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Thread: Well pump, check valve, and irrigation question

  1. #1

    Default Well pump, check valve, and irrigation question

    Greetings,

    I have a well pump supplying all the water to my house. I intend to install an irrigation system in my 1.2 acre lot but was only getting about 6 GPM from the hydrant located a couple feet from the well head. I noticed that there was no check valve in the system and figure that I'm getting the same water at the hydrant that I'm getting at the sinks etc in the house...this is water that already been through the softner. So....I figured that if I installed a check valve between the hydrant and the house, I'd get raw water at full flow and pressure from the pump. I was right, after installing the check valve, I get 15 GPM from the hydrant. But....when I open up the hydrant with the pump not running, it won't turn on the pump (I guess because of the check valve, the pressure switch doesn't activate...didn't think that one through). I got it to work by opening the hydrant, turning on another outside spigot until the pump came on, then turning off the outside spigot so that all the flow comes out the hydrant.

    So, my question is, how can I get direct pressure and flow from the well pump to run my irrigation system?

    Thanks,
    Doug

  2. #2

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    I think you need to move your check valve AFTER the pressure tank but before the softener so when you open the hydrant the pressure tank will see the drop in PSI and start the pump.

    -rick

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    Putting a check valve between the tank and softener will not allow the pump to turn on when you run water in the house.
    I'm no expert but I you might want to rethink that.

    I have one in that exact location otherwise my irrigation system will suck the air out of my Air-Max aerator tank when water past the Air-Max exceeds the pressure of the water exiting the pressure tank.

    -rick

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yes all air pump systems should have a check valve before the vent tank so water can not flow backward to the pressure tank for any reason but, in general, there should not be a check valve in a normal well water system except the one in/on a submersible pump or a foot valve for a jet pump of either kind.

    In this case the tee for the irrigation has to be after the pressure tank and before the softener. And if you want a check valve in the irrigation line, it goes after the tee before the first sprinkler head.
    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.

  5. #5
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    Did you notice that the 6 gpm was coming out when the pump was off because it was flowing backwards through the feed line to the hydrant. If you had left it on a little longer, the pump would have come on and you would have had the 15 gpm you saw with your next test after incorrectly installing the check valve.

    bob...

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