Submersible Well Pump - installation help needed!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, Jul 1, 2006.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    The well is in..... the electricity is at the pole and there are outlets on the pole (a 220, too!). Since I don't have buildings, but want to water the orchard and garden, I want to put a pump in temporarily.

    Is there any reason this won't work???? The well is 85'. My string hit water at almost 30'. Can I get a deep well (100') submersible pump, attach the special electrical cord to it, attach a plastic rope, attach the flexible pipe, and then lower it into the well?

    Then I can tie off the rope and run the electrical cord through the opening in the bottom of the cap. I'd cut the top of the pipe just lower than the top of the casing, and put an adapter in that converts it from 1-1/4" to 1"... and then put an adapter that converts that so it connects to a garden hose, and then put a "quick release" garden hose adapter on that? (All these are available at Menards....I looked last night). Then put the top of the casing back on until I'm ready to use it.

    My thoughts are that, when I need water, I can remove the cap, hook a garden hose to the "quick release" adapter, and plug in the cord to the electric pole. When I'm done, just unplug it, remove the garden hose, and put the well cover back on.

    Is there something I'm missing? Seems too simple! Will the water pressure from the pump be too strong for a garden hose and blow it out? Is that why they use a pressure tank - to reduce pressure?? The pump I am looking at is 3/4 horse, and pumps 12 gallons a minute if it is 60' down (if I'm reading the box right).

    Oh! They have a choice of "3 wire" or "2 wire", but they are both 220, I believe, and it is 3 wire PLUS ground, or 2 wire PLUS ground.... so what is the reason for the 3rd wire? The only difference I see is that the one with 3 wires includes a control box....whatever that is.

    I'd like to do this SOON, so don't want to order a pump from a specialty place, nor can I make a trip to Lehmans.

    Thanks for any advice!!!
    Chris in Ohio
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    CC, The well pump needs to be sized to the depth and the capacity of the well. There are charts for making this selection. The submersible pump has to hang from the device that goes on top of the casing. This hanging will keep the pump out of the sand/mud at the bottom. Your water table is 30 ft and the well is a total of 85 ft and you need to hang the pump off the bottom of the 85 ft depth 5 to 6 feet. What you are proposing will work. The better thing to do is to attach both the wiring and the roll tubing to the pump along with a torque arrestor and some standoffs and then lower everything into the well. You will want to take precautions that if you were to drop everything that the end of the wiring and plumbing will not be allowed to fall into the casing. Once you have everything in place you need a valve in the discharge to limit the output of the pump to where the delivered water quantity does not exceed the output of the well. The well driller probably told you the GPM of the well. Adjust the valve to where the discharge is about 20% less than that as a safety.
    You do not want the well to be pumped to where the pump will starve for water. On the electrical supply have a proper size breaker feeding the wiring to the pump for safety. Go for it! :) PS...get the 2 wire system. It is easier to install, the 3rd wire is not a ground, 2 wire systems have the controls built in the pump motor, 3 wire systems have the controls above ground use the 3rd wire to feed power to the pump during start. A 1/2 HP pump should be fine at the depth you are pumping and will save on the utility bill and the initial purchase price.
     

  3. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    Know very little..next to nothing here..but could you somehow put a hand pump on this and water your garden..bucket by bucket. 85 ft doesn't sound too deep...Ours is 250 ft. ..Good Luck !!
     
  4. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I had thought about that, but the very good advice here was that even 30' drawdown was too much for a hand pump. Besides, I have 1/2 acre of wildflowers to water (until they get started!) and a big garden and orchard. Would take a LONG time bucket by bucket. I even thought about lowering a 5-1/2" bucket into the well on a rope...... :)
     
  5. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

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  6. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    I agree with agmantoo but would add a suggestion about getting some pump protection. Coyote-type pump protection is well worth the $$ and will save you from burning a pump out if there is any possibility of pumping the well dry....which of course depends on recharge rate of the well. I would also try and do as much irrigating as the pump will permit.....each restriction increases the pressure in the system and the work the pump must overcome. If you can run 6 or more hoses at the same time do it!!
     
