Well question

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by cowboy joe, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    Does anyone know of an easy way to estimate the depth of an existing well? I'm researching the feasibility of converting to a solar / wind system. The pump on my well (Gould J05) is a 1/2 HP, AC unit with an 11 amp plate rating. The system is installed above ground with a single tube so I'm guessing it's a shallow well setup. I'd hate to guess wrong. Short of the pump being power hungry and incompatible with a small, off grid system, what I know about wells couldn't fill the back of a match book cover even if there was an ad. There is nothing on my deed or site map as to well depth either. Any suggestion will be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. HUBERT

    HUBERT Well-Known Member

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  3. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    There is usually a branch of the gov't that keeps track of well drilling records. Around me, it's the State DNR, and they have records back into the 40s available online.
     
  4. fernando

    fernando Well-Known Member

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    Can you plumb it yourself - a weight on a string to measure depth, a float on a string to measure water level ?
     
  5. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Is there a reason that you have to know the exact depth? If you're using a shallow well pump, my guess is that the well (ie, water level) is no greater than 25 feet deep.
     
  6. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    Only looking for an approximate depth to know if it is a shallow well or deep well. I tried the county offices...should have known better...so & so would know but there not here today. Think I'll just try using a spool of string & a wine cork...suppose I'll have to empty the wine bottle first. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    The point I’m making is if you have a single-pipe, shallow well pump, the pump will only be able to draw (suck) water from a maximum depth of 25 feet. There would have been no reason to finish the well any deeper than 25 feet. IN other words, why would someone drill a 200 foot well and then use a pump that will only work to a depth of 25 feet?
     
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well.... There is the depth to which the well was dug.

    There is the depth to which the water rises, or the static water level.

    There is the point to where the water gets drawn down to, or the practical depth of the pipe that draws water.

    Would sure be nice to know all those numbers, just for the sake of knowing - can sure help troubleshoot a well when things go wrong, as I found out this spring.

    But anyhow, you are right that one can't suck water much more than 25 feet, so he might as well plan for that. When he checks for water level, he likely will find it sooner than that - the static level.

    --->Paul
     
  9. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    You're absolutely correct, Paul. I'm sure that in Cowboy Joe's case, his static water level is less than 25 feet and his drawdown level is also less then 25 feet (otherwise he'd be pumping air). His original question asked about his well depth and I'm saying there would have been no reason for it to be drilled much more than 25 feet if a suction pump was going to be used to supply the water.

    I did a search yesterday to see if I could find an on-line well index for New York State....couldn't find one. We have one for Minnesota that you can use to find well locations and the well and boring log records. You might be interested in visiting it, Paul. This MDH website also uses very recent aerial photography (2003, I believe). The website is at: http://mdh-agua.health.state.mn.us/cwi

    When you get to the webpage, "click" the globe to start searching for your well.
     
  10. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Hellooo!

    No matter what type pump he has, the simplest way to determine the water level and depth is with a sting and a weight below a float. Drop the rig until the float takes the weight off the line; this is water level.

    Take off the float and drop the weight until it hits bottom; that is depth of the well or (if there is a submersible pump down there) the pump depth which is generally no more than a few feet off bottom.

    He says nothing about the size of the tube; if it is inch and a half he may have a double tube and a jet pump, which could be way down there. Small tube and it is almost certainly a shallow well with a suction pump. Geez, most people can tell by looking at the pump and its fittings.

    Why the big mystery--perhaps the well is capped without any way to get into the well other than disconnecting the fittings?