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Thread: Pro's and con's of 4" dia. well

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Shooter45's Avatar
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    Default Pro's and con's of 4" dia. well

    I am about to have a new well drilled at our new construction home. What are the pros and cons if any of having the 4" over a 2"? The well will need to be able to satisfy 3 water loving girls at the house. Also should I consider any filters or purifiers?
    TIA

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Reading the title I thought you were undecided between a 4" and a 6" casing. 2" limits your options way too much WRT deep well pumping. I would advise a 6" casing so that you are not limited with what submersible you can use.

    Filters/purifiers will of course depend on the water quality. I would start by asking the neighbors questions about their wells, how deep they are, where the water table is, and what the water quality is. Ask them if they treat their water and ask for a sample of untreated water to take for analysis.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    A pump, depending on ITS size, can get stuck in a 4" casing after several years. Anything smaller could be a disaster when the pump has to be removed.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Sounds like your area is similar to ours. Basically a 2" well is only cheaper when it is installed. A 4" well will give you a much longer pump life, more water, and use less energy. A jet pump is a big energy waster, and you'll be limited to 8-12 GPM, unless you have a really high water level.

    I have very rarely seen a submersible stuck in a 4" well, especially if it's a pvc well. Make sure you use sch 80 PVC drop pipe with good couplings.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Here's why a 4" well is far superior to 2"....

    The submersible pump...
    will never freeze
    will never lose prime
    is water cooled and completely sealed. No bugs to get in the motor, no worries on hot days, and is a lot easier to hide.
    Twice as efficient. My rule is thumb is that a jet to submersible is a 2x deal. In other words, a 1-HP jet would be equivalent to a 1/2 HP sub. Actually it's a little more efficient than that, but 2x makes it simple.
    Much quieter. I doubt you will even know it's running unless you're really paying attention.
    Just in general lasts much longer by my experience.

    The only advantage of the jet pump is that they are cheaper to install and the pump can be serviced without pulling the whole drop-line. On the downside you'll have a jet and leathers/footvalve down in the well that will have to be replaced periodically. Also, since the motors are not sealed and are air cooled they are much more likely to get critters up in there. I have found small snakes, lizzards, and countless dirt dobber nests. Not uncommon for the well to lose prime after the power has been out for a few hours.
    Last edited by Texas Wellman; 03-26-2011 at 08:44 PM.

  6. #6
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Ask about drilling a 6". If he's got the rig for it the added material cost should be minimal but give you more water and better serviceability.

    There is no reason to plan for anything else until you find out what the water quality and capacity is.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    I'ver never heard of a 6" well for domestic use in the south. I can't speak for Mississippi but I have a feeling that the 4" well could produce 100 gpm if necessary.

    The whole "stuck pump in 4" is over-blown. We are exclusively 4" here and I have seen very few, if any, stuck pumps in pvc wells. The only exception is if the pump was left to run dead-headed and a few pump malfunctions that were covered by the manufacturer. They replaced the well.

  8. #8
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    here, 6" for residential use is unheard of as well. i also think the pumps stuck in 4" is overblown, especially in PVC. the very few times i have ever seen it was when someone deadheaded the pump for a long time.

    i'd definitely shoot for the 4" over a 2" and go with a submersible pump. you will be much happier in the long run. more efficient, more water, more pressure, never lose prime.

  9. #9
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Here, 6" is the norm. The recovery rate of the well is not really proportional to the diameter of the casing, but the size of the casing determines the storage capacity.

  10. #10
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    i understand. storage capacity isnt even thought of here because wells usually produce plenty of water

  11. #11
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Around here, the choice somtimes comes down to deciding whether to go down another 100 - 200 feet in hopes of hitting a better vein or hydrofracking to increase production on the one you hit.

  12. #12
    Well Drilling/Service justwater's Avatar
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    i'd feel better going deeper rather than hydrofracking (i'm not convinced it works as well, especially longterm), ..but my opinion isnt worth much on it because low producers are strange to me. i never have to install a pump that cant be ran full flow for as long as a customer desires.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member Shooter45's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. None of the installers have mentioned the 6". Only 2 or 4.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member Shooter45's Avatar
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    Talked to the installer again today and he is going to put down a 4" with 1 1/2hp submersible and a 220 gal tank. Does this sound ok?

  15. #15
    Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer Waterwelldude's Avatar
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    That is about the best setup you can have for a home. You'll have enough water for the house and if you wanted too, you could put in a sprinkler system. Providing he uses an 18-20gpm pump
    "I shall never surrender or retreat" -Col. William Travis


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