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Starting Member


Friday, January 16th 2015, 7:33am

It's a Mystery to Me - Home Irrigation System Still Losing Prime

I live in Florida and have a deep well. Recently, I noticed no water in the clear filter globe. When I turned on the system, it would take the better part of a minute to get a zone working. Once pressure builds up, all four zones work fine. My pump repair serviceman installed a new check valve. Water would stay in the filter globe for about 30 minutes, then the water would drain out. Long story short, it was a hole in the gate valve (I do not have a free-flowing well). A tech came out and removed old gate valve and put in new PVC. Now water stays in the filter globe except when I turn on the system now a little water shoots out of the sprinkler heads then the system has to re-prime itself. Again, it takes the better part of a minute for the system to run as it should. It's a mystery to me? Any advice?


Supreme Member

Posts: 5,278

Location: Metro NYC


Friday, January 16th 2015, 6:57pm

Ask the pump serviceman about configuring your set-up to be a constant-pressure supply. This is the most reliable way to go, and it allows other system components to be less than brand-new perfect. It's very easy for a pump to lose prime when it has nothing to push against, and your average sprinkler system has zone valves that do not actually shut tight unless there is a constant pressure.

Short of a reconfiguration, you are looking at zone valves, and looking to see if their performance might be improved. Dialing down a zone valve flow control is a must. New zone valve diaphragms might help. The emphasis here is on "might help" because it is possible that a lowered water table is affecting pump performance, and that, you can't fix.

Of course, if you are operating with an indexing valve, and a controller that powers the pump directly, there isn't much to do outside of messing around with the pump in hopes of a miracle.

The constant-pressure setup adds a small pressure tank and a pressure control switch, and eliminates any pump control relay, since the pressure control switch is connected to line voltage 24/7. If you do have an indexing valve, then a "master valve" is installed between the pressure tank and the indexing valve, to receive the controller output and operate the system (and make sure the solenoid operating voltage matches up with the indexing-valve controller)

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