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Old 03-07-2009, 06:54 PM   #1
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well problems


I am looking at a foreclosed property. It has been vacant for 2 years. Power is on to the house, turned on the pump and it runs but I get no water. It's a 110v pump mounted on top of the well caseing, Shaft runs down the well caseing to a submerable pump ( I assume). Could it be that after that long the pump has lost it's prime? and if so How do I prime it? The well is located under the front step in the crawl space. Any help would be great

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Old 03-07-2009, 07:01 PM   #2
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Is this pump red with a motor mounted on top and drives a larger pulley that makes a shaft go up and down?

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Old 03-07-2009, 07:07 PM   #3
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I doubt you have a shaft running down the well to a pump. You most probably have a shallow well pump on top of the casing or a jet pump (deep well, 2 pipe system) with a jet down in the well.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
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No it's not red it's green it's bolted on to the well caseing 4 inch cast iron. I can see the shaft but don't know if it's a shallow well. I don't think it's a jet pump because the water line coming out is a single line of 1 inch dia. The pressure switch is mounted right next to the motor. There is a gauge at the tank also but no pressure switch.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:42 PM   #5
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I have seen them green too.

Does it look something like this



This pretty old
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #6
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no it looks nothing like that. the motor is about 10 inches long and mounted verticaly on the well caseing. the shaft I can see through a space in the motor case. It runs down the well caseing. The house was built in 74.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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How about this



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Old 03-07-2009, 08:26 PM   #8
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that's not excatly it but it looks close. The picture looks like an older motor. The front step concret has been broke out and repoured so I think they have replaced the pump in the past.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:29 PM   #9
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I'd be willing to bet that this is a vertical jet pump. These were quite common in the 60's to 80's. Basically, it's a close-coupled jet pump that's designed to be mounted vertically on top of the well casing. The suction pipe threads onto the bottom of the pump, and goes down into the well. Both the motor and pump are above the well. The shaft can be seen between the motor and pump.

Some of these are 1 pipe systems, most are 2 pipe. There is a venturi and check valve at the bottom of the well with the 2 pipe system, just a check valve with the 1 pipe. The 1 pipe is good for a well not more than 25' deep, the 2 pipe can go to about 150'.

If the motor runs, but no water comes out, it's very likely that the pump has lost its prime. The check valve might also be stuck.

To prime such a pump, find a place that you can unscrew a fitting anywhere level with or above the pipe on the discharge side. A lot of times, the pressure gauge can be removed, usually it has a bushing into a tee in the line. When you have the system open, pour water into the pipe until it is full. For a deep well this might take 5 or 10 gallons. If you pour more than 15 or 20 gallons in, and it still isn't full, the check valve is likely bad. Make sure the water goes down the well (through the pump), and not down the discharge pipe. There should be a valve to close somewhere.

The idea here is to get the pipe in the well, and the pump casing full of water. The pump is designed to pump water, it won't pump air.

When the pipe is full (or mostly full), screw the gauge (or whatever) back in, just hand tight. Start the pump. If the pressure goes up, the threads will leak, you can tighten the gauge while the system is under pressure. Just remember to tighten it, not loosen it!

Most pumps like this prime the first time, occasionally one will need to be primed more than once.

Rob
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micromind View Post
I'd be willing to bet that this is a vertical jet pump. These were quite common in the 60's to 80's. Basically, it's a close-coupled jet pump that's designed to be mounted vertically on top of the well casing. The suction pipe threads onto the bottom of the pump, and goes down into the well. Both the motor and pump are above the well. The shaft can be seen between the motor and pump.

Some of these are 1 pipe systems, most are 2 pipe. There is a venturi and check valve at the bottom of the well with the 2 pipe system, just a check valve with the 1 pipe. The 1 pipe is good for a well not more than 25' deep, the 2 pipe can go to about 150'.

If the motor runs, but no water comes out, it's very likely that the pump has lost its prime. The check valve might also be stuck.

To prime such a pump, find a place that you can unscrew a fitting anywhere level with or above the pipe on the discharge side. A lot of times, the pressure gauge can be removed, usually it has a bushing into a tee in the line. When you have the system open, pour water into the pipe until it is full. For a deep well this might take 5 or 10 gallons. If you pour more than 15 or 20 gallons in, and it still isn't full, the check valve is likely bad. Make sure the water goes down the well (through the pump), and not down the discharge pipe. There should be a valve to close somewhere.

The idea here is to get the pipe in the well, and the pump casing full of water. The pump is designed to pump water, it won't pump air.

When the pipe is full (or mostly full), screw the gauge (or whatever) back in, just hand tight. Start the pump. If the pressure goes up, the threads will leak, you can tighten the gauge while the system is under pressure. Just remember to tighten it, not loosen it!

Most pumps like this prime the first time, occasionally one will need to be primed more than once.

Rob


Thanks Micro for the new info.

I haven't a lot of experience with jet pumps. Most well around here are 125 ft deep and submers
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:04 PM   #11
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I haven't seen deep-well jet pumps installed since the 1980s. They're all submersible these days.

A submersible will produce about 2-5 times the flow for the same HP. They don't need to be primed (pump and motor are both underwater), and they're every bit as reliable as a jet pump.

The only way to go!

Rob
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #12
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I'm not sure about the well depth. But I do think it has lost prime. I'm going to try to prime it frist, no cost and a little trouble with the motor being under the step in the crawl space. Room is a real problem but I have nothing to lose by trying. Thanks for the help guys, I'll post the results after trying.

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