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  #1  
Old 08/08/10, 02:02 PM
 
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Cheapest and Best Way to Acces a Deep Well Pump in Emergency

We have a well- 350 ft deep , the pump is at 240 ft deep and casing is 105 ft. We live at the top of a fairly lrg hill. We are currently 100% electric. We have propane as a backup energy for heat and generator. So far what we have looked at is looking like it will cost $1500-$2000 +when we figure in the costs of pipe and all the misc equipment. We considered a cistern system but dh says with our location so high (house is at very top of hill) that it won't work. We have also considered using solar cells with a battery and using an inverter but it seems from dh's study that it wouldn't necessarily work for the well if converting from DC to AC 220-240v.

Does anyone else have ideas on how to do this? Things we have overlooked or cheaper sources for material?

Our generator is powerful enough to power the pump but we would like a backup plan that doesn't rely on fuel.

thanks in advance !

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Old 08/08/10, 02:17 PM
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I'm curious to hear what answers you get. We are in the same situation. I was thinking of maybe either a windmill with a deep well pump (iffy) or solar. The well would pump into a cistern that would then pump into the house. That seems a little redundant, but that way we could access the cistern by hand when the power goes out. Or put the cistern pump on solar as well. We can't do a total gravity system due to our house location and harsh winters. Hopefully somebody will have some great ideas!

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  #3  
Old 08/08/10, 02:42 PM
 
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What is the static water level in your well? There are solar powered pumps available, however their pumping rate is not that much.

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  #4  
Old 08/08/10, 02:49 PM
 
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You could always put a hand pump down the well, your at about the max depth limit I have seen for them, but it could probably be done.

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  #5  
Old 08/08/10, 03:12 PM
 
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http://www.simplepump.com/OUR-PUMPS/Hand-Operated.html

This is what I'm going with, along with the optional DC motor to replace the hand lever. The DC motor can run on 1 or 2 solar panels. At 3-5 gpm filling a storage tank, I think this will meet my needs better than a deep submersible pump. You need to know the static water level to size the pump (they have 2) and determine how much drop pipe you need. There are also videos on youtube showing how easy they are to install.
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  #6  
Old 08/08/10, 03:15 PM
 
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I've always wondered if one could set it up so it could be run off a lawn mower or chain saw engine.

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  #7  
Old 08/08/10, 03:18 PM
 
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Oh, our storage tank is located on a hill above the house and we'll use gravity for water pressure ( will also probably need a small pressure pump at the house). The simplepump can fill a pressure tank also, but will be too far away from the house, hence the additional pressure pump. Ours will be for full time use, not emergencies.

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Last edited by FarmerGreen; 08/08/10 at 03:24 PM. Reason: added info
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  #8  
Old 08/08/10, 03:43 PM
 
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Dh looked at the simplepump but with the pipe and rod it seemed pretty cost prohibitive. Or are we missing something? We were hoping we could figure something to rig ourselves to save money as dh is pretty adept and plumbing and electricity but it is proving to be more complicated - at least to do it within our budget.

We are not sure the static water level- at the pump level we pump 15 gpm. How would we figure that out(easily)?

Also, might be worth mentioning we are currently a family of 5 with plans for plenty more, so our needs would be more than some.

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  #9  
Old 08/08/10, 04:28 PM
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This thread is of interest to me; so I am watching it.

Our well is only 79' deep and has been serving our entire homestead (house, stock, garden & fruit trees) for over 15 years now; but it is run by electricity. I am wanting to set up something we can use "by hand" should the need arise. (I've even got an oblong-shaped water bucket and nylon rope, thinking I might set up a pulley type thing.)

Thanks for starting this thread.

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  #10  
Old 08/08/10, 04:34 PM
 
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what is your definition of "success"? ie, how long of an "emergency" are you interested in prepping for? you mention 5 people and plans for "many more". how many more? any animals that need watering? garden need water too?

water is heavy, so pumping from 240 ft deep will always take a fair amount of energy. seems to me a cistern filled when easy/cheap power is available will get a pretty good running start for the first part of an emergency, and many/most shorter term emergencies.

so, a solar powered pump pumping from the cistern will be a lot easier/cheaper than trying to pump from 240 ft down. i think rv's often have dc pumps that pressurize rv showers/toilets/faucets. probably easy to get that working with solar from a cistern, which should work well as long as the cistern water lasts.

also, what about water cut-backs during an emergency to reduce water consumption? eg, backup sawdust toilets. someone here posted about using a 2.5 gallon (new and clean) sprayer from home depot to give showers to a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 small kids) during a utility outage. left the sprayer in the sun for a few hours to warm up, then with just 2.5 gallons, all 5 got clean.

lastly, calculate how much fuel it takes to run your well pump now. you'll always have a tradeoff between storing fuel vs storing water vs buying more equipment (solar, 12v rv pumps, etc).

--sgl

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  #11  
Old 08/08/10, 04:36 PM
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Some folks call the oblong-shaped water bucket a bail. That's the simplest low-tech method to use. You can buy them from Lehmans. I bought mine at a flea market. Tie it to a rope. Drop it into the well. Pull it up. Dump the water. Repeat. It probably won't support your current lifestyle. But it's a cheap way of accessing your well when nothing else is working.

