Best Pump? Torque Arrestors or Not? PVC vs Galvanized? I Need Some EXPERT Advice!

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by RogerPDX, May 15, 2014.

  1. I posted some weeks ago, to get my feet wet with my well problem. I am pretty
    amazed by all the knowledgeable people who are on this forum..

    I need to replace my submersible pump and pipe. I've talked with 2 local well
    companies - and have received varying information. Both bids are "expensive".
    I'd like to do it "right" this one time, so I can forget about it for years to come.

    a.) I am on a rock in the Lower San Juan Islands of Northern Washington State.
    b.) The well was drilled in 1978 to 360'.
    c.) The well is only cased for the first 20'.
    d.) They hit a "spritz" of water at 150'.
    e.) There is a 1983 1/2hp Goulds down the hole attached with galvanized pipe.
    f.) We pump up from the well into a 500 gal cistern, then pump out of the cistern and into a
    pressure tank for domestic use. The cistern's float switch is set to fill after about 30 gallons
    are used. Lately this 30 gallon refresh rate is taking w-a-y longer than usual.
    g.) The water does not appear cloudy, dirty or rusty.

    We historically have only made about 250 gallons per 24 hours, but we are careful
    and it has worked out better than having no water. Unless we have visitors, there are
    only 2 of us using the system. The house has been used as a vacation home for all
    these years, but is now lived in full time. We are putting stress on the old pipe and pump.

    Lately the fill rate has been way down. The water does not come up from the ground as
    forcefully and quickly as usual. I did some research, contacted some pump people, got
    online, etc, etc. Now the problem is getting worse and I've got to hire one of the
    companies to replace the down-pipe and pump - quickly.

    One company says use PVC - the other says Galvanized. (Nobody is installing flexible pipe)

    One company says replace the wire - the other says it should be fine...

    One company says use a torque arrestor down by the pump and those white
    spiders incrementally up the pipe...
    The other company says "no" torque arrestors or spiders in an unlined rock well.

    One company says use a 3/4hp - 5gpm pump.
    The other company says use a 1.5hp - 10gpm pump.

    One company says use 1 foot valve - the other says use multiple valves.

    Neither company could tell me the "best" valves to use.

    Are there no standards in this industry? It is such an expensive fix, that it would be nice
    to do it "correct" the first time!

    I would think that pumping less water up the pipe (slower 5gpm vs 10gpm) might be
    better for a long pump life than moving water quickly. Is this correct?

    They both sell different pump manufacturers... They say they install "all" the brands - but
    push their "favorite".

    Can you please tell me what is the "all time best pump" to use? (Longest life - fewest problems)

    Are torque arrestors and spiders used, or not used, in uncased rock wells?

    If the existing wire is not banged up, can we re-use it, or is it better to replace it anyway?
    With the price of copper these days, reusing the wire would be nice - if it is still in good condition.

    How about valves? How many and what is the "best" brand?

    What else do I need to know? I'd like to get it "right" so whichever company I choose
    is doing the job "by the book".

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have!
  2. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    from what you have said, i would go with pvc, no torque arrestors (ever), and only the one check valve thats built in the pump. personally i would replace 30yr old wire. being as its only filling a cistern, i agree with you that less water and longer run times is the way to go. likely 1/2 or 3/4hp depending on water level and where pump is set. as far as brands, just stick with a known quality brand and you should be ok. Goulds, F&W, grundfos, franklin...

    thats just my opinion, and there really is no industry standard. most guys just do it the way they were taught or learned and stick with that. you will find that well drillers can be some very hard headed dudes.

    good luck with whatever you decide.
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  3. Justwater, When my pump will be down at the 340' level (the present pump is about 20' off the bottom of the 360' well), how do you insure that all those PVC couplings will hold tight? Two of three drillers around here told me they would never use PVC down a hole that deep - for that reason. My next door neighbor lost his pump when they were pulling his PVC pipe out. Now his well is shot.

    I like the idea of not thinking about electrolysis in the pipe, but do worry about the potential coupler problems.
  4. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Royal City, WA
    Installed a 3 hp pump Monday 300 ft deep on 1 1/4" sch 120 PVC. With no second thoughts. I always use stainless steel couplings on my drop pipe. The only time I use galvanized pipe any more is deeper settings than 400 ft, bigger than 5 hp pumps, ot larger than 2" drop pipe.

    I never use torque arresters, or cable guards. I only use flat jacketed submersible wire.

    In the case of the pump Monday, I was replacing an existing pump that had been set on galvanized pipe, 14 years ago. The galvanized pipe was corroded almost to the point of having holes. In fact we were surprised to not see any. We reused the existing wire in this case because it was flat jacketed, with no abrasions and most importantly, the megohmeter test showed the insulation was in very good condition.
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  5. Boyce - When you use PVC, ddo you also install a SS safety cable to the pump?
  6. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller Member

    Richmond, VA
    I use PVC SCH 120 1" and 1.25" (with integral PVC threaded bells) on all my residential wells and have never had a problem. No torque arrestors and no safety cable. Never lost a pump, never had one come unscrewed.....I use a lot of Certa lock 2" and larger drop pipe where I'm worried about steel corroding.

