Need Advice on Wellhouse

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Robert444, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Monett, Missouri
    I got my well drilled last Fall. It's 170 feet deep, cased to 105 feet, and water level is 50 feet. I'm in SW Missouri in the Ozarks.

    Here's what I have right now:

    [​IMG]

    I would like to get water to my (non-heated) barn, which is 40 feet to the East of this well, and sometime later get water to my house site which is going to be located 80 feet NW of the well. The house site is about 10 feet lower in elevation than the well and the existing barn. I have a good deal of construction experience, and am capable of building a good wellhouse, but do I need a wellhouse? Ideally I'd like to get water to my barn this Spring, but I won't start construction on my house for another 2 years.

    Is there some way I can put a pressure tank in my non-heated barn, and be able to drain everything in the late Fall when temps drop so nothing freezes up, and then be able to turn the water back on in the Spring without building a wellhouse?
  2. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    650
    Location:
    Washington
    If you have the pump down the well you don't need to put anything over the well. Just run an appropriately rated wire from the barn to the well, sized for minimal voltage drop at the required current. Also bury the water pipe below frost depth. Code dictates a minimum depth for the electrical. Use pitless adapter to bring the water out the side of the well casing at the depth you want to run the pipe. Use nice big black flexable (sort of) pressure pipe. Probably want 1.5" or so. Bigger is better to minimize pressure drop.

    Tank and pressure switch go in the barn. Leave drain valves at low points to drain everything. Maybe put something at a high point to let you put in compressed air for blowing out the system with fewer drains. Try to avoid making low points in the plumbing.

    When you get the house done you just move everything. Or build a protected space with some backup heat around the tank and pipes in the barn and run more buried pipe.

    If someone here would comment on the proper use of a check valve. It would seem useful to have a check valve before the tank and pressure switch rather than have one at the pump. Then a valve on the pump side of the check valve would let water drain back into the well.
  3. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Monett, Missouri
    The pump will definitely go down the well.
    You say to "leave drain valve at low point". How can I leave a drain valve below the frost line, and have access to it?

    I'm not plumbing the barn, only running a water line for a single faucet.
    Ideally I'd like to just put one of these (don't know what they are called) near the barn entrance and be done with it, but I can't figure out how to do that with no well house and no bladder tank. Any ideas?

    [​IMG]
  4. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    650
    Location:
    Washington
    I am talking about low points for the above ground stuff. Tank, pressure gauge, pressure switch.

    The device you are talking about actually drains water from the above ground piping when it is turned off. So you can leave them outside without freezing. But that is no real help for your problem.

    The underground pipe from the well is protected, but it has to come up for all the other stuff. If there is no check valve at the pump but there is one before the tank and pressure switch that will let the whole pipe to the well to drain. This is not necessary to protect that pipe, but it will also drain the riser where it comes out of the ground in the barn.

    Should you think about just putting the hydrant on the well pipe and then use a hose or adapter to the pressure tank; don't. If someone shuts it off and the pump runs will you will most likely break the pump.

    How much water did the driller say your well can produce/hr? You have to decide what pump you are going to put in to meet your anticipated flow rates. The flow rate will be used to determine tank size. Someone will be along later to try to sell you a little valve that can minimize the size of the tank. It can be pretty small.

    For a small tank, maybe you can dig a hole and bury it. Just put down a hole, line it with block or even pressure treated wood if this is temporary installation and you will eventually put the equipment in the house. Put a well insulated and tight cover on it. If the tank is below the maximum soil freeze level and insulated that should keep things OK. Someone else will probably have some knowledge on that. You could also leave a little heat source in there, but I would not personally feel safe with that approach. If power fails; not good.

    There is also a real simple solution. Just run the well pipe directly to the hydrant. Keep it open and just run the pump when you need water from the hose/faucet. There are two problems with this. If the flow is low enough the pump may not be sufficiently cooled and be damaged. You have to figure that out for your pump and how you are going to use water. The second problem is of course running the pump with the faucet/hose turned off. This could break the pump and/or damage pipes. It is a low cost but risky approach and you have to have a use pattern that makes it work. I did that for about 6 months with my well before I had anywhere to put the tank and things. It worked for me with my pump. My pump only generates about 3 G/m so an unrestricted 5/8" hose was more that it could keep up with. It was rather a pain in the butt. But I was mostly just watering plants so it was not bad. This way you would have nothing to drain and no pressure switch or tank to buy until you have the house.

