Restarting a well pump after ten years

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Old 06-27-16, 06:45 PM
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Restarting a well pump after ten years

Here's where I'm at. My well pump lost it's prime and cracked awhile back and I never got around to either fixing the system or having it fixed in the meantime. I decided today was the day so I pulled the pump (which was repaired) out of the garage and tried hooking it up. It was taken off by someone else so I wasn't sure how to reassemble but I winged it and got the pump up and running. The only question I have is where does the ground attach to?

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So here is the rest of the setup...

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Once I have everything hooked up, minus the ground wire, I opened the valve going into the tank and then turned the pump on, thinking the residual water would help to prime the pump. It seemed to be drawing water but I ran it for 5-10 minutes and all the tank seemed to do was gurgle without actually filling. I tried opening some of the outdoor faucets hooked up to the well water line and nothing happened...no water, no air, nothing. I also closed the valve going out of the tank thinking maybe it needed to build pressure somehow, but it just kept gurgling without filling. What am I doing wrong?

Also, the tank says it should be recharged with a compressor but I don't see anyplace to do that or even a gauge to read what the pressure is.
 
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Old 06-27-16, 07:01 PM
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Your pressure switch is wired in BX and the armor is the ground.
See if there is a screw on that pressure switch that you can connect the ground wire to.

It may be time to replace the pressure switch as the new ones have a ground screw if yours doesn't.

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That doesn't look like a bladder type tank. It has recharge instructions on it but I can't read them. Usually with a bladderless tank.... you empty the tank of water and then restart the pump. The air will be trapped in the tank.

You may have a problem picking up the prime. There is a foot valve in the bottom of the well that closes when the pump isn't running to keep the line full of water. Normally you'd remove that plug from the top of your pump and fill the system with water.

However, I see a check valve directly attached to your pump. You could still try adding some water but the main line going into the well will probably not get filled.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 06-27-16 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 06-27-16, 07:33 PM
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I found what I think is the drain valve:

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Now when you refer to the check valve, are you referring to this?

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Also, I found another small leak on the intake line. I hit it with some waterweld and hopefully it will take. I'll have to give it time to set and go back at it tomorrow.

I tried taking video of the system running so you can see and maybe hear the noises it's making.

https://youtu.be/1YdZt--pOwQ I'll post the tank instructions shortly.
 
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Old 06-27-16, 07:37 PM
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There can't be any leaks in the intake side or it'll never pick up a prime.
In the picture is the brass check valve.

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Old 06-28-16, 03:39 AM
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When you say that your "pump lost its prime and cracked", is that because it was allowed to freeze ?

I ask because if that''s true, there could have be other components which were damaged by frost.
 
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Old 06-28-16, 05:11 AM
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In a system like this what practical difference does it make having the check valve at the pump vs. at the bottom of the well vs. somewhere in between? I always see mention of foot-valves, but putting the check valve in a more accessible place would make things a whole lot easier, provided it works just as well.
 
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Old 06-28-16, 05:27 AM
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You need a check valve at the bottom of the well, either a foot valve for jet pump systems or a check valve for submersible systems (usually built in to sub. pumps). Otherwise the water column will try to drain when the pump shuts off, just due to gravity, which will cause priming problems for jet pumps and if there is also no check valve at the pressure tank, will draw down the pressure tank.
 
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Old 06-28-16, 05:48 AM
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You need a check valve at the bottom of the well
So, in the system being discussed in this thread, Is it safe to assume there is foot valve down in the well, in addition to the check valve at the pump?

With a jet pump, how hard and fast is the rule about a foot valve? Lifting water 20 feet, would a check valve 5 feet from the bottom likely work in place of a foot valve? Ten feet?
 

Last edited by Sped2001; 06-28-16 at 06:17 AM.
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Old 06-28-16, 08:24 AM
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You ideally want a foot valve at the bottom of your well. It's job is to keep the pipe full of water right to the pump for quick priming.

When that foot valve no longer holds..... a check valve is installed top side. It is not the preferred system repair but it saves pulling the well head up.
 
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Old 06-29-16, 05:21 AM
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But then how do you prime the well/pump when you have a check valve in place?
 
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Old 06-29-16, 06:56 AM
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The plug on top of the tee coming out of the pump needs to be removed so you can pour water into the pump. Make sure you use thread sealant when you put the plug back in. Start up the pump and wait for the water to be pulled up. Crack a valve near the pump to let air escape. You may need to do this procedure a couple of times to fully get the pump to prime.
 
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Old 07-03-16, 01:52 PM
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Sorry for the length of time in response, but here's the update:

The pump is shot. I was hoping that the internal components hadn't been damaged but as time went by, there were small leaks coming from everywhere.

In short, the initial problem was that the pump had lost its prime way back when and overheated. I spoke to someone I trust who knows about these things and he said I'd be better off replacing the pump for $400-500 (part alone) than trying to rebuild it because it would be a complete overhaul and there's no guarantee I could get the parts anyway.

I appreciate all the responses though because I learn a little more every time I break something.
 
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Old 07-03-16, 02:29 PM
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I learn a little more every time I break something.
Yup... that's what being a DIY'er does to you.

We've all been there and done it. Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
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Old 07-07-16, 11:07 AM
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I also thank you for the update! Seen the movie, bought the tee shirt!
 
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