Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Blessing of Good Neighbors

You know we take so much for granted until we either don't have it or it starts to give us problems.  For three or four days we have been having problems with the breaker to the well.  It kept flipping off.  I didn't know if the problem was electrical or just the well pump itself.  We have a submersible pump so I was praying that was not the problem.

I know little to nothing about electrical not to mention having to do anything with it scares the gibbers out of me.  Our middle son is a journeyman electrician so I called him.  I tried to describe stuff to him then finally just sent pictures as we were not talking the same language.  Let me note here that he lives 2 hours away.  He was trying to assist me in figuring out how the switch was wired so I wouldn't have curly hair.  Yesterday afternoon we finally deducted it was wired direct into the meter.

 So last night I get home after dark and commence to feeding and watering in the dark with "the flashlight".  (We'll cover that another time.)  I had checked the breaker before starting however in the middle of watering I ran out of water.  I went to flip the breaker on again to finish to find the breaker still on.  I looked to the meter and it wasn't moving as it would if the pump was running.  I checked the switch in the pump house.  Everything was good.  That wasn't good.  We had gone beyond the symptom to shutdown.  Great, now we are out of water and I still have no real clue what was wrong.

I tried calling a friend of mine 45 minutes away for advice but his line was busy.  I go a hold of another friend a hour away and got even further depressed and stressed.  He thought it could actually be the well pump.  Well we didn't even know who to call to service the pump.  Then I thought....  Why not call my neighbor.  He would know and possible know what might be wrong with the well.  He is married to a childhood friend of mine and they just live about a mile down our road.  So I gave him a call and tried to describe what had been going on for the past 3 to 4 days and how it all had come to a grinding halt now.  He said he would come on down and check it out.

The first thing we checked was the current at the breaker.  It was good.  Then we checked the current at the switch in the well house.  Each wire was receiving the correct current however together they were falling short.  This lead him to believe it was the wire between the house and the well which had been buried without first being placed in a pipe.

Fortunately I had some #8 wire so we rewired the well.  It now works great!  My next project will be purchasing some tubing and burying some wires.  He was really good at explaining things as we went along so I would understand.  Answering all my questions in a language I understood.

Last year I was able to replace the switch and the pressure gauge by looking it up online.  Here is a great site I found that has helped me out several times:  Inspectapedia

How to Replace a Water Pump Pressure Control Switch

Blogs, Inspectapedia, YouTube, and mostly friends have really helped me learn and continue learning.  Last night under pressure I was at a loss on where to start.  Thank goodness that Robby came down and help me gain perspective and learn.

I am happy to report that today we have water without having to go flip the breaker everytime.


  1. I am glad you had someone close by to call and you did not have to go without water that long. It kinda makes that rainwater system a little higher on the list doesn't it?

  2. It sure does. I am still waiting on that darn gutter. I might just have to break down and purchase some.

  3. At least you didn't run out of water :)

  4. @ Aidan - You got a point there baby girl.