New Pump

Great weekend with all of little Tom’s graduation festivities. The graduation was in the same arena where the Magic play and beyond the normal speechifyiing, culminated in a full blast fireworks show and dropped balloons in the school colors. Very well done technically. On Friday we hosted all the out of towners – Utah, Idaho, and California – to a day at the lake which was fun even with the lake level approaching an all time low. We went back to Tom’s house on Saturday for the official party which was maybe half family and half Tommy’s school friends. The kids played volley ball in the pool and were all very well behaved. The most interesting thing was the diversity of the crowd. In the pool were people of every shade from pure white to dark black with every gradation in between. Orientals, Indians, Latino’s, and a few I couldn’t identify but would guess maybe an Arab or two; from really studly looking guys, hotties, to world class nerds. We commented among ourselves how different the mix would have been if the party were held at a Utah graduation – or Florida in 1960 for that matter. We had told Tom and the kids that they would be far more diversified in Florida than Utah but even I had no idea how true that would be.
It turns out that the dock pump project mentioned in an earlier posting was only partially successful. The old pump I was using is rated for a 10′ rise. That means that it can only lift water a maximum of 10′ from the water surface level to the outlet point for the hose. The lake level has dropped a few more inches and now exceeds the 10′ limit – which was more likely 8′ anyway. The only solutions were to wait for the rains to come and raise the level of the lake or get a stronger pump. Last week I priced pumps at Lowes, Sears and Tractor Supply but found that we’re talking a minimum of $250 for the pump vs the $50 I was looking for. Waiting for the rains seemed the best option.

Then a few days ago I got a flyer from Harbor Freight advertising a parking lot sale with a 3/4 HP shallow well pump for $69 – regular $119. It had a lift of 25′ and was wired for 110V operation at 4A. I have my doubts about the 4A and bet it’s really closer to 6 but even so, the circuit to the dock can handle that ok. This new pump comes with a 5 gallon storage tank with an internal pressurized bladder so it should be just like having an instant water source right there. Don’t think I’m of the opinion that the $69 made in China, Harbor Freight pump is the same quality as the $250 ones and for sure I wouldn’t use it as a primary house pump but the lake pump only operates occasionally so it should have no stress at all. Naturally the plumbing will have to be changed a bit since the two pumps are totally different physically but all the under dock work I did should be just fine and I think splicing into the existing plumbing should be a piece of cake. I’m writing this pre – installation and will finish up with the final results. Maybe even a picture if in fact it works!
The pump installation is a piece of plumbing artwork. If there’s a plumbing hall of fame, I’m a shoe-in. And beyond that, it works like a world champ, throwing a giant stream of water. It’s far more water than the old pump handled with 40 PSI pressure so it will be more than adequate to run the power washer and sprinkler down there. What I expect now is that the tropical rains will start falling. This was an insurance policy – kind of like a rain dance. I bought a generator and we’ve never had a hurricane since; so now that we have water at the dock, it should start raining as normal.

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