Advice needed for well

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  #1  
Old 01-02-19, 08:18 PM
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Question Advice needed for well

Ok let's start with the problem.

Four days ago the wife tells me the pump is running and nothing is on. (I'm hearing impaired so I did not hear it) I go down to the basement and see that the pump is running but shuts off about a minute after I get down there. I look for leaks in the entire plumping system and no leaks. No leaks at the pump or the tank.

I go back upstairs and five maybe ten minutes later wife says it's running again. I go back downstairs this time and I'm looking at what would cause this. So just for kicks and giggles I turn off the supply to the tank and the pump turns on and off rapidly. I thought that maybe the foot valve went bad or was stuck open (at this point it's day two) so I put in an inline check valve. After I got that done I tried to prime the pump but no pressure. Out of curiosity I checked the pressure in the tank and I got nothing. I went to pressurize the tank and heard what I thought was water going upstairs. I go upstairs turn on a faucet and got nothing but air.

So day three we decided to replace the tank and the pump because both were over ten years old. The iron in the water probably did some damage to both. Now we have a new deep well pump and tank and replaced pipes from pump to the wall.

So the question is do I dig this thing up and look for a leak or is there something else I can try before I start digging?

Here are the pictures for you
https://www.flickr.com/photos/149090...posted-public/

1: submersible pump or jet pump. Jet pump
2: age of well if known. unknown if I to guess over 50 years and I don't see a well head
3: depth of well if known. unknown I'm thinking maybe 90 feet
4: diameter of well if known. unknown
5: the voltage of pump if known. 230 V
6: brand of pump/controller if known. Zoller pump
7: the size of the tank if known. tank 53 gal
 

Last edited by PJmax; 01-09-19 at 12:20 PM. Reason: reformatted/added punctuation to text
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  #2  
Old 01-02-19, 08:32 PM
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Bad foot valve in wellI would say.May as well change the venturi too while you pull it up..
 
  #3  
Old 01-03-19, 07:35 AM
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That's what I'm thinking because I did all I could do up top.
Guess I'll be digging
 
  #4  
Old 01-03-19, 08:35 AM
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It is hard to follow your diagnostic movements but I will make a few comments on what I believe you have done and the result.

1st off. When you shut off the valve to your pressure tank, with the pump powered, it will always short cycle because you have turned off the pressure to the pump's pressure switch. So you can envision that when that pressure drops, the pump comes on, pressure builds very quickly with no tank in the system and so the pump goes off, pressure drops, pump comes on, etc., etc. This will happen in a properly working system when you cut off the pressure tank to the pressure switch of your pump.

2ndly. If you have a leak in the system between the pump and the foot valve, and from what you have said it could be anywhere between there, when you take apart your pipes to install a check valve, that water will flow back out of the well pipe. That empty pipe will refill with air. When you now go to prime your pump, it will lose prime many times while you attempt to pull all that air out of the well pipe. Jet pumps and air really do not work well together and it can take quite a few primes to get all the air out of the pipe.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Good luck. I doubt the pressure tank or pump needed changing but it is always nice to have new stuff.
 
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Old 01-03-19, 08:48 AM
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Please make sure to use adequate punctuation like you did in your second post. Unfortunately, without it, your first post is difficult to read.
 
  #6  
Old 01-03-19, 09:08 AM
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OptsyEagle, thank you for your thoughts. the way you explained it makes sense.

However, I do think the tank needed to be changed because it wasn't holding air also when I installed the pump and tank 10 maybe 11 years ago I set it up like it was on the old system and still got crappy pressure not realizing that it should have had a regulator and it didn't now with the research I have done I now know it needs a regulator the new pump came with one and an injector so if I replace the pipes all I'll need is the foot valve and pipes.

Question: can you give me a rough idea of how much water I may need? (like how many feet per gallon?) if anybody can answer this question that would be greatly appreciated

BTW I have since removed the check valve and installed new pipe in its place
 
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Old 01-03-19, 09:13 AM
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stickshift, how do edit the first post?
 
  #8  
Old 01-03-19, 11:14 AM
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If the tank could not hold air then you are right it needed to be changed.

I would need to know the inside diameter of the incoming pipe to work out it's volume and of course without knowing how far down the pipe goes to the water level OR the leak, it may not tell you much.

