Jet Pump drawing air

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jcraig, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. jcraig

    jcraig New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario
    First off I have searched your forum for this answer and could not find any, if I have missed a pertinent thread I apologize.

    I have a shallow well (13' from well head to bottom) that holds ~ 3' - 8' of water (water table rises and falls with rain) the diameter of the iron pipe is 8". The recharge rate of the well is very good. My problem is in dryer times the water pumps below the foot valve and ruins the prime of the pump. This is not always noticed and the pump can run unloaded for too long. Plus not everyone is able to reprime the pump. What I am looking for is a solution where the pump is shut down when the water level reaches 1' and waits till the level recharges to 2 or 3 feet (adjustable would be nice). Typical float switches will just bind up in the pipe (8" dia.). There is a high Fe content in the water so I am not sure if electronic switches would foul (or bridge) due to deposits. What would be ideal would be like a sump pump style switch that is submersible with a 2" dia. vertical float and 2' long adjustable travel rod. I have scoured the internet for days, but perhaps am not using the right words in search. Another possibility would be a pressures sensor hooked up to a bladder near the foot valve and a relay controlling the pump with adjustable on/off settings.

    If anyone here know of a product like these (or any other solution) please help me out. I can't be the only one with this issue.

    Thanks

    John.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,815
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Why is the well only 13 feet deep? Did you run into bedrock? Ideal would be to have a deeper well. If the footvalve could be set down 30 feet, the shallow well limit of the pump would prevent it from ever pumping it dry.

    Take a look at the Cycle Sensor. It senses the current draw to shut down the pump. I don't know if it would react fast enough to not lose prime, but maybe Cary can chime in here and advise.

    http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/prod_sensor_geninfo.html
  3. jcraig

    jcraig New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks for the quick reply,

    The well is only 13 feet deep because it came with the house and is in a crawl space under the back entrance, which has been renovated and has a tile floor. It was actually less deep before, but I built a water vacuum with a gas powered pump and a silting box and dropped the floor (foot?) of the well by 2 feet by sucking out rust chips and silt. This has made the well serviceable (apart from the prime problem) and drilling a new well is too expensive (and seems to be a hit or miss type of thing). I looked into the cycle sensor already and while it will protect the pump, it will only kill power to the pump after prime is lost. If I can make it fully automatic (ie no user intervention required) it would be far preferable.
  4. jcraig

    jcraig New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Ontario
    Is there nothing out there?

    I am really surprised that no one else has had this problem. I am thinking about putting in a cistern (to even out the draw from the well), but that requires some major replumbing and, I think, introduces extra cleaning/disinfecting work. Really hoping for an easy solution.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,815
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I did do some research into this but what I found is not inexpensive. Better IMHO to put the money toward deepening the well.

    http://www.dwyer-inst.com/Product/Level/LevelTransmitters/Submersible/SeriesSBLT2-SBLTX
    http://www.dwyer-inst.com/Product/Level/PumpControllersandAccessories/SeriesMPCJr-

    I'm still not convinced that the pump has to lose its prime before the Cycle Sensor shuts it down. It just may require a slight replumb to ensure there is a store of water above the pump to gravity reprime it.
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