sandpoint or a new pump on well??

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by prhamell, Mar 26, 2005.

  1. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    We have an old farm house with the well in the basement. I know. I know. But the well was grandfathered in with the house. Unfortunatly no one professional will touch it. But anyway, midweek the water started sputtering and was very sandy. We were thinking maybe new sandpoint. My kids have the stomach flu so I kept washing sheets, blankets, etc. Yesterday we had no water and the pump was sounding like it was trying so hard but nothing. It sort of smelled like it was beginning to overheat. I had a guy come over Thursday (old retired plumber who took pity on us.) He said that we should at least replace the pump. Very inefficiant and wasting energy. It runs for a long time to refill the tank. It's an old pump. He also said that our water tank needed more air, about 5lbs. He tried tinkering with the pump. I'm wondering if he accidently did something to it. Today dh and brother-in-law took the pump off and tried to suck water out using a hose, but nothing. There is water in the well. I already checked with a fishing pole line and a nutbolt. Heard it kerplop in the water three times and was pleasantly surprised to find out that the well isn't that deep. Right now dh and brother-in-law are at home depot with the pump. They're planning on bringing up the pipe to check the sandpoint Just wondering if any of you shop guys have any ideas. Becky
     
  2. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    if the pipe is out the sand point is the screen type thing on the end, and has a heavy metal lining pipe a sand point is usually used in when a shallow well is driven in to the ground as it is the screen in the casing of the well,(or does the same thing),

    and some times sand points are used for there screens at the bottom of a typical well, (I have one on one of my wells where the pipe sets on the bottom of the well),

    but normally there is a foot valve that is check or one way valve and usually some type of screen that attachers to help keep out the "big chunks".

    and It sound like your talking about a jet pump,

    I would probably trust the old plumber in this case,

    the screen and check valve may need to be replaced as well but with our seeing it I don't know, I know many well people would replace it with new just to protect the investment . of the pump, it may just need to be cleaned,

    after working on it a little Clorox (chlorine) (not the scented stuff) would be good to disinfect the well and the pipes after working on them, you probably would not need much, as a little will go long way, but the other problem could be you were over pumping your well, and it was just not filling back in as fast as you were removing water, and when the well is on running it will probably fill back up to the water table. (I don't know if that is the problem or not),

    but to be getting air and sand in the well it sounds like a possibility, the other is the well collapsed and the the pipe is rotted and sucking air,

    I am sorry you can not get some one with more knowledge to help

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    a few questions,

    how deep is the water table,?

    is there one pipe in the well or two,?

    the pump set out of the water in the basement?

    have the pipes been pulled up out of the well and inspected for leaks or pits?

    the screen and foot valve in the bottom of the well pipe been inspected?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    what did your you DH find out at home depot?
     

  3. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    Well, dh and brother-in-law came back with a new pump. Turns out they didn't go to home depot. Went to see a plumber and to the farm store. We have the kind of pump that sits outside of the well. Took awhile to hook it up. I left for work with them banging on pipes and getting slightly frustrated. Glad I left for work. Just talked to dh and we have water again with the new pump, but still sandy and sputtering. I'm wondering if a pipe might be cracked? We've heard that possibility too. They haven't pulled the pipes as of yet. Maybe tonight or tomorrow (What a way to spend Easter, eh?!) So we're not sure about the condition of the pipes or if there's a screen or a foot valve. I did check for depth of the well, and it's not too deep. There is water in it. Heard the bolt go kerplop. I hope and pray that the well isn't collapsing. There is a one inch pipe, maybe inch and a quarter with a pipe casing around it. I'm not sure if the pipe casing goes all the way down into the well or not. I'm really hoping that the we don't need a whole new well. To have a well professional drilled will kill us in the pocket book. But with it being winter (yes, it's still winter here in WI) the ground is still frozen so dh can't dig one himself. We've been talking about doing a second drive point well closer to the barn with a hand pump and retractable spigot so it doesn't freeze during the winter. Boy, sure do wish we would have put that talk into action. Oh and, no my kids don't have the stomach flu from drinking dirty water. Surprised at how many people have asked me that. They picked it up from their couzins and my kids don't really drink that much water from the well anyway. Thanks for answering farming handy man.
     
