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WELL WATER

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-06          136629


OK, it's November, have been having a normal rainfall this fall, after a dry summer. My family of 6 is babying my well...I've got good quality water, just not enough of it during peak usage. I'm reluctant to drill deeper, too many coal seams around here that will ruin your water. I'm going to have to suck it up and spend $4-5K for a "coyote" system that will allow me to store a couple thousand gallons. Here's my question...plastic or concrete tank? The locals around here each have their opinions....

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-06          136630


Oh yeah, forgot to add this...there goes my FEL for another year!! ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2006-11-06          136633


Do you have the room to add in a large well water tank (like 80 to 120 gallon well pressurized water tank or perhaps 2) and then put a Pumptec on the well pump? The Pumptec will protect your well pump from burning up if the well goes dry and the 2 extra pressurized water tanks will hold about 70 gallons of usable water. The other option is to install a 1,000 or large septic tank, knock out the baffle in the tank and install a float switch system and pump to pump from the septic tank. The septic tank should be sterilized and caulked up sealed. I am working on this very project but will be using an extra 80 gallon pressurized water tank in the system of 2 wells and 2 20 gallon pressure tanks to give me a little extra surge capacity. With 3 daughters and a wife, running out of water can be a chinese fire drill I don't care to encounter often. ;O) ....

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jimbrown
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 56 Cochise cnty Az
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2006-11-06          136636


I vote plastic. I have two of them a 550 gal and 1250 gal one. They are relativly cheap and easy to move around when empty and come with threaded in/out connectors. make sure to get a dark one green or black not the clear ones as they will let light in and allow alge to grow. ....

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MacDaddy
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 95 Western NY
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2006-11-06          136637


I have a very similar problem. My well recharges at a rate of less than 1gal/min. I installed a 300 gallon plastic tank (designed specifically for this use) that sits in my basement. My well pump is on a timer that is set to draw water from the well for 60 seconds every hour to fill the 300g tank. There is a seperate pump in my basement that pulls water from the tank and pressurizes the 50gal cistern.

I have a family of 5. Normal domestic water usage is figured at about 100gal/day/person. I have 300gal in the tank, and about 200 more in the well, I have never run out. The system has worked very well for me but cost around $2500. ....

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SG8NUC
Join Date: Jan 2006
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2006-11-06          136639


Blueman

I do not have a water shortage, but I use a 300 gal fiberglass tank Aeroator to get the sulfur smell out of my water. I have had the Fiberglass tank for 12 years. It is out side under the shed. Have never had a problem. I know they come in 1000 gal models.

good luck try the link below for tanks ....

Picture Link

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-11-06          136640


In this age of engineered plastics I can't imagine using concrete for potable water. I know it's been used for thousands of years but my concern would be ingesting such things as caustic lime, and the fact that microbes can live in the porous walls. Concrete is fine for poop in a septic tank---but for drinking water...I dunno.

Here's another thought: My uncle had a well water shortage with pets and a family of 6. He had a basement with a sump pump that ran almost constantly. What he did was (and may not be allowable by code) was install valves at the supply to the toilets and other dedicated faucets that could use the sump water instead of the good well water. His kids were old enough to know that certain faucets were not for drinking. Excess sump water flowed to the creek. In times of little sump water, he turned the valves back to using well water. ....

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WELL WATER

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2006-11-06          136644


I had a 1000 gallon tank with a spring feeding it at about 1/2 a gallon a minute. The friends we bought the house from had 6 kids and never ran out of water.
The tank was concrete cistern tank. The advantage is that it was buried and could take some weight and the water did not freeze in the winter. The disadvantage is that as EW states you had to bleach once in a while to keep the bugs at bay. I guess plastic tank you could bury would be the best idea. Alternatively you could epoxi coat the inside of the cistern. ....

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-07          136654


Well, (pardon the pun) I spoke with someone in my area whose full time job is installing "Coyote" systems. He prefers plastic tanks, which are buried with the top of the tank 2 feet below ground. The one I am considering holds 1700 gallons. In the event my well can't keep up, I can have water hauled. He said the Coyote switch has a timer that he will initially set to turn my well pump on every 2 hours until either the tank is full, or the well is dry. The Coyote switch detects amperage used by the pump to know when the well is dry. He said that my well pump should last twice as long since it will not be cycling as often. Hasn't given me the estimate yet (that's coming tonight...gulp), but I'm guessing around $4500 for the entire system installed, including burying the tank. He recommended pouring a cup of bleach in the tank once every other month. I'll keep you updated... ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-11-07          136657


Blueman the well pump won't be cycling as often, but won't it have to be cycling just as long to fill the tank? Also, you'll need another pump to deliver from the storage tank to the house too, so you operating costs have actually increased, no? ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2006-11-07          136658


I have not heard of a Coyote water system. Is it similar to this? 1700 gallons should definitely keep you in plenty of water. ....


Link:   Well Manager

 
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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-07          136659


Chief, I am just learning about this stuff...I'm guessing the following link is what the locals are talking about when they mention "coyote" system...it really is the switch that protects your well pump?? ....


