Replaceing well pump -- Help me I'm starting to smell

Our water pressure was low yesterday and this morning we had none at all (yes, I kinda smell from not having a shower). My wife called a plumber/well guy out to look into the problem and it seems our pump is gone. He's quoting us a price of $2200 to replace it. We live in Southern Maryland, not too far outside DC. We built the house new three years ago and I think the well is fairly deep, 300-500 feet I think, I wanted them to go extra deep since there was a drought that year and some of the neighbors 100' wells were running dry. The pump was probably a contractor grade machine and was a 1 hp, 5 gmp machine. I've done a little research on the net and think that price is kinda high, although I understand the area of the country is a big determining factor. I'm assuming this job is beyond my ability to handle as a DIY project even though I'm fairly handy......so I've left a message with the well drilling service that initially drilled the well and installed the pump to get a quote from them too. My questions are:
What's a realistic price? I assume that since this system is so new I won't need to replace anything other than the pump...so they'll have to pull it, replace it, and drop it.
What brand of pump should I be looking for them to use as the replacement?
Isn't this somewhat unusual for this pump to fail so quickly, the well was dug and pump installed in Apr 2001?
Is there anything I should look for regarding the old pump and it's condition? The reason I ask this is when they initially drilled the well they dug it in the wrong place (in the middle of the back yard where the kids would be playing), even after I told the on site supervisor they were in the wrong place.....so they had to cap that one and dig another one in the right place. I'm a cop and kind of cynical so I can't help but wonder if I got stuck with a used pump or something like that in an effort to make back some of what they lost by drilling two wells.
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Stainless steel pump less than half what he is charging you. Hard to know what brand these days. My first pump lasted 10 years.... the second about 3. What a rip off. Since these guys were going to overcharge you they might be lying about needing the pump. COuld be a switch or broken wire.

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sounds like you were pretty foolish to go with such a low grade pump since you had the house built
That said I would contact the people who put the pump in a new pump can cost as low as 400 and as much as1K. this link here will give you an idea of what different pumps will cost
http://www.deanbennett.com/4inch-submersiblepumps.htm
Denver is big on well pumps so they have a good selection. Talk to your neighbors and see who they use for pump install or service
Wayne

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This is Turtle.
First $2.2K for a water well pump , motor , pipeing, tank, and everything is kind of stiff here. You need to call the water well drilling company to get a price. Yes , I know you said '''' a '''' water well pump.
TURTLE
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I knew that guy was on drugs...$2200. I left a voicemail for the company that origionally drilled the well (Frank's Wells in La Plata, MD) last night and they called back this morning. It was a Gould pump afterall....from my research I gather that's one of the better ones....and it's under warranty....including the labor, which surprised me....they're going to change it out this afternoon. Thanks to everyone for the responses....news groups are a great resource for stuff like this.

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This is Turtle.
A professional will always do right no matter how bad he get's hit with added cost.
TURTLE
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Gould is the brand that lasted a decade for me. If they are still that good it is a great pump because we had a water source heatpump that should have burned it up but it kept pumping for a decade or more.

everything is kind of stiff here. You need to call the water well

water well pump.

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Get a second and maybe even a third opinion--only offer that you are not getting any water, suggest dont even mention you have had anyone else out to look at it.
Now if the pump is bad, after he has replaced the capacitor and relay in the controller box, it will either peg an ammeter when he goes to start it and then the protection circuit breaker will trip, else one or both of the windings will be open when he checks the pump leads with an ohm meter.
If he shakes his head and pronounces the pump is bad, ask him how he can tell this.......above are pretty much the only acceptable answers to this question in the overwhelming majority of situations.
And try and stop being so cynical, suggest make sure and give somebody that is going maybe a tad over the speed limit a break tomorrow, and also try yer damnest to catch a real criminal at least once a day, cause what goes around comes around......
Good luck.
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SVL



