Well Install — Part 3

My son and I worked on installing the well Friday afternoon once it warmed up.

The first thing we did was pressure test the line after getting all the fittings on. To do this, we had to electrically hook up the pump and then put it in a garbage can full of water and turn it on. This wasn’t enough water, so we filled it up again and ran it again. All the fittings held!

Then I had to take it apart again to drain the water out of the pipe. This was to reduce the weight during the install. When that was done I put it back together again and got ready to put the pump and pipe into the well.

Next we got the rope ready. This we tied to the lawnmower roll bar (we have a large zero turn) in 100 foot increments. Then my son drove it down the driveway and as I inserted the pump in the well, he drove forward very slowly while I strapped the wiring to the pipe every 10 feet.

With this process in place, we only had one or two problems. The pulley I had put in place to protect the rope was being used upside down (on a stake, not hung), and it kept flopping over. We had to do it this way because we needed an “open” pulley that could handle large knots (the 300′ rope was really three 100′ sections tied together). We had to cut the bottom of the pulley casing off to make it work. When the pulley would flop over, the rope would be rubbing on the (thankfully rounded) metal of the well casing.

Also, the stake the pulley was screwed to started sinking into the ground as the weight increased so that near the end the pulley was almost useless in protecting the rope even when it was straight up. We improvised and put an extra 2′ section of the Endopure pipe over the well casing right after the pulley and all problems were solved! My son came up with this idea, and from that point forward the rope was protected and the pulley didn’t even fall over any more.

By the end we were working in the dark, and it wasn’t until 6:15pm that the final trick came—hooking up the pitless adapter to the slot in the side of the well casing. I had made a hammer like 5′ iron pipe with a “T” on the end, and this I had attached to the pitless adapter. With my wife holding the light (just like Paul Thurst had to do!) we hooked it up!

It wasn’t easy, however, to hook it up, as the fitting just below the pitless adapter was almost as big as the pitless adapter itself. I was afraid that it would make the final hook up impossible! That meant that until the moment arrived when I had it hooked up, I really didn’t know whether or not I had wasted my time and needed to go buy a short length of 1-1/4 inch pipe to get the fitting further away from the pitless adapter.

But it hooked up! I ran downstairs and threw the breaker on. Within 30 seconds, the pressure tank started filling with water! I let it fill to near the top and then screwed in the top plug and watched the pressure rise! This took a bit because we had to open all the faucets to let the air be pushed out of the pipes. I had to do the same with the hot water heater, and soon everything was working!

From Thanksgiving Day it had been 22 days without pressure upstairs, with most of that without anything in the basement either. Including the time with the pressure dropping, we went almost a month. This has taught us a few lessons:

(1) We can survive even in adverse conditions.
(2) To appreciate the modern conveniences that we do have.
(3) How little water we really can get by with if we have to.

The funny thing? I had to go to a work related meeting and was late. I still needed a shower as it had been nearly a week. I ended up with a cold shower! After all that, and I didn’t have time to wait for the water to warm up! Hah!

Thanks for joining with me through this journey. I expect I will not be posting on house maintenance for quite awhile and will be more focused on the intersection of faith and writing.

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2 thoughts on “Well Install — Part 3

  • Robert, I am glad that everything worked out for you and you found my site useful. Sometimes there is a lot of satisfaction in doing something yourself. Thanks for the link back.

  • Paul,

    Thanks for your help! I honestly could not and would not have done it without the well-installation documentary on your website and your email help. We ended up with a superior product (won’t rust and much healthier than PVC) and have the benefit of saving money in the future if anything goes wrong.

    -Robert

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