What to Do When a Well Pump Keeps Tripping Breaker

What to Do When a Well Pump Keeps Tripping Breaker?

Well pump is a lifesaver for some families. Most rural families use an alternative source of water supply to fulfill their water demands. Although a well pump is a great alternative, an issue with the machine can make your life miserable.

Among the problems, tripping is one of the most common and, at the same time, irritating problems. Don’t be surprised when you see the well pump keeps tripping breaker all of a sudden. It’s a normal situation when something like overload, pressure switch problem, breaker problem, etc. happens.

This article will cover everything regarding the issue. Don’t worry. Stay till the end.

Why Does A Well Pump Keeps Tripping Breaker?

The situation can be frustrating when a well pump or submersible water pump keeps tripping the breaker. Before replacing the well pump, it’s always better to find out the reasons behind the issue.

These are the 7 most common reasons for a well pump to keep tripping its breaker –

Overloading the circuitPreventing overload
Faulty WiringCareful installation
Weak BreakerBreaker replacement
Well Pump Motor DefectPump replacement
Clogged ImpellerClearing the clogs
Bad SealsRepairing the seals
Faulty Pressure SwitchSwitch Replacement

1. Overloading The Circuit

One of the main reasons for the breaker tripping issue is overloading. Overload normally means more power input than the device can handle.

When the circuit is overloaded, the circuit breaker may start to act weirdly. In such circumstances, tripping is a common outcome.

Solution: When the overloading issue happens, you have to do something to make it go away. Removing the clogs in the circuit is the way to get the job done here.

2. Fault In The Wiring

Another reason for the tripping problem is faulty wiring. The wires may be short or damaged. In such cases, you may find the tripping issue as an outcome of the wiring fault.

There may be a loose connection in the electrical box too. You may find a similar outcome in this situation also.

Solution: Check the entire wiring of the well pump. If you don’t think you will be able to inspect, hire a professional. After that, fix the damage to the wiring.

3. Weak Breaker

The breaker may also trip when the breaker itself is faulty. It’s a common instance that appliances get older and lose their temperament. If that’s the case, the breaker won’t be able to perform its function as it’s supposed to.

Solution: When the breaker itself is weak or faulty, you won’t have any option but to replace the breaker. Try buying a premium breaker. Otherwise, you may face issues again with it.

4. Well Pump Motor Defect

Don’t be surprised. A well pump may keep tripping when there’s a defect in the well pump motor. Sometimes the well pump performs poorly due to a problem with the pump’s motor.

So, the pump tripping problem isn’t impossible to fix when there’s a problem with the motor. That’s why checking the pump motor is another crucial step to finding the root of the tripping problem.

Solution: Replacing or changing the pump motor is the only option here. Similar to the breaker, try to get a good-quality pump motor as a replacement.

5. Clogged Impeller

Sometimes the impeller may get clogged. As the impeller is a major component of a well pump, the clogging of it’s a big concern. You may face problems like continuous breaker tripping until the clog is fixed.

Solution: Try to remove all the clogs within the impeller. To do that, you have to take the cover or seal of the casing first. Then, you will see the impeller. Remove it from the machine and then clean the impeller properly.

6. Bad Seals

The seals of the well pump may also be why your well pump keeps tripping its breaker.

When the breaker is in a position where the mechanical seal has failed, you may face the tripping issue. Things like this become common since a failed seal allows water to enter the pump parts.

Solution: When the seal problem is the main issue, you will have to work with the seal. Try changing the seal or fixing the leak in the seal.

7. Pressure Switch

Sometimes you may think, will a bad pressure switch trip the breaker? Yes, a bad pressure switch may also be the reason for a well pump to trip its breaker.

A pressure switch can become weak or bad due to the burnt or bad contacts on the pressure switch. If that happens, it can lead to a situation like tripping the breaker.

Solution: When there is an issue with the pressure switch,  try replacing the bad contacts. They are the main culprit in this situation.


