How to test for vacuum leaks on suction line?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by mtpqa, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. mtpqa

    mtpqa New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Iowa
    My home is on a shallow well system (30-40 Feet) and the pump stopped moving any water. The old pump had no vacuum on the inlet side of the pump. This pump was in the house when I bought it 10 years ago so I assumed the pump had lived its life. I installed a new 1/2 hp pump replacing the old 1/3 hp unit.

    After installing the new pump, filling it with water to prime per the instructions I am still not getting any water. I pulled the plug on the ejector housing and covering it with my thumb I can tell that I'm getting vacuum.

    Any commets would be helpful. If I didn't state my situation clear enought please ask me your questions

    Thank you
  2. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    how's the foot valve
  3. mtpqa

    mtpqa New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Iowa
    Thank you

    Thank you for your reply. I had not pulled the foot valve when I originally posted. I guess my question was is there a way of testing the foot valve and if any vacuum leaks exist before having to pull the valve from the well.

    An update I did pull the the foot valve and decided that with all I had to go through to get it out I was not going to put the old one back in. The valve seemed to be working. the suction pipe was full of water when I broke the connection to get it out. The screen cover was missing when I got the valve. The screw that held the screen was rusted off and the screen must be at the bottom of the well.

    I must say it probably was a good exercise to go through. I now know that my well is about 30 feet deep. The suction pipe is 20 feet long made of PVC pipe. The pipe is 1" ID. The feed pipe leaves the well 3 feet below the top and enters the house. My well is only about 2 1/2 feet away from my back door. and is 2 feet in diameter.

    As I said earlier I replaced the foot valve. Replaced the fittings connecting the suction pipe to the pipe running into the house. After running through the priming procedure for the pump I gave the pump another try. IT WORKED!

    I do not know if the foot valve or the new connections in the well is what did the trick. I guess it doesn't matter when the goal has been accomplished. This is the first step in many plumbing projects to come. The rest of the house is plumbed with a collection of soft copper, galvanized pipe and cpvc. not in any particular order.
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