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: Water Well Questions

06-03-2005, 09:50 AM
Ok guys, I'm putting in a water well in the very near future and would like some feedback. It will be a 4Ē well, approximately 250 ft. deep. Iíve been getting quotes from $4,500 to $6,000. Just about every drilling contractor I spoke with had different equipment to be installed. Two of the contractors have drilled in our neighborhood, so Iím leaning toward them. Anyway here it goes.

Iím currently getting about 17 GPM @ 65 PSI for neighborhood water well. I irrigate one acre and my home is about 4,500sqft.

1. Pump size: Been told I need 1-2 hp pump. Range from 12 GPM to 24 GPM. Would like high teens at least. They are submersed centrifugal pumps. What should I look out for or ask/demand.

2. Tank size. Suggestions are 50 to 120 gal. One was a 50 gal., but was equivalent to a 120ÖHe said it was a bladder type. What size you think I should have? Is bigger better?

3. Casing: Sch-40 PVC or Stainless?

4.Screen: How long do you think I need? Aquifer is pretty much said. Itís a huge aquifer with great quality water.

I hope I provide enough information to get rolling. Anything else you can think of would be appreciated.


06-03-2005, 10:26 AM
Is this strictly an irrigation system or water for the whole house?

06-03-2005, 10:38 AM
Originally my thought was just for the irrigation, but now I've decided to include the house.

06-03-2005, 10:42 AM
Well, if it was just for irrigation, I'd go with the least expensive route. I'm trying to find someone to put a small irrigation well in for me. I'm on city water, so there is a little red tape to go through. Fortunately, we're on a septic system so I don't have to pay the city to use water and drain it yet. I know a guy in the low country that used a water hose and a pipe to dig his own irrigation well down about 30'. Of course, he's only about 20' above sea level.

06-03-2005, 11:17 AM
Hey Spike!

Great to see you posting! How is the little one doing? Well drilling typically runs about $8 to $10 per foot depending on the area and ground being drilled.

Your well driller will need to test the well for flow volume and then you should use a pump hp and capacity that will run upto but not readily exceed the capacity of the well recharge rate. Usually 1 hp is plenty.

I like having the pressure switch set at 60 psi turn off and 40 psi turn on for the well pump.

Insist on the Wellextrol WS-350 water pressure tank. It is the largest residential water tank you can get which holds 119 gallons. The pressure bladder can push out about 35 gallons without the help of the pump once fully pressurized. They cost about $500 more or less.

ABSOLUTELY insist on having a Franklin "Pump Tech" installed to protect the well pump in the event that it runs dry or picks up some debry. I just purchase one for about $140.

PVC case is fine but stainless is much stronger but more expensive and the best.

ABSOLUTELY insist that the installer use a "Pitless Adapter" to run the well water line from the casing underground to your pressure tank which should be inside in your basement, house, or garage if possible. When finished the well casing should be capped with NO pipes or wiring showing other than the electrical conduit on the side of the casing. The well casing cap is made so it will accomodate the conduit.

Now is the time to have your water tested to determine if you need a water softener, sediment tank, ROPU filter, house filter, or UV light filter. Best to get all of this done at once while the water system is being installed.

Since you are on a well, you should consider what type of water heaters you want. Typically, well water causes a LOT of mineral deposits in the water heater and a gas or electric tankless water heater is REAL nice instead.

Hope this is not TMI. If you need any more help, let me know. My brother inlaw is the regional manager for a very large well and pumping supply corporation and has been a wealth of info. for me as I am on a series of wells here at the ranch and my old home. Sells me stuff at great prices too! He drop ships it UPS to me.

06-03-2005, 11:21 AM
The only water I've got is from a well and this is my nickle:

Get a Bladder Tank with a minimum capacity of 150 gallons. 180 gallons would be better. I have a 150 gallon bladder but wish I had a 180 to 220 gallon bladder. A pump that pumps around 15 GPM should be sufficient.

The info you got on the pump is pretty good. 1 to 2 HP should be sufficient. I have a 1 HP pump and it has been pumping for 20 years.

READ MY LIPS!!!! Have your well cased with steel. Do not use PVC!!! Any stray ground tremor could collapse the PVC and well. Further, should you ever have to pull the casing, if the PVC snaps/breaks during the extraction, you will have a very expensive mess on your hands.

As for the screen, go with what your well driller says.

$4500 to $6500 is a pretty good price for a 4" 250 ft well. How did you come to 250 feet being the depth? Is that how deep the well digger THOUGHT it might be base on other wells in the area? Why the $4500 to $6500 range? What does the digger charge per foot to drill a well?

See if you can't get the digger to give you a set price down to 250 feet and then after that, you'd pay the set price down to 250 feet plus a certain amount per foot until you hit good water.

Is the price you quoted just for the drilling? You're going to have five or six primary things to consider for cost. Running electic to the pump and pump house. Drilling the well. The pump. The bladder. Plumbing. Labor.

