Will water hammer wreck jet pump?

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New Member
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French Gulch, CA
Hello all,

My new Gould's pump is losing it's prime, either because: 1) I (accidentally) caused water hammer by water-logging the pressure tank, which in turn caused water to spew out between the the two halves of the pump (maybe the mechanical seal?) or 2) the checkvalve in the creek simultaneously went bad or there is a leak in the inlet pipe from the creek.

Which is the more likely cause of the pump losing it's prime after it operates for about 2 minutes? THANK YOU SO MUCH for any advice.

BACKSTORY: I recently replaced my 20-y.o. Gould's 1.5 hp jet pump with a new Gould's 1.5 hp J15S. It is used to draw water out of my creek for irrigation. It worked great until the pipe joint (PVC) directly above the pump expanded and came apart after 20 years of use. I had someone replace the piping and the old pump worked great, although I had to turn it on and off manually because the pressure switch apparently wasn't working properly. Alas, one day I forgot to turn if off and pipes came apart again and the pump overheated.

(I still use the old galvanized pressure tank even though local dealers recommend replacing it with a bladder tank.)


Sprinkler Guy
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Metro NYC
Always suspect a suction leak as a cause for the pump losing its prime. If your galvanized tank gets completely waterlogged, then you can deadhead the pump with a bang. Every other component in the system should be checked or replaced. Pressure switch. Relief valve. Foot valve or other suction-side check valve.

That pump is too expensive to let it suffer because any other part of the water supply is not in top shape.
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