Hello, Newb here when it comes to wells and need advice.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by 56rat, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. 56rat

    56rat New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    I have spent days reading this forum trying to find my answers but I figured it would be better to just create an account and post my questions/issues so here I am. This looks like a great site and I'm proud to be here and hope to learn a lot from all of you.


    I have a 3/4 acre pasture and I want to pump up my own water because using city water is expensive. I have been working on my own well and this is where I'm stumped, If anyone here can help shoot me in the right direction I will appreciate it.. Maybe I need to completely start over because I've done it wrong and if that's the case I will, But I'd at least like answers first on what I've done wrong with my current setup.


    This is what I have done:



    I bought a hand auger and it works very well I must say.. I kept busting couplers and threads trying to drive in my well point by hand so having this auger was a life saver for me.

    I dug down to about 14 feet and I hit water around 8 feet. I have a good solid 5-7' section of my pipe and well point directly under the water level and being august I figure this is about as low as its going to get. ( it's a 36" well point ) What I did from there is centered the galvanized pipe in my hole and poured 4-5 bags of pea gravel down it to fill the sides of the hole. Obviously I have a 4" hole with a 1.25" pipe so I figured the pea gravel between the dirt wall and pipe would let water come through to my pipe faster and also help prevent any kind of cave ins. If I didnt add the pea gravel the walls would just collapse and dirt would be directly around my well point which in theory is fine, that's what it's made to do but having the walls filled with pea gravel seemed like it would yield better results. Maybe this was a bad idea but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    So after I added the gravel I filled the rest of the hole with dirt all the way to ground level and hooked up my new pitcher pump to it and primed it and sure enough NOTHING is coming out of the pump. I can tell it's building pressure because the handle gets hard and I can hear water gurgling in the pipe if I put my ear against it but nothing ever comes out of the pitcher. I'm stumped, I know I am in water at least 6 feet and it should be pumping like crazy. I guess I can hook up a electric pump and see if it can suck anything out but I really wanted to get the pitcher pump working first since it's a manual hand pump that doesn't require electricity. Knowing how I did my setup do you have any suggestions? Hindsight 20 is the fact I shouldn't have filled the hole with gravel or dirt until it was working but it's too late for that now. Obviously water can flow through the gravel faster then it can dirt which is why I filled the gap with gravel.

    I'm sure I didnt do something right so if I need to start over with a new hole I can as there is no way i'll be able to lift back out my galvanized pipe and well point at this point, which sucks because it was all expensive... I dropped a nut with a string tonight and verified I have 7-8' of water on the string. I also know the pitcher is building seroius vacuum pressure because I can barely move the handle if I keep pumping it but it's almost as if It's creating the vacuum and pushing air DOWN the pipe instead of bringing the water UP the pipe like it's supposed too. I have no idea why i'm not getting any water :( ..My friends and family think i'm crazy for wanting my own well but I feel like it's 100% do-able and a affordable & cheap way to get water in my pasture. I have already spent a lot of money on everything ever since I bought a auger, auger extension, galvanized pipe, stainless well point, etc but I'm hoping the major expenses are behind me now. Now i'm at the point where I need advice from those of you who have been there and can help.. I always seem to do things the hard way but that's how I learn.

    I have noticed a lot of people on youtube vids and even on here installs a 2-3-4" pcv pipe and then uses a drop pipe from the pump which goes inside the pcv, I didn't do this because I thought the reason to have a well point is you don't need to double tube it, I thought it was made to drive right in the ground with a pump on top? I do not have any check valves or anything else on the line.. it's literally a 36" well point connected to 12' of galvanized pipe and then the pitcher pump sitting on right top. I read in another thread if the handle lifts and there is a lot of vacuum in the line it means you're out of water but it can't be the case since I know there is 6' or more of water in the bottom of my pipe.

    If you guys think I need to start over with a new well please let me know how I should do it so it's done properly and at the same time I would like options on how to get my current well working, even if it doesn't yield a lot of water I'd at least like to make all this effort worth while.. Driving my first well kicked my butt until I bought the auger so it's more of a pride issue at this point.. I need to see water come out of this dang thing, it can't win!! ( male pride and stubbornness is in 100% effect right now )


    nathan
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  2. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    First, you are in what we would call surface water. At 14 feet no water in, no water out! You haven't encountered a water producing zone yet. . . You must go deeper.
    It's your decision whether to fight with this hole or start new. "P" gravel was a mistake. . . it kind of finished that well unless you could remove it. At 14 feet you may be able to jack that point and pipe out of the existing hole!
    Then I'd start a new hole some distance from that hole (at least 10'). Do everything as before but keep on going, Maybe washing down inside the outer pipe (casing) until the hole takes lots of water. Then run your point back in the hole and drive it as far as you can. Then fill the sandpoint and pipe full of water and if the water goes down put the pitcher pump back on and it should pump water. If it doesn't you're not in water yet.
    Lastly! Be determined, save face, I guarantee it will be worth the looks you will get from the friends, neighbors and the wife. Believe me, I've been there.
  3. 56rat

    56rat New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    I am less then a mile away from the great salt lake in Utah and sometimes when my sump pump comes on it runs for hours to keep the water level down so my basement doesn't get flooded. I figured that since my basement is 5' under ground and the sump hole is full of water, causing my pump to run for hours at a time ( pushing out serious water ) then being down 14' must be more then enough and should yield me all the water I can use.. I guess being naive on the subject was my own fault, I kind of jumped into this project head first without researching it a ton. I will try to remove this pipe tonight and see if I have any luck. When I auger in the new hole should I do anything different? Should I use 4" pcv throughout the entire hole with slits cut in it all the way down? If I'm going to take the effort to drill another hole I want to do it right this time. I sure hope I can go deeper then 14' with my auger, When I was digging this hole it became really heavy and hard to lift it back out of the hole once I was 6-7 feet below the water. I'm not sure how much deeper I'll be able to dig but I can sure try.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    As you say you are hearing air, you must have a suction leak either in the pump or in the line. Before you go pulling up the line, you should at least see if the well will take water.

