My well supply pipe just sprung very bad leak about 14 feet from my house. Thatís where I saw a big puddle when my well pump was running while at the same time the pressure gauge in the basement stayed at the cut-in pressure of 40 psi. I shut the pump off and tried again for about 30 seconds and same thing. The pipe is about 3 feet below grade.
I dug down at the puddle spot and can see some kind of conduits down there under a bit of muddy water. I let the pump run again for about 30 seconds and sure enough near the bottom of the hole I can see a good strong stream coming in from one side of the hole when the pump runs.
( I was going to try and repair it myself but itís like digging through marble down there. I donít think I have a prayer with a shovel to remove enough material from around the area so I could see what Iím doing and work down there. Iím not sure what Iím seeing anyway. I thought I would see a 1 inch round water pipe and an electrical conduit pipe for the pump motor wiring. But it looks like conduits that arenít round, not 1 inch, and maybe there is some kind of heavy covering over 2 of them? Itís wet and muddy and hard to see. I donít think Iíd be able to find and fix the exact spot unless I had a few weeks, something different to dig with, and lots of luck! )
But my real question is I have no idea whatsoever what kind of cost to expect if I bring in a professional plumber to take care of this. This pipe I believe runs about 25-30 feet from the basement to a well-pit. The well-head is located in the bottom of the pit. I assume you are talking about a whole lot of money for a job like this since digging is involved. I live in the Philadelphia suburbs. Are we talking about $15,000 to $20,000 to do this type of job? That makes me shiver. I might have to choose between food or water. Iíll know enough to get more than one estimate but I would like to have some very very rough idea of what to expect. I think the pipe is galvanized Ė at least what comes out of the basement wall. The house is 40 years old.
Any info at all on the cost for this type of job would be enormously appreciated!
If you have galvanized pipe going from the well to the house and its 40 years old, i would look into having the line replaced with 160lb. poly pipe.You can fix one leak in that pipe now but another one is guaranteed to show up. Dont waste your money fixing that leak and install a new waterline. To replace that line you shouldn't be spending anymore than 1100.00. 600.00 for excavation / 100.00 pipe & fittings / 300.00 Labor / 100.00 Foundation Hole. Thats what i would charge but i'm in Massachusetts.
I agree if it's metal pipe replace it all or it will be leaking again somewhere else.
Don't suggest any costs to the pump man or plumber! Just get a quote from a few qualified people. Remember the cheapest isn't necessarily the best. I would replace it all with 200# Poly or Schedule 40 PVC.
I would think the cost of excavation would depend heavily on how much frost is in the ground.
Thank you very much! You folks have been extremely helpful. I see what you are saying and I will do it right and put in a new waterline and I will make sure itís poly pipe. I will get quotes from a few qualified people. IĎm relieved that I was miles off in what I thought the cost would be. I do have great respect for the proís, and as long as there is competition Ė which I know exists in the plumbing profession - I feel you are getting a fair price for the skill, knowledge, and workmanship.
But Iím a city boy and one question I have had for a while is: on a well system, how do you ever decide on which specialty is the appropriate one to call when you have problems, well profession or plumbing profession? I know the plumber who was working for the folks who sold me my house before settlement certainly knew all about well systems, choosing correct pressure tanks, choosing correct pumps, system design, installation, - everything. So when would you call the well profession? Is there any rule of thumb?
Inside the house, after the pressure tank if that's where it is, call the plumber, outside to the well and down the hole, call the well guy.
Irrigation, do it yourself.
Thanks Rancher. That's a nice dividing line, it makes sense, and thus I'm sure I can remember it.