Troubleshooting Guide: Fixing a Well Pump Not Building Pressure

Are you experiencing issues with your well pump not building pressure? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into the inner workings of well pumps and discuss common reasons why they may fail to build pressure.

Whether you’re a homeowner with a private well or a professional in the water industry, understanding how well pumps function and troubleshooting techniques can save you time, money, and frustration. Did you know that a malfunctioning pressure switch is one of the most common culprits behind low pressure in well pumps? Stick around to learn more about this and other potential causes of well pump not building pressure.

Let’s dive in and explore the world of well pumps together.

Briefly explained: what you need to know about the subject

  • Well pumps are important for accessing water from a well.
  • Common issues with well pumps include low pressure and failure to build pressure.
  • Troubleshooting and maintenance can help fix and prevent problems with well pumps.

well pump not building pressure

1/15 Understanding Well Pumps and Their Importance

Water is the lifeblood of our homes, flowing effortlessly from our faucets and showers. But behind the scenes, a vital piece of machinery works tirelessly to ensure this constant supply: the well pump. In the depths of the earth, hidden from view, well pumps draw water from underground sources and deliver it to our waiting taps.

They are the unsung heroes of our daily activities, providing the water we need for cooking, cleaning, and bathing. However, like any hero, well pumps can face their own challenges. Low pressure can disrupt the smooth flow of water, causing frustration and inconvenience.

It can even affect the performance of our beloved appliances, like washing machines and dishwashers. To maintain the seamless flow of water in our lives, regular maintenance and monitoring of well pumps are essential. By keeping an eye out for signs of low pressure and promptly addressing them, we can ensure that our water needs are met with efficiency and reliability.

So let us not overlook the silent work of the well pump, for it is the unsung hero that ensures our daily lives are bathed in a steady stream of water.

2/15 The Role of Pressure in a Well Pump’s Functioning

The heartbeat of a well pump lies within the pressure it exerts. This vital force dictates the pump’s efficiency, performance, and the very speed at which water cascades forth. A surge in pressure propels water with a fervent velocity, while a dip in pressure languishes its flow.

Insufficient pressure prolongs the journey to faucets and showers, breeding inconvenience. Furthermore, pressure holds sway over the pump’s ability to amass strength within the system. Insufficient pressure shackles the pump, impeding its ascent to power, resulting in diminished water flow and meager water pressure.

Regular inspection and maintenance of the pump, which encompasses scrutinizing the pressure switch and pump controller, is imperative to uphold its seamless operation, ensuring an uninterrupted stream of water for our daily needs.

3/15 Signs and Symptoms of Low Pressure in a Well Pump

A well pump that emits unusual noises may indicate low pressure. If you hear loud banging, rattling, or grinding sounds, it means the pump is struggling to generate enough pressure for an effective water supply. Another indication of low pressure is a decrease in water flow from faucets and showers.

If the water trickles out instead of flowing steadily, it signifies that the well pump is not functioning properly and cannot provide sufficient pressure. Fluctuating water pressure throughout the day is also a symptom of low pressure in a well pump. Sudden drops or surges in pressure make it challenging to consistently use water for daily activities.

If you observe any of these signs, it is crucial to promptly address the issue to ensure a dependable water supply. Contacting a professional well pump technician will help diagnose the problem and perform the necessary repairs or maintenance to restore proper pressure in your system.

well pump not building pressure

7 Steps to Troubleshoot and Fix a Well Pump that is Not Building Pressure

  1. Check the power source for any issues or disruptions.
  2. Inspect the pressure switch and ensure it is functioning correctly.
  3. Examine the pump controller for any signs of damage or malfunction.
  4. Assess the pressure tank’s air valve and make sure it is properly adjusted.
  5. If the above steps do not resolve the issue, consider calling in professional experts for assistance.
  6. Practice regular maintenance by cleaning and inspecting the well pump regularly.
  7. Pay attention to water quality, as it can affect the performance of the well pump.

4/15 Malfunctioning Pressure Switch

In the realm of water supply, a mere faulty pressure switch in a well pump possesses the power to disrupt the delicate balance of life’s most essential resource. Be vigilant, for signs of its malevolence lurk in the shadows of inconsistent water pressure or the ceaseless hum of a pump running, yet never building up the pressure it so desperately craves. This treacherous culprit can be provoked by a myriad of causes, such as a disruption in the electrical realm or damage inflicted upon the switch mechanism itself.

