2 Line Jet Pump Loses Pressure and Volume/Takes 1 Hr to Recover. Please Help


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Old 04-14-13, 01:57 PM
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2 Line Jet Pump Loses Pressure and Volume/Takes 1 Hr to Recover. Please Help

Hello,
I am new to the forum so thank you in advance for any help. I have a 2 line jet pump in my crawl space that I was told by a plumber is not a shallow system. It had a new pressure tank and pump as of 8 years ago. The well is about 30 years old.

If I run the water, at first I have about 40 psi which is fine for outside use but after just a minute or two the water stops all together. It reduces to just drops. If I turn it off the pump takes an hour to recover and turn off. The pumps comes on at around 25-28 psi and turns off around 38-40 psi. The pressure tank has just under 25 psi in it. I am wondering if I could have a bad ejector or something.

The old pump had low pressure but the volume was ok. The old tank was water logged. Once I had this newer pump and tank installed, the pressure was better but only at the start of each use, then it would drop off. A few years ago the town made me convert to city water but I was allowed to keep my well for outside use. I turn the valve off to the outside hose bibs and drain them in the winter and every spring the pump still has pressure and doesn't turn back on until I open the valves outside. The problem is that last year and this year the performance has dropped drastically.

Thank you very much
 
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Old 04-17-13, 06:43 AM
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Anybody? Did I post this in the wrong place?
 
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Old 04-17-13, 09:47 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

No....you posted in the right place. I don't think most people, myself included, are really well versed in deep well systems with a two line jet pump.

Do you know how deep the well is ?
Do you know how far down the ejector is ?

Your system is holding the prime during the winter so that removes underground leaks in the pipes as a problem.

I was looking at some specs on this type of system and it looks like 100' is close to the limit. I'm assuming you have 2" lines to the ejector. According to the performance chart at one manufacturer..... the delivery in GPM is based on depth of well. They also went on to say that the ejector needs to be matched to the pump it's connected to and that they both should be installed as a matched pair.
 
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Old 04-18-13, 05:47 AM
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So, is this a summer cottage since it sit's all winter holding pressure?

The minute or two of water you get is probably coming from the pressure tank. When it's empty you loose all or most of your water.

I had a similar problem with an irrigation well I once had. It sat all winter without being used and every spring I had to pull the ejector up and clean the venturi. Sitting all winter the cast iron ejector and pump would rust. Flakes of rust would break off and mostly clog the venturi greatly killing it's efficiency to the point it would put out almost no water. I would have to repeat this a couple times when I started up the system until the rust flakes were worked out of the system. Once I did that it would run the rest of the summer without trouble.

I suppose if you had a barrel full of water you could pull the well and stick the ejector end in the water and run the pump, disassemble & clean the ejector and repeat as needed without having the trouble of repeatedly pulling the well.
 
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Old 04-19-13, 04:49 AM
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Thank you for the replies! This well is supposedly 40-60 ft. It was never great as far as pressure goes but it did it's job. I am wondering if the venturi is clogged. It is not a summer cottage but my year round house. Since I was forced to connect to the city water system for my inside water supply this well is now only used for irrigation. I am just about to start my vegetable gardens and need the well to work. I have no idea how to find the location of the well itself, as the well pump is in the crawl space under my house but the lines go under the block foundation and then who knows where. I guess I would have to dig until I found it?
 
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Old 04-19-13, 04:53 AM
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You should have some type of well head in the yard. A piece of steel or concrete pipe or a cap should be visible though I have seen them get buried. Worst case would be that it was a dug well. They often had the piping enter the well a reasonable distance underground and almost never used pitless adapters which means someone has to go down the hole to unhook the pipes. Definitely something I would NOT do.
 
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Old 04-19-13, 05:26 AM
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I know that this type of well in my neighborhood does get buried to some degree. I am just not sure where to dig to start looking for it and then what to do once I find it. Most of the plumbers and well guys around here only know the deep well submersible systems and not these at all.
 
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Old 04-19-13, 05:30 AM
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I wonder if I could reverse flush the well by unhooking the lines at the pump and running a hose from my cold washing machine supply inside which has 70 psi from city water and then try to flush?
 
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Old 04-19-13, 06:01 AM
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Back flushing never worked for me. The venturi has a taper so debris can get wedged in there pretty good. After I disassembled to the assembly I had to pick at it to get the chunks out.

