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Thread: Shallow Well Pump Problem

  1. #1
    DIY Member rwbil's Avatar
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    Default Shallow Well Pump Problem

    I bought a house that has a Well Pump. It is in FL. It connects to 2 spigots, but more important it runs the water for a Water Cooled Heat Pump. I am very handy, but know nothing about well systems. I have a few questions. First to get the pump to run I had to prime the pump and then the next day I had to prime the pump again. I would imagine there is a foot valve at the bottom of the suction line to keep water in the system, but maybe it is leaking. On the suction side there is a 1.25" PVC pipe going directly into the ground, therefore I am thinking it is a sand point driven well. I was going to cut the suction line a few inches above where it goes into the ground and see if the water in the line remains there overnight. If not I was thinking I would replace the foot valve. My first question is how would one replace the Check Valve. I would think it would be difficult to pull PVC piping without damaging it. Would it be better to install a self priming pump? And how well do they really work? Do you still need a check valve for a self priming pump?. Also If I did pull the old PVC pipe do you have a design for making a driver to drive a new pipe. I can not imagine how they could have driven the PVC pipe without breaking it. Also I read that the cut-in pressure should be set 2 psi less than the tank pressure and the cut-out 20 psi or so above the cut-in. But I do not see any pressure requlator that would turn on and off the pump. Is the cut in and cut out built into the pump?? The home was bank owned, so no previous owner around to ask about the system.

    Thanks in advance,
    Robert

  2. #2
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    If you don't have a tank installed, that is probably why the pump cant keep its prime. The tank keeps the system under pressure when the pump is off, abd also keeps the pump primed. There aslo should be a pressure switch that is mounted on the side of the pump. Go to my website, and on the pump systems page you will see a pump and tank plumbed in together. That is how it should be set up.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com

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

    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    If you don't have a tank installed, that is probably why the pump cant keep its prime. The tank keeps the system under pressure when the pump is off, abd also keeps the pump primed. There aslo should be a pressure switch that is mounted on the side of the pump. Go to my website, and on the pump systems page you will see a pump and tank plumbed in together. That is how it should be set up.

    sammy
    Sammy, I guess you aren't Certified in pumps huh. A pump can't lose prime because there is no tank!!

    And the only time a pressure tank can (re)prime a jet pump is when there is a leak from the pump back to and including the foot valve in the well, when the pressure falls to cut in the pump runs refilling the tank and shuts off.

    If you wanted to power up a pump and use the volume of water it delivered and then turn it off, it doesn't need a pressure switch... and it won't lose prime unless there is a leak!! This reminds me of your comments about air in water lines when there is a leak.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
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  4. #4
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    A pump can loose its prime if there isn't enough back pressure and volume of water in the system. A tank will assist the pump in keeping its prime.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com

  5. #5
    Previous member sammyhydro11's Avatar
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    If there is a leak in a water line with a check valve at the tank, and one at the pump or, even a foot valve in a well with a jet pump,the shut off pressure in the line, will force a small amount of water out, creating an air gap. In most cases the air gap created will cause a jet pump to loose its prime. In a submersible system the homeowner notices air in the system.

    sammy

    www.tylerwellandpump.com

  6. #6
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    If your going to try to pull that pipe you might destroy what well you do have. A lot of the wells like yours in Florida are washed in with PVC pipe. Over time, rain washes the sand down in around the pipe and tightens it up pretty good. Pulling on it may net you just part of the well. In an 1-1/4" well there is no footvalve, as there is no droppipe. It would have to be 3/4" and that would make it nearly impossible to pump enough water to run one sprinkler.

    Centrifugal pumps were never intented to be operated with pressure switches. Sub's and Jet's were.

    By cutting the pipe, you could glue on a male adaptor and install a pitcher pump to see how much the well will produce.

    bob...

  7. #7
    DIY Member rwbil's Avatar
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    Question

    Speedbump,

    Even though I have done lots of renovation work, this whole Ground Source Heat Pump and Shallow Well system are new to me. I am including a photo, which I hope will help. I need to take more photos and see if I can read the label on the pump and do some research. Also there is a small expansion tank on the pump. I remember it being on the Suction side which would be odd, but I will double check. You stated there was no foot valve on a 1.25" pipe. So from what you wrote, is it safe to guess that I have a centrigual self priming pump being the piping is only 1.25". You stated such a pump would not have a pressure switch, therefore the pump always runs or do these type of pumps cut off automatically.

    As far at the water flow goes, once I primed the pump lots of water flowed, so I do not think that is an issue.
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    Self priming centrifugals (of good quality) have either 2" or 1-1/2" suction and discharge. If yours is 1-1/4" with no bushings it is probably a jet pump. None of the pumps shut off automatically without a pressure switch or timer.

    The picture was too small as a PDF file for me to make out.

    If it did have an expansion tank, it probably has a pressure switch.

    bob...

  9. #9
    DIY Member rwbil's Avatar
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    Question

    Speedbump,

    I have attached more pictures. It is a GE Jet Pump. Looking at the photos can you tell better whether or not there would be a foot valve. And if there is no footvalve how would the pump stayed primed?? The discharge line in 1.25", but I forgot to check the suction line. There is a tank on the discharge. Also where would be pressure switches. Any infomation, such as is is defineately a sand driven well and etc., you can provide based on the photos would be appreciated. Let me know if you need me to take more pictures.

    Thanks in advance,
    Robert
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  10. #10
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    There is no way to tell what is below ground. It could be an 1-1/4" well straight down. It could be a suction line going to a larger well either straight down or somewhere else in the yard. Hell, it could be in your neighbors yard for all I know. The only way you will know is to either dig it up or cut the pipe and try to stick something straight down it.

    That is a Myers shallow well jet pump. Not a centrifugal. The pressure switch is the gadget that the electrical conduit is attached to on the back of the motor.
    Last edited by speedbump; 03-16-2009 at 05:59 AM. Reason: Had to look at pic again.

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