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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2005-05-06          110749


I discovered the hard way that the well to the ranch house we are moving into has a capacity of about 150 to 200 before promptly running the pump dry. Only reason I found this out is that I was testing the capacity of output (gallons per minute) prior to attempting to run my pressure washer (which requires 4 gpm) on the well. I cut the circuit breaker off ASAP. After an about 2 hours the well recharged enough for normal operation.

So far I have figured on plumbing the well into a 1,000 cement cistern tank in the ground next to the well. From there, I plan to install a submersible pump which will pump water from the cistern tank to a Wellextroll WS350 119 gallon pressure blatter storage tank, through a filter and back into the house. The well does not have anywhere near the capacity to fill the cistern tank all at once and I plan to install a well pump timer box that will allow me to adjust the run times and off times for well recharge to keep the cistern tank full utilitizing high shut off and low demand float switches. To protect the well pump I will install a electric current sensing well pump safety shut off switch.

I talked with the guy who drilled and plumbed the well about drilling deeper but he said we would hit sulphur water. I asked about hydrocracking the well but he said that it is risky and can ruin the well in some cases.

Any helpfull ideas, suggestions, or comments would be welcome as this situation will have to be addressed VERY soon with 4 women living in the ranch house. ;o)

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2005-05-06          110751


Randy, I had the same problem with the well at my farm.

The house had been my Grandmother's and she used very little water in the many years she lived there.

When I talked to the local well driller about drilling a new well he told me to try pumping it first. He went on to explain that it takes a while for the water flowing to clear passges through the ground to allow better flow rates, and that pumping water at the maximum the well can supply it for a short while would improve the flow rates by flushing the aquifer and creating those passages.

Taking his advise I made up a pump rig consisting of a submersible utility pump with a float switch top and bottom, when the water level reached the top switch the pump when on, and when the water got down to the bottom switch it went back off. I ran the pump that way for two or three days. After that the well driller brought his service rig in and test pumped it, it was by then flowing above 10 gpm.

Sometimes wells that aren't used much can silt up, rocking them often helps with this. Basically it stirs up the sediment so it can be pumped out. They put a plunger in the well, usually a device called a bailer, it is a pipe with a one way valve in the bottom, as they lower it into the well it fills with water, this creates a small amount of back pressure causing a bit of water to flow out of the well, then as they rapidly lift it back out the well a suction develops beyond the normal flow rate, this causes the sediment to flow into the well to be pulled out on the next run of the bailer.

I've also heard of people just using an ir compressor to put a small head of air on the well to cause the water to flow back out, then release it and repeat. A lot of farmers around here do this to re-activate slow wells.

Best of luck.
....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2005-05-06          110752


Yikes! Four of the gentler sex under one roof? I thought I had it bad with three females.

The only thing I can suggest is to size the storage as big as possible as a buffer and let the well catch up during night/slack hours.

As far as sizing the buffer, I would take a laundry day, add in 4 showers, 2 runs with the dish washer and maybe 16 toilet flushes and start there.

Is there an all-year creek you can water from to save strain on the well?

Do you figure it makes 150 gallons an hour?

BTW.... Murf and I are smoking the keys at the same time here..... I agree with him that the well can be exercised to produce water faster. ....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2005-05-06          110754


Thanks guys! I am learnin' new stuff all the time here! You gave me some options to think about that I was not even aware of.

Yes Mark, 4 women from ages 6 to 13, plus the wife. If you think the well situation is a Chinese Fire Drill........ you should have seen it when the septic tank baffle became clogged and the drains backed up. ULTRA SUPER short Navy showers for 4 women. Not a problem for me as my full head of at least 3 dozen hairs and prior experience living in the field during Army deployments prepared me........ but try explaining that to young women who have never had to do that. ;o) They did their best and things worked out.

