What Am I Doing Wrong?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by lcsmall, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. lcsmall

    lcsmall New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    I'm usually pretty good at fixing things, but know nothing about plumbing and this well setup has me puzzled. A little background. The well is used only for an irrigation system and an additional faucet on both the front and back of the house. I've been in the house 7 years and everything was here when I moved in. The pump and well has worked fine up until a couple weeks ago. The pump is a Sta Rite SNE-L jet pump with a 30/50 switch.

    I came back from a vacation and the pump was running with no pressure. Not sure how many hours or days it had been running, but was surprised it hadn't overheated or tripped a breaker. Unplugged it and tried to figure out the problem. No noticeable leaks. Checked the tank with a tire gauge and it had 0 psi. Got out the compressor and filled it to 28 psi.

    This is where I'm not sure if I'm following the correct procedure. In the attached picture there is the blue "regular" faucet round valve, a black valve on the pipe, and an octagon shaped plug on the pipe going from the pump back into the wall.

    I thought maybe there was a priming issue. I tried hooking up a hose to the blue valve, opening it up and running water into the system. I've also tried adding water into the octagon shaped plug. I've even tried various combinations of open and closed blue valve, black valve, etc and can't get the system to work correctly. The pump will get to about 20 psi, but no higher.

    Can someone tell me the purpose of the black valve? Shouldn't is always be open? When woukd I use the blue valve? What's the plug used for? Priming? What would be the correct procedure for getting everything back up and running? Could it be a bad bladder in the tank?

    As you can see, I'm really stumped and feel like I've tried everything. Thank you very much for any info and help.

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  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,378
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Close the black handle. Prime from the blue valve. Let air out the hex plug. When all air is out, replace the hex plug, close the blue valve, open black valve and have some water on, then turn on pump.

    But it really sounds like the jet or venturi nozzle is plugged with something since it only builds to 20 PSI. Remove the plug under the suction pipe, and use a wire to clean out the jet nozzle.
  3. lcsmall

    lcsmall New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thank you for the suggestion. I will try it after work and see what happens.
  4. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I probably know the installer! Valveman said it best. The nozzle in the venture (jet assembly) on the end of the pump is probably plugged and Valveman advised you how to clear it.
    Once you get it working, you may want to consider installing a low pressure cut-off "Pressure Switch". Your pump would have shut down when there was no pressure (while you were gone). Then to prevent your pump from cycling (when you aren't drawing enough water) consider installing a CAV1A valve http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/st-viewcat.php?cid=94. If you're near Virginia Beach check with Tudor ACE Hardware and tell Sonny that Porky sent you, he'll give you a good price on the switch and the valve.
  5. lcsmall

    lcsmall New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    After messing with the pump tonight I was finally able to get it back up to 50psi. It will not hold pressure at all. As soon as I turn off water, the psi drops immediately with a loud gurgling noise coming from the tank and pipes. Does this sound like a bad check valve? The well and pump were already in the house when I bought it, so unfortunately I have no idea where that might be installed. Looks like I'll be doing some digging.



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