There could be a very easy solution to that pump’s problem.
They’re quiet and have a low profile. You can configure them for vertical or horizontal use, or any angle in between. Submersible electric pumps are true workhorses that perform well for flood control and storm-water drainage. And if something does go wrong, their configuration makes it easy to repair and maintain them.
Use this troubleshooting guide to see if there’s a quick fix for what’s ailing your submersible pump.
1. The motor won’t start
Start with the obvious. Check for blown fuses or a tripped circuit breaker. If the problem is intermittent, it could be dirty or corroded fuse receptacles.
Next, check the voltage at the contact points for the pressure switch. Debris or corrosion can cause irregular voltage. Electric motors don’t like that.
Look to see if there’s anything bounding the pump. Sand could be the culprit. You’ll get amp readings up to six times higher than normal before the safety overload trips. Clear it, and relax.
2. The motor runs continuously or too often
A leak in your system will cause both of these issues. Replace any leaking or damaged pipes and check the water level to make sure that your pump hasn’t exceeded the well capacity.
A faulty pressure switch will also cause the motor stay on or cycle too fast. Double-check the settings, and clean the contacts.
A motor that never shuts off can also indicate that your pump screen is blocked or that your check valve is stuck. Inspect both.
3. The overload protector keeps tripping
Do you have the overload protectors in direct sunlight? That’s enough heat to cause them to trip. Shade or ventilate the box. If you’re on a construction site and using temporary power, your pump might be drawing incorrect voltage. Check the line terminals to determine if this is the source of the problem.
4. Not enough water is running through the pump system
Your check valve may have failed, or it’s been installed incorrectly. If neither of those are the cause, your pump may simply be air bound. Or, it might be bound by something that’s been caught in the impeller. A sight inspection can give you the answer.
Proper placement is necessary for optimal pumping operation. An insufficient water flow might indicate that your pump isn’t fully submerged, or that your lift requirement is too high.
5. Excessive noise
This may be something as easy to fix as checking all the valves in line to the pump. Something may have changed the flow. This will drop the head pressure.
Most pump noise is cause by cavitation. Your pump is causing or reacting to bubbles that are formed in the water being moved. The noise is accompanied by a loss of pump efficiency. Check the alignment between the driver and pump. Cavitation may also be caused by the characteristics of the water itself, and it may be necessary to adjust the pump to compensate for viscosity.
Time to replace your pump?
The value of submersible pumps is that they have sealed motors that are close-coupled to the pump body. They push water to the surface, and they’re more efficient than ground-level pumps. Their simple design also means that they are easy to maintain. But they can’t run forever. If your pump isn’t working, it could require more than a quick fix. Pumps wear out and need to be replaced.
Look for pumps that use non-proprietary bearings and seals. That way, when your pumps do need part replacements, you won’t be paying a premium for a quick fix. Learn more about MWI’s customizable line of submersible electric pumps here.