converting electric to hand pump

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by DavidL, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I have an old electric well pump in the back yard. Years ago when city water was installed the lines were bypassed. Ive never seen the pump work and the change over occurred yrs ago before I bought the home. I want to remove the old electric pump and install a hand pump (Spring water around here is fantastic and the hand pump would be a novelty). The pump mechanism is set vertically over the top of the well pipe. Can I disconnect the pump safely and check the water level without loosing the piping into the well itself, this is my biggest concern? Does the piping into the well rest on the bottom of the well or is it suspended by the pump? There still is power going to the pump, few yrs ago I tried to prime the lines but was unable to: cant say whether it was me or the pump. Since then I turned the breaker to the pump off but now want to put a hand pump on. Is it possible?
    thanks for the help.
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    If there are two pipes between the pump and the well, you have a deep well jet pump and there is a jet in the well hanging on galvanized pipe. They are extremely hard to pull out. If you only have one pipe, it is a shallow well system and may or may not have pipe in the well. If it does, it is not that hard to pull, then you can measure the water level.

    This is a description of the deep well jet pump. Deep well jet system.
    bob...
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,691
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pump

    The water level would have to be within 25' of the pump mechanism to have any hope of a hand pump giving any water, and the closer it gets to that level the less water and the harder you will have to pump, unless you get a well with the mechanism in the well and "sucker" rods operating it.
  4. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I believe there is only one line. I live in Ocala Florida about 1mile from Silver Springs which is this natural Spring Park with gizers (sp?) of water bubbling up all the time. I think Im problably on top of that aquifer. Knowing this I have to believe its very shallow but until I take the pump off of the well pipe I wont know.
    So If I unscrew the pump I wont cause a chain reaction of things falling into the pump hole????
    Is the pipe that goes to the bottom clamped to the pump or pressure fit?
    thanks again
  5. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Maybe you had better explain just what this system looks like. I don't know how you would unscrew a pump. But if you think that is possible, a second look might be in order.

    bob...
  6. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Okay I had a moment to really examine it. Coming out of the ground is a 2.5 or 3 inch pipe. This pipe goes up about 5 inches to a housing unit that appears to have the exit pipe for the water that comes out of the well, this pipe travels to the reserve tank. Above this housing apparatus is the electric pump itself. I hope this discription helps. There is only one pipe as I mentioned going into the ground and its about 2.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Where should I disconnect safely? Is there a larger pipe burried below the ground surface? I ask this b/c I thought well pipes were 6 inches wide. But Im guessing on that thought.
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    A well can be as small as 1-1/4" in diameter. This pipe going to the tank would be smaller, like maybe 1-1/4". It would not go to the tank first unless you had a submersible pump in the well. You said there is a pump above ground so I assume there is no submersible. The small pipe coming from the well should go to that above ground pump first. If so you have a shallow well system.

    This apparatus on top of the well. What does it look like. Does it have bolts? Nuts and bolts. Describe it and how the pipe goes to or through it.
    bob...
  8. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Can I post a picture? IF so How?
    thanks
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    22,059
    Location:
    New England
    When generating a reply, scroll down...manage attachments. Note, you have to change the resolution down so the size is small enough.
  10. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Here is a pic. of the system. sorry its kind of dark, I'm new to this digital stuff. What your looking at is the rusty pump assembly with just the one 2-3 inch pipe going into the ground. I dug down to be sure there wasnt any kind of well cap but didnt find one. The breaker box is in front with no power to assure safety.The filter and tank are no longer connected the piping as you can see is in pieces. What isnt very visible is the city water line comes in via a 1 1/2 pvc pipe then 90 degrees up and connects with the copper pipe leading to the house. there is a spiccet with a green garden hose on it. Now based on this can I disconnect the pump and install a hand pump? Does this look like a system I can dismantle and put a hand pump on?
    Thanks this site is a great source of information Ive read a considerable amount.

    Attached Files:

  11. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The configuration of the pump, and the existence of the regulator on the discharge, suggest that it may a deep well jet. If that is the case, then there is another pipe inside the pipe you see.

    If you disconnect the outside fittings and try to lift the pump, you will either find, or not find, another pipe inside. If there is another pipe inside, then it is connected as a deep well pump and you will have to pull that internal pipe. That is probably not an easy job.

    If the pump come free with no additional pipe, it is a shallow well installation.

    If it is a deep well jet, then you probably can't use a shallow well "pitcher pump" to get water out of the well. It all depends on the depth to water.
  12. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Okay that is great! Now when I take it apart based on the pics, should I dismantle at the lowest point just above the pipe going into the ground?
  13. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The picture seems to show a bolted joint. That is where I would start. If you disconnect that, see if you can move the pump. You might need a come-along or hoist to lift it if there is an internal pipe below the pump.
  14. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Since the pipe itself is only 3 inches wide, the pipe on the inside (if) cant be all that big. Would that be normal design to place a relatively small pipe inside?
    I have a "teach me" question. If its a shallow well and there is no inside pipe. How does this system work? Im assuming like a pool pump. Once primed it would hold its prime by maintaining suction? What does the "regulator" do? I will dismantle this on Saturday morning unless I have a burst on energy and get out of work early this week.
  15. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    http://www.goulds.com/pdf/BVJ.pdf

    If it is a deep well jet, there is a pipe going down the well carrying water from the discharge side of the pump to a venturi at the level from which the water is pumped. The venturi creates a lower pressure at its throat to suck in water, and then increases in area to cause a higher pressure (Due to the Bernoulli effect) to lift that water to the pump at the top.