  7. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    1) The pressure tank does not control pressure. The tank has a rubber bladder in the upper half that is charged with air. As the tank fills, the bladder stretches upward like a balloon. When the pump kicks off, the system continues to feed out of the pressure tank until the "balloon" deflates, which means pressure will drop, and the pump kick back on. This system keeps from running your pump continuously.

    2) You will need a pressure switch. Most of these are adjustable, but you can really get the settings messed up by tinkering with it. Most come with a pressure setting of about 40 pounds. There are basically a couple types of these swithces. The first simply kicks the pump on and off according to the pressure setting of the switch. The second, which I personally prefer, has a low pressure cut-off in addition to the normal on-off control. What it does is shut off the pump in the event of a low pressure event, like pumping the well down too far and starving the pump. On low pressure it shuts down the pump and the pump will not restart until you manually push a little reset button on the side of the switch. They are a little more expensive than a standard switch, but well worth the money.

    3) Always install the pressure switch on the OUTLET of the pressure tank, about a foot or so away from the tank. On some wells there is a certain amount of hydraulic shock when the pump kicks on. If you have the switch installed on the inlet side of the tank and too far away from the tank, the pump will sit there and kick off and on continuously.

    4) Another method to keep from pulling too much out of your well it to install a bypass line on the discharge of your well piping at the top of the casing. Open a valve on this bypass line to return water back to your well casing, kinda like a continuous loop. If you open it too much though your pump will never build up enough pressure and will run all the time. You'll just have to tinker with it.

    Throttling the discharge of the pump will work, as suggested, but if closed off too much it can deadhead the pump and put a lot of pressure on the pump seals and piping. If you use this method, install the throttling valve in the piping after the pressure tank and pressure switch. This will allow your pressure switch to keep the system from over pressurizing, and still thottle the flow back out of your well.

    5) Also, the advice to go with the two wire pump is good advice.

    Good luck.
     
  8. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the 2 versus 3-wire reccomendations. I've replaced a few burnt out capacitors in my time and its a lot easier to do at the well head without pulling the pump...I guess I like the 3-wire setup...especially since my pump sits at 260 feet....
     
  9. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Boonieman,

    Do I still need the pressure switch and valve and all that stuff if I'm only running this temporarily? I didn't want to have a pressure tank unless I absolutely HAD to have one....and it will have to sit on the ground next to the well head if I do! There are NO buildings, etc.

    Agmantoo,

    The driller said 30 gpm, and I think the pump says it will pump maybe 12 gpm at that level (60' down...probably even less at 75). So, doesn't that mean that I can't possibly pump faster than the recovery rate at the bottom of the well? I'm worried about burning the pump up by pumping too fast, but I don't see how that can happen if these figures are correct. If I am pumping water, and it starts to slow down, I'll just put the hose end back in the well casing (to put water back in) and shut off the pump immediately. Will that work?

    Also, I found a torque arrestor, but what is a stand-off? Does that hold it UP from the bottom of the well, or off the sides?

    Thanks again....
    Chris
     
  10. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    I'm not familiar with your area and the reliability of well output estimates but as a case in point we had a well on a piece of property that was estimated to recharge at 25 gpm.....it was drillled in Feb. and in July we found out that the true recharge rate was less than 1 gpm.

    That said no you don't have to have a pressure tank just to get water out of the well. Try to set it up so you can use all the water produced to prevent over pressurizing the system by having to throttle the discharge. You can also get a fairly cheap liquid level control to protect the pump. These are a set of two probes one which is set near the top of the water column and the other near the bottom of the well....should be set right above the pump actually. The pump cannot turn on unless water covers the upper probe and will shut off if water is pumped down to the level of the lower probes. These are really cheap. The other electronic pump controls (coyote-type) work by monitoring the amperage output of your pump. If the pump starts to cavitate by having the water pumped out of the well down to the pump level the amperage will rise and shut the pump off for a specified amount of time which you set on the controller....this time delay allows the well to recharge before turning the pump back on. It sounds to me like you will be present all the time the pump is operating so I would opt for the two probe system for now if your looking for installing a type of pump protection......the other option is to put the pump in and turn it on and see how the water level in the well behaves......it may all be a moot point if the well does put out as much water as the driller indicates.
     
