Starting a pump to many times or (cycling) as it is called is the reason for having problems with the start cap and relay. it gets very hot and the thermal switch is then tripped. I pump a fair amount of water, but I think I will adjust my sprinkling so the pump seldom stops and starts. When I flip the switch, the motor hums and does not spin. The only function of the starting capacitor and starting relay is to start the pump. What Is a Capacitor? I opened the switch panel and inside is an approx. Every day that a pump is down, the likelihood of a lengthy and expensive cleanup increases. Troubleshooting a pump motor should begin with testing the capacitor(s). there's a tiny jerk when I flip the switch. If my system eats a new capacitor after I also add a new relay, I will just replace the pump. The basic definition of a capacitor is a device that’s used to store an electric charge. But if the relay is bad or the pump does not come up to speed quickly, the capacitor will smoke. 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