Why is Your Well Pump Tripping Breaker? Causes and Solutions Explained

Are you experiencing issues with your well pump tripping the breaker? If so, you’re not alone. Many homeowners face this frustrating problem, and understanding the potential causes can help you address the well pump tripping breaker issue effectively.

In this article, we will explore the various reasons why your well pump might be tripping the breaker and provide you with some tips and precautions to consider when dealing with this well pump tripping breaker problem. Whether you’re a homeowner or a professional in the field, this information may be crucial in troubleshooting and resolving the tripping breaker issue. So, let’s dive in and discover the underlying factors contributing to this common well pump tripping breaker problem.

At a glance: What’s behind the topic.What you need to know: An overview of the key information

  • Possible reasons for a well pump tripping the breaker include overloading the circuit, faulty wiring, weak breaker, motor defects, clogged impeller, bad seals, and pressure switch issues.
  • To diagnose issues with a well pump, inspect the pressure switch, disconnect and inspect the motor, check for blockages, and inspect pipes, pump boxes, bearings, and shafts.
  • Tips and precautions when dealing with a tripping breaker issue include understanding signs of a bad well pump, the potential impact of a defective pressure switch, and common causes of breaker tripping in pumps.

well pump tripping breaker

1/14 Overloading The Circuit

In the realm of well pump intricacies, there exists an intriguing phenomenon where the breaker is repeatedly tripped. This peculiar occurrence is often attributed to the circuit being overwhelmed, unable to bear the weight of the pump’s insatiable thirst for power. It is advisable to investigate whether other household appliances are cohabiting the same circuit, for their collective presence may add fuel to the fire of overload.

Should the circuit breaker itself prove feeble in the face of this daunting task, it too may succumb to the weight and trip. Fear not, for a solution awaits. One may find solace in redistributing the power load among different circuits or in the pursuit of a more formidable breaker, capable of withstanding the relentless demands.

By addressing the matter of circuit overload, harmony shall be restored, and the well pump shall continue its ceaseless endeavors without interruption.

2/14 Faulty Wiring

The Dangers of Faulty Wiring in Well Pump Systems: A Guide to Detection and Resolution In the realm of well pump systems, an overlooked danger lurks beneath the surface: faulty wiring. This seemingly innocuous issue can wreak havoc, manifesting in frequent breaker trips, lackluster performance, and even safety hazards. How can one discern if their well pump system suffers from this clandestine problem?

Look out for telltale signs such as flickering lights or sporadic power disruptions during the operation of your well pump. Unusual noises emanating from the pump or motor can also serve as red flags, indicating loose or damaged wires. However, faulty wiring is not merely an inconvenience; it poses a serious threat.

The potential for electrical shocks, fires, and explosions looms ominously. Timely and thorough attention to any wiring concerns is of paramount importance. Should you suspect that your well pump system harbors faulty wiring, follow these steps to troubleshoot and rectify the issue:

1. Power down: Before embarking on any repairs, ensure the power supply to the well pump system is switched off, safeguarding against electrical mishaps.

2. Scrutinize the wiring: Conduct a meticulous examination of the connections, searching for loose or damaged wires, frayed insulation, or any signs of overheating or scorching.

3. Repair or replace: Should you encounter faulty wiring, take swift action to repair or replace the affected components. This may entail replacing damaged wires, securing connections, or even rewiring the entire system. When contending with electrical components, it is advisable to consult a professional if you harbor any uncertainties or discomfort in conducting the repairs independently.

Their expertise ensures the job is executed safely and effectively. By addressing the specter of faulty wiring within your well pump system, you not only avert potential hazards but also enhance performance and guarantee a steadfast water supply for your abode. Do not dismiss the signs; act swiftly to rectify any wiring issues that may be lurking in the shadows.

well pump tripping breaker

3/14 Weak Breaker

The frailty of a breaker within a well pump system can bring forth a multitude of troubles and hazards. Behold these telltale signs: the breaker persistently trips or necessitates resetting, and the lights waver or dim when the well pump is in operation. These manifestations allude to the breaker’s struggle in grappling with the electrical load it bears.

