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Old Yesterday, 01:05 PM   #1
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Central Colorado Rockies
Oddometer: 12,109
Being the water company...

yea, having your own water rights is all fun and games until the system fails.....

So sometime in the last few months, we finally noticed that our cistern pump was running a LOT, I mean, even when we were not using water.

Called a local guy who is a well know JOAT, and who happened to work on this house years ago and installed the water system originally.

Turns out, the prior owner had patched a PVC water delivery pipe with - wait for it...WOOD SCREWS - yes, he had put five wood screws into two different fittings - we think it must have been winter and he was in a hurry. The pipe was so short that heavy hardware was needed.

A simple problem turned into excavating the side of the cistern to expose and replace the end of the pipe, install a new pitless adaptor and a brand new water delivery pump.

The good news is that the cistern is now 2' deeper thanks to mucking out the bottom and we now have a new pump that is even quieter.

AND, we still have the leak! No, really, we realized that in the dead of winter, the pipe might not be deep enough, now I can crack the valve just a bit and the pressure tank will empty and refill a couple of times an hour, keeping the pipe from freezing. All I have to do is reach down and open the leak valve, then close it when warm weather comes.

Bonus? that heavy machinery cleared out a bunch of brush for free, the stank in the tank got rid of the sulfur smell of the water, and it's all newer.

AND, I got real visual evidence of just how much water our spring puts out - somewhere in the area of 600 to 800 gallons per hour.

Good thing the wife in in CA....
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Old Yesterday, 05:07 PM   #2
P B G
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Greater Chicago
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A couple years back I went up to the folk's cottage in winter and hopped in the shower.

Sandy grit came out of the spigot, and I had no pressure.

So I hopped out, got dressed and went to the crawlspace, pump running but no leaks.

So I went up to the dining room and looked out into the yard. Sure enough a pond.

With the pump running you could reach down all the way and find the pitless adapter and pipe to the house aligned but completely cracked 360.

What a pain in the arse. Diggin semi-freezing watery sand mix out in the middle of winter. walking to the lake with a bucket to bring water to flush the toilet was fun too.
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Old Yesterday, 07:48 PM   #3
Manuel Garcia O'Kely OP
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Location: Central Colorado Rockies
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Fun. We did not really have the water off except for yesterday while the repair guy was doing the job, we did pull the breaker at night just to stop the noise.

Just was out checking the pressure gauge - steady by the needle.

I wonder how much my electric bill is going to drop with all the unnecessary pumping stopped. Was a half horse motor so technically that's only about 400 watts, plus starting surge.

Best of all, the price was not too unreasonable - in fact, parts cost more than labor for once, and that included his digging machine.

Oh, and I got some of the underbrush cleared out from around the cistern in the deal as well, and a pile of good decorative stones...we live in an ancient riverbed, it's about 3/4th rocks...overall a win-win-win.

Looking back, it's hard to believe what a poor installation the prior pump was, and I just sort of ignored it...which turned out OK this time. But have you ever thought of securing water piping with wood screws thru the pipe? I guess I need to take a couple of close-ups of the 'repair' that we had to re-do.

Apparently, this area is also known for some good ones - you went winter diving for a pump, our houses' former owner had to go on a January intake dive when the (now defunct) community distribution intake clogged. I guess he peeled down and dove in. In retrospect, doing this work in July seems almost like cheating.

And lest I sound like I'm complaining, compared to my neighbors, I have it EASY, my water is not overly hard - some of my neighbors have 10,000 ppm TDS and more. Full house RO systems are not cheap, one guy has a water plant set him back, it's rumored $40K. Most houses here have deep wells, I just have a 20' lift.
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There's casting, then there's running into the stream with a baseball bat trying to club the fish to death. - Jim Moore
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Old Today, 06:57 AM   #4
troidus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel Garcia O'Kely View Post
And lest I sound like I'm complaining, compared to my neighbors, I have it EASY, my water is not overly hard - some of my neighbors have 10,000 ppm TDS and more. Full house RO systems are not cheap, one guy has a water plant set him back, it's rumored $40K. Most houses here have deep wells, I just have a 20' lift.
That's not water, that's cement that hasn't set up yet.
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Old Today, 03:13 PM   #5
Concow Mower
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Just a couple of miles east of Paradise Ca.
Oddometer: 169
Being the Water & Light Company

Yup, the rules are, water system failures will always occur the weekend before Thanksgiving or there abouts (you get the picture) and the power companies lines will quit delivering power sometime closst the that same general time frame.

We solved the power issue with "Concow Power & Lights", a 5Kw Diesel Genset but the well can go out at anytime and due in no small part to Murphy's Law, it's always at the most inconvenient time. Them's the rules! I didn't make them but I do have to live by them.
Sorry no images. Am trying to find some to down load to smugmug but ??? so far, no luck.
Cheers
Dave
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