Anyone put in a sandpoint well?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sassy_mare, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    323
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    Has anyone ever put in their own sandpoint well? I am trying to find a way to get water to (or closer) to the barn. I may have to end up putting a new well anyway, but looking for something more economical.

    Will it be reliable? What about freezing up ( I am in Northern Minnesota) ?

    Your opinions/experiences are greatly valued!
    Sheri
     
  2. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

    Messages:
    19,813
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    I've not put in a sandpoint, but would love to know if anyone posts info.

    Pony!
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    I have put in many shallow wells here in sandy Florida, take 5 foot pieces of pipe and attach the fittings to allow coupleing a water hose to the top of the pipe. Cut teeth on the bottom of the pipe and place two pipe wrenches apposing each other on the pipe. Turn on the water hose and rock back and forth the two wrenches to make a circling motion of about half a complete circle. In time the pipe will sink slowley, add more pipe when ever it gets down to ground level, note the changing color of the sand that will bubble up from around the pipe.

    When the pipe starts to sink very quickly only allow it to go about 2 feet further. Allow this to sit for a day or two for the earth to 'heal'. It may be necessary to tie off the pipe to prevent further sinking at first. Now attach a a pitcher pump to draw out the sand, this is a long and tireing task but when you get a cone of sand about 3 feet high, then stop. It will be necessary to clean out the pitcher pump many times, maybe even replace the leathers a time or two. This creats an accumulation area for water to gather. Once the water comes clear you can attach a regular pump. This only will work in sandy soil, if you have rocks forget this method.
     
  4. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,598
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    My borthers and I installed a sand point for my guest cabin several years ago. It is 25 feet deep and is pumped using a deep-well hand pump (not a pitcher pump). The reason for the deep well pump is that the pump (called a cylinder) sits at the bottom of the well and pushes the water to the surface. This keeps all of the pump leathers in the groundwater where they do not freeze. I've used this pump all winter long. The leathers in an outdoor pitcher pump will freeze.

    We slammed a two-inch diameter well point and 2-inch well casing into the ground using a large T-post driver. We kept adding five-foot sections of well casing (galvanized pipe) when the casing got close to the ground.

    The drop pipe is one-inch galvanized pipe. One end of the drop pipe attaches to the well pump and the other end to the well cylinder. A rod passes thru the center of the drop pipe. The rod is used to transmit the up and down pumping action from the hand pump down to the well cylinder.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    We have a pretty hard layer of clay under a few feet of sand. How difficult would it be to drive a point thru this? No rock, just layers of sand and clay.
     
  6. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    635
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Location:
    NC
    I I have hand installed many shallow wells as a part of my job. I auger down until I can auger no further, then beging driving the well in. I was having a hard time going through sand one time...the well just wouldn't go any further. It was if the sand had locked up tight. I solved the problem by putting a large pipe wrench on the well and turning it around once by walking around in a circle. The turning at the bottom would move the sand around enough to permit me to drive it in a little further. As I recall, the pipe would only advance a a few inches or so before needing to be turned. Be patient. the slower you go, the faster you'll get done.
    Pitcher pumps can be screwed right on top of a well pipe. they'll pull water up a maximum of about 20 feet. I fthe water is further down than that, you'll need to get the type of pump already described by the other poster. To keep the pump from freezing, lift the handle all the way up when you're done and the water will empty out.
    I have a feeling that the problem with the pump freezing may not be from water, but rather that the wet leather freezes to the cast iron wall of the pump in really cold climates. If that is the case, I suppose the pump with the submerged leathers is best
     
  7. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    3,903
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Not in the ohio clay and rocks.
     
  8. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

    Messages:
    2,246
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Location:
    Northeastern Minnesota
    If one has a sandy spot to drive the well point into it is no problem to drive a sandpoint well.

    You need a screen/point, 20' to 25' of pipe to fit, a driving cap, a pipe driver (looks like a fence post driver) or a sledge hammer, and some pipe collars. We rented an electric drive on one well, but I have shoved a few down with a pipe driver and the help of a cold beer dangled from a stick just out of reach.

    One will find a couple of large pipe wrenches to be of value not only in connecting the pipe but to turn the pipe while it's beng driven. It keeps the pipe fittngs all together.

    Pour some very clean water into the pipe along and along while you are driving it. When the water runs out of the pipe you have hit sand and maybe water.

    Most every hardware this far north sells the wherewithal to drive a sandpoint well. For no additional cost they will give you tips on how-to.
     
  9. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    323
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    Hey Haggis!

    Thanks for the advice! I've been so busy setting up the place that I haven't been your way in a long time!

    So, can I just plop a pitcher pump on top or do I need something more fancy for these bitter MN winters?

    Thanks again-
    Sheri
     
  10. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,598
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    A pitcher pump will not work during Minnesota winters because the leathers in the pump will freeze solid. When this happens, the leathers will not seal, consequently no suction is obtained to pull the water to the surface. A hand pump like the one shown in the photo above will work during the winter (is there an echo in here?)
     
  11. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

    Messages:
    2,246
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Location:
    Northeastern Minnesota
    We used a pitcher pump for many years here at Wolf Cairn Moor, but during really cold weather we had to bring the pump into the house after using it.

    One has to prime a pitcher pump so we used warm water during the winter months, especially after bringing a warm pump from the warm house.

    I suppose a person could rig a heat lamp over the pump rather than dragging it in and out of the house.

    The pitcher pump is a cheaper way to go, but the cheap comes at a price.
     
  12. sassy_mare

    sassy_mare Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    323
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    Sorry CabinFever - I missed that part of your post!

    Thanks guys! Now, to get the SO to agree is the hardest part!

    Sheri
     
  13. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,360
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    You had good advise, other than the above. Folks from the south do not understand 'really cold climates'. I laughed years ago when I got my Homlite chansaw and was reading the manual (company is/was located in the Carolina's). It said what oil to use, or a lighter grade "in severe cold (below 32 degrees F) conditions." I just had to laugh. Who cuts wood when it is warmer than 32 degrees? Too much else to do, and no point wasting all the heat one generates cutting wood for warm days. Was truely funny.

    Anyhow, a pump with leathers (or other seals) is not practical for outdoor use in a cold climate like Minnesota where a daytime high temp of minus 10 typically happens every winter - sometimes for several days in a row. Pitcher pumps only work if they are in a heated area, and so it is not practical 95% of the time. They freeze up solid, not just onto the pipe, but they have no sealing properties any more. In your climate you can probably put some warm water on them for the one or 2 times the temp gets that cold. When it lasts for 5 months, not a practical thing.

    They need the pump that lifts from the bottom, with a rod up the middle of the pipe. And you need to be able to drain out the pipe when it's not in use - normal on those pumps, but be sure you understand that & do that.

    --->Paul
     
  14. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    Messages:
    15,598
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    I drilled a 1/8" hole about 5 feet down (below ground) on my drop pipe to allow the water to drain to that depth. It's never frozen, not even during the winter of 2002-2003.