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  1. #1
    Jeff FOdi's Avatar
    Jeff FOdi Guest

    Default Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    After the recent hard freeze and a power outage - my pump failed. I believe it was a combination of frozen pipes (pex - so they didn't burst) and overrunning the pump once the power came back on.

    After pulling the pump out for replacement the well service person recommended replacing the pump wire and the couplings. There's a fair bit of iron in our well water - so I guess I can see the couplings getting corroded, but is it common to replace the wire. This was not done when we had our first pump replacement and the wire is not cheap. I also noticed that while he left the old pump - he happily removed the previous length of cooper wiring (about 380') - which is probably about $100 in recycling.

    Honestly - I really liked the guy, but I was a bit disconcerted since the total price was over double the previous replacement cost (approx. 8 years earlier).

    Interested to hear if I got taken or not.

    Thanks for your input!

    Inspection Referral SOC

  2. #2
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    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    My spy bots report that this is a submersible pump with the lower section of the stranded copper wiring submerged in rusty water.

    Buy a new pump with wiring attached.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Don't see the need to replace the entire length at least in my experience in my neck of the woods. Just splice the cables from the new pump to the old wiring.


  4. #4
    Jeff FOdi's Avatar
    Jeff FOdi Guest

    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    My spy bots report that this is a submersible pump with the lower section of the stranded copper wiring submerged in rusty water.

    Buy a new pump with wiring attached.
    Thanks - that's what happened. I didn't have much choice in the matter. I didn't get the quote (or know exactly what the problem was) until the pump was out. We did confirm that it the couplings weren't holding - since the pump outlet sucked back in after the pump was turned off.

    I thought pumps would only come with wiring a small section of wiring attached - not the entire length?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Don't see the need to replace the entire length at least in my experience in my neck of the woods. Just splice the cables from the new pump to the old wiring.
    Thanks for the reply. That's kind of what I was afraid of. Is there any rule of thumb around this? Maybe because the water had so much iron - it corrodes wire more quickly? HOnestly though, if water was contacting those wires - then I'd have bigger issues than corrosion.

    Have you (or anyone) ever seen the wire fail?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Unless the wire overheated and the plastic jacket was damaged, then yes it should be replaced, but that would be unlikely if it was properly fused. The splice if not water proof may have damaged, but that would only be very small section.

    Water nor the iron in the water should affect the plastic sheathing of the wire unless the sheathing was damaged.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Yes the wiring fails if it rubs on the well casing. This can happen if there is a wire loop at the pump. Every time the pump starts, it rotates and rub the wires against the casing.

    You can buy a pump with wiring attached, no splices, or you can reuse the existing wiring, with water-proof splices.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    You could install a torque arrestor on the water line just above the pump.

    http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/...stallation.pdf

    Also stagger splices.

    Torque arrestor and other info -

    Innis Well Drilling: Maine Water Well Drilling & Water Well Pump Service

    Make sure the well is chlorinated after everything is installed.


  8. #8
    Jeff FOdi's Avatar
    Jeff FOdi Guest

    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    Yes the wiring fails if it rubs on the well casing. This can happen if there is a wire loop at the pump. Every time the pump starts, it rotates and rub the wires against the casing.

    You can buy a pump with wiring attached, no splices, or you can reuse the existing wiring, with water-proof splices.
    My pump just had stub wires - so they connected the pump to the new length of wire and then waterproofed the connections.

    The wiring was taped to the pvc at about 20 ft increments and toward the pump (the last 40') where the majority of movement would occur - the taping was at much shorter intervals - to prevent rub against the well casing or well walls.

    So - technically this could be an issue - but it sounds like fairly expensive insurance for a low probability problem - especially for 360' of the 380' of pump depth.

    Thank you for the explanations!


  9. #9
    Jeff FOdi's Avatar
    Jeff FOdi Guest

    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    You could install a torque arrestor on the water line just above the pump.

    http://www.groverelectric.com/howto/...stallation.pdf

    Also stagger splices.

    Torque arrestor and other info -

    Innis Well Drilling: Maine Water Well Drilling & Water Well Pump Service

    Make sure the well is chlorinated after everything is installed.
    Those diagrams are educational - thank you. I have no well spacers, torque arrester, or poly line back up (the weight is held by the PVC). I guess my counties building code is a bit different.

    Also, I've never chlorinated the well - though I have heard of others doing this on an annual. basis.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Fwiw,

    My well is 45' deep and I have never had a torque arrestor on the line, nor have I had any problems as a result.

    Chlorinating the well after its been worked on is important because surface contaminates can contaminate the well simply from the pump and line being in contact with the surface as its being prepped to be lowered back into the well.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Wow, Jeff--you must either live on a very tall hill, or in a desert area. I've never heard of anyone with a 380' deep well.

    Better count my blessings, living on a property with a measly 60' deep well. Clean, sweet-tasting water, with no need for filters. And I don't think the pump has been touched in close to 20 years.


  12. #12
    Jeff FOdi's Avatar
    Jeff FOdi Guest

    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Fwiw,

    My well is 45' deep and I have never had a torque arrestor on the line, nor have I had any problems as a result.

    Chlorinating the well after its been worked on is important because surface contaminates can contaminate the well simply from the pump and line being in contact with the surface as its being prepped to be lowered back into the well.
    Ok - great point on the Chlorination - especially given that the entire length of pipe was laid on the ground across the property. I guess it's probably a little late now - given we've been drinking it for over a week with no ill effects, but I'll definitely add this to my notes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by BridgeMan View Post
    Wow, Jeff--you must either live on a very tall hill, or in a desert area. I've never heard of anyone with a 380' deep well.

    Better count my blessings, living on a property with a measly 60' deep well. Clean, sweet-tasting water, with no need for filters. And I don't think the pump has been touched in close to 20 years.
    Mountains of Asheville - we live at about 2600'. Not sure this is an average depth - but I've definitely heard of MUCH deeper wells. No complaints about the taste of the water here - but I would definitely appreciate a lower repair rate on pump.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Wells in the Atlanta GA area can normally be 100-300 feet into the granite, which on average is about 3-50 below the surface, having to hit fishers to get water that seeps up from under the granite layer.
    Many times can get a nice 65-75 gal/per minute, others maybe 7
    Some commercial wells have gone through the granite layer at around 1800-2500 feet to get the volume, which many locations only use as backup wells now relying on surface water these days.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Well/Pump Wire Replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff FOdi View Post
    Ok - great point on the Chlorination - especially given that the entire length of pipe was laid on the ground across the property. I guess it's probably a little late now - given we've been drinking it for over a week with no ill effects, but I'll definitely add this to my notes.

    You should still chlorinate for the bacteria will be present whether it makes you sick or not. You should do this whenever any plumbing is worked on.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Mountains of Asheville - we live at about 2600'. Not sure this is an average depth - but I've definitely heard of MUCH deeper wells. No complaints about the taste of the water here - but I would definitely appreciate a lower repair rate on pump.
    Norm around here is 200' and deeper. Biggest reason is population sucking the tables dry as well as pollutants.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

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