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This is probably a dumb question...but do you by any chance have a "whole house filter" installed in your system. I moved into this house two years ago and last week had the same problem. Low pressure and then finally no pressure. I have a shallow well in a 10 foot deep pit in the basement so I called my much younger son to climb down in the pit and check the pressure switch. Before making the descent, he said "What about that whole house filter?". I said "What whole house filter?". He said "The one over there on that pipe." I don't go down in the basement much as I only have an outside entrance and I didn't realize that the filter had been added since I had last lived in this house 42 years ago. I hadn't serviced the filter in the two years and it was completely plugged. And I'll bet that the well company that quoted me $5000 to $6000 for a new deep well system wouldn't have called my attention to the filter, either.
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<snip>
Jeff,
It could be something as simple as a switch that went bad.
If you do not get an answer from the company that installed it, call several others. There are plenty of companies here in the tri-county area.
You in Calvert or Chuck county?
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We had our pump "go" at work. (fed gov't facility). I did as much checks as I could as far as what was in our basement for piping. No filters or anything like that. Our system was nearing 20years old.
Our pump wouldn't stop running and the pressure didn't seem to stay (someone flushes and we lose almost all pressure).
So, it cost us about $4000Canadian (out in the country and us Feds seem to have to pay premiums!). Ok, not too bad....the job is a pain and not too difficult but definately time consuming! Our well was about 200ft or so. The guys brought in a hoist and rigging/frame and they yanked up the pipe by hand (well, using a come-along). Took them awhile...but the last 3sections of pipe were rusted and pitted quite badly that we figure the pump was just pumping water back out these swiss-cheese pipes. No prob....replaced the pump/filter and pipes....systems great now.
Is it a DIY project....well, KNOW what you're doing! You don't want to get half the pipe up and then drop it back down the hole. The guys had a small bolt on bracket that would clamp to each pipe, and that's where they'd attached their come-alongs chain for hoisting. If you DIY, be sure you have a 2nd guy! Always nice to be able to blame someone else!! haha

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My pump is 26 years old and works great.
Who really cares where the well is anyway, I wouldn't know where mine was if someone hadn't shown me when I bought the house. The top of my well is about 2 feet or more underground.
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (jeffthorpe) wrote in message

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Is it a 2 or 3 wire pump? 2 wire pumps lack the starting torque and after a few years they can fail to start.
You could also have a hole in the pipe such that the pump is running but water is leaking right back into the well. That would explain a gradually reduction of pressure.
You can also have problems with the control system.
Make sure the diagnosis is accurate before you pay the big bucks. Is the pump running or stalled and what is the current draw.
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net (jeffthorpe) wrote in message

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We live in VT and our well is about 450 feet deep or thereabouts. Last June our well died too. Water was fine at about 5:30pm -ish and by 6:30 my DH turned on the faucet and nothing came out. He figured the well pump had died. He ended up going to Home Depot and buying a new one. I think it was like $250 or so. Then he drove to get this pipe contraption from his cousin that you screw into the well cover and it raises the pump and all the wires.
Well, we did that on Saturday morning and we had about 450 feet of well line curled around our lawn. He decided to plug the pump in directly to an outlet (I think) and it worked! So it wasn't the pump, it was the wiring. He replaces all the wiring and we lowered the pump back into the well and its been working ok since then.
Back to you though, $2200 sounds like ALOT! Especially since my DH was going to fix it himself for the cost of the pump ($250 - $300).
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Please describe this "pipe contraption" that screws onto the well head and quickly raises 450' of pump, steel pipe, and wiring??
My pump guy has a specialized truck with boom, winch, and hydraulics. I'd like to tell him about this "contraption".
snipped-for-privacy@synergysw.com (kristen) wrote in message

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Sound like previous poster had flexible plastic well line, probably with a steel pull cable attached to the working bits at bottom end. Never seen that around here, but no reason it wouldn't work in a large-diameter casing. I'm sure local codes vary as to what is acceptable.
aem sends....
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Yes, it was definitely flexible. I will ask my husband the exact terms though, because I am clueless there!
The pipe contraption was just a long straight pipe with a "T" on the top. I think the idea was that you stuck the long end into the well, and it would lock in to where the pump was (maybe 6 feet down?) and the you turned the "T" part to unscrew it and then you had to pull the whole thing up. We had to be careful pulling it up so we did not kink the hose. My recollection may not be 100% accuruate since I recall I just sat around and complained about wanting to take a shower. ;)
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They came and replaced the pump this morning, only took them an hour. The pump was hung on that black PVC type of pipe and they pulled up 400' of it in a few minutes using this thing that was basically an eletric motor that drove three underinflated tires...they "gripped" the pipe and yanked it up, changed pumps, and then put it back down again.
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (davefr) wrote in message

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