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I Hate Pumps — Why Now?
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I Hate Pumps

The proper pump should last a lifetime or die after five years.  If it only lasts 35 years it is a total PITA to deal with.  After 35 years you have to cut pipes because all of the connections have corroded to the point where putting a wrench to work either results in nothing, or the parts crumble as soon as you use the 6-foot “helper” on the handle of the wrench.  [Note that the connections were heated, had penetrating oil used, and received hammer whacks for a day before it became obvious that a reciprocating saw was the answer.]

So then you start to install the new pump, which is not cast iron but a “composite” [plastic, the sucker is plastic, but cast iron is special order and twice as much money.]

OK, you unpack it and put it place and get ready to attach it to the pipe going to the 2-inch well pipe and you discover that in violation of all of the rules on pump design, the inlet and outlet are both 1½-inch.  It has been gospel forever that the inlet is bigger than the outlet, but they have decided to change the rules.  So, back to the store for a reducer.

The main piping is done, but now I have to put the electrical together.  Always a thrill.

Just because the casing on the motor had rusted away causing the shaft to bind after it wore down the bearing is a pretty sad excuse for that pump to fail.


1 Kryten42 { 10.02.08 at 10:31 pm }

Ahhhh! Well, next time maybe you should zinc plate the cast iron casing m8! Mighta got another 20 years or so. Maybe. Acid rain (and air) is a bitch on cast iron stuff over time. 😉 😀

And… I’m not laughing… really! Well… not at you or your predicament. Just that you expect common sense to prevail over money, hence the really crappy stuff you are forced to deal with today. 🙂

Money is King! So, everything is made as cheap as possible, designed to fail as quickly as possible (whilst avoiding warranty costs), designed not to fit properly necessitating more expense on extra bits to make stuff fit… etc. Oh, and they change the bits used to connect stuff or open close stuff so you have to buy new tools every time you buy anything that has to be opened, closed or connected in any way. 🙂 ‘Way of the World'(tm)

You don’t remotely think for a minute that was by accident do you? LOL 😉

I didn’t think so. 🙂

And the ‘Stoopids'(tm) who inhabit this planet think that everything is so inexpensive these days! LMAO People really are stupid. No wonder they make it a point NOT to teach ROI in schools, unless you take a course designed to make you ‘One of them!'(tm)

2 Jim Bales { 10.02.08 at 10:51 pm }

As a Chemical Engineering student 25+ years ago, my friends & I realized that the fundamental rule of that profession was that pumps suck. 😉

It’s good to know that they still do!

3 hipparchia { 10.02.08 at 11:01 pm }

The main piping is done, but now I have to put the electrical together. Always a thrill.

which, given the direction this story is going, is part aluminum, part copper, right?

4 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 10.02.08 at 11:05 pm }

…I live your pain, Bryan. I long for the day when I can live in a community where I am connected to city services so I don’t have to screw with this stuff anymore…

5 Kryten42 { 10.02.08 at 11:52 pm }

As a Chemical Engineering student 25+ years ago, my friends & I realized that the fundamental rule of that profession was that pumps suck.

As an industrial designer, I learned that it’s when the pumps stop sucking that they become a *real* PITA! LMAO As Bryan found out. 😉

And no… I couldn’t resist! 😉 LOL

6 Bryan { 10.02.08 at 11:58 pm }

Except for refusing to release the connecting pipes, the cast iron pump was fine, Kryten. It was the steel casing of the motor that rusted away leaving the motor to hang on the shaft. The new pump has the same steel casing on the motor, so it will go first. Why they don’t seem to understand that a “water pump” might get wet, is one of those design mysteries.

If someone wanted to use a 1½-inch well pipe they could just use a reduction bushing, but everyone in the area uses 2-inch because that’s the size all of the local drillers install. That’s the problem of not having a local hardware store anymore, the big box stores don’t know anything about the local practices. I assume that the pump was cheaper to manufacture because the Chinese company only needed to buy one size of tap.

