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Thread: Deep well pump check valve

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mmzullo's Avatar
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    Default Deep well pump check valve

    Hi Guys,
    I'm new to the forum but have been reading a lot about general stuff on here. I came up with a problem with my well. I was in the basement the other day and heard water running. Went to the well tanks and put my ear to the pipe and heard water running. So I checked all faucets and toilets and every thing was ok with them. I still heard water running. I assumed the check valve went. I have 1 at the expansion tank and assume one at the pump. My pump is set at about 265 feet. Well dept is 280. I took of the concrete cap(well head is 7 feet under grade) and noticed water coming from the 3 inch metal sleave and the 1" plastic pipe going to the house was leaking water. So I thought the line from well cap to house was leaking. I drained the tank to see if the water would stop running and it did. So filled the tank up again and water was not leaking. So I thought what the heck!! Now I don't hear any water running. 2 days later I hear water running again. Cap comes back off and there is no visible water running out of the metal pipe. We had 16 inches or rain in 8 days so it must of been ground water. I read a couple different treads about problems with check valves going bad. I replaced the above ground 1 and wouldn't you know it the spring was broken and it never seats.
    I know it's not good to use just a top check valve but for now it'll have to do. I took a picture of my cap and wounder if the 1 inch plug is the lifting point of this type of line. I going to get a couple people to help and 1 of them is a plumber who has worked on some wells but hasn't looked at mine yet.
    Any pointers will be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmzullo View Post
    My pump is set at about 265 feet. Well dept is 280...
    I aasume it is set that deep because it needs to be to reach the water. If the checkvalve in the pump failed, the checkvalve at the tank would mask the problem. The water column would fall by gravity and create a partial vacuum in the line. When the pump starts, the water column will rush and punch the topside checkvalve creating destructive water hammer. The water hammer not only breaks the topside checkvalve, it also stresses the line between pump and tank but then I think you already know that.

    It looks like every time the well was opened, the wire was cut and then a new heatshrink splice. With three separate splice points, it's been opened at least twice since the first install. If those were before your time, I wonder what the age of the pump is. As for your question, ja... the Tee with the plug in it would be the lifting point.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member mmzullo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. Yes I heard about the water hammer only if the pipe drains. I plan on fixing this correctly but replacing the check valve was a temp fix. I have never(knock wood) lost water at any time or have any air in the faucets unless I drained the tank. The pump was replaced about 15 years ago so I think I might just change the pump also. Should I put in check valve at the pump for insurance?

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member mmzullo's Avatar
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    Well I've been shopping around for pumps. Every one tells me to put a check valve every 100 feet. It's a poly pipe. I plan on putting an extra check valve at the pump anyway. Or should I just put it at the 1/2 mark? I found the paper work for the pump install when it was done. It was replaced in 94 and the well is 250" deep set at 230 with 111' of water. This was in 94. This was documented. It's also a Gould 1/2 pump.
    Thanks for any input.

    P.S. the pump has been working good with no water hammer. The pipe from pump to tank does drain back and you hear water running back up the pipe when it starts back up.

  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmzullo View Post
    Every one tells me to put a check valve every 100 feet.
    No, not everyone. Did you read the sticky at the top of this forum?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmzullo View Post
    P.S. the pump has been working good with no water hammer...
    I strongly suspect that the topside checkvalve broke because of water hammer. You also suspected a leak in the pipe (reported water coming from the 3 inch metal sleave) which could be caused by water hammer.

  6. #6
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I like a checkvalve just at the outlet of the pump to back up some less than perfect ones these days. Better drop a few bucks and get a GOOD one, I think Bennett company has some made just for this. The every 100' you DO NOT want!

    http://www.deanbennett.com/brass-check-valves.htm

    Look at the specialty brass check valves. They have a 1"x1.25" valve that is very unique for pumps.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 09-19-2011 at 12:04 PM.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member mmzullo's Avatar
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    LLigetfa,
    The top check valve had a plastic seat and the spring was broken. The new one was all brass except for the spring. I'll go back over the stickies on top.

    Ballvalve,
    The replacement one was a Bennet.

    I'll keep you posted.

  8. #8
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    There are two things that could have broken the spring in the check valve. Either the water hammer that happens from having more than one check valve in the system, or rapid cycing which is also fixable, or both.

  9. #9
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Or a Chinese spring.

    Anyway, a vertical check valve should not have a spring but rather a nice polished SS ball that rotates and polishes the seat each run. As in a pump cylinder, rod style. Infallible.

    Most pumps seem to use a disc with a retainer, but the ball would be superior.

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