Monday, April 11, 2011

A Project from Last Summer waiting to be finished

This is one of the projects I worked on last summer UP on the Tundra. I decided I needed a better set-up for the water pump. The point in the ground seemed to be plugged as the pump would run as long as the water was running, instead of cycling on and off as is normal. Also thought I'd make a better pump house than the one I had made out of metal and foam panels. When I pulled it apart, I found an ant's nest in the foam core of the wall panels

Water pump after I removed the box around it.
  I tried to pull up the pipe and point to see if the point was plugged or what the problem was with the water supply. After several days of working on it with make-shift rigs to pull the pipe, I finally got the pipe up, but the point remained in the ground. So I went down the road to a town large enough to have several home improvement stores to get supplies. At Menard's(a Mid-West chain) I got a 2" point( the old one was 1 1/4" and I thought bigger would be better) and four 5' lengths of drive pipe, but they didn't have any drive couplings. Then started the search for drive couplings as the pipe was useless if I couldn't connect them together. After checking all the other places that might have drive couplings with no luck, I stopped back in at Menard's to see when they expected to get some in. While asking about the drive couplings, one of the guys said they were on the truck that came in that day and another guy said he thought he could find them. A little while later he came back with the required couplings and I was on my way. Then I stopped at a tool rental place and rented an electric jackhammer and the tool for driving pipe.

Ants had made a home in the foam core of the walls of the old box.

After getting home and having something to eat we started on the project. A friend of mine had made the trip with me to get the supplies and he offered to help with driving the pipe and point down. It wasn't easy as after adding the five foot length of pipe, you had to lift the jackhammer up on top of the pipe to drive it down so it was a good thing I had help lifting that heavy jackhammer while standing on a step-ladder. One of the tricks they told us about at the tool rental place was to turn the pipe in a tightening direction while driving and it will go down easier. In a couple of hours we had the pipe and point down in the ground and when I put my tape measure down, it came back with nine feet of it wet.

The pad I poured for the new pump house.
 After pouring the pad and letting it set up, I rigged up the pump. I used a 3/4" plastic pipe with a foot valve down inside the 2" pipe. I made it long enough that the foot valve would be a foot or so above the bottom of the point. This worked good and during all the time that I ran the water to flush it out to get the water to clear up, the pump would cycle on and off and it didn't run out of water.

The pump on the new concrete pad.
 Once I had running water again in the cabin, I worked on making a new pump house. I had a bunch of cement blocks that used to be holding up a mobile home I tore down several years ago. I used them to make the walls of the pump house. For my first attempt at laying block, I think I did pretty good.
The block walls for the new pump house.

I need to make a cover for the pump house and insulate it. That will be one of my projects this summer UP on the Tundra. For the winter I laid some 2x6s across the top and put a piece of sheetmetal from the roof of the mobile home over it.
The pump in the new pump house.



  1. Pretty good work. Nice to have a high water table and soil you can pound a point through. Good quality water, I take it.
    Thanks for the pictures and explanation.

  2. Can't get to water that way here, need to drill for it and go at least 60 feet.

    Never thought of using a jack hammer, I would have rigged up a pile driver.

    Good job.

  3. Originally the place had a couple of dug wells. When I got the place, the wells were lined with wood that were getting rotten, so I filled them in and went to using a point to get water. The first couple of times I drove a point down, I did it the hard way. Had a large piece of pipe that was capped and had weight welded on and a couple of handles. Used that to drive the pipe down by lifting and slamming it down on top of the pipe that had a drive cap on it. Tried using a tripod and rope and pulley to lift the driver, still sucked. About 20 years ago found out you could use an electric jackhammer. Reduced the time immensely!! From a couple of days to a couple of hours, well worth the rental fee!!Part of the place is solid rock, but most of it is sand and gravel with some bigger rocks.


No Anonymous comments,it's not that hard to think of a nom de plume.