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Thread: Shallow Well Jet Pump doesnt build pressure

  1. #1

    Default Shallow Well Jet Pump doesnt build pressure

    Ive considering posting here for the last week Ive had no water but instead was relying on the supplier (Trade Plumbing retailer) to provide support, which they offer readily and have came out for a house visit. But given I havent had fully working water supply for 7 days, I think I should explore all options.

    Very Short Version: Shallow Well Jet Pump doesnt build pressure over 10PSI
    New 1/2HP pump, new pipe to well, new footvalve in well, new pressure tank with 30PSI air in it, even isolated pressure tank and pump from rest of system no difference.


    Long Version
    Original 3/4HP pump and old tank, ie Pump #1

    Im in Ireland and we have lots of shallow wells in the country side where I moved. I have a very simple, basic and compared to what I read here, boring, shallow well, its about 4ft wide and 9.5ft deep (water to bottom). The water to surface depth is about 7ft (max). We recently got some bad frost and the flaky old, once patched up on its last-legs, pressure tank burst, leaking at the front badly. First step of course was I replaced the Pressure Tank, but it seems the original 3/4HP Jet pump was damaged (it was oldish) as it had been 10second on-off cycling all night without me realizing.

    Pump#2 - The 1HP Deepwell Jet Pump
    So I replaced the old Pump with a new 1HP Deepwell Jet pump (they only had Deepwell pumps in stock) which I was told could be used in shallow well if the bottom of the 2 openings was plugged. I did this and it did pump for about 30min while it filled my attic water tank. When the attic tank was full it started to build pressure but never got over 20PSI. I left it going for nearly an hour and the pressure gauge was visibly dropping the whole time. I disconnected the piping from the pump to inspect the flow myself and found it wasnt pumping more than a trickle of water. I wasnt able to recover this with no amount of priming etc.

    Pump#3 - The 1/2HP Shallow Well Pump
    Not sure one should or could use a Deep Well pump in this manner (1 pipe to such a shallow well to a single pipe footvalve?) I brought it back and got a 1/2HP Shallow Well pump and took the opportunity to replace the well water plastic pipe and footvalve with brand new versions.

    At this point my attic water tank needed to be filled again so I put in the new pump and again it filled the attic tank and water pressure at the cold sink in the house was very good. I went out to check the pump and it was still running and slowly building pressure to about 10PSI where it simply gets stuck. This was looking familar so I have pulled the power. I checked the pressure tank and it definately has air. I waited about 2hrs and turned it on again and loosened the Priming plug, water poured out so its not running dry. But it still didnt build anymore pressure. I even went as far as to turn the valve on the Pressure tank outlet to closed, so the Pump was only pressurizing the tank and it made zero difference, so the problem cannot be piping to the house, it must be either well, pump or tank.


    Here is the plumbing pipe sequence:

    The Shallow Well with 9ft standing water
    - 1" Footvalue (checkvalve) with gauss around it (all new)
    - Connected to 5m of 1.25" Plastic Pipe (again new, the 1.25" pipe vs 1" is a legacy of the old pump, which used 1.25" too and I had the fittings for 1" to 1.25" already)
    - Plastic pipe is connected to a 1" diameter 2ft long Flexible steel wrapped hose, the kind that pumps use to pipe to pressure tanks, as its easier for me to physically (logistically) match up the flexible hose to the pump than try to bend the plastic pipe into the pump house
    - The 1/2HP Jet Pump, connects to
    - A 15Gallon Pressure Tank
    - Which in turn connects to a water softener (1/2" flexible pipe), goes to
    - Underground pipe which goes from pump-house in garden to the house


    Both pumps were showroom floor models, only used once for limited duration pressure tests, but I was told both work fine. I would love to tell them I got some help on the Internet as they are rather old school when I mentioned I checked the Deepwell Pump manufacturers website and it was designed only for wells over 29ft deep they kinda scoffed at the idea of using the Internet for support..
    Last edited by mattsimis; 12-10-2008 at 07:41 AM.

  2. #2

    Default

    I remove the flexible pipe on the input to the pump based on the theory its thinner inner wall may have been restricting flow. No difference.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Deep well jet pumps are supposed to be hooked up to a jet. Plugging the bottom hole will make it a centrifugal pump, which won't build much over 40 psi. The shallow well jet pump in my opinion; has junk in the impeller or the jet's nozzle or both. It should certainly make at least 50 lbs.

    I'm not fond of additional fittings in the suction line, like your flexable hose, but if you had no air leaks, it should work and build pressure.

    I would be looking for another pump that hadn't been used temporarilly which may have had junk pumped into the impeller.

    bob...

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for the reply. I also rang a Well Pump installation firm, they suggested the Pressure Gauge may infact be faulty which is mis-reading at 10PSI. The logic was that at 10PSI pressure I would get terrible water pressure at the end of the 65ft pipe run to the house and even worse in the attic which is of course about 10ft elevated (in addition to the 65ft piping).

    The pressure at the tap and in the attic is, in reality, perfectly acceptable so there might be something to it. The Plumbing retailer is sending one of their guys out tomorrow as they would like to end this prolonged support session (I would imagine!).

  5. #5
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    Does the retailer have a guy that knows how to fix pumps or troubleshoot them? If so, you might be back in business soon.

    Every foot you go up vertically, you lose .433 lbs of pressure.

    bob...

  6. #6

    Default

    The manager who I talked to "forgot" to tell the Pump guy about the house visit, so it wont be till tomorrow. I dont think the issue is the Pressure Gauge as I monitored the pressure in the tank before pumping (30PSI) and after (40PSI). When the pump is on the Pumps Pressure Gauge is hovering around the 10PSI mark, so 30 + 10 is equal to the 40PSI I can measure at the tank when the pump is running, right?
    Last edited by mattsimis; 12-10-2008 at 07:45 AM.

  7. #7
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    Just to be sure, I would buy another gauge. They are cheap. I sell them for around $4.00.

    bob...

  8. #8
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    Default Injector/jet problem!

    Jet pumps that don't/won't build over 20 lbs pressure usually means there is no injector/jet or the injector/jet nozzle is plugged!

  9. #9

    Default

    We went through the fittings and tried another Pressure Gauge. It came down to the pump must be faulty (though he maintained he never seen one on just pump "badly", just either working or not). So he installed a new pump (same model) and it was even worse, took 2 litres to prime it and even then it didnt pump more than a trickle of water, seemed to slosh it around inside and built no pressure at all.

    Now following a train of thought that the entire batch of pumps is faulty, he is gone to get another pump. Including the original that died from frost, this will be the 5th pump..

  10. #10

    Default

    Ended up on a 1HP pump, it built pressure to 35 and lost prime, but this time it was my fault. I put the Footvalve to plastic pipe fitting on wrong and it fell off as we move the cable around during the many fittings. I thought it was on fairly tight..

    New footvalve correctly installed on the 5th pump and it builds pressure to 57PSI with the tank valve closed (may have gone higher but it was quite slow at that point to raise). Still tweaking the pressure switch, but finally have working water again!

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