lose prime on shallow well

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by gonefishing, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. gonefishing

    gonefishing New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Replaced shallow well, static water line is 14 feet below grade, point is 23 feet below grade and then a standard 3 foot 1 1/4 point. I added 5 feet to the new pipe. The old point was 18 feet below grade. The system now pulls at a rate of 180 gallons per hour. We put up with a deteriating point for years that was able to pull about 45 gallons per hour. This is a lake cabin, so we put up with the low volumn. The problem is when there is a larger group of people, we may lose prime after 3 or 4 days. We do not lose prime between visits that has been as much as 3 weeks apart. It was suggested that we are getting excessive draw down with sustained higher use and the draw down causes the loss of prime after several days of high use. I was offered three possible solutions. The cone of depression is being developed with this higher use and with more use it will be okay as the acquifir will drain and fill quicker. The other suggestion was a different pump. I put in a 1/2 hp Red Lion. It was suggested the inlet port on this mfg pump is larger and great for volumn but can push out the water without creating enough vaccum to create suction to pull the water and then runs dry and loses prime. The third suggestion was to add another 5 feet of pipe to increase the distance between the static water line and point. Will the cone of depression increase in volumn and create passages that increase water supply to the point? Is the Red Lion pump design causing my problem and would another make of pump work better? Information appreciated.
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,370
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    None of that is going to help. I would add another point and tie the two together.
  3. jimtum

    jimtum AAW

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Decatur Tx
    It also sounds as if either your footvalve is not holding all the time or you may be overdrawing the well and have to add another 5 feet. Most shallow well pumps do not have a suction lift of over 25 feet.
  4. gonefishing

    gonefishing New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Hi Jimtum: My understanding on draw or lift is to the static water line. I have 20 feet of pipe from the horizontal pipe to the point and then the 3 foot point. However, I start from the floor of my foundation that is about 3 feet below grade. The static water line is only 11 feet down from my pump. I believe if I add 5 feet of pipe between the horizontal pipe and point the point is lower but the static water line will still be 11 feet lift. What I believe I need is that between pump cycles, the water comes back in. The valve on my system is called a check valve. I am not sure if that is the same as a foot valve. The system has a check valve where the pipe enters through the foundation. There is a 5 foot horizontal pipe from the top of the well pipe into the basement. Then it is an elbow, a brass check valve, an 8 inch pipe rise above the valve, another elbow, a six inch pipe, a union, a four inch pipe and the pump. Since the prime holds between visits and so far that has been as much as three weeks, I belive the check valve is holding. Do you know if it would make any difference if I changed the 4 inch pipe to a 12 inch pipe for the reason of having more water between the pump and check valve? My pump is bolted on a concrete pad , so all this would do is move my pump 8 inches. I was told the Red Lion pump with the larger inlet port can push the prime water out before a sufficient vacumn is create to pull from the well and that is when I am losing the prime. I am hoping some one has experience with a Red Lion pump that could offer advice on that topic. If the pump is fine, then I would believe it is lack of water. Your comments are appreciated. ppreciated.
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,370
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    When you have a large group you run out of water. The kind of point you have may not let in sufficient amount of water. The point may be set too deep, below the water bearing strata. Or the water bearing strata may not let in enough water.

    Somebody is feeding you crap about the Red Lion pump not drawing more vacuum than other pumps. What ever comes out of any pump must also be going in. You could test the pump by pumping out of a barrel of water. If it pumps out of a barrel, it is a good pump. I still think the point is the problem.
  6. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Valveman's right! In short add more points (wells). Be sure that they are at least 10 ft. apart to prevent a Cone of Influence. . . one well affecting the other. You are pumping at or over the maximum pumping level now. Pumps are pumps, they all suck water 34' at sea level. That really means nothing in actual practice. In short the well isn't supplying sufficient amount of water. When you use more water the pumping level drops in the well causing the pump to pump harder. Meaning the vacuum pressure increases and suction lift pumps can only build about 30 inches of vacuum. The solution to your problem is to reduce the vacuum by increasing the amount of water from the well. The static water level means very little suction lift pump. The pumping level means everything. Unfortunately it's hard to measure the pumping level in a suction lift well. If you really want to know, you can install a vacuum gauge on the suction line near the pump. If it reads more than about 18 inches you have a lift or supply problem. Your check valve is OK because it is holding.
  7. gonefishing

    gonefishing New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    This is good stuff, I am okay with the Red Lion pump. A weekend of work and less than $200. and I should be able to have another point down and tied together. I want to offer some other information and find out what you and valveman think and of course others comments are appreciated too. The horizontal pipe comes out of my foundation three feet under grade, so I need to dig a hole and then it is a 5 foot horizontal into the basement. The old well was 15 feet of pipe and a point. I could not lift the old point with 3.5 ton hydraulic car jacks. I needed a 20 ton hydraulic jack and a steel I beam. I used a driver point to go down 20 feet. I again needed to lift with the 20 ton jack in two differnt areas. When I pulled the driver point up the pipe was wet for about 5 feet. I put the new point and 20 feet of pipe down. At that time I was not up on air leaks and I lost prime each week with no use. I pulled the pipe back up, used dope and larger wrenches and put it back down. Each time I pulled up pipe, (3 times) I needed to use the 20 ton jack in two different spots. When I put the pipe down, it was very solid at about 16 feet and extreamly solid at about 20 feet. With each slam, the point may have gone down 1/4 of an inch. But the last two feet was soft and the pipe would sink 2 inches or more with a slam. The soft stuff is the last two feet of my point or about 24 feet below grade. I have a new neighbor to the east who built a new cabin and put in a drilled well. He is at code of 55 feet. I talked with the well driller and he said they had water at 22 feet. This drilled well is about where his old point was and about 40 feet from my well. His old point and the neighbor to the east both have had static water about 14 feet down and had / have their point about 20 feet down. My new point is 23 feet below grade, the 3 foot hole and 20 feet of pipe and than the 3 foot point, so tip to grade is about 26 feet. My old point had 15 feet of pipe, 3 feet below grade and the point, grade to tip was 21 feet. The old point was about 45 years old and nearly rusted shut. It did pull up dry but it took a while to get it out. We never got much water out of the system but we never lost prime. I am thinking the old well stopped at 21 feet because they no longer could pound the point down. With the driver point, I was able to break through and got into soft soil. Is it possible that I am only into the water table a few feet? Do you think I should try to add a few feet of pipe? Again, the comments and your knowledge on this topic is appreciated.
  8. gonefishing

    gonefishing New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Another quick question for those who know more than me! The point I used is a 1 1/4 x 36" mfg by Campbell with 60 Gauze. It is a 1/2 moon cut design with a pvc liner. The farm & home supply store had this point and my old pt was 36". After checking the mfg's web, I see they have many sizes but of note is a 1 1/4 by 60" in 60, 80 or 100 gauze. If part of my water supply is limited by point style and size, then would this extra two feet of screen help?

    The well driller who put in the well about 40 feet away from my point said he had water at 22 feet. When I put down the driving point 26 feet and pulled it up the last 5 feet was wet.

    If I switched out the 36" point for a 60" point and switched out the last down pipe to add two more feet, I would gain 2 more feet of screen and the screen tip would be 4 feet further down but still overlap by one foot my present pt placement. With this modification, the point and screen would run 25 feet below grade to 30 feet below grade compated with a 36" point and screen that now runs 23 feet below grade to 26 feet below grade. If I pick up ample water by going 4 feet deeper below the water table, then would this larger point screen help too? Thanks, you comments are appreciated.
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