backflow valve on well pump

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  #1  
Old 06-23-02, 08:55 PM
Mark B
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backflow valve on well pump

Hello- I'm trying to reactivate an old pump for a well on my property that hadn't been used for a few years. The well is strictly used for irrigation. I had an irrigation system specialist come by and take a look at it, and he's perplexed that there seems to be a backflow check valve on the intake pipe right where it enters the pump. He couldn't prime the system because of this, and said he's never seen anything like this before. The system doesn't use a pressure tank but instead has a relay system.

My question: is this part of the design for a relay-triggered pump system? I'm ready to pull the intake pipe off and take this valve off (assuming there is a foot valve at the bottom), but want to make sure that this would be the right thing to do. The irrigation system guy told me to retain this relay system if possible and not to replace it with a pressure tank system, since it is more reliable and the pump won't continuously cycle when in use. So, has anyone had experience with something like this? This is the first well and pump I've ever dealt with, so I have no model for comparison. Thanks to all who respond.

Mark
 
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  #2  
Old 06-23-02, 09:00 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Cool

Do a search in here on wells and pumps until the resident expert, Ron (Pumpman) Peeks comes along.
In the meantime, visit Ron's site at www.peekspump.com and another excellent site on irrigation wells and pumps at www.jessstryker.com .
Good luck!
Mike
 
  #3  
Old 06-24-02, 08:14 AM
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Backflow valve on well pump

Hi,
Many irrigation systems use self priming pumps, which have a built in checkvalve. I suspect that the built in valve may haved failed at some point and the solution was to install an external checkvalve. It would serve the same purpose, but as you found out, makes priming the pump more difficult.
I would pull the suction line out and install a new footvalve on the end of the line, especially if there is some distance between the water level in the well and the pump.
Even if the pump isn't self priming, a new footvalve is a good idea.
I think it's important to keep the suction line full of water to facilitate priming of the pump. Many more of todays pumps use plastics in the wet end. When a pump loses prime, it will circulate the water inside the pump housing until it becomes hot enough to damage the plastics, leading to a costly repair bill.
A checkvalve (or footvalve) is used regardless of whether a pressure tank is used, or the pump is started through relays.
Good luck,
Ron Peeks
R.L. Peeks Pump Sales
www.peekspump.com
 
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Old 06-24-02, 08:01 PM
Mark B
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Thanks to both of you for your advice. I've looked at all the other postings and the web sites and learned a bit about these systems. Seems most of them do use a pressure tank, but I'll stick with the relay system in place now if it is effective. I do intend to pull the intake pipe and install a new foot valve, which I understand keeps the intake primed by shutting closed to keep the pipe from draining when the pump shuts off. If I did this, should I take out that check valve,which is positioned just before entering the pump? If not, how in heck do I prime that intake without burning out the pump while waiting for it to pull up water from 12-15 ft. down? Appreciate your help and your knowledge.
 
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Old 06-24-02, 10:26 PM
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backflow valve on well pump

Mark,
Yes, remove the checkvalve that's installed next to the pump. You won't need it with the footvalve.
Glad Mike & I could help.
Ron Peeks
R.L. Peeks Pump Sales
www.peekspump.com
 
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