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Thread: Well problem

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member snickers01@'s Avatar
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    Default Well problem

    Hope you can help. I have a well that is 250 deep in hard granite with a 1HP well sitting at 200 ft. When the well was last tested 5 years ago the 4hr run test results shoed that the well was producing 12 GPM. At that time, the static water level was 40 ft.

    The problem is that the well now is producing only 240 gallons per DAY.

    I suspect that the drop-off in production (which happened over the course of a week) was the result of the following - I installed a new drip irrigation system and the timer malfunctioned which resulted in the draining of 5000 gallons from my storage tanks. I was away on vacation when this happened and the well was overtaxed for a period of 7 days. I did have a pumptec device on the well pump which would have shut the pump off for 30 minutes every time it went dry.

    When I got back from vacation, I checked the storage tanks and noticed that they were way low. I thought the well pump had gone out but my local pump tech proved that it was not the pump by watching a ampmeter which was hung off the hot lead on the pumptec. I could see that the well pump was pulling 9.5Amps when it kicked on and would slowly go down to about 9.2 amps before the pumptec detected a dry well and shut off.

    I let the well rest for a week (purchased potable water locally for $150/1600 gallons) - when I turned the well pump back on, it ran for 30 minutes and then shut off. I turned it off for 8 hours and ran it again, this time it stayed on for 15 minutes. Now, I am at the point where it runs for about 5 minutes if it is off for 240 minutes. Obviously, the well is not producing much water.

    I've had 2 well drillers out and at $16/ft plus $1500 to setup the rig plus pipe, and electrical, a new well (at up to 750 ft) is a very expensive proposition.

    I was hoping for any insight or other suggestions. I have not pulled the well head or the pump. I really do not know where the static water level is at this time. Also cannot really determine the well output other than from recording the timing cycles of the pumptec.

    Thanks for taking a look.

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    A drop from 9.5 to 9.2 amps is not enough. Dry well will drop to 5 amps. 9.2 is only a small drop in the pumping level. Bypass Pumptec and see how much you get.

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    First off, you need to verify the water level and cannot simply rely on the amperage draw. Have you tried re-calibrating the Pumptec? A good pump/wellman would have an ultrasonic sounder to measure the water level.

    $16 per foot is dirt cheap. Here they charge $48.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Smooky's Avatar
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    I think you have several choices if your well is not producing enough water. I would make sure my pump and controls are all working correctly first .… You could drill another well… Another option is to remove the pump ,well house etc and set up over your existing well. This is very difficult and that is why they charge 1500 just to set up. It is next to impossible to get the drilling rig jacked up, level, plumb and perfectly lined up over an existing well. Often a big wrecker will have to be brought in to help adjust the rig over the well. …Another option that may be available to you is hydraulic fracturing. It may not be allowed in your state as a similar process with the same name is used in gas wells and gets a lot of bad press. Here is a link to hydrofracking a drinking water well.

    http://www.agwt.org/info/pdfs/hydrofrackingwells.pdf

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member snickers01@'s Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. After not using the well (or pump) for days, (I removed the pumptec controller while I did this), I put the puptec controller back on and then timed how long it ran and recorded the amperage draw. What happens is that the draw starts at around 9.5 and then over the course of the 1/2 hour went down to about 9.2 and then very quickly went to 7 and then 0 (line in 5 seconds or less). To me, this meant that the amperage drop was related to the well pumping out the reservoir of static water - ie. heavier at the start and then less and less as it drops closer to the pump and then once it dropped below the pump level, it quickly goes to zero. The pump repair guy that came out, replaced the pumptec device with a spare that he had and the same problem occurred - i.e. it kicked off after a short amount of time. We also disconneced the pipe coming out of the well head and watched as the water came out for and then stopped. You have a good point though - its worth a try. Since I pump directly into large holding tanks, it is difficult to actually see what is coming out of the well. I think you are saying measure the amperage draw without the pumptec device to see if is any different. THanks for your help.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member snickers01@'s Avatar
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    THanks for your advice - I will check the controls again. I will also check to see if hydrofracking is available where I live in No California - I suspect it's not because I can find no one advertising it.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member snickers01@'s Avatar
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    I will have verify the water level - will require pulling the pump head off which I have not done yet. Wow, $48/Ft to drill would be prohibitive for most people. Wells around here are on average 700 feet deep and produce 2-10 gallons per minute.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member snickers01@'s Avatar
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    If I bypass the pumptec, what amperage should i expect to see when the pump runs dry?

  9. #9
    DIY Senior Member Smooky's Avatar
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    Hydrofracking a water well is allowed in California but it may be referred to as well development, well redevelopment, or well reconditioning

    http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/...ned_sec14.html


    http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/...s_content.html

  10. #10
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snickers01@ View Post
    If I bypass the pumptec, what amperage should i expect to see when the pump runs dry?
    "Quickly went to 7 amps" is when the well went dry. 5 seconds later the pumptec turned it off, then it went to 0 amps.

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