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Thread: Proper Pump/Motor for Well?

  1. #1

    Default Proper Pump/Motor for Well?

    Well Info
    * SE Michigan
    * Bore is 8" x 70 feet
    * Casing 5" x 70 feet
    * 3 screens
    * Static water level 20 feet below surface
    * Pumping level 65 feet, 4 hrs at 2 GPM
    * Well head completion - Pitless adapter
    * ~1300 feet run to house through 1" tubing

    Submersible Pump Info
    * DEQ paperwork from 1999 says
    * Red Jacket 3/4HP 220V 10GPM
    * Actual (when looked at)
    * F&W 1/2HP 220V 10GPM
    * No separate check valve



    Purchased house about 18 months ago. This last week had an issue with no water, when we went to the well we could see water squirting around and thought possibly the pitless adapter had come loose, tightening it did nothing so we pulled it all up and saw that the tube from the pump to the adapter came loose. We also took the time to look at the pump/motor and they were pretty corroded and beaten up. It is from Sept 1998 according to date on pump. We reattached the hose and dropped everything back into place and it is all working again.

    However in our time tests to full pressure tank we have been noticing over the last several months that it is taking longer and longer to fill the pressure tank (new Well Mate installed 18 months ago) so we figure we might as well replace the pump/motor so as not to worry about it later.

    The question is, should we go with a pump with the stats from the DEQ paperwork (3/4hp) or should we go with what we actually found there (1/2hp)? Also should a check valve be in placed above the pump?

    As a bonus question, what are the thoughts on picking up say a 800-1200 gallon tank at tractor supply and having the water pump send the water there for storage and then have another pump to bring into the house from the storage tank? I think that may help out with issues when using a lot of water and the pressure tank going low and then taking awhile to fill back up.

    tia,

    joe

  2. #2
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    Default Installing a new Pump?

    I'm not that familiar with SE MI but I thought most wells in MI supplied plenty of water.

    Most pumps have a check valve built in the top of the pump. With your limited well yield of 2 gpm a 1/2 hp pump would probably be as good as a 3/4 hp pump. You may not need a new pump. Check it's volume and pressure against the make and model flow chart that can be supplied by the pump manufacturer.

    In areas where the wells yield less than the required amount of water we do install a large plastic storage tank. The well pump pumps water into the plastic tank and is controlled by a float switch. Then an additional pump pumps water from the plastic tank through a Cycle Stop Valve into the existing pressure tank and is cut on and of with the pressure switch. This gives you a constant pressure like city water pressure and if you have the pump electrical power source separate from the house you will have stored water to fight a fire.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Default

    It sounds as if you still have a leak somewhere. If you don't have a check valve at the tank, shut the water off to the house past the pressure tank and watch the pressure gauge to see if the pressure falls. If it does that proves a leak.

    I don't like storage tanks because they can require cleaning and storing water can cause a bad change in water quality. You'd be better off with a larger pump, like a 3/4 or 1 hp 13 gpm, since you have a 1000' run to the house, and especially if the house is uphill from the well.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Porky View Post
    I'm not that familiar with SE MI but I thought most wells in MI supplied plenty of water.

    Most pumps have a check valve built in the top of the pump. With your limited well yield of 2 gpm a 1/2 hp pump would probably be as good as a 3/4 hp pump. You may not need a new pump. Check it's volume and pressure against the make and model flow chart that can be supplied by the pump manufacturer.

    In areas where the wells yield less than the required amount of water we do install a large plastic storage tank. The well pump pumps water into the plastic tank and is controlled by a float switch. Then an additional pump pumps water from the plastic tank through a Cycle Stop Valve into the existing pressure tank and is cut on and of with the pressure switch. This gives you a constant pressure like city water pressure and if you have the pump electrical power source separate from the house you will have stored water to fight a fire.
    Thanks for the info.

    I am in an area that has very high clay content. If you go a few miles in any direction and you are out of it and they can practically stick a fork in the ground and get a geyser. One of my neighbors only gets about 1/2 GPM and counters that with two very large pressure tanks in his basement. Another person just down the road could never get a well that produced regularly so have their water delivered via tanker.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    It sounds as if you still have a leak somewhere. If you don't have a check valve at the tank, shut the water off to the house past the pressure tank and watch the pressure gauge to see if the pressure falls. If it does that proves a leak.

