Shallow Well Priming w/o foot valve

Here's the scenario. I have a old hand-dug, 30'x3' wide shallow well that is pumped using a single line shallow well configuration (2" PVC). The pump is a 1/2 horse "red-jacket" jet-pump in my basement.
About 3 months ago while doing some plumbing work (changing pressure tank) I noticed that a check valve has been installed right at the pump's inlet. This indicates to me that there might not be a foot valve at the bottom of the well.
If there isn't a foot valve, how can I prime the pump, if the need ever arises? My understanding of the "normal" priming method is to simply pour in water until the pipe is full, but without a check valve, the water will just run right into the well.
I am concerned that the need to re-prime may very well be imminent since galvanized fittings were used between the pump, checkvalve and PVC, and they show signs of decay.
Can anyone enlighten me on how to re-prime a line without a foot valve?
Ohh, and does anyone know when PVC pipe and grey PVC fittings became available? (I'm trying to figure out how old this set-up is, or could be)
-cwe
URL showing my pump model: http://www.redjacketwaterproducts.com/product.asp?ID 3&MASTERID=3
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Chances are that either the well _does_ have a foot valve, or the pump self-primes. From less than 30 feet, it _may_ self-prime (straight "vacuum lift"). That's probably only likely for an impeller pump if the static level of water is no more than about 10-15 feet below where the pump is.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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shallow well that

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foot valve?
I've done it with the sand pickup hose for the sandblaster nozzle I have for my compressor. Or I've used a small 12V vacuum pump. I have no idea what a pro might do.
Bob
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Some systems will prime just by filling the pump. It depends on the particular pump and inlet configuration and the depth to the water. Don Young

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I have a hand pump connected to my system. The hand pump is T'ed betweem the preassure tank and well pump. Shut off the water line going between the preasure tank and the hand pump T fitting, open a valve below the hand pump. Pump water up the water line from the lake, through the well pump to prime the system. Although its not nrcessary, its a good idea to shut the valve below the hand pump before turning on the well pump. :)
Lorence
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You may find that someone installed that check valve instead of repairing a leaking foot valve. Or in case the foot valve started to leak; which would never allow them to know if it was, which is your dilemma now. It's rare for a jet pump to be a self priming type. Does the web site say the pump is self priming? If not and you loose prime, be prepared to not get water until you replace the foot valve. They are on the end of the suction pipe, not the well (especially a 3'/36" ID well!).
Your dark gray PVC is sch 80. It's been around for decades and is excellent cold only potable water line and fittings. New or used galvanized should be outlawed.
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com Gary Slusser's Bulletin Board www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/
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