Revive old shallow well not working

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Dis360

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I have a shallow well that has not been in use for at least 32 years I am attempting to get working for irrigation purposes and anything else handy. The well plate is sun bleached and I can only read the stamped letters but from what I can tell the well casing is 2 feet wide, 41 feet deep, a static water level of 20 feet and 2GPM. I removed the cap and measured the distance to the top of the water, it’s about 17’ below ground level. There is a 1.25” pvc drop pipe, I attempted to remove it to check for a foot valve, I pulled so much pvc out and never made it to the end. I had at least 30’ of it pulled out and sticking straight up in the air and is was filled with water and isn’t easy to balance, I could see the end of the pipe just exiting the top of the water which is another 17’ down. I was not able to get it all the way out it’s just a rigid pipe that’s too long.

I suppose the well is deeper that 41’. I purchased a 1.6HP shallow well pump with a 5 gallon pressure tank, attached it and filled the drop pipe with water, filled the pump prime and made sure there was water holding in the drop pipe and no water came up, no pressure buildup. I disconnected the union while the pump was on and had plenty of suction. My first guess is the foot valve is stuck closed. I want to change it but it’s going to be a pain, I think I will have to pull half of the drop pipe up and cut it, then pull the other half up and put it back in the reverse.

What I’m confused about is why the drop pipe is so long, if I can only suction a max of about 25’ from the top of the water here at 325’ above sea level, why would the installer have a drop pipe 40’+?

Is there a disadvantage to having a pipe that long?


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Daniel
 
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Valveman

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No matter how deep the drop pipe is set, it is only lifting from the actual water level. It should work unless the foot valve or screen is clogged. Just run a new pipe about 25' with a new foot valve.
 

Reach4

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If your drop pipe reaches 36 feet below the highest in your pump and piping, you can never suck the well dry with a shallow well pump.

There may be a submersible pump down there, and the wires just got put into the water.
 

Dis360

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If your drop pipe reaches 36 feet below the highest in your pump and piping, you can never suck the well dry with a shallow well pump.

There may be a submersible pump down there, and the wires just got put into the water.
Do you mean the well won’t run dry because the pipe is longer than 25’ and it would go down to 0 GPM once the water level reached ~25’+ suction length?
 

Reach4

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Do you mean the well won’t run dry because the pipe is longer than 25’ and it would go down to 0 GPM once the water level reached ~25’+ suction length?
How far down the well can pump is a function of the atmospheric pressure. So that can vary with weather and altitude. But the well will not suck down to 36 ft even in a high pressure center at sea level.

The flow would not go to zero, but would instead go to whatever rate the well replenishes at.
 

Dis360

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Do those stamped numbers on the well plate mean anything to anyone, most logical?

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I only assume the well is a shallow well based on my neighbors having similar 2 foot wide casings and being shallow. I am a bit confused why the drop pipe would be so much longer than needed. When I pulled up the drop pipe as far as I could, I saw the end of the pipe from 17’ away and could see a PVC coupling on the end but couldn’t see below that, who knows maybe there is a pump on the end but I kinda doubt it.

Would there be a benefit to installing a submersible pump on this well instead of the shallow well pump? I understand the amount of water in reserve would be a lot more and the plate on the well says 2 as that may be the GPM’s. The 1.6HP shallow well pump I purchased is probably overkill for a 2 GPM well with 17’ to the water level. If I want to reduce the GPM to get closer to what the well can produce is appropriate to install a ball valve on the output side? Or is it better to get a correctly sized pump?
 

Reach4

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A 1/2 HP submersible pumps about as well as a 1 HP jet pump. A submersible does not need priming. A submersible is quiet.

On the other hand, you have to run wires to a submersible.
 

Valveman

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My guess is 41' of 24" casing with a static level of 20' and a recovery of 2 GPM. That is a pretty good cistern full of water. Setting a submersible close to the bottom would let you use the reserve before it gets down to the 2 GPM. It will probably be enough for most uses like 100 gallons at a time or so. From that depth a submersible would be much better. A 10 GPM, 1/2HP would be plenty. But you can use a cheap $170 pump like this. https://www.ebay.com/itm/290825831348

Even though the 10 GPM or 33 GPM pumps are way larger than needed or that the well can maintain, adding a Cycle Stop Valve like comes in the PH1A kit will make either pump work down to as little as 1 GPM when needed. https://cyclestopvalves.com/pages/pk1a-pside-kick

Submersible Pump and PK1A.png
 
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