EXPERIENCE - Doing The Same Job The Second Time

Made my morning tea yesterday, complete with the obligatory caffine. And my usual boal of oatmeal, not for regularity, a colon resection takes care of that. Later went out to make another cuppa. No water. I've got my own well, so new it would cost. Question was, how much? Figured it was the well controller, those seem to only last 3-4-5 years, or so. OK, no biggie.
Called the younger son, hey take the well cover off when you get home, and take out one of the old controllers. I keep a couple of used ones in there so I can take it to Lowes and get another that'll be compatile. That way I could get a controller today, no prob, and put it in.
Yeah, right. Went out, cap still on. This is a concrete cap, and not easy for me to get off any more. Anyway, got it slid off, and lo and behold, there's a spare controller already sitting there. I could tell it was new, because the holes for the wires hadn't been punched in. All right!!
Punch the holes in, take the lid off the od controller, see which wires go there, no sweat, I'll just hook up the new one, maybe 5-10 minutes. Wrong. Of course. Those wires were stiff as Hell, took aabout an hour to get the new one wired up. Hmm, what's the story? Only took me a few minutes the last time. Just as I was fastening the top down, it struck me. I didn't have to rewire this thing, I could have just swapped tops. Then it hit me, that's what I did last time, and I bet the one I just just wired in was the bad one from the time before.
Go in the house. Power on. No water. Crap. Go out, grab the old controller, write on the lide with magic marker, NO GOOD. Off to Lowes, not Home Depot, Lowes. I tried Home Desperate the first time the controller went, they didn't even come close to a replacement. Went about a mile further, to Lowes, and no problem at all finding a dup repcement. So, it's Lowes. Plus, Lowes is closer than any other place I can find a cotroller, and usually less expensive to boot. Opened a couple of boxes at Lowes, found a compatible controller, just a different name, paid $50 and some change, and back home.
This time, just swapped lids, the lids is where all the circuits is, and just plugs in to the bottom. This time around took me about two minutes, start to finish. Clearly marked the bad controller NO GOOD. Should have marked something like "Just swap lids" on it too, but didn't think of it at the time. But, I think I'll remember.
Anyway, back in the house, power on, and water is back. It's a miricle. 'Lestricity is always kinda like magic to me, so it's nice to be able to do a few things electric and actually have them work. Life is basically good.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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Sombitch. Water for a few hours, then late last night the new controller died. About to get out and find another one. Bah.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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Went out, opened up the controller box. There's a large concenser or something in there, end had totally blown out of it. No idea why, unless it was bad to begin with. It does say "assembled in the U.S.", but it doesn't say where the parts were actually manufactgured. But, I went to another Lowes, got a refund there, and picked un another. Just a couple of minutes to get it in, and now have water again. Hopefully, for another 3-4 years. Ah yes, cost $40.17 US, gas money, and some of my time; no telling how much if I'd called in a plumber. And, if I'd had to buy one at a plumbing supply store, would probably have wound up with the same make and model, but costing more.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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On Jul 27, 1:43 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

A lot more. Some time ago, I needed a specific circuit breaker and went to the "local" 11 mile away store to save a 35 mile drive to Lowe's. The breaker was under 15 bucks at Lowe's, but cost me $40 at the "plumbing and electrical supply house." I get got once. I do NOT get got twice. I haven't been near the place in a decade now. I'll make the longer drive.
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Fri, Jul 27, 2007, 7:18pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (CharlieSelf) doth sayeth: A lot more. Some time ago, I needed a specific circuit breaker and went to the "local" 11 mile away store to save a 35 mile drive to Lowe's. The breaker was under 15 bucks at Lowe's, but cost me $40 at the "plumbing and electrical supply house." I get got once. I do NOT get got twice. I haven't been near the place in a decade now. I'll make the longer drive.
Oops, that should have been $50.17, not $40.17. Still not unreasonable.
I've got three Lowes, each in a different direction, eash about 9-10 miles from me. And one Home Depot a bit closer, that I bypass every time. My local Ace has breakers, of about all varieties, they're in town, about 2 miles or so, and reasonably priced, last breaker I got was about $8.. But, alack and alas, they don't carry well controllers. The plumbing guys at Lowes know exactly what I'm looking for, and exactly where they are.
You might want to check Lowes stores on line, there's enought around now, there could well be one a bit closer.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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On Jul 27, 4:35 pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote: .

There is nowhere closer for one to be. The nearest real city is 35 miles away. Bedford is 11 miles down the road, but with 6,600 people, is not a site for many large stores (WalMart is the exception, but that made the jump because they were losing business from people who didn't want to drive 35 miles each way to buy groceries). With Bedford County growing too fast (65,000 people now, from 34,000 when I moved here 30 years ago), I expect we'll get one or both in a few years, by which time I won't be doing enough to care.
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Sat, Jul 28, 2007, 11:13am (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com (CharlieSelf) doth sayeth: There is nowhere closer for one to be. The nearest real city is 35 miles away. Bedford is 11 miles down the road, but with 6,600 people, is not a site for many large stores <snip>
Not can tell. There's three Lowes within about 9-10 miles of me - that I know of. One in the county seat. One in a town right next to Raleigh. The third is out in the country, at a crossover with a major highway. There's a bunch of gas stations, fast food places, a few other businesses, including Lowes. No town, no population to speak of. You'd think a Lowes wouldn't survive out there, but it seems to be thriving.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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The adventure continues. Blew the third well controller. The first one lasted 3-4 hours, the second lasted around 24 hours, this one lasted about 15 minutes. This time the younger son checked it when I powered it up. His diagnoesis is, it's either the wiring, or the pump, probably the pump.
The older son doesn't want me to get a plumber to do it. He wants him and his brother to do it. Well, neither one is a plumber as such, but the older is in heading and air, and the younger in refrigeration, so they're both well qualified to do it. Basically, cut the pipe, pull it up, cutting the pipe as needed. Swap ou the pump, lower, joining the cuts. It ain't rocket science. A new well controller will run $50.17, a pump will run around $330, before tax, then the cost of the pipe couplings and glue.
Personally I'd prefer to get a decent plumber to do the work, even tho it would cost around $300 more. But the older son insists. Why couldn't he insist like that about working on my Luv for me? In the meantime I've got drinking water, and water to flush the toilet. It's scheduled to rain, so that'll take care of showering. LOL
Children. You can't live with them, you can't sell them.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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"J T" wrote in message

