Jet Pump losing prime whgile running

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by pktaske, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. pktaske

    pktaske New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Jet Pump losing prime while running

    ok - I have a 3/4 hp Gould 2-line Jet Pump built in 1988. Still seems running strong after 22 years. However once every ~two weeks my pump will start to lose prime when I run backwash on my iron filter (filox). Not every time and never when taking a shower, washing dishes, etc. I attribute this to the high volume of water needed for backwashing in the first 13 minute cycle (6-7 gpm). When I hear it starting (I can start to hear the 'air surges' starting and then geting worse and worse), I slow down water volume by partially closing the water valve to the filter, allow the pump to build up again and then turn it all the way full after a minute.

    I should note that last year whenever we used a lot of water (showers in the morning) I'd see evidence of water coming up from cracks around the outside of the house (we're on a slab). Not alot but enough to notice it was wet. This leads me to believe theres a crack somwhere in the pressure or suction line.

    Any ideas on what is going on and why it only happens about every 6th or 7th time? The worst thing right now is that I can only run backwash while I'm able to listen, not at night anymore. Once we lost prime all the way and it's a pain to keep going to my neighbors hose and hooking up their hose (especialluy when its 20 degrees outside). Thanks...
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  2. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Sounds like you already have the problem, a leak on the pressure end and or suction end.

    Your pump pipes run under a house slab?

    Or your well is running short on water.
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It sounds as if there is an air leak on the well side or more likely you're running the well dry with high volume water uses and then a pressure leak under the slab. The leak under the slab is a serious problem that should be fixed ASAP or you can cause serious/expensive foundation problems. Someone with leak detector equipment, usually a wand, can usually find a leak fairly quickly.
  4. pktaske

    pktaske New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    New Jersey
    If the well is running short on water, how can I address this?

    What can happen to the slab if water is leaking out? Either way, they have to break up the slab to get to replace the pipes, no?


    What is a wand?


    thanks...
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Conserve water and spread short short showers and laundry out so the well can recover before the next water use. Then you might want to look into a storage tank fed by the well on a timer or float switches etc. and pump water out of the storage tank as needed.

    If you have a leak under the slab, you need someone with a stick like instrument that is used to find underground water leaks based on sound. Like the water companies use to find leaks, a wand type thing they point toward the ground while listening to it. It has a German name to it but I can't recall what it is.

    Yes if there is a leak under the slab, they cut into the slab and make the repair or, replumb the house so they can shut off that line or lines under the slab. It's that or the house becomes useless/worthless after a time because the slab can be weakened and can crack. Then one end of the house starts to sink, or maybe that happens before cracks in the slab. Then the walls crack and water can come up through the crack in the slab and the walls and flooring gets wet. Then mold grows and you get sick and have to move out and pay all kinds of hospital bills and go bankrupt and yer kids go off to foster homes never to return, and you still owe the bank for the house.... Of course that is all in jest but it can get that serious. They use jackhammers and cement wet saws. The kids will love the excitement, get'em hardhats, ear protectors and promise them hotdogs...
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    If you really have a leaking pipe under slab, simply bypass it outside or inside, and forget about even looking for it. If you have one leak you'll have more later.
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