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Thread: Well Pumps

  1. #1
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    Talking Well Pumps

    I'm looking for opinions & direction on well pumps. We have a well driven into sand, it's 20' & we get good water. I bought a 2nd hand - hand pump last summer & it's not really working due to missing a gasket I believe. I plan to rectify that. However an electric pump sounds really good. We use a borrowed gas pump during part of the summer- but that was a huge hassle (it was a fickle thing). I'd like to get something EASY to use & afforadable too! We have no electricity, however have a generator & can use a battery if needed (I recently got a smallish battery maintainer kit- that I'm hoping to test out this summer).

    What do you guys use? My dad uses a 1/2 hp pump w/ a huge pressure tank inside his cabin- but he's got a power plant set up & more funds as well. I was considering a small pump with attached pressure tank, but dunno what brand would be decent, if the sand/silt will get in there & wreck it quickly. We currently don't have plumbing into the cabin & think that isn't likely to change this year- but will in a year maybe. Ideas-before I spend $ on the wrong thing?

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    Default re: well pumps

    I have the 1/2 hp model with a small tank. My well is 28 ft deep and it works great. When I leave, I kill the power, so constant power feed is not required. I leave it hooked up to the well but do drain it every fall. I keep the pressure at about 50. I run 175 of hose out to my dock and still have very good pressure for washing the boats and dock.

    From the well we just use a water hose to run the water to the cabin. There it goes into a filter, thru a 12 gallon hot water heater and to the fawcet. I simply drain these in the fall. We don't drink the water as we have never had it tested, but it sure makes washing dishes easy.

    Good luck with your project. I will eventually burry the water line about 6 inches and use pex, but the water hose has worked great since 2004.

    Cheers

    H

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    Member Boone's Avatar
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    I've had a simialar thought! I don't have power to my cabin and I'd love to keep it that way. Is it possible to draw water from a well with a simple hand pump?

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    Boone, we'll have a hand pump as back up, but I'd like to get an electric pump too.

    Hubbahoward, what brand pump do you use? Where do you mount it? Does sand get into it? We've got nothing but sand on the river! And do you use/need a pressure tank?

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    Check this site out for water pumping supplies.Strait from Amish country in Ohio.
    AkKevin

    http://www.lehmans.com
    Are we talking about goals or are we talking about dreams? AkKevin The one and only

  6. #6

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    They may not be small enough to fit in your pipes, but I knew a rancher in NM that was tired of the maintenance on his windmills and used some small 12 volt pumps that just screwed on a waterhose and lowered in his wells. This was for shallow wells only. He had a small solar panel with no battery, so it only pumped in the daytime, but it kept the stock tanks full. I don't think they would have worked if you need a pressure tank.

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    The simple solution is a manual pitcher pump. The pitcher pump uses a leather cup and if the leather dries out it won't lift water. The solution is to prime the pump by pouring water into the top of the pump mechanism to help the leather seal so it can lift water. Add a check valve between the pump and the top of the pipe and it'll stay primed until you crack the seal on the valve, which you need to do so the water drains down out of the pipe prior to freeze-up. My family used a pitcher pump for 15 years before we blew in a new well and added a submersible. My skinny little daughter had no problems pumping water once she was 5 years old or so.

    Submersible pumps only go down to 3" if I recall correctly so forget the thought of a submersible in a 1 1/4" sand point well. I've heard about jet pumps but have zero knowledge of them so maybe somebody else can fill in the blanks on those.

    Water makes cabin life much easier. Good luck with yours.

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    yes, water is lovely & still watching the thread. I see that Home Depot carries a line of flo-tec. I'm not sure if we'd need/want one with a pressure tank or not. And of course, they have a composite one, a cast iron one, a stainless pump- Perhaps we'll just pick one and make it work- but I prefer to learn from others experiences about what works & what doesn't.

  10. #10
    Member FishKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jubilation View Post
    I'm looking for opinions & direction on well pumps. We have a well driven into sand, it's 20' & we get good water.
    If you were a smart man you would have your water tested for Coliforms. A 20' well is most likely Ground Water Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water ... The water can be clean looking and good tasting but still make you sick as hell.

    the test is around $35 but will give you a good piece of mind.

