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  • Can't prime pump

    The pump was turned off last summer. I turned it on and could tell it wasn't pumping water. So I poured 5 gals in it. Seemed to be enough because it was full. Started the pump and press began to build then quit. I opened faucet, turned pump on and off several times but it wouldn't fill the tank.it was pumping a little. I pulled the fitting on top where I used to fill it and water was coming out so the pump has water in it. What's going on? I tried to post link to photo bucket but site here won't let me.

  • #2
    pump

    this winter has been brutal. frost lines have been deeper than normal. Five feet minimal instead of four feet. When you pour water into the wellhead, use hot water.
    If there is a stuck foot valve the hot water should free it up. there may also be a check valve in the pump body.

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    • #3
      While we did have a colder than usual winter, I'm in central va and we had a few days in single digits. Not nearly enough to freeze very deep. I'm thinking that with the pump shut off so long, the foot valve is plugged. It's pretty old. Yet,, last November I attempted to blow out the piping to winterize the house and I couldn't get any air through the lines. The year before I did. I got some water to the house but I think it was the water I poured in the pump. I put five gals in it. When I gave up on the pump I loosened the fitting I used to prime and water came pouring out.

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      • #4
        When priming a pump, you always leave the prime plug loose to allow air to get out as the pump is pulling the water up to the pump. Sometimes you may have to refill the pump housing several times before you get it going. I don't know if you have a deep well or shallow well system, but both should have a footvalve. I have been doing well work for a long time and have only seen one footvalve stuck shut and it was a plastic one. If your getting some water, your probably getting close to catching a prime (which means all the air has been removed from the pipes in front of the pump).

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        • #5
          Well I tightened the fitting up when I started the pump. I'll pour some water in and screw the plug in a few threads. Hope that works.

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          • #6
            Trying to post pics.http://i1145.photobucket.com/albums/...psb16dc3e0.jpg
            http://i1145.photobucket.com/albums/...psc31481a0.jpg
            see the water coming out after I tried to prime. It wasn't pumping. I just posted the pics, I haven't tried priming the second time.

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            • #7
              prime

              that T that's coming off the vertical pipe, you should remove that and pour your prime water down that. If there is a foote valve down below, it might free it.
              How about the tolerances between the impeller and the casing? when's the last time that was checked?
              Looks everything like a centrifugal pump, positive pressure.



              Unscrew the pipe or hose leading into the centrifugal pump and remove it. Insert a water hose into the centrifugal pump's casing through the opening left when the pipe or hose was removed.
              2

              Turn on the water hose to start filling the centrifugal pump's casing with water. Allow the hose to run until water begins to spill back out of the casing through the hole.
              3

              Shut off the water hose and screw the centrifugal pump's pipe or hose onto the casing. Start the pump to test for correct prime. If the pump does not catch prime, repeat the case filling process until enough water resides in the case for the pump to prime correctly.

              Read more: http://www.ehow.com/how_7917244_prim...#ixzz2yT4Ayo5d
              Last edited by HayZee518; 04-10-2014, 02:53 AM.

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              • #8
                That is one ugly pump you have there. It's a deep well system and there is definitely a foot valve at the bottom of the drop pipe. I seriously doubt that it is stuck. You don't have any sort of back pressure control that I can see. Deep well systems with a deep water level (30' plus) need back pressure to operate the nozzle and venturi to make the ejector work. Which is what actually pumps the water. It's just above the foot valve. If nothing else, you can put a ball valve in the white PVC pipe just after the pump heading toward the tank. Close it then prime the pump and start it. The pressure should jump to around 60 psi more or less. The pump may chatter on and off like crazy. Start cracking the valve open until you can see that it's moving water. Once the pump gets up to 30 psi or so, you can open the valve all the way.

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                • #9
                  Speedbump that's very interesting. If you look at the photo, you'll see a white thing on the side of the fitting on top. I didn't know what it was. It's a butterfly baffle type of thing that can be rotated to restrict flow then held in place by the screw. I thought it may be a baffle to lessen the shock of the pump starting. Could it be some thing you're referring to?
                  Last edited by Xfitter71; 04-10-2014, 08:46 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I'm not real sure what I'm looking at. Myers used to make a back pressure control that was a tee with a valve built in. It had a square head and screwed up and down to open and close the passage the water leaves the pump through. These and others were called manual back pressure controls and were mainly for getting the pump primed. Once the pump caught a prime, the valve was opened fully. The only really good back pressure control was the Vertical Flint and Wallings. It worked on vacuum and did a great job of regulating the pressure down to the jet. There were others that worked against a spring and diaphragm that could be adjusted. They were effective, but couldn't compete with the F&W.

                    I am not sure what your tee is. It may have an adjustment but I can't make it out in the picture.

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                    • #11
                      Besides the fitting on top, which I assume came on the pump, there are four other small openings, one is the pressure switch line, the others are plugged with brass plugs. There's even one on the fitting holding the gauge. I tried everything I could think of but still no pressure. If I run it for a few minutes I will get water but not much and little to no pressure. If shut it off I can get water no matter which plug I loosen. So, I cut the line and installed a valve..... Nada,nothing. If I pinch it down it'll squirt about eight feet but as I open it more it just drizzles out. I'm giving up and calling the well man. If the pipe needs to come out, I don't want to deal with that. I have a submersible pump and have always did my own maintenance, even replacement. But like you said its ugly, old and probably ready to fall apart. Thanks for all the replies.

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                      • #12
                        Some of the good old pumps were hard to kill. It could be the screen in your well that is plugged up. That would explain very little water from the pump. It may be primed. You can always let it run for a while to see if it will eventually build pressure.

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                        • #13
                          Pump was pulled and foot valve wasn't working and screen totally plugged. No wonder I couldn't get any pressure.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Xfitter71 View Post
                            Pump was pulled and foot valve wasn't working and screen totally plugged. No wonder I couldn't get any pressure.
                            Yup, a plugged screen will do it everytime. I'm not sure about the footvalve, but that's not important if you had it replaced. I would have replaced it too, since most of what you paid them was labor and foot valves are not expensive.

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                            • #15
                              Deep well pumps are also notorious for having the jet get partially plugged. The jet is in the jet body down in well above the footvalve. Causes the same symptoms. Will be primed but will not pump very much pressure.

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