  11. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The stand offs are inexpensive plastic discs that prevent the wire and down pipe from scrubbing against the wall of the casing wearing a hole in the pipe and the wire. These disc hold the pipe centered in the casing and are worthwhile to install, particularly with rolled pipe. Use wire ties to secure the wires about every 3 feet to the pipe leading to the pump. I do not expect you to have a problem with discharging too much water and running the pump under dry conditions since you obviously got a good well with the 30GMP.
     
  12. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Just for Irragation no deeper than the Well is.Why can't you just drop a pipe down,pump with a Jet Pump?I might be wrong but sounds like alot cheaper and easier.

    big rockpile
     
  13. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    I think I missed the part where you wanted to be able to disconnect everything and just have the well casing sitting there. I think what you want to do will work for ya. Of course if you run the hose wide open on the discharge of the pump, the motor will be pulling full amps, so make sure your wires and breaker are heavy enough to handle that. I really do think you ought to consider what Big Rockpile suggested. Some of those jet pumps come on a little metal base and have the pressure switch and small pressure tank already mounted with the pump. You can even get those in 110V. You could make it very portable.
     
  14. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    Here's just one example. You'd want the deep well version.
     
  15. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    Is there a link to something? I missed it, if so.
     
  16. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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  17. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    stick with original plan and use a good submersible pump. Far less problems and complications. The submersible will not loose prime, it will not freeze at the pump, it will last longer without seals leaking, a tank is not needed at this time (the jet needs the tank to assist in maintaining the prime), the submersible is more efficient, it will pump more water per HP size and requires less maintenance. You can use the submersible when the house needs are present. Need I say more?
     
  18. boonieman

    boonieman Well-Known Member

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    I'd say pump reliability would depend on several factors. I've had to install 3 submersible pumps in 7 years, original locked up, second pump lightning, 3rd pump wiring connection at the pump failed. What a pain! I had a jet pump at my last place for 6 years and never touched it. But I would tend to agree overall a submersible pump should probably more reliable most of the time but I don't have any documentation to back that up. Sounds to me though that the pump will be sitting under water unused for extended periods of time with no flow. I have no idea where this well is, but if the well contains any type of iron bacteria seems like with no flow it would have more time to accumulate on the pumps screens and well veins, quickly reducing the well efficiency. But I sure don't claim to be an expert on anything. :cool: The other thing that concerned me about the wide-open, no pressure control scheme is that this would make overpumping the well a distinct possibilty. A 30 GPM domestic well is a super good well if it will maintain that. Overpumping a well can pretty quickly pull in a lot of fines and sediments from the aquifer and reduce pump capacity and recharge ability of the well in pretty short order. It will be real important to keep a close eye on the drawdown if this is the method chosen. I had pictured a jet pump that could be unhooked and stored while it wasn't being used, and had all the self-contained components. Basically a point and click operation. But, it's a good idea to toss out different ideas and apply the ones that fit somebody's particular situation.
     
  19. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    I found the stand-offs, I think. They call them wire protectors, or something like that. They are round plastic disks with a big hole in the middle, and 4 more holes around that (for the electric cords and such, I guess). No instructions with them.

    Do I only need ONE for the entire 80', or do I put several spaced apart?

    Also....how do you fasten them to the pipe?? I'd think they would move/float around.

    Thanks!
     
  20. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    i agree with whoever said to go to the pumps??? place online, they have wonderful information and were very helpfull for us. one problem i see with your plan is that the moment you plug in the power the pump with torque - twist strongly in the casing and this will shortly damage your connectons of wire and pipe. the online pumps place suggested we put a faucet on the top of our pipe line at the top of the casing so we could turn it on 1.4 of the way when the pump starts and then open it all the way , right away of course, to pump out the water. Also , do not underestimate the weight of the pump and pipe!!!!!!!! Ours could only be put down 170 feet -non the less we ended up using a pick up truck to lower it after the first 50 feet or so. in the end DH made a u shaped brace out of 6x6's to which we attached one of those things that pulls a boat up onto a trailer from the water and that is how we have adjusted the stuff that self lowered due to stretching of the saftey cable.