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 Shallow well suction leak?
Author: Anonymous User


Hi All!

I recently replaced the pressure tank in my shallow well system. The old galv. unit had several visible leaks by the time we replaced it.

Since then however I have noticed a lot of air in the system, when the pump fires up.

At first I thought it was just air purging from the new bladder tank, however after several months this cannot be the case.

I've been told that there were sometimes "bleeder" fitings on the suction plumbing, or the pump it's self to keep the galv. tanks from saturating. I don't see anything on the suction line in the well, and am not sure about the pump (there are what look like regular plugs on it).

I don't hear any hissing, gurgling, or see any water dripping in the well, so I suspect my problem is not there.

I can't hear anything near the pump from the motor noise. Nor can I see any leaks through the immense amounts of condensation on everything (dirt floor basement).

Here's my setup, from the pump down:

Pump -> Galv. straight fiting -> Check Valve -> Galv. straight fitting -> 2" PVC, runs straight to the well (I assume) -> 2" 90 in the well, then straight down.

The galv. fitings at the pump are rusted looking on the outside, and I wouldn't be surprised if my problem is there.

I'm not sure of the condition of the foot valve (or even if it's there), so I'm afraid to pull it apart (and risk loosing the prime).

So I guess I have three questions:

Have I missed anything obvious?, what do "air bleeders" on pumps look like?,
and if the water ends up 15-20' below the pump when I pull that pipe off, how do I go about re-priming it, given no foot valve?

As for plumbers in the area... I guess new govt. regs prohibit or otherwise make it unwelcome for them to do ANY work on dug wells any more, so I'm on my own.

Thanks for any advice!

-- Steve

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 Re: Shallow well suction leak?
Author: Dunbar (KY)

Isolate the house by shutting off the main valve to the house.


Install a gauge on the pump, see if you lose pressure when you shut the pump down after it has reached it's cycle to kick off when built up.


Isolating the house from the pump will determine if the problem is isolated to the pump itself.


Did you set the pressure of the bladder tank to within 2 pounds of cut-in pressure of the pressure switch?

Reply To This Message

 Re: Shallow well suction leak?
Author: Anonymous User

We went away for 5 days last week and still had plenty of pressure when we got back (pump was shut off). Are you thinking it's a possible venturi<sp> effect somewhere in the house line?

There is a gauge on the pump, and according to it (it's a cheap gauge) the pump kicks in at 20psi and off at 40psi (which is what I set the switch to). Also, the tank was set to 18psi air (with the water side de-pressurized).

I think I've decided I am going to have to pull the pump, seems to me I once heard about the seals between the motor and pump it's self going with age.... Let's hope that foot valve is there, and working. :)

-- Steve

Reply To This Message

 Re: Shallow well suction leak?
Author: Anonymous User

Sounds to me youre foot valve is faulty and you are loosing youre prime.

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