View Full Version : contractors and Lake house owners

04-19-2009, 06:46 PM
I need help with a jet pump for water to the house. (I think its has crapped the bed) Its an old goulds pump maybe 3/4 hp on a 10 gallon tank? I have about a 25Ft lift to the top shower and about 200 ft of pipe in the water, it very shallow maybe 15 to 20 ft deep at our end of the lake. this same pumps system worked the past two seasons.

Here's the issue. the pump primes and gets to 35 psi takes a little while to get there. if one perosn takes a shower 2-4 minutes, the water starts burping spitting and then stops completely . PSI is usally at 10 at this point. turn off shower waiit five minutes and back to 35 psi take fast shower.

Any thoughts would help, I am either looking for a fix or a replacement jet pump.

BTW painted the dock frames today hunter green two weeks til the boat is here.


04-19-2009, 08:54 PM
Can you build a water tower? Even just up the hill will help a lot.

Do you have a hot water tank? You shoud have more tome than that.

04-19-2009, 08:56 PM
Do you have an air leak in the water pipe?

04-19-2009, 09:02 PM
Most property owners pull from the lake without a problem, Uphill tank is unlikely. i do have a 40 gl hot water tank. seems like i am drawing air in slighlty somewhere, maybe a gasket or a seal not sure. no water is leaking anywhere though

04-19-2009, 09:47 PM
You may or may not have a problem with your pump. I'm not sure on that one, but it does sound like you've got a problem with your pressure tank and/or the pressure regulator switch that kicks the pump on and off. The tank should have an air fitting on it and usually they have a label that tells you how much pressure to charge them with, normally around 20psi. The pressure switch is usually set to kick in around 2 pounds higher than that and kick off between about 40 to 60 psi depending on your system. The pressure tanks generally need to be replaced after a number of years because the bladder inside them will leak causing the entire tank to fill with water. It will still work but the pump will kick on and off a lot more than it should. I'm not saying your pump isn't bad but it sounds like you've got other problems as well that would be cheaper fixes to check before replacing the pump.

Just another thought. There should be a one way valve someplace in the system that keeps water from backflowing. I would think your pump shouldn't need to work as it should already have water to it and be primed. If the check valve isn't working the water backflow could be drawing the air in from the other end of the system.

04-19-2009, 10:21 PM
lowdrag, Yes, the pump and tank are very old came with the cottage but probably 15 to 20 yrs with various repairs. the tank is a grey galvanized tank could easily be a bad bladder.no directions on the tank or pump anywhere. there is a bleed valve on the tank, a drain 1/8 plug on the pump itself and in line fill plug that i switched to ball valve with a hose attachment to get the pump primed( new this year) could not get the pump primed , not sure the check valve in the lake is working properly (hence the hose fitting,water from the neigbors in place of gallon jugs)

is the ball valve air tight Also ,not sure how to adjust presure switch

04-20-2009, 02:21 AM
I doubt the ball valve on the tank will keep the water from running out of the line for very long but it probably helps a little. The pressure switch can be kind of a pain to mess with. If your system doesn't kick in until it drops to 10psi, I'd say you need a new switch. You buy them pre-calibrated for different ranges to kick on and off and they're usually only adjustable for about 5 to 10 psi in either direction. If you want to play with it, it will look like this: http://www.catskillhouse.us/blog/well-pump-pressure-switch/. One nut controls kick in and the other is the shut off.

I'm not entirely sure how the air is getting in the line, but if it were my problem I'd probably go about things in this order. I'd replace the pressure tank first since it's probably cheaper than the pump and if it's as old as you say I can just about guarantee it needs to be replaced. Next I'd check the pressure that the system kicks in and out at and look at replacing the switch. After that I'd go for the pump. You might be better off though just replacing the pump and tank as a pair since you might have trouble adapting the old parts to the new stuff and you can probably get a better deal buying them that way. If none of that cures the air problem it sounds like a lot of money and headache to start tracking down and fixing the problem in the feed line.

04-20-2009, 07:07 AM
lowdrag, thanks on the diagram of the pressure switch. I will try and remove the ball valve from the fill suction line an try to prime it again. Also i will try to tweak the pressure switch if i can get it primed that way. If not i will probaly just buy a combo unit like this.


04-20-2009, 08:51 PM
Sorry, just saw this and have been traveling the last 2 days.

I would definately say you equipment is due for an upgrade. But even if you changed out your system to the one you,re looking at from Lowes you could still have a problem further down. Do you pull your point every fall? If not start there, if so start there. Does your foot valve or check valve work properly. A little break in the seal anywhere along the line will cause you problems, especially if they occur after the foot valve.

