Water tank upgrade

New tank!The cabin water makes its way to a 55 gallon blue storage tank via gravity from a spring-fed cistern at an average rate of 100 gallons/hour.  The lopsided tank was insulated with a large piece of carpeting and covered by some fancy blue styrofoam.

With easier access under the structure during deck demolition, we took the opportunity to get tanked.

A quick trip to Tractor Supply for a 135 gallon leg tank I’d had my eye on for the past six months and I was ready to roll.

After some excavation, I set up a sturdy foundation for the tank to rest on.  There is nearly one foot of gravel under each of the timber steps.

Everyone got dirty, even Toby then yellow lab!

The new tank has a rather ugly overflow pipe that will thankfully be hidden by the new deck.  We are looking forward to building a water feature for the overflow to play on.

Existing water tank

Existing water tank

Gettin' dirty

Gettin’ dirty


Tank foundation

Tank foundation



Water flows downhill here

In addition to a siezed motor on the water pump, the water line seemed to be missing something important:  water.

The previous cabin owner was quite smhart – he devised a gravity spring fed water line from a cistern 20 feet uphill to a storage tank underneath the cabin.  Water is pumped into the cabin via a shallow well water pump.

Janeé bravely donned rubber gloves and went in search of the cistern.  After nearly an hour or dredging, she unearthed the screen covered pipe to the cabin.  A quick check and water was flowing!

Almost empty cistern

Water water everywhere – but in the cabin

Seized water pump

A major part of our decision to purchase the cabin was the fact that it had water and septic.  We all intemately met the septic tank several weeks ago but held off turning on the water until the threat of a solid freeze had passed – the last big “unknown” to us was if the water would flow.  It didn’t.

Seized water pump

Janeé displays how limber she is while trying to pump air into the pump. 8,367 pumps later and the pressure remains at zero. This guy is headed to the dump.

Diagnosis:  the shallow well water pump motor was seized and my uninformed opinion was that after non-use for three and a half years the rubber bladder inside the pump had degraded (wouldn’t hold pressure).

A quick search online and we both exhaled a big sigh of relief – a replacement pump was close to the cost of a kitchen sink and not the many extra dollars we feared.  We purchased the same thing sitting under the sink since neither of us have “plumber” in our credentials:  a Wel-Bilt Shallow Well Pump.

Keep your fingers crossed for a simple installation (yes, that’s sarcasm).