Replacing another well pump

20 Replies

Earlier this week monday, my tenant called , there was no water . I get there and check the breaker , then the pressure switch on the well , and determine , yes the pump has bit the dust .  Now its late , but the tenant needs water . I also own the house next door . I grab 4 garden hoses and hook them together. I go from 1 hose bib to another , problem is you cant attach 2 male ends , so I grab a washing machine hose , It has 2 female ends . I hook it all up and back feed 1 house from the house next door .   This buys me TIME . 

Thursday the rain stops , so I dig down and find the well ( its old style with a sanitary cap seal and its buried 2 feet down). Took an hour to find the well head .   It takes about 1/2 hour to loosen the cap .  I cut the wire and the pipe before a 90 , and start pulling .  100 feet of pipe filled with water with a 20 lb pump at the bottom isnt light .  I get it out and I am sore . Now to get a pump , HD sells a chinese pump , but I want a goulds pump so I run to the well supply house .  fortunatly being a contractor , i make a call to a buddy who drills wells and get his price . Pump , fittings , shrink wrap , and check valve  $ 375.00.  List price for walk in $ 825 .   I get back, change pump , lower into the well . I do a temp wire hook up and flush the iron down the drive for 15 minutes then put it back together .  Tenants have water  , done by noon .  Total cost was $ 375.00  4 hours labor .  Well pump replacements start at $ 1500. around here .    total savings $ 1125.00       

Not bad for 4 hours work .      A grand saved is a grand earned 

@Matthew Paul Very good stuff.  I'm pretty sure I'm on the verge of replacing a well pump on one of my properties.  The tenant is complaining about low water pressure.  I am hoping to replace it myself so I can learn about how these things work.  I definitely do not want to be replacing pumps in the future, but I would like to know the basics.  Hopefully my replacement is not nearly as complicated as you described or I might be force to spend the 1500.

@Christian Bors From my personal experience it seems that the problem your tenant is experiencing has to with pressure drop more than the well. You should have a few more options available then just purchasing a well pump and calling it even. The problem may be resolved with a booster pump like these http://www.canarsee.com/plumbing/pumps/booster-pumps. I'm pretty positive that you won't need to change the well pump, just add a booster pump to fix your pressure problem. I actually learned a lot plumbing by dealing with problem like these regularly. This isn't something you'd like to do for your first time around. I don't do things myself the first time, I usually get a plumber to help out. In any case try to watch some videos online before your try to install it yourself if you choose too.

Originally posted by @Christian Bors :

@Matthew Paul Very good stuff.  I'm pretty sure I'm on the verge of replacing a well pump on one of my properties.  The tenant is complaining about low water pressure.  I am hoping to replace it myself so I can learn about how these things work.  I definitely do not want to be replacing pumps in the future, but I would like to know the basics.  Hopefully my replacement is not nearly as complicated as you described or I might be force to spend the 1500.

to check pressure , go to HD and the have a pressure gauge you screw on the hose bib . Turn it on and thats your closed pressure . Open the bathtub while running look at the gauge ,thats your working pressure . . Typically a well pressure switch is set to kick the pump on at 40 psi and cut it off at 60 psi .   Now when people complain about low pressure , its gererally low flow ( gallons per minute ) these problems are generally restrictions or debris in the lines .    The problem could be as simple as the tenant running the washing machine and showering at the same time .  

Thats a grundofos booster pump , Its the best one out there . And its more expensive than the well pump itself .  problem with adding a booster pump on a well that has a weak pump or is low producing is you will cause the pump in the well to cavitate or short cycle . Both cause failure to the well pump.   Booster pumps like that are better suited to low pressure city water situations , they only increase pressure , they do not increase flow .  

good job!!!!!!  Next time tho go whole hog and put a pit less adapter on it.  Here you would be digging frozen ground now till way past Easter,,,that is a harder job.  It puts the well casing above ground level,,which is MUCH quicker and easier to work on.