Unveiling a weak breaker within a well pump system may result in detrimental consequences such as harm to the pump motor, erratic water pressure, or even a total deprivation of water supply. To rectify a feeble breaker, it is wise to seek the guidance of a proficient electrician who can adeptly install an appropriate breaker tailored to the power requirements of your well pump. Discerning the indicators of a weak breaker and promptly taking action to replace it are of utmost importance in upholding the efficiency and durability of your well pump system.

If you’re frustrated with your well pump constantly tripping the reset button, check out our article on how to troubleshoot and fix this issue for some helpful tips and solutions.

If you’re having issues with your Saniflo toilet, you should definitely check out our article “Saniflo Toilet Problems” to find out how to troubleshoot common problems and get your toilet back in working order.

well pump tripping breaker

Did you know that a well pump can generate enough pressure to shoot water over 300 feet into the air?


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 Well Pump Motor Defect

Imagine a world where water flows freely, a constant stream of life-giving sustenance. Now, picture the devastating consequences when that flow is abruptly disrupted, leaving you parched and desperate. A broken well pump motor holds the power to turn this idyllic vision into a harsh reality.

The signs of a motor defect are not to be taken lightly. A sudden decrease in water pressure or the complete absence of water flow can be a telltale indication that something is amiss. It is as if the motor, the beating heart of your water supply, has lost its rhythm, leaving you high and dry.

And if that weren’t enough, the motor may cry out in agony with grinding or screeching sounds, a haunting symphony of dysfunction. But the consequences extend beyond mere inconvenience. Your water supply, the lifeblood of your household activities, is at risk of being severed.

Clean water, a necessity that we often take for granted, becomes a precious commodity that slips through our fingers. And as the motor falters, it may overheat, threatening to inflict irreparable damage upon the entire system. The very foundation of your water supply is at stake.

No, this is not a burden you should bear alone. Seek the guidance of a professional well pump technician, a skilled troubleshooter in this aquatic realm. With their expert eyes, they will penetrate the depths of your motor, unraveling its mysteries and exposing its flaws.

They will offer wisdom forged through years of experience, recommending the necessary repairs or, if the situation demands it, the replacement of the motor itself. Remember, dear reader, that the longevity and efficiency of your well pump system depend on your diligence. Regular maintenance and swift action in the face of adversity are the keys to ensuring a steady flow of water, a lifeline that sustains us all.

well pump tripping breaker

5/14 Clogged Impeller

A clogged impeller in a well pump system can have a detrimental impact on its performance. One telltale sign of a clogged impeller is a decrease in water pressure or flow from the well. If you’re noticing weak or inconsistent water flow, chances are a clogged impeller is to blame.

The consequences of a clogged impeller should not be underestimated. It can put excessive strain on the well pump motor, leading to increased energy consumption and the risk of overheating. This, in turn, can cause damage to the motor and other components of the pump system.

Additionally, a clogged impeller can push the pump to its limits, potentially resulting in premature failure. To tackle a clogged impeller, here are the steps to follow: start by turning off the power supply and disconnecting any electrical connections. Next, remove the impeller housing to gain access to the impeller itself.

Thoroughly clean the impeller, making sure to check for any debris or obstructions. If the impeller is beyond repair, it will need to be replaced with a new one. It’s essential to bear in mind that unclogging or replacing a clogged impeller can be a complex task.

It’s advisable to seek the assistance of a professional well pump technician to ensure the job is carried out correctly. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the impeller can help prevent clogs and keep your well pump system operating smoothly.

If you’re dealing with a well pump that keeps tripping the breaker, you’ll want to check out this video. It offers insights and tips on troubleshooting the issue and getting your pump back up and running efficiently. Find out what might be causing the problem and how to address it effectively.

YouTube video

6/14 Bad Seals

When the seals in your well pump system start to fail , a cascade of issues can follow. Look out for signs like water leaking from the pump or motor, a decrease in water pressure, or even air bubbles in your water. Not only can bad seals lead to leaks, but they can also allow harmful contaminants to enter your water supply, putting your health at risk.

What’s more, constant leaking can strain your pump, leading to expensive repairs or even pump failure. If you suspect your seals are in need of replacement or repair, take immediate action by shutting off the power, draining the water, and installing new seals. And if the seals are beyond repair, don’t hesitate to replace the entire assembly.

Remember, dealing with bad seals is essential for a dependable water supply, so it’s wise to seek assistance from a professional well pump technician.

well pump tripping breaker

7/14 Pressure Switch Issues

Your well pump system relies heavily on the pressure switch to maintain optimal water pressure. However, as time goes on, this crucial component can encounter problems that demand attention. One telltale sign of a faulty pressure switch is inconsistent water pressure.