With any luck this one will last my lifetime, because I’m not dealing with it again.

Well, Jim, except when they cavitate, then they really suck because they don’t.

Actually, Hipparchia, my Dad eliminated all of the aluminum wiring in the area, even before people found out it caused fires. He was a firm believer in copper for pipes and wiring, especially since he used to work for a company that built a machine to “draw” copper wire. No, the problem is grounding. I don’t trust the grounding on anything in this state. I’ll probably just go ahead and install a separate grounding stake for the pump because the old pump was grounded through the piping as near as I can tell, and my Dad did not run the wire from the house to the pump house, so I have doubts that the ground wire is actually connected to a ground. While this is an irrigation system, I would hate to have someone receive a shock from a sprinkler.

Jack, I remember that from New York – no nothing until you got the pump fixed, and they broke there from power outages during freezing weather. You could keep the house warm with the wood stove, but there was nothing to protect the pump if you forgot to drain it, or the power went off overnight.

This is just irrigation, so it isn’t critical, no matter what some people, like my Mother’s lawn guy, thinks. It still has to be done. It finally stops raining every day and the pump breaks – typical.

7 Badtux { 10.03.08 at 1:56 am }

Well, the good news is that you aren’t going to be waiting another 35 years for this pump to go out. Chinese, you said? Five years. Tops. Or I’m a penguin. Oh wait…

8 Bryan { 10.03.08 at 12:26 pm }

It has a five-year warranty, so it will be five years, and then it will fail totally.

9 Moi { 10.03.08 at 3:25 pm }

I hear ya, ours just went, no way was it close to 35 years old…

I think we have a lot of crap in our water which just screws everything to hell, including the filter system, our guts, you name it.

10 Kryten42 { 10.03.08 at 7:33 pm }

It has a five-year warranty, so it will be five years, and then it will fail totally.

Well… if it’s Chinese, it will fail *whenever* and then it’s good luck getting the warranty honored! LOL If you spend several months chasing the company, they may decide to repair or replace it, usually they will find a reason to blame you and void the warranty. 🙂

And yeah, I know all about the ways *standards* change. When we had our solar hot water service installed a few months ago we had a gas heating booster. All the gas piping from the gas meter/regulator had to be replaced because the new regulations specify a larger diameter pipe (and it’s metric, the old pipes when this place was built in the 60’s were imperial). Cost an extra $640 (incl extra labor)! Then we discovered the cost didn’t include a water temperature regulator, and one had to be added for an extra $380 (inc labor) for a manual cold/hot water mixer and extra pipes had to be run for the cold water, because in summer the water temp can get to over 80C! Seemed like a nice cost-effective idea going solar when we started! None of this was mentioned of course BEFORE the work on the new system was started. Con artist Bastards! And we are still fighting to get the promised $1,000 Gov rebate for switching to solar!

The crooks will always find a way to screw you.

11 Bryan { 10.03.08 at 9:50 pm }

We have iron in the local well water which stains everything red-brown if you don’t filter it, Moi, but the water we had in California was hard as a rock, leaving calcium deposits on your pots if you used it for cooking, and building up on the inside of all of the pipes. It was free “mineral water” and long as you were looking for calcium.

The warranty is through the store where it was purchased, so they’ll get it back if it doesn’t work, Kryten.

We went from “black iron” to plastic for gas, and I don’t trust it. While you don’t have to worry about pipes rusting out underground, there are too many people with trenching tools to make me happy about the change, and you can have some fool put a nail through it, which didn’t happen with the old pipe.

Under our local codes, you can’t install any kind of water heating system without a temperature control, so the local building code would have caught that one, but the local county is the gas company, so you have to comply with whatever changes they make.

Oh, yeah, they always find a way to make you pay.

12 oldwhitelady { 10.03.08 at 11:08 pm }

Sheesh! I hate pumps too!… but the tennis shoes just do not go with this dress!

13 Bryan { 10.03.08 at 11:36 pm }

I think you left off the rimshot, OWL 🙂