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Thread: Will this shallow well Jet pump setup work?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member tuckerdog's Avatar
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    Default Will this shallow well Jet pump setup work?

    Presently I have a shallow well jet pump setup to a foot valve where we get water from the lake. For use in the winter there is a heat-line running down the PE tubing to the foot valve. We use the cottage occassionally in the winter and my goal is to turn off the heat-line when we leave. Presently it is running 24-7 in a small heated pump room.

    Knowing I have to empty the line of water prior to turning off the heat-line to prevent freezing and splitting of the pipe. I want to remove the foot valve and replace it with a check valve. The check valve would be 1 foot from the jet pump. Then I would add a valve to allow air to enter to release the water down the slopping PE tube. Then the heat line adaptor, then the PE tubing to the lake.

    So the order would be Jet pump, 1 foot down the PE tubing a check valve, T junction with a valve to allow air into the PE tube, then the heat-line adaptor, then 60ft (10ft elevation) down slope to the lake.

    I would then attach a Guzzler hand pump to the T junction to pump air into the PE tubing to push the water out of the bottom of the tube or atleast so it is under the ice and won't freeze.

    On needing to reprime the system I would take the Guzzler hand pump, attach it the pump and pull the water up the PE tubing and into the jet pump.


    My concern is regarding the check valve holding the vacuum (prime) or disrupting the jet pump somehow.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    I believe it will work. Just makes it harder to get and keep a prime, because your pipe will be held full of water by a vaccuum instead of positive pressure. One tiny leak below that check valve and it won't work.

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerdog View Post
    My concern is regarding the check valve holding the vacuum (prime) or disrupting the jet pump somehow.
    Not to put too fine a point on it, but once the pump is operational, the checkvalve would actually be holding the full tank pressure plus whatever vacuum exists on the other side.

    If the air leaks out of the Winterized pipe, the water will fill it to the lake level where it can still freeze. There are automatic drainback submersible systems that heat trace only near the surface water level.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member tuckerdog's Avatar
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    Are you suggesting the check valve would most likely fail do the full tank pressure and the vacuum stress on the valve? If it can hold, the only worry is if the vacuum is lost thru air leakage. Worst case scenario is I have to replace the PE pipe at the waters edge.

    Presently, I presume it is rated for 75 psi. What if it was swapped out for a 160 psi PE tube. I presume it is a thicker, hardier pipe that could possibly resist cracking if water did enter the pipe (or at least a better chance)?

    I know of the submersible systems that drain back but I am trying to work with what I got (trying to be frugal since the present set up works, just trying to lower the electric bill for when I am not using it).

    Thanks for your help though.

  5. #5
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerdog View Post
    Are you suggesting the check valve would most likely fail...
    Not at all. A checkvalve usually holds better under higher pressure.

    75 PSI rated poly is for sprinkler systems and not intended to hold full system pressure. It would probably be fine as long as it is not run where water damage could result.

  6. #6
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I would use 200 psi poly, which rarely breaks when frozen, and blow it out with air all the way to the pump or footvalve and leave it under about 80 psi with a gauge to monitor leakage - see the other thread going on here about the same thing.

    You could also fill the line with some cheap vodka and have a party on the first pumping of the year.

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