Even the accumulation of debris can conspire against the smooth operation of this vital component. Fear not, for there are steps one can take to combat this nefarious foe. Begin by inspecting the electrical connections, ensuring their integrity and functionality.

Should this prove futile, turn your attention to the switch itself, gently cleansing it of any impurities that may have infiltrated its delicate workings. And if, despite your valiant efforts, the pressure switch remains obstinate and unyielding, consider the ultimate sacrifice of replacing it altogether. But heed my words, dear reader, for this is a task best left to the hands of a professional.

Let their expertise guide you through this perilous journey, ensuring your safety and the restoration of water’s unyielding flow.

5/15 Issues with the Pressure Tank

The Mysterious Troubles of the Pressure Tank Deep within the heart of your well pump lies a hidden hero – the pressure tank. This unsung champion tirelessly maintains the water pressure in your humble abode. But alas, even the mightiest can falter.

Should the tank encounter troubles, you may find yourself facing the dreaded specter of low water pressure. Leaks and damage to this unsung hero can spell doom for your water flow, while insufficient air pressure can also wreak havoc on your daily routines. Fear not, for there is a way to stave off these calamities.

Regularly embark upon the noble quest of inspecting and maintaining your pressure tank. Seek out any signs of leaks and ensure that the air pressure within is just right. Should you sense an impending disaster, do not hesitate to call upon the aid of a professional.

By diligently addressing these issues, you can safeguard the efficiency of your well pump and ensure that your household is blessed with an ample supply of life-giving water.

well pump not building pressure

6/15 Problems with the Submersible Pump

Homeowners often encounter common problems with submersible pumps. The motor can fail from wear and tear or electrical issues, impacting the pump’s performance. Additionally, debris or sediment can clog the impeller, preventing pressure buildup.

To avoid these issues, regular cleaning and maintenance of the impeller are essential. Faulty wiring or electrical connections can also disrupt the pump’s functioning. It is recommended to seek assistance from a professional well pump technician to diagnose and resolve these problems.

Regular inspections and maintenance are vital to ensure the pump continues to perform at its best.

Did you know that the average well pump can push water up from depths of over 100 feet? That’s like pumping water from the height of a 10-story building!


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.


7/15 Broken Water Line Affecting Water or Air Pressure

In the realm of well pump systems, few things can disrupt the delicate balance quite like a broken water line. Its effects reverberate throughout your home, causing water pressure to dwindle and making the simplest tasks, like showering or washing dishes, feel like arduous endeavors. How can you identify this invisible culprit?

Look for telltale signs: water pooling in your yard, damp spots encircling the well pump, or a sudden, unwelcome decline in water pressure. Swift action is vital to safeguarding your well pump system and preserving the purity of your water supply. Repairing a broken water line requires pinpointing the source of the damage and replacing the affected section.

To ensure a job well done, it is advisable to enlist the services of a professional plumber or well pump technician. Remember, a broken water line not only dampens water pressure, but it also disrupts the delicate harmony of air pressure within the pressure tank, ultimately impacting the overall performance of your well pump system. Therefore, it is imperative to address any water line issues with unwavering promptness, ensuring that the symphony of water and air pressure remains in perfect harmony.

8/15 Water Table Issues

The ebb and flow of the water table can have a profound impact on the performance of a well pump. As the water table rises and falls, the pump’s ability to extract water from the well can be compromised, resulting in a reduction in water pressure and flow rate. To combat this issue, it is imperative to diligently monitor the water table levels.

By doing so, homeowners can stay ahead of any fluctuations in water pressure and take the necessary steps to maintain optimal pump performance. One effective way to address water table concerns is by adjusting the depth of the pump within the well. If the water table consistently remains low, lowering the pump further into the well may be necessary to ensure it remains fully submerged.

