How to Replace a Foot Valve for a Shallow Well

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A foot valve eliminates the need to prime the pump between each use.
A foot valve eliminates the need to prime the pump between each use. (Image: wasserpumpe image by Dieter Groth from Fotolia.com)

A malfunctioning foot valve on your shallow well pump will allow your pump to lose its prime between cycles. Running your pump without water in the impeller can cause permanent damage or allow the pump to overheat and fail completely. Replacing your foot valve as soon as possible can save your pump. It will also save you the aggravation of manually priming your pump every time you need water.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Pipe wrenches (2)
  • Wire brush
  • Thread sealant
  • Foot valve

Turn off the power to your pump.

Loosen the bolts on the top of your well seal with an adjustable wrench. The well seal is the plate attached to your wellhead that prevents debris from entering the well shaft. Loosening the compression bolts will allow the seal and pipe to be easily removed from the well casing.

Disconnect the union fitting at the wellhead with a pipe wrench.

Lift the pipe out of the well and place it flat on the ground.

Attach a pipe wrench to the flattened section at the top of the foot valve.

Tighten the jaws of the second pipe wrench to the base of the well pipe 2 inches above the foot valve.

Unscrew the foot valve. Remove it from the bottom of the well pipe.

Clean the threads on the well pipe with a wire brush.

Apply a coat of thread sealant to the clean threads.

Screw the new foot valve onto the well pipe. Tighten securely using the pipe wrenches.

Put the pipe back into the well.

Reconnect and tighten the union fitting.

Tighten the bolts on the well seal.

Prime your pump and turn the power back on.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your water table is deeper than 15 feet, removing the pipe will be easier if you enlist a helper or detach each section of pipe as you pull it out of the well.
  • If your wellhead is plumbed without a union, you may need to cut your water line to remove the well pipe. Installing a union when you repair the line will save you time on future repairs.

References

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