    I don't like storage tanks because they can require cleaning and storing water can cause a bad change in water quality. You'd be better off with a larger pump, like a 3/4 or 1 hp 13 gpm, since you have a 1000' run to the house, and especially if the house is uphill from the well.
    Thanks for the info. I have a ball valve after the pressure tank. I have closed that and will watch the pressure throughout the day.

  6. #6
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    I am familiar with SE Michigan unlike Porky and low yield wells are almost unheard of. You mentioned three screens, that kind of sounds like the driller encountered fine sand which would usually require more than the normal one 4' screen and a much finer slot size than normal. This may be the reason for the low yield. What I don't understand is how with such a shallow well you got by before without over pumping the well and running out. You only had about 40 gallons of water to work with not counting the refresh rate. One long shower with the washer running could run you out of water.

    I wouldn't go with a larger pump if the well in fact only pumps 2 gpm. Pumps normally go bad all at once, they don't normally slow down, so this may be an indication you are using more water and giving the well a hard time trying to keep up.

    bob...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jricha34 View Post
    Thanks for the info. I have a ball valve after the pressure tank. I have closed that and will watch the pressure throughout the day.
    It maintained pressure throughout the day.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    When you had the pump out, was there anything blocking the little hole in the inlet screen? If so that will cause slow flow and if blocked enough, no water. The casing screening could be blocked up and if you pumped the well down far enough, the motor's thermal overload may have opened shutting off the pump so it didn't burn up but, how did you get water after it had quit? You say you went out to the well and water was spraying around, that shouldn't have caused NO water, just a low flow volume.

    You could have something like rust blocking the 1000' line, so how must rust was on the pump and drop pipe when you pulled it?

    The well could be 'going dry' and you are pumping form deeper in the well, that can cause low flow. There could be something wrong in the wet end slowing it down or excessive heat may have damaged impellors etc.. What brand and model pump is it?
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    I am familiar with SE Michigan unlike Porky and low yield wells are almost unheard of. You mentioned three screens, that kind of sounds like the driller encountered fine sand which would usually require more than the normal one 4' screen and a much finer slot size than normal. This may be the reason for the low yield. What I don't understand is how with such a shallow well you got by before without over pumping the well and running out. You only had about 40 gallons of water to work with not counting the refresh rate. One long shower with the washer running could run you out of water.

    I wouldn't go with a larger pump if the well in fact only pumps 2 gpm. Pumps normally go bad all at once, they don't normally slow down, so this may be an indication you are using more water and giving the well a hard time trying to keep up.

    bob...
    Don't know what to say Bob, this whole area out here in this part of Ray Twp, all of the homes, have low water yield with, again, one house that wasn't able to drill a well that could produce anything useful (after I believe 13 or 14 attempts). This is what I have heard from the residents in the area over the last 18 or so months in various conversations though I didn't talk directly to the folks who didn't find water at all. Go a few miles north and they have

    Water usage definitely hasn't changed to more use, if anything usage has gone down as I got used to not having lots of water always available and switched to bottled water, etc. Just me living in the house so washer runs maybe a couple of times every 2 weeks or so; never shower with washer. I previously had a leak in the toilet which I corrected so that as well should give me less water usage.

    Even if I shut the well down and let it sit for awhile, once the pressure is up around 45/50 psi it really has slowed down for filling the pressure tank. Its like it is having trouble pushing the water hard enough to pressurize it though eventually it does.

    joe

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    When you had the pump out, was there anything blocking the little hole in the inlet screen? If so that will cause slow flow and if blocked enough, no water. The casing screening could be blocked up and if you pumped the well down far enough, the motor's thermal overload may have opened shutting off the pump so it didn't burn up but, how did you get water after it had quit? You say you went out to the well and water was spraying around, that shouldn't have caused NO water, just a low flow volume.

    You could have something like rust blocking the 1000' line, so how must rust was on the pump and drop pipe when you pulled it?

    The well could be 'going dry' and you are pumping form deeper in the well, that can cause low flow. There could be something wrong in the wet end slowing it down or excessive heat may have damaged impellors etc.. What brand and model pump is it?

    I occasionally check the water quality and haven't seen any rust chunks in the water, just some black stuff which I assume is fine black dirt, that gets cleaned up in the filters. The corrosion on the pump was actually eating away at the pump itself but not sure if that was there before, the pump looks pretty old and beat up. The pump details are in my initial post.

  11. #11
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    I'm not familiar with Ray Township, so maybe they have different strata than I'm familiar with. Everywhere I drilled for the most part was in Oakland County and all the wells were screened. You move a little North and East and there were a lot of rock wells there. So you can never be too sure of what the other guys terrain is like. That's the reason I always advise people to call their local drillers. Nobody will know better than them what lies below.

    bob...

  12. #12
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jricha34 View Post
    I occasionally check the water quality and haven't seen any rust chunks in the water, just some black stuff which I assume is fine black dirt, that gets cleaned up in the filters. The corrosion on the pump was actually eating away at the pump itself but not sure if that was there before, the pump looks pretty old and beat up. The pump details are in my initial post.
    I wish you had answered my questions Joe but, there won't be chunks of rust. The rust will cling to the pipe wall and reduce the ID of the pipe to like a 1/4" to 3/8" ID.

    Black can be from H2S, manganese or corroded galvanized pipe or nipples. If there is galvanized, it will rust and reduce the ID.

    Where are those filters at and are they disposable cartridge types? If so how frequently do you replace them?
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I wish you had answered my questions Joe but, there won't be chunks of rust. The rust will cling to the pipe wall and reduce the ID of the pipe to like a 1/4" to 3/8" ID.

    Black can be from H2S, manganese or corroded galvanized pipe or nipples. If there is galvanized, it will rust and reduce the ID.

    Where are those filters at and are they disposable cartridge types? If so how frequently do you replace them?
    * Pump and well details are in first post

    * Nothing blocking the inlet screen

    * I don't think it had a thermal overload but how to be sure? Until the problem last week my well never stopped, just has gotten slower to fill the tank.

    * The water was spraying around because the hose from the pump was disconnected from the pitless adapter and just swinging in the breeze (i.e. the pump was hanging from the power line). All we did is reconnect that hose to the pitless adapter and my water flow came back.

    * No rust on the drop pipe, it was plastic, just had dirt on it.

    * No galvanized out at the well that I am aware of. It is a plastic type line up from the pump to the pitless adapter, then plastic type line to and through the house.

    * One filter is a disposable 30 micron GE SmartWater Filter and it is located about 8 feet of tubing in front of the pressure tank

    * The other filter is a disposable 5 Micron Pentek (P5-20) filter and it is located between the pressure tank and the water softener.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
    I'm not familiar with Ray Township, so maybe they have different strata than I'm familiar with. Everywhere I drilled for the most part was in Oakland County and all the wells were screened. You move a little North and East and there were a lot of rock wells there. So you can never be too sure of what the other guys terrain is like. That's the reason I always advise people to call their local drillers. Nobody will know better than them what lies below.

    bob...
    Ray Twp is in northern Macomb. It is all very flat and low lying. The part where I live many trees including pine trees just die if you plant them because the soil has so much clay in it. Also the area tends to get very water logged when snow melts or it rains a lot. I will see about contacting some local well drillers.

    If I just had the well drilled so that it is deeper would that give me more storage capacity in the well for water to build up so when the pump runs it doesn't drain it or would it be counter productive? What about going with a bigger diameter well?

    As a side question and maybe I should start a new thread but are there electronic based components that can be purchased for this stuff. Specifically I would like a pressure gauge that will connect to a computer as well as something that will detect the amperage through the power line that connects to my computer as well as something that allows me to start/stop the power going to the well from my computer. I can write software but don't know hardware all that much and I visualize I could write some nice monitoring software as well as something to intelligently power the pump so that it runs most efficiently... Like for example, if the pump hasn't run for a couple of hours but the pressure is down to 50, run it to get it back up to max. Or if the pump has been running for a long time to shut it down or of the amps goes out of range shut it down, etc.

  15. #15
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    The problem.

    However in our time tests to full pressure tank we have been noticing over the last several months that it is taking longer and longer to fill the pressure tank (new Well Mate installed 18 months ago) so we figure we might as well replace the pump/motor so as not to worry about it later.
    The reason.

    * One filter is a disposable 30 micron GE SmartWater Filter and it is located about 8 feet of tubing in front of the pressure tank


    Get rid of the in line filter in front of the tank. It serves no purpose except to restrict the water trying to get to the switch and tank. This could be the reason you blew the pitless apart also.

    bob...

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