Priming a well line can be a real pain. Maybe some others have some good ideas. I don't know where in the US you are located but if the temperatures are above freezing and you have a neighbor close by, connecting your outside hoses is probably the easiest way to prime a jet pump. That air in the line goes away a lot quicker when the priming water is under pressure plus it is a lot easier to just open up your outside tap then it is to open those caps on the pump, prime it, then teflon tape them, then tighten them up again, then turn on the pump, lose prime and do it all over again. This is very annoying and you may need to do it 5 to 10 times or more. With the connected hoses method, you turn on the pump, watch the pressure drop indicating a loss of prime, turn off the pump, open the outside tap and let your neighbors water quickly reprime and close that tap and turn on your pump etc.

Each time the pump runs more air is pulled up and away and eventually you will be good to go. As I said, maybe some others have some better ways. I am an amateur plumber and have had to reprime a line with air in it before and that is how I ended up doing it.

Note: In future, if you are ever going to work on your well line and your system is still working before you go to work, make sure you fill up your pressure tank and then turn off the pump and then turn off the pressure tank valve. The benefit here is when you are all done you just need to open up the pressure tank and it may very likely do all the repriming for you. That is assuming you can shut the tank off from both the pump and the house.

Another Note: If you can implement the neighbors hose method above, you will need a connector that has a female to female garden hose connection. The two hoses will not just connect on their own. If you have a pressure washer, many of those have a quick connect that has a female to female connector that you can use. If you have a couple of old hoses you can sometimes cut them and connect the two female pieces with some rubber hose and hose clamps. A small leak is not a big problem since you are just using them temporarily until your pump gets primed.
 
  #9  
Old 01-03-19, 12:33 PM
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I should add that if there is a leak in the system, even if you get the pump primed you will still have your leak, if you removed the check valve. As I said above if you do get it primed, and you confirm you still have a leak, let the system fill up your pressure tank and close that off if you can, before you go to fix it. It can help with the re-priming later, by just opening up the pressure tank. Even if it needs more water then that to fill the line, it is a start and air can sometimes be crushed into really small bubbles when pressurized water is pushing on it, and that seems to speed up the re-priming process quite a lot.

By the way, the easiest way to confirm a leak is to let the system cycle off and with no water being used in the house, the water pressure should not change. If you observe a decreasing water pressure on your guage, you have a leak. If you do not have a big mess of water in the house AND you are sure that your toilet is not running on or your refrigerator is not making more ice, then you know that the leak is in the well.
 
  #10  
Old 01-03-19, 12:33 PM
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OptsyEagle, thank you for your help and I 've seen your ideas on priming the pump in another post you wrote.

the pipe is an inch and a quarter suction and one inch for the return/pressure line as for how deep the well is I'm thinking 90 feet but not sure so I guess that's not going to help.

well, thank you for your help
 
  #11  
Old 01-03-19, 01:44 PM
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If empty there would be 5.8 gallons of air in the suction line and 3.7 gallons of air in the return line. The problem is that you don't know if they are completely empty.

When you prime the pump, give it a few minutes before you tighten up the nuts on the pump to see if it flows back. A flow back can be from a leak and/or an air bubble or two coming out of it. Might as well give those air bubbles as much chance to get out of the way as you can.

Also, if you do use the neighbors hose system, makes sure you have the outside taps closed off BEFORE you turn on your pump. I can't say if there would be a problem but there is no need to have two pumps fighting against each other. Also, with the neighbor connection system, your house will appear that there are no problems at all. That is because your well is not being used, your neighbor's is. The good news is that everything in your house will work while that set up is active, so if you are dying to have a shower or the toilets really, really need to be flushed, go ahead. I am sure your neighbor won't mind supplying you with a little water for an emergency and as I said, pressurized water always works better then non-pressurized water. Now, all water at elevation has some pressure, which is why I suggested giving it a few minutes before putting back the nuts to see if some air comes out of it on its own and more water top up required, but with that being said, the higher the pressure the better to get that air out. Also, I might fill up a tub or two to have a little extra water to manually fill a toilet and to have some priming water.
 
  #12  
Old 01-03-19, 03:10 PM
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Ok thank you, OptsyEagle I assumed the pipes were empty and I was prepared with ten gallons of water and I used all of it.
that was after I fixed all the leaks I seen from the wall to the pump and removed the check valve I had previously installed The pictures I posted is how the system is set up now without the check valve and as I said it took all ten (10) gallons
 
  #13  
Old 01-03-19, 03:57 PM
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My calculations were fairly rough. Murphy's Law probably says that if you only had another pint of water you would have been good to go. lol. Did you ever get the water level to the top of the pump where the priming nuts were? If it needed more you are pretty much wasting your time trying it. It does not take much air in the pump or to arrive to the pump to stop it from working.

