Well Pump Cycling with No Water Running: What You Need to Know

Are you experiencing the frustration of your well pump cycling with no water running continuously, even when there is no water being used? This unusual behavior, well pump cycling with no water running, can be a cause for concern, as it not only affects the performance of your well pump but also poses potential dangers and risks. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind well pump cycling with no water running and the implications it can have on your pump system.

We will also provide valuable insights on how to prevent and troubleshoot such issues, as well as when it is necessary to seek professional help. If you’re looking for solutions to the perplexing problem of a well pump cycling with no water running, you’ve come to the right place. So, let’s dive in and uncover the mysteries behind well pump cycling with no water running, this perplexing phenomenon.

The Facts at a Glance

  • This text provides information on how a well pump works and the typical cycle it goes through.
  • It also discusses unusual well pump behavior, such as running without water, and the signs and causes of this issue.
  • The dangers of a well pump running dry, prevention and troubleshooting methods, and when to seek professional help are also covered.

well pump cycling with no water running

1/14 How Does a Well Pump Work?

In the depths of the earth, a hidden world exists, bustling with the secrets of sustenance. A conduit between this realm and our everyday lives lies in the form of a well pump . This humble yet vital contraption draws water from the depths, ensuring a continuous flow to our faucets.

The journey begins with the pump’s unyielding determination to extract water from underground sources such as wells or groundwater. But it doesn’t stop there. Pressure switches enter the stage, orchestrating the pump’s every move, turning it on and off at precise moments, ensuring water is pumped only when needed.

And then, with a whirl and a spin, the impeller takes center stage. This rotating device becomes the force that propels the water through the intricate maze of pipes, guiding it towards its final destination – your home. With each push, pressure builds, allowing the water to reach your faucets, ready to quench your thirst and satisfy your needs.

To truly appreciate the marvel that is the well pump, one must understand its inner workings. By unraveling the enigma of pressure switches and embracing the purpose of the impeller, one can become a troubleshooter extraordinaire. Armed with this knowledge, any issues that arise can be swiftly identified and resolved.

So, the next time you turn on your faucet and bask in the blissful flow of water, take a moment to marvel at the symphony of your well pump. It is through its intricate dance that the miracle of water becomes a reality in your life.

If you’re frustrated with a weak flushing toilet, check out our article on how to fix a weak flushing toilet for helpful tips and solutions to improve its performance.

2/14 Typical Well Pump Cycle Explained

In the intricate dance of the well pump, understanding the cycle is paramount for unraveling any mysteries that may arise. This delicate choreography involves the graceful interplay of pressure switches and the impeller, working in unison to ensure seamless operation. The pressure switches, like vigilant sentinels, monitor the water pressure with unwavering precision.

They stand ready to relay their findings to the pump, signaling it to spring into action or take a respite. When the pressure wanes, these switches awaken the pump from its slumber, coaxing it to draw water from the depths below. And when the desired pressure is attained, they perform their duty once more, silencing the pump to safeguard against excessive force.

But it is the impeller, a tireless performer, that steals the show. With its rapid spin, it becomes a virtuoso of movement, propelling the water through the intricate labyrinth of pipes and delivering it with grace to the awaiting faucets in your humble abode. It is this force, this elegant display of power, that bridges the gap between the well and your taps.

To troubleshoot any hiccups in this grand performance, one must possess an intimate understanding of the well pump cycle. Armed with the knowledge of how pressure switches and the impeller work in harmonious tandem, one can swiftly address any irregularities that may arise. With this wisdom in hand, a well-functioning pump system becomes not just a possibility, but a certainty.

well pump cycling with no water running

3/14 Signs Your Well Pump is Running Without Water

Indicators of a Well Pump Operating Without Water When it comes to your well pump, it is imperative to be aware of the telltale signs that it may be running without water. This can lead to various complications and potentially endanger your pump system. Here are a few key indicators to keep an eye out for:

1. Decreased water pressure: If you observe a decline in water pressure from your faucets and fixtures, it could be an indication that your well pump is operating without water. This can be quite vexing when you are attempting to shower or complete household chores, so it is crucial to address the issue promptly.

