Wasn’t exactly how I intended to spend yesterday. I spent Saturday at a book street fair with the Bard and friends, and when we went back to his house late Saturday night we kept hearing this weird electric hum periodically. Wasn’t the AC, and we couldn’t figure it out. Sunday morning, I walk outside to take a look at his well (because he’d had an electrical issue with it days earlier) and find water pouring out of the bottom of the pressure tank.
Well. (Ha.) There’s yer problem! I went back inside and said, well (HA!) I have bad news and bad news, which you want first? LOL He said the bad news. I told him I found the source of the leak. Which made him laugh and ask for the bad news.
I researched and told him okay, it has to be fixed ASAP, or it’s going to blow out the well pump because it’s short-cycling. If it’s just the bottom pipe, we might be able to get away with that. (It’s PVC–hey, it’s Florida.) Or it could be the pressure tank itself is leaking. Told him I was willing to try fixing it if he wanted me to, because basic plumbing skills are in my wheelhouse. Found out we could get a tank locally at a home improvement store, and that with his number of faucets/outlets he could even size it down if he wanted because the one he had now was way overkill for his property. So he opted to replace the tank outright (it was over 20 years old) and off we went to burn a hole in his home improvement store card.
Six hours and damned near sunstroke later, it was back up and running. But at the very least we saved him easily over $500. AND he cooked me a nommy dinner. (You can see the old tank in the background where we left it because we were too exhausted to figure out what to do with it. LOL)
Again, don’t lecture me that we should have upgraded the PVC with a brass T, because that would have meant completely re-piping and configuring the entire thing, moving the pressure switch and gauge, etc. And it was Sunday afternoon by this time and I didn’t want him to be without water all night in case we broke something else and it was too late to go back out and get parts.
I was able to cut the old pipe close to the old tank, then I installed a threaded collar union from the new pipe to the existing pipe and moved the tank back a little to give some extra room for future repairs/reconfigures. Fortunately, the pad under the tank wasn’t concrete, which was what I initially thought. It turned out it settled over time and stressed the old PVC pipe at the tank, which cracked it. It’s a kind of resin pad. So I pulled it up, filled and leveled the space, put weed cloth under it and rocks around it to hopefully keep it from settling again anytime soon or getting washed out by rainfall, and you can see the results in the pic. And the collar union was a genius idea on my part (hey, I have them on occasion) because the first time, the PVC pipe fitting into the bottom of the tank was leaking a little even with pipe dope, so we had to pull the tank off again and tighten it. (I would have even gone with a flexible fitting to connect the tank outlet pipe to the rest of the piping if they’d had one in stock for that.)
So I learned my new thing for the day, and when it comes time to replace my own well tank (something I’ve been DREADING because I’d already been quoted over $1k to have it done) I now know I’ll be able to do it by myself.
Yes, I’m in agony today, but I will admit it feels good that my spoonie self isn’t completely useless. LOL
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