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The suction pipe is connected to the pumping chamber on all above ground water pumps. The pipe draws water from the well and increases the pressure to the pressure tank through the pump's impeller. Located on the end of the suction pipe, on wells deeper than 10 feet, is a foot-valve. This one-way valve holds a column of water in the suction pipe and pumping chamber.
Failure of the foot-valve is indicated by the pump constantly losing its prime. If the foot-valve is not repaired or replaced, the extra effort put forth by the pump will decrease its overall operational life. Replacement of the foot-valve is a basic task of pulling the pipe from the well after disconnection from the pumping chamber. In most cases, the valve is made from solid brass. A stainless steel spring holds the valve in the correct position and the valve body is surrounded by a stainless steel mesh screen.
The pump may also lose prime due to a break in the suction pipe itself. This can be observed by shining a strong flashlight down the well casing and seeing if water is leaking from the pipe after the priming operation. It is best to use a continuous piece of Black Plastic pipe as the suction line. The lightweight and solid body of the flexible pipe makes is an ideal choice for drawing water.