How deep is your well?
You used to be able to get plastic water well "pipe" in rolls, so, depending upon the depth of the well, generally less than a 100' in this area, you didn't need to cut it.
AAMOF, with wells up to a 150' deep, I've "pulled the pipe", by my lonesome, more than once to change out a submersible pump.
It was a routine chore at one time in my life ... never had "city water" until I got out of the service.
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Mon, Jul 30, 2007, 5:09pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Swingman) doth query: How deep is your well? You used to be able to get plastic water well "pipe" in rolls, so, depending upon the depth of the well, generally less than a 100' in this area, you didn't need to cut it. AAMOF, with wells up to a 150' deep, I've "pulled the pipe", by my lonesome, more than once to change out a submersible pump. <snip>
210 feet, and I'm told it flows at 40 gal per minute. Tests out almost chemically pure. Gooood water.
No pipe in rolls, the white plastic stuff, had to cut it to get it out, then glue conectors in to put it back. My sons verified the problem was the pump. Definitely a 3 man job, the pump is heavy, the pipe is awkward. They, and a buddy, pulled it out. Then I helped put it back in. Wound up at something over $400, which is a lot less than a plumber would have charged. Probably faster than I could have gotten a plumber to do it too. Having water is very, very, good.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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J T wrote: | The adventure continues. Blew the third well controller. The | first one lasted 3-4 hours, the second lasted around 24 hours, this | one lasted about 15 minutes. This time the younger son checked | it when I powered it up. His diagnoesis is, it's either the | wiring, or the pump, probably the pump.
A couple of controllers back you mentioned blowing the end out of a capacitor. You're aware that electrolytics are polarized, right? I'm beginning to wonder if you have a DC power supply in there that's mis-wired or has mis-labeled terminals...
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Mon, Jul 30, 2007, 5:14pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@iedu.com (MorrisDovey) doth query: A couple of controllers back you mentioned blowing the end out of a capacitor. You're aware that electrolytics are polarized, right? I'm beginning to wonder if you have a DC power supply in there that's mis-wired or has mis-labeled terminals...
Nope, nothing mis-wired. The younger son verified that. He informed me well pumps only last about a max of 15 years, which I didn't know, so it was at the end of the line for it, and it was causing the problem.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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J T wrote: | Mon, Jul 30, 2007, 5:14pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@iedu.com (Morris Dovey) | doth query: | A couple of controllers back you mentioned blowing the end out of a | capacitor. You're aware that electrolytics are polarized, right? I'm | beginning to wonder if you have a DC power supply in there that's | mis-wired or has mis-labeled terminals... | | Nope, nothing mis-wired. The younger son verified that. He | informed me well pumps only last about a max of 15 years, which I | didn't know, so it was at the end of the line for it, and it was | causing the problem.
Good. I was reaching a bit, but know how frustrating it is not to have water. Glad your kids helped. Glad you have water again.
Life is basically good when things are working. :-)
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto /
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Tue, Jul 31, 2007, 5:06am (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@iedu.com (MorrisDovey) doth sayeth: <snip> Life is basically good when things are working. :-)
"I'm" not working. Life is basically good. LMAO
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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On Mon, 30 Jul 2007 16:38:07 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

You said it was a different brand and you were swapping just the top of the controller, maybe they aren't as compatible as you thought and just swapping out the whole thing would take care of it?
I did watch them replace a well pump on ask this old house, which of course makes me an expert. They didn't cut the pipe, it was flexible enough to bend over, one guy at the well just kinda arced it over his head. He did have a special tool for hooking up the water connection, but then I reckon yours are probably different not having to get down below the frost line. Other than that it didn't seem like anything much to screw up.
-Leuf
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Mon, Jul 30, 2007, 5:21pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@dontemailme.com (Leuf) doth query: You said it was a different brand and you were swapping just the top of the controller, maybe they aren't as compatible as you thought and just swapping out the whole thing would take care of it? <snip>
Made by the same company, but apparently they're not making the guts of the things any more. The guts are all in the top, and the power in, power out, wires fasten in the bottom. All the bottom fastenings are identical, in placement, measurement, etc. There's prongs that fit from the top into the bottom, all compatible. So all swapping the whole thing would actually accomplish would be to add work time. It's kinda like swapping in a new car battery, doesn't matter who made it, it's gonna swap in with no problem, and work.
JOAT I do things I don't know how to do, so that I might learn how to do them. - Picasso
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