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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Default Priming shallow well pump?

    Hi Guys,

    I have a shallow well pump (not a jet) which has a plug on it where you prime it. Does anyone know, assuming there is no check-valve in the suction line, if when you remove the priming plug it introduces air into the system allowing water in the well to drain back down?

    I'm not sure how these pumps are constructed internally. Trying to figure out if I lose everything I gain every time I open that plug to prime it again. Is that plug supposed to be left loose to bleed air when you're priming?

  2. #2
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    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    Your pump needs a working foot valve. That valve is supposed to have a check valve and a screen over it to protect it from picking up debris.

    A shallow well pump comes in one flavor, but two if you mean the term shallow well to be as opposed to a submersible. One has two pipes coming from the main pumping body going down into the well, and it is called a "jet pump" with the part in the well being the "Jet" and it has an integrated check valve.

    The other type only has one pipe going into the well. It is a true shallow well pump. The foot valve is inexpensive, and screws onto the end of the well pipe.

    You should not have to leave the plug loose. You should be able to merely pour water into the unplugged hole, and that water should not escape. You reinstall the plug, then fire up the pump and it pumps away.

    You should not lose your prime, and if you do, it means that either your below water check valve is bad, or you have some leak between the footvalve and the actual pump impeller that is letting that column of water escape.

    The last time I had a problem, I had a jet pump. I turned off the power, and opened a spigot to empty the system of water. But, when the water stopped flowing, the spigot then started drawing in air, so that was the water rushing down the well through a hole in my corroded old jet body.


    Edit: The reason for my test was I heard a periodic thumping that I associated with excessive well starts, but not such that it would be caused by a waterlogged tank. What was happening was the pump pumped up, then the water rushed through the hole in the jet, and the switch flipped, and it repeated ad nauseum. I replaced the entire thing with a submersible.

  3. #3
    Elite Member foggy1111's Avatar
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    JD 3320 eHydro w/ 300CX Loader

    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    I think you will allow air to enter when you remove that plug....unless you install a check valve.

    Most shallow wells do NOT have a foot valve around here. Instead they have a check valve located above ground - just before the pump. Mine is brass and will hold water in the pipe for weeks.

    I prime the pump once or twice to get it started in the spring (after re-installing my above ground pump) and its good to go for the season. I remove my pump and store it in the winter as I do not have a heated wellhouse.

    Check my pics under "driving a new well". The check valve is shown there. I have a flange coupling also shown....which makes for easy installation and removal of the pump for storage.
    3320 eHydro, 300CX Loader & 15 + great attachments

    You gotta mine allot of dirt to find a diamond.

  4. #4
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
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    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by foggy1111 View Post
    I think you will allow air to enter when you remove that plug....unless you install a check valve.

    Most shallow wells do NOT have a foot valve around here. Instead they have a check valve located above ground - just before the pump. Mine is brass and will hold water in the pipe for weeks.

    I prime the pump once or twice to get it started in the spring (after re-installing my above ground pump) and its good to go for the season. I remove my pump and store it in the winter as I do not have a heated wellhouse.

    Check my pics under "driving a new well". The check valve is shown there. I have a flange coupling also shown....which makes for easy installation and removal of the pump for storage.
    foggy and I have the same system. Shallow wells, driven, with sand points.
    I also use this well/pump only in the summer. I don't want to heat a well house or fuss with it in our harsh winters.
    The check valve is up in front of the pump intake. There's no footvalve on systems such as this. Shouldn't have to prime the system if used somewhat regularly, ie once a week. It should hold its prime that long, or somewhere it is leaking, one would think.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -dscf3249-jpg   -dscf3272-jpg   -kgrhquokiee12div18-bnmkkffzh-0_1-jpg  
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  5. #5
    R.I.P.
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    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    Absolutely, if your's is a driven well, do what the other fellows say. Also, if you live near them geographically, you'd be better off following their lead.

    You gave me clues that I missed...no jet, assume no foot valve, etc. Sorry I missed all that.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    I put a checkvalve on the end of the 1 1/4" pipe where it came out of the ground. Then I reduced down to a gardenhose and ran that to the inlet of the pump. Primed the snot out of the pump but couldn't get it to draw water out of the well. I'm suspecting that the garden hose is too small of an inlet and that I may need to run 1 1/4 all the way to the pump. There is 7 feet of water in the well pipe and its 18 feet deep.

  7. #7
    Elite Member foggy1111's Avatar
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    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    You must have a pretty small pump MNbobcat. Keep in mind it doesnt take much of an air leak to lose (or never acheive) the ability to pull water several feet up a pipe. It will require a near perfect vaccuum to lift 18 feet or so.

    I dont think a garden hose and the connections associated with the hose are going to help your cause. Just a small air leak is all it's going to take to foil your plan.

    I had a leaky fitting in a pipe TEE that gave me alll kinds of fits till I eliminated it. Get rid of any excess fittings or potential leaks IMO. I see metal pipe in your future.
    3320 eHydro, 300CX Loader & 15 + great attachments

    You gotta mine allot of dirt to find a diamond.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    If you have a foot valve and it is good, then you should be able to start the pump with the draw pipe full and start pumping. If you don't have a foot valve, and an intake check valve, then you should be able to suck water from about 25 ft. If you add the water hose to the 3/4 hose bib, and turn on the water, start the pump, and slowly decrease the outside water until the pump picks up the prime.

    If still not pumping, check all the joints. add more glue or wrap with duct tape.
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  9. #9
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by MNBobcat View Post
    I put a checkvalve on the end of the 1 1/4" pipe where it came out of the ground. Then I reduced down to a gardenhose and ran that to the inlet of the pump. Primed the snot out of the pump but couldn't get it to draw water out of the well. I'm suspecting that the garden hose is too small of an inlet and that I may need to run 1 1/4 all the way to the pump. There is 7 feet of water in the well pipe and its 18 feet deep.
    I'd sure bring 1 1/4" all the the way to the pump intake. Trying to suck through a garden hose is much too difficult. No volume.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  10. #10
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Default Re: Priming shallow well pump?

    Quote Originally Posted by MNBobcat View Post
    I put a checkvalve on the end of the 1 1/4" pipe where it came out of the ground. Then I reduced down to a gardenhose and ran that to the inlet of the pump. Primed the snot out of the pump but couldn't get it to draw water out of the well. I'm suspecting that the garden hose is too small of an inlet and that I may need to run 1 1/4 all the way to the pump. There is 7 feet of water in the well pipe and its 18 feet deep.
    There is no way you could ever suck well water through a garden hose. It will flatten up real quick.
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

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