    If there is enough diameter in the main pipe, then there is a "down pipe" for the high pressure water and an "up pipe" to return the high pressure water and the pumped water.

    If there is not enough room for two pipes, then one pipe (the down pipe) is used to supply water to the venturi and there is a seal at the bottom so the water returning to the surface travels in the casing. That type of installation is called a "packer" because the seal at the bottom is "packed" to prevent leakage. http://www.peekspump.com/ejectors.html has a picture of a "packer" installation.

    The regulator is to adjust the pressure in the pipe to the venturi by limiting the discharge to the tank. If all of the water is discharged to the tank, there will be nothing to drive the venturi and the system won't work.

    In a "shallow well" pump system, whether jet pump, piston pump, or hand pump, the pump creates a vacuum (reduces the pressure to below atmospheric pressure). That allows the atmospheric pressure in the well to push the water up the pipe where it can be discharged. Since atmospheric pressure is only 14.7 psi at sea level (about a 34 ft column of water) that is the absolute limit that a shallow well pump will "lift" the water. The practical limit is about 25 feet.

    There are deep well hand pumps that use a rod to actuate a piston/cylinder/check valve arrangement at a lower level. In that case at the water is forced up under pressure and the "lift" is not limited by atmospheric pressure.
  16. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Sorry, been out of town.

    What you have is a 2" well with a Sta-Rite deep well jet pump bolted to a casing adaptor. You can unbolt the pump from the casing adaptor by unscrewing the two 3/4" head bolts from the bottom of the pump. Then you have more bolts squeezing the rubber flange at the bottom of the casing adaptor. If you loosen those and turn or move the casing adaptor, the pipe will now have to come out. Once you break the leathers loose down the well, they will not seal up again. Pulling a jet is a very hard job, one we do with a pump hoist with a walking beam so we can beat them out of the well.

    My advice is to unbolt the pump if it doesn't work and install a new one that will fit the casing adaptor. The choice of pumps is Sta-Rite MS series, National pumps MSV series or Myers MVP series. No other pumps will fit that adaptor.

    If you are not careful and drop a piece of mineral scale or gasket down the two holes in top of the adaptor, you will plug the jet and it will have to come out anyway.

    bob...
  17. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    So your are certain its a deep well. Once I remove the pump but leave the casing adapter inplace "untouched" will I have access to be able to check the depth of the water in the well. My though is..if its a deep well pump "but" the water level is 20 feet down I may still be able to pull this conversion off. I am so glad I have asked questions and been educated by you so as to not do damage in my desire to do something with this system. I know nothing about the leathers you speek of but definately will not mess with the casing. I dont know if the pump is bad or not. I attempted to prime the system years ago but may have done it wrong resulting in no water. How do you tell if the pump is bad? It turns on and doesnt whine like a bad car water pump. I priming difficult with this system?
  18. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Removing the pump won't allow you to check the water level unless the footvalve or leathers are bad allowing the water to run back and seek it's static water level. If so you could drop a weight down the 1-1/4" pipe that is the larger of the two holes in the casing adaptor. Or the one that alligns with the center of the casing. Listen for the splash, then measure the string.

    If you want to prime the pump the easy way. Hook it back to the tank and let the city pressure fill the casing, droppipe and pump housing. You will have to remove the priming plug on the casing adaptor until you get water at that point, then put it back in and start the pump. You may have to back the bolt out of the backpressure control to get water to go down the well.

    bob...
  19. DavidL

    DavidL New Member

    Messages:
    13
    I took a really close look at the pump and casing this morning. The only bolts I see to remove are at the base right next to the 3 inch pipe. But you said if I mess with the casing I can screw things up within the well itself. Now I am calling this housing-- below the electric pump and above the 3 inch pipe the "casing". correct? So in order to remove the pump it looks like I have to take out the bolts at the base. Are there bolts inside the electric pump that I would remove to separate the pump from the lower housing?
  20. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    The order of items from bottom to top are: Casing > Casing adaptor > Pump base > Second stage > Seal plate > Motor. The pump base has three ears that will accept 1/2" pipe to stand the pump on if needed. Just below and under those ears are the two bolts that separate the entire pump from the casing adaptor. The other bolts are the three on the casing adaptor's flange which is the bottom most part of the casing adaptor. Don't mess with those.

    You will have to stand on your head to see these two bolts and will need a 3/4" wrench to remove them. Box end is the best.

    bob...
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