One way to find the well is to start where you know the line is. Usually where it goes through the basement or foundation wall. Dig a hole outside until you find it. You should be able to see if it starts to curve or go straight. Then dig another hole about 10 feet away and hopefully find it again and keep going until you hit the well.

Another trick is to use a long thin, smooth steel rod as a probe. You can check with a tool rental store to see if they have one for rent. Then you start poking it down in your yard until you find something.
 
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Old 04-19-13, 10:42 AM
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Good information. Thank you.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 05:40 PM
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Well, after hours of digging multiple holes, we found the well. We pulled it up (about 55 feet of well pipe) and found that the two lines go to a venturi type thing and then a single line goes another 15 feet or so from there. Just as you said, there was heavy sediment clogging this cylinder type pickup screen. We cleaned it thoroughly and put everything back together. Once all finished, we got the pump to prime and for some reason the problem still exists. The pump will drop to 0 psi if you run the water for a short time but as soon as you turn the water off, the pressure builds to 30 psi fairly quickly and then from there takes a very long time to get to 40 psi which is where the pump kicks off.

Does this sound like a bad pump too? I am thinking maybe the pump was running dry from the clogged pickup and that possibly damaged the pump.

Any thoughts?
 
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Old 04-24-13, 05:58 PM
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Did it pick up the prime pretty quickly ?

If it did that would suggest pump is okay and you still have a pick up problem.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 06:13 PM
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It did prime fairly quickly. I had to connect a hose from my inside city water to the outside hose bib which is connected to the well pump. I let the pressure build and turned the pump on then opened the other hose bib slowly and let the pump start to work but it is still running and that was an hour and a half ago. It just wont build pressure over a certain point for a real long time. The only other thing I can think of is that maybe somehow the ejector or venturi whatever its called, is also clogged? But it is at least 15 feet higher up than the pickup. I guess I shouldnt have backfilled the hole. We are expecting rain.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 06:48 PM
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The venturi could definitely clogged.
 
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Old 04-24-13, 09:08 PM
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the 2 pipes go to the jet assembly, sounds like a 15' tailpipe on the bottom of the assembly. on that jet assembly, the center pipe (usually 1.25") you have to unscrew that pipe and separate the pipe form the jet assembly.. be careful, there is a venturi tube 6" or so long inside that pipe thats screwed into the jet... so carefully slide the pipe from over the tube. unscrew the venturi tube, underneath it is the jet nozzle (what creates the pressure). make sure the nozzle is ok (i've seen plastic ones crack in the threads) and make sure the hole is open. reassemble and install.

this is only assuming the pump produces plenty of water under 30psi. if it pumps plenty but struggles after 28-30, its usually the jet.
 
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Old 04-25-13, 06:05 AM
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Thank you all again for the replies. The pump finally shut off after a long time. To clarify, there is almost no water volume or pressure once the expansion tank is empty. It trickles out. Then if you wait it will build up to 30 psi in a min or two but if you use the water it will go back to a trickle after a few seconds since the pressure tank wasn't full yet.
 
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Old 04-27-13, 03:38 PM
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OK, so I pulled the well apart again and this time dis-assembled the jet assembly and thoroughly cleaned the nozzle, venturi, etc. Put it all back together and it works a little better but still not as it should. If I shut the water off before the pump completely drops pressure, it builds up again in about 20 mins. And I now get more water before the pressure drops. One thing that I did was checked the pressure in the pressure tank and it was set at 38 psi. There is a sticker on the tank that says the pressure should be set to 1-2 psi less than pump cut on pressure which for me is around 26 psi.

I also noticed that the pressure tank is a vertical tank that the well guy has installed horizontally since it is too tall. Can the tank still operate properly this way?

Aside from that I am wondering if it is just that the pump cannot produce any loner or if it was ever the right pump to begin with. I was finally able to get some info off of it. It's a Goulds 1/2 hp 2 line jet pump.

So just to recap, right now if I go run the water, I get a good 5 mins out of it until the pump comes on. Once it does I get another 1-2 mins and then it drops to nothing, almost as if the pump loses its prime. If I stop the water as soon as the pump comes on, it will build back up before too long (maybe 5 mins) but if I keep running the water for another min after the pump kicks on, but before down to 0 it will recover in about 20 mins. If I run it to 0, 1 hr to recover.

Thanks again for any input.
 
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Old 04-27-13, 03:45 PM
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It almost sounds like your pump is the issue.

Drawing water for 5 minutes before pump comes on sound pretty good.
Make sure the system pressure is at 0 PSI before measuring tank air pressure.
 
