reviving a shallow well pump
September 5, 2022 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I've got a pump and well that I'm trying to revive and could use some tips.

I've been told the water table in my area, surburban/semi-rural, is quite high. We're about 1/4 mile down the flats from the Willamette River in Oregon.
I have a house built in 1947 and it has a fairly ancient vintage 120V centrifugal pump. Periodically I get a bee in my bonnet and see if I can get the well pumping again. As far as I know from the previous owner, it's been at least 25 years since the pump ran successfully and maybe longer.
It was common at one time for homes in this area to use well water and some still do. I'm mostly interested for irrigation of landscaping. I have a pair of water taps around the foundation that are tied to this system.
You can see images of the pump here.
The pump runs and I've read centrifugal pumps are fairly robust. I can prime the intake through a riser with a garden tap, it pressurizes, then when I shut off the supply and let it run normally the pressure drops to zero. My take - it's not priming from the water table and there could be any number of reasons for that.
I could remove the riser and run a snake down there. I could get a plumber in with a camera to take a look see, or maybe a well specialist. I'm cheap and handy so not in any big rush to spend money for a contractor's time. I could also try driving a sand point well and see if I can get to water that way.
It's not a deal killer to have this working, just a weekend kind of WTF, wouldn't it be cool if I could get water for landscaping this way. Any tip appreciated.
posted by diode to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
Best answer: That will likely qualify as an exempt use, but it's still worth looking at the OWRD handbook to make sure your water use will be legal, especially given how long since the well was in use.

My first question would be if the well is actually into the current water table? Ground water levels have dropped in many places in the northwest so lots of older wells no longer produce. I'd check that before putting a lot of effort into the pump itself.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:38 PM on September 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

Show the well head , there may be another pump down there submerged to bring water up to the C pump that supplies pressure . The pipe that feeds the C pump could have a check valve on the bottom under the water this maintains the level that the C pump"sees" also known as a.foot valve.
posted by hortense at 9:00 AM on September 6, 2022

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