Dry well?

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  #1  
Old 11-28-01, 08:27 AM
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Unhappy Dry well?

My parents bought a house on acerage in 1993. Water is supplied by a private well. Two months ago the well began to quit pumping water. After turning off the pump for an hour or two we'd have water again . . .sometimes for hours . . .sometimes for several days.

The well was apparently dug 40 years ago, is 6" with a submersible pump. Depth (we now know) is 108'. Neighboring wells are 20'-40' deeper. Pump was installed in 1976.

We called the only pump company in town (very rural area - 1 driller and 1 pump guy) he comes out, tells us our pressure tank is bad and replaces it and charges us $340. Two days later we are out of water again.

Next visit, he tells us the submersible pump is 25 yrs old and likely the problem. He pulls pump, replaces it with a new 3/4hp aeromotor,and reinstalls pump at 99' (6' lower than before). We asked about static level of well, he says water is @ 30' from surface. He states well is marginal at 108' depth, but believes problem is solved. Cost is now an additional $1020.

Two days later . . . no water. Repeated calls bring assurances that problem is temporary. After 2 hour shutdown of pump I am able to pump 50+ gallons. Over next two weeks pump quits 6-8 times. A 10 minute wait and we have water. Some days we can use a lot of water . . .other days we wake up and have no water in the morning. We do no irrigation or sprinkling. We have been in a prolonged drought for past two years.

Cost of a drilling a new well is $3000+. My question (finally) is . . . should the pump guy have done any tests on this well before we put $1400 into it? Is it reasonable to just replace old tank/submersible pump first, without determining if well is producing?

Pump guy comes back out and tells us static level of well is now 90', able to pump 15-20 gals before stopping.

The pump guy now tells us to call a driller. If we are forced to drill a new well, is it reasonable to expect the pump guy to pull the new pump and reinstall it in the new hole?

And finally, since we seem to have some water, and can get by (albeit uncomfortably) if we conserve, should we bite the bullet and drill a new well . . .or wait and pray for rain? The cost of a new well, on top of what we have already spent, will just about break the bank.

Thank you for reading my tale of woe . . .any suggestions will be greatfully received.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-28-01, 01:36 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Your local Health Department is probably the well permitting agency, and should be able to give you the best guidance.
Give them a call, and ask someone to come out.
For general well and pump information, visit www.jessstryker.com and www.peekspump.com
These are two excellent resources on the subject.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 11-29-01, 08:31 AM
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Dry well?

Hi,
It's apparent that the well cannot regenerate fast enough to support alot of water usage. As the water level in the well drops, the pump will pump less water until it stops pumping completely.
Given a chance to regenerate itself, the well will again supply water until usage lowers the level too much.
As a pump repairman, I would have looked at the original pump's performance while you had water. If the pump was capable of reaching shutoff pressure and supplying enough water at times, it would indicate that there was nothing wrong with the pump itself. No pump can pump water that isn't there. In this case, the water level is the problem.
There are alternatives to drilling a new well. One would be the use of a storage tank. The existing well could be used to keep a level in the tank. Timers or level indicators would start and stop the well pump as needed. Another pump, such as a jet pump, could be used along with the pressure tank, to supply the water pressure needed at the house.
Obviously, the pressure tank change is also questionable, as it didn't make any difference. Too bad there isn't another pump guy in the area.
Best regards,
Pumpman
http://www.peekspump.com
 
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Old 11-29-01, 05:48 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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Speak of Ron Peeks, and there he is!
Is your site back up like it was now, Ron?
Hope so. I haven't checked lately, and I've been referring people to it. LOL
Mike
Edit: Yep. (I just checked).
 
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Old 11-29-01, 06:03 PM
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Dry well?

Hi Mike,
Yep, still trying to get content put together to add to the site. Hope to have some more up soon.
Anyway, I'm still around. I appreciate the referrals to the site. We're here to help!
Take care!
Ron
http://www.peekspump.com
 
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