How to Tell If Your Thermostat or Water Pump Is Bad

How to Tell If Your Thermostat or Water Pump Is Bad

Imagine how a broken thermostat or water pump can frustrate you and wreak havoc on your daily schedule. A properly functioning thermostat and water pump are two of the most essential elements in a home to your daily routine and comfort. The good news is, in some cases, you can tell when they are malfunctioning before they completely give way.

How To Tell If Your Water Pump Is Bad

You can easily tell if your water pump is faulty as follows:

  • Poor Water Pressure – You will notice water trickling from the faucet or shower.
  • No Water – If your toilet can’t flush or your faucet is dry, the pump isn’t working. 
  • Dirty Water – It may be a sign of a damaged pump filter or wrongly installed pump. 
  • Air in the Pipes – You may hear spitting sounds with a mix of water and air coming from your faucet when you turn it on.

How To Tell If Your Water Pump Is Pumping

Want to tell if your water pump is pumping?

  • Check that the well switch is on.
  • Check the pressure switch – it powers up the pump.
  • No strange noises
  • Clean water from the faucet
  • Water flowing normally in the faucet and toilets

Water Pump Testing Procedure

If you’re handy and don’t want to call a plumber, here’s a water pump testing procedure you can use:

Step 1: Check the Well Motor Voltage 

Using the manual, check the recommended motor voltage. It should be the same reading on the ohmmeter display. 

Step 2: Turn off Power to the Motor 

The ohmmeter will only give accurate readings if you test the pump with the power off. 

Step 3: Hook the Cords 

The codes standards depend on which country you’re in or where you bought the pump. Check the manual for guidance. While testing, if the resistance between the power lead and ground cable reads “OL” (Open Lead), the pump motor is in great condition. 

Step 4: Check the Insulation Resistance 

The final testing step is to check the insulation resistance between ground and lead wires using a digital ohmmeter. Check the pump’s manual to know for sure where to place the ground wire and lead wire for testing. 

The insulation may read above normal. Don’t panic. It generally happens with long giant cables. Again, refer to your manual.

What Does A Bad Water Pump Sound Like?

How To Tell If Your Water Pump Is Bad

Here’s what your pump will sound like when it’s faulty:

  • Humming – especially if this is paired with the pump motor failing to start
  • Banging and Hammering 
  • Clunking  
  • Clicking 
  • Rattling and grinding – a sign of impeller damage or debris
  • Screeching – faulty pump bearings

Can A Water Pump Be Bad And Not Leak?

Yes, a water pump can be bad and not leak. Leakage is definitely a sign of a bad water pump but don’t be fooled if you don’t see leaking. Other issues like debris, poor pressure, air in the pipes, or failure to pump can all happen without the pump leaking.

What Causes A Water Pump To Go Bad?

Here are the common causes of a faulty water pump:

  • Poor Water Quality – Minerals, bacteria slime, and other elements in the water can clog up the pump.
  • Age – Pumps can’t last forever. Their typical lifespan is 15 to 20 years. Anything more is a gamble.
  • Dry Well – During drought periods, if the pump continues to run, it will wear out fast. 
  • Lightning Strike – Your pump will stop working if it gets struck by lightning. 
  • Small Well Tank – If your tank is too small for your family needs, the pump will over-run to keep it filled and wear out prematurely.

Water Pump Failure Symptoms

Here’s what you’ll notice when your water pump is failing:

  • High Electric Bills – When you notice a spike in your electric bills, it may be a faulty pump.
  • Strange Noises – A sign that an internal element may be wearing out.
  • Short Cycling – this will cause pressure fluctuations and pump failure. 

How To Tell If Your Thermostat Is Bad

Here’s how to tell if your thermostat is bad:

  • No Power – A blank screen is a sure way to tell there’s a problem with your thermostat. 
  • AC or Heater Won’t Turn On – This means the electrical wiring is unable to transmit signals from the thermostat telling the HVAC come on.
  • AC or Heater Won’t Turn Off – You will also notice your system running non-stop without a break. 
  • Thermostat Won’t Match Room Temperature – The room will feel colder or hotter than the temperature on the screen. 