    That funny noise you hear is the rest of the people on this site clutching their chests over this last approach.
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Actually, your last suggestion is not a bad idea, as long as no one ever shuts off that hydrant while the pump is running. Of course after the pump is shut off, you will have to close the hydrant to get it to drain or the hydrant itself will freeze.

    You apparently already have a pitless adapter from the looks of your casing. The well driller could have put in an H2Optimal system that has larger casing at the top of the pitless. This allow for the pressure tank, pressure switch, and Cycle Stop Valve to be installed inside the casing. This is done a lot for stock wells that are out in the middle of nowhere and do not have a well house.

    Since the well is already finished, you could use one of H2Otimal's Buried Tank Eliminators. This is buried next to the casing and has the pressure tank, pressure switch, and CSV inside and underground. This way when you are ready to hook up water to the house, barn, or irrigation, all you have to do is run the water lines. The CSV allows you to use a very small tank, and the BTE puts it all underground where it cannot freeze.

    You could also use one of the Pside-kick complete pump control packages inside the bran or house. (See picture below) You would just need to install a stop and waste underground before the pump controls. Then when you need to winterize, you just turn off power to the pump, and close the stop and waste valve.

    You DO NOT want any check valve in the system other than the check valve that is on the pump itself.

    Attached Files:

  6. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Monett, Missouri
    Thanks guys.

    Valveman, there is nothing there but a hole in the ground, and the casing and the green cast-iron cap on the casing. All the driller did was drill the well and drive the casing, and seal it with some 3 bags of clay.

    I like the idea of the Pside-kick pump control package as in the picture you posted. It looks simple and I like simple.
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Hi Robert444
    The well has a pitless cap and steel casing. I assumed the pitless was already installed and just plugged, because it is much easier to weld a pitless on before the casing is installed. Most of these type casings come with the pitless already attached at the correct depth. If the well does not have a pitless, then it has the wrong cap.

    Without the pitless, you would need a well seal with a couple of holes for the pipe and wire to come through the top. Then even the well head would need to be covered and heated.
  8. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Monett, Missouri
    That green cap is one they had in the back of the drill truck--it was beat-to-crap and rusty as all get-out, and the 1/4-20 bolts that were supposed to hold it to the casing were bent. They just kinda threw it on top of the casing. I pulled it off, removed the bolts, put in some good bolts, wire-brushed it, primed it with Rustoleum Rusty Metal primer and shot it with some Safety Green I had left over from another job. And I did look down the well one dark night, with the help of a Mag-lite... there is nothing in the casing--I could see all the way to the water. I'm not sure exactly what a pitless or a well-seal is. I'll try to find out.
  9. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Monett, Missouri
    OK, I'm understanding more. Thanks Valveman. I just googled pitless and found out what it is, and also found out what a well-seal is. I think I'll go with a pitless, even though they didn't weld anything on to the casing that I know of. But it makes more sense for me to bring the water out of the casing below the frost line.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The pitless adapters I am familiar with are for 5" and 6" well casing and to be installed below the frost line and are not welded to the casing. Most are three piece, the internal (drop pipe) dovetail part that accepts your tee handled pitless wrench, the other half of the dovetail threaded piece that has a seal and washer on it and goes out through the casing and the external washer, seal and nut that screws on to that piece to provide the internal and external seals of the hole trough the casing.

    That allows you to drill/cut the hole with a hole saw or cutting torch in whatever direction you want to go with your water line. You have to excavate to put the water line in and drilling/cutting the hole takes maybe 5 minutes. You put the dovetail parts of the pitless together and screw the pitless on to your pitless tee handled wrench. That allows you to reach down into the casing as far as you need to go to get the external part of the dovetail through the hole and holds it hands free as the external parts and nut is tightened, then you straighten the pitless in the casing and final tighten the external nut. It takes about 15 minutes to do the hole and install the pitless. When done pull the internal dovetail part and install your pump.
  11. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That is how we install a pitless on PVC casing. On steel casing, we usually use a weld on.
  12. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Monett, Missouri
    I've done some welding, but on this I'd leave it to somebody who does it all day long! Welding on the bottom of the adapter while leaning over upside down in a trench is not my idea of fun!

    On the other hand, the screw-together pitless sounds interesting. Are the screw-together pitless adapters stainless? Or are they all made of steel? Just curious.
  13. WV Hillbilly

    WV Hillbilly New Member

    Messages:
    178
    Location:
    WV
    They don't corrode . Made of brass .
  14. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

  15. Robert444

    Robert444 New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Monett, Missouri
    Thanks Gary. Those look great.
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