2. Unusual sounds or vibrations: If you hear peculiar noises or feel vibrations emanating from your well pump, there is undoubtedly an issue at hand. These signs often suggest that the pump is running without water, placing unnecessary strain on the system.

3. Increased electricity consumption: Be vigilant about monitoring your electricity bill. If it unexpectedly rises without a corresponding increase in water usage, it could signify that your well pump is running without water. This can become a costly problem if left unattended.

If you identify any of these indicators, it is vital to take swift action. Contact a professional well pump technician who can examine and troubleshoot the problem. Remember, addressing the issue early on can prevent further harm to your well pump system and spare you from costly repairs in the future.

Did you know that a typical well pump can cycle on and off up to 20,000 times in a year? That’s equivalent to turning your faucet on and off over 54 times every day!


My name is Warren and I am a professional plumber licensed and insured in the State of California. I have been in the business for over 10 years and have undertaken small and large projects including bathroom renovation, toilets, garbage disposals, faucets, sinks and kitchen plumbing jobs. This site is based on my experience with toilets. I have installed the best brands and models in all sizes and shapes. I hope this helps you with the unbiased information that you need to make the right decision. …weiterlesen

4/14 What Causes a Well Pump to Run Continuously?

The ceaseless hum of a well pump is a lifeline, ensuring a steady flow of water within the walls of your cherished abode. Yet, should this symphony persist unabated, it is a harbinger of trouble. A defective pressure switch, the stealthy whispers of leaking pipes or valves, or a barren well may be the culprits behind this unyielding performance.

Alas, such unwavering dedication may prove detrimental, exerting undue strain on the pump and rendering it vulnerable to irreversible harm. To vanquish this predicament, embark upon a quest to inspect the pressure switch, unravel any lingering leaks, and ascertain the reservoir’s water level. Should the need arise, seek solace in the wisdom of a seasoned well pump artisan, for their expertise shall guide you towards respite.

If you’re dealing with a short cycling well pump, I highly recommend checking out our article on how to fix short cycling well pump for some practical tips and solutions to resolve this issue.

well pump cycling with no water running

5/14 Impact on the Well Pump’s Lifespan

A well pump that runs without water can be severely damaged. The lack of cooling and lubrication can cause overheating, leading to motor failure. This can result in expensive repairs or the need for a new pump.

Additionally, the absence of water flowing through the pump can cause premature wear and tear. Without proper lubrication, the pump’s moving parts can rub against each other, causing friction and damage. This can ultimately lead to decreased efficiency, performance problems, and potential pump failure.

To prevent further harm, it’s crucial to address any issues with continuous running without water promptly. Regular maintenance, such as checking and replacing worn-out seals and gaskets, flushing the system to remove sediment, and testing and calibrating the pressure switch, can help prolong the well pump’s lifespan. If you notice signs of continuous running without water, like reduced water pressure, strange noises or vibrations, or increased electricity consumption without water usage, it’s important to take action.

Check for leaks in the well system, verify the functionality of the pressure switch, and seek the expertise of a professional well pump technician to identify and resolve the issue before it worsens.

Causes of Well Pump Cycling with No Water: Troubleshooting Steps (Tabelle)