If you have a leak in the well line or foot valve that water you are putting in might just be flowing right back out, inside the well. If you do decide to pull up the line, you might also want to give serious consideration to putting in a submersible pump. You only need to have to prime a line once or twice to start to see one of the big benefits of them, not to mention the quietness, although that might not mean as much to you. Also, it may not be as appreciated to a guy who just bought a new jet pump.
 
  #14  
Old 01-04-19, 07:48 AM
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OptsyEagle, said: Did you ever get the water level to the top of the pump where the priming nuts were?

OptsyEagle, I did get the water up to the priming plug but it did not stay it just kept going down.
 
  #15  
Old 01-04-19, 09:33 AM
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If you topped it up and it just went down right away you probably have a leak. It is not assured but usually a reduction in level from air leaving is pretty slow and eventually it stops. Combined with your earlier evidence, of the pump cycling on without you drawing water in the house, I would say you have a leak.

A check valve can usually keep the water in the system when you have a leak in the well, without having to pull everything up, but I have only seen them on single line, shallow well, jet pump systems. I would have no idea where one could put a check valve on a two line, deep well set up, if it can even be done. I would think it might work on the single line of your pump output in your system, right between the pump and the pressure tank, but in the shallow well set ups where I have seen them they are always on the input side of the jet pump. At least on the output side you would still have a way to prime the line, via your jet pump. Perhaps others with more experience with deep well set ups might be able to advise.

If you have a leak, your problem of the pump cycling on when no water is being used in the house is going to continue. That can put a lot of strain on the pump, quickly reducing its life and therefore that leak, if there is one, should be fixed. I am not sure how much more priming effort I would be putting into it until that is addressed. Obviously a check valve would be the quickest and cheapest fix but I think you said you had one and then removed it so I am not sure what went on there.
 

Last edited by OptsyEagle; 01-04-19 at 09:56 AM.
  #16  
Old 01-04-19, 12:58 PM
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OK. I just figured out why you rarely ever see a check valve on the single line output of a jet pump. From what I have seen, they are usually always on the input line of a jet pump. Probably the main reason you can't put a check valve on the output of the jet pump is because you can't put a check valve BETWEEN the pressure tank and your pressure switch. That would mess things up quite nicely.

Anyways, I thought I better add that to my last post. Good luck.
 
  #17  
Old 01-04-19, 04:49 PM
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OptsyEagle, I've added two video links if you want to know the basic set up for deep well jet pumps.
and to settle any confusion about the check valve I had installed but the removed here's the explanation.

Ok, so when I saw that pressure was being lost and the pump turning on with no water running I thought maybe it's the foot valve/check valve (god only knows how old the system is) So I installed a new check valve hoping that would fix the problem. after pouring like five maybe eight gallons of water into the pump prime it did not work after about four maybe five tries it was a no go.
So I decided to remove the check valve I installed and put it back the it was and try to prime it again.

I tried to prime it six times and each time using five to ten gallons of water.
I hope this clears up any confusion.

Again the Video links are below if you're interested in knowing about deep well jet pumps


Video 1 https://youtu.be/Tk7eONe6ipM

Video 2 https://youtu.be/zCoFQqkjKuY
 
  #18  
Old 01-05-19, 08:47 AM
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OK. When you put on the check valve, where approximately did you have it positioned. Since it is a two line system, I can't really see how having a check valve on one of the lines would prevent water from flowing back if you had a leak. On a single line shallow well it would be held with the "finger on a straw" method of holding water from flowing back, even with a leak below it. On a two line I would think that the water would just flow back down the other line that did not have a check valve. Since you would need the water to flow down the smaller pipe to make the system work for a deep well, I would think that the only fix for a leak would be to pull up the line and find the leak and fix it.
 
  #19  
Old 01-09-19, 11:48 AM
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Hi to all,
I want to Thank everyone for their advice.
Just wanted to update you all.
I did dig up the wellhead and pull the pipes out and found that in fact, the foot valve was no longer in working order so I replaced the foot valve and all 95 feet of pipe primed it and have running water.

BTW anybody that wants to keep a steady water pressure look into getting a CSV (cycle stop valve) I found out about it in another post here in the forum.

Again Thank you for your advice
 
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