lake jet pump problem


At the cottage I draw water from the lake via a line with a foot valve, to a jet pump and on up to the house. The pipe has a heating cable through it, it we did have water running all winter on weekends we went up - so I don't think it was frozen The first day of our first spring trip all was fine. Next day...no water. I checked the pump house and the out line from the pump had come off. The pump was pumping out water, but obviously it was not getting to the house.
I refastened the lines, restarted the pump and it cycles on and off very fast - couple of seconds on, then a couple off. I though the pressure switch may have fried, so I replaced that. Same thing with the new one. Every once in a while the pump will catch and watter gets pumped up to the house, but it doesn't last long.
Today I pulled the line out of the lake. The line was full of water and the foot valve is OK. I took it off and cleaned it, and put it back.
I opened the prime hole, started the pump and go soaked by a geyser of water shooting about 5 feet into the air, so I think the suction line is intact
There is a valve just off the pump on the house side, and even if I close that valve the pump never builds up pressure enought to stop - it is the same on-off cycle as when it is pumping all the way up to the house.
I am stumped as to where to look next. Ideas?
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I also pump water from a lake and had a similar problem. At the suction end (inlet) of the pump there is a check valve. On my pump it can be unscrewed from the pump body. I disconnected the suction piping, removed the check valve and found some debris in the valve seat causing the valve not to close entirely. I cleaned it out, put it all back together and the problem stopped.
On 5 May 2007 19:24:22 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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On May 5, 7:24 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

The description of the problem sounds like you have an obstruction somewhere in the pipe between the pressure switch and the house. The pump apparently is 'building pressure' up to the cut-off point. It is a typical 'short cycling' symptom of which the common cause is a pressure tank that has lost all it's air bubble or a shutoff valve being closed.
Harry K
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I checked today - the pressure tank has just under 30 lbs of pressure in it. I can occasionally get it to catch and run for 2 or three minutes at a time - when it does water makes it to the house - just not for long.
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On May 6, 3:35 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hmmm....Pump motor failing? Starting controller bad? That's about all I can think of.
Harry K
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