  4. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Well-Known Member

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    OK, good job, at least you have water now! I have a well thats about 30 years old. Was on the property when I bought it and hadnt been used for almost 23 years! Had no power to the property yet so I wired my 10kw generator to it and started it up. The damn thing worked! ( I am getting to your sand issue! ). After I finally got power to the place and all thiings wired accordingly, one day me and the mrs. come home from work to find the water shooting straight out the well head flooding the entire area! The heater hose from the head to the pressure tank come off due to me not getting the hose clamp tight enough. Lots of wter everywhere! Must have been runnin half the day.

    7 years later.
    My wife wants a swimming pool. Ok we get a 24' round. I calculate the volume and it comes to just under 14,000 gallons of water. Its up and ready for water. How to fill was always in the back of my mind. Fire dept.? well? Lots of rain...LOL!!!

    Decided to use the well. I run a 1 inch black roll pipe from the head of the well straight to the pool. I made it so this so it all is easily turned off and on with ball valves and the proper fittings. As the pool was filling I kept a close eye on the water quality . The first 10 or fifteen minutes were fine. Then CRAP!. I run and shut off the pump. It started pumping sand and silt. OH NO I thought, the well is screwed. After about 2 days of plugged water filters the water returned to normal.

    I waited a few days bfore trying it again. I figured run the water into the pool about 5 minutes at atime and go from there. MY guess was the initial high volume caused a collapse in the well hole somewhere. I think I guessed right. After runnin the water longer and longer each day, I finally let her rip. It ranfor 4 continuous hours with no problems. I did that a couple days and the pool was full.

    My point to my rambling is that at times therecan be a cave in or something similar thatwill cause poor water quality. I suggest you install an element type water filter rated at 5 or 10 micron. If you are pumping sand and silt, it will all accumulate in the basins of the toilet and worse yet in the water heater. No the filter will not solve the root cause of the problem, but it will clean up your water until you dig another well or the problem goes away. Another possible solution is to decrease the depth of your pipe going down the well. Try about 10 foot or so, The sediment in the bottom of the well over the years may have decreased the depth and your pipe may be just inches above the bottom now, allowing it to draw sand with the water.

    I have dealt with stuff many times, let me know how its going
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Since this is an old well, my guess is that the screen on the sandpoint has deteriorated and is no longer functioning....thus the sand in the water.

    As far as the water "sputtering," I'm guessing that the water level in the well is right at the maximum depth for a suction-type pump....about 25 feet below the pump head. It would be helpful if you measured the actual depth to the watertable in the well. The sputtering may also be due to the well loosing its prime.
     
  6. prhamell

    prhamell Well-Known Member

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    Well, tomorrow I'm off to the farm store to pick up new pipes, sand point, etc. Brother-in-law and dh are going to pull the pipes this weekend. Both of them work a lot this week so they don't have time. Right now I'm using water very sparingly. We've heard that the well might be loosing it's prime too. Should we just drive it deeper than? Guess we won't know until we pull the pipes. We'll know more this weekend. Thanks for all the advice! Becky
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    A new sandpoint well is NOT going to solve your problem if the watertable is more than 25 feet below the suction pump. Make sure you measure this depth before you go to all the trouble of installing the well. You don't gain anything by driving a sand point deeper than 25 feet.
     
  8. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    if your still in good water, (deep enough to keep the bottom of the pipe covered when pumping), you may want to try to raise the pipe a little, and get up off the bottom of the well, if that is where it is now, even a few inches may be of help,

    as said before it may clear up on it own, the other option, even tho I know you have said you have had little success in finding any one to help, is to drop a larger pump into the well and pump it out in a effort to clean off the bottom of the well it may stir up the water for a time, (I would suggest that you talk to a well driller that knows how to pump one out properly, (I know after drilling a well they usually pump one for many hrs. to clear the sand and mud out of new well).

    if the well casing is deteriorating, one possibly could slip a new plastic casing into the well, screen material on the bottom and the solid pipe on top to keep it in operation, I don't know what size the casing is you have,

    does the water table fluctuate when the seasons change, or when it is dry? that may limit you in raising the pipes any. just try a foot or so to begin with.