I've checked around and read all kinds of other posts that talk about well pumps running and have checked all the possible answers. I've tested several shutoff valves to see if I can see where the slow leak/running water may be, but nothing. The main will make it stop, even stopping it next to the softner, but the minute I open the bypass, it starts again.

So I know it's not an external line. No outside irrigation or faucets. So I know it's tied to internal. But I've checked all the toilets, sinks, showers, bathtubs, even the washer/dryer. I have no water damage anywhere in the house that I can see. But it keeps running.

runs, shuts off for a sec, but runs again. The fan on the pump never shuts off.

The pressure is normal on the tank. I've played with the individual shutoff valves and can't seem to find the location that the constant running is occurring.


Who would I even call to help diagnose/find it?

  • If you have any shutoff valves further out the water supply system, try using them to narrow down the possible leaker - perhaps more aggressively than you have reported above. If all the fixtures are shutoff, the leak must be in the supply piping before the shutoffs (or you have a pipe leaving the house supplying a neighbor, perhaps unknown to you - stranger things have happened) - if the leak stops with ALL fixtures shutoff, it's in a fixture. If you have shutoffs for different parts of the house, those can narrow down the problem more. As for who to call, a plumber.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 10, 2014 at 0:27
  • (Deleted and re-added to edit after more than 4 minutes) to be clear - it leaks when the softener is bypassed? Or only when the softener is in the loop? Otherwise it could be a leak in the softener - I have had that problem before - crud in an old control valve causing the softener to leak well-water out the softener drain. After cleaning that valve several times to stop the leak, I got a new softener. The "bypass" as typically seen on a water softener is not a "shut-off" and passes water to the supply piping, just not soft water. A shut-off at the softener would be different.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 10, 2014 at 0:41

1 Answer 1


I do not have a well, and not a water expert, but I have a recurring water leak problem and thought I'd share my experience in case it helps. I recently experienced a problem similar to what you described - water kept running but nothing I could touch was leaking. I could hear water running (high pitch sound), but could not locate the leak. I finally checked under my house, in a crawl space, and it was very wet. It turned out that the leak was underground in a rusty old galvanized pipe. I am still cursing that P.O.S. and the fact that any fool ever used galvanized rust prone metal.

One other way I've been able to detect water leaks is by using a cheap stethoscope. I once had a very expensive plumber come out with an electronic stethoscope attached to a read-out, but since then have been able to narrow in on leaks in walls by using the stethoscope (and saving myself about $1000 / event).

  • 1
    Try listening to the DRAIN pipes with a stethoscope. Shut the main water valve (or "at the water softener", since both work use the one that is more convenient.) while listening to a drain, have someone open the supply, while you listen carefully for noise in the drain. If need be run back and forth, but it will be most sensitive if you can stay put listening. If you find one or more that run water when you have the water on, follow them as far as you can to isolate which fixtures are leaking.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 10, 2014 at 0:23

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