Fixing Issues: Why Your Well Pump Won’t Go Over 20 PSI & What to Do

Are you experiencing issues with your well pump not reaching the desired water pressure of over 20 PSI? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will explore the common reasons why a well pump won’t go over 20 PSI and provide troubleshooting steps to help you fix the problem.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a professional in the well pump industry, understanding the ideal PSI for well pumps and how to diagnose and resolve pressure-related issues is crucial. So, let’s dive in and unravel the mystery behind a well pump that won’t go over 20 PSI.

The most important findings at a glance

  • PSI is important for well pumps and understanding the ideal PSI is crucial.
  • There are common reasons why a well pump won’t go over 20 PSI, including pressure switch problems, water pressure tank issues, pump problems, and plumbing issues.
  • To diagnose and troubleshoot the issue, steps involve checking the pressure switch, examining the water pressure tank, inspecting the pump, and looking at the plumbing system.

well pump won't go over 20 psi

What is PSI and Why is it Important?

In the world of pressure measurement, PSI reigns supreme. This crucial unit determines the performance and efficiency of well pumps. By measuring the force exerted on a single square inch, PSI allows us to gauge the pressure of fluids and gases.

For well pumps, PSI holds the key to drawing water effectively from the depths and delivering it to your faucets and appliances. It is imperative to maintain the ideal PSI for optimal performance. Too low, and you’ll experience weak water flow.

Too high, and you risk straining the pump and causing damage. To keep your well pump running like a well-oiled machine, regularly monitor the PSI and make any necessary adjustments. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance if needed.

By maintaining the ideal PSI, you can ensure a consistent and satisfying water supply for your humble abode.

Understanding the Ideal PSI for Well Pumps

To ensure optimal performance and longevity, it is crucial to maintain the ideal PSI for your well pump system. The pounds per square inch measurement plays a vital role in delivering water efficiently to your home. Various factors such as the size of the pump, depth of the well, condition of the pipes, and water demand influence the ideal PSI.

When the PSI is low, it signifies a problem that can lead to diminished water flow and pressure. Attaining the ideal PSI brings numerous benefits. It enables appliances to function properly, safeguards the pump and pipes from damage, and enhances overall efficiency.

This, in turn, helps save on electricity bills and extends the lifespan of the pump. In summary, maintaining the ideal PSI is paramount for the performance , efficiency , and longevity of your well pump system. It ensures consistent water pressure, prevents issues, and reduces energy costs.

Pressure Switch Problems

If your well pump is giving you a hard time, a faulty pressure switch could be to blame. Keep an eye out for signs such as fluctuating water pressure, clicking sounds, or the pump constantly cycling on and off. These are all indicators of a malfunctioning pressure switch.

There could be a few potential causes, including a defective switch, a blocked pressure line, or electrical problems. To troubleshoot the issue, make sure to inspect for any damage or loose connections, calibrate the switch, and clean or fix any clogs or leaks. If the problem persists, it’s best to seek professional assistance.

By understanding these signs and steps, you can ensure your well pump runs smoothly.

well pump won't go over 20 psi

Did you know that the average well pump can produce water at a pressure of up to 60 PSI? That’s more than twice the pressure needed to power a typical shower!


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Issues with the Water Pressure Tank

Indications of a Faulty Water Pressure Tank When your well pump is stubbornly stuck at 20 PSI, the blame may lie with a malfunctioning water pressure tank. Keep an eye out for these signs:

1. Fluctuating water pressure: If the water pressure in your faucets or shower constantly changes, it’s a red flag for a potential water pressure tank problem. A stable pressure is the norm, so any inconsistencies could indicate an issue.

2. Short cycling : When your pump frequently switches on and off, it’s likely a result of a faulty water pressure tank . Possible Causes of Water Pressure Tank Problems Various factors can contribute to problems with a water pressure tank:

1. Waterlogged tank: Over time, water pressure tanks can become waterlogged, leading to decreased pressure and performance problems.

2. Defective pressure switch : The pressure switch activates the pump when the pressure drops below a specific level. A faulty switch can disrupt proper pressure regulation, causing tank issues . Steps to Address Water Pressure Tank Problems If you suspect that your 20 PSI issue stems from a faulty water pressure tank, here are some steps you can take:

1. Check the tank’s air pressure: Use a tire pressure gauge to measure the air pressure and make adjustments if necessary.

2. Drain the tank: If the tank is waterlogged, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fully drain it.

3. Replace faulty parts: If you identify any defective components, such as a malfunctioning pressure switch , promptly replace them. Seek professional guidance if you’re uncertain about the replacement process. By addressing water pressure tank issues, you can restore proper functionality to your well pump and ensure consistent water pressure throughout your home.

