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people online in the last 1 minutes - 0 members, 0 anon and 0 guests. (Most ever was 29 at 13:36:32 Sat Aug 3 2002)


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lsfogRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
Old age & experiance taught me to plumb in a Tee + Gate valve right on top of the pump. Works cause if your foot valve is a little leaky you open the Gate valve and pour water down into the pump chamber -- when "full" start the pump motor and continioue to pour till the pump grabs. Then just before your totally drenched -- close the Gate valve.
AK_RazorRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
I went back to the same spot today to redeem myself after Tuesday's pump priming dilema. I am happy to report I can now prime the pump with no problem (STS) and keep the vacuum jet doing its job. Unfortunately, the stream was not so cooperative today. Take a look at the new picture. The 2 big rocks from the earlier photos are where the white bucket is in the new ones (i.e. from 6 inches of water on Tuesday, and now almost 3 feet deep). To make it worse, the shallower areas now were exposed earlier in the week, so the gravels are frozen solid even under the water. The only movable gravels were too deep for me to reach (even after an hour of breaking ice dams) So, I moved the whole operation to where Tincan and Lyon creeks pass under the Seward highway. Here the gravels were not frozen, but they also had almost no gold (1 tank of gas equated to about 6 flecks of Gold). I think I'm done until spring....but at least I'm getting better at dredging.

ZookaRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
I like the quick - connect fittings on the pump exit too, because sometimes the plunger method doesnt work well or easily, especially with bigger pumps and longer suction lines.
But with the quick-connect on the pump's exit, just take that exit hose off, be sure the foot valve is in the water, and pour water into the pump until it is full. This will also show you if there are big leaks in the suction line or the foot valve is not working.
waveactionRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
I love it when I see the same mistake I made . My first dredge experience was in a shallow creek with less than a foot of water. Like you, I was filling the priming hose with water, lifting the end up out of the water trying to prime the pump using gravity. After a while I checked all the connections and determined they where tight and no air leaks. I had wasted a lot of time. Then I dug a small hole in the creek, took about 5 minutes, and I could then move the foot valve up and down forcing water up to and through the pump. Started the engine and I was ready to dredge. Boy, did I feel stupid, but lesson learned. Glad no one was watching.........
DanBrunnerRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
AK, I'm a 1 year tenderfoot at this mining stuff as well. I had similar problems when I started messing with pumps. I had the old firehose threaded heads on my lines. My pump is self priming, so I didn't realize how much of an issue even the smallest leak on the intake had on the pump. It used to take a long time to get water into the casing. I've since converted my connections to the quick-connect types which provide a much better seal, and a more convenient experience overall. Now when I fire up the pump, the water comes rushing in. Good luck with the snow... Spring will be here soon. :smile:

AK_RazorRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
I ops tested it today in a small pond near my house (had to break 1/4" of ice to do it). It worked great. Here is what I did and what I learned. Many thanks to those who offered advice as you were right.

The first timer mistake I was making was this: I considered gravity more important than absence of air in the intake hose. I did not fully and correctly prime the intake hose and pump by "pumping" the foot valve in the water. Instead, I was filling the intake hose and lifting it up (and out of the water) to prime it. I was trying to use gravity (i.e. making the water go downhill to the pump) at the expense of introducing an air pocket as I raised it in and out of the water. When it didn't work, i also spent alot of wasted time messing with the outake end of the system (i.e. moving the vacuum jet in and out of the water, running the outake hose downhill, etc.)

Through your replies, I learned the importance of keeping an air tight prime. I also double clamped all the connections and was able to achieve the prime on the first pull of the motor.

The first (of many I'm sure) lessons learned. Now if the heavy snow will just hold off awhile longer to allow some more time on the creeks.
drumkillerRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
Hehe, it sure looked like a foot valve.
AK_RazorRe: 1st time dredger with a problem

It looks like that in the 2nd picture. Acutally that was a hose extension I was using and hadn't picked it out of the stream yet after disconnecting from the vacuum jet. Thanks for looking it over though.
drumkillerRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
Unless i'm seeing that wrong, it appears your foot valve is connected to the pump with layflat hose.
That could cause a priming issue :smile:.
AK_RazorRe: 1st time dredger with a problem
3rd attempt using photobucket and the IMG tag.

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