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Old 04-27-13, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for the reminder. I don't think I did it at 0 psi this time. I guess I will have to buy a pump. I checked the local stores and all I see are the flowtec pumps. The only one that they stock for a deep well application is a 1 hp. I hope that it isn't too much of a pump for my well.
 
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Old 04-28-13, 05:19 PM
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i would bet against it being the pump. those old goulds pumps are top notch (and super easy to rebuild or work on), you cant buy anything better.. especially a junk flotec or anything from a big box store.

i think its a well problem. not producing enough water. you havent told us much about the well. 2"? steel pipe? is it a screened well? if so the screen may be clogged up.
 
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Old 04-28-13, 05:36 PM
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Not sure if the well is screened or not. It is a 4" casing and I measured things this time. It is 25' to the jet assembly then there is a 25' tail pipe to the foot valve. The well produced much better volume with the old pump but not much pressure. Ever since this used pump was installed by the well guy, it always ran out of volume and pressure eventually but was still totally usable, as it took a long time and we could do most things without that happening. The only thing wrong with the old pump was that it was rusted out.

I took a 50' garden hose and used it as a dipstick when I pulled the well up this time and there was at least 15 ft' of water on it and I didn't get all the way down in the hole to measure. I just wanted to see if there was any water. I know that this might not tell us much.

Is it possible that the impeller is just worn out?
 
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Old 04-29-13, 05:37 AM
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maybe, the fact it finally does get to desired cutout pressure makes me think its probably ok, but who knows. not very difficult to take the pump apart and check it all out. remove 4 main bolts, undo switch line. carefully pull motor/motor plate strait back from the pump head (dont crack the diffuser). careful with the white gasket (reuse it). you should see a black plastic diffuser on the motor side with 3 screws, remove them... behind it is the impeller. make sure it looks ok and isnt clogged or split. dont overtighten when reassembling.

i still wonder if the well is pulling down/ low producing. that would be a good reason to install a 25' tailpipe under the jet assembly, because you cant pull water form deeper than 25' under the jet... so it can pull down but shouldnt ever suck air and lose prime. be curious to know if you can fill the well up with water hose/hoses and see how many gallons per minute it will take when full to the top... this will be how many gpm it will produce.

if its a 4" well and assuming its ok, i wouldnt be bothering with a jet pump. get a good 1/2hp 10gpm submersible pump and be done with it. as you are finding out, deepwell jet pumps can be a big pita. good luck.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 03:57 PM
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Thank you. The pump does seem pretty simple to take apart. I will do that in a day or two.

I was thinking, what if I run it out of water and then turn the power off to pump, wait a few hours or over night, and see if it recovers right away when I turn it back on? Will that tell me if the well just isn't refilling fast enough?

Also, how high up should I have water in the well?
 
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Old 04-29-13, 08:15 PM
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just make sure tank is either unhooked or empty with precharge before you test so you're not getting fooled by the tank storage. might try it a couple times before taking apart the pump. that should tell you something, good idea.

i dont know what the water level in the well is, it varies everywhere. if you pull out everything, let it sit for a while and measure. string and a weight. while you're at it measure how deep the well is. if nothing else, maybe you could lower the jet assembly and get more of the water stored in the well.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 04:39 AM
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I ran it out of water again and let it sit overnight. I turned the breaker on and the pump is taking a long time just like usual. I assume that once the pressure is gone from my outside garden hose, that the pressure tank is out of water also. I hope this assumption is correct. It almost seems like the only pressure I get is from the tank and once that is empty, there is no pressure at all. The pump takes an hour just to refill the pressure tank? Please forgive any misunderstandings I have with this, for a week or two ago I knew almost nothing about this well. I am just learning this stuff.

As for measuring, unfortunately, I had to fill the pit back in again as we were expecting a lot of rain, and the yard is sloped and my dirt would have washed away. I should have gotten the numbers off of the jet assembly, nozzle, and venturi to see if it is even compatible with this pump. Everything I read says that they have to be matched and most new pump instructions want you to replace the jet assembly with one matched for the pump.
 
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Old 05-03-13, 05:58 AM
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I think I figured it out. It is the well. It seems that the well screen is clogged just as the foot valve was. The pump is a little worn but not badly enough to cause this issue. The more times I run the pump in a row the worse the output is, as if I am pulling down the water in the well. If I let it sit and give it time to fill back up then the pump shuts off faster.

Now the question is, how do I clean up the well screen if possible at all?
 
 

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