I still have a couple of other wells that I have to get up and running for livestock watering and outside use. In spite of it all we are still very much looking forward to the move which by the way happens in 2 weeks. It is REAL nice to have no neighbors in sight except for the turkeys, deer, quail, and coyotes. ....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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jimbrown
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 56 Cochise cnty Az
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2005-05-06          110755


Your situation is very common here in Az. Most do what you are going to do and pump to a storage tank and use a seperate pressure pump. I do the same thing all with solar pumps. There are special pump controllers that will sense the water level of the well and just pump when there is water in the well. Using one of those will almost always keep your storage tank full. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2005-05-06          110756


Thanks Jim!

By chance would you have any links to whomever manufactures these pump controllers? Or know the manufacturer's name? That is exactly what I am looking for. ....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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metastable
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 78 North Plains, OR
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2005-05-06          110757


I also have a low capacity shallow well. I use a 1/2hp pump/pressure tank to fill a 1500 gallon plastic tank. There is a 1hp pump that supplies the house from the tank. The tank has a float valve in it that shuts off the water from the well when full. The 1/2hp well pump has a floating tilt switch on the siphon end so it shuts the pump off when water gets low. It also has a pressure switch to shut off when the system pressurizes (tank valve closes). If you have a drilled well, you can use a "Coyote Switch" to make sure you don't burn up your pump if the well goes dry. These are electric switches that detect motor load. If your well pump is under-loaded (dry), it will shut off the pump to keep it from burning out. I can give you more details if you are interested.

....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4285 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2005-05-06          110758


metastable,

Thanks for the reply. Yes I am sure any information you can send my way will be very helpful. This is new territory for me since we have lived on a well that pretty much had unlimited capacity. ....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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denwood
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 542 Quarryville PA
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2005-05-06          110792


ever been to Bermuda. They hook all the rain gutters to the house tank since almost no wells can get fresh water. The hydo fracturing is something I looked into a little. Seems there are a few ideas. the chewing tobacco method was to drop a stick of dynomite down and hope the casing doesn't go into orbit. the other method seemed promising where they send a balloon down and inflate it then pressurize below it to crack the rock. Some folks around me still insist on pounded wells over drilled for the cracking they produce. I like drilling. The others were right about the exercising of the well to increase production. I think I would try that first. Most of my neighbors use cisterns to collect the water from their windmill pumps so that method can work although I think there may be more issues with contamination, algae freezing, maintenance etc. ....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2005-05-06          110794


Save yourself some money, if you have a cistern you dont need 119 gallons of pressure tank, a 20 gal will work just fine for a residential application ....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2005-05-06          110795


I went up to an 84 gal. pressure tank with my new system I just put in. My 3 lady's in the house and a 17 yr old boy (who I truely think is worse than my lady's). I had found that as my kids got older they tend to take hygene to an absurd height.! I did this to keep my pump from kicking in so often. Maybe I did not notice it before or its possible the bladder was leaking in the old one. It does not matter though, I like the fact that the kids can be in the shower and you can flush a toilet and still not hear that pump kick in every min. or two. BTW I also supply the pressure to my new neighbors house which is hooked up to my well and pressure tank so this was also a consideration when I wanted to increase tank size. I had found that the price difference was very small. I think it was like less than $100 bucks more to go larger (from my 20 gallon to the 84. Just my way of thinking, if you have the space why not go a bit larger?
I do agree with Ann though that the 20 gallon tank will probably do you fine. I believe that there is a chart on the box of these tanks that will tell you what you should get if you have "X" amount of spickets.
Good luck
BTW
My second house up north has a well that produces 6 gallons of water a minute Low flow and only 46 foot deep with a static water level at 39 foot. I have had no problems with it yet.
Good luck ....

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Considering Options To Deal With A Low Yield Well

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metastable
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 78 North Plains, OR
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2005-05-09          110868


These work really well for self-priming pumps, but not for shallow-well pumps:

http://www.coyotemfg.com/

They keep your pump from burning up when it goes dry. 2ndHandLion--I can email you specific system details including plumbing diagram if you're interested. Just PM me with where to send it. ....

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