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rws
09-02-2011, 09:31 AM
I'm going to do something BEFORE it goes bad, and that is replace our well pump. After all, it's only over 20 years old!

I've always heard Gould pumps were the best, but hearing and being are two different things. I want to get the best pump so I only do this once in the foreseeable future. What brand has given the best service?

Lu47Dan
09-02-2011, 09:48 AM
I'm going to do something BEFORE it goes bad, and that is replace our well pump. After all, it's only over 20 years old!

I've always heard Gould pumps were the best, but hearing and being are two different things. I want to get the best pump so I only do this once in the foreseeable future. What brand has given the best service?
Myers, Goulds and Grundfos are three pump manufacturers that have good reputations, I have installed Myers and Goulds.
Replace the wire in the well, the pipe and the pressure switch, if the tank is older then 10 years replace it also.
Dan.

gnm109
09-02-2011, 10:01 AM
I'm going to do something BEFORE it goes bad, and that is replace our well pump. After all, it's only over 20 years old!

I've always heard Gould pumps were the best, but hearing and being are two different things. I want to get the best pump so I only do this once in the foreseeable future. What brand has given the best service?


I haven't been posting here much lately but I couldn't resist talking about submersible pumps. You didn't say whether you have lived in a home with a water well before or not. 20 years is not all that old. I think you may be changing a good pump.

The one on my land was installed in June, 1976 when the home was built. That makes it 35 years old. I've lived here for 34 years so far. It''s still going fine with the only repairs on the well to above-ground parts. I replaced two capacitors aboput ten years ago due to corroson on the pins. Also, from time to time an insect, usually an earwig, will get caught in the points. A little cleaning and it's ready to go again.

The reason I think that you may be jumping the gun is that it takes a day or so to change one anyway. So, if you change it now, you won't have water for at least a day. If you wait until it fails, you will still have to take a day to change the pump. The only difference would be that it might occur on a weekend when it's hard to get a well company to come over.

What I have done when my neighbor's well failed was to run a hose over to his house and hook it up. That way he had water until his pump was repaired. He has done the same for me when I had to get someone out to change the capacitors.

Gould is a good name, or at least it was. I don't know the brand that I have.

Hope this helps.

Scottike
09-02-2011, 10:21 AM
I wouldn't R & R the pump just because of it's age. If you know the brand & model # check the specs and test the amperage draw and gpm output of the pump at your wellhead (gpm vs ft. of head (depth of well)) and compare. If all looks good, button it back up for another 5 - 10 yrs.
If it ain't broke don't fix it.

Lu47Dan
09-02-2011, 10:34 AM
gnm, the pumps made 30+ years ago have brass or bronze impellers in them and can last many years longer then newer pumps do. I have a Goulds 7EJ installed in 1990 it is starting to whine, that is a sign of wear on the impeller. Most installers around here figure that if you get 20 years out of a pump you are doing well.
If rws is going to do the installation himself, it might take two days to do but if he hires it done than he should be back in water that evening. Having a supply of water for drinking and flushing the toilet on hand before the project is start is a must.
Once the pump has been changed and installed in the well, the well will need chlorinated to prevent bacterial growth. This can be done with standard unscented bleach, pour a couple of gallons into the well and circulate the water through the system and into the well by a garden hose until you have strong smell of bleach in the water coming out of the hose. If you need to add bleach to get a strong smell of bleach. Bypass any water (salt)softener system and run water at all faucets and into the washing machine until you can smell chlorine at them and let set overnight. In the morning pump the well out a garden hose until you cannot smell chlorine and the water is clear, cycle the tank by turning the power on and off until the water coming out of the tank is clear and has no chlorine smell to it. Then flush the piping in the house. Before you start remove all the aerators from the faucets, and soak them in CLR or another lime scale remover, removing them will prevent them from being plugged up by whatever is in the lines. The bleach can loosen the build up in lines.