@Matthew Paul I understand your point, but I could't really determine the problem he was dealing with so I just weighed in with my own personal opinion. If the case in matter has to do with flow he may need a shallow jet well pump, correct? I don't have too much experience in this field, but I know my way around. 

Just watched a couple of videos.  It doesn't seem too difficult to replace the pump.  I am going to trouble shoot a couple things over the weekend to see if I can determine the problem.  I am actually thinking its not the well pump that needs to be replaced but the pressure take.  Its a duplex with 2 separate pressure tanks.  On one side the pressure is completely fine.  I am assuming if the well pump needed to be replace, neither side would actually have water.   I appreciate the input!

@Jeremy Dolan

@Matthew Paul

Originally posted by @Christian Bors :

Just watched a couple of videos.  It doesn't seem too difficult to replace the pump.  I am going to trouble shoot a couple things over the weekend to see if I can determine the problem.  I am actually thinking its not the well pump that needs to be replaced but the pressure take.  Its a duplex with 2 separate pressure tanks.  On one side the pressure is completely fine.  I am assuming if the well pump needed to be replace, neither side would actually have water.   I appreciate the input!

@Jeremy Dolan

@Matthew Paul

 If its 1 well pump and 2 pressure tanks , I dont think that would cause the pressure problem . But it does depend on how they are plumbed . If  the tank that has the pressure switch is fine , all the other tank does is make reserve capacity .   If you have a treatment system or a filter in line , check for clogs .

Originally posted by @Don Meinke :

good job!!!!!!  Next time tho go whole hog and put a pit less adapter on it.  Here you would be digging frozen ground now till way past Easter,,,that is a harder job.  It puts the well casing above ground level,,which is MUCH quicker and easier to work on.

I was going to , but with this well has steel pipe instead of plastic .I have the parts to do it , but time constraints didnt allow me . I am backed up with work . The well head is in a large plastic box with a lid  I just have to dig a foot of dirt and I am there .

And then there was todays project , the house next door I own also , I got a call about water coming out of the ground .  Dig down and find the pipe , then fire up my little kubota .  Go to HD and grab some parts , and  $ 4. 78  and the leak is done . Back to work by 10 am .

More details?  How deep is that pipe buried?  Copper or plastic pipe?

You sure are the d-i-y-er,,,congrads on a well done job,,,both of them.

Wish I had a digger like that,,,all I could afford and use is a spade,,,and our water lines are 5 to 6 foot deep

Pipe was about 30 inches ,  it was 3/4 inch poly , the thick wall .  It was a pin hole leak . The pipe has been in the ground 14 years .   Thats my tiny backhoe it is a great machine , I have a full size machine Deere 310 B I have had for 20 years , and a New holland  40 hp tractor/loader .  Plus a shop full of tools and equip . 

I set my pressure to 85psi on the regular and 65psi on the pump booster tank.  Trivial sink use for drinking is handled by the booster tank until it kicks in.

We can run appliances + showers + yard watering w/o issues and the 85psi is safe for the water heater.

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

And then there was todays project , the house next door I own also , I got a call about water coming out of the ground .  Dig down and find the pipe , then fire up my little kubota .  Go to HD and grab some parts , and  $ 4. 78  and the leak is done . Back to work by 10 am .

I love the nonchalant attitude.  Your posts crack me up.  I'm pretty sure tasks such as these would take the average DIYer 1 day of frustration, 1 day of confusion and 1 day to realize I should hire someone to fix this haha.....

Sometimes you have to put one foot in front of the other and just "DO" it.  How long will it take if you never get started???

Still think you need another box on top of the one a foot deep.  I have had to run a pick axe before to get there and its no fun.  Put a good solid lid on it and a few bales of straw if freeze is a concern with and old tarp to keep dry.  IF that was mine it would break and require repair every year during frozen ground time,,,,guaranteed!!!

I spend my days fixing things , finding solutions to problems .  I dont have time to get upset when something breaks . Do I have limits ?  Not many .  How did I learn to do this stuff ?  I hate writing , especially checks . They say a penny saved is a penny earned . My last repair would have cost me around $ 800 if I paid  a plumber .

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