Pumps – Troubleshooting Guide

Below is a trouble shooting guide courtesy of Little Giant

Motor will not run

Disconnect switch is off
Place on “ON” position

Fuse is blown
Replace with proper size fuse

Overload Tripped
Reset overload

Defective pressure switch
Replace with new switch of proper pressure setting

Incorrect or no voltage
Determine why voltage not available – broken wires, blown fuses, or disconnect switch off. If voltage is incorrect (ref. 115V Service and 230V pump), customer must purchase proper voltage to match pump

Motor winding open, shorted or grounded
Pull pump and replace motor or complete unit

Low voltage
Check with Power Company. Install heavier wiring if wire size is too small. See wiring instructions.

Pump stuck or binding
Pump may be bound from pumping sand. It may be necessary to pull pu,p and flush out the inside to free it up. Do not reinstall pump in sandy well unless a sandfilter is installed.

Motor runs hot and overload kicks off

Motor is wired incorrectly
Refer to motor I.D. label for instructions on wiring

Voltage is too low
Check with Power Company. Install heavier wiring if wire size is too small. See wiring instructions

Pump cycles too frequently
See section below on too frequent cycling

Motor runs but no water is delivered

Pump in a new installation did not pick up prime through:

  1. Improper priming
  2. Air leaks
  3. Faulty foot valve

In new installation:

  1. Re-prime according to instructions
  2. Check all connections on suction line
  3. Replace or clean foot valve

Pump has lost it’s prime through:

  1. Air leaks
  2. Water level below suctions of pump

In installation already in use:

  1. Check all connections on suction line
  2. Lower suction line into water and re-prime

Jet or impeller is plugged
Clean jet or impeller according to instructions

Check valve or foot valve is stuck in closed position
Replace check valve or foot valve

Foot valve and/or strainer is burring in sand or mud
Raise foot valve and/or strainer above well bottom.

Overpumping of well

  1. On shallow well operation, lower pipe in water if possible or restrict flow on discharge side of pump.
  2. On deep well operation, if possible lower injector into well or add tailpipe to jet assembly.
    Otherwise, restrict flow in discharge side of pump.
Little or no water delivered

Water level drops below pump inlet when operating
Lower pump in well but no closer than 5 feet from bottom. Throttle discharge between well and tank until discharge between is equal to or less than rate water comes into well.

Check valves installed backwards or stuck
Reverse check valves or replace valves if necessary.

Shorted run winding in motor
Replace motor or complete pump.

Low voltage
Check with Power Company. Install heavier wiring. See wiring instruction

Intake screen plugged
Pull pump and clean screen.

Pump parts worn
Replace pump end or complete unit.

Leak in piping
Replace defective pipe

Pump does not deliver water to full capacity.

Water level in well is lower than estimated
A deep well jet pump may be needed if depth to water is greater than 20 feet.

Steel piping (if used) is corroded or limed, causing excess friction
Replace with plastic pipe where possible, otherwise with new steel pipe.

Piping is too small in size
Use larger piping.

Plugged impeller
Clean impeller according to instructions.

Pump pumps water but does not shut off.

Pressure switch is out of adjustment or contacts are “frozen” closed
Adjust or replace pressure switch.

Faucets have been left open
Close faucets.

Injector or impeller is clogged
Clean injector or impeller.

Water level in well is lower than estimated
Check possibility or using a deep well jet pump, or deep well submersible.

Pump cycles too frequently.

Standard pressure tank waterlogged (no aircushion)
Check for air leaks in tank. Clean bleeder orifices in drop pipe in well (deep well submersible only).

Air charge incorrect in captive air tank
Disconnect electrical power, open faucet until all pressure relieved. Check air pressure in tank with tire pressure gauge. Should conform to following, if not, correct:

  • 20/40 PSI pressure switch – 18 PSI air pressure in tank
  • 30/50 PSI pressure switch – 28 PSI air pressure in tank
  • 40/60 PSI pressure switch – 38 PSI air pressure in tank

Captive air tank waterlogged (no air cushion)
Could be caused by ruptured bladder/diaphragm, leak in metal tank or leak in air sniffer valve. Replace with new tank or consult a captive air tank owner’s manual for repair instructions. Do not attempt to repair leaks in metal part of tank.

Pipes leak
Repair or replace

Faucets or valves are open
Close faucets or valves

Check valve leaks
Replace check valves

Pressure switch is out of adjustment
Adjust or replace pressure switch

Pressure switch located too far from tank
Move switch to within 12 inches of tank