Pump not priming with weird pressure events


  #1  
Old 09-23-19, 12:23 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pump not priming with weird pressure events

About a month ago our well pump (red jacket deep well jet pump) started running 24 hours a day. This past friday I shut the breaker off and opened a faucet. For about 3 min the guage held at 15psi then one of the pipes from the plumbing out to the house shook and pressure dropped to 0. I checked the pressure tank which reads 22 psi. I figure I have to add air to take it to about 38. But when we put on the breaker the guage shot to 20 psi for about 7 seconds then dropped to 0 with no flow. Not wanting a hot pump we shut it off. I spent 2 hours researching how to prime with bottles of water. It took us about 3 hour to filter rain water into jugs then pour it slowly into the priming plug till it was up to the plug and stayed. We thumb tightened the prime plug and fired it up. For about 7 seconds it was almost 20 psi then 0 with no flow. We did this 3 more times the last 2 days with identical responses. Please help it's not easy not having water. What am I missing in this process?
 
  #2  
Old 09-23-19, 04:58 AM
O
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 692
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Sounds like you have an air pocket in there causing a loss of prime. The big question is how did the air pocket get in there? When you filled up the pump with your rain water did you leave it alone for 10 to 15 minutes to see if the water level in the pump stayed level. In other words, did you have a leak. Most likely you do. Probably a small leak if you did not notice it. Under pressure even a small leak can leak out a lot of water. Usually, if the pump is powered, it will simply kick on and refill the system each time the water flows out the leak to the level where the pump is supposed to refill. The loss of prime comes about when one turns off the pump for a period of time and the water leaks out completely from the line. That line then fills with air and can become quite annoying to try to fill up again with priming water. The priming water goes in just fine, but it is usually sitting on a cushion of air that is trapped in the pipe. You hit the pump power switch, the water flows for a short period of time and then an air pocket, from the line, hits the pump and you lose prime. Jet pumps hate air.

When this happens with my single line shallow well, I would need to refill the pump again and do it all again. It can sometimes take 10 or 15 primes to get all that air out of the system. Quite annoying. The better method, if you have a kind neighbor close by is to hook up their garden hose to your outside hose bib and use their water under pressure to prime your system. You will need a female to female garden hose connection, to pull this feet off, in order to get two houses connected by a garden hose. I got a set of connectors off the back of a pressure washer once but you can buy the pieces to jerry rig a connector up at home depot.

Priming a pump with water "under pressure" gets rid of the air pocket a lot quicker. Without pressure the air has to be pumped up through your system, but with pressure a lot of the air gets blasted to smaller bubbles that have a reduced affect on the prime of your pump. Just turn on the hoses, give it 15 minutes to settle down, then close your outside tap. Turn on your pump and see if it refills your pressure tank. If it loses prime again, which it probably will a few times, stop your pump, open up the garden tap, reprime the pump with the neighbors water, then close your outside tap, turn on your pump and do it all again. Etc., etc, until you get primed. With the neighbors water hooked up, at least your household will have water, while all this is going on. Basically your neighbor will be supplying the water your house needs with their pump, all through the hose bib connection.

Now before all that, fill up your pump and leave it for a time and verify if you are losing pressure without drawing any water. In other words, take a close look at whether you have a leak. If you do, that will eventually need to be fixed, or the pump will keep cycling on and off as the water keeps draining out the pipe and you may end up losing prime all over again.
 

Last edited by OptsyEagle; 09-23-19 at 06:36 AM.
  #3  
Old 09-23-19, 10:11 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 62,095
Received 1,509 Votes on 1,396 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

Is this a single or dual line jet pump system ?
The priming plug needs to be in tight so that it's air tight if it's on the incoming side.
It sounds like you may have a water depth problem and low on water.
 
  #4  
Old 09-30-19, 01:10 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thank you both for your reply.
To answer the last questions. Yes its a duel line pump which as I am learning now means pretty much twice the water to prime it. We were putting in about 3 to 5 gallons at a time with jugs. But as I am understanding now it can take a lot more then that to get that water level steady.
To answer the first statements. Thank you for telling me 10 or 15 primes. Though this is not good news it is good because we thought 6 or 7 primes meant the end of the road.
We did fill up the water to the top of the pump and left it alone it stayed steady one night. Though we got impatient and attempted to fire up the next morning and of course to much air still in the line.
I now have the very top fitting removed and am pouring water in there. It is a wider opening and directly into the top of the pump. It also lets me fill the line over to the pressure tank from there something the priming plug was not going to allow.
I really do hate this pump it is poorly designed and frankly obnoxious.
Unfortunately we have no neighbors close enough for a hose. Basically we collect rain water in big drums. We have to shock it with bleach and filter it in an old coffee pot before dumping it in the well. I am no expert of course but I am certain it is bad to put water in the well that potentially has algea in it. So I try to get it to the point where it is clear and what I would drink if I was in a survival situation. I figure we can flush the pipes later by opening a tap.
I will let you all know here how it goes. Tomorrow we plan on putting in about 10 gallons from buckets to see if that is enough to prime it.
 
  #5  
Old 09-30-19, 04:29 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 25,253
Received 895 Votes on 825 Posts
When it's working properly I don't find two hose deep well jet pumps to difficult to prime and it usually takes less than a gallon of water. Have you pulled the well to inspect or clean the foot valve and venturi?
 
  #6  
Old 09-30-19, 04:41 AM
O
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 692
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
The real curious question is how did you lose prime? There should be a foot valve at the end of your water line, down in the well, and it is suppose to only allow water to flow up and not down. If all of the line is sealed, even if you magically got air in there somehow, once you turn on the pump, the pump will move some water (and air) up the line, as it pushes out the water you just primed it with, into your house. If an air pocket moves into the pump it will stop the flow and and the pumps impellers will keep spinning, providing no water pressure. The idea is that you then will add more water and repeat this process until all that air moves up, out of the line and is replaced with water from the well.

If you are adding gallons of water, each time you re-prime it, it makes me think that no water is coming up the line from the well OR you have a leak down there somewhere. If the water stayed stable in the pump overnight and did not leak away, I now would wonder if your well still has water in it.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: