Pump works, but no water

Discussion in 'Irrigation / Sprinkler Forum' started by Scotty99, May 4, 2018.

  1. Scotty99

    Scotty99 New Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Location:
    South Florida
    My irrigation system is powered by a shallow well. I live in south Florida.

    A few months ago my pump seized up. It was 1hp. I hadn’t noticed there was a problem until I saw some brown/dry spots in my yard. I replaced it with a 3/4hp that I got a good deal on, hoping it work.

    It worked, but the water pressure coming out of the sprinklers was low. The sprinklers seemed to only shoot out 30% of what they should. I changed the timer to run every day to make up for the weaker pressure. I left it like this for a few months, hoping it would be sufficient.

    My lawn started dying. I knew I had to replace the weaker pump. I returned the 3/4hp and got a 2hp.

    I hook it up. Pump seems to run as intended, but no water is coming up now. Tried priming pump several times, it just pumps out all the water I added to the pump. Doesn’t seem to suck anything from the well.

    My questions are:
    Is it possible my new 2hp pump is too powerful? Seems silly, but I don’t know.
    Could my well be dry? I don’t think so as it seemed to be pumping fine with the 3/4hp pump.
    Would a bad check valve fail in the closed position? Clogging the suction line?
    There is a union on the suction line. I’ve read this could cause an air leak, but would it leak enough to where the pump couldn’t produce any water at all?

    Please help
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Lubbock, Texas
    Try pumping from and recirculating back to a 5 gallon bucket. If it pumps fine from the bucket, the problem is in the well.
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
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    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    I worked at Sears and we sold a lot of pumps, (Boca Store) and all said and done a few always returned as "not working", it's nearly impossible that pumps cannot work as long as the motor is turning. The pump would be returned to the manufacture and they always returned OK and packaged as a refurbished.

    Yes, 2 hp could be too much that the pipe size cannot handle the flow rate but you should still draw water. 2 hp is good for drawing water from a lake so since an input 2" pipe is needed all the way.

    You're not able to get a prime because you are probably sucking air. It is possible the check valve is bad but usually it gets stuck open and when you prime the water goes back down the well and not enough sucking is resent to pull the prime. I had a 3 hp pump losing prime the same way and occasional I was able to pull prime. I would just changed the check valve. It is is threaded fitting then use tape and a little pipe dope on the threads.

    A shallow well uses a point and it could be collapsed or plugged up. If you get rust stains then you have a shallow well, about 40 ft deep. If there are no rust stains and you have the stinky sulfur smell water then it is not a shallow well (70 plus feet), and there is no point.
     
  5. RichMoney

    RichMoney New Member

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    May 25, 2018
    Location:
    Washinton
    3/4 horse to 2 horse is a huge jump. Not sure what brand of pump you have but, not all pumps are created equal. There is no comparison to Harbor Freight pump compared to a Sta-Rite.

    How to prime a pump:
    Fill the pump complete up by using a double male end hose like a washer machine hose. If you can leave the city water hooked up then great, if not unhook it.
    Turn the pump on, as the pump runs it will begin to pull air from behind the check valve, try to keep at least 20 psi back pressure on the pump by holding your thumb over the hose as the pump runs.
    FYI: If you still have your old pump, you can most likely break it loose by removing the rear cover of the pump and accessing the motor shaft and turning it.

    rich@sprinklerresource.com
     
  6. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    Good morning I am new to the forum and also new to the well and irrigation world ..so I need some help ok this is the problem I am having I bought a new home in port st lucie florida about two years ago after doing so I had a irrigation company came out and dig a well the well is 140 feet and they installed a Goulds 1HP pump and a pressure tank after it was installed I had a few problems like lost prime however the came out and fix it so the system was set up September 2019 in April of 2020 it started to lose pressure and the sprinkler heads so I called up the company they came out and they told me the pump is working faster that the well can produce the walter so they are going to have some come out and look at the well however the pandemic came and no one came out to check out the well but wasn't a biggie because it started working better didn't use it much over the winter off 2020 into 2021 but not that it's summer and I start to walter more now it started to do the same thing where it not much water going to the sprinklers and low pressure and pump running all the time trying to get to 40psi it won't pass 25 psi so I call them up and they are telling mi it's out of warranty so I started to do some research ...I was told to put the drop pipe and check the water in the well the drop pipe was 26 feet and was told it should be 33 feet so I expected it to 33 the check valve was working ok but I put a new one I was getting water up to about 6 feet on the drop pipe so now that I extended it an getting up to about 16 feet my pump is holding the prime the problem I am having now is when I run the pump it give me water until the water from the suction line and the runs out then it take about 5 minutes are so before the water from the well gets to the pump and sometimes I have to open up the system and keep a water hose with water going to keep the system prime... my suction line is about 40 feel long because of where the well is located to the pump my question is should the drop that goes in the well hold water in it because I don't understand why the pump taking so long for it to put the water from the well ...just need some help thanks
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    Should we infer you have a "deep well" jet pump with two pipes between the pump and the well? 2-inch steel casing?

