I would like to see if anyone has experience repairing this type of well.
It is broken above ground in at least one place and after some reading it seems like pulling the top off runs the risk of dropping the pump part down into the well. Anyone know of a solid resource on this type of thing, or personal experience?
I would really like to see if there is any water down in the well before worrying about fixing the pump, or replacing it.
In theory, no it shouldnt all fall in the well, the pump is at the bottom and there should be a sucker rod( the rod that moves the pump) that runs all the way to the handle. The piston is probly made of leather seals and will not function and may possibly be seized. I would try to pull the hole thing up pipe and all, might be a chore to do yourself, but at that point you can estimate the water in the hole and the condition of the all the pumps working parts. You can test the depth to the surface of the water with a spool of fishing line and a floating bobber, once you get slack in the line, mark it, pull it up and measure it. You can also judge the depth by using a weight of some sort, i might consider using a rock instead a fishing weight, as all those contain lead but I doubt it would hurt you really. If the pump can not be repaired, look up Simple pumps. I have one as my primary water source, its just a kick @ss modern day hand pump. Cheers!
That's a dandy pump, never seen one quite like it.... Cast iron, so no hammering on it, OK? Gotta use penetrating oil and/or a little heat to loosen stuff... Ought to be information on the internet somewhere. Try the collectors.... Best, TM
Thanks everyone for the info and tips. If I get around to pulllling this out I will certainly post the details. If I owned the property that this is on I would be all over it, but to my landlord it is just a cherished decoration. I plan to feel it out about how she feels about restoration before spending energy on it.
One potential problem is the massive ailanthus trunk that has expanded to be pretty close to the base of the pump, would be a little extra work to cut it back some.