If your taps sputter or experience fluctuations, it’s a clear indication that the pressure switch is not functioning correctly. Another red flag is rapid cycling, where the well pump repeatedly turns on and off. This occurs when the pressure switch fails to uphold the proper pressure settings.

Ignoring pressure switch issues can have serious consequences. It can cause your well pump to run dry, leading to overheating and potential motor damage. Additionally, it can result in increased energy consumption and utility expenses.

To address and resolve pressure switch problems, start by inspecting for visible damage or loose connections. Ensure that the switch is securely and properly connected. If no apparent issues are found, you may need to adjust the pressure settings or replace the switch entirely.

If you’re unsure about handling pressure switch problems, it’s wise to seek guidance from a professional . Their expertise will guarantee an effective diagnosis and solution, ensuring your well pump system operates seamlessly and efficiently.

8/14 Inspecting The Pressure Switch

The Vital Role of the Pressure Switch In the intricate system of a well pump, there exists a small yet mighty component known as the pressure switch. This unassuming device holds the key to regulating water flow and maintaining the smooth operation of the pump. However, like any other part, it is not impervious to the ravages of time.

It is imperative, therefore, to be vigilant in identifying signs of a pressure switch in distress and to take swift action. One telltale sign of trouble is the presence of inconsistent or diminished water pressure emanating from the well. Should you witness fluctuations or a noticeable decline in pressure, it may serve as a harbinger of pressure switch woes.

Additionally, should you detect peculiar noises or vibrations emanating from the well pump, it would be wise to heed the warning they convey. However, the consequences of disregarding pressure switch issues are not to be taken lightly. A malfunctioning switch has the ability to force the pump into a relentless cycle, straining the motor and potentially leading to overheating or even combustion.

Such a scenario not only compromises the pump’s performance but also poses a grave safety hazard. To ensure the continued efficiency and longevity of your well pump system, regular inspections are paramount. Be vigilant in searching for signs of wear, damage, or loose connections within the pressure switch.

Calibration is also essential for optimal performance. Employ a soft brush or compressed air to delicately dislodge any debris or buildup that may have accumulated. By promptly addressing any concerns that may arise with the pressure switch, you will safeguard the seamless functioning of your well pump system.

Never underestimate the profound impact that this seemingly unremarkable component can have. Its significance lies not in its size, but in its ability to make an extraordinary difference.

well pump tripping breaker

Common Reasons Why Your Well Pump Keeps Tripping the Breaker

  • Overloading the circuit: One common reason for a well pump tripping the breaker is if the circuit is overloaded. This can happen if there are too many appliances or devices drawing power from the same circuit as the well pump. It’s important to ensure that the circuit is properly sized for the pump’s electrical requirements.
  • Faulty wiring: Another potential culprit is faulty wiring. If there are damaged or frayed wires in the electrical system, it can cause the breaker to trip. It’s essential to have a professional electrician inspect the wiring and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
  • Weak breaker: Sometimes, the breaker itself may be the issue. If the breaker is old or weak, it may trip more easily, even with normal pump operation. In this case, it may be necessary to replace the breaker with a new one that can handle the pump’s electrical load.
  • Well pump motor defect: A defective motor in the well pump can also lead to frequent breaker tripping. If the motor is overheating or experiencing other issues, it can cause the breaker to trip as a safety measure. A qualified well pump technician should be called to diagnose and repair any motor defects.

9/14 Disconnecting And Inspecting The Motor

To troubleshoot well pump issues, it’s essential to start by disconnecting and examining the motor. This ensures proper functionality and prevents potential electrical complications. Prioritize safety by grounding the motor securely, minimizing the risk of accidents or malfunctions.

Inspect the motor for any loose or damaged wires, as they can cause poor connections and tripping of the breaker. Promptly address any issues to prevent safety hazards. Lastly, look for signs of overheating or burning, which could indicate a defect or underlying problem.

If you notice unusual smells, excessive heat, or discoloration, take immediate action to avoid more serious consequences. By thoroughly inspecting and disconnecting the motor, you can maintain its good condition and reduce the likelihood of electrical problems. Remember to follow safety guidelines and seek professional assistance if you’re unsure about motor inspection or maintenance.

