How to reset a water pump

Written by jonra springs
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How to reset a water pump
(NA/ Images)

Aboveground water pumps that direct well water into a building are wired with a cut-off switch to disconnect the electricity whenever the pressure drops to a point where there is not enough water inside the pump. This keeps the pump from overheating due to running while dry. The cut-off switch for an electric water pump is mounted next to the pump so it can be easily reset by homeowners. Anyone using a well pump should know how to reset it to avoid service calls.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pliers
  • Old toothbrush

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  1. 1

    Shut off the breaker switch to cut power to the pump. The switch is mounted in a covered box near most pumps but may be in the main breaker panel for the building.

  2. 2

    Remove the cover cap from the cut-off switch by loosening the cap nut over the plastic box by hand or with a pair of pliers. Pull the cover upward once the nut is loose.

  3. 3

    Clean off the contacts with an old toothbrush to remove any debris or dead insects. The contacts will be open while the well pump is not running. This makes it easy to clean both sides of the two contacts.

  4. 4

    Replace the cover cap and tighten the cap nut. Turn the breaker switch back on to restore power to the water pump.

  5. 5

    Pull down the lever extending out from under the cover cap and hold it at a 30-degree angle. Release the lever and pull it a second time if you hear a clicking noise, as that means the lever has moved too far. The lever is positioned correctly when you hear the electric water pump come on.

  6. 6

    Hold the lever in place for one minute to allow the water pressure to build inside the pump. Your well pump is reset when you can release the lever and it continues to run.

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