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Thread: losing prime........

  1. #1

    Default losing prime........

    Hi, all, I have a sand point well that was driven about 6 months ago.This is used for sink/bathroom at a hunting club. Its down in the stream 34'. I had some trouble after it was driven with a suction leak............I coudln't keep prime more than a day. I endened up welding ALL the drive couplings and that worked and I was able to keep prime. Last week it was used for a week straight. Duing this time, I has two times that the system lost prime............both on the same day. We turned the power off at the pump and restarted it, and both times, the pump reprimed itself. Has anyone ever had to do this, and what causes it? Thanks Jeff

  2. #2

    Default

    It sounds like you still have an air leak somewhere that is releasing the vacuum

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Default

    Or the water level is going below the inlet to the pump and allowing it to suck air.

    You say 34', are you trying to suck water from that height? If so, you are lucky you ever got any water; the max lift at sea level is 25'. That's the distance from the water to the pump.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  4. #4
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    Default suction leak!

    Yep you still have a suction leak somewhere between the pump and the check valve.

    Do you have a check valve near the pump or both near (or on) the pump and on the end of the suction line? Sometimes due to a leak between the two check valves air will get into the system when the pump is at rest (not running). Then when the pump restarts it pulls the air into it and loses prime.

    If you can't find the leak and if possible I suggest you remove all the check valves and just leave the one at the bottom end of the suction line. This way when the pump shuts off the suction line will be pressurized when at rest and won't allow air to enter the system. Keep in mind this is only band aid to the real problem. . . a leak in the suction line somewhere.

  5. #5

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    Hi All, thanks for all the info. I figured it was a suction leak, but its always good to ask. I actually have 2 check valves installed. one os on the well pipe as it comes from the ground, the other is at the nose of the pump. There is about 16' between the two with a 1 1/4 coupling installed..........................I think thats my leak. Thanks again, Jeff

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You should have a foot valve on the end of the suction pipe and no other check valves. And if you don't have the foot valve, that and the 4 extra threaded fittings at the 2 check valves, is probably why you are having a suction air leak problem. BTW, a check valve usually costs about 3-5 psi to open one.
    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.

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi, this is a sand point well, I don't think you can install a foot valve. At least I don't know of any that can withstand the hammering of the well pipe. The well pipe is welded 31' (21'and10')with a 3' sand point threaded to the end. standing water is 16'. If someone knows of a foot valve that can be hammered into the ground, let me know. Thanks Jeff

  8. #8
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    You didn't say what size pipe you used, but most use 1-1/4". If this is a major problem, you could put a 3/4" footvalve down the well on 3/4" pipe to a depth of 30 foot. This would stop the priming problem. Of coarse you would remove all other valves and unecessary fittings. This will cut down on the production of the pump and make it cavitate a little, but will cure the priming problem. If it's a two inch, use 1" droppipe and a 1" check valve.

    What this does is stop the casing you welded from being the suction pipe. Now just the new pipe inside the well is the suction pipe with one end in the water to eliminate the possible leaks in the foot valves fittings. One coupling in the well, one elbow up top and a straight run to the pump. Fewer fittings, means fewer air leaks.

    bob...

  9. #9

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    Hi , thats a good idea.....................I'm going to try to seal the suction problem ............If all else fails, I'll go that route. thanks for all the advice.................... Jeff

  10. #10

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    Hi Bob, I like the idea of the foot valve, but if I go this route, will I have to cap the well pipe (the 1 1/4 pipe I mean) after I install the foot valve and 3/4 pipe? I would think that when the pump is running, you would suck the standing water in the 1 1/4 pipe 1st and have to wait for the water to trickle through sand point to "refill" the pipe. would this be right? Do they make some kind on fitting that would allow you to cap the 1 1/4 and still have the 3/4 exit through it? thanks again, Jeff

  11. #11
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    They do make an 1-1/4" well seal. I have them for that matter. If you can get 30 feet of 3/4 in the well, you won't have to worry about the water being all drawn out of the pipe, cause the pump can only pull down to 25 feet. If you can't get that much in, put as much as you can in the pipe.

    bob...

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