Shallow Well Pump Question


Old 03-08-09, 06:24 PM
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Shallow Well Pump Question

I bought a house that has a Well Pump. It is in FL, so I assume it is a shallow well system. It connects to 2 spigots, but more important it runs the water for a Water Cooled Heat Pump. I am very handy, but know nothing about well systems. The system has a small expansion tank on the suction line. I have a couple of question. First to get the pump to run I had to prime the pump and then the next day I had to prime the pump again. I would imagine there is a check valve at the bottom of the suction line to keep water in the system, but maybe it is leaking. On the suction side there is a 1.25" PVC pipe going into the ground. I was going to cut the suction line a few inches above where it goes into the ground and see if the water in the line remains there overnight. If not I was thinking I would replace the check valve. My first question is how would one replace the Check Valve. I have not started to dig to see what I have yet. Do they normally run a PVC pipe inside another pipe. I hope they did not dig and just put in this PVC pipe. Is so how does one get the pipe out?? The other question I had is what turns the pump off. I read that the cut-in pressure should be set 2 psi less than the tank pressure and the cut-out 20 psi or so above the cut-in. But I do not see any pressure requlator that would turn on and off the pump. Is the cut in and cut out built into the pump?? The home was bank owned, so no previous owner around to ask about the system.

Thanks in advance,

Old 03-09-09, 08:31 AM
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First of all, there shouldn't be a tank on the suction side of the pump. The only thing on the suction of a pump is a check/foot valve.
Is there a small box on the side of the motor where the electrical enters the motor. If so, that could be a pressure switch. It's also possible that the heat pump unit starts and stops the pump as needed.
There should be a foot/checkvalve on the suction side of the pump. It could be right before the pump or down in the well.
You might try using a small metal rod, pushing it into the ground, to locate the line going to the well. It may be possible to "follow" the line to the well.
Old 03-09-09, 08:49 AM
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I can tell you from experience (Florida) replacing the foot valve is a PITA. Replaced some of my well plumbing couple of months ago. Among other things my well was deeper than I thought and yanking 50' of pvc up out of the hole was lots of fun, but I was messing with the wellhead anyway so I figured might as well fix the leaky footvalve. To get it all out (and the new pipe in) I used a u-clamp and piece of angle iron to anchor the pipe as I pulled it up. Every ten feet or so i would cinch down the clamp and cut the pipe. Same method for putting the new pipe in. I had done a work-around quite a while back when I was having the lost prime problem. The run from the well to the pump is about 30' so what I did was install a simple check valve above ground near the wellhead. That way even though the leaky foot valve would drain water between it and the above ground check valve, when the pump would cycle, the water in the 30' feet of pipe would serve to prime the pump sufficiently to get things flowing.

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