How close to bottom of well can place a sub?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jfharper, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    I need to drop my 1hp sub, how close to the well bottom can I go? Casing is 6".
  2. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    ct
    We like them no closer than 20'
  3. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,383
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    We always use a flow inducer or motor shroud as in our area we set pumps a foot or two off the bottom.
  4. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for the reply...right now I'm at about 15' from the bottom...problem is the well is going dry and I'm trying to buy some time so I can figure out what my options are. If I reduced the flow of the sub, could I drop it closer to to bottom...say like 10'?
  5. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    That's interesting...after googling this and reading some other threads I found, I'm wondering if maybe I could try cleaning out my well to see if it is deeper than I measured, then put a shroud on and maybe that could get me by until we get enough rain out here. Is there a way to tell if my well has material at the bottom? There appears to be no county records on this well. There is a YouTube video where a guy uses pvc, water and air to force dirt up the pvc for drilling a shallow well...I wonder if I could use this method for cleaning out my own well. Do you think this would work?
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,383
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    There is no sense trying to make the well deeper if you still have not utilized the 15’ below the pump that you already have. Lowering the pump 14’ might solve the problem. If there is junk in the bottom of the well, a pump with a shroud will suck it up. If there is no junk, you are good to go.

    You would have to displace a lot of water to make the jetting action clean the bottom of the well. A large air compressor would work better than water.
  7. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    Hey, thanks again for your kind assistance. Yeah, the YouTube video guy digs a shallow well with a water line and an air line attached to the base of his digging rig which is 1.25" sch40 pvc...he also made a drilling head out of either gal pipe that he cut to have teeth, of he welded drill bits to some metal end...he pushes down and twists to dig up the dirt/sand the water line puts it into suspension, and the air creates a bubble inside the pipe which pushes an amount of sediment water out the top of the pipe periodically.

    So, you don't think I need to clean the bottom of the well out first? The sediment down there won't hurt the sub if it sucks it up? Thanks again for your help.

    Perhaps I should also install the cyclestop after I get this setup, so if my sub starts sucking too much, the cyclestop can protect it.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,839
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    There are two ways to air lift debris from a well. The easiest is with a very large compressor and a line shoved down the casing. The other way is to build a venturi and have two lines going down the well, similar to a deep well jet.

    You don't say how deep the well is so we cannot surmise how much effort it would take.
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,383
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If you have 15’ of open hole below the pump, then you don’t need to clean anything out unless you want to add more than about 14’. Even if you do make it deeper, it will probably settle back to the same depth after time.

    A Cycle Stop Valve would make the pump produce the same amount of water that you are using. So if you have a 10 GPM pump, and the well only produces 8 GPM, just use less than 8 GPM and the CSV will match the amount and keep the pump from pulling the well dry.

    A Cycle Sensor is probably more important for you than the CSV. The Cycle Sensor will shut your pump off and save it WHEN you do allow the well to be pumped dry.
  10. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,815
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    If I was in California I would not modify my well because of no Rain.

    The Gov may ban private well usage, and make you share.


    California needs to invest in saltwater plants.


    When the state falls off, The problem will be solved.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  11. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    ct
    Lowering the pump 10' will give you an immediate 15 gallons or so in a 6" well. Most of the time after that initial 15 gallons is used, you will still have the same problem.
  12. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,815
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    And that problem is that you still live in California ?


    My Bad, Please Forgive me.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,839
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    My guess is the OP thinks it's like lowering the intake in a lake, that he gets to draw the lake down an extra 15 feet, or that he is in a gravel formation and gets to draw down a larger cone of depression.
  14. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    I was thinking, if I'm going to pull the sub out and add wire, redo the pipe because it is sch40 glued, and do it right with sch 80 threaded with sch 120 couplers, and add a flow inducer, then maybe I should clean out the bottom of the well if there is more room down there below the sub. My well was rated at 35 gpm back when we bought the house in 1999.

    The problem is the water basin has been dropping a bit each year due to too much development, agriculture and not enough rain. If I take it all out and do it right, maybe I should clean it out and see if I could drop it lower planning for the future. I doubt our county government is going to make the grape growers out here stop watering their grapes, which means it is up to the residents in our county to handle it themselves.

    I'm a 44 year old diy'er who is trying to take care of my family. We don't have the funds to hire a well driller..so I appreciate all you help. Don't worry about mudslinging California...I agree, there is just nothing I can do about my situation right now except fix the problem, plan for the future and get ready for whatever comes next.

    Given this information, would it be a good idea to clean out the well anticipating more level drop? My well is 75' to sediment, unknown how deep below that, water level at 50' and sub set at 60'. We are in a course sand/dry river bed environment. Thanks again for all the help.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  15. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    The local well guy told me that if the sub was made out of plastic in some areas then sucking up debris would chew it up...I didn't tell him that I had a 1hp pump...is there a danger of chewing up my pump with sucking up debris?
  16. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    Is there a way to know what size thin walled pvc to get to make the shroud...3" or 4"? My sub is 1hp...I assume...I opened the control box and there was a small electronic thing with a label that read 1hp 230v. Are all 1 hp subs 4"? If mine is 4" would I get 4" pvc or larger like 5" or 4.5"? Thanks
  17. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    I guess that was what I was thinking...but after reading you post it's not like this...is it more like amount of water readily flowing into the casing? So if that is being depleted, lowering the sub won't help...is it a matter of water production that is being lost?
  18. VAWellDriller

    VAWellDriller New Member

    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    If you have a screened well in a sand formation, like it sounds like you do, there will be a great benefit to lowering the pump, even a little bit...much more benefit than just the storage of the casing. We have the same problem around here....water levels falling in the coastal plain anywhere between .25 and 2 ft per year....In most cases lowering the pump even a couple feet will alleviate the problem completely....As far as a shroud, thin wall 4" is what you want for a 4" sub.
  19. jfharper

    jfharper New Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    California
    Thanks a bunch.

    Yes, we are right next to a dry river bed with course sand/decomposed granite...I believe my well is a screen type...but really don't know for sure...I'm really just learning here.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  20. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,383
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Same thing around here. Sometimes just lowering a foot or two can make a big difference. The thinner the 4" pipe the easier it is to cut the pie shape wedges and get the 4.5" hose clamp tight. We use 4" 100# sewer pipe.
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