Water Heater Rescue: Know-How, Solutions, Parts graphic
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Hummingbird: The Water System

Larry Weingarten, left, working on piping at the water tank; right, van and trailer full of piping
Top left, Larry Weingarten and the tanks. Top right: getting creative: How do you get 40-foot pipe anywhere? He had to lengthen the trailer so the pipe didn't stick too far out and not make any sharp turns because of the pipe stuck in the back of his van. Below, Larry and the pipe-fusing tool. Larry had to take a class, pass a test and receive certification to use the tool.

Water for the House on Hummingbird Hill comes out of the ground -- typical well system -- or not so typical.

Actually, they originally tried to drill the well at the top of the ridge against which the house nestles, because that's where the two 4,000-gallon storage tanks are. But it didn't work, so one was successfully drilled about 50 feet east of the house itself.

The well pump is only 1/4-horsepower and is down 400 feet. Most experts would say "no way!" to those numbers. Yes way!

Larry Weingarten poses with piping equipment

The pump is an intelligent Grundfos DC-powered positive-displacement beast. It's hooked up to a 3/4-inch poly pipe so it's relatively easy to raise and lower the pump. Two people can do it by hand.

The water storage tanks are hundreds of feet above the house and the hill between the two is often too steep to walk on.

They needed to run a 4-inch line from the tanks to a fire hydrant near the house, so they used 40-foot lengths of poly pipe fused end to end on site.

Getting it in place required staking a 6-foot corrugated pipe in place along the entire 700-foot run first and then sliding the 4-inch line inside it.

Larry Weingarten used a two-liter Coke bottle to pull a fishing line through the 700-foot corrugated pipe. He used that to pull a rope and used the rope to pull the 4-inch pipe. They started by pulling by hand, then the car, and finally a truck, as the 40-foot lengths were inserted up on top of the ridge. It was coordinated with walkie-talkies.

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