Causes of Well Pump Cycling with No Water Troubleshooting Steps
Faulty pressure switch
  1. Check for power supply to the switch. Use a multimeter to test for voltage.
  2. Test the switch for continuity. Use a multimeter to check if the switch is closing the circuit properly.
  3. If the switch is not functioning correctly, replace it with a new one of the same specifications.
Stuck check valve
  1. Shut off power to the pump. Turn off the circuit breaker or disconnect the power supply.
  2. Remove and inspect the check valve. Check for any debris or obstructions that may be causing it to stick.
  3. Clean the check valve thoroughly or replace it if necessary. Ensure it is properly installed and functioning.
Clogged water filter or screen
  1. Turn off the power to the pump. Shut off the circuit breaker or disconnect the power supply.
  2. Locate and clean the filter or screen. Remove any accumulated sediment or debris.
  3. If the filter or screen is damaged or excessively clogged, replace it with a new one.
Low water level in well
  1. Check the well water level. Use a well sounder or water level indicator to measure the depth of the water.
  2. If the water level is low, wait for it to replenish naturally. This may take several hours or days.
  3. If low water level is a recurring issue, consider lowering the pump to ensure it can access water even during periods of low water level.
Airlock in the system
  1. Turn off the power to the pump. Shut off the circuit breaker or disconnect the power supply.
  2. Open the faucets to release trapped air. Start with the highest faucet in the system and gradually work your way down to the lowest.
  3. Start the pump again to flush out any remaining air. Monitor the system for proper water flow and pressure.
Impeller or pump motor damage
  1. Disconnect power to the pump. Shut off the circuit breaker or disconnect the power supply.
  2. Inspect the impeller and pump motor for damage. Look for any signs of wear, breakage, or malfunction.
  3. If necessary, repair or replace the faulty components. Consult a professional if you are unsure or if major repairs are needed.

6/14 Potential Damage to the Pump System

Operating a well pump without water can have severe consequences for the pump system. One key concern is the risk of corrosion, as the internal components are exposed to air, leading to rust and deterioration over time. This can significantly shorten the lifespan of the pump system.

Another major risk is motor failure. The pump motor requires water to cool and lubricate it, and without it, the motor can overheat and sustain damage. This can result in costly repairs or even the need for a complete replacement.

Furthermore, running the well pump without water diminishes its efficiency and performance. The system is designed to work with water, and without it, the pump strains and becomes less effective. As a result, water pressure may decrease, flow may slow down, and overall performance will be compromised.

To avoid these potential damages, it is absolutely crucial to always ensure that water is available for the pump to function properly. Regular maintenance and inspections are also essential in identifying any issues early on and preventing further damage.

7/14 Regular Maintenance of Your Well Pump

Maintaining your well pump is vital for its performance and durability. By regularly checking and replacing worn-out components, you can avoid costly repairs and future breakdowns. One crucial aspect is inspecting and replacing seals and gaskets, as they can deteriorate over time and cause leaks.

These leaks not only decrease efficiency but also damage the entire pump system. By addressing this issue promptly, you can prevent water leakage and ensure the well pump’s integrity. Flushing the well pump system is also essential to remove sediment build-up.

This accumulation can block pipes and reduce water flow, putting unnecessary strain on the pump. Regularly flushing the system will guarantee smooth operation by eliminating these deposits. Testing and calibrating the pressure switch is another crucial maintenance task.

This switch controls when the pump starts and stops, making proper calibration imperative. Regular testing will help identify any issues and enable you to adjust the settings accordingly. By prioritizing maintenance tasks like checking seals and gaskets, flushing the system, and testing the pressure switch, you can keep your well pump in optimal condition.

This proactive approach will save you money in the long run and ensure a reliable water supply for your household.

well pump cycling with no water running

8/14 What to Do When Your Well Pump Runs Continuously?

When your well pump refuses to rest, it’s imperative to act swiftly to avoid further harm. Here are three steps to troubleshoot and resolve the problem:

1. Examine your well system for any signs of leakage. Leaks force the pump to toil endlessly, compensating for the lost water.

Inspect the pipes, valves, and connections closely. If you spot any leaks , address them immediately to restore the pump’s normal operation.

2. Assess the functionality of the pressure switch. This switch regulates when the pump starts and stops based on water pressure. If it’s malfunctioning, it may fail to signal the pump to cease its ceaseless activity.

3. If you’ve inspected for leaks and tested the pressure switch, but the pump persists in its relentless mission, it’s time to seek guidance from a professional well pump technician. Their expertise will unveil any underlying issues and provide the appropriate solutions to restore proper pump functionality. Remember, taking prompt action to address a perpetually running well pump is crucial to prevent further harm and ensure its enduring lifespan.

By scrutinizing for leaks, evaluating the pressure switch, and enlisting professional assistance if needed, you can resolve the issue and restore your well pump to its former glory.

