well problems - sand in the foot valve?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by catscape, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. catscape

    catscape New Member

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    Sep 12, 2004
    Hi all, newbie here.

    Yesterday I replaced our old well pump and jet valve (is that the right name?). Our well is about 50' deep and a couple feet in diameter. The pipes are black pvc, with a very slight curve.

    I checked the foot valve to make sure it holds water. It does. Then I place it on the pipe, and lower it into the well. At about 20-30' depth, the curve of the pipes cause the foot valve to lightly scrape the concrete wall, possibly creating material that falls into the bottom of the foot valve.

    Just before the foot valve reaches the waterline, I place a gallon or two into the pipe. It's has no trouble holding water. Then I hook up the pipes to the pump, and begin to prime. After several gallons, the water still does not reach the top.

    I disconnect the pipes from the pump, and begin pulling the pipes out. When the foot valve rises above the surface, I see that it is pouring water out. When all the pipe is out, I remove the valve and check it. Sure enough, sand or other foreign object is holding the valve open.

    Is there any way to lower this contraption into the well without the valve losing it's seal?

    I've been on this for 2 days now, and this is NOT how I wanted to spend my weekend!! Any advice is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

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    Aug 28, 2004
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    NC Arkansas
    Is the curve you're talking about caused by the way the black plastic pipe was rolled on the roll? If so, you should think about using lengths of PVC joined by couplings, instead.

    Or maybe I don't have a clear picture of what you're describing? :confused:
     

  3. landlord

    landlord Well-Known Member

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    Is your well deep enough? You may be drawing debris into the pipe. Have you dropped a length of weighted rope to determine the acual depth of the water. And you may have to consider, could a pipe have collapsed. Any other leaks in the water pipe?
     
  4. catscape

    catscape New Member

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    Sep 12, 2004
    Yes, it was curved on the roll.


    The old valve that was replaced was above the bottom, but not sure how much. While installing the new unit, I cut about a foot off the length - so I should be safe, right? I do know that the current valve is maybe 15-20 feet below the waterline.

    No visible leaks in the water pipe, or fittings.
     
  5. catscape

    catscape New Member

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    Sep 12, 2004
    Thank you all for the advice. I finally was able to fill the pipe after the 5th attempt. Good advice about using straight pvc pipe, but now that it's working I don't want to mess with it any more :)