Pump Issues

Addressing Common Pump Issues: Troubleshooting and Maintenance In the world of well pumps, a few common issues can lead to a decrease in PSI. Understanding and resolving these problems is essential for maintaining optimal performance. One such issue is wear and tear.

Over time, pump components may become worn or damaged, resulting in lower water pressure and strange pump noises. To tackle pump issues head-on, there are a few steps you can take. Start by inspecting the pump system for visible damage or leaks.

Ensure the pump is properly primed and that the pressure switch is functioning correctly. If these measures don’t solve the problem, it may be wise to seek professional assistance for further inspection and repair. Regular maintenance is key to preventing pump problems.

Regular inspections, cleaning, and lubrication of pump components can go a long way in keeping your well pump operating at its optimal PSI, saving you from costly repairs down the line. In conclusion, pump issues are a common culprit behind low PSI in well pumps. By following troubleshooting steps and prioritizing regular maintenance, you can effectively identify and resolve these problems, ensuring your well pump runs smoothly and efficiently.

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well pump won't go over 20 psi

Plumbing Problems

Tackling Plumbing Woes: Optimizing Well Pump PSI In the realm of plumbing, troubles can arise that negatively impact the performance of your well pump. A mere 20 PSI may elude your grasp, causing frustration. Today, we will delve into the common issues that plague well pump PSI, their origins, and the steps to rectify them.

Leaks prove to be a formidable foe. Cracked pipes, loose connections, or faulty fittings all bear responsibility for pressure loss and subpar PSI. Examine your plumbing system for telltale signs of water seepage, and swiftly repair or replace any compromised parts.

Clogs and blockages within pipes can also hinder PSI levels. Regularly clearing away debris, sediment, or mineral buildup can effectively prevent this conundrum. Employ a plumber’s snake or a suitable pipe cleaning solution to eliminate obstructions with ease.

The condition of the pressure regulator also warrants contemplation. A malfunctioning or improperly adjusted regulator can wreak havoc on pressure consistency, ultimately affecting your well pump’s performance. Take necessary action to either recalibrate or replace the pressure regulator as required.

By addressing the prevalent plumbing predicaments such as leaks, clogs, and pressure regulator issues, you can guarantee an optimal PSI for your well pump. Regular inspections and maintenance serve as proactive measures to avert future complications.

Troubleshooting Tips for Low Water Pressure in Your Well Pump

  1. Check the pressure switch.
  2. Examine the water pressure tank.
  3. Inspect the pump.
  4. Look at the plumbing system.

Checking the Pressure Switch

A well pump’s faulty pressure switch can lead to various issues. Keep an eye out for signs like inconsistent water pressure, a pump that never stops running, water leaks, or unusual sounds. To ensure the well pump works properly, regularly check the pressure switch.

Verify that it’s calibrated and adjusted correctly. Use a pressure gauge to compare the actual pressure with the desired level. If there’s a significant difference, it could indicate a problem with the pressure switch.

Troubleshoot by inspecting the electrical connections and wiring, adjusting the switch if possible, or replacing it if necessary. Consistent maintenance of the pressure switch is vital for a dependable water supply.

well pump won't go over 20 psi

Examining the Water Pressure Tank

Indications of a Flawed Water Pressure Tank Is your well pump suffering due to a faulty water pressure tank? Be on the lookout for these telltale signs: inconsistent water pressure, frequent pressure fluctuations, unusual sounds emanating from the tank, and a delay in the pump’s activation and deactivation. A defective water pressure tank can significantly impact the PSI.

Inadequate water storage capacity leads to reduced water pressure, while an excessively pressurized tank forces the pump to operate more frequently, resulting in unnecessary wear and tear. To assess the condition of the tank, visually examine it for any signs of damage such as leaks or rust, check the pressure gauge, and seek professional assistance if necessary. By addressing any issues with your water pressure tank, you can guarantee optimal performance and water pressure throughout your household.

Experiencing low water pressure from your well pump? Before you call a professional, check out this informative video on common problems that may be causing your pump to stay below 20 psi. Get the insights you need to troubleshoot and potentially fix the issue yourself.

YouTube video

Inspecting the Pump

Maintaining the performance and water pressure of your well pump is essential. A clear indication of wear and tear is a decrease in pressure. This can be attributed to various issues such as a faulty motor, worn-out impellers, or a clogged intake screen.

To conduct a thorough inspection, pay attention to any overheating or unusual noises emanating from the motor, and carefully examine the impellers for any signs of damage. If you come across a clogged intake screen, make sure to clean it meticulously in order to restore the smooth flow of water. Regular maintenance is of utmost importance to prevent pump problems and ensure optimal operation.

Never forget that a well-maintained pump is synonymous with reliability.

