Upgradeing to bigger well pump

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Old 02-16-09, 03:23 PM
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Upgradeing to bigger well pump

I have 1.75 acres and would like to add a sprinnkler system off of my well. I currently have a 3/4 hp pump that puts out ~11 gallons per minute. I would like to get around 20-25 gallons per minute for the system. What I want to do is pull the current pump and put in a 3 hp pump. I have 60 feet of casing. Is this a DYI job, and if so, how do I go about it and can you advise me on a good pump and correct any of my above assumptions.

Thanks
Dave
 
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Old 02-16-09, 06:37 PM
Vey
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How much will your well produce?
If you don't know, then don't upsize the pump.
All that would happen is that you will run the well dry (over pump) and do that too many times and you will ruin the well.

Search in here a little and you will read many posts that start out "I needed a new pump, so I replaced my old 3/4HP pump with a 1 1/2HP pump and all I get now is sand. Can anyone help me?"

Sadly, no. Not unless they can exchange the pump for a smaller one.

You may be better off with a second well. If you are using the same well for drinking water I would definitely recommend a second well just for irrigation. I just made a long post in here a few days ago explaining why.

edited later--
Here it is. I ought to make a sticky out of it.

Drinking water wells and irrigation wells are two different animals.

A good drinking water well should provide small volume, but at higher pressure such as 30-50 PSI or 40-60. A bathtub uses ~10 gallons and when it is full, the demand stops.

A good irrigation well needs no tank and should provide a high volume of water, but at a lower pressure. Sprinkler heads use ~3 GPM each at 30PSI (which is what they are rated for), so if you have 6 in a zone, you need ~20 GPM. Unlike a bathtub, it may demand that volume for an hour or more.

Because of this, using a drinking water well for sprinkling your lawn is a bad idea. You could run it dry and do that "too many" times and it could be ruined. It's the only well you have and while you could put up with wilted grass, having no water for the house is a real drag.
 

Last edited by Vey; 02-16-09 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 02-16-09, 08:44 PM
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What you are trying to do is no big task.
The pump you would need is 1.5 hp 28gpm 220v

BUT, it depends on your well. Like has been said by Vey,
it does not always work out.
Will the well make the water?
Will the well produce sand or sediment?
Will the strata that the well is in make enough water, even if you did drill another well?

Having 2 wells is the way to go, but not everybody can have two wells.
Sometimes, dragging a few sprinklers around is not all that hard, after learning that a larger pump may not be feasible.



Travis
 
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Old 02-21-09, 07:50 PM
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Got a new pump put in

Here is what I got. I put in 2 Hp 25 gpm Goulds pump and got 35 gpm comming out of the well when they tested it at 50 psi. The well ran dry in 19 minutes so they added 40 feet of pipe and sent it back down, this took about 15 minutes. They ran the pump again and got 5 gallons in 8 seconds at 40 psi and the well ran dry in 16 minutes. I told them I wanted to run the sprinkler system at 20 gpm at 50 psi and they said I should be fine. After they left I ran the pump through 100 feet of 5/8" garden hose and got 22 gpm for 90 minutes and then shut it all down. At this rate it took about 4-5 minutes for the pump to reach the shutoff (Im at 40-60 on the pressure switch). They also put in a WR200R pressure tank (50 gallon) and ran it in series with my 18 gallon pressure tank giving me 68 gallons of draw down. My main line is 1 inch but I think I want to connect this to 1 1/4" pipe for my mains and 3/4" for my laterals. I sure would like some advice on what the experts would do with what I have. I plan on irrigating 1.5 acres. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 09:06 PM
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Update on flow rate

I had the well guys put in a 1" ball valve so I could tap into it for the sprinkler system. I shut the well pump off at the breaker and the valve to the house supply and drained the pressure tanks ( got about 30 gallons out of both of them, a WR200R 50 gallon and a 18 gallon run in series). When they were drained I put a 5 gallon bucket under my ball valve and turned on the breaker to the pump and got 30 gpm. I did this 10 times and all seemed fine. All I worry about is running my well dry with the sprinklers. The well is 68 feet of casing and water at 63 feet, the well depth is 188 feet and the pump is set at 166 feet. The water was sandy when they tested it but cleared up in a couple of minutes. I have a tenative plan of running the sprinklers at 3 or 4 in the morning for a half hour and then a rest time of 15 minutes to let the well recover before the next zone. What do you guys think of my water supply and how should I test it.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 09:26 PM
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i think you are going to ruin your well, if your well kept going dry when testing you will stand a good chance of running it dry when running sprinklers, do that to much you will ruin your pump. the best thing to do is plant drought tolerant plants or keep the grass much taller and don't mow so often, most people over water their yards anyway.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 09:50 PM
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I asked the well company to test the capacity of the well because we did not know its capacity. He said if the well did not have the capacity all I would owe him was for his time. Why would he have done this job and left the pump in knowing what I was going to use if for. I am not a well guy, but when the well drew down 100 feet in 15 or so minutes and went dry I did not think this was a good sign. Shoul I have them come back and put my old pump back in and abandone this? I thought I read somewhere that a well can produce more over time when you start drawing more (gpm/ unit time) kind of like it opens up the pores more.

This makes me wonder why the guy who origanally drilled the well wanted $3500 and this guy did it for $1300. maybe he was going to do more then swap the pump out. Looks like I might be out some money. I would like to here what others have to say.

I just looked at the control box and I had the well info a little wrong.

Water at 64 feet, 6" casing to 86 feet, well 188 feet and pump at 166 feet.
 
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Old 02-21-09, 11:15 PM
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You may want to think about using a smaller pump.
Something like a 1.5 hp 18gpm.
It is obvious that the well may not do what you want it to.

Instead of taking a chance on ruining your pump, using the smaller one might be a little safer.

They do make a thing called a draw-down seal. It goes inside the well under the water line, in between two joints of pipe.
It creates a suction on the screen when the pump starts, pulling in more water.
It is used just for low producing wells. I have used them, and they do help.

You might want to ask your well guy if he thinks one will help in your case.

I think it would help some. How much? That, I have no way of knowing.

Just using a well more does not always help it make more water. It can, but not very often, and not very much, if any.


Travis
 
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Old 02-23-09, 07:34 AM
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A 25 GPM, 2 HP will produce about 18 GPM from 160' and 60 PSI. It will produce more than that when the water level is high. If you set up the sprinklers for 17 GPM, the pump will cycle on and off until the water level pulls down to 160'. If you restrict the pump to 17 GPM with a valve, then the pump will not cycle on and off when the water level is high. Don't let the zones run more than 1 hour at a time and you should be good. Your new tank only has 18 gallons of draw down and your old tank only has 5 gallons. This gives you a total of 23 gallons draw down, which should only take a minute to fill to shut off. If it takes longer, then you are pumping the well dry before the tanks are full, which is not a good thing. A constant pressure valve would automatically keep your pump from cycling, and would then refill the tanks at 1 GPM after the sprinkler zones are turned off. This would keep you from pumping the well dry just refilling the tanks. Of course with the constant pressure valve the 18 gallon tank would have been more tank than you needed. A constant pressure valve would have also allowed you to adjust the size of the sprinkler zones to match the output of the well, not the output of the pump. Hind sight is always 20/20.
 
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Old 02-23-09, 07:48 PM
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Thanks valveguy

I thought it was a little funny when I shut the pump off and only got 25 gallons out of both tanks. It takes 70 seconds to fill the tanks from 0 psi (38 psi air in tanks)to 60 psi. Because of the questionable well I was only planning on waterinng for 30 minutes and then rest for 15 minutes before the next zone. Could you tell me more on the constant pressure valve and if I should put one in now.

I have messured the pump several times and with the tanks empty I get 30 gpm. The well guys said I might get this much. If so, why does the pump say 2 hp 18gpm?

I have 1 inch pipe comming from the well and I am wondering if I should run 1 1/4 " pipe for my mainline. I have not found any info on how to size the mainline, do you have any ideas for this.

I appricciate the input.

Dave
 
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Old 02-25-09, 08:06 AM
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An 18 GPM, 2 HP will pump 30 GPM from 100' when running wide open with no pressure. It will still try to pump 25 GPM with 50 PSI pressure against it. A constant pressure valve will let you match the amount of sprinklers to the amount the well will produce, not the amount your pump wants to produce. This way you can set your sprinklers to put out less but stay on longer without pumping the well dry. You can do a google search for constant pressure valve. Just be sure not to use anything that has the name "gard" in it.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 09:54 AM
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Dry Well

Thanks Valveguy I hooked up the 100' 5/8" gardon hose and ran the well dry in 20 minutes at 20 gpm, let it sit for 10 minutes and got the same thing in 12 minutes. I talked with the well guy and he said he could drill another 50 feet and quaraunty the quanity but not the quality. Said I could run into bacterial iron, that would pretty much screw me. He also said he could install a ball valve and throttle the output to match the well output. Is this the same as the valve you were talking about? What would you do?

