One day we were doing a water well service when I asked one of my helpers to go to the breaker box and turn off the power to the water well. He came back and told me he could not find a breaker for the water well. Knowing there had to be a breaker for it I decided to investigate myself. Apparently the person that labeled the panel was never a successful contestant in a spelling bee. Notice the highlighted area. I am not sure what a "Wather Bell" is, but it does turn off the water well fortunately. What is even funnier is we have found this exact wording on multiple homes. So, you might want to check your breaker box. He might have wired your house!
Why do I not get much water out of my well?
Sometimes the reason you cannot get much water out of your pump is because the pipe is filled up.
Common effects of excess iron in water are a reddish-brown color, stained laundry and poor tasting coffee. An equally common but less well understood problem is infestation of water supplies with iron bacteria. Iron bacteria are a natural part of the environment in most parts of the world. These microorganisms combine dissolved iron or manganese with oxygen and use it to form rust-colored deposits. In the process, the bacteria produce a brown slime that builds up on well screens, pipes, and plumbing fixtures. While this can affect deep wells, generally in the DFW area, this problem plagues many shallow wells used for irrigation.
One of the big reasons to use PVC pipe for both casing and drop pipe is because of rust and corrosion. We have found that PVC casing is a good choice because of its resistance to corrosion and longevity. Although there is galvanization on steel pipe, it only lasts so long. So, the following pictures show what happens when a well's casing has deteriorated. The water comes out just like coffee, black. At least it is decaf. Probably not Starbuck's quality though. Also, you can see the rust on the drop pipe. I sure wouldn't want to drink this water!
I Love Lucy!
Prior to a cold snap, we had a customer that was trying to be proactive and put a heat lamp near her well to keep it from freezing. She relays the experience like this:
She leaned over to put the heat lamp next to the well plumbing. As she was leaning, she accidentally cracked one of the pipes. It shot out water, which hit the heat lamp and made it explode. She turned off the breaker quickly. Then she tried to tape the plumbing back together. After she was done taping, she turned the breaker back on. Water had gotten into the control box, which caused a short. The control box actually caught fire and went up in flames as she tried to put the fire out. It was at that point she called us. Below is a picture of the burned control box. Notice the black burn marks on the left hand side. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
...Now I own my own bee suit. The pictures is a bit blurry, as my helper was a little jumpy. But...
How Big Did You Say That Tank Was?
It is amazing how much you can fit in the back of a pickup when you have to. However, this is probably the limit. Don't ever tell this well man something is impossible!
I have what in my tank?!
It never ceases to amaze us what we will find in someone's pressure tank. Also, never underestimate the value of water and sediment treatment systems for your well. Below is a picture of the sand and sediment coming out of a pressure tank. When we drill wells, we recommend using 8-16 media sand instead of gravel. This will help minimize the sand in your well. We also recommend using media filters if you find the presence of sand in your water. You would always have your water tested to make sure it is safe to drink.
Say Hello to Amtrak!
There are times in our lives where we can see our life flash before our eyes. Such an event happened to us. After finishing a job we were leaving to go to the next customer when our pump truck was hit by an Amtrak train. Needless to say the truck lost. Fortunately, the two people in the truck both walked away from the accident. Apparently, at private railroad crossings, lights and safety arms are not required, and trains are not required to blow their horns.
We completed the job successfully. We were able to perform the well service. You can rest assured, this well company never gives up until the job is finished!
The life of a well man can be interesting and never dull. Throughout the years I have amassed some pretty interesting stories. I thought I would share some of the most interesting ones with you. So, keep checking back to see what stories I have added. Who ever said pump replacement and water well service was boring?
Click on to look at a specific tale.
Bees, Bees, and More Bees!
This is perfect example of you never know what to keep in your truck. If you look at the first picture, you will see the highlighted bucket. It was full of honey bees. If you look close, you can see them hanging on the side of it as well. Unfortunately, they were located right next to the well equipment. So....
I didn't know insulation could burn!
While we are on the fire topic. We had a customer contact us with an unusual problem. As a note, while it is a good idea to put a light bulb in your well house during freezing weather to prevent your pipes from freezing, make sure you only use a 40 watt bulb and lay it on the ground, not on top of anything. In this case at 100 watt bulb was used and laid on top of batting insulation. It proceeded to catch the paper backing on the insulation on fire and destroyed the well. It melted the PVC piping and caused the pump and drop pipe to fall down the hole. We had to fish the pump back out and reconnect everything. Here is a before and after picture. Now it is good as new.