Before you thinking of how to replace a well pump, you must identify it as the main fault in your household water system. In my case, I had to seek an assessment from a professional who identified the water pump as the failed component and recommended that I replace it. Your water system problem could be as a result of several different components other than your water pump. Ensure that you are positive the water pump is damaged before you start replacing it.
Now, it is quite costly when professionals do the well pump replacement for you. This is especially true if you had not planned on replacing it anytime soon. According to my estimate, it would cost around 2400 dollars to hire experts. However, when I finished replacing my water pump I ended up spending about 350 dollars. In this tutorial, I will take you through the entire process of replacing your water pump step by step.
Step 1: Understand how the well works
You must understand how your well works and how it looks like before you start doing anything. A wider casing is better when you are working alone because it gives you a lot of room to work. Narrow casings can be a little tricky and you may need help from a friend or family. The second important thing is the depth of your well. All wells have different depths depending on the water level and location. Some wells are pretty shallow while others are considered to be so deep. Again, dealing with a shallow well is convenient because you will not require a lot of strength to pull the pump out. With deep wells, you might need to use your car to pull out the pump. If your well is more than 300 feet then you will need the help of experts because the pump is too heavy and specialized tools are required to carry out the replacement.
Step 2: pulling the pump from the well
Start by turning off power completely before you decide to pull out the well pump. Although your well pump is no longer functional, remember that electric wirings are running down your well. There is a high risk of getting electrocuted should you not cut off power. To start pulling out the pump, you will need a piece of special equipment commonly known as a ‘pitless adapter wrench’. It is made of 3 threaded metal pipe pieces held together by a ‘T’ connector. You can buy them at the local store or simply buy the three pieces of threaded metal pipes and make one by yourself. However, ensure that the long pipe which goes down the hole is at least 5 feet long to enable it to reach the pump.
Once you have your wrench, all you need to do is drop it down the well and thread it to your connector. You can now start pulling and ensure that you have someone tightly holding the safety rope. If for some reason, something goes wrong and no one is holding the safety rope, then your water pump will fall into the well and may just get lost forever.
Step 3: Use a flashlight to look inside the well after taking off the cap
The well cap in most cases is usually secured using about four bolts. Loosen those bolts but do not remove them completely since you do not want to lose them. Use a medium-sized hammer to pop off the cap but do not use excessive force.
You will then need the flashlight to look down the well once you have safely removed the cap. You will be able to see the electric wires, safety rope, and the pitless connector. The main reason for looking down the well is to marry the pitless connector wrench and the threaded cap just above the connector. It looks like a circle and you should be able to identify it quickly.
Step 4: line the threads and start pulling
In my experience, regardless of whatever metal you are using, the pitless connector will fill up with a lot of gunk and this will make it difficult to thread the wrench easily into the adapter. The trick that I used and found to be working, is to do the entire process extremely slowly. If you find yourself still encountering difficulties then try to use a hammer to ease the process. When turning the wrench, tap with a hammer gently to ensure the pipe is threaded fully and efficiently.
Once everything is in place, you need to start pulling it slowly. Remember that you need someone holding onto the safety rope in case something goes wrong and this is pretty vital. You will need the help of a third party to help you pull the assembly out and ensure that there are no damages to your well’s walls and the different cables. Remember that the pump is the problem and the rest of the assembly is still in good shape. Asking for help will ensure that you do not cause any further damages and that you save money on replacing other aspects of the assembly such as the electric cables.
The weight of the assembly will be significant and you will require a lot of energy. The water trapped in the tub plus the weight of the pump is rather significant. A deep well will need much more energy and you need to be prepared for that.
Step 5: clean off the assembly
Once the entire assembly is out of the well, you will need to thoroughly clean it off. Cleaning the ump will help you identify what kind of pump you had. You must replace the entire pump and not parts of it. Yes replacing a few parts like the motor sounds cheaper but you run the risk of another failure soon. It is best to just replace the entire pump with a similar model. Take notes on the model of the pump, the voltage and the amount of water it pumps. With this information, you can simply run to the local stores and buy a new pump similar to the old one.
Step 6: take the entire assembly apart
You need to take apart the entire assembly starting from the failed pump to the safety rope and wires. Do this process slowly to ensure you do not damage any of the other components since you are going to need them. Salvage all the hose clamps and prepare to cut the water tube.
If your water line is completely damaged and clogged, then you will also need to buy a new water line at the hardware store. You must take a good look at the connector too to ensure it is in good shape before running off to the store. In most cases, the connector is usually in good shape because the O-ring does not get damaged easily.
Step 7: select a replacement well pump
With all the information from your old pump, you are now ready to buy a new replacement. Do a little research on the internet to determine which stores around have the exact model that you are looking for and how much it costs. If the old pump was more than a decade old then you will probably find improved versions of your old pump which is great. Newer versions of well pumps produce more water per minute and generally use less power when compared to their older versions.
There are a lot of discounts that you can take advantage of to get better prices in the local stores. Ensure however that you buy quality products with a warranty t ensure that you get a replacement should the new pump be defective.
Step 8: Put your new pump together
Get your pump home and start putting it together. This is usually a do it yourself job but you may need the help of one or two family members or friends. You must secure the electrical connections properly. Also, ensure that you securely fix the safety rope onto your new assembly. You can always do extensive research on the internet to get instructions on how to assemble a new water pump system properly. It is pretty straightforward especially since you are simply replacing a few elements and not the entire system. Once you have completed assembling all the components including the torque arrestor you can test the pump.
Step 9: put the new assembly back in the well
On testing the new water pump and finding it satisfactory, you can proceed to put it back in the well. You need to exercise a lot of patience when putting the new assembly in place. Ensure that the safety ropes are secured properly and the electric wires are insulated properly. Once you are done, you can switch on your pump and do a small victory dance.
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Replacing a water pump can be difficult and is considered to be rather labor-intensive. It will take you quite some time and you may need to free up your entire weekend. This step by step tutorial on how to replace a water pump will help you to successfully get the job done quickly and effectively.