Water flow stops after replacing gould pump


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Old 04-29-13, 02:05 AM
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Water flow stops after replacing gould pump

I had my pump (gould vertical) and foot valve replaced. It seems the pressure from the tap is not as strong as it was with the previous pump even though the new pump is 3/4 horse power and the original was 1/2 horse power. The day after the install I ran my underground irrigation system but soon after I ran them they began to lose pressure and then they stopped water output. Went inside the house and ran the tap, no water there either. I shut down my sprinklers and after a few minutes my water came back. The pump seemed to be working (it was humming along) when I popped the well cover off to check.
The well guy told me that there is a leather piece on the foot valve that needs to soak in the water for a while to create a tight seal between the outside pipe and inside pipe. He said it usually takes only a few hours, but I waited until the next day when I ran the sprinklers.
The bladder tank seemed okay for air pressure when he checked (it was at 28lbs), but he said it looked pretty bad from the outside (calcified and some rust). But no visible leaks, but he said the bottom might be a different story since he couldn't tell as it was sitting in dirt.

The replacement pump and foot valve were both rebuilt with all new parts (according to the well guy). He said he will return to re-adjust the pressure now the leather sleeve has expanded from sitting in the water.

I have a feeling there is another problem though. How can the pump run itself out of water? I fear more issues here and would like some advice.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-29-13, 05:44 AM
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What type of pump & well do you have? You say a Gould vertical pump which makes me think a submersible pump but a foot valve is used when the pump is above ground. Is your pump above ground somewhere or down inside the well? Do you have one pipe or two going down into your well?

The horsepower of the motor does not determine how much pressure you will have. That is determined by the pump attached to the motor and how far it must elevate the water and more directly by how your pressure switch is set. That is easily changed so I would not worry about it for now.

A pump can very easily run a well dry. If you pump water out of the well faster than it enters you will eventually run the well dry. If it sits a while without drawing water the well will recharge. But, if nothing else has changed and you used to run your irrigation from the same well without trouble I would suspect something is going on with the new gear installed in the well.

The foot valve holds the water up in the pipe when the pump turns off so the pump does not have to draw water all the way up from the well and fill the pipe each time it comes on. Generally it's open whenever the pump is running so a good seal is not required.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 05:55 AM
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What is your kick on and off pressures?

As dane states you could be drawing more water then the well can produce now that you installed a bigger pump. A bigger pump will draw more GPM.

But you would probably loose prime..

The only other thing is if the tank has too much air the bladder will collapse on the outlet and stop water flow for a few seconds until the pump can recover and increase the pressure
 
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Old 04-29-13, 06:49 AM
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Hi. Thanks for your response.
Itís actually an above ground pump (inside the well pit with the bladder tank right next to it), and there are two pipes side by side that the pump mounts on. The well water itself is about 35ft down.
The reason why I had it replaced was because of a few reasons. Last snow storm we lost power for a few days. When the power returned I wasnít able to get water into the house and the pump was humming away. The well guy came over to get me going, but to do so he had to pull the pump off the pipes where it was mounted and pour water down the pipes to prime it. So I guess that would be the bad foot valve not holding water up to the pump.

Now fast forward, and a bit of detail I forgot to add and you reminded me, we had our irrigation guy come over to do our Spring activation of our sprinklers last week. Water was not coming out of a few zones so he assumed we needed a water pump. But, he did not run them long enough to run the system out of water like I did. At least it might be safe to assume this if it is indeed the same problem that Iím getting now.
Then when the well guy came over to give us an estimate he pointed out to us that the whole time he was there the pump was running - but we werenít running water anywhere in the house. That explained why our electric bill was through the roof every month! At this point it was pretty clear that I needed a pump. Strange enough, weíve never had an issue of not getting water, and weíve always had decent pressure. Except after the power outage that I mentioned.
After I ran out of water when running the sprinklers, I contacted the well guy that installed the new system and told him what happened. He said itís possible that I just have an air pocket somewhere in the line. And that might also be the reason for the lower than before water pressure at the house taps.
After thinking about this, Iím having a hard time grasping how the water supply is getting depleted because of an air pocket somewhere. All that water has to be going somewhere. And even with an air pocket the max pressure should be reached at some point and shut the pump off, shouldnít it?? Or are we in fact running out of water in our well or maybe have a leak somewhere?
 
