4 Reasons Why Your Well Isn't Pumping Water

by Diane Barnes

Do you rely on a well on your property to provide water? Has it stopped pumping water?  While water wells are typically reliable water sources, there are a few instances in which a well may stop working. Most of the time, the problem is a simple fix. Sometimes, though, a non-working well may indicate a much more serious problem. Here are a few reasons why your well may not be working and how to troubleshoot them:

The breaker is tripped. Your water well pump runs on electricity much like most other devices and appliances in your house. That means it runs on a circuit, and if that circuit is overloaded with too much power, the circuit breaker could trip. Simply check the pump's breaker to see if it has tripped to the off position. If it has, flip it back to on and see if the pump starts to work.

Also, sometimes a breaker won't go all the way to the off position. It could trip and only budge slightly away from the on position. Even if it looks like it hasn't tripped, try flipping the breaker off and then back on. If that doesn't work, you'll need to continue with your troubleshooting.

The pressure switch has flipped. All water wells come with a pressure switch to protect the pump from being overworked. It's much like a circuit breaker, but for water instead of electricity. If there's too much water coming into the well, from something like a busted pipe or flooding in the area, then the pressure switch will stop so the pump doesn't send all the water into your home.

Outside your home, you should have a feed line that runs from the pump to a pressure tank. Somewhere along that line, there should be a small box, and the pressure switch will be inside that box. Look to see if it is in the on or off position. Much like the circuit breaker, you can try flipping from on to off and back again just as a precautionary test.

There's damage to the well's structure. If the circuit breaker and pressure switch don't do the trick, it may be possible that you have damage to the walls and structure of your well. There could be a cave-in in the well, blocking the pump from reaching any water. Or there could be an obstruction blocking access to the water table.

A water well drilling company can inspect your well to determine the problem. They may be able to repair the well, or they may need to drill a new well in a new location. Contact a water well drilling company like Hudson Valley Drilling in your area for more information.