Recovering an old well .....

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by oldfarmhouse, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. oldfarmhouse

    oldfarmhouse New Member

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    We discovered a brick-lined well on the property of our 1860's farmhouse. The family who owned the property remembers there being a hand pump on top of it at one point many years back. I'm trying to decide what to do with it now. Here are the specifics; the well is 4' wide and 33' deep. Regardless of conditions, time of year, etc. there is always 3' to 4' of water sitting in it. It is cool, clear, clean, no ordor, etc. I tossed a trash pump down with a 2" fire hose connected to it and ran it for 15 minutes at about 10 gallons a minute before it started sucking air. After it rested for 10 minutes, I pumped another 60 gallons out of it before it got tired. With this being said; what can I use the well for ??? Will it produce enough water to water the lawns with ??? Would I be better off going back to an old style hand pump and use it for small watering tasks, etc. An 1860's map of the area shows springs surrounding the property. Any thoughts at all would be appreciated. Thank you !!!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    21,801
    Location:
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    Sounds like if you set up an irrigation system with minimal spray heads going at once, it might make it (i.e., have enough flow to support maybe a few gallons per minute). Otherwise, you might need a storage tank. Adding a hand pump might add some charm, and give you a little exercise to water the flowers. I have no experience with these sorts of things...just ideas off the top of my head.
  3. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

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    4,540
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    Cookie, there must be more water in the well than you think. A trash pump can only lift water 25' maximum. And a trash pump with 2" connections on it should pump at least 100 gpm.

    You can use a shallow well jet pump, a self priming centrifugal or a submersible pump in that well. I don't know what kind of wire you have, but I would stay with submersible pump cable if you use the sub.

    bob...
  4. hammerslammer

    hammerslammer New Member

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    Location:
    Colorado
    I have 2 shallow wells used for irrigation. I checked into submersibles but heard that they needed to be covered with water all the time which could be a problem if you draw down. I've tried jet pumps too but what works the best for me is a Meyers Bulldozer piston pump. Mine is dated 1921 and it works great and looks cool too. Might be a little hard to find one but if you do they are the workhorse of shallow well applications.
  5. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Your right about the Bulldozers HS, they were one tough old piston pump and would build oodles of pressure.

    bob...
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If You Want to Use the Well

    At 33 ft deep with 3 or 4 ft of water, you have about 30 ft of lift. That is too much for reliable operation with a shallow well jet at the top of the well.

    Most inexpensive sump pumps don't have enough head to give you any useful pressure if they even have enough to get over the top of the well. High pressure ejector pumps are serious overkill for both flow and $$$$$$.

    My engineered solution, given your 4 ft diameter well and apparent capacity of maybe 6 gallons per minute, would be to hang a 1/2 HP shallow well jet pump about 10 to 15 feet down in the well (Maximum 20 ft or so above the water, lower is better). Use a 1 1/4 suction line with a foot valve, and a 1" poly discharge line. Make provision for priming from the top.

    You can make a little rig to let the pump down from the top without having to climb into the well. Put the pump on a wooden base and suspend the base from three separated lines to a suspension point about 5 ft above the base. That will keep it from tipping due to unbalances. When you balance it, keep in mind that the pipes will be full of water after it starts to run. If you sling it right you can let it down with a single rope.

    Put a secure but vented cover on the well to keep the pump as dry as possible, but the heat from running it ocassionally should protect the motor.

    Since it is a low capacity well, I would put a float switch in the bottom of the well to shut off when the water goes low (Get a Normally Open "load duty" switch; USA BlueBook 47709 or 47710, 800-548-1234). You can put a weight on it, or buy one with a weight if available, so you can install and adjust it from the top of the well.

    If you use a pressure tank, I suggest taking the pressure switch off the motor and putting it outside the well, connected in series with the float switch. It will be so much easier to adjust float and pressure levels.
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I think BobNH kinda went off the deep end with the lowering of a shallow well jet pump into a dug well.

    Stick with the 1/2hp submersible pump you are talking about. It was meant to be put in wet/damp places unlike the jet pump.

    bob...
  8. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I agree that lowering a shallow well jet into the well is not a solution if you have a submersible.

    I guess I was confused by the identity of the posters. oldfarmhouse referred to a well and use of a trash pump to pump it out. Afterwards, cookie came along and talked about a Myers submersible.

    Are oldfarmhouse and cookie the same person?

    At 33 feet deep and being pumped virtually dry, the well is too deep for a shallow well pump at the top of the well. I was only suggesting the "suspended jet pump" as an inexpensive solution that would work for getting irrigation water out of the well at a reasonable investment.

    If cookie has a working submersible to install in the oldfarmhouse well, that is the best solution, but I would still put in a float switch to keep it from pumping dry.
  9. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I fully agree with that Bob. The sub and a float to protect it would be the answer.

    bob...
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    21,801
    Location:
    New England
    Cookie hijacked the thread...obscuring the focus entirely...except that both questions were on wells.
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Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog Questions on recovering an old shallow well... Jul 19, 2011

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