Why Your Well Pump May Short Cycle

Short cycling refers to what happens when a water pump keeps starting and stopping after a short duration. Short cycling can shorten the life of your pump because the components of that pump overwork. This article discusses some of the common causes of pump short cycling that you should investigate if this is a problem for you.

Low Air Charge

Air inside a tank helps the pressure sensor to trigger the cycling of the pump. This is because pressure builds up as the air in the tank is compressed by the addition of water into the tank. An air leak can cause the pressure-sensor system to malfunction because the pressure inside the tank is unlikely to rise until the tank is almost full. Opening a faucet will then cause the pressure to drop dramatically because the sensors will only be able to detect water pressure once the tank is full. This can cause short cycling because the tank will keep restarting each time someone opens a water outlet within the home. Select one of the suggestions here in order to add air to your water tank.

A Clogged Filter 

The filter in your water pump may become clogged and cause the pump to short cycle. This is because the debris in the filter will block the free flow of water through the filter. This can cause pressure to rise rapidly around the clog. That high pressure will make the pump turn off. Once the pump turns off, the pressure in the water system immediately drops and causes the pump to restart. Clean or replace the clogged filter so that your pump stops short cycling.

A Frozen Tank

A water tank can sometimes freeze and cause a pump to short cycle. The ice inside the tank reduces the space available for water to get in. Short cycling results when the limited amount of water is depleted quickly, thereby triggering the pump to have shorter start/stop intervals. Use a halogen light to thaw a frozen tank so that the pump stops short cycling.

Water Leaks

A water leak, such as within the discharge hose or anywhere within the plumbing system, can cause the pump to short cycle. This is because the pressure within the system keeps dropping due to the loss of water at the point where there is a leak. Check your plumbing system carefully for signs of leaks, such as stains on walls. Fix any leaks and see if the short cycling continues.

Consult a water pump professional for help in case you are unable to fix the cause of the short cycling on your own.