Well Pump Sprinkler System Troubleshooting: Tips and Tricks

The constant flow of water you see through the sprinkler system is because of the sprinkler pump. It is mainly present between sprinkler valves and water source and it moves water steadily.  For the same reason, enough water is available at each spray head for irrigation. These well pump sprinkler systems are available in various different designs. 

When this sprinkler system works well, it offers your lawn the nourishment it is in need of. However, if you see a difference in your lawn’s health (in a negative way), just go out and check if the system is working better or not. For this purpose, you may contact a sprinkler repair company that will send professionals to get the job done for you. Or else, you can do it yourself as well if you know about the cause of the problem along with a few tips and tricks.

What are Sprinkler Pumps Used for?

A sprinkler pump mainly lifts water from a pump and supplies it to an irrigation system. These pumps set the flow rates of water (from low to high) at certain pressure to offer it to your lawn. Sprinkler pump may also save you some amount because you don’t need to use mineralized water to supply to your garden. Just attach the pump to a well or a lake to make the system work. In sprinkler systems, we usually connect it to a well, and for the same reason, it is called Well Pump Sprinkler System.

In irrigation industry, three kinds of sprinkler pumps are mainly used:

  • Centrifugal Pumps

It is the most commonly used pump for irrigation purposes all over the world. This pump works by pulling water from a well or a canal. In order to supply water to lawns and gardens in homes, we mainly use 1.5hp pump.

  • Jet Pump

This pump is installed above the ground and works with a tank and a switch. In order to keep an irrigation system under certain pressure (constant), we use a jet pump. 

  • Submersible Pump

Submersible pumps work with deep lakes and wells. This pump, as suggested by the name, is present at the bottom of the well and is submerged completely under water. However, in most cases, we don’t use it for residential irrigation systems.

So, a well pump sprinkler system works in different ways with different kinds of pumps but its ultimate goal is to help water reach the lawn from a well.

What are the Demerits of Well Pump Sprinkler Systems?

If you use sprinklers for moving water from a well to your garden and lawn, you must be wasting a hefty amount of water. These sprinklers use more water than usual and don’t distribute it evenly. Water often goes to the areas where there is no need of it such as driveways, sidewalks and pavement. 

Also, while using a sprinkler, you may forget to turn it off. Almost 50% of water wastage occurs because of evaporation or other such irrigation methods. So, a smart irrigation system is the need of the hour or else, sprinkler system will keep on affecting the quantity of clean water which is already very less.

How to Choose a Suitable Sprinkler Pump? 

There are certain steps to choose a sprinkler pump:

  • Sizing of the pump in a proper way is really important. Taking a look at the number of Sprinkler heads will give you an idea of what size will work well.
  • The height up to which you’re going to lift water is another addition to the factors that must be taken into account before installing a Sprinkler pump.
  • You must also know how much power (or electricity) is required to make the motor or pump work. Most pumps work at 115V or 230V.
  • Check whether the pump is self-priming or not. If it isn’t, make sure that you prime it before using or else, the air trapped in it will stop the flow. 

These steps are more like a buying guide. So, don’t forget to take these into consideration before going to buy a sprinkler pump.

Problems Associated with Sprinkler Pumps

Some of the problems related to Sprinkler Pumps include:

  • When Pump isn’t working at all.
  • Motor is working but delivers no water.
  • Pump is Running Temporarily.
  • Cavitation 

These problems may require proper attention to make the pump work again. 

Tips for Well Pump Sprinkler System Troubleshooting 

Let’s take a look at what problems can occur in a Sprinkler System and how to troubleshoot them.

1. When Pump isn’t Working at all

Here are some of the ways to troubleshoot if the pump isn’t working.

  • Check the Circuit Breaker 

Electricity is the main thing required for these sprinkler pumps to run and they run on 115V or 230V AC. So, if there is a problem with circuit breaker, just reset it. But before that, don’t forget to turn the power off. Start inspecting the condition of fuses or breakers then and get the job done.

  • Voltage is too low for Pump Motor

When pump starts, check its voltage. After that, compare it with base voltage that needs to be given to pump’s motor when it is running at maximum efficiency. If motor’s voltage is 5% (or more) less than the base value, there might be an issue with the wiring, probably a loose connection that must be adjusted as soon as possible to make the pump work at its level best.

  • Bad Motor

After inspecting all the electrical components, if your pump’s motor still doesn’t work as effectively as it should do, there is surely an issue with the motor. Just contact a professional to repair it or immediately replace it. Otherwise, you may witness fire because of continuous impact created by electrical energy that is of no use.

2. Motor is Working but Delivers no Water

If the motor seems like it’s working well but you don’t see water coming out of it, there might be some leakage allowing the air to enter on the suction side. If you want water to be delivered to sprinkler consistently, the suction pipe must be free of air or any gas. If the pipe is already in a better condition but still not in contact with water source properly, it won’t suck water into it as effectively as it should do. Another possible reason is that the water well is quite deep. So, don’t forget to keep a check and balance on it as well.

In such cases, priming is the best option. Just pass some water through the pipe after stopping the pump, it’ll carry all the air or gas with it. After that, start the pump again and you’ll see water flowing through the pipe again consistently. Besides that, make sure that the motor is running on the voltage that it accepts easily. So, take all the factors and causes of the problems into account before starting to troubleshoot these well pump sprinkler systems.

3. Pump is Running Temporarily 

If the sprinkler pump keeps going well but stops working after a short period of time, there might be an issue with the electrical wiring. This happens mostly because of the incorrect sizing of wires as a result of which the power supply given to the pump isn’t fulfilling the demands of sprinkler system. So, the best way is to contact a professional in this regard who knows how to make the pump run continuously. Or else, pump may undergo further problems which is not what you actually want.

4. Cavitation 

Cavitation is mainly caused when the suction pipe has lesser pressure as compared to atmospheric pressure. This makes the water boil at a temperature below its boiling point (at 1atm). This boiling water has bubbles that, when strike the blades of this sprinkler pump, create an irritating noise and damage the blades as well. Ultimately, the entire pump stops to work.

To cope with this issue, don’t forget to increase the pressure of water being lifted from suction side by increasing the height of the tank in which it is present. This is the only way to troubleshoot the cavitation problem related to sprinkler pumps. 


The most important part of a well pump sprinkler system is the pump which, if not working well, may cause problems for you. For that, you must know how to troubleshoot all those problems or else, you’ll surely end up affecting the health of your lawn which is not what you actually want. 

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