Looking at the Plumbing System

In the quest to solve the mystery of a low PSI in a well pump, one must embark on a thorough investigation of the plumbing system. Leaks, clogs, and the state of the pressure regulator must be examined closely. Leaks possess the power to diminish the pressure, while clogs obstruct the flow of water.

Additionally, a defective pressure regulator can contribute to low PSI. By engaging in regular maintenance and inspection, one can shield themselves from encountering these problems in the days to come.

If you’re looking for a helpful guide on well pump pressure switch wiring diagrams, check out our article “Well Pump Pressure Switch Wiring Diagram” for easy-to-follow instructions and tips.

well pump won't go over 20 psi

Fixing the Pressure Switch

In the realm of well pumps, there exists a troublesome and vexing adversary known as the malfunctioning pressure switch. This nefarious entity is capable of wreaking havoc upon water pressure, reducing it to a mere trickle and causing untold frustration. However, fear not, for I shall impart upon you the knowledge to conquer this foe.

The first step towards victory lies in recognizing the signs of a malfunctioning pressure switch. One such sign is the incessant cycling of the well pump, as it valiantly attempts to reach the desired pressure but ultimately falls short. Another indication is the fluctuation or drastic decrease in water pressure, a lamentable state of affairs indeed.

Once the signs have been acknowledged, the path to resolution becomes clear. Prepare thyself by following these steps. Begin by inspecting the electrical connections , ensuring that they remain secure and unscathed by the ravages of time.

Then, armed with a trusty multimeter, test the pressure switch for continuity and resistance. Should it be found wanting, replace it with a new and worthy successor. However, let it be known that prevention is the truest form of triumph.

Engage in regular maintenance to stave off the advances of pressure switch problems. Cast an observant eye upon the pressure switch, checking for signs of wear or damage. Cleanse the contacts and terminals, allowing them to function with utmost efficiency.

And if necessary, adjust the pressure setting to maintain harmony within the well pump. By adhering to this sacred ritual of maintenance, the life of the pressure switch shall be prolonged, and the specter of future issues banished. Armed with the knowledge of the signs, the wisdom of diagnosis, and the diligence of maintenance, you shall emerge victorious in your battle against the malfunctioning pressure switch.

Rejoice, for the well pump shall once again operate at the desired PSI, and peace shall reign in the realm of water pressure. Remember, my dear reader, that regular maintenance is the key to a future free from the clutches of pressure switch problems.

Troubleshooting Low Well Pump Pressure: Why Your PSI Stays Stuck at 20

  • PSI stands for pounds per square inch and is a unit of measurement used to determine the pressure of a fluid, such as water.
  • Having the correct PSI is important for well pumps because it ensures that water is being delivered at the right pressure to effectively meet your household needs.
  • If your well pump is stuck at 20 PSI, there are several common reasons why this may be happening.
  • One possible issue could be a problem with the pressure switch, which is responsible for turning the pump on and off based on the desired pressure level.
  • Another potential culprit could be an issue with the water pressure tank, which stores and regulates the water pressure in your system.

Solving Issues with the Water Pressure Tank

In the realm of well systems, even the most subtle of issues can have a profound impact. Picture this: a sudden, inexplicable drop in water pressure. It is in these moments of uncertainty that the underlying truth reveals itself.

The culprit may very well be your water pressure tank, the unsung hero of your well pump’s performance. To unravel this enigma, one must embark on a journey of troubleshooting and problem-solving. Begin by assessing the tank’s air pressure.

Is it too low? If so, fear not, for a simple solution lies in adding more air. However, should the tank prove incapable of maintaining the proper air pressure, a more drastic measure may be required – the replacement of the tank itself.

Yet, do not be disheartened, for the path to tranquility lies in the realm of regular maintenance. A vigilant eye must be cast upon the air pressure, ever watchful for leaks or damage. And let us not forget the cleansing ritual, a purging of sediment and debris that may seek to undermine the tank’s integrity.

By heeding the signs and undertaking the necessary steps, you shall be rewarded with the pinnacle of performance from your well pump. Remember, my dear reader, that regular maintenance is the key to preserving the harmonious workings of your water pressure tank.

well pump won't go over 20 psi

Addressing Pump Problems

Dealing with pump problems can be incredibly frustrating, but there are certain signs that can help you identify the issue. If you notice a decrease in water pressure or hear strange noises coming from the pump, it’s likely that something is wrong. Possible causes include a clogged impeller, a faulty motor, or a worn pump seal.

To troubleshoot and fix these problems, start by checking the power supply and examining the impeller and motor for any signs of damage. Clean or replace the impeller if necessary. If the problem persists, it’s always best to seek professional assistance .

Remember, addressing pump problems is crucial for maintaining optimal water pressure. By recognizing the signs, determining the causes, and taking the necessary steps, you can ensure that your well pump functions at its absolute best.

