New Home Construction - Need Well Pump & Tank Selection Guidance

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Dee in SC, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Dee in SC

    Dee in SC Master of none

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    SC
    I'm charged with building our house while my husband is overseas for the next year or more. We'll break ground soon on a new home and would like suggestions on the appropriate well pump for our situation. Also important is input on your experience with specific pumps that seem to require unusually high repair or servicing, so that we can avoid them. Can you recommend a solid brand at a reasonable price? We're not wealthy, but we want to take great care in the selection of the pump so that we don't face unnecessary problems in the future. We plan to spend the next 30 years in this home in rural SC and want to set this thing up correctly from the beginning.

    This posting picks up from a thread started in the Water Heater, Tanks Forum, where I was presented with the choice between a variable speed pump (expensive) and a cycle stop valve for the water pressure issue and I've been doing a little reading on that. So far, a CSV is sounding right for us based on cost/benefit, but I'll keep reading about the issue.

    The well is 400' deep with a yield of 5 gpm and was struck July 2010. We have a 6 1/4" PVC casing running to 49 feet. (We hit granite at 50') The static water level is 30' below land surface after 24 hours.

    The house is long (111') and narrow to take advantage of a pond view. Two main areas of water use are at opposite ends of the house: master bed with his and her baths and the washer/dryer at one end, kitchen, guest bath, 2 bedrooms at the other end of the house.

    Water usage: just me and the husband, no children, occasional visitors. Gardening water will primarily come from an additional pump system (to be installed later) feeding off of the pond.

    Tanks? Bladder inside the tank? What would you recommend as right for our water usage?
    By the way, I'm not expecting someone to make my decisions for me, rather I need a good jumping-off point from which to continue researching. The more knowledge I can gain from the forum's experts and people who have had good/bad experiences with their particular well/tank, the more focused I can be with my reading.

    Thanks in advance to you who give me your time.
    Dee
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,369
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    To be able to utilize the water all the way down to 400’, you are going to need about a 10 GPM, 1.5 horsepower pump. Since you are only this water in the house, a CSV won’t eliminate many cycles. However, because it is such a deep well with a high water level, that pump will see too much up-thrust until the well pulls down a ways. The CSV1W will add enough back pressure to keep the up-thrust from being a problem. To do this the CSV will also hold back 233 PSI on the pipe before the CSV. So you need to make sure the pipe is rated for that much. Then you can use the CSV1W with as little as a 4.4 gallon size bladder tank.

    Without a CSV you need at least a 50 gallon size tank, and about a 10 GPM Dole valve to limit the up-thrust. The CSV works like a variable Dole valve. It won’t limit you to 10 GPM if you need more than that.

    I would stay with a brand name pump with a Franklin motor. The Franklin motors at the big box stores have plastic end bells. So you need to find somewhere to get a regular Franklin motor. Lancaster has been mentioned and I also like Flint & Walling, and AY McDonald.
  3. WellWaterProducts

    WellWaterProducts In the trades

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Northwood NH
    If your uses are mostly internal, a 3/4 Hp, 7 gallon series pump at about 300' will probably keep you quite satisfied from a performance standpoint. A 20 gallon tank and a CSV would work quite nicely with that.
  4. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    522
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Valveman do you think a pumptec or similar device would be a good idea with a well with such a low yield or do you just match the output of the pump to the well yield once the water level drops so that it cannot pump more than 5 GPM?
  5. WellWaterProducts

    WellWaterProducts In the trades

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Northwood NH
    Question for Texas Wellman: what well yield do you consider average in your area?
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,369
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If the pump at max depth and pressure can't produce more than the well, then a dry well relay is really not required. But what happens if someone lets a big hose run at 0 pressure? At 50 PSI a 10GS15 can only pump 5 GPM from 400'. But without any pressure it can pump 11 GPM from 400'. I would use a Dry Well Protector like the Cycle Sensor to eliminate the possiblilty of this scenario. You can tell the customer they can do anything with their well except run a hose wide open, but that doesn't mean they won't do it anyway.
  7. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    522
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    A 4" well here should produce a minimum of 20 gpm and top out in the 100 gpm range. A 2" well here would make about 20 GPM ( of course you can't pump that much ). 5 GPM here would just about be considered a dry hole. Of course there are areas that can be tough but typically here yield is not a problem.

    I confess I don't really have much experience with low yield wells but I do understand that there are people who would love to have 5 GPM and that 5 GPM is plenty of water to sustain a household.
  8. WellWaterProducts

    WellWaterProducts In the trades

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Northwood NH
    In New England, there are people getting by with 1000' 1 gpm wells. Lawn watering is out of the question.

