Priming a Well Pump : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am a loyal lurker here and a Countryside subscriber. I have 1 foot in the country and 1 foot in the city (paying job there). I came home today to find that my sand point well in my basement stopped working. I need to know how to prime the well pump as I think that's what's wrong. I've called the local plumber who can come tomorrow but its high time I learned how to do this. Your help is appreciated.

-- Catherine Withrow (, May 05, 2000


On the suction side of the pump there should be a check valve which stops the water from flowing back into the well. If that is leaking you will lose your prime. You can also lose your prime if you are sucking air from toward the well from the check valve or from between the well pump and the check valve but that would not cause you to lose your prime. Without seeing your setup its kinda hard to make specific recommendations but heres how I did it at our other place. Where the well came out of the basement floor there was an elbow, then a check valve, then a union and finally the pump. I installed a tee between the pump and the check valve with the opening to the top. I reduced it down to 1" to accomodate the pipe on my hand cistern pump, then put a valve on it to make it real simple if I need to do it again. Screw the suction side of the hand pump into the valve. Shut the discharge valve off from the main pump to your water supply, prime the hand pump and bring water up past the check valve. At that point you are ready to prime the well pump itself. You remove a plug located near the top of the pump and fill it with water, put the plug back in and you should be good to go. Make sure all the threaded fittings are tight and sealed with some kind of pipe joint compound suitable for potable water. It may be that your check valve failed. One type which is fairly common has a spring which seats the valve. If the spring is not made of stainless steel and your water is acidic it will eventually eat the spring. Cistern pumps can be rented for a few bucks/day. Good luck!

-- john leake (, May 05, 2000.

Plumber was here and discovered that there was a broken part in the pump - my attempts at priming the pump would never have worked anyway because of the air leak. Thanks so much for coming to my aid.

-- Catherine Withrow (, May 06, 2000.

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