Priming problems?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by ron in sc, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. ron in sc

    ron in sc New Member

    South Carolina
    I can not get my new Myers HJ75S to prime. Pump is 3/4 HP

    This is a replacement pump for one that wore out, in other words the well point is down 19 ft. and water is plentifull and clear.

    I can get water from well with a pitcher pump.

    Myers pump is working properly, did trouble shooting per intructions. Pump is installed with unions and I put as much water in suction pipe as possible as well as in the discharge pipe.

    Pump is located about 4 horizontal feet from where the casing goes in the ground. Pump is in garage with horzontal run going thru wall and outside. Also the casing is elevated about 6" to 8" above hoizontal run outside the garage, before it goes straight down in the ground.

    Previous pump a Gould had worked fine, it was hard to prime but it could be done, it was 1 HP.

    Pipe size is 1 1/4" suction and 1" discharge.

    What Myers said when I called

    The check valve which I installed right at the suction side of the pump is to close to the pump. The pump is choking. They say to move the check valve 4 feet away from the pump. I interpert that as meaning there is not enough volume to build up enough suction to get the pump to prime.

    What to do?

    Move the check valve, a pain since everything is plumbed. Of course I'll do it if that's the only option.

    Install some kind of valve on the discharge side to keep it filled with water when it's priming. Don't know it that would work or not, just an idea.

    Something else?
  2. Yes the check is a bit too close. If you move it out where they suggested, it should prime and hold it.
    When priming a pump, you really should be able to do it with less than a gallon of drinking water. Just open the largest plug on top of the pump head, and pour the head full.
    Then plug in the pump power, and quickly start hand-screwing the plug back in (wrap 2-3 flat wraps of teflon tape of the plug threads cclockwise only as the bottom of the plug faces you). It will bubble air and water (normal), but just keep hand-tightening the plug until it picks up prime.
    Once it primes, tighten the plug with a wrench.
    If it doesn't prime the first time, just do it again (including new teflon tape) until it does.
    Good luck!
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    It's late but I'm having trouble seeing how you can prime a jet pump with a check valve in the suction line when you need water in the line all the way to the foot valve. And that's for both deep well and shallow well jet pumps.

    Also, is the line running uphill to the elbow where it goes down through the casing cap? If so that's a problem that will have to be corrected, otherwise you can't get water up the hill unless you pressure prime it. But then, there's that check valve. I suggest removing the check valve, there is no good going to from it and it makes the pump work harder while it should cause the pump to struggle to get up to maximum pressure.

    Quality Water Associates
  4. ron in sc

    ron in sc New Member

    South Carolina
    I removed the check valve and installed a tee so I could put water into the suction line to prime it. Is that what you mean by pressure prime? I did get the pump to prime and pump water but it has very low pressure coming out; it kind of percolates out.

    I will say I have not used this well for about 8 or 9 years, but it worked fine before. Could it be the well point is not in a good water table anymore? And if so how do I test for that?
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    If you have a well point type well, certainly it could be that you aren't getting much water in the well. It could be that the water table is not as high as it used to be which makes the pump less efficient. Sediment could have closed off the screening too. Or the screening could be galvanized and is rusted shut on'on. If the drop pipe is galvanized, it could be rusted shut too. So a check of all that is in order.

    Pressure primiing means the primiing water is pressurized and forced down the pipe. You'd use a utility pump, small diameter hose/tubing and a bucket of water to pressure prime.

    If you didn't have a well point type well and had a two line jet pump, you'd have to look into the possiblilty of a bad j-body in the well. Also, all jet pumps have a potential to have the 'jet' blocked by debris etc. and your pump will have one in the wet end where the suction line connects. Usually there is a plug you can remove if the jet doesn't line up with the suction line fitting. But trying to get a well to work that hasn't been used in all those years... is at least an iffy thing.

    Quality Water Associates
  6. ron in sc

    ron in sc New Member

    South Carolina
    Gary and Mike,

    Thank you for your responses.

    Success at last. The problem seems to have been twofold.
    1-The check valve was to close to the pump, ie right on it. I moved it a few feet away to be closer to the well head.

    2-My old check valve was worn out so I got a new one. One that does not have a spring but a little metal flapper, I guess that's what it's called.

    I have a few other questions but I'll use search first and then post if no luck finding what I need to know.
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