Shallow Well Jet Pump Problems??

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by William Palmer, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. William Palmer

    William Palmer New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    livingston, la
    I will explain my problem, I have a shallow well with 3/4 inch pipe running down from the pump. The inlet has a pvc check valve i just bought and put on running to a brand new utilitech 1/2 horse shallow well jet pump. Now when i cut the pump on the primer slowly bubbles out the prime hole but after the pump loses prime it will not pump any water from the ground? Now if i got and work the lever to my pitcher pump it forces water threw the inlet of my house pump and into the tank, but if i stop moving the lever then the water won't come through the inlet anymore and the pump will not pump by itself?? some people tell me that it could of been a bad foot valve but i'm not sure? I'm wondering if the water flows through the inlet into the pump and out to the tank, how could any of the valves be bad then? Its always had this set-up with a 1/2 horse pump but i'm still questioning if it needs a stronger pump?
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,973
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Generally speaking, you cannot throw more horses at a shallow well pump to get it to draw water. If a 1/2 horse won't do it, more horses won't help.

    If I understand, you have a footvalve, then a pitcher pump in series, then a checkvalve, then the shallow well pump. Sounds like there is too much resistance in series.

    The footvalve is likely spring loaaded. Why do you have a checkvalve at the pump? It too is probably spring loaded. The valves in the pitcher pump might also be spring loaded. Try removing the last checkvalve and put a bypass valve on the pitcher pump. It should then be able to draw but if the water leaks back to the well, the footvalve needs replacing.
  3. William Palmer

    William Palmer New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    livingston, la
    The footvalve(not sure if spring loaded) starts in the ground then a pipe running out above the ground from foot valve had a check valve i put on there brand new (spring loaded) then remaing pipe runs into the house pump. when primed it doesn't pull water from the well and the water continues to bubble out of the house pump?

    When i go an pump the pitcher pump though the water starts flowing only after i pour water into the pitcher pump, but when it starts flowing it also pushes water from the well through the inlet pipe of the house pump and all the way through the pump but when I stop pumping the lever to the pitcher pump the water stops and the house pump will not pump by itself ultimately causing for the water to go back down to the well???
  4. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    There should only be one check valve or foot valve in the suction line, preferably at the end of the suction line in the well (however that's not always possible). The pitcher pump should be on the outlet side of the pump. . . not on the inlet side. There should be a cutoff valve between the house and the pitcher pump. Once you pump water through the pump with the pitcher pump the well pump should be primed and pump water. If it doesn't, you have a defective or stuck foot valve or a suction leak in the suction side or the pump. Ifr the pitcher pump won't pump or pumps air there's a suction leak in the suction side of the pump.
  5. jimmy klotz

    jimmy klotz plumber, electrician, carpenter

    Messages:
    2
    future reference for all readers yes you can run two check valves on a suction pipe i recommend it even. i run two on my system its better to be safe then sorry and foot valves fails all the time its easier to replace a check vavle off the pump then one at bottom of well.. this guys problem most likely is two things.. 1 YOU CAN NOT HAVE ANY LEAKS IN SUCTION LINE this includes splicing into to for an open ended none air tight hand pump...2 when you install a check valve at top (off pump) you must prime the pipe also, dumping water down the pump wont work because the valve will not let the water prime the suction line.... to prime a suction line with check valve at top its simple, open well seal, open primer plug and pull pipe or in most cases pipes up and down until water comes threw the priming plug, tighten everything back and and fire it up... works for me every time.. and do not use 3/4 inch pipe suction pipes should be at least 1 inch i recommend 1 1/4 in. and if you must have a hand pump use a seperate do not splice into a suction line..... this is a very good example of why to call a professional.
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,461
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Foot valves and check valves fail from slamming shut during multiple pump cycles. Eliminating the cycling is one of the best ways to make a check valve or foot valve last longer. Using a CSV to reduce the flow to 1 GPM before the pump shuts off will keep the check or foot valve from slamming shut from the wide open position. Reducing the flow rate before shut off and eliminating cycling will keep you from destroying a check or foot valve, then you don't need the second check valve and won't get any of the problems (including priming) that go along with extra check valves.
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