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Old 09-24-2020, 09:29 PM   #1
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Default Interesting well systems

I run into lot of very old, quite interesting, and often quite large water systems in many of the old mansions I work in. Just thought it would be cool to have a thread about the way things used to be done when a simple cistern and piston pump just wouldn't cut it.

This first one is from a large estate that used to be a large horse and beef farm. They still have quite a number of horses but nothing like the good old days. First the submersible pump set in the well casing will fill the LARGE storage tanks. They are about 7' in diameter and are about 20' long. They're half set in the ground with the huge humps covered in concrete and earth outside. Two thirds of this rooms height is below ground level.

Back in the day there would have been a spring trickle filling those tanks. Later on in the 40's I believe they added jet pumps to fill the tanks from some hand dug wells and then eventually(80's?) they drilled a well and put a submersible in.

From the storage tanks the booster pumps pressurize the well tanks. Back in the day those would have been very large piston pumps in place of the blocks the jet pumps are on. There would have been large riveted steel pressure tanks with no bladder. An air compressor would also have been present, likely with a float valve to maintain the air charge in the tanks.

These pictures were taken when we were swapping out a jet pump and replacing the second. They always keep one spare on site but unfortunately had two fail close together a couple weeks prior.

When I can find the pictures I will make a post about this very cool, 120 year old, riveted, wrought iron plate pressure tank that is about 500 gallons and was in use up until about 6 years ago. Didn't leak, my manager just finally convinced him to get a modern well tank. We would add air about once a year as preventative maintenance because the inducement valves clogged shut.

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Old 09-24-2020, 09:55 PM   #2
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Cool to see the pictures and hear the story. My neighborhood was built in the late 50’s/ early 60’s so we don’t see anything like that.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:38 AM   #3
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Very cool. I work and maintain similar systems. Most of the ones I do that are similar were built by the government during WW2. Those properties all have private homes on them now but still use the old army infrastructure.

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