Water System Work


Water System Work

by rdpecken on Apr.27, 2014, under Water System

For my trip in April, once the Solar Bay ventilation system was installed, I moved on to replacing the water pump for the Littlehouse.

New Pump Model

The original system worked with a nice variable speed pump that would change speed to keep the pressure steady regardless of flow. It worked really nice until I went away and forgot to turn off the power to it after one trip last year. When I returned weeks later, the battery was dead (I didn’t have solar at the time), and the pump no longer worked. At that time, I salvaged the old pump from our shed and installed it in the Littlehouse. This got us by with the necessary pressure.

Here is the old pump that died…

Shurflo Extreme 5.7 gpm Pump

I took the bad pump home and started to take it apart to see what was wrong, but the control circuitry is potted with epoxy, so you cannot access it. The manufacturer does not sell replace parts for that pump, so I would have to buy a new one. I’m not going to spend another $200 to buy a pump that is not repairable. So I found a replacement pump on Amazon. This new pump has a higher pressure rating than the one from our shed, but it is not variable speed. That’s OK. For $60, I don’t feel bad about just replacing it when it goes bad, if I cannot fix it myself.

I had not been happy with the original installation, because the box had a dirt bottom, and was always very dusty to work on. So I removed as much of the old rocks, dirt, etc in the bottom of the hole as possible. Here is what I started with…

Dirty pump area

First I removed the temporary shed pump…

Temporary Pump Removed

Then I cleaned out all of the old rocks and dirt that I could, and replaced them with clean gravel that I brought up from Home Depot.

Clean gravel

Finally, I hooked up the new pump and checked it out. It is working good, with no surging, and good enough pressure.

New Pump Installed

Once the outside work was done, I hooked up a temporary switch at the battery end, to allow me to easily turn the pump on and off, rather than needing to disconnect the wires on the battery.

Pump Switch

I’ll replace it with a permanent one, after we get some cabinets installed in the kitchen. That is where the battery will be permanently installed.


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