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Why is My Utah Water Well’s Pump Running Constantly?

Four generations of experience installing, maintaining and
repairing wells throughout Utah and Wyoming.
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The pump is one of the single most important components on any water well, and if anything goes wrong with it, it’s possible this may disrupt or even halt the well’s ability to send quality water into your home. One such potential issue: When the well pump, instead of turning on and off periodically as it should, instead runs constantly and will not turn off. 

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re happy to provide water well pump service and repair to clients throughout Utah, including situations like this where the pump simply won’t turn off. Why is this a problem for any water well system, and what are some of the possible reasons that might be behind this happening, so you can avoid them in the future? Here’s everything you need to know.

water well pump running constantly

Why a Constantly-Running Well Pump is Problematic

First and foremost, let’s discuss why a constantly-running well pump is problematic in the first place. If you’re not an experienced hand with water wells, you might not realize that your well’s pump shouldn’t be running all the time.

Water pumps are designed to cycle on and off as needed, only turning on when there’s a demand for water (i.e., when someone in your home turns on a faucet, flush a toilet, or runs the washing machine or dishwasher). If the pump is instead running constantly, this means it’s working much harder than it needs to be – and that, in turn, means it’s going to wear out faster.

A water well pump that’s running constantly is also going to increase your monthly energy bills quite a bit, as it’s using up more electricity than it should be. In some cases, the problem might even cause physical damage to the pump itself.

So, those are some of the reasons why you want to avoid having a water well pump that’s constantly running. But what can cause this issue in the first place? Our next several sections will look into this.

Pump is Old/Worn Down

Perhaps the simplest and most common answer to the question of why your water well pump might be running constantly is that it’s simply old and/or worn down.

Like any other appliance or mechanical device in your home, a water well pump has a limited lifespan. Over time, all the moving parts inside the pump are going to wear out, and at a certain point, it’s just not going to work as efficiently as it used to.

In some cases, you might be able to get a few more years out of an old water well pump by having it regularly serviced and repaired. However, eventually, it’s going to reach the point where it needs to be replaced entirely.

If your water well pump is more than 10-15 years old, it might be time to start thinking about replacing it. Of course, if it’s showing other signs of wear and tear (like making strange noises or not pumping as much water as it used to), you might need to replace it even sooner.

Damage to Submersible Pump Section

The submersible pump section is the part of your water well pump that actually sits down in the well itself. This section can be damaged in a number of ways, but one common cause is simply exposure to corrosion or rust.

If the submersible pump section of your water well pump is corroded or rusted, it’s going to cause all sorts of problems with the pump’s performance. In some cases, it might cause the pump to run constantly, as it’s not able to turn on and off as efficiently as it should.

If you think this might be the problem with your water well pump, the best course of action is to have a professional take a look at it. They’ll be able to tell for sure whether or not the submersible pump section is damaged and, if so, what needs to be done to repair it.

Problems With Pressure Control Valves

Another key set of components in your water well system are the pressure control valves. These valves are responsible for regulating the amount of water that’s allowed to flow into your home.

If there’s a problem with one or more of these valves, it can cause all sorts of issues with your water well pump – including making it run constantly. In some cases, the problem might be as simple as a valve that’s not opening or closing properly.

In other cases, the problem might be a bit more complicated, such as a valve that’s been damaged by corrosion or rust. And like other issues here, these are best assessed by professionals if you believe they’re taking place.

Low Water Levels

Whether caused by our current drought or other factors, low water levels in your well can cause your water well pump to run constantly.

When the water level in your well drops below a certain point, it can cause the pump to “cycle,” which means it turns on and off more frequently than it should. In some cases, this might happen so often that it seems like the pump is running constantly.

If you think this might be the problem with your water well pump, there are a few things you can do to try and fix it. First, you can have a professional come out and check the well to see how much water is actually in it. If the water level is low, they might be able to increase it with a process called “recharging.”

Another option is to have a professional install a device called a “submersible well pump protector.” This device helps to prevent the pump from cycling too frequently, which can save it from wearing out prematurely.

As you can see, there are a number of reasons why your water well pump might be constantly running — but also some good solutions available. For more here, or to learn about any of our water well installation or services throughout Utah, speak to the team at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.