Restarting an old well pump, any advice appreciated.

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Samal60

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What all should I check before priming the pump and trying it out?

I have an old well pump in the basement that hasn't been used since the early '80s. The well was drilled in the '50s and the head is buried somewhere in the front yard. Other than a lot of dust, everything looks to be all connected and in good shape, I think the pump and tank were replaced in the late '70s or early '80s. I remember my Father had a lot of trouble priming it to get it working again. I'm hoping I can just prime it and use it for the garden and yard. It would need an iron filtration system to use for the house, but maybe eventually I'll do that.
From what I can tell, nothing needs lubricating and the wiring is in good shape, and I ran the pump for a few seconds to make sure it wasn't seized up.

What I know of the system:
The well is approximately 120 feet down
The pump is a Sears Hydro-Glass Convertible Jet Pump. Model 390-25120. 3/4 hp wired for 120v. If all works well, I'll rewire it for 220v for efficiency.
I downloaded a manual for a similar pump. Judging by the 2" suction and 1.5" drive pipes, the pump is configured for a well 100-300ft deep.
The instructions for priming the pump seemed the same for all similar pumps.
I'm guessing the problem in priming it is that the head of the well is 15'-20' from the pump, so that would have to be filled with about 3 gallons of water.
 

Valveman

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Your problem is going to be the leathers on the packer. If the leathers no longer seal, you won't be able to get it primed. The extra 20' across the yard won't be a problem if the leathers and the foot valve seal off. But if not you will just keep pouring water down the well with no joy. 230V is not more efficient, just able to use smaller wire and easier on the pressure switch.
 

Samal60

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Okay, so I won't do any damage by just priming it and trying it out, but if the leathers don't seal, the whole thing will have to come up to replace the packer and foot valve at least. Thank you for the response.
 

Valveman

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If it doesn't take a prime, just don't let it run for more than about 5 minutes or it will get hot. With a little work, hopefully the leathers will seal. You can also try pulling it up or down a bit, which will sometimes put the leathers in a new spot on the casing where they will fit tighter.
 
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