Jet pump to submersable conversion questions.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Wet Willie, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,890
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Losing prime under moderate to heavy use suggests that the water level in the well is falling and the pump is sucking air but it could also be a suction side leak that is exacerbated as the level drops. It would be good to know the specifics of how deep the in-well injector was set and what the actual recovery rate is for the well. Without knowing for sure, a 3/4 HP, 10 GPM pump may empty the well casing fairly quickly. With about 60 feet of reserve in the casing, (that would be almost 90 gallons) the existing pump should not have sucked in air so one has to assume the footvalve was not set near the bottom.

    When you say "lose water", what specifically happens? If the pump has a low pressure safety cut-off, those can be a source of frustration if/when draw exceeds capacity. If a bladder tank has too much precharge, the bladder will hit the bottom resulting in total loss of reserve, possibly tripping a low cut-off and/or losing the pressure that a jet pump needs to make more pressure. I often read on this forum that the pump doesn't make the pressure, that it is the jet/venturi that does. That is a half truth. The pump provides pressure to the jet which in turn makes additional pressure.

    You still have not said what size pressure tank you have and if it is a bladder tank. A large tank can represent a significant draw on the well. From kick-in to kick-out, the drawdown amount is refilled at full pump capacity. At 40/60 a 120 gal tank may require 32 gal in one pump cycle.
  2. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    The foot valve is 35 feet below the water level, I don't know the recovery rate. I've pulled the lines twice and checked for leaks, I'm fairly confident no leak exist. When I say lose water I mean the pressure at the pump drops to zero. There isn't a low pressure shut off, the pump will run continuously. When this happens I shut off the pump and reprime it. When I turn the pump back on I may get 30 psi immediately but usually 20-22 psi. I can turn on a spigot at the pump house and within 20-30 seconds the pressure will drop to zero again. We used to have to reprime may be once a month or so under accidental heavy use but the problem has gotten progressively worse to where flushing a toilet with result in 0 water pressure.

    The tank is a precharge that I initially had set at 2 psi below pump cut on but since it will barely obtain pressure higher than cut on I don't know what that does to the equation, I now have tank set at 12 psi. Not sure of tank size but its roughly 3 feet high and may be 20-24 inches in diameter.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  3. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    ct
    35' of water is 52.5 gallons. I would get someone in there to check the actual recovery rate of the well, pump it down and measure the recovery. I hate to see people spend their good, hard earned money on an upgraded pump system just to discover the well won't meet their needs.

    Should the well have a decent recovery, spend the extra money for a top of the line Stainless Steel pump. I throw away a lot of pumps from big box stores and I would never put one in.

    Forget the rope idea. If for some reason it falls down the well, it will become a big ball on top of the pump and can create a real problem for you. Like I said earlier, use better pipe. I prefer sch 80 pvc but 160 psi poly will work for you. I wouldn't use the old pipe, if it has a weak spot or split it will give you continued headaches.

    Most pump installers use football type torque arrestors. They need to be adjusted so that they drag the well, this absorbs the torque from the pump and helps prevent chafing of the wire.
  4. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Langley BC
    Just wondering where your love for sched 80 pvc for drop pipe comes from? I personally hate the stuff for well use, when I do use pvc pipe i use Johnson shurealign which is actually engineered for well use. On shallow wells like this why not use Polydrop pipe? it sucks having to pull out 20 foot lengths of pvc pipe on a set like this.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,890
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My pump is hung on 160 PSI poly with standoffs every 10 feet. The safety rope is taped to the poly pipe along with the wire. There is no chance of the rope falling down the well and balling up on top of the pump. I have a torque arrestor installed.
  6. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    522
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    I prefer the sch 80 drop pipe also. I won't set one on poly. Do you have a pump hoist? How do you pull the poly pipe out?

  7. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    ct
    Have you ever had to try to free a stuck pump hung on poly pipe? Pretty tough to do..... I have tried the belled end and threaded pipe on a few jobs, the last one I did, the bell deformed from the weight, 440' and slipped through my monitor style elevator. Luckily I still had the pipe on the footjack. After that I went back to t&c sch80.

    True taping the rope with the wire to the pipe is the better way to go, but a lot of guys (especially homeowners) don't do that.