If you’re struggling with fluctuating well water pressure, check out our article “Well Water Pressure Drops Then Comes Back” to learn how to address this issue and ensure a consistent water flow.

Troubleshooting Tabelle for Common Well Water System Issues

Possible Cause Troubleshooting Steps
Pressure switch problems – Check electrical connections to the pressure switch.
– Test the switch for continuity using a multimeter.
– If the switch is faulty, replace it with a compatible one.
Issues with the water pressure tank – Inspect the tank for any visible leaks and repair them if found.
– Check the air pressure in the tank using a tire pressure gauge.
– Adjust the air pressure if needed, following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
– If the tank is old or damaged, consider replacing it with a new one.
Pump issues – Verify that the pump is receiving power by checking the circuit breaker or fuse.
– Clean the pump’s intake screen or filter to remove any debris or clogs.
– Check the pump’s motor and impeller for any signs of damage or wear.
– If the pump is not functioning properly, consult a professional technician for repair or replacement.
Plumbing problems – Inspect the plumbing system for leaks, especially around joints and connections.
– Use a drain snake or plunger to clear any clogs in the pipes.
– Check valves and fittings for proper functioning and replace if necessary.
– If the issue persists, it may require professional plumbing assistance.
Electrical problems – Ensure the well pump is receiving the correct voltage by checking the electrical panel.
– Test the motor’s capacitors using a capacitance meter and replace if faulty.
– Inspect the wiring for any signs of damage or loose connections.
– If electrical issues persist, consult a licensed electrician for further evaluation and repairs.

Rectifying Plumbing Issues

Dealing with plumbing problems in well pumps can be incredibly frustrating. However, there are clear signs that you can watch out for. If you notice a decrease in water pressure or hear unusual noises like banging or grinding, it’s a sign that there might be an issue with your well pump.

Ignoring these problems can have serious consequences. If the plumbing issues are not addressed, the well pump may completely fail. Moreover, unresolved plumbing problems can contaminate the water supply, posing a risk to your health.

To resolve these issues, it’s important to inspect the plumbing system for any leaks or blockages. Repair or replace any damaged components and consider hiring a professional plumber to ensure proper repairs and prevent future problems. In conclusion, by recognizing the signs, understanding the potential consequences, and taking the necessary steps, you can maintain a safe and reliable water supply from your well pump system.

well pump won't go over 20 psi

1/2 When to Call a Professional: Signs That You Need Professional Help

When your well pump starts making strange noises, experiencing a sudden drop in water pressure, or constantly cycling on and off, it’s a clear indication that professional assistance is needed. These unusual noises could be a result of motor or component issues within the pump. A significant decrease in water pressure suggests a system problem like a clog or a faulty pressure switch.

And if your pump keeps cycling on and off, it could be due to a malfunctioning pressure switch or an issue with the water pressure tank. Don’t waste time trying to troubleshoot on your own. Instead, reach out to the experts who possess the knowledge, experience, and proper equipment to accurately diagnose and efficiently resolve these problems.

By seeking professional help , you’ll save yourself the hassle, money, and headaches that come with attempting to fix these issues on your own. So, don’t hesitate to contact the experts when you notice these telltale signs.


In conclusion, understanding the ideal PSI for well pumps is crucial for ensuring proper water pressure in your home. If your well pump won’t go over 20 PSI, there are several common reasons to consider, including pressure switch problems, issues with the water pressure tank, pump malfunctions, and plumbing issues. By following the steps to diagnose the issue, such as checking the pressure switch, examining the water pressure tank, inspecting the pump, and looking at the plumbing system, you can troubleshoot and fix the problem.

However, if you’re unsure or the issue persists, it’s recommended to seek professional help. This article provides valuable information and guidance for homeowners facing this particular issue. For more helpful articles on well pump maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair, we recommend exploring our other resources on our website.


Why is my well pump not getting up to pressure?

If you’re experiencing an issue with the pressure switch, it can cause the pump to malfunction. A clear indication of this problem is if you hear the pump rapidly turning on and off. This could be a result of a faulty switch or a problem with the control box. In such cases, it may be necessary to replace the pressure switch with a new one.

Is 20 psi good water pressure?

The water pressure in residential areas typically falls within the range of 45 to 80 psi. If the pressure drops below 40 psi, it is considered low, and if it drops below 30 psi, it is considered too low. Most codes require a minimum pressure of 20 psi. On the other hand, pressures exceeding 80 psi are considered too high.

Why won t my well pump reach cut off pressure?

Your well pump is equipped with a safety feature that automatically shuts it off when it reaches a specific pressure level. However, if there is a considerable leak in the well piping, it will cause a drop in water pressure throughout the entire system. As a result, the pump will not be able to reach the required pressure to shut off, and it will continue running continuously. This can lead to increased energy consumption and potential damage to the pump over time.

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