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Thread: Replace Well Seal ?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Replace Well Seal ?

    Hello, I have been preparing to work on my water system in which the jet pump has started making squealing noises regularly (bad bearing?). I've been wanting to re plumb some of this anyway and so I'm fixing some other stuff along the way too. A proper mount for the pump will be made and new 1" copper from the pump to the holding tank with valves and unions ect. for maintenance and repair later on.
    I noticed the well seal looks like its been there forever, although the plastic pipe looks newer? Looks like a 2 piece well seal, wouldn't a 1 piece be easy enough to slide down over the drive and suction pipes after taking off the 90 deg elbows, why the reason for the 2 piece? Should I leave the well seal alone for now like I was planning? Maybe put some sealant around the pipes. If at a later time the foot valve or something else needs fixed then deal with it then? I'm not sure how the pipes will come out of the well since it is under the side porch, how much flex is there in the plastic?
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  2. #2
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    if you are just fixing a squealing pump motor, i wouldnt touch the well seal. before sinking a bunch of work and money into this system, i'd consider tossing it all and installing a submersible pump with new switch at tank.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I don't see and bolts on your seal. The pipes look like PE pipe and they will bend but it will be tight getting them out of the 'doorway' but two people, one lifting them out of the well and the other pulling them out through the basement will work.

    There should be 4 bolts in the seal and 2 pcs of steel on top of an inch or so of rubber inside the casing with another 2 pcs of steel under it. If you take the 2 bolts out of the half pieces, the bottom pc of steel falls down the well. That you don't want to happen, it can prevent getting the j-body out, which means a new well.

    The rubber is squeezed between the steel and compresses against the pipes and the inside of the casing, holding the pipes from going down the well. Getting the seal out can be a character building experience. Especially with one like yours where there is little to no casing sticking up out of the concrete. Maybe you'll would get lucky and there are no bolts or rubber with yours; it looks like maybe it sits on the casing.

    Depending on how old the j-body and foot valve are, if 20 yrs or so you may want to pull everything and put in a submersible and run PE pipe and over to the pressure tank. Of course you'd install a new plastic single line seal.
    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.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the information and suggestions. There does appear to be bolts there, they are barely visible as seen in the one picture, they look like they would never come out. I will take the advise and feel better that your thinking the same as me to leave that alone for now.
    If later on at some time, if I would need to pull it apart to either replace the j-body and foot valve or replace with a submersible, and if the seal didn't want to readily come off, would a wise move be to chisel some of the concrete down to a level where the casing could be cut off about 4 or 6 inches down and then weld or otherwise attach a new top for the casing? There is a piece of well casing about 10" long that is sitting here in the basement, maybe one of the previous owners were thinking of the same thing.
    Last edited by JimR; 12-20-2010 at 08:13 PM.

  5. #5
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The casing should be up out of the floor some so you can work on the seal, so don't cut any of the casing off.

    If it were mine, I would get the seal out and be prepared to go with a submersible since your present pump is not running right. That's rather than being surprised with a no water problem some evening of some weekend (usually) and having to get into the well and spending the time and effort it is going to take to get this seal out.
    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.

  6. #6
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    I'd repair the motor. Be sure nothing like rust or gasket material gets in the pump and plugs the nozzle in the jet assembly. If it does the jet won't build pressure. When you decide to pull the jet assembly/foot valve in the well I would replace everything with a submersible pump and a new one pipe well seal. Then you will have a pump that won't lose prime, have more volumn, more pressure and less problems in the future. A submersible is like a refrigerator, it either works or it doesn't. If it doesn't work replace it.
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  7. #7
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I had a submersible that kept losing volume over 3 years. Ready to replace it, the fix was picking out gravel from a poorly designed intake screen on the pump head.

    lined the well and raised the pump to keep the gravel out.

    So sometimes submersibles work, but not really.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 12-21-2010 at 04:26 PM.

  8. #8
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    I actually already had another jet pump here ready to swap out, and I will hold on to this old goulds pump and see what it might need to fix it too. I can probably get by for a long time here just using what I already have laying around, unless I start running into problems with foot valves and such then I would be looking at getting a submersible. I understand that a sub would probably be better, (had one at the house where I grew up and it has been in that well longer than I've been around (30 yrs) and still running today too).

    So if I am only switching out the jet pump and running new pipe to the tank with maybe some other re plumbing for the water softener, and not touching the pipes in the well, what do I need to follow as far as having safe water? Use the water for non drinking and cooking uses for a week or so, and then does it need tested?

  9. #9
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    quickest and easiest fix is another goulds pump. you can swap the motor/plate at the 4 main bolts.. wire up the switch, prime it, and your done. you can leave the old head and fittings just as they are. no need to fix any of that stuff if it isnt leaking.. shouldnt be any cutoff valves between pump and tank anyway.

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