Swap Sears shallow well pump for new one, questions

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by educateme, May 9, 2006.

  1. educateme

    educateme New Member

    Messages:
    17
    I found a crack in the plastic pump housing on my Sears 3/4HP jet Hydroglass Shallow well pump, there was a slow trickle drip that isnt getting better, so I bought a new pump exactly like it #25188 on **** for a good deal, Sears wanted $90 for the plastic part so that was not as good a deal as getting the whole unit new, plus both methods will require the bigger job I am asking about below.

    Now I have a project to maybe do myself. How hard will it be to remove the old pump and put in the new one.

    There are 2 copper 1 inch output pipes, one pipe is attached to the vertical Sears Airtank on which the pump is bolted, the other output pipe goes up to the home water supply and filter system in the house. This pump and tank is in my basement, and the well is about 15 ft deep and about 15 ft away from the house, and has been supplying pretty good water for many years, there is some sediment but we filter that out after the pump.

    The 15 ft input line from the well is a PVC 1-1/2 pipe with a larger hand tightening type of union that couples the line with a few elbows to the Input check valve on the pump.

    When I started to unscrew the plastic union by hand- I heard a sucking air gurggling sound and stopped in case this was a sign of the water flowing back down the well and me losing the prime or pressure on the current pump.

    my concern is that I will lose the prime for good if I do not plug some holes etc when I start this job?

    Will the jetpump be able to suck that well water back up the well pipe inlet once I have primed the impeller chamber and run the pump for a few minutes while checking for bubbles and making sure the pump outlet valve is Open into the house supply?

    or do I need to prime the line with some sort of a hose hooked to some place on the existing pipes or Airtank?

    when i look at the Sears pump booklet I see where the priming screw is, but this is a place that the original pump has a pressure gauge screwed in and that appears to be something I can put water in thru when i am moving the gauge to the new pump.

    Hope this makes some sense to someone...

    is this a hard job for me to do, assuming I properly solder the two output 1" copper pipes back together with collars and use teflon tape on my fittings?

    what are the chances I can do this, or should I get a plumber to come because of trouble with the priming or other issues I am not aware of?

    much thanks to anyone taking the time to read and reply

    Jon
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    You shouldn't have a problem priming the pump. Every pump needs priming when new.

    You describe copper piping between pump and tank. I have seen pumps on tanks with a flexible pipe or pressure hose between the pump and the tank.

    That short rigid pipe could have contributed to the crack in the pump housing. Pressure shouldn't crack a pump. I would put a flexible pipe/hose between the pump and tank.

    It is nice to have a valve on the discharge when you are priming. You can open the valve to add priming water, and then crack it open to let air escape at low pressure. When the pump is clear of air you can close the valve and let the pressure build.
  3. educateme

    educateme New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Bob, I do have a valve on the discharge, the PVC does look crooked

    Bob

    Thank you for the reply and advice, I feel a lil better about trying it now

    2 notes to your reply:

    A: there IS a valve on the output pipe from the pump to the house.
    Thinking I will close this valve when I change the pump and then open it and use it to backfill into the pump as I attempt to prime it I suspect?

    B: Its not the tank pipe that looks stressed, instead theres a PVC well pipe that comes from the basement wall and has the Hand-tightened Union, it is slightly angled as it progresses over to the current pump input port, it looks as though this crooked pipe might have contributed to the leaky crack on the housing

    Although the pump might be worn on the inside by sand or something else.

    I am going to try to straighten the PVC pipe angle to a more horizontal line and might actually brace the plastic pipe so it isnt drooping as it goes from the wall to the pump. its only a slight droop, but I think there is stress on the pump that shouldnt be there. And I dont want the same failure later with the new one.

    I will attempt to do the copper pipe cutting and soldering and prime the pump in hopes that all goes as it should.

    I have stocked up on some extra water jugs in case we hit a snag and have to call a plumber, or make an Emergency Post here for more help

    if you have other thoughts please post them

    thank you

    Jon
  4. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    My question is why would anyone buy a plastic pressure pump that is doomed to crack? Then go buy another one!

    bob...
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    DITTOS speedbump Bob...

    The foot valve on the drop pipe in the well is bad or the union wouldn't be sucking air. Unions are supposed to be tightened by more than just by hand; but not broken by tightening them to much. I use channel lock pliers. I also don't install any type of union on the suction side of a jet pump.
  6. educateme

    educateme New Member

    Messages:
    17
    The plastic pump is what was there, so another one seemed right etc

    Hi

    I too wondered about why the pump housing was plastic, and why it cracked, I think the stress on the housing from the input pipe has something to do with it, so I will attempt to rectify that with a brace to make sure it is level and straight

    as if I know what i am talking about.....

