I think I burned out my water pump.... - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 09/17/08, 10:12 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northern Saskatchewan
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I think I burned out my water pump....

Oh man. This is bad.

I have a huge tank under my house that holds water. I have a truck with a 500 gallon tank on it that I use to get water. It takes about 9 truck loads to fill the tank. I thought I was keeping up with putting water under the house. I guess I was wrong. I had the washing machine going and I went to do dishes. No water. I could hear the pump screaming down stairs. I ran down and turned it off. I went and got a tank of water and turned the pump back on. It's going...but its not sucking water up. How easy is it to burn out a pump? If it is burned out does that mean I need a whole new pump? I don't know anything about this kind of stuff. This can't be happening. I have 2 little kids and I run a daycare....I can't exactly get by with no water for very long.

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  #2  
Old 09/17/08, 10:19 PM
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It may have just lost it's "prime", but it's hard to say without knowing more about the type of pump you have.
Is it inside the tank or outside?

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  #3  
Old 09/17/08, 10:37 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: MN
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So you are running a cistern and have apressure pump pulling water from the cistern.

At least that should be pretty easy to get to; and is a fairly less expensive type of pump.

I'll bet it lost it's prime, like other person said, and just needs to get water going again. But without knowing your pipe layout, type of pump, etc, hard to help you. Some pumps will not pump air, only water, and so when your pump ran out of water - it now could be full of air & so lost it's prime.

If the pump ran a few minutes without water, likely no big deal.

If it ran several hours without water..... Well, then it would depend on the pump, but it can get pretty hot and burn stuff up.

--->Paul

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Old 09/17/08, 11:22 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northern Saskatchewan
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Thanks so much guys for being quick to answer. I am just a wreck thinking about having to face tomorrow and possibly more days after that without water.

I went down stairs and took some pictures. I am sure you can probably tell, but the dark coloured hose goes into the big water tank...then it goes into some sort of pressure tank and then it goes either into the house or into the hot water tank. The other dark hose in the foreground is part of the sump pump I think it's called. What ever keeps the basement from flooding. That has nothing to do with it obviously.








I don't know if the pictures will help in anyway...but maybe you can give me an idea of what to check.

When I turn on the pump I can see what looks like bubbles in the hose going into the water tank. When I turn off the pump it looks like the bubbles go up. The pressure never builds and nothing comes out of the taps in the house.

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  #5  
Old 09/18/08, 09:42 AM
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Turn off the power to the pump,unscrew the plug on top above the red tag, and fill the pump with water.
Replace the pug and try it and it should work
You may have to soak the plug with WD 40 or "PB Blaster" to get it loose with all the rust

http://blasterchemical.com/display.cfm?p=50003&pid=4

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  #6  
Old 09/18/08, 10:19 AM
 
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Location: Northern Saskatchewan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearfootfarm View Post
Turn off the power to the pump,unscrew the plug on top above the red tag, and fill the pump with water.
Replace the pug and try it and it should work
You may have to soak the plug with WD 40 or "PB Blaster" to get it loose with all the rust

http://blasterchemical.com/display.cfm?p=50003&pid=4
Thank you! Do you have an idea of which plug it would be? The large very rusty one? Or the smaller silver colored one? I am having a terrible time trying to unscrew even one...actually I don't know if I will even get it. But i did put some stuff like WD 40 on it..maybe it just needs to soak?


To top it all off the bottom of the tank thingy is wet now. Water starting to run off the wood. I hope the bottom of that tank isn't rusting out. *sigh*
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  #7  
Old 09/18/08, 10:21 AM
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Like Bearfootfarm said, in order to prime the pump, the nut above the red label needs to be taken out in order to add water. I had one of those and that is what the nut is there for.

I am having a thought though, that if there is water actually in the pipe coming from the tank, that the pump should not need priming... that the water in the pipe means there probably is water in the pump already? Anyone know the answer to that one?

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  #8  
Old 09/18/08, 10:32 AM
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It is the rusty nut that needs to come out. You can try tapping lightly on the nut with a hammer or wrench to help move the WD40 into the threads and loosen the rust a bit. Just don't hit it too hard!

If you do need to have the pump assembly replaced, it should be fairly easy to do, though. They come from Home Depot just like the one you have and it would just be a matter of disconnecting the pipes and wires, and reconnecting.

And if you do replace it, don't forget to prime the new pump, too, before turning it on!

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  #9  
Old 09/18/08, 11:43 AM
 
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Either plug can be used. They are both at the same height. I can answer the question as to whether the inlet will have water in it as it is plumbed. The answer is no, not unless the cistern tank is lipping full. Air is trapped in the loop at the top of the piping where it goes back into the cistern. With no valve in the discharge side of the pump it could be difficult to get the pump going without loosing the prime. IMO, if accessible I would fill the vertical corrugated line that goes to the top of the picture rather than try to get those rusted plugs out. You truly need to install a valve in the short green flex pipe that goes between the pump and the green tank. You would close this valve and they add water to the pump side. Start the pump and barely open the new valve and let the house side plumbing fill and then open the valve fully. You are aware that some, if not all of those flex pipes are not approved for drinking water?

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Last edited by agmantoo; 09/18/08 at 11:46 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09/18/08, 11:53 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northern Saskatchewan
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I called my neighbor to come over. I just couldn't undo the bolts. He used to own this house so he knows all about the pump. I couldn't have called him any sooner than 10am today. He came over and said basically the pump is screwed. He gave me a number to call and I called them to see if they could come out and fix it. They said that they didn't have a service guy. She asked me to bring it in. I told her I couldn't because I have a daycare and my house is full of kids. Some of them are not even going home until 7pm. Same thing tomorrow. Kids from 630am to 7pm. She said that it sounded like a big enough emergency that she WOULD send someone out. Thank goodness for that. Parts and a brand new pump just in case are on it's way. Glad I have a daycare otherwise I would have been SOL. Not sure if I would have gotten it apart and carried it up the stairs. My neighbor has a bad back so I wasn't going to ask him to do anymore than he already did.

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  #11  
Old 09/18/08, 11:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agmantoo View Post
Either plug can be used. They are both at the same height. I can answer the question as to whether the inlet will have water in it as it is plumbed. The answer is no, not unless the cistern tank is lipping full. Air is trapped in the loop at the top of the piping where it goes back into the cistern. With no valve in the discharge side of the pump it could be difficult to get the pump going without loosing the prime. IMO, if accessible I would fill the vertical corrugated line that goes to the top of the picture rather than try to get those rusted plugs out. You truly need to install a valve in the short green flex pipe that goes between the pump and the green tank. You would close this valve and they add water to the pump side. Start the pump and barely open the new valve and let the house side plumbing fill and then open the valve fully. You are aware that some, if not all of those flex pipes are not approved for drinking water?
Thanks. I didn't know some were not approved for drinking water. I refuse to drink the water in the house anyway. I don't trust the whole system and I have no way of knowing how clean my cistern is. The whole thing is kinda creepy to me. We have one of those water dispenser things with bottled water in the house for drinking and cooking that doesn't involve boiling water. I wont take risks with little kids/babies.
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