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 No Water - Pump Won't Prime - Air in Lines
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NorthFlorida
New Member

Florida
5 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  02:35:46 AM  Show Profile Send NorthFlorida a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have an older well that was installed in 1985. I believe it is 2" well. Although, shortly after installing, the company had to come back and put a smaller pipe inside because of a problem so I'm not sure what size it is now. The well is about 85 ft deep. The pump is a Flotec 4122 3/4 hp with about a 35 gal. bladder style tank.

When we originally bought this property in the 80's the whole neighborhood was tapped into an old artisan well, there was a big dispute over who owned the well and the next thing we knew the well was capped off and we had no water. We called several well drilling companies and all told us they couldn't get water in my neighborhood. A neighbor referred me to a local company so I called them and they said they have been drilling in this area for 25 years and could get us good drinking water, and they did.

It has worked fine up to now, I've replaced a few pumps and pressure switches over the years but this is the first of the following type problem.

Recently in the last two weeks we began to notice that there was air in our lines when the water was running, it would spit and spurt and it progressively got worse. Now the water has all together stopped, the pump was still running but no water was pumping out, so I turned off the pump. After the pump cooled off I was able to prime the well and it worked for a while, still making lots of air noises, but it stopped producing water within an hour. I tried to prime the pump several more times but have been unsuccessful. I checked to see if there were any leaks in the lines and didn't see anything wrong with the pipes. I live Jacksonville Florida and we are on a mandatory water restriction because of the low water table. I don't know if this might have anything to do with it, but could the well water have dropped so low that I can't pump up any water? Or do I have a pump problem? In my area the City does not provide water or sewer to our home, not that I want it either, but a well is all we have for water. Any suggestions on what I can do to determine what the problem is would be deeply appreciated. I'm really hoping that I won't have to drill a new well but I'm going to have to do something quick. Thanks for any help you can suggest! Neil

speedbump
Admin



Riverview
Florida
11632 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  09:07:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit speedbump's Homepage Send speedbump a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You really didn't describe much of your system except that you have a cheap pump (Flotec). Your not sure of the wells diameter or whether it's a shallow well or a deep well hook up. These things help us to try and determine what the problem might be. The more info you can give us, the better.

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JustWellWater84
Senior Member

Florida
364 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  11:47:23 AM  Show Profile Send JustWellWater84 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
goin out on a limb here but i'd bet its a 2" rock well with shallow well pump.. cheap pump but it could be worse. my guess is you have a small suction leak.. probably where the pvc meets the suction of the pump, sometimes you can wiggle the fitting with your hand and see it is a little loose. that is normally the most common place to pull air.. do you have a bladder tank or old galvanized tank? i'm gonna stick with suction leak for now... so far my recommendations are to check for suction leak.. if you need a hand, let me know what side of town you are on.. .. not that i would try to solicit a job or anything.

Edited by - JustWellWater84 on Apr 17 2010 12:06:22 PM
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NorthFlorida
New Member

Florida
5 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  2:35:59 PM  Show Profile Send NorthFlorida a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I pretty much posted all I know about the well, but thanks Justwellwater84, the tank is a bladder style. I did check again for a leak and sure enough, there is leak at the suction end of the pump where the PVC pipe screws in. I'm going to change this out and see what happens and I will let you know. For me, that will probably take the rest of the day by the time I go to the store to get fittings and stuff, I'll post again after I finish. Thanks for the help!
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JustWellWater84
Senior Member

Florida
364 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  2:39:51 PM  Show Profile Send JustWellWater84 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
no prob, just saved yourself some money.. dont forget to prime him up before you run it.. oh yeah, check some of the pvc fittings on the disharge side of the pump, as more often than not, it will be loose too... but you can deal with a discharge leak, you cant have a suction leak at all.

Edited by - JustWellWater84 on Apr 17 2010 2:46:13 PM
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NorthFlorida
New Member

Florida
5 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  6:07:04 PM  Show Profile Send NorthFlorida a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JustWellWater84

no prob, just saved yourself some money.. dont forget to prime him up before you run it.. oh yeah, check some of the pvc fittings on the disharge side of the pump, as more often than not, it will be loose too... but you can deal with a discharge leak, you cant have a suction leak at all.



















