Newbie question - selecting the right well pump setup (and my idea on what would work

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ctann

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Hi all,

Just stumbled across this forum, some fantastic information here! I just had my well bored, and am planning the pump setup. I have some particular ideas, but the first well installer didn't sound too impressed. I wanted to run those ideas past the people here to see if I should push for this setup, or settle for a more conventional system.

The well will provide water for a single family residence (3000sqft), plus irrigation for a modest number of fruit trees. Currently the land is undeveloped, the well is the first part we are doing. I want to design the pump system, and install part of it now, to provide water for early landscaping irrigation, and for the development process. Site is located in Northern California.

The well is located roughly 600 feet from the house site, and is elevated about 140-160 feet. We need to provide fire-protection water (10k gallons I believe), plus domestic/fire sprinkler/irrigation water. My plan there is to eventually site 3-4 5k gallon tanks by the well site. During the development, I want to put a small 500 Gallon tank down close to the building site, which I will refill manually.

Well Recovery Rate__12___gpm
Well Casing Diameter__4.5__â€
Rock Well__________ Sand Well__________ Other___Fractured Sandstone
Date Well Drilled___07/23/2013
Static Water level : 230 feet
Well Depth: 330 feet

Well Casing Material
PVC___X____ Steel_________ Other_________

I like the idea of the Grundfos "SQFlex" line of pumps. The well location is perfectly situated for solar, and so the ability to run off solar, or via a backup generator, seems like a great idea to me. The solar panels would be only 20' from the well, with great Southern exposure, so installation should be pretty easy. In the short term, I would just switch on the pump during the day when I wanted to refill my temporary tanks. Eventually, the pump would be controlled by float switches in the 5k tanks (multiple switches, fire and domestic must be separate tanks). My calculations show that just pumping during the day (based on 5 hours) should be plenty, and I will always have the option of running a backup generator should we run into excessive water use.

That would also leave me the option of running the 600' of 220V line from the house up to the well when we do the final trenching and installation - but if I can avoid that extra expense, I would rather do so.

So, honest opinions please - is this a good approach? Or am I better off going with a more traditional (eg Gould) pump, just running a generator for my interim needs, and hooking it up to the household electricity in the final build. The house will be off-grid solar as well, so I would aim to somehow limit pump usage to sunshine hours anyway.

Also, if anyone has recommendation for Well Installers in the San Jose area, please let me know.

Anyway, thanks in advance for responses on this.

Cheers,
Chris.
 

Valveman

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With the storage tank elevated 140’ above the house, you will have 60 PSI at the house by gravity alone. All you have to do is keep the storage tank(s) full. Sounds like a perfect application for solar. Big storage tanks and gravity supply work well with solar, especially since the house is off grid anyway.

I would find some way to utilize the firewater tanks for domestic use and still keep them topped off. Otherwise they may be full of moss or algae from just sitting unused. You could flow through the firewater tanks and only let the overflow go into the tanks connected to the domestic use. This would keep the firewater tanks topped off with fresh and clean water.
 

ctann

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Thanks Valveman. I totally agree with you on the firewater setup - in fact that was exactly how I had things configured in my original design. Unfortunately that is not how CA code works - the firewater tanks need to be labelled "Unpottable", and isolated from the domestic supply. The reason is that there is no backflow prevention when a fire truck hooks up to the hydrant, so if the two were linked, there is the possibility of contaminating the domestic supply with the non-potable fire-truck supply. In my case, with the hydrant located by the house (i.e. 600' distant, and 140' lower elevation), I don't see cross-contamination as being an issue, but the code is the code. I wonder if most people around here build the system to code, and then modify once the final inspection is done?

Any comments on the SQFlex as a solar pump? An 11-SQF-2 is what my sizing calcs are showing. Is it a reliable pump? I don't want to go with a solar setup, only to find out I need to replace the pump every few years...

Thanks,
Chris.
 

Valveman

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Any comments on the SQFlex as a solar pump? An 11-SQF-2 is what my sizing calcs are showing. Is it a reliable pump? I don't want to go with a solar setup, only to find out I need to replace the pump every few years...

Thanks,
Chris.

In my area these http://www.lorentz.de/ have become the most popular solar pumps. Grundfos is good, but they have become more about marketing than making quality products.
 
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