Trying to get water to the back pasture. Can you help?


Old 05-13-05, 11:06 AM
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Trying to get water to the back pasture. Can you help?

Thank you in advance for any direction you can offer.

I've been trying to help my sister and brother in-law get water to their back pasture. They have 2 horses and a goat and need to fill the water bins while they re-seed the lower pasture. I'm a novice and have been learning a bit as I go.. some of it has been painful.

The pump and bladder tank are in a pumphouse in the lower pasture. It is about 10' vertical rise from the creek where it pulls the water. Their system works like a charm for filling the water in the lower pasture. I assume it only cuts on once every blue moon.

Here is their original setup:

1hp, 230v water ace deep well pump with a 20/40 switch and a bladder tank (the tank was 18lbs pressure.. it's about 24" tall and 13" around.)

We have run 1300 ft of 3/4" pvc pipe to the location we want the water (the back pasture.) I don't have the exact vertical rise but from a map with topo lines and from a friend with a altimiter it seems to be about 100' rise from the pump house to the upper pasture.

I replaced the 20/40 switch with a 40/60 switch, this wasn't enough pressure to get the water to the back trough. it was lacking about 25' elevation. the guage would read 50 psi when the pump was off, this 50 psi was from all the water going up the hill pushing back.

I then removed the switch and hardwired the pump on if the breaker was on (just to test if this pump will get the water back there.)

At 65 psi water is transferred into the back pasture trough. I had my brother stand at the uppder location and tell me when the float switch closed, I then watched the pressure guage slowly increase to 67lbs. After 2 minutes of running after the float closed on the upper end the guage was still at 67lbs. I was afraid to let the pump any longer so I pulled the breaker.

That was a small success to get water back there once... but I can't expect (and don't think it'd be safe) for my sis and bro to manuall flip the breaker every couple of days to fill the water. Also 65 psi seems like a lot of pressure and i'm wondering if this pump is going to last.

Do you have any ideas? Someone here told me to move the bladder to the upper end... what would this do? What is the least expensive way to get this done in a stable fashion?

Thank you very much for reading thru my ramblings.

Stan Smith
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Old 05-14-05, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: So. Cal
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Hi Stan,
The two biggest things you have working against you are the 3/4" PVC and the vertical rise from the pumphouse to the back pasture.
It's hard to say how many gpm you are pumping, but lets suppose for a minute that it's about 4 gpm.
3/4" PVC pipe at 4 gpm has a friction loss of 3.74 feet of head per 100' of length. At 1300 feet of length, that's almost 49' of head loss. 49' of head loss converts to just over 21 psi. (49 ft/hd x .433 = 21.21 psi).
It takes 1 psi to lift water 2.31 feet. If you have a 100' vertical rise, it will take just over 43 psi to lift the water that high (100/2.31 = 43.3).
Add the 43.3 psi to the 21 psi from friction losses and you'll see that you've used all your pressure getting the water to the back pasture without pressure to spare.
Had you installed, say 1.25" PVC, the friction loss would have been .304 ft/hd per 100' length, or 3.95 ft/hd overall. (3.9 ft/hd x .433 = 1.68 psi).
The difference in pipe size would mean about 20 psi more to get the water to the back pasture, probably enough to fill the animal drinkers.
Hope this helps.
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