Irrigation well pump keeps losing prime

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Russell Brown

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Coconut Creek, FL
Hi, I recently had a new irrigation well dug as the old one collapsed. The well was dug to 60' with 2" PVC. I did the plumbing hookup my self. The well guy said to put the check valve close to the well pipe, so I put it right after the 90 degree elbow. I then ran 2" PVC to where the old 1 1/2" PVC came from the pump. I used a 2" to 1 1/2" coupling. I primed the pump and the well worked great. There is about 60-70 feet from the pump to the well.
However, after a day, the pump loses it's prime and I have to re-prime it. On the old 1 1/2" plumbing the check valve was close to the pump. I have no idea if there was another valve close to the well as we could not find where the old well was.

My question is ... should the check valve be closer to the pump? Is that why I keep losing prime? If so, can I just add another one, or should I take the one by the well off?

Also, I dug up my piping to check for leaks and I can't find any ....

Any help or suggestions would be great ...

Thanks in advance!!!


The wife is still training me.
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Orlando, Florida
Location of check valve has no impact but close the well is preferred. From pump inlet to the well (water table) there is a leak allowing air to enter OR the check valve is not closing tight enough or some debris is preventing it from closing. For air leaks (pin holes) would usually be at any threaded fittings. The check valve is most likely.

After you prime the pump and run it turn off the pump. Put your ear to the pipe. If the check valve is not closing you’ll hear and maybe feel the water going back down the well. A second check valve won’t hurt if it makes you feel better.

The check valve at the well allows you to have the 50 feet of water sitting in the pipe. Occasionally, after months non use, the water from the valve to the well will drain back into the ground. The long pipe with water in it will allow it the self prime the well. As the water gets sucked out of the pipe, the vacuum behind the water will pull the water from the well. Actually atmospheric pressure does it.
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