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  #1  
Old 03/17/11, 03:49 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Washington
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How Deep Is My Well?

We have a pump house and electric well, but have been preparing in the event of no electricity (I've homesteaded, before, but hubby hasn't). How can we find out how deep our well is in order to purchase the appropriate hand pump to replace the electric pump? We bought this property with the well already installed.

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  #2  
Old 03/17/11, 04:34 PM
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If you have a submersible pump, it may be too deep for a hand pump.

Most of them only work down to 25 feet
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Old 03/17/11, 04:38 PM
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Your county may have that record? I'd check with them, first.
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  #4  
Old 03/17/11, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearfootfarm View Post
If you have a submersible pump, it may be too deep for a hand pump.

Most of them only work down to 25 feet
BFF meant to say "it may be too deep for a pitcher pump."

A deep well hand pump can pump water from depths of 150 feet or more.

When determing what type of well to use, what you really want to find out is how deep your watertable is, not necessarily how deep your well casing is. The simpliest way of doing this is to drop a weighted string down your well casing until you hear a "plop". Then measure the length of string. An alternative would be to lower a weighted length of string down the casing and measure the dry part of the string.
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Old 03/17/11, 07:20 PM
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If you really want to know call a plumber/pump company. They have a neat tool, basically its a weighted switch, when it hits the water it completes the connection.
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  #6  
Old 03/17/11, 07:40 PM
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Pat - Washington state has well records online:

http://apps.ecy.wa.gov/welllog/

You can search on a variety of factors to find your well. If it was registered when it was dug, it should be on here.
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  #7  
Old 03/17/11, 07:42 PM
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabin Fever View Post
BFF meant to say "it may be too deep for a pitcher pump."

A deep well hand pump can pump water from depths of 150 feet or more.

When determing what type of well to use, what you really want to find out is how deep your watertable is, not necessarily how deep your well casing is. The simpliest way of doing this is to drop a weighted string down your well casing until you hear a "plop". Then measure the length of string. An alternative would be to lower a weighted length of string down the casing and measure the dry part of the string.
CF, i have a steel cased 6" well, with a jet pump. Well is below the Granite Ledge (I assume that you are aware of this Geo feature) About 170 ft deep. Is there any alternative means of pumping a well like this?
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  #8  
Old 03/17/11, 08:31 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Minnesota
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You can get Bison hand pumps that are good for wells upwards of 200 feet deep. The problem? The pumps are about $1,200.00. Hard to justify when you could buy a generator to power your well pump when you need water and have no power. The generator can be used for other things, too. So a good investment when it serves multiple purposes.

You could pick up some 250 gallon totes. Run the generator for a bit and have enough water in your tote to last for quite a long time. So the generator doesn't need to run continuous.

Also, I'm told hand pumping water that is 200 feet deep is very hard work.
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  #9  
Old 03/17/11, 10:18 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Boy, do I feel dumb! We just bought a brand new generator, too! LOL I sure wasn't thinking, eh? The only problem I see is that we have so MANY different things we need that generator for, so I'm also looking at ways to get around having to use it all the time. Indeed, I do like the tote or holding tank idea, 'cause even though we had to haul water when homesteading, we used a holding tank. Even had it hooked up to the kitchen sink with faucets (gravity fed). Really simplified things until we were able to get a well dug. The faucets were then switched out to a hand pump mounted on the counter over the sink (no electricity).

Thank you for all the replies... I do believe we'll go with the generator and totes/holding tank suggestion. It's a whole lot easier, eh?

Pat Lamar
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  #10  
Old 03/17/11, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
BFF meant to say "it may be too deep for a pitcher pump."
LOL

That's why I said "most"
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  #11  
Old 03/18/11, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tinknal View Post
CF, i have a steel cased 6" well, with a jet pump. Well is below the Granite Ledge (I assume that you are aware of this Geo feature) About 170 ft deep. Is there any alternative means of pumping a well like this?
Is your well 170' deep or is the water in your well 170' deep? For instance, at our place the well is almost 100' deep, but the elevation of the water in the well is only 17 ft. I could get water from this well with a pitcher pump.

Theoretically, a deep well hand pump has no maximum depth....it all depends on how strong you are. The problem is with a deep well hand pump you're "pushing" water to the surface. The deeper the watertable the harder it is to pump the well. I have heard that 200 ft is the practical maximum depth.
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Last edited by Cabin Fever; 03/18/11 at 08:57 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03/18/11, 09:07 AM
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According to the Dean Bennett catalog, the practical pumping depth for a 1-11/16" pump cylinder and a 5" stroke is 256 feet.
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  #13  
Old 03/18/11, 10:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabin Fever View Post
According to the Dean Bennett catalog, the practical pumping depth for a 1-11/16" pump cylinder and a 5" stroke is 256 feet.
CF, would that cylinder diameter be the same as the well casing?
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  #14  
Old 03/18/11, 10:11 AM
 
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Here's a pump that they say will pump from 200', up to 300' in an emergency.
p = 0.434 h p = pressure (psi) h = head (ft)
300' = 130psi
130psi on that 1 11/16" pump would be about 290 lbs of force. At the typical 5:1 ratio of the pump handle, you're looking at about 58lbs of force for every stroke. 21 strokes/gallon with a 5" cylinder stroke. Thats a lot of work.

The other option is that you move the pivot point for a 10:1 ratio. 30lbs, but 42 strokes/gallon. They also have 12v motors to do the pumping for you, but if you already have the generator, save a LOT of money.

You have a generator already, so I would say you should use that. Get the storage tank, and plan out the useage of the generator. You want to run the generator as little as possible. 3hrs/day to charge batteries, pump water, run freezer/fridge, do laundry. The generator is happier with a decent load on it anyways.

Michael
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  #15  
Old 03/18/11, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by tinknal View Post
CF, would that cylinder diameter be the same as the well casing?
Doesn't have to be. All that is required is that the cylinder diameter be smaller than the ID of the well casing. The larger the cylinder diameter, the greater the volume of water pumped per stroke AND the harder it is to pump because of the greater the weight of the water.

Our deep well hand pump was a 2" diameter casing that we pounded into the sand. We used a 1-13/16" diameter cylinder. It takes roughly 30 strokes (10" strokes) to get 3 gallons of water.

If you sit thru this video of our "Survivor Minnesota" challenge, you'll see our hand pump in action at -20F.

How Deep Is My Well? - Homesteading Questions
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  #16  
Old 03/18/11, 01:58 PM
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Here is what I did. I got my 300 foot tape measure and put a piece of steel with a hole in it to tie it to the tape and put it down the pipe and read the tape at the bottom 260 feet.

Then I tied a 2 x 4 to the tape and put it down the well pipe and I it stopped at 65 feet.

Our well is 260 deep and the water comes to 65 feet from the top.

Dave
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  #17  
Old 03/18/11, 02:08 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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In my area, all I would have to do is to call the Water Master, give him my address, and he'll tell me how deep the well is.

No such thing as a well drilled without a permit around here. Water is about 600 feet, through rock. nobody is putting in their own well with a sand point.
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