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How to Reset a Well Pump: Guide for Residential Home Owners

Do you own a home with a residential well?

If so, you likely understand the importance of troubleshooting fundamental issues.

One of the handiest and most useful things to learn, for example, is how to reset a well pump. 

After all, troubles often occur during off-hours, and the last thing you want to do is overpay because your well decides to conk out at an inopportune time.

So instead, it behooves you to learn about the red flags of pump problems and how to quickly and efficiently handle them.

Keep reading for our simple walkthrough on how to fix a dead well. 

A Practical Guide to Resetting a Well Pump

How do you know when your well is on the fritz?

Common symptoms include pulsing water pressure, a pump that runs 24/7, and no water at all. 

Here are a few more things to know about houses with well water

Fortunately, you can typically fix this situation with a bit of know-how.

However, before we get into a step-by-step list of how to do it, let’s discuss what’s going on with your pump.

Aboveground water pumps have a safety feature designed to ensure they don’t burn out, known as a cut-off switch.

What triggers this cut-off switch? When the pressure decreases so much that there’s no longer enough water in the pump.

What to do when this happens? You can easily reset this cut-off switch.

Most often, it’s located next to the pump.

You need to understand how to do this as a pump owner to avoid unnecessary and expensive service calls.

Find out more about what having a private well means for your home. 

What to Do to Reset Your Pump

If you’ve decided your well pump needs resetting, you can complete the process in six simple steps.

Start by shutting off the breaker switch to turn off the power to the pump.

Where can you find this switch? It’s usually mounted in a covered box located next to the pump.

But in some cases, you may find it on the main breaker panel.

Once you’ve cut the power, remove the cover cap from the cut-off switch.

Do this by loosening the cap nut over the plastic box.

Some people have luck using their hands for this step, while others will need to grab some pliers. 

After the nut is loose, pull up on the cover.

From there, use an old toothbrush to remove dead insects and debris from the contacts.

Remember that the contacts remain open while the well is out of commission. 

Next Steps for Resetting a Well Pump

What should you do after you’ve cleaned both sides of each contact? First, return the cover cap to its original position and tighten the cap nut.

To complete this step, hold it at a 30-degree angle. 

Next, let go of the lever. What happens if you hear a clicking noise? This noise indicates the lever has gone too far.

But if you’ve done things correctly, you’ll be rewarded with a running electric water pump once more. 

Third, hold the lever until the water pressure builds up in the pump.

Your well should be reset at this point, and you can release the lever to let it keep going. 

The Takeaway: How to Reset a Well Pump

As you can see, learning how to reset a well pump proves an invaluable skill that will save you immensely when it comes to service bills.

What’s more, it requires a minimal amount of knowledge and tools to complete the job. 

But what if you realize there’s a much bigger problem with your well than a simple reset can fix? That’s when you need to call in the experts.

Contact us today to discuss your well pump needs. 


Do you need to have your residential water well inspected? Call Pump It Up, Pump Services, Inc. and let one of our professionals answer your water well questions. Call 623-582-5069 now!

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