Rainwater Cistern Pump Troubleshooting

by - February 09, 2012

Several months ago, we were bestowed a 500 gallon rainwater cistern with a submersible pump. The pump turns on when it senses pressure changes such as squeezing the hose nozzle. Several weeks back, it grew less and less responsive taking several minutes to turn on. These were the steps I went through to troubleshoot:
  • Shake the hose
  • Fling the hose on the ground
  • Jump on the hose to squirt the remaining water out
  • Unplug the pump and plug it back in
  • Remove the spray nozzle to allow for unrestricted flow
  • Detach the hose from the cistern valve and fully open the valve
  • Take out the pump and check for clogs
  • Plug the pump into a different outlet
I'm not sure what the ultimate fix was, but my guess is that the original outlet had some small debris partially shorting the circuit. There is also a chance that leaving the pump plugged in and having a slow leak at the hose to valve attachment prevented a proper pressure differential to trigger the on switch. Next time I'm at Lowes I'll have to get a fancier outlet cover.

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