    Anyway, the sucking sound I heard at the union DID make me wonder if the Footvalve in the well might be bad. How am I to know whether it is? unless I unscrew the union and then begin the whole pump replacement process....

    is it possible that some sucking sound is slightly normal and it will not be a major issue when i go to refill the pump and prime it?

    if the foot valve is bad, can the pump still possibly PULL the water up from the shallow well and get me back to normal water feed?

    I have tried to find a plumber thru a local friend who referred me to someone, the guy has not responded, I was told he may be busy, and that he also might not be interested in doing some small job like mine since he is into home construction jobs that are whole house.

    So I am left with lots of tools, some minimal knowledge, and a new exact replacement Sears jet pump that should be sorta easy to swap based on the pipes being in the same places etc

    assuming the foot valve is sorta OK, and the new pump will prime and pump, it should work right?

    what am I missing here? more comments welcomed

    thx

    Jon
  7. educateme

    educateme New Member

    Messages:
    17
    can I use some type of Flex pipe on the input side?

    so If I wanted to remove the plastic PVC union and pipes on the suction side and replace them...is there a grade of flexible 1-1/2 or 2 inch tube that is qualified to use on the suction side?

    I figure it has to be thick wall and not easily collapsed and it will need hose clamps and some type of joint end that can screw into the pump input port?
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    The PVC is probably 1-1/4" since it is measured by the inside diameter. If it is PVC it is very easy to use and the fewer fittings in any suction line the better. I would remove the union and all other unnecessary fittings. This will help remove any possible air leaks.

    bob...
  9. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    ummm...that sucking air sound? it says water was running back into the well, and the foot valve is designed, used, supposed to and always will prevent that AS long as the foot valve is good; a bad one will allow the water to run back into the well, as if there were no foot valve and there is no gray area in a foot valve, they either work or not. Yours is not working if the air went into the part of the union on the well side of the union that sucked air, meaning the foot valve is bad OR.... you have a serious leak in the drop pipe. And wishing the foot valve wasn't allowing the union to suck air ain't gunna make it better. lol

    You don't need flexible pipe and especially on the suction side of the pump.
  10. justhanging

    justhanging New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Speedbump
    It is cheaper for me to buy Hydroglass pumps. Brought a stainless steel Grundfos which lasted 12 years. Venturi broke and can't get parts. That pump cost more than twice the Hydroglass. Had trouble at first with cracking until I added a check valve at the output to elimate back pressure. The Hydroglass pump is now 12 years old and going strong.
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I'm not a fan of either of those two pumps. I like cast iron.

    It seems like everyone is pushing Stainless. It sounds warm and fuzzy. In reality a lot of the stainless pumps are quite cheap even the ones with the big price tag. Many of them have European motors that are very hard to find parts for.

    I would stay with brand name cast iron pumps.

    bob...
  12. justhanging

    justhanging New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I replaced the motor twice on the stainless one. Two GE's which were under warranty and then an A. O. Smith which gave the best performance. I only use the pumps as boosters anyway.
  13. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Buy a good pump and you should get years of service without all the hastle. It may cost a little more in the first place, but will last a lot longer.

    bob...
  14. justhanging

    justhanging New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Maybe it's my 115 to 120 degree weather that takes out the pump motors. What really is a good pump for a booster?
  15. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Do you need a booster pump or a well pump?

    bob...
  16. Pumpman

    Pumpman Pump Sales

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    So. Cal
    There are alot of good pumps on the market for well use or as booster pumps. As Speedbump noted, good heavy cast iron pumps are the only way to go. Myers, Goulds, Sta-rite, Berkeley, etc. are all good pumps. I also try to stay away from the stainless pumps and the Euro style motors.
    I also live where ambient temperatures can reach 120 degrees. Often, if a pump has a history of going through motors, we'll install the next size bigger, such as a 1 hp motor on a 3/4 hp pump, to lessen the stress on the motor.
    Ron
    p.s. You ought to see the black plastic pumps that crack when the temp is 120 degrees ambient!!!
  17. justhanging

    justhanging New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I use 1hp pumps. I pump from a storage tank pumping 3000 to 5000 gallons a day so I really use them. I had an experience with cast iron pumps. Problem was a plastic impeller.
  18. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You can buy cast iron pumps with Brass impellers. They are not the norm, but National pump offers them both ways.

    bob...
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