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Thread: Shallow well pump question

  1. #1

    Default Shallow well pump question

    I've just had a new 2" well drilled and am trying to hook up to it a new 1HP shallow well jet pump.

    The depth to water in my well is about 20-24', but I have a 60' horizontal run from the well to where my pump is.

    In that horizontal run, I gradually decreased the size of the pipe, starting at 2" at the well -> 1 1/2" -> 1 1/4" into the pump.

    I've filled the pump and filled the 60' of horizontal pipe with water. But when i turn on the pump - once its done pumping out the water in the horizontal run - that's it. It can't seem to pump water from the actual well itself.

    I've got two new checkvalves installed - one at the well --> and one at the pump -->, and all the seals seem to be good.

    I have NOT hooked up the discharge at my pump yet (i wasn't sure if i needed to, but I could be wrong?)

    If anyone could provide some direction or advice on what might be wrong, I would appreciate it. I would LOVE to tackie this in the next few days and get it running. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member Jkacos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    I would try eliminating the check valve at the well and retest. Is the horizontal run of the system level or does that climb? Have you ever hooked the pump up at the well to see if it is capable of working?

  3. #3
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA


    After lifting over 20' jet pump start becoming a problem! With the friction loss, the check valves and the 24' lift you are going to have a problem getting it to work well. Remove all check valves except the on nearest the well and look for suction leaks all the way to the pumping level. The least bit of suction leak will cause the pump to not pump anything. If possible you might try to move the pump right to the well and try pumping it there. If it pumps there, you have a suction leak from the well to where it was installed. If it won't pump at the well, you may have a leak from the pump to the pumping level. In any case, even though suction lift pumps in theory will lift water 30' at sea level, including friction loss, check valves and lift you are very close to the limit. Good Luck!
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  4. #4
    AAW jimtum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Decatur Tx


    Do you have a single pipe or dual pipe on your suction side. Normally that is too much lift for a single pipe and this may be your problem if I understand you correctly.

  5. #5


    Hey guys... i'm gonna try tomorrow to connect directly to the well - bypassing the horizontal run. I'll report back how that goes.

    Meanwhile, would the fact it's a 2" well (as opposed to a 1 1/4" or 1 1/2") make a big difference? (seems like it would)

    And would the fact i have nothing hooked up to the pump discharge make a difference? (I doubt it, but what do I know?)

  6. #6


    OK guys, i connected the pump directly into the well (bypassing the 60' run) and it seems to pump water just fine. But if i move the pump back to where it needs to go, I'll end up with the same problem.

    So that's semi-good news. Just now I'm not sure what's the best way to proceed.

    Should I drop a 1-1/4" line down into the 2" well?

    Or would a larger (1-1/2HP) pump do the trick?

  7. #7
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Lubbock, Texas


    Probably have a suction leak in the 60' of line.

  8. #8


    you're probably right. I'll be testing that this week - is there a recommended way of testing if there's a suction leak? Attach a pressure guage and see if it goes down over time?

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