Broken… so yah, I’m thinking I shouldn’t have messed with it because it was still trickling along, and had done so for at least 2-3 weeks since I had cleared it out and it did indeed drain a lot of sediment out of the tubes. And it then took me 2-3 days to get it to keep pumping for more than 3 hours. But it had rained such a lot and I didn’t want to let any sediment build up and maybe damage something? After all, I’m just opening a union, letting water out, and then closing it again, and letting the water flow again… not like I really am changing or affecting anything, right…? Right?
This time I (as of July 2) I’m having trouble finding that magic balance for the intake and outgo control valves… and am wondering if one or more of the valves is compromised or broken.
But there’s always hope that I will get it just right and back to working at a trickle at least. I just should have left it! Oh well, at least this time the camera I used to get the noise of it draining the water and sucking in air actually takes proper sound. Here is that video. I’d already opened the bottom union (sort of like screw connection points you can put on PVC) so it was not connected to the house, but would just drain out the bottom near where the pipe turns and heads up towards the house. So, folks, while the sound of a working ram pump is music to my ears, this sound is decidedly amusing!
So, although there is no suspense in what happens afterwards, here is the next video.
So good news in a way, at least every time I get the pump going, while it is going, water is getting to the house, in proportion to the water being allowed through the ram pump. That’s good, ’cause I don’t think I’ll need to mess with the long pipe. I might just need to replace a valve or two. (The check valve ones, which prevent flow in one direction and allow it in another, not the ones with handles where I can turn on or off the flow through them).
And a little later…
So long story short, I messed with it some more… and by that I mean I had to restart (no draining, just poke and try adjusting the valves to see if more or less intake, less or more freedom on the outflow… or less of both, more of both… and yada yada) it at least 5 or 6 times on the 30th. Then restarted it again before I got ready to leave for work on the 1st, and restarted it again before I left for work for real, then restarted it again after I got home… and a total of 11 at least restarts on the 1st. And I didn’t bother to restart it late in the night… I just restarted it again this morning (it’s the 2nd). And again…I’m up to about 6 or 7 today. However, before this most recent time, I wanted to see if there was anything obviously wrong with the PVC check valve. That’s the sort of fat part between two unions to the upstream of the air tank area and directly downstream of the intake control valve. So I moved the larger stones there to stabilize the area, and scooped out the little ones and other sediment which had settled around that area so I could get to the unions, and also keep anything from getting into the thread or pipes while I was monkeying with it. I closed both the intake valve and the outgoing valve (so no water would gush out at me, and the water in the pipe wouldn’t all run out so it would not take forever to fill the pipe to the house back up).
Then I grabbed a union and tried to untwist it… and realized Ryan had tightened them so I’d need a wrench… and so I went to look for a wrench… couldn’t find one. I went back to put everything at least back where it was, and just open the valves and mess with it more, and as soon as both valves were open it started on its own….Hooray? Oh wait, it stopped in less than a quarter hour. So I dug further, found the wrenches, and just went down there. I got that valve off, blew through one end (yep, it works this way) and the other (nothing goes through, just like it should). I shook it, nothing rattles…. I don’t think anything should. This is probably a lot of activity wasted–if I was more mechanically inclined I’d know what I was doing more than I do now. Anyway, I think maybe I dislodged a rock from the valve, I don’t know. The system is acting a bit different I think from before I monkeyed with the valve area, but not working properly yet. I’m going to go restart it yet again, and hope this time it will work… maybe there’s a loose joint or something in the pump that I can’t detect? Oh well. I’ll end this here, as it’s getting pretty redundant and bordering on whining. At least I can get it to pump water up to the house when I really need it, and that’s much nicer than having to carry buckets or bottles down to the stream or gravity overflow tank. Happy thoughts! If you’ve made it all the way here, I recommend the Egg-A-Day video for the 28th of June to the 1st of July, as there’s a rather fun video of a chicken in it. Much better! Have a great one.