Pump keeps loosing prime, lots of air

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Matt A, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    Oct 3, 2016
    Location:
    Florida
    Hey guys I'm new to the Forum and love it! I've got 8 rental properties with most of them on well. I'm having a problem at one of them. The well is 85 feet deep with no foot valve. It is 2 inches in diameter with a check valve at the top and the water table is approximately 8 feet down. It has a brand new Sta-Rite three quarter horse pump which is located 25 feet from the Wellhead with 1 1/4 piping. I do have a pressure tank and a sediment strainer and my pressure switch is set at 50. I have pressure tested and vacuum tested from the pump to the check valve and there are no leaks. It's next to impossible to get this pump primed but once I do it loses Prime after a day or so. My theory is either the Wellhead is blocked and not allowing sufficient water flow or Worse, maybe the two inch casing is leaking. For what it's worth I can unscrew the wellhead plug and fill it with a water hose and it will slowly fill to the top so there is some restriction at the bottom. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Lubbock, Texas
    If a well won't take water, it won't make water. When your pump is sucking on the pipe and the water is restricted, the low NPSH makes bubbles in suction and you lose prime from the air coming out of the water. It doesn't have to be leak in the suction pipe to lose prime. You might be able to clean the old well and make it produce water, but you might be better off moving over and driving a new one.
     
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  4. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    Your explanation makes perfect sense. However I need a fast fix on this one. I can easily move the pump next to the Wellhead eliminating the 25 feet of horizontal piping and/or do you think I should try maybe muriatic acid cleaning the Wellhead and see what happens?
     
  5. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    If you can't get the well to take water, it won't take acid either. That stuff might do the trick, but it has to get to the problem zone first.
     
  6. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    I'm afraid to ask.....But an old timer said to shoot a 22 Cal. Into the well and that the shock wave will brake up the crud at the well point.....I don't think I have the stones to try it.....Thoughts?
     
  7. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Nope. Not eveb a 12 gauge can open it up. Maybe drop in some Nuwell tabs and wash them in as best you can.
     
  8. MI Well Drilling

    MI Well Drilling Oh well !

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    water well drilling
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    Maybe it's not taking water because of a Bremer check valve just above the screen. Please don't shoot a lead bullet in your drinking water. If it lost prime after it sets either the cap or plug on top is letting air in or the suction line where it connects to the casing. If it was working fine then suddenly doesn't it's a rust hole in the suction not a plugged screen
     
  9. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    Sorry been away had a hurricane down here for a few days. I don't have the stones for the 22 shot! This problem has been gradual and now will not pump at all. I like the clogged Bremer valve theory...so what to do? Try acid or drop 1 1/4 pvc with a foot valve to the bottom and try? My acid idea is as follows. I know just dumping acid won't get down to the bottom and results in a toxic fountain!!! So my idea is to buy 100 foot garden hose and feed it down to the bottom of the well and then take a funnel and pour the acid down the hose down to the bottom of the well head?
     
  10. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's not the cap I meticulously cleaned the threads with a wire brush purchased a brand new cap and reseated it using Teflon tape and Teflon paste and tightened it extremely tight and then did the shaving cream test around the threads....no leaks.
     
  11. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    And one final thought. Although I am 100% sure there are no leaks between the pump and the will head there is a 25-foot horizontal run. Would moving the pump right next to the Wellhead be of any benefit because I can do that fairly easily.
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    What happens if you turn on a hose and keep that running until you run out of water? Then turn off the pump for an hour. If you don't run out of water at all, or if you recover pretty quickly, you can eliminate the clogged bottom theory.
     
  13. MI Well Drilling

    MI Well Drilling Oh well !

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    Key words you said are lots of air. Run 1 inch poly pipe down the well 30 feet and hook your pump to that. Make sure you use a foot valve on the end or a line check at
    the pump. Air can't get into a closed system without a entry point. A plugged jet in the nose of the pump will create a little from cavitation but not the amount your talking about. I'm still leaning towards the horizontal pipe having a pin hole. The poly pipe pushed to the bottom will tell the story and it's not difficult to do. Is the sediment filter after the pump and tank or connected to the suction side?
     
  14. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    I will try what reach4 suggested. I like the poly pipe idea with foot valve. My sediment filter is between the check valve and pump. Check valve is inches from the well head. I do once in awhile get a sizable chunk of rust which was clogging the Venturi on the pump which is why I installed the sediment filter. So I guess it's very likely that the well pipe is Rusty and coming apart and possibly has a pinhole. I've got some bad weather here but I'll get on this in the next day or two and report back.
     
  15. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    The filter on the suction side of the pump is a problem.
     
  16. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    Really...Crap...the reason I did that was because every once in awhile I would get a large piece of debris that would clog the orifice on the pump. I'm using the everbilt 1 inch sediment filter that Home Depot sells is that too restrictive. It's not a paper filter it's actually a screen mesh with a drain cock at the bottom.
     
  17. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Y-strainer with a 20 mesh screen would be better. You don't have to filter very small particles just for the jet nozzle. The restriction will cause the pump to loose prime as well as the o-ring on the canister. Those o-rings hold good under pressure but not under vacuum. It is probably causing a suction leak one way or the other.
     
  18. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    Well I'll be darned I think you might have just solved my problem. All of my problems started when I put the strainer on it. Again the whole reason for the strainer was the pump was working absolutely fine but then I would get a large particle every month or so that would clog the orifice and cause it to cavitate. Then when I put the strainer on all my problems started. I will ditch the everbilt strainer and plumb in a Y strainer... a whole lot easier than replumbimg the Wellhead. Thank you and I will report back tomorrow.
     
  19. Matt A

    Matt A Member

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    Quick question. How do you feel about PVC couplings with an O-ring I have one of those two on the suction side do they pull air as well
     
  20. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    I don't like those on a suction either. Fewer fittings the better.
     
  21. MI Well Drilling

    MI Well Drilling Oh well !

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2016
    Occupation:
    water well drilling
    Location:
    Michigan
    I would have asked where the filter was sooner but you said you vacuum tested the system. Glad I asked. Please let us know the outcome
     
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