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Old 04-29-13, 07:05 AM
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The kick on/off pressure is around 40 and 70 if I remember correctly? The on is definitely around 38-40 though.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 04:10 AM
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Here's an update..I just ran the water from the taps inside my house and it it ran out. So it's nothing to do with my irrigation system.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 04-30-13, 04:40 AM
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So, it sounds like you have a pressure gauge on your water system. It is possible that you have a leak somewhere.

First make sure nothing is using water; no toilets running, no dishwasher or RO water system... Go look at the pressure gauge and note if it's moving or dropping. It may not be immediately evident so turn off the circuit breaker for the pump and come back in an hour and check the gauge again. If it is in the same position then you do not have a leak. If it dropped than that water escaped somewhere either through a leaking foot valve or leaking pipe somewhere.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 04:59 AM
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Thanks Dane! So I check the gauge while there is water in the system, right? Do you suggest I shut off the the water valve to the house (from the pump) as well? The valve is located approx. 75ft away, inside the house.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:08 AM
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First I would leave the valve to the house open. That will help detect a leak anywhere. If the gauge does not move then there are no leaks anywhere. If it does move then I would repeat the test with the valve closed which would indicate on which side of the valve the leak is located.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:15 AM
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Okay, I did what you suggested. Gauge was at 31lbs. with nothing running. I have the valve open and well pump circuit breaker off.

This is very helpful because the well guy is coming over this morning. Now I can tell him what I did thanks to you so he can have this info while he troubleshoots.
Any possibility my well is running dry do you think?
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:46 AM
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Pressure gauge reads zero already. Bladder tank air pressure is 26lbs.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 06:06 AM
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You have a leak. You could now try Dane's test and shut off that valve to the house and do the test again to confirm the leak is in the well or at least on the other side of that valve. Before you do that you will need to reprime the pump and fill up your system with water.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 06:31 AM
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Since the OP said the pump was running and running when the well guy came I would say a leak on the suction side. Also because you lost pressure with everything off.

I think you need to find a new well guy. Your old pump and all was probably all good and you paid him for nothing.

A seasoned well person would of been able to tell what your issue was if he was there.

I think your being taken by this guy... I would want a refund of some sort if it was I.....
 
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Old 04-30-13, 07:22 AM
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I spoke to the well guy on the phone and I explained what I did this morning. He suspects the bladder tank has a leak underneath it. He said it looked rough when he was here working on the system (he even made a comment about it at that time). He was afraid to even touch it. But if that was the cause, would the pump lose prime? I ran it for like 5 seconds just now (without priming) and no water came out of the tap..
 
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Old 04-30-13, 08:02 AM
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I would say it is unlikely that the pump would lose prime if the tank had the leak, so no, I doubt that is your problem.

If you do put a new pressure tank on your system, be sure to put a shut off ball valve between the tank and your entire water system (both to the pump and to the house. One valve will do it). The benefit is not only does it provide an emergency shut off, but if you fill up the tank and want to do some work on your pump side, you can use the water in your tank to reprime the pump with pressure, when you are ready to go.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 11:45 AM
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Second well guy came out.. he recommended a new pump, pull the jet, and replace the foot valve. Ugh..
He said the foot valve was holding the water, but the problem is the water coming out. Could be a bad pump or a restriction (foot valve) coming up.

He ran water from the pump and the volume was very low.
pfff....
 
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Old 04-30-13, 12:26 PM
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I can't see why you would lose pressure when everything is turned off, from a bad pump unless it is leaking and you should be able to see that. I think you have a leak. If the foot valve is working well, then the leak is in the line between the foot valve and the pump. If the pump has lost prime from a leak, turning it on will not produce any significant water, so running the pump and getting no volume does not confirm that your pump is dead.

What I would do, if you have a shut off valve at the pressure tank, is prime the pump and fill the system. Shut of the pump and now shut off the pressure tank valve. Pull the line from the well so that the entire line is visible. Open up the pressure tank and wherever the leak is, it should shoot out some visible water, since it is now under pressure.

If you cannot shut off your pressure tank, then pull the line, prime the pump and put the foot valve into a big garbage can of water and turn on the pump. Let water build pressure in your pressure tank and again, the leak should become visible pretty quickly. Fix the leak, fire the well guys and go on with your day.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 12:34 PM
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If I understand it's about 75 feet from your pump to the house where the shutoff valve is located and I assume that line runs underground. I know it's more work but you can install another shutoff valve right after the pressure tank and before the line leading to the house. If you do the pressure test with that new valve closed you have further narrowed the problem to something between there and the bottom of the well.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 12:42 PM
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If you cannot shut off your pressure tank, then pull the line, prime the pump and put the foot valve into a big garbage can of water and turn on the pump. Let water build pressure in your pressure tank and again, the leak should become visible pretty quickly.
Unfortunately I don't have a shut off valve at the tank. I would have to disconnect it. I would like to try this, but if I pull out the pipe (it's about 40ft.) how do I set it up since everything would be laying on the ground horizontally? And then there is the issues of power to the pump since the wire won't reach outside the well. And also the line from the tank is too short to go outside (but I can buy a longer hose though).