If you upgrade, I think the pressure tank is a bit small. How many baths/bedrooms you have. If you are concerned with recovery rate, then don't go smaller than 3/4 hp.

I know this is kind of expensive, but have you considered a driven well installed on the mainland. Much more efficient and much easier to maintain over the years (like little to none). My wife wanted nothing to with a point system so we put in a conventional driven well. Don't get me wrong it cost almost 10 times as much, but adds to property value, will provide safer water, and gets you cleaner ground water (not that the lake water is dirty).

04-20-2009, 10:13 PM
Sled, i knew you were here. the one at lowes is just an example i could cut and paste. I need to look at the 3/4 probably a covertible jet set up for a one pipe suction.
1 1/2 bathrooms, washer, dishwater, 40 gal hot water heater.

The pump and system is old , i replaced most everything the house plumbing wise, its all copper and blue and red plastic crimp pipe. Its definetly on borrowed time. The galvanized pipe is 1 1/2" and goes approx 200 into the lake to 10 to 15ft of water. I was unsuccessful locating the foot valve the past two seasons. My fault, i waited til warm water and the weeds hid it from view. so now that i am having Bigger problems i may be swimming this weekend with the wetsuit, googles and snorkle ( 40 degrees ooh).

My dilema is i dont want to put 500 to 1,000 bucks into a new pump ,tank and hose ( quick fix) when we planned on hooking up to the municipal water system in the fall.( hard to get plumbers and excavators to call back and get estimates. not sure why the economy is weak in NY as well)

So i am just try to get it running ok without alot of effort, so i think i should start with checking the pipe for scale build up and corosion, next find and check, clean most likely replace the foot valve. if that doesnt work up to the pressure switch then the tank, then ultimately the pump.

our end of the lake gets a little alge in the water around/july august its warm and shallow

Dang i learned way too much about pump systems the last two days

thanks all

04-20-2009, 10:28 PM
JV, you could cheat by adding a check valve where you can get to it. If the foot valve is weak the check valve could help hold the prime. If you just switch out with a system like you show, and keep it at 120v then you should be able to do it for under 500 bucks. Or just add the check valve and a new pressure tank.

If I was there I would gladly don the scuba gear (any reason to get in) and go down and take some pics and do some investigating :)

04-20-2009, 10:44 PM

Do I add the check valve on land or in the water or doesn"t it matter. i assume in the water but land would be must easier. I am sure there are unions every 20 feet or so in the water..

Can I push air with a compressor back down the suction line, and if the foot valve is stuck open , the bubbles should show me the location i have been looking for. with this do any damage with my pancake compressor


04-21-2009, 06:54 AM
Obviously the closer to the source the check valve is located the better, but for simplicity sake you can try it on land.

You shouldn't do any damage using your compressor as long as it is only pumping into the line and not any of the pump or tank components. But if the foot is stuck open you would just get frusturated.

04-26-2009, 09:56 PM
Low drag, thanks for the advice on the pressure switch. i was able to calibrate it to approx the 30 - 50 cut off that it stated on the cover.

Sled, thanks for the check valve, i was able to get it off with a pipe wrench , about 15 dunks water still cold "gave me a headache" need a head sock for next year. I could have used your scuba gear, even though its about 6 ft deep.As you can see the guts were gone.


too bad the boat is not ready to may 7th, calm clear and got the docks and lifts in on sat (80 degree) and water fixed on sunday morning. me coming back in from the water fix project. Used the fun board as a floating tool bench.


04-27-2009, 09:36 PM
that's great JV. Nothing more important than good water pressure:) I'm jealous though, I still don't have my main dock secitons in yet:( I did order a new custom Yellow canopy for my lift though so that should be here soon and I'll get it all done at once....I hope :)

04-28-2009, 07:03 AM
sled, now that the check valve works great any thoughts on draining it for the winter. not that i want to rush anything, but it just crossed me that i would just unscrew a plug on the pipe near the pump and the water would recede into the lake. now the check valve will hold that in place and may freeze and break. Can i use a shop vac to pull some of the water out without opening the valve?

The canaopy will look great with your new wrap. that looks awesome.

04-28-2009, 09:25 PM
Thanks man. Up here in the great white north most people pull there lake points come winter. I'm not sure a shop vac will work. Remember there will be no freezing in the line below say 3 ft of water. So your problem will occur higher up. You'll have to find a union and add a plug at that point. Add another at the pump to free up the suction and you should be good. Someone else may have a better idea.