Well Pump Overload Keeps Tripping

For situations where we need water from a certain elevation to another, well pumps come in quite handy. These devices can transport water through areas that would otherwise be difficult to guide. However, we may run into issues with a well pump, especially one where our well pump overload keeps tripping.

Why does my water pump keep tripping the breaker?

To run a water pump needs to have a constant influx of electricity. In a situation where that electricity is cut, the water pump will cease to function. While there are a lot of outside dangers that can come our way when electricity outages are concerned, the pump itself can cause them. This situation will most often occur when said pump trips the breaker. Why does this happen? Let’s find out.

The pump is leaking

If our water pump leaks, the cases where the breaker is tipped can easily happen. The leaks most frequently occur from cracks in our water pump’s housing. When the housing is cracked, we’ll see water seep through said cracks. Reach to the pump’s electrical part, causing a short circuit.

This is not only a distracting situation that can slow down any work we are doing at the moment but also a hazard. Not treating these situations could pose a significant electrical hazard to our household and us. Despite starting off as a simple case of circuit breaker tipping, it can swiftly evolve into far more, especially if the water pump is near other electrical devices.

There’s an overload in the system

Yet another reason we may see circuit breakers being tipped frequently is overcharge. The overcharge occurs in a situation where the pump is drawing more power than the breaker is capable of handling. As a result, the breaker will end up tipping in order to prevent an overwhelming amount of electricity from being pulled. [1]

While the larger water pumps will require that energy, we’ll need to replace the breaker to allow electricity to flow. The issue of overcharge can often be avoided by purchasing the correct pump in the first place or the right breaker. There shouldn’t be more energy than the breaker can handle flowing through the connection if we want to avoid the situation where tipping happens.

Clogged impeller

An important part of a pump is an impeller. An impeller works the opposite of a propeller. Sucking in items rather than releasing them. Its performance can, potentially, lead to clogs happening. A clogged impeller will affect the water pump.

Having it try to dislodge the clog by seeking more electrical energy and then tipping the breaker as a result. If this occurs, inspect the impeller and remove debris that may be stuck in. [2]

Pressure switch

The pressure switch may be the issue in some situations. The switch could be worn out or malfunctioning. If that’s the case we find ourselves in, we could end up having more power being drawn into the pump. That surge of energy will lead to the eventual tipping of the circuit breaker. Take proper care of the pressure switch and make sure to check on it eventually. [3]

Pump tripping problem

We should consider these potential issues to resolve issues of a pump tripping the breaker. Fixing them will usually lead to a functional well pump that doesn’t trip the breaker and operates without a hitch. However, it is possible to end up with more complex issues in which situation professionals should be called.

Well breaker trips intermittently

Well pumps are mandatory to manage and maintain our well’s water level. However, their utility is only functional in situations where our pumps aren’t overwhelmed by some problem or where the flow of electricity is constant. The easiest way our flow of electricity can be through our breaker being tripped. If this frequently happens and becomes intermittent, we will have to deal with it.

These occasional cuts to our power will cause multiple issues to the overall system. The first and most obvious is that our well pump will not function the whole time, rendering it useless.

When a pump is constantly stopped and started, its internal workings of it can get messed up. What’s supposed to be reliable will get fried by the constant off-and-on situation that breaker being tripped causes.

Pump overload causes

Some configurations and specifications are tied to the parts of our pump that can impact its functionality too. The overload these can cause is dangerous, both as a hazard and as a danger to our pump.

Oversized impeller

An oversized impeller can be one such issue. The impeller will draw far more power which can be a quick way to end up overloading our pump. In situations such as this, we need to replace the impeller.

Additionally, this is a great reminder to consider your purchase. Do not buy overly powerful pump parts without being sure they can be accommodated.

Worn out parts

Another source of overcharge could stem simply from the pump being worn out or damaged. This is cause similar to that of standard cracks and leaks that may occur but usually assume age to be a factor too. In this situation, having consistent maintenance can prevent the problem before it happens.

Bad installation

Misalignment between the parts of the pump and the connections to the grid. When the installation of our pump isn’t properly done, we will frequently experience issues. One of these issues is overloading. It’s important to maintain the proper installation process to guarantee success. [4]

Well pump thermal overload

With pumps, we need protection from the potential electrical systems being shorted. One of the types of protection is thermal overload. Unfortunately, the thermal overload protection used on smaller pump motors often isn’t the best source of protection.

This malfunction of the thermal overload will often happen as a cause of other heat sources. Additionally, the sunlight could damage the pump likewise. Therefore, protecting the pump is key, whether from the sun or other sources of heat.

New well pump tripping breaker

A new well pump can cause issues with our circuit breaker the same way an old one can. However, the issues with the pump may stem from more than just our standard array of wear and tear or problematic parts. The new pump can suffer from an issue all on its own.

The most frequent problem we may face is simply that the item doesn’t fit with our electrical energy’s capacity. For example, we may have a pump that’s too powerful or doesn’t have all the required failsafe, leading to far more problems with said pump. This requires some extra inspection and planning when buying the pump to avoid.

What causes well pump to trip the breaker?



While we’ve seen what causes we may have for our well pump causing the problems, a few more should be considered. These problems can be as simple as incompatible parts or as complex as a major electrical malfunction.

Well Pump Motor

We can expect quite a few other issues with well pump motor malfunctioning. The problems are quickly going to crop up because electrical components can get quickly damaged by water.

Rodent or Pest Problem

The problem of small animals such as rats and cockroaches infesting our home can be extremely problematic. This is exceptionally troublesome for sump pumps as the pest can damage many pump parts. Additionally, pest infestations can damage our wiring, which can cause the breaker to trip. [5]

Well pump overload keeps tripping

When the issue persists, it’s usually best to get a detailed inspection of our system. Calling a professional to do a check on both electrical installation and our well pump is a good way to guarantee any outlying issues will be found. The problems could affect other devices without proper repairs, so getting a check done is universally useful.

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Well pumps are useful and, in some cases, key parts of transporting water from one area to the other. They are built to last and offer a simple operating procedure to boot. However, we could likely end up with a problem that affects the pump negatively.

To resolve the issue of breaker tripping, we should check all the potential causes of the problem. Additionally, monitoring the pump’s functionality can reassure us whether the problem we resolved was the only one. If it isn’t, and if none of the more basic malfunctions are to blame, professionals should be called in.