Anyway, don't jump in with both feet. Do your homework. It would be **** helpful to know what area of the country you live in. Don't worry nobody is going to come looking for ya.

Oh, and why a 4" and not a 6" or 8" well?


06-03-2005, 11:42 AM
You could save some money by having just the well drilled and installing the pump and tank yourself.

06-03-2005, 12:05 PM
At least in my part of the country captive air (bladder) tanks are rated in draw-down capacity which is a lot less than total cap. As for size, check the pump specs and see what the max cycles, off/on, per hr and make sure your tank is at least as large as necessary so that when you are using a lot of water the pump doesn't have to cycle more often than the pump is designed for. Would talk with someone familiar with the pump you are going to be using and taking your use condition into consideration

06-03-2005, 12:34 PM
Pump tech and pitless adaptor...ok

From what I've been hearing, the stainless screen tends to get build-up which leads to clogging. I've been told the PVC screen does not get build-up.

The PVC casing would be 100% cemented. The Halliburton method of casing.

The 4" is the standard for residential. Any larger is typically for commercial. In fact, I think the well for the entire neighborhood is 6"

As for cost. Most have given me a cost for 250' then about 8/ft after. One gave me a set price for 240 to 280 ft. All prices included everything with the exception of hook-up to house and electrical (not a big issue for me). Some give different options at the same price, some at a cost.

From the folks that have them, I've been leaning toward the bladder type. Either a 50 gal w/120 equivalent or an 83 gal /180 equivalent.

Trying real hard to get educated on the process and I've been speaking with lots of people that have them and lots of contractors.

Thanks for all the great information.

06-08-2005, 11:06 AM
You know, there's a deep well on my property that was here when I bought the house. The sellers told me that the wife's parents had switched to county water when it became available, but they didn't say why.

The well shaft is about 30" wide with a cement pipe and a cement cover. The wooden part of the pumphouse was removed and the bricked lower section was filled with dirt and turned into a planter. Weird thing is the dirt in the planter sinks, which makes me think the side of the well may have opened up and is letting that dirt fall into the well itself.

I guess I should get my neighbor to bring is FEL over and help me remove the cover and shine a light down there to see what we can see.

I've often thought about trying to start using the well, especially when my neighbor says his has never run dry in 40 years use. The problem is that I have no pump. Conventional wisdom around here is to use a submersible pump and a pressure tank. That little venture would cost me no less than $400, assuming that I only need the jet pump, control box and tank. If I eliminated my water bill, I'd recoup that in about 16 months. If I used it just for irregationa dn car washing, it might never pay for itself.

I've thought about getting someone with a regular pump to come over and let us lower a pipe in and a) see if there's water and b) help me test it. No point purchasing the equipment until I know.


06-08-2005, 01:13 PM
I have a 180 gallon pressure tank, 1.5 HP submersible pump, and a 380 ft 8" steel cased well. The pressure control settings are 40 psi low and 70 psi high. This well has been operating flawlessly for 14 years now. Have your water tested for mineral content. Mine is high iron, 38 grains hardness and sulfur. My clean up equipment consists of a P25 particulate filter, a Culligan Super S iron filter, a Culigan Water softener and a Culligan Reverse Osmosis system for drinking water and icemaking. I have an irrigation system for the entire 1.1 acres including 3 separate zones for flower beds. I agree with all the advice given so far but would suggest a reset switch for the pump and stainless steels bolts for the wellhead cap. With my high iron and sulfur content, I pour a couple of gallons of bleach down the well casing once a year and then run the chlorinated water into the house until you can smell bleach at ever faucet. I let it sit for an hour or two while I am clearing the bleach for the well by run a garden hose into the culvert until I no longer get the bleach smell. Regular galvanized bolts rusted and I had to replace them all two years ago with stainless ones which is why I a suggesting this to you. If you have iron in your water like I do, then some type of oxidation like chlorine will be required. Don't let them sell you a Permaganate Iron filter. That stuff can cause pernicious anemia in humans and did in one of my cats at my old house so don't let them talk you into that type of system if one is required.

06-08-2005, 01:49 PM
What part of the country can you safely install a submersible pump in a 4" well? Because of pumps becoming stuck in the old-fashioned 4 1/4" casings used many years ago all the local drillers will only use 5 5/8" casing. There simply is no way to pull a pump after it is stuck with "barnicles"... it cost me a couple well/pump combinations to learn this expensive lesson.

06-09-2005, 01:01 PM
Gwill since you asked a Q I'll say in my locale you can use a submersable in a 4" casing. Water is very low on minerials and is otherwise VG qlty.

Have been at this house 30+ yrs and most plumbing is cast iron, have never had a problem with any of the plumbing due to mineral content and NO rust stains in the sinks. A few of us are very fortunate that we do have VG qlty water available.