madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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I Believe I Need More Ranch Icons

Though Houdini & I do work as one of them, I suppose.

OK, the Water Works Saga.

Problem of a bit back, the one two weeks to the day after the starter capacitor blew out, was indeed a part of the controller box, a switch with burned-out points. Now I know about that, next time (in several years) I might remember to check it. Replacing the part plus labour for the Well Guy vs. replacing the box plus labour was a difference of about $40 US. Replaced the box. Water ran fine.

Next step involves replacing old hose bibbs which leak. That's where we ran into even more fun & trouble. I've several gate valves in line, to isolate parts of teh system for work without necessarily cutting off water entirely. Except, they appear to not be totally cutting off water to their zones. So we closed off the gate at the well head. Which, turns, was ditto. Still very low flow.

Now, this well & some associated parts went into service 23 years ago. Even back then, the well-driller came as part of a package deal with the company from which we purchased our two (2) septic tanks. We purchased two tanks because we'd narrowed down where we wanted a house to two spots, and couldn't decide. Then Herself explained to me how much she didn't look forward to setting up and living a week or so without water or power waiting for the County Inspector to approve and the Power Co-op to put in metres. My stroke of genius involved a rather old even then mobile home I owned, which we weren't living in because we lived in Herself's.

We moved mine first, got it inspected & powered, then moved what is now Studio 318 and base-camped out of my old one with power and water for a week or two until 318 (as we called it then) got inspected and approved and powered. Over time, other aspects came along, water line extensions, improvements, and such. But back to the well. The driller who put it in, he came from near 100 miles up the road because of that package deal. Found water at about 40 feet / 12 metres and dropped the pump. Except, at that depth, we also sucked a lot of sand. So I refused to pay in full until he dropped the well deeper and the pump as well to allow more space for that sand to settle.

He came back, did drill a bit, told Herself (I was back to work at Hospital) it was now down about 80 feet / 24 metres. Except, discovered many years later when the pump died due to a lightning strike (submersible pump) that the well is really only about 56 feet / 17 metres and the pump about 45 feet / 13 metres. Which now is important because with several years of lower than normal rainfall, the water table is down some, and we are beginning to suck air when the pump cycles.

Back to the present, there are several hose bibbs in line which need replacing. They leak. Sure they do, they're 23 years old. So turn off the gate valve to isolate that part of the system and discover it doesn't seal tightly. Still some water flow. So close off the next one higher. Ditto. So, close off the valve at the well head. Ah. Look. Ditto, still low flow of water. Power down the pump. Good. Water flow stops. Then, after completing one hose bibb replacement and trying to turn the water back on, well head hose bibb would not re-open.

With it being 23 years old, I figured, OK, build up of calcium inside and such, time to replace. Got the parts. Started to cut the line and expected some water due to back flow. Did not expect the amount of air that came back out as well, a lot of air in that part of the system and there shouldn't be. Once the pressure dropped off, finished removing the old gate valve and checked it out and... it moves fine. Up, down, open, closed, though it is loose in the channel which explains why water flow is still there when it's closed. I now suspect that high pressure due to the air in the system is what prevented it from re-opening, jamming it back onto the upstream side of the valve.

We've now got a high-pressure PVC ball-valve in place there. These either didn't exist 23 years back or I couldn't find them locally, not sure. Either way, didn't put one in then. End result is we've got water back and we're happy so far, except for that bit that the well is still running shallow, and sucking some air. More on that in future times, though, as it involves a much bigger involvement.

Meanwhile, there are still three hose bibb connections to replace out there, on the calendar for this weekend after feed run. And, most likely, I'll need to replace those other gate valves in the system as well, since I doubt they will totally cut off water flow now. On the other hand, after doing some shopping I've found wonderful new (to me, at least, not being a professional plumber) gate valves out there, high pressure PVC also, which because of their specific design will simplify the job of replacing the existing ones.

Then the existing ones will evolve into some strange yard art. Nothing goes to waste here. Might take it another 10 years or so to be done, though, so don't hold your breath.
Tags: life, ranch

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