gnm109
09-02-2011, 10:44 AM
gnm, the pumps made 30+ years ago have brass or bronze impellers in them and can last many years longer then newer pumps do. I have a Goulds 7EJ installed in 1990 it is starting to whine, that is a sign of wear on the impeller. Most installers around here figure that if you get 20 years out of a pump you are doing well.
If rws is going to do the installation himself, it might take two days to do but if he hires it done than he should be back in water that evening. Having a supply of water for drinking and flushing the toilet on hand before the project is start is a must.
Once the pump has been changed and installed in the well, the well will need chlorinated to prevent bacterial growth. This can be done with standard unscented bleach, pour a couple of gallons into the well and circulate the water through the system and into the well by a garden hose until you have strong smell of bleach in the water coming out of the hose. If you need to add bleach to get a strong smell of bleach. Bypass any water (salt)softener system and run water at all faucets and into the washing machine until you can smell chlorine at them and let set overnight. In the morning pump the well out a garden hose until you cannot smell chlorine and the water is clear, cycle the tank by turning the power on and off until the water coming out of the tank is clear and has no chlorine smell to it. Then flush the piping in the house. Before you start remove all the aerators from the faucets, and soak them in CLR or another lime scale remover, removing them will prevent them from being plugged up by whatever is in the lines. The bleach can loosen the build up in lines.

It's probably true that present-day pumps are not as well built as older ones. All the more reason to leave the present pump in place. It will probably do another 20 years.

I will have a professional wel company change it when the time comes. There are several near me that I've spoken to. They also offer warranties for any pump that they install. They also handle the cleanup and recertification process after installation.

My pump is down145 feet so there's no way I could do the work, even if I wanted to. I'll leave it to the pros and get the warranty. I certainly wouldn't want to change one that is in place and working.

Metalmelter
09-02-2011, 11:06 AM
Well here's something I'll share with you. I replaced two pumps in about four years time in my first home. Both were due to lightning strikes. I lived on a mountain and we always got slammed in a good storm. Well after the insurance paid for the first one but refused the second one, it cost me about $2600 to get another new pump installed. I wasn't too happy over that.

Fast forward to my next home, the one I'm in now and about 12 years later, I installed a Gould pump. Drilled the well 200ft deeper then needed to avoid droughts and the best part - I had them install a few good ideas: the pump has all the external controls mounted in a separate box next to the water tank on the wall. That is a factory option. The Caps are in there so in case you blow a cap - you don't need to pull the pump. Also makes troubleshooting it easier. Second: I had them install a better pump pressure switch - one which actually shuts the pump off if the well runs low on water and will not burn your pump out. And third: I installed a gas discharge lightning arrestor for each leg of the power feed. That I did that in the main panel. So far it's all working flawlessly ;)

gnm109
09-02-2011, 11:28 AM
Well here's something I'll share with you. I replaced two pumps in about four years time in my first home. Both were due to lightning strikes. I lived on a mountain and we always got slammed in a good storm. Well after the insurance paid for the first one but refused the second one, it cost me about $2600 to get another new pump installed. I wasn't too happy over that.

Fast forward to my next home, the one I'm in now and about 12 years later, I installed a Gould pump. Drilled the well 200ft deeper then needed to avoid droughts and the best part - I had them install a few good ideas: the pump has all the external controls mounted in a separate box next to the water tank on the wall. That is a factory option. The Caps are in there so in case you blow a cap - you don't need to pull the pump. Also makes troubleshooting it easier. Second: I had them install a better pump pressure switch - one which actually shuts the pump off if the well runs low on water and will not burn your pump out. And third: I installed a gas discharge lightning arrestor for each leg of the power feed. That I did that in the main panel. So far it's all working flawlessly ;)


Those are all good ideas. I can see where a lightining strike could damage a pump.

The capacitors on my well are in a box above ground. I didn't know that they could put them in the well shaft.

Dawai
09-02-2011, 11:29 AM
The well here is down 225 feet.
Most people don't put a stainless cable, or plastic rope onto the pump. THEY lift it by the hose. There is normally ONE joint, sometimes two.

Pray it holds. I've made all kinds of fishing gear to get it out. (TAKES DAYS) Anything that can do down the hole and put some half hitches onto the pipe end may work. Next one I ever try will have a camera and screw pipe.

