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Thread: Need opinions on new well/pump system

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  1. #1

    Question Need opinions on new well/pump system

    We are building a new house and have already drilled the well (hit water @ 180', drilled down to 205', water rose to about 40', & is estimated to provide about 16-18 gal/min). Below are the quotes I got from the local pump dealer/installer last night:

    Standard system - $1925 - hp 10gal/min pump, 20 gal pressure tank, 1 yr warranty on everything (I forgot all the details, but it was a basic system that didn't have a lot of bells and whistles.)

    Premium system - $2250 upgraded hp 10gal/min pump, 20 gal pressure tank, 5 yr warranty on everything (1yr on labor), all stainless, brass, or bronze hardware, extra foot valve half way down, conduit for wire(house to well).

    Pressure tank upgrades: 40 gal (+$185), 80 gal (+$220)

    He also mentioned a constant pressure system, but didn't have the exact figures for it, but said it would probably be around $3000. It would include all the hardware the premium system has, but would use a Goulds pump and the Franklin motor & controller.

    Is it worth it to upgrade to the constant pressure system from the premium system? I'll need to make a decision by Friday. We will be starting our brick work in 2-3 weeks so I have to get this installed. If I went with the premium system, is the hp 10gal/min pump big enough?

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    The driller should have done a pumping test to determine flow rate versus drawdown. You should also have a water test that tells you hardness, pH, coliform (shouldn't be any), iron, and a few other chemicals. You should also get information on turbidity and suspended solids, which will tell you if you may need a filter.

    You negotiate best when you have knowledge. Here is some information that might be useful to you.

    Assuming a combination of well drawdown and pressure drop in the pipe totalling 80 ft, A Goulds 10GS07 pump (10 GPM 3/4 HP) will give you 11.5 GPM at 60 psi and 15.8 GPM at 20 psi. The next size pump (13GS10, 13 GPM 1 HP) would give you 14.1 and 19.4 GPM at the same pressure conditions and might risk overpumping your well.

    You should ask if you are getting a 2-wire or 3-wire motor with the basic system. The 3-wire pump requires a control box but the motor is less expensive so there is little difference in the pump/control cost. An additional wire to the pump is required (3 conductors + ground wire). It is also necessary if you are ever going to add the constant pressure feature.

    You shouldn't care if he uses wire in PVC conduit or code-compliant Underground Feeder Wire buried in the same trench that contains the pipe. Both of them are required to be below the depth where anyone should be digging and PVC conduit doesn't provide much more protection. It probably costs about the same.

    If you think you would ever upgrade to constant pressure, or if you think you might ever up-size the pump, then you should get 3-wire and wire size to handle any upgrade. Find out what wire size you are getting and make sure it will do what you may want to do in the future.

    There was a long discussion on check valves a few weeks ago and there are differences of opinion on whether an extra check valve (it really isn't a foot valve) is required or appropriate. There is a check valve in the Goulds pump. Check valves cost about $20 but it requires two extra fittings and some risk of failure down the well. However, it is also a backup if the check valve in the pump fails.

    Increasing the warranty to 5 years on parts-only doesn't mean much to you. Nothing should fail in 5 years and his charge for labor will be the biggest part of any repair project.

    The upgrades for tanks from 20 to 40 and from 20 to 80 are $86 and $165 in my Grainger catalog. Your supplier will have a markup but should be able to do better. The 20 gallon tank is probably too small for a pump that will be operating at around 13 GPM. The available drawdown for a 30 to 50 psi pressure range is only 5.9 gallons, so the pump cycles will often be less than 30 seconds. Your supplier knows it's too small so he is offering you an upgrade.

    I would ask what he would use for hardware other than brass and stainless in the basic system. Aside from the black plastic pipe coming in from the pump, I would expect brass fittings. There shouldn't be any galvanized or plastic or black iron in such an installation.

    The constant pressure system requires a controller that substitutes for the control box in a 3-wire system. The difference in price to your supplier for adding constant pressure to a 3-wire system will be about $400 to $450. If you get the constant pressure system you would not need a tank upgrade but I would still not go smaller than the 20 gallon tank.

    There are probably more things but I can't think of them now.

  3. #3

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    I remember that the wire size will be 12 gauge, but I don't remember him saying anything about the 2 or 3 wire. I'm pretty sure he said that the basic system would use galvanized parts.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    Look at a few other posts from the last few days. There have been a few questions on constant pressure systems. A Franklin electric constant pressure system should not be more than $300 more than a standard system. The installation is simple and the cost of the pressure tank is much less. I would really recommend the cp system. With a well like that you should really be happy with it. If I were to set up a system for myself I would use the Franklin mono drive system. If the mono drive fails you have the ability to grab a standard control box off the shelf and make you pump work.

    Don not use a two wire motor. The most common thing to fail in a pumping system is the capacitors in the pump starting circuit. In a two wire pump these caps are in the motor in the well. In a three wire system these are located above ground and can be repaired by the most novice well owner. Also, a three wire pump can be tested with an ohm meter from above ground where a two wire motor cannot be tested above ground.

    Go for stainless and brass. These are superior materials and will make for a much better system.

    You may go with a 4 gallon tank with a cp system. This is part of what brings the system cost down.

    The check valve is up to you. If you want an extra check, other than what comes with the pump, install it. I prefer 20 joints of PVC pipe to hang the pump on. The check valve can be used in place of one of the brass coupler they would have used.

    Stick with goulds pumps, Franklin electric motors and controls, square d pressure switch, well mate fiberglass tanks, and Merrill well products.

    And pay attention to what bobnh had to say.
    rshackleford

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    Shack, there are no capacitors in a two wire motor. They are induction start with a start winding and a biac switch. They have been proven to outlast three motors.

    bob..

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    you are correct. i said caps, but i meant control box components.

    i have no idea on which type will out last the other, i just like to be able to check the motor and wire without pulling it. if there is good data on motor life i would like to see it. i also think it makes sense to have the control box components in above gound for easier repair.
    rshackleford

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