But good idea to eliminate the pipe as the culprit.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 12:54 PM
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When the *new* well guys were here, they disconnected the tank at the pump. Then they ran the pump with a hose connected directly to it and the volume was low. So do you agree the leak is not in the house or in the line from the well to the house? But maybe as a second issue?

My bad earlier when I said I ran the pump after I had it shut off and nothing came out at my faucets in my house. Apparently I didn't let it run long enough because when the well guys showed up and hopped in the well, the pump did not need to be primed. Water came right out when I powered the breaker as they opened the shut off valve attached to the pump. So water was at the pump after losing power for a several hours.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 01:42 PM
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Ill say it again. Low flow and pump running constantly to make pressure denotes a suction pipe leak IMO.

Or the second line going down to the venturi....

You getting air in the lines when you run the water?
 
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Old 04-30-13, 01:49 PM
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Ill say it again. Low flow and pump running constantly to make pressure denotes a suction pipe leak IMO.

Or the second line going down to the venturi....
I'm starting to believe you Seriously though, thanks for your help.
Is there an easier way to test and confirm a leak in the drop pipes aside from OptsyEagle's suggestion?
 
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Old 04-30-13, 01:53 PM
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Disconnect the two lines from the pump. Hook them both together with a barbed tee and gauge/shrader valve. ( Might have to configure something) Pressure test with air to 60 psi. If it does not hold youll have to pull it up.....
 
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Old 04-30-13, 02:09 PM
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You getting air in the lines when you run the water?
Funny you asked. The toilet tank was making air sounds on fill up after the second well guys looked it over today.
No other air sounds that I noticed except when I ran the irrigation the other day which spit and sputtered at the beginning which I think is normal, and then again when the water began to get depleted.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 02:44 PM
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Gauge with a schrader valve, hmm.. I guess that will be my quest for tomorrow first thing. So basically I'll be pressurizing the pump? Is there any risk at all of damage to the pump at 60lbs of pressure?

I have this strange impulsive feeling that when I get up tomorrow, I'll just say screw testing and just buy everything that goes below the pump - pipes, foot valve, everything! And hope that's it..
 
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Old 04-30-13, 03:09 PM
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Can you take pics? We can help you better.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 03:42 PM
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sure! Anything specifically?
 
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Old 04-30-13, 03:45 PM
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Pump , tank, surrounding area.....Close---far....
 
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Old 04-30-13, 04:41 PM
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I'll post it somewhere in the morning when it's light. Thank you sir.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:39 PM
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My bad earlier when I said I ran the pump after I had it shut off and nothing came out at my faucets in my house. Apparently I didn't let it run long enough because when the well guys showed up and hopped in the well, the pump did not need to be primed. Water came right out when I powered the breaker as they opened the shut off valve attached to the pump. So water was at the pump after losing power for a several hour.
When you ran the pump, are you saying that you had a shut off valve that was at the water outlet of the pump, shut off? If this is the case, you would not have got much water out the tap, since any push from the pump was shut off.

Next question. Was the shut off valve, shut off for the several hours that you said water remained in the pump? And does this shut off valve close out the pressure tank from putting pressure on the pump and the line in the well? If this is the case the lack of pressure from the pressure tank and the vacuum created when the water would start to leak out, would prevent the loss of prime.

If the shut off valve you mention is between the tank and pump and was off for the several hours you mentioned, then it does not rule out a leak between the pump and the foot valve.

Please correct my understanding if I am wrong but I still think you have a leak between your pump and foot valve.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:46 PM
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One more thought for a quick fix. The optimum way to fix your problem, if it is a leak between the pump and foot valve is to find the leak and fix it. The band aid fix that would probably solve your problem for 99.9% of the time (if you went away for a month or two you may need to reprime) is to put a check valve just before your pump.

Once you prime the system and run it, the check valve will prevent the water flow, in the other direction, back out the pump, and will shut off the pressure tank to the leak. The vacuum pressure caused by the water that will want to leak back out should keep it from leaking (think about a finger on the top of a straw filled with water, it doesn't leak). It should fix your problem. You will need to ensure you can still prime the line when this check vavle is in place so it will either need a manual bypass (if they have such a thing) or you will need a T just in front of the check valve to allow you to add water to the line.

