Monday, October 1, 2012

Building A Well House #6: Plumbing And Electrical

Once we had the roof done on the well house we wanted to go ahead
and make the switch over from the old well system to the new
before we did the outside finishing of insulation, stucco, and solar Trombe wall.

Here is the whole series to date:
Building A Well House #1: Rubble Fill Foundation,

In the photo above you can see the old set up unearthed:
-the well casing at the top of the photo, installed in 1984,
-the 1 1/4" white pvc line that goes from the well to the two houses 
(this is a shared well), 
-and the buried grey pressure tank.

Also note the 3" white pvc line with a cap on it 
at the very bottom of the photo that is the conduit for the new pex 
(polyethelene cross braided water line),
and the 1" electrical conduit that has been left short till we are ready for the final hook up,
both of which run back to the new well house.

Above you can see John, our well expert 
and his helper Julian from Rio Grande Well Supply,
as they remove the old pump control box and switch from the casing,
to be moved into the well house.

The white pex line in the photo has been run from the well house
 and is ready for the final hookup.

The new pex water line is hooked up (above) 
and the electrical connections have been made.

And now you can see above that the old water line and pressure tank are gone
 and this hole in the ground is ready to be filled in.

Whenever filling in a utility trench as above 
make sure that that all pipes and conduit have been firmly bedded
 in the dirt or sand before filling in; 
in this case care must be especially taken that the trench is filled 
and tamped up to the grey electrical conduit without bending the conduit,
 before putting dirt on top of the electrical conduit.

And finally here is the threaded connection to the water line as it enters the well casing.

On to the well house, John and Julian have already placed the two new pressure tanks
 as well as the electrical boxes on the wall;
the larger box is a 100 amp box that has a 20 amp 220 volt breaker for the pump 
and the smaller box has the controls to turn the pump on and off 
as the pressure changes.

The white 3" pvc pipe to the bottom right of the tanks
 is the conduit for the water line from the well.

Meanwhile Fred, the most excellent plumber from Santa Fe Plumbing,
 is hooking up the new pex line.

Above you can see the line from the well comes in at the bottom of the photo
 and first goes to the pressure gauge and pressure control switch, 
which is connected by wire to the control box on the wall, 
before the T connections to the two pressure tanks.

And herein lies the important part of the whole system,
as the tanks take the load off the pump 
since it only turns on when the pressure drops to the desired level 
and the pump then brings the tanks back up to the high pressure;
the pump doesn't have to turn on each time you use the water.

It is the on/off cycle that burns out the pump and the pressure tanks lessen the on/off.

In our system the pump turns on at 30 psi and off at 50 psi.

On the left side of the photo above 
the two lines enter the 3" white pvc conduit to the two houses.

After the 2nd T to the tanks the water line splits for the two houses 
and a meter on each line measure the usage 
and a shutoff (the yellow handles) for each line.

The line at the top has a an extra shutoff for a future wall hydrant 
for the outside of the well house.

Allison set up the photo above to show how the two new tanks
 compare in size to the one old buried tank.

This will extend the life of the pump.

Above, Fred has run the new pex lines 
through the 3" pvc conduit to the hole by the house to be hooked up...

...and there they are, the 3/4" copper line to the house 
and the elbow goes to the 1" pvc line to the neighbors.

The lines have been bedded and the hole is ready to be filled and tamped.

The grey pipe along the side of the hole is an electrical conduit 
which will carry a 110 volt line back to the well house for lights and an outlet.

And finally Allison measures the depth of the hole 
to document location of the water line for future inhabitants of the house 
to be included in a book of records for this house.

Many thanks to Allison for providing many of the photos for this post.

The whole series to date: