Thermal hot water well

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Old 07-15-07, 11:24 AM
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Thermal hot water well

I am currently living in Mexico and we live in an area with a lot of undergound thermal water and there is a thermal well on our property. The water level is about 35 meters (115 feet) below ground and the well is 50 meters (165 feet) deep. The well has an 8 inch casing and the underground water temperature is about 95 Celsius (203 Fahrenheit).

I don't know a lot about pump terminology, but it is basically about an 8 foot long 4 inch inside diameter with impellors inside of it. This is attached to 4 inch diameter pipe and there is a shaft that runs inside of the pipe up to the surface where there is a 10 hp motor that drives the thing. I don't know the exact volume that is produced by the well but it can obviously pump quite a bit of water.

The problem is that this is all very old technology, there are many things that can go wrong with the system, and things do go wrong often. We have lived here almost two years now and have averaged having to have the pump pulled about ever 3 or 4 months.

I would like to find information on some type of fully submergible pump that would work in this situation. It wouldn't have to be as high of a capacity pump as what we have now, but just something that would work reliably. It will be submerged in 95 Celsius water, so that is probably the main factor.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions, information, etc. that you might be able to give me.
 
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Old 07-15-07, 11:47 AM
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I can't truly anser your question but Ihave one to you that may be pertinent:

why do you have to pull the pump? what is breaking? why do you believe another pump would react any differently to the conditions? plus you would be placing the motor in the well as well as the pump.

If you are having trouble with longevity of the pump now, it would serve you best by determining why you are having so much trouble with this pump so you can purchase a pump that is not susceptible to the same problem.
 
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Old 07-15-07, 12:21 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply! Yes, perhaps a fully submergible that would put the motor in the hot water is not the answer. Iím really looking for any solution that will improve the longevity. So far Iíve been relying on the local help here in Mexico and have been using the normal local technology that they use in this area for these thermal wells. Iím just hoping that there might be something better available.

The last two times we have had to pull the pump the problem has been with what they call here an ďaraŮaĒ (Spanish for spider but they also call this piece that). It is a brass sleeve that goes between each 4 meter section of pipe that goes down in the well and it holds the motor shaft in place and then has opening around it to allow the water to flow up. The place for the shaft has a Teflon bushing in it. One of these broke about three months ago and this then allowed the shaft to bang badly inside of the pipe. We had to pull the whole pump assembly out to replace it and now it seems as though another one has broken so we need to pull it again. Weíve also had to replace the impellors inside of the pump several times over the past two years. Most everything is machined by hand here and it just doesnít seem the quality is all that great.

Iím basically looking for any kind of high quality solution that could be expected to last for a number of years under these conditions.
 
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Old 07-15-07, 12:27 PM
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like I posted prior, I doubt I can offer much help but your additional info should surely help one of the plumber or well guys help you.

I understand the parts you are speaking of.

a bit of further info may assist as well;

does your water contain any high mineral content that may be causing some problems as well? The impellers wearing in that time would tend to make me believe that either sand or some mineral content could be causing some of that problem. Any idea what the impellers currently employed are made of?

Hang tight. Hopefully some of the water guys will have some answers.
 
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Old 07-15-07, 02:03 PM
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Having zero experience in hot springs I can only offer my thoughts. A submersible pump wouldn't work in that hot of water. One of the benefits of submersible pumps is the water in the well helps to cool the motor.

You want the motor as far away from the heat as possible. Most above ground well pumps have the pump housing attached directly to the motor's housing. This too would be bad for your needs because the water would heat up the motor through the housings.

So what you have sounds like a solution that's designed right. You're just having problems with the component's quality. Since everything is made by hand perhaps you can get the parts made with a higher quality of metal or tempered to withstand the torque of that motor. Perhaps using a smaller 5 HP motor would help the mechanical parts survive longer or gearing it down so the parts don't spin as fast. It will lower output but should take some strain off the parts below ground.
 
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