Can't seem to prime pump

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Mike/Dove, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Mike/Dove

    Mike/Dove New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2021
    Location:
    Indiana
    Have a 2 in shallow well that would not hold prime. No foot valve, has a check valve at the pump. Checked the valve and it seems to be ok. The well pipe is outside and the pump is in the basement, has a tee in the well pipe about three feet below ground where the pipe comes into the basement. I think the
    Pipe has a hole rusted in it somewhere between the tee and the pump. If I drop a weighted string down the 2in well pipe I have water at 9 feet and the weight stops at 41 feet, I don't know how far the 2in well pipe goes down. I dropped a 1in
    Pvc pipe with a foot valve down the 2in pipe to 12 feet,
    checked my foot valve and it is holding. Hooked up my pump but I can not pump water. Rechecked the foot valve and it is holding. Changed pumps with the same results. Is the foot
    valve going to have to be below the bottom of the well pipe if so how do I figure out how deep the well pipe goes.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Confusing.
    Seems contradictory.
    Is "well pipe" what you are calling the drop pipe-- the pipe that goes down inside the 2-inch well?

    The "well pipe" has a tee inside? Guess it is not the drop pipe.

    You might want to re-read and modify for clarity.
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    No, as long as the water level is above the inlet or foot valve. When you cannot prime or lose prime, it is always a leak because your are sucking air or the check valve is not holding.

    Question and you maybe priming it correctly, is the pump below the well head? That is does the pipe go horizontal then down to the basement? If so you need to prime at the highest point. This will fill the inlet pipe full of water to the pump. When the pump turns on it will pump out the water and leave a vacuum behind it to pull water out of the well pipe. If it still fills your assumption that the pipe is rusted out somewhere probably holds water :D.

    A check valve may seem good on inspection but is could not be sealing when the pump is off. I once had a piece of a drill bit tooth stuck in the check valve. Another time the spring got weak and it could not hold the valve close. Since you cannot pull prime, it probably is not a check valve problem. Once you get prime and still lose it it could be the check valve or a pipe leak.
     
  5. Mike/Dove

    Mike/Dove New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2021
    Location:
    Indiana
    I have a tee at the inlet of the pump. I can fill the well pipe and the pump at that point this pipe runs horizontal and takes a 90 deg. bend into the well pipe, the water level will hold there for ever, I think that tells me my foot valve is good. I can Put the plug in the tee and start the pump out comes the clean water then the flow starts to drop them nothing.
     
  6. Mike/Dove

    Mike/Dove New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2021
    Location:
    Indiana
    I pulled my 1in well pipe from the 2in caseing. I dropped
    a weighted string down the casting and have water at 5ft
    I can actually see the water with a flash light. I cut my
    new 1in pipe, installed a new foot valve and lowered the
    new pope to 10ft. I installed a elbow and ran a 2ft horizontal
    Pipe over to the pump with a tee at the pump. I filled the line
    Through the tee and let it sit for 15mn and had no drop in the water level. I installed the plug in the tee and started the pump. As soon as the prime water was discharged the pump went dry. I have tried this three times with the same results.
    I don't know how far the old casting goes down. I know the foot valve is 5ft below the water level in the old caseing.
    When the pump runs dry I can here a sucking sound in the
    well casting like the foot valve is running dry. Is the water level dropping so fast in the old casting that the foot valve runs out of water.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I suspect yes. I would put your foot valve at about 33 ft down.
     
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