    You mentioned neighbor having trouble when pulling a pump out on PVC and ruining the well....that happens with all types of drop pipes and all types of situations....could have been a well problem, a pump problem, a drop pipe problem, or the fault of the pump installer...unless you had the whole thing on video, no one will ever really know.
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Lubbock, Texas
    The 3/4HP, 5 GPM pump is all you need. The 1.5 HP is way overkill. No torque arrestors, no safety cable, and the check valve on the pump is the only one you need. Sch 80 or 120 threaded PVC pipe with SS couplers. Wire is “iffy”. Some older wire is better than anything you can get these days, but if there is any question of its condition, I would replace it. Not much difference in any of those brands of pumps that Justwater mentioned. And as was said, good luck with those pump guys. They are hard headed and always think they know more than the other guy down the street. In reality, neither one of them know as much as they think they do. So you are doing good to get other opinions.

  8. Valveman - The pump I've been using for many years is only 1/2hp (I don't know the GPM). Could this be the reason it has lasted so long, or maybe it's just because we have used the place 'part time' up until now? Someone told me that lower gpm will last longer... or is 5gpm considered 'lower'?

    Someone also mentioned to me that I might want to consider a 'soft start pump' to reduce starting torque. What is a soft start pump - or are all 3/4hp Gould pumps nowadays soft start?

    One driller quoted me with "3 check valves" - the other with "one check valve"... What's up with that? I haven't asked them (yet) if these valves are in addition to the one that comes with the pump. Typically, is the one that comes with the pump included in the price of the pump?
  9. I was on Johnson's web page and they promote bell ends (without SS couplers). Are there benefits to using SS couplers or are they a liability down the road?
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  10. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Lubbock, Texas
    A 1/2HP, 5 GPM pump will still deliver 3 GPM from 360’. So that pump will work fine. It shouldn’t make much difference between ½ and ¾ HP as to which will last the longest.

    No, no, and no. You can’t really soft start a submersible pump anyway. It has to get up to a certain speed in l second to survive. Especially when filling a cistern, soft start is just a marketing gimmick.

    Yes there should be one on the pump, and that is the only one you need. The guy quoting 3 checks needs a little more experience.

    A lot of people use the Sch 120 with the belled threaded ends and really like them. I always use metal coupling because I think they are less likely to come unscrewed.
  11. Valveman, thanks for the info.. I received another bid today and that guy wants to add 2 Shur-Align Check Valve to his pipe, in addition to the one on the pump also. He promotes the Schaefer pump line, made by Franklin. Said he can get Goulds but doesn't like to promote Goulds because consumers can buy them at the same price "dealers" buy them and it makes it difficult for him to make a m/u on them.

    Do you know about this Franklin company - Schaefer?

    He also uses the SCH 120 Shur-Align PVC with bell ends, which I'm ok with if they work well and long term.
  12. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Franklin has been in the submersible pump motor business for decades. They bought up the Jaccuzzi pump line and design and basically put their own name on it.

    I put tons of Franklin pumps in with no problems
  13. Do you think Schaefer & Gould are comparable? What do you think about these guys wanting to put 2 or 3 additional check valves on my pipe?
  14. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Goulds wet ends are probably comparable, but the Centripro motors don't seem to have the same life as a Franklin.

    You don't need all those check valves
  15. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    SE Texas-Coastal
    I love it when a customer tells me "A guy on the internet said".....

    Good luck. Go with whichever guy you like the best.
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    NW Ontario, Canada
    I love it when a contractor tells me "my way or highway" Highway it is then... problem with this one horse town is you soon run out of contractors.

  17. Liking them is not the issue for me. I like them all, but this is not a personality contest so
    'liking' (to me) has nothing to do with getting the job done correctly. This repair is so expensive,
    that it would be nice to have the pump guy get it right the first time.
  18. Franklin seems to sell "Franklin" - and Schaefer sells Schaefer. Are the Schaefer pumps the same as the "Franklin" pumps (with a different name) - or just owned by the same company? What is the warranty for the Franklin pump?

    Also, when these guys install additional check valves - besides the initial expense, if one fails, does it foul up the water flow?
  19. craigpump

    craigpump Well-Known Member

    Best of my knowledge the Schaffer is the same as a Franklin just with a different sticker.
  20. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Lubbock, Texas
Similar Threads: Best Pump
Forum Title Date
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Best pump for hard water also, please review our setup & suggest other possible improvements Oct 22, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Lake water pump cracked housing - trying to determine best option with changed needs Apr 29, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog What is the Best Brand submersible Well Pump (Made in USA)? Apr 4, 2014
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Pump replacement. Best course of action...? Oct 14, 2013
Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog 3 Inch Submersible Pumps Best Brand? May 15, 2013

Share This Page