Conversely, if the water table remains consistently high, raising the pump may be required to prevent it from becoming overwhelmed. Regular maintenance and vigilant monitoring of the water table levels play a pivotal role in preserving the longevity of the well pump. By taking a proactive approach and promptly addressing any water table issues, homeowners can ensure that their well pump operates seamlessly, providing a reliable and uninterrupted water supply for their daily needs.

well pump not building pressure

Troubleshooting Steps for Well Pump Pressure Issues – Tabelle

Step Description
1 Check the power source to ensure the pump is receiving electricity. Verify that the circuit breaker for the well pump is not tripped, and check for any loose or damaged electrical connections.
2 Inspect the pressure switch for any signs of damage or malfunction. Test the switch for proper operation using a multimeter and replace if necessary.
3 Examine the pump controller for any issues or errors in its operation. Check for any error codes or indicators on the controller display and consult the manufacturer’s manual for troubleshooting instructions.
4 Assess the pressure tank’s air valve to ensure it is properly adjusted and functioning. Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the air pressure in the tank and adjust it to the recommended level (typically 2 psi below the pump’s cut-in pressure).
5 Verify if there are any water line breaks or leaks affecting water or air pressure. Inspect the well pipe, fittings, and connections for any signs of leaks or damage. Repair or replace any faulty components.
6 Consider the possibility of water table issues, such as a low water level in the well. Monitor the water level in the well using a measuring tape or a well sounder. If the water level is significantly low, consult a professional well driller to assess the situation.
7 Determine if a professional repair service should be contacted based on the troubleshooting results. If the issue persists or if you are unsure about performing further repairs yourself, contact a qualified well pump technician for assistance.
8 Perform regular maintenance on the well pump to prevent future pressure issues. This includes annual inspection of the pump, cleaning or replacing the pump’s intake screen, and lubricating any necessary parts as recommended by the manufacturer.
9 Ensure the water quality meets the necessary standards to prevent pump performance problems. Test the water regularly for contaminants such as bacteria, chemicals, or excessive minerals. Install appropriate water treatment systems if needed.

9/15 Checking the Power Source

Unleashing the Power Within In the quest to troubleshoot well pumps that fail to build pressure, one must embark on a journey to uncover the secrets of the power source. This ethereal force holds the key to the pump’s functionality, and any disturbances in its realm can unleash chaos upon its ability to generate pressure. Behold, the power supply that breathes life into the well pump.

Like a conductor leading an orchestra, electricity courses through its veins, nurturing the pump’s existence. But beware, for even the slightest interruptions or inconsistencies in this sacred flow can plunge the pump into the depths of malfunction, leaving it powerless to produce any substantial pressure. Yet, there is more to this tale than meets the eye.

Hidden within the labyrinth of electrical connections lies a potential nemesis. Loose or faulty connections can emerge as formidable foes, blocking the pump’s access to the life-giving power it so desperately craves. Thus, one must embark on a quest to inspect each connection, from the humble wires to the mighty junction boxes, ensuring their loyalty to the cause.

But fear not, dear reader, for there is hope in this treacherous journey. To vanquish the power source’s afflictions, seek out the elusive blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers. Scrutinize the pressure switch and control box, for they may hide the secrets of damage or malfunction.

And with swift action, restore harmony to the power supply, granting the well pump the strength it needs to fulfill its destiny. In the realm of well pumps, the power source reigns supreme. Through vigilant checks and the resolution of potential issues, one can bestow upon the pump the gift of unwavering power, ensuring its ability to build pressure with utmost efficiency.

Remember, dear reader, the power source is the beating heart of the pump’s performance, deserving of the utmost reverence and care.

10/15 Inspecting the Pressure Switch

Ensuring the efficient functioning of your well pump is essential for a constant water supply to your home. The pressure switch plays a vital role in regulating pressure levels. However, like any component, it can develop faults that impact performance.

Inconsistent water pressure is a telltale sign of a faulty pressure switch. If you notice fluctuating or consistently low water pressure in your faucets and showers, it’s time to investigate. Unusual noises from the well pump or decreased water flow may also indicate a problem.

Regular inspection is key to catching issues early. During your inspection, look for physical damage, loose connections, or signs of corrosion. Additionally, cleaning the pressure switch to remove any debris is crucial.

To inspect and clean the pressure switch, start by turning off the power supply to the well pump. Remove the switch cover and visually examine for any damage. Gently clean it using a soft brush or cloth to eliminate dirt and debris.

Once cleaned, reassemble the switch and restore power. By regularly inspecting and maintaining the pressure switch, you can ensure a smooth-running well pump. Detecting and addressing issues promptly not only saves you from costly repairs but also guarantees an uninterrupted water supply for your household.

well pump not building pressure

11/15 Examining the Pump Controller

Your well pump’s functionality relies on the vital role of the pump controller. This mastermind of the system orchestrates and regulates its every move. Ensuring a seamless operation necessitates a thorough examination of the pump controller for any imperfections.