    My experience tells me that the internal uses of water at this home will average about 100 gallons each day, which even allows for a softener. A 6" well stores 1.5 gallons/foot so the max drawdown for a day's worth of water, if drawn all at once, is about 65'. They plan to irrigate with other sources. They could get by with almost any pump available but the 3/4-7 that I recommended will allow use of multiple items in the home without concern.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,826
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Only if there is not adequate storage. I've heard of people with marginally producing wells installing non-pressurized storage tanks. A 1 GPM recovery well still produces 1440 gallons a day. A 1000 foot casing can store close to 1500 gallons. The challenge would probably be to maintian the GPM as the storage is drawn down, but combine that with a thousand gallons of storage tank and you could probably water the lawn too. This is all moot however since the OP stated they have an alternate (pond) water source for that. Plants would probably prefer the pond water anyway.

    I agree that the OP would probably be fine with a 3/4 HP and not need to go to 1.5 HP depending on how far down they draw the storage and how many GPM they need. I have a 1/2 HP pump drawing from 50 feet with the water table 15 feet below grade. My pump averages less than 5 GPM because I squeeze the water through a micronizer but I can run one or two sprinklers all day long. My iron filter flow limits to 8 GPM and would like to match that with my pump but my well was never tested above 5 GPM.
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Why doesnt everyone use the low pressure cut out switches? Only a few bucks more, and unless its in a crawl space, it makes the owner get out and think about his well every now and then.

    Saved MANY a pump for virtually no investment, for when that hose breaks or pipe opens up when you are in hawaii....

    Yes. I know its possible that they wont trip under specific parameters, but I have never won that lottery.

    I got a call from a experienced electrician the other day. He was wiring up a low pressure cut out switch I put in. He was telling me to get over there and take out the air compressor switch that I had 'mistakenly' put in.

    Gave him a small lesson in switches and reading the instructions that I had actually glued to the pressure tank right next to the switch!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  11. WellWaterProducts

    WellWaterProducts In the trades

    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Northwood NH
    Honestly, we only put them in where we know there is a good chance of running the pump dry and where the client does not have a budget for a better device. The nuisance tripping after power outages or momentary spikes in water use just adds to customer dissatisfaction in general.

  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,826
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Ja, despite the rare inconvenience when the power goes out and the storage draws down, I wouldn't go without one. My only complaint is that they require to be held "just right" long enough to build the pressure back up to where you can let it go. Explaining to my wife over the phone how to do that, is not something that I look forward to and I could see where some installers wouldn't want to deal with the support calls either.
  13. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    FL/GA
    here we also have good producing wells, so running dry is rarely ever a concern. if little johnny wants to open every hose bib on the property and play in the water all day while the pump is at full flow, he can have at it. if a line breaks, they can have a new pond. so long as water continues to come out of that system when there is power, i am a "good well guy".

    i never install low pressure cutout switches unless customer absolutely makes me.. just for the reason LL stated.

    most people dont want to check on their system ever, much less every now and then. they call you when water doesnt come out of the tap. the longer you keep water coming out of the tap before they have to do anything, the more they like you and will keep using you. it's true.
  14. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You can make a bit of money coming out to hold that lever for them, and telling them it or you saved the pump.

    My wife can do it, just leave some old pliers at the switch to make it easy.
  15. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,369
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I think this is the most accurate statement in the pump business. I would only add on top of that, most people also do not want to worry about how much or how little water they use. Literaly hundreds of times I told people, “I know you think you want that 2 HP pump. But that means you have to run 12 sprinklers at a time. Never 1 or 2, never 10 or 11, but always 12 sprinklers, or don’t run sprinklers.†They will say “yeah, yeah, no problemâ€, but you know it is. A short time later they are back in my office or on the phone, mad as hell that I sold them such a cheap pump. This time when I explain the 12 sprinklers thing, they finally get it. But they are still mad at me for not making this more clear, and they will be even more mad if I charge them a dime. So I usually end up putting off a good paying job, to do another warranty job for free.

    I always said I wish I didn’t have to try to talk people into a smaller pump, and I wish I had a nickle for every time I had to explain about not just running that one sprinkler.

    The CSV did that for me. If someone came in wanting a 2 HP pump, I would tell them they could have a 3 HP if they wanted. I could sell them as big a pump as they thought they needed, and I would install a CSV so they can run it anyway they want without destroying the pump and being mad at me.
  16. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    324
    Location:
    FL/GA
    i agree with you there valveman. it was always a pita convincing customers that they really didnt need the larger pump. even after you explain it, u know they are still skeptical and will always wonder. ever since using the CSV on our installs, i'll give them whatever they want without worry.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  17. Dee in SC

    Dee in SC Master of none

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    SC
    Hello, Guys,
    I'm sorry for dropping out of sight. I moved to a temporary apartment and lost my internet longer than I thought. Much longer. Your advice is stellar! I've cut-and-pasted your guidance into a file I keep with recommendations and explanations on every aspect of construction from the foundation to installing pocket doors.
    Chris (WellWaterProducts) and Valveman: You guys are the best! Your observations and suggestions are the most applicable to my situation. I want to understand as much as my brain can absorb (we'll see how much that is) about the pump and how to address quick fixes myself if and when the need arises. I'm taking this information now and will see how to apply it to our construction. Once I'm down to specific decisions, I'd like to post again and see what additional comments you may have.
    Dee
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