shallow well pump help.

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Old 03-25-14, 08:31 PM
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shallow well pump help.

I just bought a foreclosed property that was winterized.

I am having trouble with the water, there is a shallow well pump and 7 gallon tank in the lower level plumber to a shallow well tile.

It was supposedly winterized, but at some point it appears someone kicked the pump on, as it was humming when we went in for a final inspection.

When I turned the water on there was maybe 20 psi in the tank which dumped into the house plumbing, and ran but did not refill.

The pump runs and shaft spins.

I started by repriming etc, and graduating to disconnecting from the well line to eliminated outside freezing problems, and connected the pump to a short line with a foot valve in a ten gallon tank of water. When primed with the line full it sucks minor amounts and shows about 7 psi. It never gets above that or shuts off.

Pump toasted?
Other troubleshooting I should try before buying another?

When I ran it without a foot valve ans shut if off, a large amount of rust came back out.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 08:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If you stuck the inlet side of the pump into a container of water and it did not pump it out in seconds..... it sounds like the pump is gone.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 10:09 PM
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I figured that, but was not sure if I was missing something, any recommendations on what to replace it with? I have been looking at pump reviews, and frankly a lot of them seem pretty bad.

also I am thinking I should go with a separate pump and a larger pressure tank to reduce cycling and extend pump life?
 
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Old 03-26-14, 06:03 AM
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I am confused by the second sentence of your first post where you say "plumber to a shallow well tile". Is your pump discharging into something? I'm trying to figure out if you have a non-standard system.

I assume your pump has a single hose going to the well (shallow well) and not two hoses (deep well jet). If that's the case it's very possible the pump will need replacing. As for what brand to get I tend to avoid store brands carried buy the big box home centers but even they can have a good long life under the right circumstances. Minimizing on/off cycling and clean, clear water will go a long way to helping a pump last a long time.

I'm not sure what you mean in your last pump when you ask about a separate pump. Your house should work fine with just one pump. I would replace the 7 gallon pressure tank as that's incredibly small. It's almost impossible to go too big on a pressure tank so it's mostly a matter of size (how big can you fit in the space) and money (how much do you want to spend). The larger the pressure tank the fewer times the pump will have to cycle on and off which will help extend it's life.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 09:02 AM
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In my second post I meant to type larger tank rather then pump.

The well is a single 3/4 line to a 3' diameter well tile. with the water level a couple feet below pump level and about 40' horizontal distance.

I definatley need to pull the line from the well and shorten it, the old foot valve is touching the sand base.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 12:14 PM
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hmm further question:

The pump is currently at the end of the house nearest the well but opposite all the plumbing in the house, and the mechanical area at the other end is a place I would much rather have something that could leak where the washer already is, and the water heater will be, (seperate 10 x 16 addition with a lower slab level)

Am I likley to have any other issues if I move the pump there(adding about 30-40 foot horizontal to the suction distance?)
 
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Old 03-26-14, 12:48 PM
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More horizontal distance will not cause any problem.

You want to make sure that the pressure switch (probably on the pump) is within 5 or 6 feet of the pressure tank.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 02:03 PM
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Is it possible that the foot-valve/strainer is clogged ?

I'm in Real Estate and deal with a lot of dwellings that have been shut down for a while. Your mentioning that the check-valve is touching the sandy bottom of the shallow well may mean that it has drawn in any algae or other organic material that was happening by the inlet over the past few months, or however long it was in foreclosure.

I happen to live in a similar climate and have a 1834 house that is serviced by a shallow well/pump configuration similar to what you've acquired, and we have to schedule a visit to scrub the strainer and punch out the holes in it once every 2 or 3 years to avoid problems such as yours.

When we bought the place, the foot valve had rusted off a galvanized pipe and we were drawing in the algae as well as frogs and salamanders and stuff like that, and their parts would get as far as the faucet strainer. Now we have a filter installed BEFORE the pump.

I just hope that your pump hasn't damaged itself trying to draw water from a pipe that may be blocked. Too bad it's still too cold to dive down there and investigate.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 03-26-14 at 02:08 PM. Reason: passed ≠ past
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Old 03-26-14, 02:13 PM
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It is quiet possible the old foot valve is clogged, or the line frozen at the wellhead, which is why I disconnected it to run off a tub of water with a new foot valve as a trouble shooting method.

The more I think about it, I think I will just run a new line along the floor behind drywall to the other end of the level and get all the mechanicals together, where it is right now if the pump seals etc fail it floods the whole first level of the house (split level)and it opens up the room to be used as a pantry.

I assume I will need to use PVC or copper as PEX does not work with suction right?
 
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Old 03-26-14, 02:36 PM
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I used a 500' roll of 1" black polyethylene pipe which is rated for both pressure and vacuum; but my well is over 400 feet away. I had to replace the whole line when the galvanized pipe rusted through and I started sucking air/rust/soil one winter. No couplings or unions.
 
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