Link:   

Click Here


 
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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-07          136661


Earth, I'm still learning about how this system will work, but I guess instead of your well pump cycling on and off 20 times during a shower, it will only run once every two hours for example. Yes, you will have a much smaller pump in the storage tank pumping to my indoor pressure tank. Not sure about the operating costs...but they can't be as high as my wife's scream with a head full of shampoo and no water... ....

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Peters
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3034 Northern AL
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2006-11-07          136662


If you loose a pump or two when the well runs dry it might start looking like a bargon. ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2006-11-07          136663


This is the pump protection unit I have on both of my wells. They allow you to pull the maximum amount of water out of the well while protecting the pump in the event it runs dry. I have the reset/well recharge time set for 90 minutes. Franklin makes very good equipment and the Pumptec is well built as well. I have been using both of my units for almost 2 years now. ....


Link:   Pumptec

 
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WELL WATER

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2006-11-07          136664


Ooooooooooooh yeeeeeeeeeeeeees! The ol'e head full of shampoo or all soaped up scenario when the water runs out. ;O) Been there and done that a few times. Even gets better after the morning coffee, paper reading, "constitutional" and the water runs out. We now keep a few gallon jugs of water for such contingencies. ....

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-07          136666


I've printed out that Pumptec page and will show it to the installer to see if he knows anything about this switch. Thanks for the info! ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2006-11-07          136668


The installation was really easy. I installed both of them myself. All you need is basic tools and enough wire to place and wire the Pumptec unit in between pump pressure switch and the pump. You can get a low pressure pump switch but then you have to manually reset the low pressure pump switch each time it trips. The Pumptec will reset itself after the reset time you program it for. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-11-07          136671


Blue: Something's not right from the sound of it with your pump cycling 20 times during a shower. Do you have an air-bladder reservoir tank? If yes, it may need to be recharged with air. If it's not the pump will cycle on/off rapidly like a car turn signal because the bladder is collapsed. Instead of the pump building pressure against the bladder it is building momentary pressure just inside the tank which is being released and built up quickly when you shower. ....

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-07          136672


Nah, my pressure tank is fine. I guess I need to tell you that my wife takes long showers!! ....

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4284 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2006-11-07          136676


EW has a good point. A larger or even multiple bladder tanks can make a big difference. Most bladder tanks have the ability to hold about 1/3 of their total volume as usable water that the bladder can push out.

You may have to do some "shower training" with the family members. ;O) It didn't take long for the girls to learn that a short or cold shower is waaaaaaay better than no shower at all. They do pretty good now and can take a shower with 20 gallons or less. ....

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SG8NUC
Join Date: Jan 2006
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2006-11-07          136688


Long showers, now I know why you need 1700 gals. You must have one hell of a hot water heater. You dont need a timer on the pump you need a timer on the shower. I got a 50 gal water heater and my bladder tank cycles twice in 20 minutes.

good luck with that. ....

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Blueman
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-11-07          136689


Maybe I do need to check my pressure tank...supposedly it is a 11 gallon draw down, but I can tell you that if I flush the toilet twice, it cycles. I've checked the air in it, and it reads 38PSI. It comes on at 40PSI and shuts off at 60 PSI.
Oh, lucky for me, I do have a 50 gallon hot water heater, fired by my natural gas well on my property. As is my furnace, stove, dryer, barbecue grill, and soon a gas heating stove/fireplace. Now, if I could only figure out how to run my A/C on natural gas.... ....

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SG8NUC
Join Date: Jan 2006
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2006-11-07          136692


put a range top burner in each room and turn it on high. cover it with a metal milk crate. Lights to go. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2006-11-07          136700


For many years there have been gas-fired AC and refrigerators. My '00 camper has an electric/gas-fired frig---they're expensive though, about $1700. ....

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Blueman
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Posts: 243 Washington, PA
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2006-12-12          137889


Followup: I elected to do nothing with the tank system until spring (I don't have the extra $$ right now, and the well has been keeping up if we conserve). But, my pressure tank is coming on too often...It is supposed to turn my well pump on when it comes down to 40PSI, and shut off at 60PSI. When it turns the pump on , it goes slowly up to about 50PSI, and then the meter jumps up to 60PSI, leading me to believe that I may have air in the system??? Any suggestions??? ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2006-12-12          137900


Blueman, there probably is a valve you can open and drain the water out of where is suppose to be air for compression in your tank. The older style tanks are worse on this than the tanks with the air bladder in them.

As to running your ac off of the gas, as has been pointed out there are systems that use heat to cool. Also, don't they make a generator that uses natural gas to run the engine? ....

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brokenarrow
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1288 Wisconsin
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2006-12-12          137923


Also check the 1/4" pipe that the pressure gauge is on, if it is corroded and crap busted off it may be lodged in there causing eradick readings. One more easy one to do, take some sand paper and clean the contact points on your pressure switch, I had one that needed cleaning. ....

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