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  #12  
Old 08/08/10, 04:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgl42 View Post
what is your definition of "success"? ie, how long of an "emergency" are you interested in prepping for? you mention 5 people and plans for "many more". how many more? any animals that need watering? garden need water too?


I would like to prepare for long term usage- yrs if need be. As to the size of our family that would be in God's hands- considering my age and such I would guess around 2-4 more children. No animals currently but we plan to at some point, perhaps in the next yr or two- We have done a small raised garden in the past but hope to do a larger one this coming year

water is heavy, so pumping from 240 ft deep will always take a fair amount of energy. seems to me a cistern filled when easy/cheap power is available will get a pretty good running start for the first part of an emergency, and many/most shorter term emergencies.

When dh looked into a cistern it seemed to him that it really needed to be at a higher level and that is an impossibility with the way our land is and where our house is situated. I would like to get some rain collection going and certainly that would be a priority in an emergency but we don't have that currently. We have access to water- creeks and rivers around us- but of course that involves hauling water and if we can prepare in a way that means not doing that it would be prepared.

so, a solar powered pump pumping from the cistern will be a lot easier/cheaper than trying to pump from 240 ft down. i think rv's often have dc pumps that pressurize rv showers/toilets/faucets. probably easy to get that working with solar from a cistern, which should work well as long as the cistern water lasts.

also, what about water cut-backs during an emergency to reduce water consumption? eg, backup sawdust toilets. someone here posted about using a 2.5 gallon (new and clean) sprayer from home depot to give showers to a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 small kids) during a utility outage. left the sprayer in the sun for a few hours to warm up, then with just 2.5 gallons, all 5 got clean.

I know we won't be trying to use water at our current usage in an emergency situation. As I said there is water to haul for toilets and such- and we do have a Big Berkey filter as well. We can live w/ sponge baths or some other such thing-we know well how to stretch out clothes usage and I can wash dishes w/ minimal water

lastly, calculate how much fuel it takes to run your well pump now. you'll always have a tradeoff between storing fuel vs storing water vs buying more equipment (solar, 12v rv pumps, etc).

Very good points and something we need to compare

--sgl
Thanks so much for all the thoughts.
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  #13  
Old 08/08/10, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren View Post
Some folks call the oblong-shaped water bucket a bail. That's the simplest low-tech method to use. You can buy them from Lehmans. I bought mine at a flea market. Tie it to a rope. Drop it into the well. Pull it up. Dump the water. Repeat. It probably won't support your current lifestyle. But it's a cheap way of accessing your well when nothing else is working.
Dh would prefer not to rely on going in and out of the casing as he doesn't want to contaminate the water with stuff getting knocked off in the water. Of course I guess if need be it would work.
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Old 08/08/10, 04:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren View Post
Some folks call the oblong-shaped water bucket a bail. That's the simplest low-tech method to use. You can buy them from Lehmans. I bought mine at a flea market. Tie it to a rope. Drop it into the well. Pull it up. Dump the water. Repeat. It probably won't support your current lifestyle. But it's a cheap way of accessing your well when nothing else is working.
Ummm, most wells now a days are small bored holes. No way to get a bucket down them.
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  #15  
Old 08/08/10, 05:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motdaugrnds View Post
This thread is of interest to me; so I am watching it.

Our well is only 79' deep and has been serving our entire homestead (house, stock, garden & fruit trees) for over 15 years now; but it is run by electricity. I am wanting to set up something we can use "by hand" should the need arise. (I've even got an oblong-shaped water bucket and nylon rope, thinking I might set up a pulley type thing.)

Thanks for starting this thread.
At 79 feet you could put a hand pump on it for sure. But it kinda depends on the well and pump type. An above ground jet pump on a 2" bore would be difficult. Putting one on a 4" submersible well would rather simple and could added permanently and coexist with the electric pump.
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  #16  
Old 08/08/10, 05:47 PM
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You could use air. Do some research on bubble pump or pumping water with air and see what you can find.

Basically what how if works is you have a hose to carry compressed air connected near the bottom of a pipe in the well. When you pump compressed air down the hose and into the pipe it will rise to the top carrying water above it.

How much water you can get up depends on how much air you can push down. You'll have to do some research on how air you'd need.

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  #17  
Old 08/08/10, 06:25 PM
 
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Since the cistern or water tank can't be elevated, then a RV type pressure pump could give you enough water pressure. They run on DC so it could run on solar or batteries.

With enough drop pipe to go 234 feet the simplepump, pipe and well cap would be $1667 (no DC motor). With 5-9 kids taking turns pumping you should have plenty of water.

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  #18  
Old 08/08/10, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tinknal View Post
Ummm, most wells now a days are small bored holes. No way to get a bucket down them.
http://www.lehmans.com/store/Water__...__550202?Args=
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Old 08/08/10, 06:44 PM
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Yelp thats what we used for years.Until someone stole my Bucket

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  #20  
Old 08/08/10, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mama View Post
and casing is 105 ft.
I have to ask: why is there only 105 ft. of casing in the well? Unless the lower formation is something like granite, and solid to the depth the pump is set at, that is a recipe for disaster sometime in the future.
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