Well pump shot after only 4 years!

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Our well pump just went after only 4 years! AAAAGH! Is this normal? Our well is 500 feet deep so I guess the thing does a lot of work. Can I do anything to prevent this from happening in another 4 years (short of using an outhouse)?

-- Christina (introibo2000@yahoo.com), March 04, 2002


Did you do the maintenance work on it twice a year? Check the belt, a few drops of oil where needed, clean any dirt and cobwebs off, that sort of thing? If not, be sure to do it with the replacement and it will last a good while. Don't take care of it, and you are going to be buying a lot of replacements.

Lest I sound a bit harsh, let me tell you I learned this lesson the hard way - burned out a motor and in the hottest part of a Texas summer. Not fun at all.

-- Carol - in Virginia (carollm@rockbridge.net), March 04, 2002.

Make sure the new pump is properly sized for the load. 500 feet is a fairly deep well, so I'd think you should have atleast a 3/4 horse pump. Do you have a submersable? Could there have been a lightening storm just before the pump died? Sometime a lightening strike 5 or more miles away can " cook" a pump.

-- Ken in Maine (Kenjan@pivot.net), March 04, 2002.

Are you sure the pump is bad? If you've got a submersible and it wasn't installed correctly the wiring insulation could have been worn through by being rubbed against the casing when the pump twisted every time it started.

Is the breaker blowing?

-- Darren (df1@infi.net), March 04, 2002.

Ok, at 500 feet I'm assuming it _has_ to be a submersable, nothing with a belt at top would pull any water.

Is it the _pump_ itself that went bad, or the motor/wiring?

If the pump went bad, are you in sand down at the bottom? Got a properly sized sand screen in there? Is the water harsh in some way, high or low ph? Plastic submersable pump should handle more than 4 years of average household use.

I would consult with the well guys to find out why it went bad, 4 years is not a good record. The pump should last more gallons than that.

If it is the motor that went bad, then lightening, a power spike, shorting wires, etc. could have been the problem. Again, I'd want it checked out with the well guys to figure out what went wrong, so it can be prevented next time.

Our well is 35 years old, 260 feet or so deep. Motor went out when hit by lightening, and pump wore out at about 25 years. House & average 20 head of livestock, gets some work but not too much.


-- paul (ramblerplm@hotmail.com), March 04, 2002.

Thanks for the advice. The guys were here this morning, and they said there were some holes in the wiring, probably had caught on rocks on the way down. The pump was shorting out. They advised getting a new one, even this one would probably still work for awhile, but since it was running on high amps on some time, it would probably blow pretty soon. I got the new one, plus a $25 five year warranty. There goes my income tax refund!

-- Christina (introibo2000@yahoo.com), March 05, 2002.

Christina, rubbing the wire on the way down won't cause your problem. How many years did your pump run? So how did those holes in the wiring all of a sudden appear?

When a submersible pump is installed there are star shaped plastic pieces which have a center hole for the pipe to go through and which have holes for the pump wiring to pass through. The outside edges of the plastic pieces touch the inside of the casing.

When the pump starts it twists initially and causes the pipe and the wire attached to it to also move. If the wire is against the casing anyplace, it will ruin the insulation eventually because every time the pump starts it gets rubbed.

The star shaped plastic pieces keep the wire away from the casing. I'd wonder if someone left off the plastic pieces and cost you a bunch of money. If they weren't installed this time the same thing will happen.

The plastic pieces should be spaced out on the pipe all the way down the well. That way the wiring is protected.

-- Darren (df1@infi.net), March 05, 2002.

I too don't think you got a good explination on what happened to your wires. What did they do _this_ time to prevent it from happening again then?

Our wires were taped to the pipe every 6-10 feet, that has worked here. But I remember the well guys being fussy about it, had to be done right - didn't pay too much attention to what 'right' was.

Anyhow, the explination seems a little odd to me, hope they did something different or you will be right back at it in 4 years.


-- paul (ramblerplm@hotmail.com), March 05, 2002.

Man what a spectrum of answers. A belt driven deep well. Wow must be like 500 hp. Thats alot of head to pull. If the pump is good it is GOOD> get that old pump from those fellons. You may need it in the future. This industry has as many frauds as the auto repair service. The said stars are torque arrestors. The prevent the pump from breaking the pipe at the "H" coupling and protecting the wires. I agree with the sand problem. Caused too much wear at the pump. Pulled many of well in my time.

-- MD Logan (Eagle127@msn.com), April 18, 2002.

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