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Thread: Pump Won't Prime or hold prime

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member PAmom1991's Avatar
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    Default Pump Won't Prime or hold prime

    Starting on 4 days without water. We had a 22-yr old Craftsman Multi-stage Jet pump that was overheating and shutting off a few times a day last week. We had bought same type 10 years to keep on hand and just got it out of storage to replace. We have family coming to visit next weekend and a big graduation party, so we wanted to get it done before then. We replaced it same as the old one and couldn't get it to prime. To make a long story shorter, we pulled up the 100-ft of pipe from the well, replaced the foot valve, had the pump rewired to suggested 220-v, primed it and it ran for about an hour. It is set at 30 on, 50 off pressure. We flushed the toilets several times to make sure it was coming on and off as it should. I got half the dishes washed then it started losing pressure.
    We have primed it for an hour at a time till we are just too frustrated to go on. We have checked the pipe connections for air and water leaks at the spots they were fiddled with: the well case cover, in the house at the pump and water tank. We get it to briefly hold at 55 or 60 but when we turn the regulator screw to set the lower pressure, it bottoms out to 20 and then to 0. Of course, it's a holiday weekend and we don't want to spend a fortune on a weekend plumber visit! The pressure tank is empty and shows 25 lbs of pressure.
    We will try priming again today until frustration sets in but if anyone has any suggestions I'd really appreciate it!
    Lisa in PA

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member PAmom1991's Avatar
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    Just forgot to say: We had added bleach to the well when the pipes were out (since we've been told other times to do the same) and when we were running water in the house after it primed, we were getting the bleach smell and slightly brown water so we are guessing it was actual well water being delivered.

  3. #3
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Have you checked to see if the jet is clear?
    You likely disturbed a lot of solid particles in the well when you pulled the drop pipe and bleached.

  4. #4
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    I believe Cacher_chick is right, you have some debris in the jet assembly nozzle. The nozzle has a 1/4" hole in it and this is what jets the water. You'll have to remove the jet assembly, then remove the Venturi and then with a long socket (probably 3/4") remove the 1/4" nozzle and clean it. Reassemble everything and try it again. Pumps only circulate water, the jet assembly does all the work.
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  5. #5
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Either a plugged jet or.......no water in the well

  6. #6
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAmom1991 View Post
    We get it to briefly hold at 55 or 60 but when we turn the regulator screw to set the lower pressure, it bottoms out to 20 and then to 0.
    First off, don't trust your pressure gauge. The same thing that killed you pressure switch will render the gauge questionable. Calibrate your air pressure gauge to your water pressure gauge. When precharging the bladder, there should be only 2 or 3 PSI less than the switch-on PSI.

    If you're losing it when you dial down the pressure switch, almost certainly your bladder has too much air for the switch-on PSI setting and you run out of draw. The pump needs pressure to make pressure.

    If your pump can build 55 - 60 PSI, I doubt your jet is plugged.

  7. #7
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAmom1991 View Post
    We get it to briefly hold at 55 or 60 but when we turn the regulator screw to set the lower pressure, it bottoms out to 20 and then to 0.
    The Pressure Regulator on that pump sets the Jet Pressure, and should be set around 40-50 psi., or until the meter flutters.

    The meter is reading the Jet pressure when the pump is running, Not the tank pressure, until the pump shuts off.

    If the pump will not maintain at least 40 psi, on the gauge when the pump is running, then you may have a jet problem. The meter should jump above 40 as soon as the pump starts.

    Have a Great day.

    DonL
    Last edited by DonL; 05-31-2011 at 07:18 AM.
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