can troubleshoot and handle minor repairs if you have the skills. For more complicated repairs, call a professional. The cost of repairing or replacing a well pump depends on some factors mentioned here.

Check out our previous posts and learn more on sump pumps and P-traps:

Sump Pump Humming But Not Pumping

How To Stop My P Trap From-Leaking