Tag Archives: foot valve

Halfway There

8 Jun

Back in early February I mentioned that our water pump began running constantly due to a leak someplace in the system.  For several months we had to turn the pump on and off when we ran the dishwasher or take a shower. We had to schedule trips to the bathroom.  In the meantime we had various professionals out to see if they could figure out the problem.

The inside plumber had us pulling up sections of the floor to see if there was a leak under the house.


He also suggested we replace the pump, but we decided to keep looking.

The outside plumber wandered around and opined there was a leak in the pipe between the well and the house. This would involve running a new line, and he could fix it for “only” $6,000.

No thanks.

Quite a few years ago some people had come out to dig up iris and nicked the line with a shovel. The plumber du jour  had used an air pump to force air backwards through the line, watched for bubbles, and patched the pipe. The Squire thought the patch might have failed (this is something he could repair himself) so he and a young man from church dug down, located the patch, and found it to be in perfect condition. That as a classic bad-news-good-news situation. Easy to fix, but it wasn’t the problem.

One day this week The Squire used a sump pump to empty the well so he could take a look at the foot valve. (For those of you who are city folks, a foot valve is a caged ball which floats upward when the pump is running and allows water to reach the house. It drops back down when the pump cuts off to keep the water from flowing back into the well.) He discovered that the acid in our water had completely dissolved the plastic ball, which is why the pump was running non-stop; it could never built up the pressure needed to cut off.  Another call to another plumber,  and the foot valve was quickly – and cheaply – replaced.  However, having to run the pump for half an hour at a time when we ran the dishwasher meant it wasn’t working as well as it should, so The Squire toddled off and bought a new pump. The plumber will be back out to install it one day this week. At least now the pump does hold some pressure after we turn it off, so we can, say, brush our teeth without having to run turn the pump on and back off.

A nice place in the country isn’t always as great as it’s cracked up to be.