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Thread: My Conundrum

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member esanaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default My Conundrum

    - The water pump started short cycling on monday night... it wasn't very often though (a few seconds every 45 mins of so) ... it was late, I was tired, figured I'd check it out in the morning... so I fell asleep quick.
    - when I woke up the next morning at 7 am the pump was short cycling turning on for 15 seconds at a time and then off for only 2 seconds before it'd start back up again.
    - I switched it off and rushed out to check well cap...
    - the well was dry except for half a foot of water and I could see the foot valve at the bottom. (the well is very shallow, only 15 foot deep)
    - within three or four hours the water was back up near normal levels (5 feet)
    - I began to try and prime the pump to get the water back in...
    - only, the water wouldn't prime and stay in the pump... I must of poured 20 gallons of water into the pump that first night but nothing...
    - although I figured the pump short cycling and the well running dry was due to a leaky toilet somewhere... I began to worry that there was a foot valve issue... how else to explain the water rushing back into the well?
    - so I phoned around, multiple people told me to try to a 'line check' by sticking a check valve on the line to well-line (about 6 six feet from the pump) just before the well-line goes back into the ground
    - I guess the idea is that the check line will bypass any possible foot valve issues by keeping the suction up in the well-line? (like a thumb on the end of drinking straw)
    - I was advised I'd have to prime and reprime dozen of times in order to get the water to move up out of the well to the line check...
    - I did this... and I was able to prime the pump...
    - When I leave it run with the plug loose, the air bubbles gurgle up around the plug as I believe they should... but the bubbles never stop..
    -i even let it run for 40 minutes last night and in the end nothing... just more compressed air to let out.
    - when I run the pump, after an initial spike of of a second or so the pressure never gets past 15psi.
    - I've tried releasing air on the house side by opening taps
    - I've tried draining the air bladder in the tank to kill the back flow.
    ...At this point is seems like there's water coming but I can never get enough pressure...it will dance up to 20psi and then dip back to 15psi

    It's a single line jet pump... there is now a 'line check' about 8 feet on down the well-line from the pump... after the 'line check' the well-line runs horizontal for 70 feet were it drops 10 feet into the well... where there may or may not be a faulty foot valve.

    should I
    - put air back into the tank?
    - just keep at it? It will come?
    - close off the house system?

    going on 3 days... getting desperate... put a call out to some professionals but they're all busy until the weekend.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Lubbock, Texas


    It has probably gotten hot enough to melt the suction pipe that is screwed into the pump. Sounds like you have a suction leak. Probably where the pipe screws into the pump.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member esanaan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    and so that would mean that air is getting sucked in through the melted suction pipe fittings and messing up the prime? it wouldn't just be from possible air left in the well-line?

    - also I just noticed that there's some 'new' condensation in the pressure gauge on the jet pump... I'm guessing that's not good?

    Thanks again for the response Valveman

    Last edited by esanaan; 11-03-2011 at 12:05 PM.

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