Well Pump Failure

So, I was going to post some pictures tonight of the motorcycle ride we took last Sunday, but after the more newsworthy events of this evening, I think I’ll wait.

It figures that the well pump would decide to fail at 5pm on a Friday, the evening before we’re planning on going out of town for the weekend. Nothing ever goes wrong on a weekday morning during business hours, when I’m NOT doing laundry. Actually, I doubt there is ever a convenient time to be completely without running water. Fortunately, the cavalry came to the rescue. Kevin was able to find a pump in stock at Lowes with 350 ft of lift (we have a pretty deep well, finding a pump with enough lift is not a given). While I was psyching myself up for the arduous physical task of hauling the pump out of the well by hand (I’m not exaggerating, that would have been really hard to do), some friends showed up with this rig:

I called Kevin at 5 pm to tell him we didn’t have any water, and the pressure tank was empty.  He came home, and verified that yes, the pump would have to come up, and made the call for some help. By 6:30, our friends were at our house.


The stand they brought is fantastic. Some metal pipe and an old wheel used as a pulley means we didn’t have to try and haul the pipe up by hand. Just tie it off to the truck, and drive it out. Much easier, and so much faster.

Cause of failure? Turns out it was a wiring issue. Apparently, well pumps twist around fairly violently down there in the bottom of the well.  Too much slack wire means the wire jacket gets abraded, eventually exposing the wire and causing a short. In our case, it took six years.  Only the wire bunched up at the pump at the bottom of the well was compromised, so Kevin cut off the extra length, and hooked the pump back up. The good news is that the pump itself was fine. Even better news is we can return the new one we just bought, and get our $400 back.

By about 7:45, the pump was back in the well, pumping water like it should, and everyone was packing up. It had just gotten dark, and we finished just minutes before the rainstorm. Seriously. Disaster averted. I was amazed at how inconvenient it was not to have running water, and I was only without it for 3 hours. Five people and the right tools turned a job that would have taken me and Kevin by ourselves who knows how long (1/2 a  day? more?), into about an hour and a half that ended with stromboli and beer. Thanks guys!

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