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Thread: Jet pump unable to build pressure

  1. #1

    Default Jet pump unable to build pressure

    I have recently opened my cottage after having it winterized. As I proceeded to turn on the water I discovered a problem with the pump system.
    It was labouring at 20psi and would not shut off. if I turned it off, opened the taps and then tried again I got lucky on a couple occasions where it would quickly reach 50 psi.

    Background:
    Sandpoint well - located on waterfront property.
    GE Jet Pump (Red Jacket) 1/2 HP
    approx 20lbs galvanized tank

    In the fall I drained the water out of the tank, and then pumped RV antifreeze into the lines to prevent any freezing of remaining water.

    I have heard that the problem could be several things ranging from a blockage in the sandpoint (put tablets in it), to a waterlogged tank (common for galvanized-non bladder tanks), or something with the pump itself.

    Last year I installed a hotwater tank (whats a cottage without hot water right) and thought I needed to increase the tank pressure from 40-50 psi. It was fine all season, but could that have caused an issue?

    Appreciate any guidance

  2. #2
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    It sounds like you have some mineral getting into the nozzle in the jet. You were lucky that it ever built up to 50 after getting plugged the first time. If the pump is old, and the well has Sulphur or Iron the inside of the pump is probably coated with scale. One little piece the size of the top of a pencil can plug the jet and cut it's pressure in half. If you want to venture into opening up the pump housing to see the condition of it, and it looks like I described a new pump would be your best plan. Once a jet starts plugging, there is only going to be future events. Want a good Jet Pump, look at this link.

    bob...

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    A water logged pressure tank can not cause a pump to not build pressure. It causes the pressure to raise very quickly and shut off the pump or range between cut in and out going on/off on/off within a second or two IF you are using water.

    Did you prime the pump correctly? If not that might cause your symptoms too. Or if it won't hold prime; that means a leak from the pump back to and down the well to the foot valve.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    It sounds like you have some mineral getting into the nozzle in the jet. You were lucky that it ever built up to 50 after getting plugged the first time. If the pump is old, and the well has Sulphur or Iron the inside of the pump is probably coated with scale. One little piece the size of the top of a pencil can plug the jet and cut it's pressure in half. If you want to venture into opening up the pump housing to see the condition of it, and it looks like I described a new pump would be your best plan. Once a jet starts plugging, there is only going to be future events. Want a good Jet Pump, look at this link.

    bob...
    Can the pump be cleaned/serviced - rather than completly replacing?
    If indeed the pump is 'done', is there any way to prevent this from happening in the future?

    Appreciate your advice

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    A water logged pressure tank can not cause a pump to not build pressure. It causes the pressure to raise very quickly and shut off the pump or range between cut in and out going on/off on/off within a second or two IF you are using water.

    Did you prime the pump correctly? If not that might cause your symptoms too. Or if it won't hold prime; that means a leak from the pump back to and down the well to the foot valve.
    You might be onto something here as to 'priming it correctly' . The nut that usually comes off to prime is rusted shut - so I couldn't open it up and prime correctly. I simply started it up and away she went.
    Assuming I can get it opened ( I picked up a can of liquid wrench and got myself a much better wrench + torch) what are the correct steps to prime?

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    There is no easy way to clean a pump that is encrusted with mineral. And you probably would never get it all off.

    No there is no way of preventing it from happening again short of changing over to a submersible.

    bob...

  7. #7
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It sounds like a new pump is in your future.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  8. #8

    Default problem resolved

    Thanks to all that provided great advice.
    After spending hours - the better part of the weekend...
    I learned that I had not primed it adequately - rather didn't prime it all all which was partially to blame. The second problem I realized was that it wasn't holding the prime and I found that a six inch length of pipe or the connection right after the check valve was leaking.. thus the prime lose within ten minutes.

    I might also be experiencing a problem with a sandpoint that is getting clogged with minerals - thus the pressure not as good as it could be - but it is manageable for now.

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