well pump losing prime

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by cajunsally, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. cajunsally

    cajunsally New Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    Twice recently after losing power for a period of time I have lost the prime to my pump. I have a deep well pump, Goulds Jet pump that I have replaced myself.

    The first time I reprimed the pump It changed from 20-40 psi cut in and off to 30-50. Now it is 40-60. Should I reset this and how do I do that.

    Additionaly, what would be the cause of losing its prime if no water was used? Would it be the foot valve? Can I put a check valve in near water intake?

    It seems to me that there is a continual flow of water coming out where the well is located. I originally thought this was an outlet of ground water coming from the slope of the hill behind my house, but now I am not sure.
    Any suggestions on what I should do?


  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    There is no reason that priming the pump should affect the pressure setting.

    The pressure setting is done with a small nut on the pressure switch that you see when you take the cover off the switch. Clockwise looking at the nut increases the pressure setting. With dexterity and care, you can set the switch with a wrench or pair of pliers without getting electrocuted. I suggest turning the power off at the circuit breaker.

    While you are at it, check the air pressure in your bladder tank. There is usually a fitting on the top of the tank (end if a horizontal tank) that looks like the place you put air in your tire. When the pump is shut off, put a tire gauge on it and check the air pressure. If they are the same, great. If not, the gauges are not reading the same, so make a note of the two readings.

    If the difference is great, it may be that the gauge on your pump is bad, which is a possible reason for variations in apparent switch points. Be sure the gauge is correct before you try setting the pressure switch or you will go crazy trying to set it. If you install a new gauge, run the pump until it shuts off. Check the air pressure again. There is an adjustment for setting the differential to make it different from 20 psi (a nut closer to the base of the switch) but I suggest you leave that alone for now.

    When you are sure the gauge is correct, or you have a new gauge that you trust, drain all of the water out of the tank by turning off the pump power and slowly draining all the water. Watch/listen when the switch actuates to try to turn on the pump. Is that the pressure where you want the pump to turn on?

    After the water stops flowing (the tank will be empty), check the air pressure again. The air pressure in the tank should be about 2 psi LESS than the pressure that you want the pump to start pumping (the ON setting).

    If the pressure is too low, you should add air with a compressor (the easy way) or bicycle pump (the hard way).

    If the pressure is higher than 2 PSI less than the SWITCH ON point, you have two choices. Increase the on point by adjusting the switch, or vent some air out of the tank. If the air pressure is 38 psi or less, and your pump is capable of 60 psi, I would increase the switch setting to 40/60; but that is your choice. If the pump has marginal at that pressure, then bleed the tank to 28 psi for a 30/50 setting.
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  4. cajunsally

    cajunsally New Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    well pump

    OK, I have a new gauge that I am going to replace, What would be the best way to replace this?

    The fuse box is only two feet away. So I can easily shut the power off. Do I need to shut the water supply off to keep back pressure in the lines?

    Also, my main concern is a steady flow of water coming out of the ground near the well cap. Does this mean I have a problem with my foot valve?

    Thank you for your advice and input.

  5. speedbump

    speedbump New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Water well and pump tech.
    Riverview, Fl.
    You have to relieve all the pressure before taking the old gauge out. Or you are going to get a bath.

    Does the pump shut off then turn back on all the time? If so, this could be the reason your seeing water by the well. I wouldn't think anyone would hookup a deep well pump to a flowing well.

    After changing the gauge, you will probably have to prime the pump again.

  6. cajunsally

    cajunsally New Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    Well, I broke down and called the experts, had to pull up the well, there was a tiny screw head stuck on the venturi valve. Clogged it shut. Thanks for all the input. I have water again. Yeee haw.
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