How To Repair Water Pump That Will Not Pump Water

Click a Part Below to Start Your Repair:
About this repair:
  • Rated as REALLY EASY
  • 4 step by step videos


The clutch sits in between the engine and the pump. It allows the pump to stop working when the engine is idling by disengaging the pump when the driveshaft is spinning at a relatively low speed. The springs, clutch plates or clutch shoes are all susceptible to wear, and will stop the clutch from properly performing its function if they become loose or come out of calibration. To expose the clutch, the engine must be removed from the pump. The clutch is attached to the driveshaft on the engine. A faulty clutch can be replaced once the engine has been disassembled. When attempting to remove the clutch, it is a good idea to feed a piece of starter rope into the cylinder to stop the crankshaft from rotating while the clutch is being unscrewed.

Drive Shaft

The driveshaft connects the engine to the pump. Its rotational energy is powered by the engine, and then transferred to power the pump. If the driveshaft breaks or its connections on either end fail, the pump will no longer pump water. If the drive shaft breaks, the engine will have to be disassembled and the drive shaft replaced.

Primer Cap

Unless your pump is able to ‘self-prime’, you will need to prime your pump before it is able to pump water. ‘Priming’ the pump simply means filling it with water. This forces air out of the pump and creates a vacuum, allowing water to move through it once the pump is powered on. Most pumps will have a primer cap, which should be filled before the pump is turned on. It is also recommended to fill the feed pipe with water as well and to keep the feed pipe above the pump at all times to ensure that no air enters the pump. If air is allowed to enter the pump, it will need to be re-primed before it is able to pump water at full capacity again.


The impeller is essentially a fan inside of the pump that rotates and pumps the water. The fins on an impeller can wear over time, lessening the pumps ability to pump at full capacity. Allowing unfiltered water to enter the pump housing can also damage the impeller, as dirt and other debris can speed up the wear of this component. If the impeller on your pump wears down, it can be can be accessed and replaced by opening the pump housing.

More Repair Parts

Still not sure which part is broken? We can offer you custom troubleshooting help if you search with your model number.