Installing a shallow well

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by hlbmab, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. hlbmab

    hlbmab New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Virginia
    I live on the east coast near water and would like to install a well to water plants and a small garden. I am told that water is available at about 18' and that a well point can be either driven or washed (jetted?) but I have never done either. Does anyone here know where I could find the installation instructions for such a well?

    Henry

    PS: I spent several hours searching this site and reading posts but did not find what I needed.
  2. Here are a couple of excellent tutorials on wells and pumps:
    www.peekspump.com
    www.jessstryker.com
    I've driven a few shallow wells down here in Northeastern NC, and I can tell you how we do it. I don't know where there is a "how-to".
    First, a "shallow well" here means that there is 25' or less between the well point and the pump. You will likely need a residential well permit, so contact your local Health Department for permit and inspection requirements. (A well cannot be closer than 100' to any part of a septic system, for instance, and also cannot be connected to a public water supply.)
    You can get different size pumps and pressure tanks, but if you plan on running more than one sprinkler head at a time, I would get at least a 3/4 hp 2-stage pump.
    If you have public water supply, you can wash it down (easier, but a muddy mess.) If not, you can drive it, either with a homemade T-shaped well driver or a sledge hammer. You will need two large pipe wrenches, lots of teflon tape, and a hand-pump (aka pitcher pump).
    You will need an 1.25" well point (the longer the better...5', 4' or 3'), four 5' joints of 1.25" galvanized pipe threaded on both ends, 1.25" galvanized couplings, and a heavy-duty black pipe coupling for driving if you're driving it.
    To drive a well:
    A. Dig a small pit about 2-3' deep X 2-3' round (below local freeze line), unless you're going to put the pump right over the well in an insulated wellhouse, in which case there is no need for the pit.
    B. Tighten the black coupling onto the point and drive the point down almost flush. If you're using a sledge hammer, use a 2X board held flat over the black coupling to lessen damage to it.
    C. Remove the black coupling, wrap several flat wraps of teflon tape on the pipe threads clockwise only as you look at the ends, and tighten a regular galvanized coupling and the first joint of galvanized pipe onto the point. Tighten these as tight a possible.
    D. Tighten the black coupling onto the upper end of the first pipe and repeat the process until all are connected tightly and driven down.
    E. Attach the pump, prime the well with a hose, and hand-pump the water off until it runs clear of sand.
    F. Connect and prime the pump.
    To wash a well down:
    Connect the point and pipe sections (teflon taped) as tightly as possible and wash them down a section at a time with a 10' length of plastic PVC pipe attached to a water hose.
    Good luck!
    Mike
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2006
  3. hlbmab

    hlbmab New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Virginia
    Mike, thanks for the quick detailed response. I am going out this evening and will probably have some questions tomarrow.

    Henry

  4. hlbmab

    hlbmab New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hello Mike,
    I didn't realize that "tomorrow" was going to be more than two months later. Other things took priority.

    Here is what I have done this week. Drove a well point down about 13 ft and using a rod determiner that there was 4.5 ft of water in the well (the well is about 65' from a tidal river). Connected an old 3/4 hp jet pump of questionable efficiency (everything is new except the pump). All piping from point to pump is 1 1/4".

    After priming, the pump shuts off at 55 psi and back on at 35 psi. The bladder tank is at 33 psi. I can fill a 5 gallon bucket from a faucet at the pump in 20 seconds but with that faucet fully open the pump can only maintain about 45 psi pressure.

    My question is....does this sound normal? And the reason I ask is 1) This is my first well and pump installation and 2) I am using an old pump of unknown quality. (The pump has cut off twice due to overheating but I think that is a separate issue.)

    Henry
  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Fifteen gallons per minute at 45 psi is pretty good for a 3/4 HP jet pump.
  6. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    What kind of wiring are you using to energize this pump?

    bob...
  7. hlbmab

    hlbmab New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Virginia
    The pump has a 4 foot 14 guage cord pluged into a 25 ft 12 guage extension cord. The extension cord is pluged into a 20 amp circuit about 20 ft from the main panel. I had thought about this as a potential problem and switched from a 16 guage extension cord to the 12 guage with little difference.

    Henry
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Plugs are not even a good idea with the starting amps of a pump motor. But 12 is definately better than one of those lamp cord extension cords.

    If the motor is actually good (no shorted windings etc.) you may be using a deep well jet as a centrifugal which will over heat the motor if you are moving too much water. Since Bob NH looked up the curve on the pump, and commented on the production being very good, do you have a pump with two holes in the front and a plug in one of the holes?

    bob...
  9. hlbmab

    hlbmab New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Virginia
    I agree about the plugs. This is temporary until I can get a wire through a brick wall. The pump is a Sta-Rite SN Series Shallow Well Jet Pump with one hole in the front (except for a small plug below the 1 1/4" hole).
  10. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You have a shallow well jet, so my theory on that one is no good. You may have some motor issues.

    bob...
  11. hlbmab

    hlbmab New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks for your help...

    From the posts on this forum I gather that my pump is doing what it is designed to do but there is a problem with the pump motor overheating. Since it is an old pump I will probably just replace it.

    I want to thank you all for your help.

    Henry
  12. Week End Weller

    Week End Weller New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Need Some Much Needed Direction

    Current Well Configuration:

    - 4" Liner (PVC SCH 40) - 32' down
    - 2" Well Pipe (PVC SCH 40)(With water a 3' screen) - 20' down from ground surface
    - 1 HP Pump - with one way check valve (located on inlet side of pump)
    - Well X-Trol 202 - Pressure Tank
    - I hit water at the 8' mark and the liner/well pipe fills back to the water table mark of 8'.

    Going in with info:
    When I first started this week end project, I was told that the water table in my area was between 32 - 38' and to stop digging once I hit the "River" of water (Eastern North Carolina as I know now, has a sand based unconfined aquifers). I was told that once I hit the river of water, the 4" liner would drain like flushing a toilet (I know now that no river of water exit in my area).

    My Concerns Are:
    - I believe, I sunk the 4" liner into clay and the water has a hard time filling back the withdraw rate when the pump is running. (No holes were drilled in the liner for water flow)

    - I can only pull water for about 10 seconds - It takes a few minutes for the water level to recover.

    - When figuring shallow well pump depths (25') - Is it from the water table level or the bottom of the 2" well pipe (Minus the water screen)

    Should I:
    1. Start over (with a 4" Liner driven to 20' and my 2" well pipe driven to 21' with 2' of the water screen driven past the 20' 4" liner)
    - Do you need a liner and should you add holes in the liner for the water to flood in?
    - Do you need a liner? I used one because I could not dig past the water table due to back fill of water and sand.
    2. Extend my current 2" well pipe to 33' with 2' of the water screen driven past the 32' 4" liner. (my concern with this, is going past the 25' mark and the shallow well pump not working) I believe by driving the 2" well pipe through the clay that my 4" liner is current in will allow the water flow to recover and keep the flow rate needed for my pump. This I beleive would work if the pump pulls from the water level and not the actual bottom of the 2" well pipe and if the water recovers fast enough to not drop the water level below 25'.
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