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Country Discussion Topics
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Newbie question about wells
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Darren in TN    Posted 01-05-2004 at 07:33:57       [Reply]  [No Email]

Howdy, all.
You folks have proven to be a veritable fount of knowledge in the past, so I'm gonna take a chance and ask a true newbie question. How does the pump system on a well work? The one at our place (which is currently not used because we have county water) is plumbed straight into the house's plumbing (separated by a ball valve.) It has a large metal cylinder below the pump, and a smaller yellow cylinder above it with a schrader valve in the top. If I run the pump a second, then press in the valve, it vents a little air. Now, from reading other posts I figured the yellow tank was the pressure tank and the green one was some kind of sand filter or similar device. How does all this stuff work together? When you start one of these things up from not having run in a year (or years), how do you prime it? Is there any recommended maintenance like greasing/oiling bearings, etc?

I'd love to get this well up and running to water with in the summer and have a backup source of water.

Thanks for sharing, y'all.
Darren


Cosmo    Posted 01-05-2004 at 11:29:40       [Reply]  [No Email]
Does it have one or two pipes going into the well? Also you should go through the priming motions anyway before turning the pump on. It is harmful to a pump to run dry even for a short time.


Darren in TN    Posted 01-05-2004 at 09:21:02       [Reply]  [No Email]

Thanks, folks.
I didn't realize I was asking such a big question. I'll read up on it before I try asking any more questions about it. :)

The well is shallow-- only about forty feet-- and it uses a surface pump rather than submersible. I'll see what I can learn about it.

Darren


calypso    Posted 01-05-2004 at 09:46:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Darren - the additional info helps. Usually the surface pumps can't pull up more than about 20 feet, so you will (should) probably have water standing in the well to at least this depth. If it doesn't start pumping water right off, the first order of business would be to prime the pump. There will be a threaded cap that you can remove - pour water into the pump and get the system free of air and full of water. This is required to get that pump to pull water up and then push it through the pipe(s). Now you might go to Google to checkout priming a surface (jet) pump. If you aren't having any luck with priming - you might want to run a line down to ascertain where the standing level (depth) of the water in the well is. It is possible the water table has lowered to a point this system will not work. These are some things to do - good luck


Lazy Al    Posted 01-05-2004 at 10:23:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
You might have to prime it more then one time to get it to pump . Just prime it start it for a bit then try priming it again it it doesn't start pumping . It will make a different sound when it starts pumping like it's working instead of running free .
Al


kraigWY    Posted 01-05-2004 at 09:31:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
What brand of pump. There should be a square plug (pipe plug) on the pump for priming. I would fire it up and see what happens. If it don't work you are no worse off then you are now. If it works they you have all winter to find out how the sucker works, if not, you have time to figure out why.


Willy-N    Posted 01-05-2004 at 09:27:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
You could allways turn it on for a little bit to see what happens first also. It might even work right off the bat. Mark H.


calypso    Posted 01-05-2004 at 09:01:36       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I agree with Mark - this is a VERY broad question and to ask to give an entire overview of how wells work is a lot to cover. Generally there is a submersible pump that pushes water up to a bladder tank that maintains pressure in the system with a pressure switch that turns the pump on and of based on water pressure values. A well designed system is figured by taking into account well depth, water production (gallons per minute), water quality and water demands. I would go to the library or check out some information via Google searches. If you have specific questions as they relate to your system, there are many helpful folks hanging out here ;-) Also, try and find the dept. that issues well permits - see if they have information on your well. Wells usually have a history that is documented after the well was dug and the pump was set (unless it is more than about 20 years old). You want to know what your well depth is and how much water it was producing at it's birth. Then perhaps there is information about the size (in horse power) and the amount of water the pump can push. If you are starting up the system - getting it going could depend on why it isn't used any longer, on how long it has been dormant etc. You may want to start checking at the well head and work your way to the above ground control system(s) beyond - then again maybe you will turn it on and have water ;-).
Good luck


Willy-N    Posted 01-05-2004 at 08:06:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
The tank below the pump is a presure tank and the one with the air valve is one also. I think someone added another tank into the system for more water draw down supply. You might want to do a Google search on the net using "Well Systems" and read up on them. They have good pictures and directions for Well supplied water systems. It would take pages of typing to explain it all on this forum. Mark H.


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