All the above is based on the idea that you have a leak between the pump and foot valve and I supposed that has not been 100% confirmed, but is something to think about and easy to implement if you cannot find the leak or you are taking the pipe out of the pump anyways.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:47 PM
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Hi OptsyEagle. Apologies, I'm making a habit of making mistakes in my posts (it's been a very long day. Tomorrow will be longer so watch out everyone). It's not a shut off valve. It's actually a spicket that is mounted on the side of the pump. The type you would attach a garden hose or drain the system with. That's where they attached a hose today and I saw the water come out in an arc rather than straight with pressure and volume.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 07:20 PM
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OptsyEagle - thank you for your suggestion. I've been sitting here trying to wrap my head around this, although it does sound like an easy test if I can figure it out completely.

You said to put the check valve just before the pump so the water won't flow out the pump. Do you mean in the pvc pipe below the pump? If so, once in place I don't get how the pump won't run dry because the feed is blocked by the check valve and what prime I did have (above the check valve) would have been expelled? I'm sure I'm confusing something?

Sort of unrelated to the subject, with two drop pipes going down the well, I think I remember which one has the foot valve from watching well guy #1 replace it. He didn't pull out the second pipe, should he of for any reason? Just wondering.

Thanks
 
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Old 04-30-13, 07:31 PM
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He didn't pull out the second pipe, should he of for any reason? Just wondering.
Both pipes should pull out together. Somethings wrong.

Your system should look like this from what you are telling us. ( Possibly a third well guy needs to be called)

I dont understand what you are paying these guys to do? Come run a hose for a few minutes...Chit chat about the weather???

Tell them to bring you coffee and donuts next time.... Ugggg!!!!

 
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Old 04-30-13, 07:58 PM
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Yeah, I'm donating to the plumbers local alright. They seem to be programmed to replace everything instead of testing for the actual defective component.

My system is a little different than that diagram. My pump sits directly on the pipes (SJ10 vertical), and there was only one pipe that attached to the base where the pump mounts on. It has a large rubber gasket or grommet below the mounting base just above where the pvc and base meet. The foot valve is attached to one long pipe (connected in about 3 sections) and there is no 'ejector' as in the pic. So if there was two pipes attached to the pump mount, well guy #1 only grabbed one of them. I did not see him struggle to disconnect anything (like a second pipe) as he got ready to pull.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 08:04 PM
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Although, there was TWO pipe holes in the mounting base the pump sits on!
 
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Old 04-30-13, 08:28 PM
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and there was only one pipe that attached to the base where the pump mounts on.

Well you said this in post 4.


itís actually an above ground pump (inside the well pit with the bladder tank right next to it), and there are two pipes side by side that the pump mounts on.
(" One pipe, two pipe, red fish, blue fish" ) Pics please........
 
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Old 04-30-13, 08:42 PM
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Seems you have a packer system as its called........Im not familiar with this type system that well if so...

Hmmmm. I guess I would be guessing if I was there too.... LOL..

You have the air controller ?


http://www.pumpexpress.com/pumps/pdfs/40188_1.pdf
 
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Old 05-01-13, 03:34 AM
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Hmmmm. I guess I would be guessing if I was there too.... LOL..
lol, you would fit right in over here. Just bring a couple tools for effect

For the air controller, do you mean this doohickey? That's a no. I don't have one of these.
Goulds - pump Waste Water Pumps Accessories - Air Volume Control Complete for Sale

Yes, I believe you're correct and it is a packer system. My setup is similar to page 3 in your document and the foot valve does have the leather packers which were replaced with the valve.
 
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Old 05-01-13, 05:25 AM
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Sorry Jack. I didn't realize you had a 2 line system into the well. I thought it was just one. I guess I missed something in the original description. Forget about the check valve.

I am also not sure now that your leak is even in the well, since it maintained it's prime for a few hours as you say. Now when it did that (maintained it's prime for a few hours) was there water and pressure in the pressure tank. If not then perhaps it is such a small leak that not enough water leaked out for a loss of prime, but when tank pressure is on the system, it does.

Tough to say. I am like lawrosa. I wish I was there because I am pretty sure after a couple of tests I would have the culprit diagnosed pretty quickly and would just fix it, as opposed to just replacing everything. I am curious as to why the well guys don't seem to be able to do this, but again, I am not there.
 
 

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