If you’re looking for information on determining the right breaker size for your well pump, check out our article on “Well Pump Breaker Size” for all the details.

well pump tripping breaker

10/14 Checking For Blockages

If your well pump keeps tripping the breaker, it may be due to blockages in the system. These blockages can lead to decreased water pressure, strange noises, or even complete pump failure. They are often caused by debris, sediment, or mineral buildup in the pipes or impeller.

Blockages in the well pump are a serious issue that can result in overheating or damage. This can lead to costly repairs or the need for a new pump altogether. To clear these blockages, turn off the power and disconnect any hoses or pipes connected to the pump.

Then, use a pipe snake or similar tool to carefully remove any obstructions. Be sure to clear all blockages before reconnecting the pump. In conclusion, blockages in the well pump system can cause various problems and risks.

By recognizing the signs, understanding the potential consequences, and taking the necessary steps to clear them, you can ensure your well pump functions properly and has a longer lifespan.

Possible Causes of Well Pump Breaker Tripping – Tabelle

Possible Cause Description
Overloading the Circuit – Excessive power demand from the well pump can overload the circuit, causing the breaker to trip. This can occur if the pump is running continuously without sufficient breaks or if there are other high-powered devices connected to the same circuit.
Faulty Wiring – Poor or damaged wiring connections can lead to electrical faults and cause the breaker to trip. This can be caused by loose or corroded wire connections, worn-out insulation, or improperly installed wiring.
Weak Breaker – An old or weak breaker may not be able to handle the electrical load required by the well pump, resulting in frequent tripping. Breakers have a specific amp rating, and if the pump’s power demand exceeds this rating, the breaker will trip to prevent overheating or damage.
Well Pump Motor Defect – A malfunctioning motor in the well pump can cause excessive power draw and trip the breaker. This can be due to worn-out bearings, a damaged motor winding, or a faulty capacitor, among other motor-related issues.
Clogged Impeller – A blocked or obstructed impeller can cause the well pump to work harder, leading to an overload and tripping of the breaker. Common causes of a clogged impeller include debris, sediment, or mineral build-up in the well or the pump itself.
Bad Seals – Leaking seals in the well pump can allow water to enter the motor, causing electrical faults and trips. This can occur due to worn-out or damaged seals, leading to water infiltration and potential short circuits.
Pressure Switch Issues – A malfunctioning pressure switch can fail to regulate the pump’s operation, potentially leading to overload and breaker tripping. Issues with the pressure switch can include a faulty switch mechanism, incorrect pressure settings, or a defective diaphragm.

11/14 Inspecting The Pipes, Pump Boxes, Bearings, And Shafts

To effectively diagnose well pump issues, a comprehensive inspection of all components is essential. Begin by thoroughly examining the pipes and pump boxes for any leaks or cracks that could lead to water loss or contamination. Promptly addressing these issues is crucial to maintain a safe water supply.

Next, focus on the bearings , as regular lubrication is vital for the smooth operation of the well pump. Neglecting proper lubrication can result in quick wear and malfunctioning of the bearings. By keeping them well-lubricated, you can extend the pump’s lifespan and avoid costly repairs.

Lastly, pay close attention to the shafts for any signs of wear or damage. Over time, they can become worn down or bent, directly impacting the pump’s performance. Look for visible indicators such as rust or cracks and address them promptly to ensure optimal functioning.

By thoroughly inspecting these components, you can identify potential issues early on and take the necessary steps to prevent them from escalating. Regular maintenance and inspections are paramount in ensuring a dependable water supply for your home.

well pump tripping breaker

12/14 How can you tell if your well pump is bad?

In order to ensure the proper functioning of your well pump, it is vital to be alert for a few key indicators. Firstly, be attentive to any unusual sounds or vibrations emanating from the pump, as these may serve as red flags for potential trouble. Secondly, closely monitor the water pressure and flow from your well, as inconsistent levels could be indicative of a malfunctioning pump.

Lastly, keep a keen eye on the pump’s cycling behavior, as rapid on and off movements may suggest an underlying problem. Should you notice any of these signs, it is of utmost importance to promptly address the issue to prevent further damage and expensive repairs. Always bear in mind that your well pump plays a crucial role in delivering clean and dependable water, thus necessitating proper upkeep.