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    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    I am thinking about a well too and wondered how you guys had them dug and what ir cost?
    I imagine it depends alot on what you have to drill though to get to the water. I am at
    Canyon Lake between a river (silty) and the Lake. The River is about 50ft below the hieght
    of the property and about 20 feet above the Lake level. Is this a do it your self thing?

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    Is this a do it your self thing?
    Yes. See this link.

    You will want to finish the upper ten feet with steel so that it withstands the winter frost.

    In your area the well water will be anywhere from 10 to 25 feet below grade. However, if I recall you might be on a "rise" near the river in that subdivision.

    The soil type in that area is sandy silty gravel with few rocks larger than 6-inches. However, you are further up stream than where I was working and closer to some "hills" so you might actually find a rock or two. Lots of silt lenses mixed with fine sand lenses. Simple drilling as long as the water never stops flowing down hole.

    You can hire the guy in Skwentna to come up and drill it with a small portable system or do it yourself. The pumps and hose you have to buy to wash in the well you will eventually use for other things anyway.

  13. #13
    Member tabmarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Yes. See this link.

    You will want to finish the upper ten feet with steel so that it withstands the winter frost.

    In your area the well water will be anywhere from 10 to 25 feet below grade. However, if I recall you might be on a "rise" near the river in that subdivision.

    The soil type in that area is sandy silty gravel with few rocks larger than 6-inches. However, you are further up stream than where I was working and closer to some "hills" so you might actually find a rock or two. Lots of silt lenses mixed with fine sand lenses. Simple drilling as long as the water never stops flowing down hole.

    You can hire the guy in Skwentna to come up and drill it with a small portable system or do it yourself. The pumps and hose you have to buy to wash in the well you will eventually use for other things anyway.
    Thanks AKRay, Great info, Looks like I will pencil in a well in the budjet. I was wodering if it is taboo
    to have it piped directly into your cabin? I see most people have thier pump/well outside and was
    wondering if this was on purpose.

    Thanks again.

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    fishking, thanks for the info. I couldn't get the link to work- but googled it. I'm not a smart man- but a prudent gal. My husbands research assistant! Anyhow, yeah, I've got the test on my list. We are right ON the river- so the water table is close. No one up river (well, ok in Canada somewhere maybe). Some neighbors have tested & had good water. Only known issues were by ppl downriver who put their outhouse over their well. *blech*

    I thought that the sand & gravel were pretty decent filters. We dug (& drove the point) down to the gravel bed.

  15. #15
    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    First off how much water do you have in the pipe? A electric pump will suck it dry in a couple of secounds if there is not enough water feeding into the pipe thus leading to a burnt up pump . Usally a sand point well is better used with a hand pump. Then another thought is if you are right on the river the spring floods could taint the fresh water with over flow if it gets in around your pipe.

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    The www.hydra-drill.com is a thought.

    Look up the portable rigs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    I was wodering if it is taboo to have it piped directly into your cabin? I see most people have thier pump/well outside and was wondering if this was on purpose.
    You can pipe or plumb what ever you want as long as it is protected from the cold so that it does not freeze and burst coating the entire interior of your cabin in a layer of ice.

    Ask yourself how often you will be letting your cabin cold soak in the winter with water in a pipe?

    If you are only going to be a summer dweller then plumb it and make sure you have lots of easy to get to drains for winterizing.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    The www.hydra-drill.com is a thought.

    Look up the portable rigs.
    I have a manual hydra drill it has a gearbox from hell on it. I see from the manual they can knock a hole upto 300 feet in depth
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    I think thats the one I was talking about, Hows it working for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    You can pipe or plumb what ever you want as long as it is protected from the cold so that it does not freeze and burst coating the entire interior of your cabin in a layer of ice.

    Ask yourself how often you will be letting your cabin cold soak in the winter with water in a pipe?

    If you are only going to be a summer dweller then plumb it and make sure you have lots of easy to get to drains for winterizing.
    Good advice AKRay. Thats what I was looking for....I knew there was a good reason and
    it makes sense. Don't think about those things too much living in these parts

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