Taking it out of the well, a drum on sawhorses works tied into place, let the pipe ride across it, tie the end of pipe to a 4wd or tractor.. SLOW.. really slow and help it up. DO not put a teenager on the vehicle. Recipe for disaster.

Never replace the pump before it dies.. do put the money into the bank so it won't catch you broke when it does go.

ironnut
09-02-2011, 12:20 PM
Assuming your water is not acidic, extremely hard, or highly alkaline, the principal killer of pumps is frequent cycling. In-rush currents at start are very high which stresses the electrical windings, starting switches and capacitors. Too often a system is installed with a very small pressure tank so even a low capacity toilet flush causes the pump to cycle. Our well driller/water system installer was a firm believer in installing the largest pressure tank possible/practical. I added a second one as I agree with his recommendations. Make sure that if you are running a sprinkler system off your well pump that you size the zones so that the pump stays running through the sprinkling cycle. A friend of mine had a small pressure tank and an incorrectly sized sprinkler system. The pump was short cycling whenever the sprinkler system was on and the pressure switch was failing prematurely. Also check to make sure that the pressure tank is not water logged. New tanks have bladders in them and don't get water logged. However the bladders do not last forever and then the tank becomes water logged. If the pump runs only a short time, less than minute or so after starting and no faucets are open, your pressure tank is either very small or water logged. If your system is in good shape I would consider adding another pressure tank before replacing a working 20+ year old pump.

rws
09-02-2011, 05:13 PM
I appreciate all the replies. I understand the concept of "if it aint broke, don't fix it".

In my other house, which was not as old as this one, I got up on Christmas Eve morning, and the pump was gone. I was lucky Tractor Supply was open, got a new pump and new wire, and called a friend. I was lucky it wasn't raining or snowing, but we changed the pump, added the new wire, and I reused the old plastic pipe. Had to cut a few inches off the pipe cause I couldn't get it off the old pump.

So I still think, my luck would shine when the pump goes out on the worst day and under the worst conditions.

I fully agree with the size of pressure tank. Mine is too small, the pump cycles quite a bit when filling the washing machine for example. And it has to run once when a toilet is flushed. So I would definitely install a new switch and tank.

Good idea about a drum on saw horses, you don't want to link the pipe, and all that water in the pipe is heavy. Easier going back in than coming out!

Scottike
09-02-2011, 06:22 PM
I do understand that part of the equation, Every flat tire I've ever had was when:
A: "I don't have time to deal with this Sh#% right now"
B: At night in a rain storm.
C: In the middle of nowhere.
& D: A combination thereof

I'm sure that pump failures follow murphy's law just as closely.

sasquatch
09-02-2011, 07:59 PM
Another thing not to forget that is VERY important is be sure a "Torque Arrestor" is installed at the pump.

This will keep the pump from "Torqueing " (like a quarter twist or so) each time the pump starts. This is a REAL MUST HAVE on a long water line.

A few installers will just forget to install these, not good.

J Weber
09-03-2011, 10:48 PM
My 4" well is only 50 '. The threads would rust out right at the pump flange in about two years.I would rig up the front loader to pull her out,change the pipe and back down.Got tired of this so I switched to PVC. Used SCH 80 glued it up.I did use a SS aircraft wire to pull it back up with.Only problem I had was it would jump off the pitless adapter when the pump stopped. As this was on a weekend I made a 5'long wedge out of a piece of redwood I had laying around,slid it down to wedge the pipe into the pitless adapter and figured I would fix it later. That was 25 years ago.The pump is a couple years older that.Think I will fix it...when it quits :)

Guido
09-03-2011, 11:32 PM
Not to take leave of most of youse guy's ideas, but maybe help ya' with your future decisions, regards water wells.

Next time your in Las Vegas (Spanish for 'the meadows') ie. good water, we'll rest up here before heading west into the desert. Check out the wooden derick over the well in the front yard of the North LV Water District offices. Been in operation since the late 1940's, never been touched, still makes quality water, completed with pump and mechanicals available at that time.

--G