To troubleshoot the pump controller, commence by scrutinizing the power supply and verifying its proper connection. Be vigilant for any loose or damaged wires that could impede its functionality. Next, delve into the settings of the pump controller, meticulously configuring them in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Incorrect settings have the potential to cause performance setbacks and pressure buildup. Regular maintenance of the pump controller is of paramount importance. Routinely cleanse it and remain vigilant for signs of wear or damage.

Shield the controller from moisture and extreme temperatures, as they have the capacity to disrupt its performance. By diligently assessing for defects and conducting regular maintenance, you can guarantee the efficient and effective operation of your well pump. This proactive approach will prevent potential issues and extend the lifespan of your pump system.

Always bear in mind, a well-maintained pump controller is the cornerstone of your well pump’s proper functioning.

Oh, by the way, if you’re interested in learning more about well pump pressure switch wiring diagrams, check out this helpful guide here .

Is your shallow well water pump failing to build pressure? Discover the possible reasons behind this common issue by watching this informative video.

YouTube video

12/15 Assessing the Pressure Tank’s Air Valve

The Crucial Importance of the Pressure Tank’s Air Valve In the intricate workings of your well pump, there exists a humble hero often overshadowed by its more glamorous counterparts. This unsung hero, the pressure tank’s air valve, holds the key to maintaining optimal pressure and an unwavering water flow. Neglecting the air valve can have dire consequences.

Air leaks, a common culprit, can diminish pressure, leaving you with feeble streams of water coursing through your home. By addressing these leaks, you can restore a consistent and robust flow. But that’s not all.

The air valve may also suffer from malfunctions, causing it to stick or operate improperly. Such disruptions can wreak havoc on the pressure buildup. Regular assessments of the air valve enable timely repairs, averting potential disasters.

To properly assess and maintain this unassuming yet vital component, follow these simple steps:

1. Begin by turning off the power supply to the well pump, ensuring safety and peace of mind.

2. Thoroughly inspect the air valve on the pressure tank, searching for any signs of damage or wear.

3. To detect sneaky air leaks, keenly listen for the faint hissing sounds or, if preferred, employ the trusty method of soapy water to reveal elusive bubbles.

4. Should a leak be detected, take swift action by tightening or replacing the valve, restoring its integrity.

5. Verify that the valve opens and closes with effortless grace, making any necessary adjustments for smooth operation.

6. Lastly, stay vigilant by regularly monitoring the tank’s pressure, ensuring it remains within the recommended range. By dutifully checking for air leaks and meticulously assessing the air valve’s condition, you can effectively safeguard against issues and maintain the flawless functioning of your well pump. Remember, it is through proper maintenance that a dependable water supply graces your humble abode.

well pump not building pressure

13/15 Professional vs. DIY Repair: When to Call in the Experts

When it comes to repairing your well pump, there are important factors to consider. Your skill level and knowledge of well pump systems play a crucial role. If you lack experience, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Repair complexity is another aspect to think about. Simple issues like a malfunctioning pressure switch or a clogged impeller can be fixed easily. However, more serious problems require professional assistance, such as motor failure or a broken water line.

Unusual noises, decreased water flow, and fluctuating water pressure are signs that indicate the need for professional repair. These issues may be symptoms of underlying problems that only experts can address. Hiring professionals for well pump repair offers multiple benefits.

They possess the necessary knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix the problem correctly. Additionally, they have specialized tools and equipment not readily available to DIY repairers. In conclusion, before attempting a well pump repair, evaluate your abilities and the complexity of the job.

If uncertain, it’s wise to call in the experts . Hiring professionals ensures the repair is done right and can save you time, money , and frustration in the long run .

