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Thread: First time well owner - need help with set up and pump sizing

  1. #1
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    Arrow First time well owner - need help with set up and pump sizing

    Hi there,

    I'm a newbie to the forum and to wells. We have gotten a lot of good advice on other DIY projects from this forum before so thought of this as a great go to spot to help with this project.

    We have purchased a piece of property in New Brunswick Canada with the intent of build a small cottage on it this summer.
    We had the well dug last summer. Here are the specs on it:

    Depth of well 100ft
    Well Casing Diameter 4 steel
    Depth to standing water 20ft
    Well driller recommended pump be set at 50ft but did not recommend a pump size
    The sheet from the well guy indicated a recovery rate of 5GPM = he said it produces more than this but felt that only 5GPM should be noted on the form
    Rock Well 2ft

    The place we are building will be <900sq. ft. The cottage is for occasional summer use weekends and occasional week long visit. It will have one bath and will be used by 4 people (2 adults, 2 7-yr old kids). The building will be about 20ft away from the well and level with the top of the well.

    I have read through many articles on line and threads on this forum but still not 100% sure about right size of the pump. We are thinking about buying the following pump:
    Berkeley 4" 1/2HP 5GPM Submersible, Two wire - Pump Model # B5P4MS+05231

    Do you think this pump is right sized for our well and planned use?
    Am I correct to assume a 2-wire pump does not need a control
    Also wondering what other components we need for our set up ... a pressure tank, etc?

    Any help or guidance you could provide would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    You're gonna have a tough time keeping any submersible pump from over-running a 5 gpm well that is only 100' deep. I can't really give you much good advice on this one, perhaps someone else will chime in.

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RATS View Post
    The sheet from the well guy indicated a recovery rate of 5GPM = he said it produces more than this but felt that only 5GPM should be noted on the form.
    Around here 5 GPM is the minimum that you need to get a building permit and to get financing so drillers get lazy and test only to the 5 GPM minimum.

    I'm not sure what to make of "Rock Well 2ft" either and whether it them means that the well cannot be developed to increase yield. You might want to consider using a CycleStopValve with a small tank rather than draw hard on the well by filling a large tank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Wellman View Post
    You're gonna have a tough time keeping any submersible pump from over-running a 5 gpm well that is only 100' deep. I can't really give you much good advice on this one, perhaps someone else will chime in.
    Thanks Texas Wellman. I believe the well actually produces much more than 5GPM. The well guy just didnot provide an actual measure. How would we go about testing the actual output of the well?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Around here 5 GPM is the minimum that you need to get a building permit and to get financing so drillers get lazy and test only to the 5 GPM minimum.

    I'm not sure what to make of "Rock Well 2ft" either and whether it them means that the well cannot be developed to increase yield. You might want to consider using a CycleStopValve with a small tank rather than draw hard on the well by filling a large tank.
    Thanks LLigetfa .. I suspect you are right on the driller being a bit lazy. He actually indicated the well was great and produced more water than we would ever need. He has been in business for many years around here and has a reputation as a good well drilling guy.

    He never provided the actual GPM. Any recommendations on wht we need to do to test the actual production of the well would be appreciated.

    His drillers report for Dept of Environment shows the following info for the Aquifer test - initial water level - 20ft below casing. Using a bailer, pumping rate 5 GPM duration 1hr 10min; final water level 20ft below casing. - water level did not change during test.


    By Rock well I meant that the driller hit shale 2ft below grade when he was drilling. Basically the entire 100ft well is in the rock - i.e. not sandy soil. DOn;t know if that makes a difference or not? I'm not sure we actually need to drill/develop well further. Will definately consider CSV and a smaller tank.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member VAWellDriller's Avatar
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    5 Gpm ismore than enough for the use you will have, and you can very easliy install a submersible pump and not overp pump the well. There are pumps that will only pump 5 gpm (grundfos 3" 1/2 and 1/3 HP models), or you can simply install a 1/2HP 10 gpm pump which is probably the cheapest pump you can buy and spend a few bucks on a Dole flow control valve. They are sized per gpm and you just buy a 5 gpm. If I were you, I would buy a 1/2 hp 10 gpm pump, install it at 50' like the driller said, and pump it at open discharge with a valve to throttle it if necessary, and mearsure the rate and the water level in the well with either an airline of long tape. If you get more than about 7-8 gpm I would install a cycle stop and a small tank....less than that I would install a 60-80 gallon tank and no cycle sto. I agree that the driller was just lazy and didn't bother to put a pump in the well.....just ran the bailer and did what he could with that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VAWellDriller View Post
    5 Gpm ismore than enough for the use you will have, and you can very easliy install a submersible pump and not overp pump the well. There are pumps that will only pump 5 gpm (grundfos 3" 1/2 and 1/3 HP models), or you can simply install a 1/2HP 10 gpm pump which is probably the cheapest pump you can buy and spend a few bucks on a Dole flow control valve. They are sized per gpm and you just buy a 5 gpm. If I were you, I would buy a 1/2 hp 10 gpm pump, install it at 50' like the driller said, and pump it at open discharge with a valve to throttle it if necessary, and mearsure the rate and the water level in the well with either an airline of long tape. If you get more than about 7-8 gpm I would install a cycle stop and a small tank....less than that I would install a 60-80 gallon tank and no cycle sto. I agree that the driller was just lazy and didn't bother to put a pump in the well.....just ran the bailer and did what he could with that.
    Thanks for advice VAWellDriller. I will look into a 5 or 10 GPM 1/2HP pump. Once the snow goes away and we can get into the property we will test the flow of the well with pump to get a more acurate GPM flow. You mentioned the Grundfos make ... are Berkeley and Goulds also reliable pumps?

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    One more question ... if you use a higher HP pump eg. 3/4HP model will it benefit us or will it possibly damage the system?

    I was thinking a 3/4HP might provide better water pressure in the shower, fixtures in the cottage

  9. #9
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Given the static water level, a 1/2 HP, 10 GPM pump can produce more pressure than you need.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    A bigger pump may suck more than the well will produce.

    Bigger is not always better.
    Last edited by DonL; 02-25-2013 at 05:16 PM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

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    Thanks everyone for the quick replys.

    If we go with a 1/2HP 10GPM pump what size pressure tank would you recommend (assuming we only get a small one)?

  12. #12
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Without a CSV, the tank would need to be sized so that the pump runs for at least one minute, so that would rule out getting a small tank. You would need at least a 44 gallon tank.

    http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/tanksizing_12.html

  13. #13
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    With the CSV you only need a 4.5 gallon size pressure tank. The CSV will also let you install as large a pump as you think you might need, and still be able to use it like a small pump without hurting anything.

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    Thanks LLigetfa and valveman ... think I will try and find a local plumber familiar with wells pumps and CSV's. With small sq. footage on the cottage the smaller pressure tank is definately appealing.

    Anyone have opinion on reliability/reputation of Berkeley pumps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RATS View Post
    Anyone have opinion on reliability/reputation of Berkeley pumps?
    Six of one or a half dozen of the other. Pentair makes that pump under several different names. It is as good as any but no better either.

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