“Pump Runs but No Water”

Fixing an old well pump

Fixing an old well pump

A very common call to our water bore Perth service hotline is along the lines of “my pump runs but no water” or “my bore runs but no water”. Firstly, before anything, our advice is always to turn it off so the pump is not running. Turn the reticulation controller OFF and if there is a bore over-ride switch turn that OFF as well.
In newer Perth bore pump installations there should be a circuitbreaker in the meter box labeled “bore” or “pump”. Turn that OFF. In older Perth bores it may be a fuse instead. In some installations it may even be labeled reticulation. No bore pump should run without water or consequential damage may result.

There are many possible causes. As Perth bore pumps are generally of two main types we shall deal with these separately.

Stainless Steel submersible Pump

Stainless Steel submersible Pump

Submersible bore pumps – Perth submersible bores generally contain a nominally 4” submersible stainless steel pump and motor. The pump and motor are submersed under water inside what is commonly PVC casing with nothing visible at the surface. If the pump motor is known to still be running and drawing current (if you have an older style disc electricity meter-does it spin faster when pump turned on?), yet there is no water being delivered to sprinklers of a reticulation system then there are a number of possible scenarios including, but not limited to:

  • the shaft between the submersible pump (wet-end) and pump is broken or not gripping
  • the rising main or poly pipe that delivers the water to the surface has a hole in it or has become detached from the wet-end. Commonly this is as a result of pump dead-heading where the pump has been run against a closed head with nowhere for the water to go.
  • it is a three phase motor and the phases have been switched around so the motor and pump are running backwards
  • the pump (wet-end) impellors are jammed, badly worn or shattered
  • the static water level has dropped below the water inlet between the pump (wet-end) and motor
  • there is an obstruction around the water inlet
  • the screens or slotted casing or whatever device allows water in to the actual borehole has become totally blocked
  • the pump is actually delivering water to the surface but the reticulation system solenoid valves are not opening or a gate valve is manually shut.

 

There are other less common causes that we occasionally encounter that cause water bores Perth and surrounds to run with no water.

Tight working fixing old well.

Tight working fixing old well.

Call our Perth Bore Service Perth Hotline on 1300 734 300 and we would love to help.

Old bore with Davey pump

Old bore with Davey pump in shallow well

Centrifugal bore pumps- Perth centrifugal bore pumps are normally contained in concrete well liners with conical tin well lids on top. Beneath the centrifugal pump is commonly a spear or screen of some description that is actually below the water table. If the pump motor is known to still be running and drawing current (lift the well lid and listen), yet there is no water being delivered to sprinklers of a reticulation system then there are a number of possible scenarios including, but not limited to:

  • the pump has lost prime. Leaking check valve, leaking tail-pipe, leaking gland-packing, blown mechanical seal etc
  • the shaft between the pump and pump is broken or not gripping
  • the pump impellors are jammed, badly worn or shattered
  • there is too much back pressure on the pump and the water is aerating or pump cavitating
  • the water inlet is obstructed.
  • the static water level has dropped
  • it is a three phase motor and the phases have been switched around so the motor and pump are running backwards
  • the pump is actually delivering water to the surface but the reticulation system solenoid valves are not opening or a gate valve is manually shut.

Whatever the reason, please disable your automatic reticulation controller and turn everything off so the bore pump motor no longer runs without water as consequential damage may occur.

Call our Bore Pump Service Perth Hotline on 1300 734 300 and we will be happy to help.