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Thread: Shallow Well pump problems

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mmiller4's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
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    Default Shallow Well pump problems

    We have a shallow point driven well in northern Wisconsin. The pump/well had been working fine; however, the pump cracked this past winter (possible freeze?) and we are having trouble priming the system.

    We have installed a new 1" pipe inside the original 2" pipe, installed a new pump and pressure tank. The bottom of the point is approximately 32ft. from top of pipe with 11ft - 14ft of water in the pipe. We had poured 15 gallons of water in the pipe and it disappears as quickly as we could pour it into the pipe (appears screens on point are clear). We piped up the entire system, new pump, 1" line in well pipe, new 20 gallon pressure tank, new piping (except for check valve) and can not get it to prime. Pressure gauge in the line goes up to 30 psi and no further with pump running.

    We did not install a foot valve in the 1" pipe, wanting an option to drain the pipe in the future, with the cold Wisconsin winters. We do have a check valve before the pump as the piping comes out of the well pipe.

    Any suggestions of what to try? Could the check valve be bad? It was new last fall and we reused from previous set-up.

    It makes no sense to have the amount of water we have in the pipe and not be able to prime the pump.

  2. #2
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    Are you restricting the pump's discharge? There has to be considerable losses in the undersized suction pipe, and that can't help your attempts to prime.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member mmiller4's Avatar
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    What type of restriction do you mean? Sizing down the piping to the house or shut off valve being closed? Out of the pump we go to 3/4" piping to pressure tank and ball valve out of pressure tank to house. Ball valve is closed when trying to prime pump?

  4. #4
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    Are you leaving the priming plug loose when priming to let air out?

    bob...

  5. #5
    Sprinkler Guy Wet_Boots's Avatar
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    I'd be closing a shutoff valve between the pump and house, and using another outlet upstream of that shutoff to work the flow as I primed the pump. For some reason, when there's a restriction on the suction side of the pump, the priming is more difficult, and you need to tweak the flow, while you get all the air out of the pump. Once you have it primed, then you can slowly open the valve to the house.

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