30 September, 2011


This past week I've been reorganizing my pool pump house. By that I mean, when my main pump sprung a leak (the shaft seal was leaking), instead of waiting for it to destroy the front bearing on the motor, like I did last time, I pulled the pump out and promptly ordered a new seal and diffuser and housing o-rings.

While I had the main pump out, I decided this would be an ideal time to reposition the main pump and the waterfall pump, putting both up on concrete blocks so they're not sitting on the floor in potential puddles of water.

I also added a couple of valves that were missing from the original installation - so I could remove the main pump without going through the gyrations I had to do previously to remove it.

The other thing I decided to do was to essentially re-orient the outfall from each pump so that if I disconnect the pump, water in the pipe doesn't run all over the top of the pump. I installed an elbow with a short (4 or 5") length of pipe so the union, when separated drains to the side of the pump.

So far in the process, I've successfully re-done the waterfall pump. Everything with it works fine with no leaks. No problems there at all.

I've redone the main pump as well, with the two additional valves in place. The valves work fine with no leakage either.

Incidentally, I also took the opportunity to fix a couple small leaks at the connections for the filter. Those leaks are stopped now too.

The remaining problem is the main pump outfall union. I've used three different o-rings and the union still leaks.

I am having a problem here with getting o-rings of exactly the right diameter and thickness. But, you work with what you have as much as possible. I've stretched the o-rings so they fit into the groove, tightened up the union, and still have leakage.

I'm pretty sure the surfaces of the union that join together where the o-ring fits, are meeting flat - as flat as any of the other unions I have in the pump house. It's not exact, but you get it as close as you can. With gluing PVC parts together, sometimes 'close' is as good as it gets.

So... I have this leak. This morning, I'm going to try a really thick o-ring. If I can stretch it enough so that it fits in the groove, maybe that'll solve the problem. If it still leaks,

I'm looking for ideas. Anybody have any? I'm willing to consider anything - voodoo, incantations, burning incense, a bigger hammer, better curse words... anything!


Unknown said...

Hi Dave,
I found your blog through a link on and just this morning finished reading all of your posts. Wow -- what a life.

My husband and I will be coming to Corozal next March for our first visit to Belize, with the intention of seeing if it's a good fit for us as a possible full-time retirement option.

As you might imagine, we are doing lots of reading and research, and your blog has been invaluable for showing day-to-day life there.

As you also might imagine, we have lots of questions, but I'm only going to bug you with two (for now, at least :).

First, what were some of the reasons you and Dianna decided to not opt for the QRP and pursue permanent residency instead?

Second, in the event you had to move from Belize because of serious health issues (or some other situation), where would you consider going? Back to Washington? Someplace else in Central America?

Sorry for the long message. Again, love your blog and will be a loyal follower.

Houseboatwayne said...

Can you get liquid gasket down there?

Houseboatwayne said...

Check hardware stores and marine stores for liquid gasket. Never have to worry about finding the right gasket again.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Mattie,

Fire away with the questions - that's part of the fun. QRP vs. Permanent Residency - For us, it was a matter of no late model vehicle, no boat, no flying machine. Also, I didn't care for the requirement to deposit money into a Belize bank every month. With the PR program, all we had to worry about was the monthly visa renewal fees until we got our Permanent Residency. We're now legal residents as opposed to being 'permanent tourists'. I guess it all depends on what you're comfortable with.

As far as moving from Belize - hard to imagine why, but if we did - back to WA - I doubt it. We couldn't afford to live there, probably couldn't afford to live like we are now anywhere in the US. More than likely, it would either be somewhere else in Central America or most likely, somewhere in South America.

Good luck with your quest. It can be a fun ride.


Hi Wayne,

I'll have to look for it. I've never seen it here in Corozal - maybe over in Spanish Lookout or somewhere like that.

It looks like, for the near term, that the leak has been solved. It's pooltime!!!


rick cadieux said...

Am having my truck transported to the northern border, the first week in November, so will be in Corozal for a while. If ther is anything that I could bring down to you, for the pump, or anything else, please let me know. If you need to stretch an o ring, put it in relly hot water, for awhile, and it will be easier, and may not scar.
If my E-mail address doesn't show up, on this message,
PM on the Belize Forum-comstock.


Dave Rider said...

Hi Rick,

I appreciate the offer. I think for right now that we're in pretty good shape. I'll keep your offer in mind in case something comes up between now and the time you're coming down.