Signs Of A Bad Thermostat

Here’s what you’ll notice with a bad thermostat:

  • Non-Responsive – If it doesn’t respond immediately when you make adjustments, it’s faulty.
  • No Screen Display – Sometimes the cause is an internal malfunction.
  • Old Thermostat – If it’s between 15 to 20 years, it may not last long going forward. 

Why Is My Thermostat Not Working?

How To Tell If Your Thermostat Is Bad

Tried to switch on your thermostat and found it isn’t working? Here are the possible reasons why:

  • Faulty Thermostat Connections – They may be loose or corroded making them unable to send signals to your HVAC system.
  • Power Interruption – You may notice a dark screen. Sometimes all you have to do is replace the batteries. However, if the batteries are okay, it may be because of a tripped breaker or a blown fuse.
  • Dirty Thermostat – Dust, dirt, and debris can affect the mechanical and electrical components of your thermostat causing it to malfunction. 
  • Wrong Thermostat Placement – Your thermostat may fail to satisfy your home’s needs because of wrong placement. Ideally, it should be placed in a central area where most activity happens so that it can measure an accurate average temperature.

Why Is My Thermostat Blank?

When your thermostat display screen is blank, the common reason is dead batteries. If that’s not the case, it’s possible that the breaker tripped. Simply check the breaker and switch it back on.

If the batteries and breaker aren’t the issue, check your HVAC system. When it malfunctions, the transformer is unable to send voltage that runs the thermostat. 

A blank thermostat might just mean that it’s done its time and needs replacement especially after 10 years.

Why Is My Thermostat Flashing?

A flashing thermostat may be a minor issue like a low battery which you can easily replace. If replacing batteries doesn’t work, then you have a bigger issue, like your outdoor unit.

Your HVAC may still be running but if you notice a flashing red light, it’s a sign that your outdoor unit is not functioning.

Why Is My Thermostat Clicking?

Your thermostat is clicking and you’re wondering why? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Snapping Strip – Inside the thermostat is a bi-metallic strip that measures and controls the temperature. As the room gets hotter, the strip bends to open the circuit. When the room cools, it goes back to its original shape and snaps, making a clicking sound. 
  • Dying Battery – A clicking sound may be a result of dying batteries
  • Thermostat Placement – if your thermostat wasn’t placed installed in the ideal spot where it can accurately measure room temperature, that is, away from hot areas like the kitchen, direct sunlight, vents and windows.
  • Power Loss – When there’s no power, the clicking is a sign that the relay is trying to send a message for cold or hot air but not getting a response. 
  • Interrupted Gas Supply – If your thermostat signals for heat with no response, it will click.
  • Dirty Filters – Blocked airflow from dirty filters may cause clicking.

Why Is My Thermostat Blinking Heat On?

Here’s why your thermostat is blinking “heat on”:

  • Low Battery or Unstable Power 
  • Time Delay – It’s the most common reason but is a normal function. This delay (usually 5 minutes) is a protective mechanism against short cycling (your thermostat coming on and going off too quickly).
  • Malfunctioning Outdoor Unit 

Why Is My Thermostat Blinking Cool On?

Here’s why your thermostat is blinking “cool on”:

  • Low Battery
  • Power Outage – It will put pressure on the compressor, forcing it to restart.  
  • Changing Functions – If you’re changing the system from one function to another, say cooling to heating or vice versa, your thermostat will blink “cool on”.

Why Is My Thermostat Not Getting Power?

No power in your thermostat? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Tripped Circuit – The circuit that powers your thermostat may have tripped.
  • A Bad Fuse – Broken filament in the fuse
  • Low Battery
  • Low Voltage HVAC Equipment
  • Incorrect Electrical Wiring 

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