Video of Well Pump Tripping Breaker

To get a more simplified visualization of the reasons for the issue, check out this video.

How To Diagnose The Well Pump When It Keeps Tripping Breaker

Sometimes you may find a new well pump tripping breaker. Old or new, it is important to get to the root of the issue. Besides inspecting the individual symptoms or studying the reasons, a thorough diagnosis of the well pump is also a useful way to get rid of the issue. Follow the next steps to get the job done smoothly.

Inspect The Pressure Switch

The first step in diagnosing the well pump will be to inspect the pump’s pressure switch. Since a bad pressure switch is one of the main reasons that cause the breaker to trip, it’s important to see whether it is okay or not. If you find the pressure switch is faulty, replace it as soon as possible.

Disconnect The Motor

After you are done with the pressure switch, it’s time to work with the pump motor. Sometimes, issues with the pump motor can lead to face problems with the well pump. That’s why you have to disconnect the motor from the pump so that you can surely know what the culprit is.

To disconnect the motor from the pump, turn off the power source first. Then, remove the bolts or turn the clamp to disconnect the motor.

Inspect The Pump Motor

When splitting off the pump motor from the pump is over, you have to inspect the motor to know if it’s okay. You have to measure the motor’s resistance to know the answer.

To do this, taking the help of a digital multimeter is a must. When the reading of the multimeter is below 1 Ohm, the pump motor is not good. You have to replace it.

Fix The Blockages

Fixing the blockages is the next step when you are done with the motor. You have to free the pump from any sort of blockage so that there is no overload issue. Checking the box baskets and pipes of the pump is an important step to clear off the blockages.

Check The Pipes, Pump Boxes, Bearings, And Shafts

When the mentioned four steps are done, you can also check the pipes, the pump box, bearings, and the shafts to see if they’re okay.

Checking these parts is also important as any fault within them may lead to the tripping of the breaker.

Tips To Follow While Working With The Well Pump Tripping Breaker Issue

Tips To Follow While Working With The Well Pump Tripping Breaker Issue

In most cases, working with the well pump may seem difficult as most of the people doing DIY are not experts. the following tips may help you more-

  • Diagnose the well pump thoroughly. You may try to skip one or two parts of the diagnosis if you see them as not important. Do not do that. Even faults within the minor parts of a well pump may lead to a major problem.
  • Use a premium pump motor as a replacement. Going for some cheap alternatives is tempting. But if you go for it, you may face a lot of issues with your pump in the future.
  • Don’t go for cheap alternatives while replacing bearings or shafts. Just like the motor, cheap bearings or shafts may also cause problems in the future.
  • Wear protective gear to ensure the best safety. For instance, use rubber gloves while inspecting the motor of the pump with a multimeter.
  • Don’t hesitate to hire a professional when you are out of moves. It’s very much possible to become clueless while working with a well pump. Don’t try to experiment with something. Hire an expert right away.



How can you tell if your well pump is bad?

There are a lot of symptoms to give the verdict that your well pump is bad. If you find the symptoms like –

  • Muddy or murky water coming out from the tap,
  • The tap sputtering water,
  • The taste of the water is way off than usual, or
  • Loud noises coming out from the pump,

They all indicate the pump has gone bad.

Can a well pressure switch cause breaker to trip?

A well-pressure switch can also cause the breaker to trip. It happens especially when the pressure switch becomes weak or bad to perform properly.

What causes the pump to trip?

The reasons for a pump to trip are a lot. Among them, the main causes are overloading, motor defects, bad circuit breakers, clogged impellers, bad seals, and bad pressure switches. 


The issue we’ve tried to cover here is an irritating and frustrating one. It’s never a pleasing scene to see your well pump keeps tripping breaker.

However, don’t go for the prompt replacement of the pump without diagnosing. Finding the root of the problem will help a lot to solve the problem efficiently and with much less money.

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