I used to have a nice diagram, but I can't find it right now. However,
installation is very easy. The input goes into the well (doh) AND you
(optionally) need a one way valve somewhere in the line. They make "foot
valves", which is nothing more then a one way valve that goes at the end
of the pipe going into the well, so it is at the bottom of the well, and
they usually have a screen to keep rocks out of the pump (I ruined one
pump because I took the screen off and stuck the inlet pipe into the
muck at the very bottom of the well). You can get these at most any
hardware store for about a $20 bill. Another way is to not put a foot
valve at the bottom, but use a one way valve somewhere in the inlet
line. Doing it this way makes it easier to prime. Note that a foot valve
or one way valve is NOT required. It is there to keep water from
draining out of the inlet pipe. Without it, you have to prime the pump
before each use, which is a pain.
The outlet goes to a water tank. I'm not sure if this is just a 25
gallon tank, or if there is anything special about them, someone else
here will have to answer that. It's just a big accumulator, without
which you would probably break the pump or bust pipes or otherwise find
operation of the pump to be extremely erratic, depending on the pump. I
think it would go into hydrostatic lock and break the pump and/or your
pipes. Somewhere between the outlet of the pump and the water tank is
the water pipe you take the water out of.
Here is mine:
The front of the pump, where it goes out and down into the ground is the
inlet. The outlet is on the top, and it goes to two faucets, the tank on
the right, and back into the ground to feed faucets around the house and
in the garden.
I used to run mine without a foot valve, and with a one way valve on the
surface near the top of the well about 50 feet away from the pump and
tank. It worked fine. The only reason I switched to the foot valve was
the foot valve had a screen on it. I once stuck the pickup tube into the
muck at the bottom and sucked up a bunch of gravel and ruined the
impeller in the pump - doh!
Does it really matter where the check valve is, so long it's somewhere
in the inlet side? For that matter, if it were on the outlet of the
pump, it would still stop water from discharging back through the pump
when the pump cycles off, I bet it would work there also.
My check valve is between the pump and the ground where the pipe enters.
You mention lowering the pipe into the muck which I assume means that you
had a small well casing driven or drilled into the ground and then the
well/pump pipe went within that but around here most shallow wells are 1 1/2
to 2 inch pipe driven down with a well point on the end. That pipe connects
directly (after the check valve) to the inlet side of the pump. I'm
assuming the OP does already have a well driven and is just wondering how to
connect the pump. I would think he could simply disconnect the old pump
and reconnect the new to the same pipes. On the other hand, he may have
found an old well pipe and is wishing for some reason to hook it up to water
his lawn or something. If so, there was probably a reason the old well
would have been abandoned and I wouldn't spend too much money on it until I
was sure that water could be pumped out of it. Hooking up one of the cheap
hand pumps from Harbor Freight would be a good way to test it.
I live in a small town (Lebanon, Oregon), and a few doors down the
street is this old guy that was there when they drilled my well 40 some
odd years ago. He said they drove a 2" pipe about 20 feet or so down,
and dropped a stick of dynamite down it to blow out the bottom and
create a cavity for water to accumulate. I'm not a well digger, so I
don't know if that was a good idea or not - the old guy indicated it was
a pretty stupid thing to do, but what do I know? Today, the bottom of
the well is 17 feet, and the water table is current at 9 feet. Towards
the end of summer it drops quite a bit, and the neighbors wells actually
run dry. Mine doesn't, I'm guessing it's deeper then theirs. Anyhow,
because of this, you can't actually hook up to the top of the pipe, so
what I do is drop a 1 1/2 OD pvc pipe down 16.5 feet so it's 6 inches
off of the bottom. I currently have a foot valve on the end of the pipe.
