Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pretty sure I've got a diagnosis on the water thing...

Okay. I measured and recorded the water level in the cistern yesterday morning: Almost but not quite empty. Did it again yesterday at sundown. In between we had fitful sunshine, but enough direct sun that the pump should have pumped measurable water into the tank. And it did - the level was up a good few inches, anyway.

Then first thing this morning I went out and checked it again. Empty.

Okay! Since I'm as sure as I can be that there's no leak, that means a check valve has failed and the water is draining back into the well overnight. No surprise, in my admittedly limited experience out here it seems to me there's only two kinds of check valves: Those that have failed and those that will sooner or later.

Now, I'm pretty sure the valve for this system is at the pump, which is 150 feet below the ground and which I plan to leave there. The flexible pipe is accessible, and I can rig a check valve in that pipe one way or another. Unfortunately, the parts I need are many miles away and I still can't legally drive. Putting out a beg to the neighbors, but if I can't resolve it over the remainder of the week I'll probably sneak out of town over the weekend. In the meantime, if the weather report is even moderately accurate it doesn't matter anyway, since the sun appears to be vacationing in Panama. No sun, no water pump.


Don said...

Sorry Joel, my answer only made sense if the pump was above ground. OOPS. I have a jet pump not a submersible. Still, you have the right idea. Place a check valve in the well house and use unions so you can replace it when it fails.
Now I'll just sneak back to my Lair and try to remove foot from mouth.

Joat said...

Should there be an air gap so that the pump exit is higher than the water level in the cistern? It wouldn't keep the pipe from draining back but it would keep it from emptying the cistern.