If you’re looking to learn more about well pump pressure switch wiring, check out our article on how to properly wire your well pump pressure switch for a step-by-step guide and helpful tips.

well pump not building pressure

Troubleshooting and Fixing a Well Pump Not Building Pressure: A Comprehensive Guide

  • Well pumps are essential for accessing groundwater in areas where there is no access to a municipal water supply.
  • A well pump works by drawing water from an underground source, such as a well or a borehole, and delivering it to your home or property.
  • Pressure plays a crucial role in the functioning of a well pump. It is the pressure that allows water to be pushed up through the pipes and into your home.
  • If your well pump runs but doesn’t build pressure, it could be due to various reasons, including a malfunctioning pressure switch, issues with the pressure tank, problems with the submersible pump, a broken water line affecting water or air pressure, or water table issues.
  • Signs of low pressure in a well pump can include weak or no water flow from faucets, sputtering or spitting water, and a drop in water pressure throughout the property.
  • When troubleshooting and fixing a well pump not building pressure, it’s important to check the power source, inspect the pressure switch, examine the pump controller, and assess the pressure tank’s air valve.
  • Regular maintenance is key to keeping your well pump in peak condition. This includes checking for leaks, ensuring proper electrical connections, and monitoring water quality.
  • Water quality can significantly impact the performance of your well pump. Contaminated water can lead to clogged pipes, damaged components, and decreased pump efficiency.

14/15 Regular Maintenance Tips

Maintaining your well pump is vital for its longevity and performance. With these helpful tips, you can prevent issues and ensure a smoothly running pump. Firstly, it’s crucial to regularly inspect your pump for leaks or damages.

Leaks can diminish water pressure and harm other components. By promptly fixing any leaks, you can prevent further damage and maintain efficiency. Additionally, cleaning and inspecting the pump’s impeller is essential to ensure optimal water flow.

Debris or build-up can hinder its performance, so regular maintenance is key. Lastly, don’t forget to properly maintain the pressure tank’s air valve. Air leaks can decrease water pressure and increase energy consumption.

Regularly tending to the air valve will prevent leaks and maintain consistent pressure. By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure your well pump lasts for years to come, operating efficiently and effectively.

15/15 Understanding the Role of Water Quality

Ensuring the quality of your water is crucial for optimal well pump performance. When your water is contaminated, it can lead to clogs and damage to the pump, ultimately reducing water flow and pressure. To prevent these issues, it is essential to prioritize the installation of water filtration systems that effectively remove impurities.

Additionally , the presence of hard water with high mineral levels can also contribute to blockages. Installing a water softener can help prolong the lifespan of your pump. By taking proactive measures to maintain water quality, you can ensure that your well pump operates efficiently and has a longer lifespan.

If you’re dealing with a well pump losing pressure, check out our article on how to troubleshoot and fix this issue to ensure a consistent water supply.


In conclusion, understanding the functioning of well pumps and being able to troubleshoot issues with pressure build-up is crucial for maintaining a reliable water supply. This article has provided a comprehensive overview of how well pumps work, common reasons for them not building pressure, and steps to troubleshoot and fix the issue. By following the preventive measures and regular maintenance tips outlined in this article, readers can keep their well pumps in peak condition.

We hope this information has been helpful in addressing the search intent of users looking for solutions to the problem of well pumps not building pressure. For more valuable articles on well pump maintenance, troubleshooting, and water quality, we recommend exploring our other resources on this topic.


Why is my well pump not getting up to pressure?

If you’re experiencing issues with the pressure switch, it could be causing problems with the pump’s functioning. If you notice the pump rapidly turning on and off, it’s a clear indication that there may be an issue with the switch or the control box. In such cases, it might be necessary to replace the pressure switch. Ensure you consult a professional for further assistance.

How do you fix low water pressure on a well pump?

Here are some simple solutions to address low well water pressure: 1. Clean Clogged Faucets & Fixtures: Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate in faucets and fixtures, causing clogs. Regularly cleaning them can help restore water flow. 2. Adjust Your Pressure Switch: The pressure switch controls the operation of your well pump. By adjusting it, you can optimize the pressure settings to improve water pressure. 3. Clear Clogged Water Lines: If your water lines are clogged, it can restrict the flow of water. Identifying and clearing any blockages in the lines can help restore water pressure. 4. Install a Water Softener: Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals, can contribute to clogs and reduced water pressure. Installing a water softener can remove these minerals and improve water flow. 5. Install a Water Pressure Regulator: A water pressure regulator can help stabilize and regulate the water pressure coming from your well. This can ensure consistent water pressure throughout your plumbing system. By implementing these solutions, you can address low well water pressure and enjoy improved water flow in your home.

Why won t my well pump build over 40 psi?

Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove the pump from the well and clean the impellers or inlet screen. This is because if the impellers become clogged with substances like silt, sand, dirt, clay, or anything similar, the pump’s capacity decreases.

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