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NorthFlorida
New Member

Florida
5 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  6:09:46 PM  Show Profile Send NorthFlorida a Private Message  Reply with Quote
(I just posted some photos of the well and tank)I just removed the pump and the line to the well and thought I would take a few pics to show the well pipe coming out of the ground. As I mentioned earlier, when the well was drilled they had to come back and insert another pipe inside for some reason, I suppose that is the white pipe inside the steel pipe. The inserted pipe looks pretty small (3/4 or 1") compared to the outer pipe, it's worked up to now but is this to small? Also, you can see there were to check valve in the line to the pump, is that a good or bad thing? Anyway, I'm going to replace all the pipe from the well to the pump and see what happens.
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JustWellWater84
Senior Member

Florida
364 Posts

Posted - Apr 17 2010 :  8:40:26 PM  Show Profile Send JustWellWater84 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
on the top of that well... that steel fitting is called a double-tap bushing, that pvc pipe that is going into the well is the drop pipe and is 1", and its totally normal... now what isnt normal: you should be able to pour water in that 1" pipe in the well and fill it to the top, and it should stay... if it doesn't, which it looks like it doesnt, that means that the foot valve on the bottom of that 1" pvc in the well is bad.. which is why someone put that check valve up top by the pump, because they didnt wanna dig that well up, pull the drop pipe, and do it the right way. if you want to do this right, you need to put a pipe wrench on that double-tap and unscrew it.. it will probably be hard but you can do it! ..and get that 1" pvc out of that well, it should be loose and easy to pull out... then replace the foot valve on the bottom.. that 1" is probably 20-40' long.. put on a new brass foot valve and put it back in the well just like it is.. then replumb it back to the pump with no check valve up top. the foot valve in the well is the only check valve you need.. thats the way that setup SHOULD be put together.. and is the only way i would fix it... you aready have the well dug up, go ahead and fix it the right way.

ps, i would probably go ahead and replace that drop pipe with 30' 1" pvc, just for the heck of it, and make sure and use a BRASS foot valve on the bottum of it... put it back in and hook it to the pump.. remember suction side fittings have to be good and tight!.. prime it up and rock on... while you have the tank unhooked, go ahead and put you about 25-28 psi in it, and make your pump cut on at 30 psi, and off at 50.

... i would take this advice, you are in my area and if you were to call my business line i would never have walked you through this, but i like this site, and you caught me at a good time, i just got home today from the hospital with my second son and i am feeling generous.

Edited by - JustWellWater84 on Apr 17 2010 8:58:43 PM
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speedbump
Admin



Riverview
Florida
11632 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  10:57:48 AM  Show Profile  Visit speedbump's Homepage Send speedbump a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I couldn't have said it better.

I would advise having better taste in tanks. I hope the pump isn't the same brand.

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JustWellWater84
Senior Member

Florida
364 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  12:21:45 PM  Show Profile Send JustWellWater84 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is the same brand but a least it is one of the cast iron head flotecs, which while they aren't much, they are lightyears better than the plastic heads.
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NorthFlorida
New Member

Florida
5 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  6:10:04 PM  Show Profile Send NorthFlorida a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You were right JustWellWater84, it took a while to get the double tap screw loose but with a extra 5ft pipe on the end of the wrench it busted loose. I took some pics of what I found, there was no foot valve on the end of the 1" pipe. The 1' pipe is 30ft long. I dropped a weighted line down the well and it hit bottom at 52ft. The water in the pipe is at 7-1/2" deep. When I unscrewed the double tap I heard air leaking out like it was sealed. So, is all this pretty normal? If so, I will get 30ft of pipe, a new double tap screw, and a new foot valve and put this thing back together like you explained earlier. (And by the way, congratulations on the new baby boy! The fun starts all over again, the second time around is always the best) And thanks for all your help!

















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JustWellWater84
Senior Member

Florida
364 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  7:46:50 PM  Show Profile Send JustWellWater84 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
yeah i guess they never used a foot valve and just used a check valve up top.. but you wont be doing it the way they did, you'll be doing this the right way! the air you heard when you loosened the double tap was probably nothing, dont worry about it. just be sure your fittings in the foot valve and double tap are good and tight and your fitting in the top of the double tap and the front of the pump are tight too. use CLEANER AND GLUE when gluing your fittings.... looks like you got this job handled!.. way to go!.. thanks for the comments about the baby and your welcome for the help.. good luck!

... no need to try to go big on any of this, 1" drop pipe and 1" foot valve. 1 1/4" foot valves will fit but tend to get stuck in 2" galvanized pipe sometimes.. and you will not gain any more volume from using one.

.. and thanks for all the pics, you made it much easier to help.

no need to get a new double tap, those things are made of good thick steel. put it on a wire wheel or hit it with a wire brush and re-use it! sucker prolly costs 15-25$ (can't remember) i re-use them all the time.

Edited by - JustWellWater84 on Apr 18 2010 7:55:04 PM
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speedbump
Admin



Riverview
Florida
11632 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2010 :  09:37:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit speedbump's Homepage Send speedbump a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
no need to get a new double tap


I'll bet there is no big box store in the world that even knows what one of those are, let alone have one.

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