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Well point pump priming problem


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My friend has a problem with his well point pump not priming after a couple of days of inactivity. I have no experience at all with well point systems and hope that there is members here able to help us find a solution. The pump is about 5m above the water table. There is no non return valve at the bottom of the suctions pipe. The non return valve is at ground level in the suction pipe just in front of the pump. The valve seems to be working ok because the storage tank does not drain down into the well if the pump is switched off. The pump does prime if it is restarted within about a couple of hours of inactivity. The pump is brand new. Is there a solution to this problem? Is it possible to run such a system without a bottom non return valve? The best idea I could come up with is to install a u type loop in the suctions pipe just before the pump to at least feed the pump with some water after start up. Could this work? Any other ideas how to solve this problem? 

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I've had a few nylon non return valves fail on me. Now I only use the brass/copper ones. Since its a wellpoint, its going to have sediment and crap in it. Adding a purge valve above and below the pump is handy for priming and backwashing. These purge valves stay closed during normal operation and are nothing more than a lever ball valve with one end open. My system runs perfectly without a bottom non return valve. Its only got one at the top, upstream (suctions side) from the pump. I use the downstream purge valve to clear the initial sediment from the system. 2-3mins then the water runs clear and the purge valve gets closed and inline valve opened.

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