Typically water tank pumps will work for years with no problems, as long as you have them inspected and maintained regularly. However, older pumps may suddenly have repair issues, or other plumbing problems in a building may cause the water tank pump to malfunction. While it's often good to call a professional plumber or repair person to properly diagnose and troubleshoot these problems, you might also want to know what to expect by way of repairs or if the pump will need replacing.
Note a few common problems you might experience with a water pump and what they may mean:
1. The pump suddenly stops and then restarts after several minutes
Usually this is caused by a pump overheating, which in turn causes it to stop. Once it cools down, it then begins again. Most often this problem is found with older pumps as they may tend to run hotter; their parts have suffered more wear and there may be more friction between them. In turn, the pump gets hotter more easily. Many pumps have an auto shutoff feature that will cause the pump to shut down once it gets too hot. After it sits and cools, it then will automatically come back on again.
While this may mean that you will need a new pump, note if it's getting overheated for any reason other than wear and tear with age. You may need added ventilation for the room in which the pump is located, or may be running the pump for longer than you should; upgrading to a larger pump may keep it running at the right temperature and avoid excess wear and a shorter lifespan.
2. The pump suddenly comes on or goes through intermittent cycling
If you're not running water and the pump suddenly comes on by itself, this is called intermittent cycling. One common cause of this is running toilets in a home or building. The running toilet will cause the water from a water tank to empty, so that the pump comes on by itself to refill the water tank. There may also be leaks in plumbing fixtures or pipes in the building, and they cause the same problem; the water tank levels get lower and in turn, the pump comes on.
Have a plumber inspect your toilet tank for defective parts or your home or building for leaks in the plumbing. These should be repaired in order to save you money on your water bill and avoid the risk of mold that occurs from leaking plumbing.
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