Pump loses prime while running.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by sinaminn, May 13, 2018.

  1. sinaminn

    sinaminn New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Location:
    Conroe, Tx
    I have a deep well jet pump (vertical) single pipe. 20 ft water table, 60 ft drop pipe. The pump itself is only about 4 yrs old. Well lost prime about a week ago. Got it primed and running again, no problem. Figured the footvalve had a piece of crap stuck in it or something and it seemed to fix it. Sometime night before last it lost prime again and I have no way of knowing how long the pump ran before I noticed the lack of water. Pump is about 100 ft from the house so can't hear it unless outside. Got it primed again but the prime only held for about 10 seconds after restarting the pump. It almost immediately drops all the water. Can actually hear it sucking air as the water leaves the pipe. Is this still a bad footvalve? Never had one that acted like the bottom fell out of it completely. Replaced 2 prior FV's in 30 years here. Wouldn't it hold suction as long as the pump was running? Jet leathers not sealing in the casing? Pump motor sounds fine. Still running smoothly and it picked up water instantly, just as instantly stops picking up water.
     
  2. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Occupation:
    Owner of a Water Well and Pump Repair Business
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Sounds like the leathers are gone.
     
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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Leathers or a suction leak. But here is a device that will shut the pump off if it runs dry again.
     
  5. sinaminn

    sinaminn New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Location:
    Conroe, Tx
    Thanks for the replies. Was hoping it was just the leathers, still am. I'll know one way or the other Saturday when we pull the pipe. For now I'm thrilled just to have not found replies saying"You're screwed. You messed up your expensive pump." I'll look into the sensor too.
     
  6. sinaminn

    sinaminn New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Location:
    Conroe, Tx
    All right, that didn't work. Replaced the leathers, soaked them for hours. They never did swell. Put it all back in the hole and let it sit for another 3+ hrs. Filled up the drop pipe and it held. Cleaned out a bunch of clay looking crud from the bottom of the pump and bolted the pump back on.It won't prime. It burps and the water disappears. I fed that thing a steady supply of water for a good 30 minutes. What am I missing?
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    The foot valve is a combination of a strainer and a check valve. I expect the foot valve needs replacing if you lose the water you put down there. Maybe you need a longer tailpipe between the ejector and the foot valve if you are sucking air.

    I have no applicable experience.


    [​IMG]
     
  8. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Occupation:
    Owner of a Water Well and Pump Repair Business
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Is it a steel casing? Casing might have a hole in it if so.
     
  9. sinaminn

    sinaminn New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Location:
    Conroe, Tx
    No Sir, it's 2" PVC casing. I double checked all the pipe for cracks and doped all the threads when we put it back together, took the jet apart, cleaned it and put the new leathers on it. Nothing corroded or damaged. Footvalve was clean and open/closed smoothly which was reassuring because the one I ordered didn't fit. Put it all back in the hole and filled the drop pipe up with water. It held water at the time. Left it to soak hoping those leathers would eventually seal off. Either the leathers never seated or that foot valve pulled a fast one on us because it's guzzling all the water I can get into it since we remounted the pump. It's going to have to wait till next weekend at this point. We'll pull it up again. I didn't think to work those leathers to loosen them up, worth a shot. New foot valve, shorten the drop pipe a few inches, ordered a new adapter for the pump. Seemed like that pump adapter(?) was in worse shape than any other piece I looked at. It's pretty corroded and pitted up.
    Still don't know if the pump itself got messed up the night it ran dry so and won't until I can get the thing to at least try to pump water.
    While I have you here...It's a 1hp sta-rite and I love this pump. It's a workhorse. They're getting harder and harder to find up here. I can't even find a rebuild kit for the thing. I got the part No. from Pentair and looked till I was crosseyed. The prices on the few I have found in my area have almost doubled since I bought this one in 97. If I have to have another pump my better half wants to go horizontal to save money. Is it even possible to run a horizontal pump with a 2 inch single pipe system? I know I'll lose a lot of output and pump life by downgrading the pump. I can live with that. Just need to get it going again.
    On the off chance that the casing itself is cracked. I have a 2nd well about 15 ft from this one. It was drilled first and for some reason it almost immediately started sucking sand like crazy. My well man at the time put a screen or something in it but said he couldn't guarantee it would hold and since it was a brand new well he dug me a 2nd at no cost. Been running off the 2nd for 20 yrs with no major issues till now. Would that 1st well be worth uncapping and blowing out/sanitizing after all these years?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  10. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Occupation:
    Owner of a Water Well and Pump Repair Business
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Leathers don’t need soaked. Sounds like you reused the footvalve and I’m guessing that’s the culprit. If you have a sta rite jet they do take a 1.25” footvalve but it has to be a special one to fit into a 2” casing. Hard to explain how the fv will hold or look ok but still leak but basically when you start filling the pipe the pressure on the valve increases and it starts leaking.

    Those MSE pumps are one of the best but expensive. I doubt you hurt it but sometimes running dry will make the shaft seal to start leaking. You should be able to buy one online. Horizontal pumps are single stage and won’t put out nearly the water and pressure.
     
  11. sinaminn

    sinaminn New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Location:
    Conroe, Tx
    It's running and pumping fine now. Thanks for the advice guys. :)
     
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