    If you need to use a rope to retrieve the pump, you should have used better pipe.

    I can pull poly with my hoist but it's a pain in the ass, 2 3rd hands and a closed loop strap. Pull 30', clamp it off, pull 30' clamp it off and so on.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  8. Wet Willie

    Wet Willie New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    NC
    Wet Willie is Wet Again!​
  9. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Langley BC
    As a rule we never set poly deeper than 200 feet, and when they are set that deep we have an electric winch to pull with. I have used quite a bit of the johnson surealign schd 120 it does not deform i can tell you that, its also impossible to cross thread which is nice when you're in a hurry. So you must be buying sched 80 threaded on both sides and using brass couplings? Around here i have seen it done but usually its glued, or they glue on male and female adapters which really makes me nervous. Specially when you pull it out and and you can see a crack in the female adapter....


    http://www.johnsonscreens.com/en/content/pvc-shur-align-drop-pipe
  10. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    wow, seriously? they glue a female on one end and a male on the other and connect pipes?? pinheads!!
  11. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    ct
    I believe the pipe I used was Certaline, and it slipped right through my monitor hook. Several other installers in my area had the same problem. Sch 120 has a heavier wall thickness than sch 80, maybe that's why you haven't had the same issue?

    Yep, sch 80 is threaded and coupled on both ends. I know some guys will use either brass or stainless couplings, but we use sch 120 pvc couplings and have had no problems. A little Rector Seal, hand tighten the joint and put it in the hole.

    The only pvc I have seen with glued ends is the older sch 40 and sch 21 that was used eons ago. I have pulled pipe that had clamps on the female ends to prevent splitting! I mean, WTF??
  12. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    WTF, it didnt split, right?
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I set poly to 350' and as long as the well has some water in it, can be pulled by hand. Nothing is more obvious as best as NO JOINTS. And looong barbs with tons of clamps. By the way, all the Poly Mfgrs. make it a big point that you never torch poly but heat with hot water or a hair dryer. Got a torch? heat a can of water and pour it on the pipe.

    And someone said "hand tight joints with rector seal" is that a joke? Better get a good safety rope.
  14. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Langley BC
    yeah around the wells 200ft plus wells usually have low statics you might see something a 150'. As far as pvc pipe goes I have not used it (until we started with the johnson pipe) in wells, never seen sched 80 pvc pipe come threaded. As far as I'm concerned only place sched 40 and 80 belongs above ground, not in a well.
  15. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    ct
    If you read the bag the Campbell couplings come in it says hand tight. Once you run those joints up by hand, you have to use pipe wrenches to loosen them. In 27 yrs I have NEVER seen a string of sch 80 unscrew or break apart.

    No the bell end did not split, but it deformed just enough to slip through the Monitor hook.

    Never seen threaded sch 80? Really? We install miles of it every year.
  16. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    i've never seen sch 80 that didnt come threaded, i thought that was the main reason people bought it. btw, u can thread it with a hand threader.. not a machine (or at least not my machines). if ur gonna glue it, whats the point in using 80 over 40?
  17. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    882
    Location:
    ct
    What happens if you use a power threader?
  18. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    i tried it a few times with the ridgid 535.. i guess because the pipe is limber, softer, or whatever.. it did ok a turn or two but ended up cutting too deep on one side and breaking.. it may have just been from the cuttings bunching up. with the hand threader you can take ur time and keep everything clean. it took me a few tries but i got the hang of it pretty quick.

    works best for me when putting pipe in a chain vise and spin the threader full circles, no ratcheting. thats my experience anyway.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
  19. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Langley BC
    we just buy it for plumbing up pump houses or filter systems, nothing else. Why buy schedule 80 over 40? pressure rating...

    so how deep do you set pumps with schedule 80? what sizes do you use?
  20. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    i think sch 40- 1" is like 450 psi?, 1.25" is 370psi?... not sure why someone might need more than that, especially above the ground.. but maybe so.

    where i am, subs arent set deeper than 140' so i cant speak for the deep sets. sch 80 threaded 1" and 1.25 is used for most residential here.. the rare 2" for larger pumps in which case i would usually install steel pipe.
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