Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

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Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby Urbish » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:23 am

Installed new jet pump in well pit of a very shallow well (16'-ish). Previous pump was producing just fine. New pump cycles as it should, but am getting some strange behavior. Opened faucet in house and watched the pressure at the pump outlet go down to the kick-in set point as expected. As soon as the pump kicks in, the pressure gauge goes to zero and the pump sounds like it is cavitating. After about 20 seconds, pump sound changes and pressure starts to build, but very slowly. Pump still sounds a little strange and needle is jumpy (like it is still cavitating or struggling). Takes about 25 minutes to get to upper pressure of 60psi, then kicks off and holds pressure without issue. Pressure tank is 10 gal.

I connected a garden hose to the faucet in the well pit that in the line that goes to the house. Opened that faucet and watched as gauge went down to lower set point. Once the pump kicks in, the water coming out of the hose was at a trickle, maybe .5 gal/min. I'm not seeing any air bubbles in the house or if I crack the priming cap at the pump which makes me want to rule out an air leak in the well pipe. I am guessing either the venturi at the pump inlet is plugged with crud or the pump is air-locked. Any ideas?
Jim

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby tst » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:34 am

check the foot valve to make sure it is not plugged up?

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby Urbish » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:53 am

tst wrote:check the foot valve to make sure it is not plugged up?


Any suggestions on how to do that without pulling the well point? It's a driven well in sand.
Jim

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby tst » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:58 am

do not know how you can check it buried

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby Bill E Bob » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:12 am

Can you back flush it? A sand point does not have a foot valve as it's a shallow well. Check valve should be somewhere above ground close to the pump.

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby Urbish » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:56 am

Bill E Bob wrote:Can you back flush it? A sand point does not have a foot valve as it's a shallow well. Check valve should be somewhere above ground close to the pump.


Yes, there is a check valve at the top of the well pipe before it enters the pump. I'm 180 miles away from the location of this well, but will be back there this weekend. I'll separate the pump from the well pipe and verify that the pump intake isn't plugged with crap and see if I can back-flush past the check valve.
Jim

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby indy61 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:12 pm

I'm not familiar with a sand point but if there is no foot valve than it seems to me it would drain after the check valve and create air causing your symptoms.

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby Bill E Bob » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:47 pm

Foot valve/check valve-essentially the same thing. Foot valve works best for deep wells. If check valve is operating correctly it will prevent loss of prime and hold the water in the well pipe. A sand point is a 3-4' length of pipe with a sharp point on it for driving into the ground with a fine screen the length of the pipe to filter out the sand while drawing water. Good for a usual 20-30 foot max depth.

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Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:41 pm

a jet pump uses water from the tank to pull water through jet from well. Are you sure switch i not set so low it is drawing air from tank, and no sharp bends close to pump on intake side. The bends can cause cavitation.
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Urbish
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Posts: 2244
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:45 pm
Zip Code: 48158
Tractors Owned: ~
1958 International Cub LoBoy
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Cub-193 Moldboard Plow
Cub-54A Leveling and Grader Blade
Cub Loboy L-54 Leveling and Grader Blade
Unknown 5' Single Gang Disc Harrow
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Manchester, MI

Re: Need help with shallow well jet pump woes

Postby Urbish » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:12 am

John *.?-!.* cub owner wrote:a jet pump uses water from the tank to pull water through jet from well. Are you sure switch i not set so low it is drawing air from tank, and no sharp bends close to pump on intake side. The bends can cause cavitation.


Only one bend in the well pipe then it straightens out for a 20" or so run before it gets to the pump. The pressure tank has a bladder (which held air when disconnected), so no ability to mix air back into the water. Pressure switch was set to 20-60 by my brother when he installed the pump last weekend.

This is at my mom's house. Dad passed away a few weeks ago and it seems that his many years of deferred maintenance are all coming to a head simultaneously. I talked to her last night and it seems to be improving. I'm wondering if it wasn't air locked at the horizontal pipe leading into the pump. It's possible that slug of air has slowly been absorbed into the water and/or passed on into the plumbing system. She's using water lightly until I can return this weekend and verify that all is well. I'll readjust the pressure switch, probably to 40-60 or 35-55, ensuring that it is set so that the pump will run for at least a full minute to refill the tank once it kicks on.
Jim

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