If you’re dealing with a well pump cycling issue even when no water is running, this video has the solution you need. Find out how to fix the problem without any leaks. You won’t believe how simple it can be! Watch now.

YouTube video

9/14 When DIY Troubleshooting Isn’t Enough

When DIY Just Won’t Cut It: The Importance of Professional Help There are times when our DIY troubleshooting skills simply aren’t enough to solve the problem at hand. Well pump issues can be intricate and demand a level of expertise that only a professional well pump technician can provide. These highly trained individuals possess the necessary skills and experience to tackle any challenge that comes their way.

They possess an in-depth understanding of how well pumps operate and can swiftly identify the underlying cause of problems such as faulty pressure switches, leaking pipes, or low water levels. Armed with their specialized tools and knowledge, they can efficiently diagnose and carry out precise repairs, ensuring that your well pump is back up and running in a jiffy. If your DIY efforts fall short, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a professional well pump technician .

They have the knowledge, skills, and tools required to restore a reliable water supply for you once more.

well pump cycling with no water running

10/14 Finding the Right Professionals for Your Well Pump

When it comes to finding the right professionals for your well pump, there are key factors to keep in mind. Ensure they have the necessary qualifications and experience. Look for a track record of excellent service and customer satisfaction through reviews and testimonials.

Choose professionals who are readily available and responsive, especially during emergencies. By considering qualifications, reputation, and availability, you’ll find professionals who can efficiently diagnose and fix any issues with your well pump, saving you time, money, and extending its lifespan.

Common Causes and Signs of a Well Pump Cycling Without Water Flow

  • Well pumps are used to extract water from underground sources, such as wells or boreholes.
  • A typical well pump operates in a cycle, starting when a pressure switch detects a drop in water pressure and activates the pump.
  • One of the most concerning issues is when a well pump runs continuously without any water flowing. This can lead to various problems.
  • Signs that your well pump is running without water include unusual noises, increased electricity usage, and frequent cycling.
  • There are several possible causes for a well pump running continuously, including a faulty pressure switch, a leak in the system, or a malfunctioning check valve.

11/14 Related Articles

Experiencing the frustrations of well pump cycling problems can be incredibly vexing. Not only does it result in wasted electricity, but it can also cause damage to the entire system. While a faulty pressure switch is a common culprit, leaking pipes or valves can also contribute to these issues.

To prevent such headaches, it is essential to closely monitor and adjust the water levels in your well. Regularly flushing the system can help remove sediment and prevent potential problems from arising. If you find yourself constantly dealing with pump running problems, take the time to check for any leaks and test the pressure switch.

Should your DIY troubleshooting efforts prove to be ineffective, it is highly recommended to seek professional assistance. Well pump technicians possess the expertise to efficiently diagnose and resolve even the most complex issues. In conclusion, gaining a thorough understanding of these issues and effectively troubleshooting them is absolutely vital for maintaining optimal performance from your well pump.

By implementing regular maintenance practices and addressing any sediment buildup , you can ensure that your pump continues to run smoothly for an extended period of time.

Having trouble with your sprinkler zone not turning off? Check out our article on how to troubleshoot and fix this issue for some helpful tips and solutions!

12/14 Understanding Water Pressure: Role of the Well Pump

Water pressure plays a vital role in providing a steady water supply at home. The well pump, with its pressure switches and impeller, is responsible for controlling and maintaining this pressure. These switches monitor the water pressure and activate the pump accordingly, while the impeller propels the water through pipes, creating the desired pressure.

To troubleshoot any issues with water pressure, it is crucial to comprehend the well pump’s impact. Low water pressure may indicate a faulty pump or a problem with the pressure switch. Conducting regular maintenance, such as testing and calibrating the pressure switch, is essential for optimal performance.

