Hunting Camp Pump - what did we do wrong?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by pjlefe, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. pjlefe

    pjlefe New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    CT
    We have a small hunting camp run by a generator next to a river. The camp is located up a small hill from a clean flowing river and we wanted to buy a small shallow well pump/tank combo to pull water from the river to the camp. On the advice of the hardware store guy (first mistake?) we bought a 1/2HP Flotec Shallow well pump attached to a 6gallon tank. We also bought 125' of 1.25" flexible discharge hose to pump the water up from the river to the pump and wired the pump to the generator. The lift is about 15' in elevation over 125'.

    Now, it does work, but it runs constantly and when we do anything with it we have to continually stop and let the pressure build up then it has decent pressure for about 30 seconds before going limp again. The pump runs continuously.

    One thing we noticed is when the pump runs the flexible discharge hose we are using to suck the water out of the river is contracting. When the pump shuts off it relaxes. So here are my questions:

    1. Would another type of pipe work better?
    2. If yes to 1, would a smaller diameter pipe (say 1" make pumping easier)
    3. Or did we just use the wrong type of pump system for this application?

    Thanks.
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Larger pipe is better, don't go any smaller. 160# poly pipe is best as it won't flatten under vaccuum. 15' up and 125' away is a long way to suck water. Putting the pump closer to the water, distance and elevation wise would be better. And you probably have a suction leak.
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,444
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Welcome to Terry's Forums pjlefe,

    Most flexible discharge hoses are not made to be used on the suction side of the pump.

    That pump should work fine, but it sounds like your suction hose is collapsing.


    Have a good day.


    DonL
  4. gritres

    gritres New Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    nw florida
    poly pipe is the way to go. i love the stuff, i just dont know any hardware stores that sell it in 1 inch which is really what you'd want minimum. but like valveman said you're far better off pushing water than sucking it so if you can put the pump next to the water source and use a short distance of 1.25" to 2" PVC for suction then you'd be fine with your existing discharge hose run to the camp and perhaps all you'd need to buy instead is an extension cord for power.
  5. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    This is not part of your question, but I feel compelled to comment. You stated you are pulling water from a "clean flowing river". Gotta tell ya, there is not such thing. Even in high mountain area, animals leave "deposits" in and near streams. In Florida, the water is almost certainly contaminated by animals and perhaps humans. These deposits contain bacteria that cause what we commonly refer to as "Beaver Fever". Perhaps not fatal, but it's not pleasant to say the least. Just because the water looks clear and clean doesn't mean it is safe to drink without treatment. I would encourage you to get your water tested and obtain some advice about what kind of treatment would work for you.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Of course you're free to take or leave any suggestions offered here. I sure didn't mean to hurt your feelings by my comment regarding water purity, and it is your choice to pooh-pooh my warning. I hope you and your hunting friends avoid the potential problem.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,444
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I think that hunters know about risks in the wild.

    After all they eat wild game.

    They are big boys and have a way of taking care of themselves.


    DonL
  8. pjlefe

    pjlefe New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    CT
    No offense taken. I appreciate the advice however having had "Beaver Fever" (the bad kind) I am very familiar with it and it is unpleasant.

    What I should have said was a clean flowing river free of mudd and debris. We will not be drinking it, just showering in it, washing off quads and my tractor, and washing dishes with it. I realize there is still a small residual risk just from those activities but it's low enough to accept the risk.

    We're going to redo the system this weekend by running a longer wire to a small pump house next to the river and then pumping the output back up the hill. The only downside is the longer run may draw more electricity but our generator should be able to handle it.
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    DonL, your inference that eating wild game is risky shows your ignorance. Properly processed, wild game is not only safe to eat, it is superior in many ways to domestic animal meat that has been pumped full of chemicals. I was pleased read that the intended us of this untreated water will not include drinking. This fact was not included in the original post which of course was regarding pumping concerns not impurities in the water. My point was simply that because water looks clean, does not mean it does not contain harmful bacteria. Pjlefe answered my concerns quite well.
  10. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I agree with this 100%
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,444
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I did not say that wild game was not good to eat. I agree with you "Properly processed, wild game is not only safe to eat, it is superior in many ways to domestic animal meat that has been pumped full of chemicals"

    The key is, if it is Properly processed.

    Just as water is good to drink if Properly processed.

    Most hunters know how to Properly process what they consume.


    Have a great day.


    DonL
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