Laying on the ground nearby is a 20 foot 1" metal pipe, and I dropped
that into the well, hit bottom at 17 feet, and pushed it a foot into the
muck at the bottom. I'm really not sure how far down the mud goes, I
wish I could suck it out and get an extra foot or two of depth. It's
been a fairly dry winter and spring, and if I run out of water, it will
cost me a left body part to use city water to keep my garden alive :(
Now I'm curious about my well. How would I go about finding out if I
have a self-priming pump? Here's what I know about the well.
(1) There are two pipes going in through the top connected to the pump.
(2) According to the report from the well company that I had inspect the
well before buying the house, it has a centrifugal pump.
(3) The well is 45' deep (according to the report).
(4) The static water level is 19.1' (according to the report).
(5) During the pump test, the max it was drawn down was 6.7', to 25.8'.
That appears to be where it reaches an equilibrium, as it remained at
that level, with a steady 3.75 GPM flow, for the last 10-15 minutes of
the drawdown portion of the test.
With a bit of Googling, I can find plenty of explanations of shallow vs.
deep jet pumps, and why deep jet pumps have two pipes in the well. But
I actually failed to find anything that explained centrifugal pumps for
wells--whether they are for shallow or deep, or can be used for both,
and whether two pipes going into the well means something or if they are
that way for all. It looks like, from the pump test, that my water is
high enough that a shallow pump, of whatever technology, would be
sufficient, but the well is deep enough that it could be drawing from
far enough down to require a deep pump, so I can't tell anything either
way from the numbers they gave me.
(The pump and tank are pretty old, so my plan is to replace them
sometime in the next couple of years. However, first I need to find out
what the plans are for the city I live next to when it comes to
expansion. The city limits run about 70 ft from my property, city water
is nearby in the street, and I'm in an area that has been designated by
the county for the city to annex. So, presumably at some point I will
annexed and required to hook up to city water. I want to find out the
timeline for that before sinking a couple thousand dollars into well
You have a 'jet pump'. They work by pumping part of the water back
down the well into a veturi jet pointing up the other pipe. That both
forces the water up and sucks more back in.
Your figures show that a shallow well (single pipe) would not work as
at the drawdown point it would suck vacuum and lose prime.
Many "shallow well pumps" can be installed either 'shallow' (one pipe)
or 'jet' (two pipe)
Although there are pumps other than centrifugal, I can't recall seeing
one for residential service since I was pup 60 years ago when there
were windmill pumps that worked a rod going up/down, 'pump jacks'
driven by gas or electric motors that did the same thing (picture a
small version of the pump on top of oil wells),. and piston pumps
where the works were all on top of the well. The last three were all
low volume pumps and only the last one delivered any pressure.
As for overhaul of your well. Pumps/tanks are not all that expensive
and are not a big job to install. I would expect a new tank/pump
would come in well under a thousand doing the work myself. I would
keep your well in service even after city water for irrigation IF you
are permitted to do so.
The point is that if you are using a check valve _only_, it has to be
under water or the pump will loose prime everytime it shuts off.
There is normally no need for a check valve if there is a footvalve.
I'm not sure I'm understanding. I've ran mine with a check valve only,
with the valve on the surface of the ground near the top of the well.
The pipe going into the well was a hollow pipe only, no valve, no foot
valve, no nothing. It was ran like this for a long long time, and it
worked fine. What does it matter where the valve is? It can't loose it's
prime unless the end of the pipe is above water, or there is a leak
somewhere, which there isn't. How can air get into the pipe?
All water contains some air mixed in, some water a lot, some only a
little but a little is all it takes unless you have a self-priming
pump. Even with 'perfect water' you can't pull water up a pipe over
about 26 ft without pulling a vacuum. I have been screwing around
with pumps since I was a pup. All would loose prime if the footvalve
malfunctioned whether the lift was a few feet or 20 feet.
Interesting set up - I'm inspired!
The tank actually has a bladder in it so basically on one side it has air
and the other water. When you open the tap the air pressure moves water
from the tank to the tap and your pump doesn't kick on until the pressure
drops below a set pressure on the pressure switch.
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