Ultimately, the well pump is indispensable in regulating water pressure, and by understanding its mechanisms and performing routine upkeep, you can ensure a reliable and efficient water supply in your home.

well pump cycling with no water running

What to Do When Your Well Pump Keeps Cycling Even When No Water is Running

  1. Check the pressure gauge on your well tank to see if it is reading zero or a very low pressure.
  2. If the pressure is low, turn off the power to the well pump to prevent further damage.
  3. Inspect the well pump for any visible signs of damage or malfunction, such as leaks or loose connections.
  4. Check the well’s water level by using a dip tube or a well sounder to determine if the water level has dropped significantly.
  5. If the water level is low, you may need to wait for the well to replenish or consider contacting a professional for further assistance.
  6. If the water level is normal, there may be an issue with the pump itself. Consider checking the pressure switch or contacting a professional for a more thorough inspection and repair.
  7. After resolving the issue, remember to turn the power back on to the well pump and monitor its operation to ensure it is running properly.

13/14 Choosing the Right Well Pump: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to ensuring a steady water supply, the choice of a well pump is of utmost importance. To make an informed decision, it is crucial to consider the different types available, such as submersible, jet, or centrifugal pumps. Each type offers its own set of advantages and characteristics.

It is also worth paying attention to the specific features of the pump, such as variable speed control and energy efficiency, as they can greatly impact its performance. Additionally, factors like the depth of the well, water requirements, and pressure needs should be taken into account when selecting the appropriate size and capacity. Seeking the advice of a professional technician can be immensely helpful in making the right choice.

14/14 The Importance of Regular Well Pump Maintenance

The key to avoiding expensive repairs and breakdowns of your well pump lies in regular maintenance. By taking the time to properly care for your well pump, you can ensure it performs at its best and efficiently draws water from underground sources to supply your home or property. Not only does regular maintenance help prevent major issues, but it also extends the lifespan of your well pump.

By regularly inspecting and servicing its components, you can catch potential problems early on and prevent further damage or costly repairs. Furthermore, regular maintenance keeps your system running efficiently. By maintaining all the components in good working condition, your well pump operates at maximum efficiency, ultimately saving you both time and money in the long term.

Never underestimate the significance of regular well pump maintenance. By dedicating a little time and effort, you can enjoy a consistent water supply , avoid expensive repairs, and maximize the lifespan of your well pump.


In conclusion, understanding how a well pump works and recognizing the signs of it running without water is crucial for maintaining the longevity and efficiency of your pump system. By regularly maintaining your well pump and addressing any issues promptly, you can prevent the dangers associated with a pump running dry and potentially damaging the system. However, if you find that troubleshooting on your own is not enough, it is important to seek professional help to ensure the proper functioning of your well pump.

This article has provided valuable information on well pump behavior and troubleshooting, and we recommend exploring our other articles on related topics such as water pressure and choosing the right well pump for further guidance.


Why is my well pump running when no water is being used?

One possible explanation for the pump running but no water flowing to your house is a malfunction with the pressure switch. This device is responsible for regulating the water pressure in your system. If it is not working properly, it can prevent water from being delivered to your house, even though the pump is running. It’s important to troubleshoot and fix this issue to restore water supply to your home.

Why is my water pump spinning but no water?

If the water pump is running but not pumping any fluid, this can occur due to various reasons. One possible cause is a blocked inlet suction filter, which prevents the water from entering the pump. Another reason could be failed check valves, where the pump is bypassing the water instead of pumping it. Additionally, blocked discharge lines can also hinder the flow of fluid. It is also worth considering that incorrect electric motor polarity or incorrect pressure settings parameters may be contributing to the issue. These are just a few potential factors that could be responsible for the problem.

Why does my well pump keep kicking on and off?

If your air supply is adequate but you are experiencing short cycling, it is possible that your water pump pressure control switch is faulty or clogged. This issue can arise when the water contains silt or other debris, or when it has a high mineral content. To resolve the problem, you will need to replace or repair the switch, which will help restore normal functioning.

Why is my well pump constantly cycling?

It seems like the pump is cycling more frequently, which can be caused by a waterlogged pressure tank. In the past, if the pump didn’t cycle often, but now it is happening frequently, it is possible that the pressure tank has lost its air. Pressure tanks serve as a storage for both water and air, and it is important to have air pressure in the tank to prevent excessive cycling.

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