My water pump motor lasted me 25 years!

The other day I noticed water on the floor in the garage, and I followed it to my water pump motor and expansion tank. The tank was replaced 9 years ago but the motor was the original Red Jacket Quick Set Jet installed in 1984 when Uncle Jimmy built the house for me. I immediately did what any rational person facing that situation would do, and took photos of it to post on Facebook.  My Facebook peeps always have helpful comments that help me save time.  I got several referrals and several suggestions on what might be causing it.  I got enough information that I could begin my Google search for information.  The first thing I wanted to know was, what do the parts DO and how do they interact?  Because when I know that, I will be able to understand what the service dudes tell me when they come out to give me estimates.

I learned my lesson many years ago that my tendency was to save time by having one person out and just going with his estimate.  Only afterward would I do my research and find that the price was high or I bought things I did not need.  So now I do my research ahead of time.

I took good, detailed pics of the tank and motor, both before and after cleaning it up, so I could see where new water rivulets appeared.  I took the pics to Home Depot to talk to one of their plumbing guys to get an eyeball guess of what the problem might be.  He said it was leaking from the seal and suggested buying a new pump instead of rebuilding the old one since it was 25 years old.  He recommended a cast iron Flotec pump and I bought Model FP4112-08 for $192.

Then I returned home and Googled how to replace a water pump motor, but that gave me auto pump info.  So I refined my search to how to replace a residential electric shallow well jet pump motor, and got what I needed there, and was lead to related links on how to replace the expansion tank.  I read the purpose of the expansion tank and the difference between one with and without an internal bladder.  Had I not read this, I’d have no idea what the service tech was talking about when he got here.

In italics here is what didn’t work for me, skip to the bottom for what did work
I called Stevan, my regular plumber, and got his voice mail, so I left him a message.  I called a plumber referred by several friends on Facebook, and George came out an hour later out for a free estimate. Although I’d explained to the owner on the phone that my only problem was it had begun to leak at the seal, George came in explaining that the loud sound meant the bearings were going and he talked about the pressure switch. I hadn’t heard any loud sound and it took me a minute to realize he didn’t know anything about my job.

George took the cap off the pressure switch on the motor, and tapped the expansion tank.  He said I needed a new tank as well, since the tank was heavy and it didn’t sound hollow when he tapped it.  That meant it was full of water, he said, a sign that it needed to be replaced.  George was a nice guy, a New York type, a bit of the salesman vibe about him, but personable, even charming.

I told him the tank had been replaced 9 years ago (when it was 16 years old) citing the same reason, yet afterward discovered it did not need to be replaced after all.  That was why I didn’t immediately agree I needed a new tank.  I’d never had a problem with the old one.  I showed him the Flotec motor I’d just bought at Home Depot. He said Home Depot and Lowe’s pumps and tanks were inferior. He wanted me to return my unopened Flotec pump so he could install his own Sta-Rite one.  I knew from my research that  Sta-Rite made the Flotec line, so I knew it couldn’t be that inferior. George quoted me $795 for his pump and tank installed. I asked him if they had some kind of financing, 3-6 months same as cash or something, and he called to confirm with the owner that they did. He left.

The owner had asked me to call her back and let her know how George performed on the consult, so I called and she was unavailable. Maybe because it was almost lunch time and maybe because I was someone who wanted another estimate on a job I was going to finance.  I left word with the man who answered.  I went back out and saw that George had left the cap off the pressure switch, so I put it back on.

Stevan called me back and quoted me $200-$250 sight unseen for the job, depending on how complex the fittings were and he’d come out Monday if I needed him.  I’ve always known Stevan to be fair and he’s done all my properties for me for years,  but I wanted one more estimate.

What worked

I called Shyama from the Yoga Shakti Mission since she and her husband own Indian River Irrigation here in town, so they know about pumps.  She referred me to Mike at American Pump who will come out Wednesday and for $110, he’ll install the pump motor I bought at Home Depot on my credit card and get 6 months to pay interest free.  Mike also schooled me on pumps and tanks. He suggested replacing the tank if I could afford it (it was only $227) and he wouldn’t charge me more for it. He said it was just a 45 minute job. He said the Flotec pump and tank would be sufficient. He told me that Flotec was Sta-rite’s hardware brand, which I already knew.  He made me feel that he had it under control. I like that.

I feel I made a good choice. 20 years ago I would have just said “do it” to the first tech who looked at it. Now I take the time to research stuff and don’t vibrate in a place where I have many emergencies.

And I’m glad I vibrate in a place where my equipment all lasts me such a long time: double and triple the expected life expectancy.  I expect my body and mind will be like that also.

As Abraham-Hicks says, age is irrelevant in a vibrational environment anyway.