I think the foot valve at the bottom of my well is leaking. I slowly
lose pressure even when I shut down the main on the house side of the
pressure tank. I've read that installing a check valve on the suction
line of my jet pump may be able to solve this without pulling the foot
valve out. My well is 140ft deep. My well is in my basement, so
pulling the pipes may be difficult. Not sure of depth of foot valve,
but water table is about 15ft down. There are two pipes (suction and
supply) that come out of the pump and go down the well. The well is
about 3ft away from the pump. I'm skeptical about this "solution."
How can just a few inches or feet of water in the suction pipe hold
enough prime to make the pump work if it loses all remaining water in
Unless the pump is a "self priming" one, which is doubtful, you are
correct. It would lose prime. Even a self priming pump would require
that the static level of the well be no more than about 26 feet below
the pump (at sea level, less at higher elevations)
Bob, I have done the same thing for my irrigation system..... I'd
really like to
know how you did yours. If you like, we could exchange photos or
diagrams by Email......
Andy in Eureka, Texas
Bob, as I looked later at my post, it seems the Email
address was masked by whatever ISP I used...
I will send it here, on different lines, that you can
string together.... this will probably defeat the scanner..
andy in Texas , P.E.
What the water table level is and what level you have
to go to in order to get the desired volume and
quality of water are two different things. Around this
part of NJ for example, the water table is also around
20 ft. But to get acceptable volume you need to go
to 50ft. And for really good volume you need to go
to 110ft. That's where the acquifers are.
The bizarre thing is that people here call up to have
wells drilled for sprinkler systems and almost every
time the well drillers go right to 110 ft without
discussing any options. Problem is that the
acquifer at that level is loaded with iron. Within
a year their sidewalks, patios, pool decks, and
even siding is stained brown. If you stop at
50ft there is a very good chance you will have
15gpm and no iron.
As for the OP's question, whether a check valve
at the pump works or not depends on the level
of water in the well. If the water is 25ft or less
below the pump then it should work. If deeper
then it will not.
Just a followup to all.
I finally pulled the pipes and foot valve assembly and measured all:
well is 140ft deep, pipes are 100ft long, water level is 20ft down.
Lousy foot valve was caked with rust and was leaking water out as we
laid it outside. Obviously that's how I was losing prime on the
New foot valve assembly from Home Depot did not impress me. It was
$44 and had plastic check valve parts and pipes.
New foot valve assembly, all brass, set me back $120, but it's been
solid ever since we installed it.
Thanks for advice from all.
Why do you feel that the plastic foot valve will not last as long
as the brass foot valve ?
It seems to me that the plastic won't corrode, nor have any sort
of galvanic deterioration with the pipe it is connected to . The
part that could oxidize is the internal spring, which is probably the
same as the one in the brass valve....
I'd really like to hear some opinion on this, since the plastic
valve is always significantly cheaper.......
I use plastic in my irrigation system, and have seen no
deterioration in the housing after several years.....
Andy in Eureka, Texas
The extra 125 feet is to insure that you will get enough volume
the well. The pump only has to work against 15 feet for adequate
but you want to make sure the pipe fills up faster than you can pull
out, or the pump will cavitate. The water gas formed will have the
effect as air, and the impeller won't pump any more...
It depends a LOT on the composition of the strata..... I
a well in lower central Florida once and only went down 20 feet,
it out for a day to build a pocket, and got plenty of water after
Not good to drink, but just fine for flushing toilets and watering
Water table there was maybe 5 feet down....
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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