Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fixing the well pump.

After writing the blog last night I went right to bed as I figured I would need the sleep to cope with all I had to do today. It didn't quite work out that way. A couple of thunder storms passed by, and although we didn't get a drop of rain, there was some awesome thunder. Shortly after the first loud thunder clap I was visited by all the dogs. They pushed through the gate and jumped on my bed. I ordered them off and Jodie and Coco complied, but Sandy looked like she was trying to grow roots into the mattress. She absolutely would not get down! I lifted her off the bed and put her on the floor and she jumped right back on the bed. I picked her up again and moved her to the computer room where the three dogs have beds. I put up the gate and went back to bed. I think I fell back to sleep. Sometime later there was another boom and the three dogs were back on the bed in a flash.

Again Jodie and Coco got off when I told them to, but Sandy was not going to go willingly. I picker her up once more ( and she was getting heavier each time) and removed her to the computer room. I set up the gate and reinforced it with a couple of dining chairs. I was bothered no more.

My plans to get a very early start got off to a bad start as I slept until 8:30 AM. Helen used bottled water to heat for coffee, and had a cup waiting for me. I drove up to Lowe's to get a pump as I know just what I need and I know just where they keep them. Looking at the system last night I realized that the pressure switch is looking pretty bad, so I bought one of those too. The only things I forgot were the crimp and seal connectors for the pump. These are crimp connectors with a special shrink tubing. When you add heat, the sleeve shrinks to give a very tight seal on the underwater connections. At the end, a waxy substance oozes from the ends of the tubing ensuring a tight seal. I sent Helen up to ACE hardware to pick up four while I worked on pulling the old pump.

This is my rig, three 14 ft 2x4s with a threaded rod going through the three of them.

I sent Helen off with the directions and I was sure that the guys at ACE would help her. No such luck! They gave her a couple of packs of normal shrink tubing instead. I took them back myself to exchange then for the correct type. Again, no such luck. Then I tried Hopper Electric.....Nope! I ended up at Golden Plumbing Supply and got exactly what I wanted. I don't know how I forgot to get them at Lowe's. They had to be right in front of me at the pumps.

The well is about 120 feet deep, with the pump down around 35 to 40 feet. IF the pipe should slip, all would drop to the bottom and cause all kinds of trouble. I use two sets of short 2X4s bolted around the pipe. I've done this several times and so far I have not had a problem. I do not loosen one until I have the other one tight and holding the load.

I use an old block and tackle that has been in the family for a couple of generations. It works very well.

I had all the tools in the cart behind the lawn tractor. It's much easier than lugging everything from the garage.

At first the water is very dirty as I've really disturbed the rust that has formed in the well casing. I let it run for awhile to clean it out.


I was doing OK, but Helen and I were supposed to join friends in Crystal River for dinner and Helen would not go without taking a shower, So I kind of rushed near the end. That never works. I connected everything, but didn't give the PVC cement enough time to set properly, hence the leak you see above. It was getting late and in spite of the leak, there was enough water flow available for a shower, so I let it leak until Helen and I had showered and I even ran the A/C for a little while. The temperature got up to about 84 inside. I shut down the pump and we went to dinner.

When we got back I took the time to do the job properly and allowed a significant time for the PVC cement to set properly. Now I'm sitting here in the comfort of the A/C. Helen says I can take tomorrow off. Of course the remains of the trees are still there waiting to be carted out back.

I mentioned before that this is the first time in many years that Helen and I have stayed in Florida for the summer. The loss of the main A/C unit last week or the loss of the pump would have been a major problem for us. We would have come home to a house darkened by mildew and musty to boot. Also, the pump and parts cost just under $400.00. The last time I had the pump changed by professionals was more than 20 years ago and cost $900.00 then. I've earned myself some kind of reward. Hmmm. I'm thinking. I already got the new Koni shocks. Plus, we recently bought a new camera. My laptop is up-to-date. I'll have to check a few website to see it there is anything I need. Any suggestions?

1 comment:

  1. Great job Paul, I have a 700 foot well so it has to be done by the well company and your right that does get expensive,I have only had to have them out twice in 20 years once it was a capacitor for the motor so of course I bought a spare, it's still sitting on the breaker box waiting for the old one to die,The other time I looked out one winter day and there was water all around the well head, that had melted the snow, went down the basement and the well was running but with very little pressure. They came out with this huge frontloader/back hoe/trentcher combination and unloaded it and started to dig around the well head. I thought with that kind of equipment this will be expensive, ended up it was the fitting that attaches the line to the house had a small hole rusted in it, They replaced it with a brass fitting and said you won't have to worry about that again while they were there they showed be how to blow out the holding tank and re pressurize it each 6 months, and then only charged me $150 dollars for the service call.I couldn't believe the price.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..