Irrigation pump loses prime overnight

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by sschnei, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. sschnei

    sschnei New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Hi, new to forum and have a pump priming issue.
    I have a 1 HP Sears pump to pull water from lake for lawn and landscape irrigation. This summer, the pump began losing prime overnight. When I refill the housing, the pump runs fine.
    There are no visible signs of water leaks. So, suspecting a leak somewhere on the intake, I inspected and replaced the all the PVC intake piping, even though I found no evidence of a bad joint. I inspected the swing check located on the inlet and it is clean and clear, but it still loses prime overnight.
    Now I’m thinking the shaft seal may be bad… but it does not leak water during operation???
    I can’t think of anything else to look for. Does anyone have suggestions?
    Many thanks in advance.
  2. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

    Messages:
    1,142
    Location:
    South*East
    A bad foot valve.
    John
  3. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    ct
    Hook up an air compressor and charge the pump and suction line with air. Your leak will be where the bubbles are.
  4. sschnei

    sschnei New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Thank you for the responses. Interesting that in the 5+ years it has never had a footvalve on it.

    Based on your input, I have already purchased a footvalve. I'll keep you posted as to how it works out.

    Thanks
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    A Foot valve is a good thing.

    It will keep the pump from needing to run dry every time you start it.

    You probably have a small leak on the pump seal. Or the suction connection at the pump.

    The foot valve should help to mask that problem.


    Good Luck.
  6. sschnei

    sschnei New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    I recieved my footvalve yesterday, plan to install today. Had an interesting thought overnight.

    After I install the foot valve how do I drain the intake piping before winter to prevent freezing the pipes?

    Many thanks in advance.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    You should be able to start the pump and pull the inlet out of the water and raise it up high, until water stops coming out of the pump outlet. It is best not to let it run dry for very long.


    Good Luck.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Sprinkler Guy

    Messages:
    798
    Location:
    Metro NYC
    PVC suction piping can include a union, to allow you to pull out the section of pipe with the foot valve. The O-ring seals in the unions are reliable enough to not be a source of suction leaks.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Seems like just removing the Valve would be easy enough.

    That can be easier said than done, depending on the pipe type.
  10. sschnei

    sschnei New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Texas
    Update...Installed foot valve on Saturday, primed pump and let it sit overnight. Sunday morning I started the pump and water came out the sprinklers without delay. I like that! My lawn and garden like that!!! Hopefully winterizing will prove to be no big deal.

    Thanks for all the input from the forum.
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,812
    Location:
    Houston, TX


    Good Work.


    Enjoy.
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