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Thread: Pump won't draw water

  1. #1

    Default Pump won't draw water

    Okay, here's my situation....

    I recently had to move the pump in my basement to another section of the basement to accommodate some home renovations. The pump worked fine, everything was okay, it was just in an awkward location. It's now in the laundry room, and in order to move it, of course I had to cut the copper pipe leading away from it and disconnect the flexible pvc pipe leading into it. The pump isn't that old (about ten years or so, I guess) and it's small enough that I could just pick it up and carry it over to its new home. I then reconnected the copper and pvc pipes, making certain to fill the pvc pipe back up with water first. Then I unscrewed the bolt at the top which lets you pour water in and did exactly that until it spilled over. Then I put the bolt back on, plugged the pump back in, and it started, but the pressure gauge stayed at zero. I turned the pump back off after about 15 seconds for fear of wearing out the motor. I've repeated the last part, refilling with water over and over again with the same result.

    The pump is connected to a shallow well outside about 20 feet away from the house. Everything worked fine before I moved it, so I've eliminated anything outside as the cause. I don't know if I shook something loose or what, and I'm reluctant to keep plugging the pump back in for fear of motor damage. Does anyone have any idea of what's going on?

  2. #2

    Default

    perhaps you created a trap in the feeder line that has air in it.

    15 seconds might not be enough time to get started. The pump can run longer without damage.

    You can add a nipple to that input port where the plug is - say up 18" or more and fill it with water - see if that helps to prime it.

    Check for suction leaks in your new work.

    How far, how much higher is the new pump location?

  3. #3

    Default

    The pump is now closer to the well than it was before, and it's at the same elevation. I can let the pump run longer, but I'm concerned about the cumulative effect of multiple failed attempts. Also, the needle in the pressure gauge doesn't budge at all. In fact, if it wasn't for the little pin in the gauge's "clock" that holds it at 0, I think it'd fall to "6 o'clock". If I saw it move a little, I'd be inclined to let it run a lot longer, but as I say, it doesn't move at all.

    I have the valve on the copper pipe leading to the rest of the house turned off, too, in order to build up pressure. In fact, before the valve there's a spigot to help drain the line, and after turning off the pump, I've opened it up to see if there actually is water in the pump in case the gauge is broken, but nothing comes out. The whole thing has got me perplexed.

  4. #4
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    Default

    If you fill the pump and leave the plug out while turning on the pump. The water should gush out of the hole. If not, your impeller is broken. If it does gush, put in some more water, put the plug in a few turns and turn the pump on. The air in the line should bubble out of the threads until the pump catches a prime.

    bob...

  5. #5

    Default

    Yeah, it was air further back in the hose. I unscrewed the plug on top, plugged in the pump, then kept pouring water in the hole. Every so often it would shoot up like Old Faithful, but eventually I noticed the pressure needle going up, so I screwed the plug back in and the pump primed.

    Now I have a new problem. The hose leading into the pump will not stop leaking. It's just steady drip, drip, drip, no matter what I do. I've tightened the adapter which connects it to the pump. I've taken off the plastic ring which is under the adapter and on the hose and put it back on again, both frontwards and backwards. I've used plumber's tape on the threads and plumber's putty around the seam between the adapter and the hose. Nothing that I do can stop the drip.

    Any suggestions?

  6. #6

    Default

    Its a hose on a barbed adapter? shorten the hose, put in a new brass adapter and good quality hose clamp. I dont get what this "plastic ring" is?

    replace the entire hose section with clear poly nylon reinforced hose - gives you a visual on the water inlet. I would add a union also - nothing worse than trying to remove flexible hose from barbed fittings.

    Also, I am seeing many chinese pipe fittings [nipples especially] that are not of the correct thread diameter. I measure more than 10 - 20 mil undersize on some and of variable quality - I have had them blow off of water heater copper connector female fittings. Chinese plot to undermine our society.

  7. #7

    Default

    Everything here is flexible black plastic - no brass in sight. The hose has a plastic ring/washer around it, then a female threaded black plastic cap goes on the end of the hose. The cap then threads onto a male plastic outlet on the pump itself. When you tighten the cap, it's supposed to put pressure on the ring/washer, plus hold the hose onto the well. All of this is supposed to make for a tight join. Instead, somehow water is leaking out. I figured that the ring/washer was damaged, so replaced it with a new one, but that didn't work, either. When the pump was in its original location it didn't leak at all, so it shouldn't leak here, either, considering that I'm using the same parts.
    Last edited by jacktripper; 10-25-2006 at 05:14 AM.

  8. #8
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    You obviously have poly pipe. What this fitting your describing is; get rid of it and go with a metal barb fitting and one or two hose clamps. Warm the pipe before pushing it onto the barb fitting. Then quickly tighten the clamps while the pipe is still warm. No more fittings than absolutely necessary in a suction line. You already know how many problems you had with just one. Why add to the problems with more fittings?

    bob...

  9. #9

    Default

    That sounds like the way to go. I've got it down to a slow leak now, but if it doesn't stop on it's own, that's what I'll do.

    Thanks!

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