Why does my well pump only run for a few seconds

Why does my well pump only run for a few seconds?

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Well pumps deliver subsurface water from a well to your home, allowing you to do dishes at the sink, take a shower, and wash your clothes.

With a well pump, you’ll also require a pressure tank to ensure that your taps aren’t merely trickling water.

The depth of the well will determine whether you require a shallow well pump or a deep well pump, such as a submersible well pump.

In some cases, the well pump may stop functioning normally.

The following are several reasons why the well pump could be short cycling and what you can do to correct the problem.

The loss of air charge is one of the most typical reasons for your water pump to short cycle, and it is also the most preventable.

Most of the time, this is the case if you still have an older water pressure tank that is not of the bladder type.

This article includes the common reasons why a well pump may short circuit and various ways to handle such an outcome.

The article also includes answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. The answers will help you get a better understanding of the well pump short-cycling.

4 Common reasons why a well pump may short cycle

Common reasons why a well pump may short cycle

1. Loss of air charge

If your water pump is short cycling due to a loss of air charge, it may be due to this issue.

This is the case most of the time if you have an old, non-bladder-style water pressure tank. Take a look at the line of condensation.

If it’s in the top 70 percent of the tank, it suggests there isn’t a lot of air reserve, which is most likely the source of your pump cycling on and off too frequently.

Check to see if the air volume control valve is filthy or leaking before proceeding. In most cases, here is where the problem is located.

Cleaning and repairing the valve will allow you to use a bicycle pump to pump air into the water tank’s air intake valve if it is damaged.

To make a place for the air, you’ll also need to drain some water from the tank. Hopefully, this will get the system back to normal.

2. Problems with the water pump control switch

The pressure control switches for the water pump may be defective or clogged if there is sufficient air in the system, but the cycle time is still short.

The presence of silt or other material in the water, as well as the presence of a high mineral concentration, might cause this condition. To restore normal operation, the switch must be replaced.

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3. Blocked supply pipe

Pumps are designed to short cycle if the water supply tubes become clogged. Water pressure rises rapidly when there is a clog in the water delivery system.

Examining the water filter is the most reliable method of determining this. Replacing it will allow you to restore function if it is unclean or obstructed.

4. Excess air

well pump only run for a few seconds

Overcharging the air pressure tank is a problem that occurs when there is excessive air in the tank.

This can happen in captive air-holding tanks since they do not have a mechanism for releasing extra air when the tank is full.

Overcharging can cause damage to the water tank or even rupture the bladder; thus, it is important to avoid this at all costs.

If you believe you have over-charged the unit, turn it off, let the water out, and adjust the air charge to the originally suggested pressure setting.

A water pump can be damaged by short cycling. The following items require attention: the pressure water tank, the water pump’s pressure control switch, the water pump itself, the water filter, the well, or the building’s water supply piping.

When you’re not willing to perform this simple repair on your own, you can hire a plumber to help you out.

If the good pump is located inside instead of in the well, and your water tank has a unique air volume control valve on the rear of the storage tank itself instead of on the side, you should see your local building inspector.

Some people believe that they are used to “store” water for later usage in the building for water tanks.

The majority of the time, this is not the situation. When water is present in a well and the surrounding ground, it is considered “stored.”

A pump-operated water supply system cycling on and off rapidly should be shut down, and a plumber should be called immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions About well pump

What makes a well pump surge on and off constantly?

A pulsating well water pump is typically an indication of insufficient pressure in the water tank.

An internal air bladder and an exterior electrical pressure switch work together to control the air pressure.

A pulsing water flow can be caused by water surging through the pipes when either of these components is worn out or not performing properly.

What causes a well pump not to build pressure?

Most of the time, when a well pump is running continuously and will not shut off, the well pump cannot produce enough pressure to signal the pressure switch to turn off the well pump.

In the majority of cases, there are two main reasons behind this. An opening in the drop pipe down your well is by far the most typical cause of this problem.


Short cycling of the well pump results from loss of air charge inside the water tank. Water pump short cycling is most commonly caused by a lack of adequate air charge in the water tank.

This problem affects older non-bladder type pressure water tanks and newer bladder type pressure water tanks if the string has gotten damaged.

The other reasons mentioned above also apply in some cases. Loss of air charge has always been the main cause.

If you check on all the above causes and still do not find the problem with your water pump, seek immediate help.

You can contact an expert to help you out. It is always advisable to cross-check the issue with the water pump before consulting an expert.

If the problem has not been identified, it is better to purchase a new one. This will help solve the problem with the well pump.

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