    I'd like to see pics of your auger system that you used to go down that deep. I made up an auger to go down inside my existing 6" well casing more than 50 feet to extract about 10 feet of mud.
  5. 56rat

    56rat New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    this is what I used to dig the hole, You can keep adding 3/4" pipe to make it longer..

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H5T46E/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00

    The problem for me is when I was down at 14' and under the water that far it was really hard to lift it back out of the hole due to the length and weight of the mud & water. I can always call a friend and have him help me, Just doing it myself was a butt kicker.. I'm not worried about it though, I know I can get it deeper with a little help, I'm just not sure how deep I need to take it..

    I don't hear air, I hear water. Maybe that's just air in the pipe and I don't realize it but when I pumped the pitcher pump and put my ear against the pipe I could hear a rushing sound, Almost as if I was standing next to a river. I know it sounds insane but when my ear was against the pipe it sure sounded like running water to me. You know when you're in your house and the dish washer is going and you can hear the water running through the pipes? That's what it sounds like when I put my ear against the pipe.

    I did put my house water hose in the top of the line and it never filled up, I let it run for 10 minutes or so and no water ever came back up and out of the pipe. Is this what I want to have happen? I really thought since my sump pump in my house produces so much water at 5-6' under ground I would be golden being at 14' in my pasture. I can definitely try pounding my well point in further, depending how much further I need to hit it. If I have to hit it another 20 feet I don't feel comfortable doing it because I've already broken 4 couplers and messed up the threads, But If you think another 5' or so is all I need I don't mind chancing it and giving it a few more whacks as a last resort option for this hole. If the well point breaks off then i'll just leave it down there and start fresh with a new hole. I did hit the pipe down another foot last night and it didn't take nearly as much effort as it did when I first started, so it does seem to be in much looser ground at 14' then it was at 5' .. I was able to go down a foot in about 20 medium strength hits with my 16lb sledge, whereas when I first started I only went down maybe 2-3" after 20 hard hits..
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Magic moment! You already have a PERFECT well. Its your sump pump. Put the outflow in a tank and test it for type of contaminants. Might be clean. If not do a UV filter, or use it for all your irrigation.

    Finally, for a few hundred bucks, a backhoe can make you a 20 ' hole, drop some 20" irrigation pipe - slotted and backfill.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I infer from what you said, that the water is rising part way up the pipe but then a suction leak is in fact what you are hearing. You would not actually hear the sound of running water unless the water actually ran somewhere.
  8. 56rat

    56rat New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    lol that would be sweet if I could do it. In the middle of summer there is no water in my house sump hole, Only in spring and fall or if it rains really hard for a long time. the hole in my basement is only dug down about a foot and the sump pump sits at the bottom of the hole and pumps out to my ditch. I figure where ever my water level is right now is the lowest it's going to get since it's august.

    I don't mind renting a back hoe but with all my goats and chickens I don't want them falling in the hole when I dig it. My animals are curious little guys and I don't think I'll be able to dig the hole, fill the pipe and cover it back up in one day. I really don't want to chance leaving a huge hole out there for my animals to potentially fall in. Honestly I can auger it with the tool I just bought and i'm sure I can go way deeper with a little lifting help from a friend, I just don't know how much deeper I need to go.

    I see two options:

    1. try to remove my well point and use it for another hole. Once my well point is removed I can dig a new 4" hole and line it with slotted PCV all the way down to 25-30' or so and then drop the galvanized 1.25" pipe with the well point down inside the pcv and see if it will suck up water.

    2. pound the hell out of my current well point and see if I can drive it a few more feet. There is a chance of it breaking if I do this but I don't mind taking that chance if it will possibly take care of my issues.

    I honestly don't know how far to hit it in. I know the end of my well point is in 6-8' water right now .. so how do I know when to stop hitting?
  9. 56rat

    56rat New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah

    ah.. I see. if there is a leak I don't see the point in hitting this down any further then. I'm suprised there is a leak as I used sealant on all the fittings and tightened them way tight but who knows..

    I guess my best move is to try and remove what I have and start fresh with a new hole. So if i'm going to dig a new hole with my auger how do you guys suggest I do it? line the walls with 4" pcv with slots all the way down?
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  10. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Langley BC
    I personally don't quite see how p-gravel was a mistake, having it around the screen would protect the screen and the well from sand infiltration, if you are in a waterbearing area. it will slow down the flow velocity considerably because of larger open area then the natural sand. Sounds to me as well that you have a suction leak in your piping, you might be able to put down some 1" pipe inside the 1-1/4 to test this. However as Porky says pour water in, if it keeps on rapidly dissapearing you have a well, if it backs up after some time you have a pretty pipe in the ground.
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