    To post a new thread:
    1. Click Forums, which gets you to http://www.terrylove.com/forums/index.php or if you already see the name of the forum, go to step 2.
    2. Click the name of the forum that you want to post into.
    3. On the right, click on "Post New Thread".
     
  8. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    Yes I have 1 hp jet pump with 1 1/4 suction line connected to a check valve the then 1 1/4 drop pipe that's 33 feel into the well thats a 2-inch steel casing
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    That would be a shallow well pump system.

    Once you get water, can you pump at full rate for a long period? If yes, that would imply a suction leak. How many joints do you have above ground. Threaded joints are a good place to leak air into the suction.

    Ideally, you would put the check valve 33 ft down the well. A "foot valve" is a check valve and screen combined.

    Check all accessible joints on the well-side of the check valve by putting shaving foam on each as the pump actively pumps water, and see if there is one or more place that the foam sucks in. The connection right at the pump is one such threaded joint to check.
     
  10. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    Ok I have a few joints on the well side of the check valve that's glue in however there is one part that's not glue that am not so sure about because it's the part that's on top of the drop pipe it's like a union and it looks like it's Threaded and it also looks like it prevents the drop pipe from falling in the well and then a elbow sits on top I don't know what that part is called and yes ones I get it running it runs for along time with out a problem so i think the problem is on the well side of the check valve
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
  11. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

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    Location:
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    When the well was put in, was a flow test performed? The digger would use their own gas powered pump to get a read on how many gallons per minute the well can produce.


    For information only;
    If it is irrigation only, the only reason a jet pump was used is the water level. However, most of South Florida the hydro static pressure will bring the water level as high as 5 ft below grade. An irrigation pump doesn't use a pressure tank and it's not needed. For the most part a 2" casing is used and a 1.5" pipe is inserted into the casing to the irrigation pump and it acts like a straw, however, any pump can only pull water of about 25 ft for decent pressure, otherwise a jet pump is needed. Though PSL is not S. Florida, the well digger went down 140 ft which is pretty deep for irrigation only, he is probably familiar with the water table in you area for making that decision. Also, salt water intrusion is a possibility with a shallow well if you're close to the ocean.


    upload_2021-6-10_7-50-42.gif
     
  12. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    Good morning ..yes the person that did the well did do a flow test I just don't remember what the number was and he also said that it's best to go that far down because the water won't have that much Iron in the water so it won't mess up your walls don't know how true is it the sales rep from the irrigation company told me he's going to do a pressure tank so the pump don't keep running maybe it was just a sales pitch because I didn't know anything about well systems... when it started to give problem first with the water pressure the water company told me it could be a well problem that was about 7 months after the system was installed I thought that was crazy because both of my neighbors uses a well for their water in their house and they wasn't having no problems .I go in touch with the person that put the well in and he's the one told me the drop pipe should be 33 feet so am not sure ... so are you saying that the pump can't pull the water from 33 feet that's why am having the problem with it pulling the water fast enough?
     
  13. fitter30

    fitter30 Well-Known Member

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  14. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

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    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    That sales rep didn't know what he was talking about. A motor that runs continuously will last longer than one cycling on and off.
    If you have two pipes running down the casing to a jet, it can go well past 33 feet. It is possible the jet is jammed up with debris so you're not getting the best performance. You stated a 2" casing. It be awfully hard to get two 1.25" pipes down the casing to connect to the jet. Usually a jet pump of 1HP the suction side would be 1.25" and the return 1" to the jet. Your casing may be 2.5".

    A pressure tank set up with a pressure switch on the pump has only one advantage for irrigation. If you want to add spigots to use a garden hose for hand watering.
     
  15. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    Ok so basically my problem started because my water got low (drop below 26 feet) and buy me extending the drop pipe to 33 feet the pump can't pull the water from that deep?
     
  16. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    A
    ND I only have one pipe going inside the well
     
  17. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    IL
    What that got you is at least you were not sucking air from that depth normally.
     
  18. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
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    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    One pipe? Then the water level has to be at least 25 ft continuously. Lately here on Florida the rain fall has be scare and the water table may be dropping. It sounds like a typical irrigation well. A 2" casing drilled down to a depth to hit water. If the well is less than 50' it will have clear water iron. You'll notice a lot of old homes may have rust stains from sprinkler use.

    The fix may be a new well with a four inch casing with a submersible pump.

    My well in Palm Beach County went down to 83' when the casing got below the bed (shell rock) rock and hit a water. It was sulfur water but ok for irrigation and yes it stinks but no rust stains. Going deeper for domestic use is required for clean water. Hydrostatic pressure, as in my well, brought the water up past 20'. A single PVC pipe 20' long was inserted, like a straw, and never had a problem for over 16 years when I sold the home.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021 at 1:02 PM
  19. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
     
  20. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
    Good morning I will cut the drop to 26 feet and try that
     
  21. Jimmy1974

    Jimmy1974 New Member

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    Jun 9, 2021
    Location:
    Florida
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