Deep well jet pump low water pressure

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Limicolous, May 18, 2012.

  1. Limicolous

    Limicolous New Member

    May 18, 2012

    My jet pump has been slowly losing its ability to create pressure. I've had to keep lowering the pressure switch to get the pump to cut off. There is low pressure when the pump is running, but when the pressure tank is filled and the pump is off the pressure is much better. When the pump was replaced 12 year ago the plumber did not get into the well (replace/clean venturi or anything). When the pump was new it still really didn't produce the pressure and volume that we would have liked but it has lasted this long. The piping is mixed with some kind of metal, pvc and 3/4" pex with lots of fittings. The well water is acid at about 5.5 pH.

    I'm afraid that this might be an issue with the foot valve or pipe in the well. Also, in talking to flotec to find out what type of pump I need, they said I needed to open the well to find the depth and water level.

    How hard is opening the well and do I have to shock the well afterward? IMG_2423.jpg IMG_2418.jpg IMG_2421.jpg IMG_2425.jpg

    Also, if I risk contaminating and knocking stuff loose in the well, wouldn't I maybe be better off to try a new pump first to see if it solves the problem? (The draw pipe before the pump is holding water and not letting it run back to the well.) I have been considering the Flotec 1hp thermoplastic model FP4332 or the multistage FP4432. And if I do have to get into the well, should I take the risk of putting a submersible down that might have to be worked on later? Can you use large pex for the well piping?

    Sorry if this isn't very clear my brain is having a plumbing meltdown.


    Info below:

    Type of pump? Water Ace 1hp r100
    Submersible____ No
    Two wire (no control)_______x
    Three wire (control box)______x
    Wire Size_________x Wire Length________x
    Jet Pump (above ground)_________yes
    One or two pipes down the well____two

    Size of Pump? 1hp... breadbox???
    Motor Horsepower?__________1hp
    Pump Model #______________ r100
    Date Pump Installed__________ 2001

    Pumping from? well below house outside basement, most spigots aprox. one story above basement, will have another story above this when house finished.
    Cistern tank___________no
    Pond, lake, river________no
    Water Well____________yes
    Depth of well__________?? do not know
    Depth to water_________?? do not know
    Pump Setting__________ lowered to about 15-25, to get pump to shut off
    Pipe Size_________ 1 1/4" metal from well to pump, then to 1" pvc and to 3/4" pex
    Drop Pipe Material PVC (I think)
    PVC________ x

    Well Recovery Rate_______gpm??
    Well Casing Diameter_______ 6" or 8” I think
    Rock Well__________ Sand Well__________ Other______________ it is rocky here
    Date Well Drilled____________ ??

    Well Casing Material ??
    PVC________ Steel_________ Other_________

    Pressure Tank? yes
    Bladder or diaphragm tank (one pipe to tank)__________ yes
    Size or model of tank____________ 75 gal
    Air charge in top of tank, with pump off and water drained____________ 18 PSI
    (check with car tire gauge)
    Plain Hydro Pneumatic tank (two pipes to tank, one in and one out)_________
    Size of tank________________

    Pressure Switch Setting?
    On 30, off 50 ________
    On 40, off 60_________
    Other_______________ 15/25

    Pump Control Method? pressure switch
    Cycle Stop Valve model #_________
    Variable speed control #__________
    Pump Start Relay (sprinkler timer, no tank)__________
    Manually turned on and off____________

    Pump Protection x
    Cycle Sensor_________
    Low pressure cutoff switch (lever on side)__________

    Filters or Softeners____ water boss acid neutralizing filter and resin softener, (thinking about adding a 20 micron whole house filter to catch particulates)
    Before or after pressure tank_______after
    Type of filter___________________calcite and softener to remove copper (Mom has severe allergy)
    Bypass available________________yes

    Water Used For?
    House Use______yes_ Number of baths_____2-4__ Number of People_____2___
    High Flow Showers_____??__gpm?
    Irrigation with timers________
    Irrigation with hoses________
    Heat Pump______gpm?

    Problems Experienced
    No Water_________________yes
    Water only part time________ will start to lose prime and we run around turning everything off and let pump work until it shuts off
    Water at all times but weak_____yes
    Air in water_______________yes
    Pressure surging___________yes
    Water Hammer (noise)______no
    Too Much pressure_________not exactly
    Other____________________ some dark metal looking material caught in faucet aerators, from metal pipes?

    Pump makes clicking or buzzing sounds________no
    No Sounds______________no
    Pressure gauge reading______starts at 0 and builds with dropping to 25, when it drops the pump sounds very stressed__psi
    Other____________________________________ really weird piping to pump from well, see photos

    Do you have, and know how to use
    an Ampmeter and Voltmeter__________________not really, but have one

    Describe Problem__________________________slowly dieing water pressure
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    I think the jet nozzle at the bottom of the well is clogged with the same stuff you see in the faucets. Max of 25 PSI makes me think the jet is plugged. Won't do any good to replace the pump if the jet is plugged. I would consider going back with a submersible because it won't have those kind of problems. Use 160# poly in the well with long barb fittings and at least two hose clamps each.
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  4. Limicolous

    Limicolous New Member

    May 18, 2012
    Hi, I have been reading about submersible pumps and they say the warranty is void if used in corrosive water. Would this mean it would prematurely fail in our acid water well? 5.5 pH?

  5. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Consult and Teach Well Drilling Internationally
    Virginia Beach, VA
    As valveman said and by your description it's most likely the nozzle in the Jet assembly is washed out or partially plugged. However when disturbing anything on an old jet pump you stand the high chance of plugging the nozzle with debris.
    I'd find a quality made (not Flotec) submersible pump and install it in the well. 5.5 ph is bad but I have installed submersibles in them and they last for years. Submersibles are simpler to install and maintain. If you do install a submersible use a conventional submersible with a Cycle Stop Valve. The CSV will give you constant pressure and extend the life of all the related components.
  6. Limicolous

    Limicolous New Member

    May 18, 2012
    I don't suppose

    anybody here has any experience with a residential in well air stripping system that would raise the pH at the site of the submersible pump? From our fish keeping, I know that when our water is aerated it balances to a nice 7.0 pH.

  7. traveller

    traveller Member

    May 25, 2012
    British Columbia
    I think you might be on the right track with your idea for aerating the well to raise the ph. Not positive but, it could be carbonic acid putting the ph at 5.5.

    Carbonic acid results from carbon dioxide dissolved in water. CO2 + H2O = H2CO3

    I have heard, though I am not sure, that the bond in this molecule is not overly strong and the introduction of oxygen will strip the hydrogen from it to make H2O again.

    Sure can't hurt to try, anyways.
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