A water pump is a common household appliance that can function for a long time without any problems. However, if a problem does arise, it’s essential to fix the water pump tripping right away to avoid damaging your home and its contents. One common problem people have with their pumps is tripping the breaker on the electric panel. We tried to provide a full guideline regarding your question why does my water pump keep tripping the breaker and what can be done in order to fix water pump tripping.
Why does my water pump keep tripping the breaker?
A circuit breaker trip indicates an overload of current through the device that is connected to that circuit. When too much current flows through one wire, it causes heat that damages or breaks down the wire. If enough heat builds up, a fire hazard exists, and automatic circuit breakers will trip to turn off the power before damage can be done.
When your water pump trips a breaker, it typically means too much current being used by the pump or heavy accumulations of mineral deposits from hard water build-up on motor parts. In either case, you need to take steps to resolve the problem quickly before visible damage occurs to your pump or other electrical components in your house.
What causes a water pump to draw too much current?
A number of things can cause a high load on your pump, including:
A faulty thermostat
If the temperature setting on your thermostat is set too low, your pump will run for longer periods. This could be one reason why your breaker keeps tripping.
A defective float switch
Float switches keep the pump off when the water level drops below the adjustable water shutoff height, so it’s not constantly sucking air. If a float switch is defective, it may cause unnecessary running of the motor, leading to higher energy consumption and putting too much stress on your pump system.
Water line pressure issues
Corrosion or mineral build-up on parts can impede sufficient flow through pipes and increase friction at fittings and valves. Low line pressure means more resistance, increasing the current draw of a motor, increasing its demands against a given circuit/breaker size. Water pumps don’t consume an excessive amount of energy, but other appliances in the home may demand more power than a circuit can safely provide.
A malfunctioning capacitor
Capacitors come in many sizes and types used for different purposes, but they all store electric charges to be released at a particular time or when needed. If your pump has a capacitor, it will release the stored energy to get the motor started. If that capacitor malfunctions or doesn’t work correctly, then starting current exceeds design levels of the wire or breaker, which causes them to trip off.
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What should I do if my water pump keeps tripping the breaker?
If you have tried all of these solutions and still experience breaker-tripping problems often with your water pump, it may be time to call in a professional. However, if it’s happening once or twice, there are some things you can do yourself.
Check the thermostat setting
If your water pump keeps tripping the breaker after trying all of these tips, but your heater works fine, this is most likely your issue. Turn your thermostat up by one or two degrees and see if that reduces power consumption for running the water pump.
Clean the cooling fan blades
Remove dust accumulations from around any visible cooling fans on top of components using an air compressor hose attachment to blow debris away. Make sure cleanings won’t get into moving parts as you’re doing this. If the cleaning was new to the process, check back occasionally to see if further cleaning is needed.
Check the fit of your fittings
Any corroded water lines or have mineral deposits can cause too much friction to allow for the smooth operation of valves and thermostats, which increases load on the pump. Cleaning fittings with a wire brush attachment on an air compressor will be helpful, but replacing them may ultimately be cheaper than trying to fix all of them. This step should move you closer to ruling out faulty components as the cause of your breaker tripping issue.
Replace your capacitor
If your water pump keeps tripping the breaker, then replacement might seem like an extreme option, but it could save you time and money in the long run by eliminating current demands and providing a more reliable circuit for your water system.
Replace the motor
If you find that replacing capacitors and cleaning fan blades does not fix breaker-tripping issues, then it’s time to consider replacing the motor itself. Although this may seem like an expensive alternative, you can look for motors on sale at hardware stores or online. Installing one yourself will save you money over hiring a pro to do the work.
When the breaker or fuse inside of an electrical panel trips and shuts off electricity to the pumps in your home, it can cause them to overheat so severely that they burn themselves out. This is why constant tripping of breakers or fuses can also lead people to believe that their water pump has blown out entirely when there was no mechanical failure whatsoever. By paying attention to how often your electrical panels trip and how long it takes for them to reset themselves, you can more easily determine why your water pump keeps tripping the breaker.
If you have a swimming pool or spa that runs off of electricity as well as a water pump, be sure that you are using an entire circuit with a dedicated fuse or circuit breaker for this area of your home. If you only use one panel for everything in your house, including lighting and small appliances like fans, use a multi-meter to see which spots and the electrical wiring inside the walls are losing power. This way, if there is any irregularity with certain fuses or switches from time to time, you will know exactly where they are located and what could be causing them to lose power.
By preventing electrical overloads from occurring inside your home, you can also avoid future problems with water pumps that may just be overheating due to poor wiring or lack of electricity flow to them.