Should the need arise, do not hesitate to seek the assistance of a professional in this matter.

Troubleshooting Guide: Why is Your Well Pump Tripping the Breaker?

  1. Inspect the pressure switch for any signs of damage or malfunction.
  2. Disconnect and inspect the motor to check for any issues or defects.
  3. Check for any blockages in the well pump system that may be causing the breaker to trip.
  4. Inspect the pipes, pump boxes, bearings, and shafts for any signs of wear or damage.
  5. Test the well pump for any clogged impellers that might be causing the breaker to trip.
  6. Check the seals of the well pump for any leaks or damage.
  7. Make sure the circuit is not overloaded by reducing the load on the circuit if necessary.
  8. If all else fails, consider replacing the breaker with a stronger one that can handle the load of the well pump.

13/14 Can a defective pressure switch cause a breaker to trip?

A faulty pressure switch in a well pump system can have serious consequences. It can cause a breaker to trip, leading to circuit overload, motor overheating, and even fire hazards. Signs of a defective pressure switch are easy to spot – it may cycle on and off, resulting in inconsistent water pressure and flow.

To ensure the safety and performance of your system, it’s crucial to address this issue promptly. Regularly inspect and maintain your well pump system, consult a professional for any concerns, and ensure the pressure switch is installed and grounded correctly. Don’t underestimate the importance of a well-functioning pressure switch – it’s the key to a reliable and safe system.

Stay ahead of any problems to avoid inconvenience and costly repairs.

well pump tripping breaker

14/14 What are the common causes of breaker tripping in pumps?

When your pumps keep tripping the breaker, it can be incredibly frustrating. But fear not, for there are common causes that can be understood and resolved with ease. One such cause is an overheating well pump motor, which triggers the breaker as a safety measure.

This can occur when there is poor ventilation or an excessive workload on the motor. Another culprit is excessive pressure within the well system. If the pressure exceeds the system’s capacity, the breaker will trip.

This can be caused by a clogged impeller or a malfunctioning pressure switch. Regular maintenance and inspections can help prevent these issues from arising. Lastly, a faulty circuit breaker can also be to blame for frequent tripping.

If the breaker is unable to handle the load or is damaged, it will need to be replaced. By addressing these common causes, such as regular maintenance and proper ventilation, you can ensure the smooth operation of your well system and avoid the frustration of tripping breakers.


In conclusion, understanding the reasons behind a well pump tripping the breaker is crucial for homeowners. By exploring issues such as overloading the circuit, faulty wiring, weak breakers, motor defects, clogged impellers, bad seals, and pressure switch problems , individuals can diagnose and address the root cause of the problem. The tips and precautions provided in this article serve as a helpful guide for troubleshooting and resolving the issue effectively.

By staying informed and proactive, homeowners can ensure the smooth functioning of their well pump and avoid potential disruptions. For further information on well pump maintenance and troubleshooting, we recommend exploring our other articles on related topics.


Why is well pump tripping the breaker?

If your submersible pump keeps tripping its breaker, it may be due to cracks or leaks in the housing. When the housing is cracked, water can enter the pump through these openings, resulting in a short circuit. Similarly, a leak in the pump can also allow water to seep in and cause the same issue. This is a common problem that can occur with submersible pumps.

What does it mean when a pump is tripped?

Pumps can experience situations where the motor or driver is intentionally turned off (pump shutdown) or unexpectedly loses power. These occurrences are referred to as pump trips and can have a significant impact on hydraulic systems, potentially causing waterhammer. It is crucial to understand the implications of pump trips to effectively manage and prevent waterhammer in such scenarios.

How do you troubleshoot a breaker that keeps tripping?

To troubleshoot a tripped breaker, it is important to inspect all the wiring connected to it for any signs of damage, loose connections, corrosion, or frayed wires. These issues could suggest the need for a replacement circuit breaker. However, if the problem is simply a loose connection, you can tighten it using a screwdriver and then reset the breaker.

Is there a breaker on a well pump?

If you’re unsure about the person who installed your well pump and don’t have any previous invoices or records, you can still identify the dedicated circuit breaker for the pump. Typically, submersible well pumps operate on a single phase at 230 volts and require a 2 pole circuit breaker (which consists of two individual circuit breakers connected together). This information will help you determine the correct circuit breaker for your well pump.

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