Letter Re: Request for Advice on Backup Power for a Well Pump

Can you or one of the gang offer some advice? We live in a nicely secluded area, but are all electric. We have a well. Our well man says it is impractical and very costly to install a hand pump on our present well setup.
What would be a practical procedure to utilize a small generator to power the water well when/if the power goes down for a week or so, for short
term use. Do we need an electrician to hook things up, and exactly what? I realize, long-term, greater expense will be needed, and it is in our priorities to so accomplish. However, a viable, practical short-term procedure is what we seek. Any and all input appreciated. – IcePick

JWR Replies: You need to make a couple of inquiries: First, ask your well/pump man if your pump is 120 VAC or 220 VAC. If it is a 220 volt model, then you will need a special generator or you will have to retrofit with a 120 VAC pump. Next, you need to call several local electricians, and get them to put in competitive bids for installing a proper bypass breaker panel and cabling it to your generator. I’ve seen people describe improvised”Jerry rigged” male-to-male extension cord generator hookups, but these do not meet NEMA code and are potentially hazardous–both for you and the hapless power company linemen attempting to restore power to your community. Perhaps some readers have some recommendations on a particular switch/circuit breaker arrangement that is safe, meets code, and is not overly expensive.