Thanks
Dave
 
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Old 02-25-09, 10:11 AM
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A ball valve will work for a set amount of water. It will not automatically adjust for you like a constant pressure valve will. If you set the ball valve to 20 GPM, then the pump will still cycle if you use any less than 20 GPM. It won't cycle with a constant pressure valve. Also make sure you take the handle off the ball valve, because if someone closes it, you burn up your pump. A ball valve will also have to be readjusted occasionally as the water will eventually cut it and let too much flow through. In other words a ball valve would work like a constant pressure valve, if you had someone sitting there adjusting it to match the amount being used all the time.
 
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Old 02-25-09, 06:35 PM
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CVS cycle stop valve

I came across a thread where you discussed the CVS cycle stop vale vs a PRV. I am going to go with the csv1w. Is this the right valve and does it come with instruction on where o install it?

With 17 gpm will I have enough pressure to run a Hunter I20 head at 150-200 feet of 1 inch main line and 40 feet of 3/4 latteral line, that would be my longest run. I can figure it out but thought you might have some fancy software. Is there free downloads that will figure the pressure drops through pipe, valves and elbows.

The cheapest I found the valve was $125, do you know where I can get it cheaper?

Thanks
Dave
 
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Old 02-26-09, 07:35 AM
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I have an old Hunter book that has friction loss for many kinds and sizes of pipe. The class of pipe will make a difference. I am guessing at 200 class, which should be close. 1" pipe at 17 GPM will lose almost 4 PSI per 100'. Then the 3/4 pipe will lose 12 PSI per 100'. So 400' of 1" pipe will lose 15 PSI plus the 40' of 3/4" will lose another 5 PSI, for a total of 20 PSI loss. The valve you picked has 12 PSI fall off at 17 GPM. What this means is that the pump will have to give you 20 PSI more than it would with larger pipe, and the constant pressure valve will have to be adjusted 32 PSI higher than you want the sprinkler running. If you need 40 PSI at the sprinkler, you will need to set the valve at 72 PSI and use a 60/80 pressure switch.

A different valve, a plastic non-adjustable 60 PSI valve, would not have any fall off pressure but, needs to be installed in the well casing with the weight bearing coupling. Then you could use a 50/70 pressure switch. This will still make up for the 20 PSI friction loss in the pipe, and give you 40 PSI at the sprinkler.
 
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Old 02-26-09, 09:34 AM
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Now What

OK. My mainline coming in is 1", is it ok to tap off this and go up to 1 1/4 " or 1 1/2" for the sprinkler mainline and then drop to 1" for the latterals? How many PSI will this pump supply? I think they said 100 psi. Are there valves with less pressure drop through them? I quess it is time I sit down and do the math on my drawing and try it a few differant ways. It seems like I will be able to irragate my lawn with the pump and well I have if I use 17 gpm.

Let me get this right. I can set the constant pressure valve at say 60 psi, so what will I get for gpm then? What is the relationship (formula) between pipe size, gpm and psi, then I can plug and play.
 
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Old 02-28-09, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Valveguy View Post
A different valve, a plastic non-adjustable 60 PSI valve, would not have any fall off pressure but, needs to be installed in the well casing with the weight bearing coupling.
This constant pressure valve will hold 60 PSI constant regardless of the flow rate, as it does not have any pressure fall off. Then you will only lose pressure from 60 PSI according to how large the pipe size is from there. The larger the pipe, the less pressure you loose.
 
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Old 03-02-09, 05:46 AM
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Stupid question

I guess that was a stupid question about the pressure loss through the valve, outcomming pressure will be what you set the valve at.

From what I read on Cycle stop website I did not need the extra pressure tank the well guy put in, the valve will fill the pressure tank at 1 gpm. He knew what I was doing and knew I wanted enough water as to not run the well dry. I do not know why he did not sugest this, makes me think he is not very competent. I am going to ask him to take out the extra pressure tank and install a constant pressure valve and adjust it to my wells performance.

Does this sound right.

Thanks
Dave
 
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Old 03-02-09, 08:06 AM
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Your pump man was probably doing the best he could with what he knows. In the past, a larger pressure tank was the only and best option. If he hasn't gone to a trade show, continuing education class, or read a trade magazine in the last 15 years, he probably doesn't know any better than to just install a larger tank. As many pump guys are not computer friendly, hearing about it from a customer, is many times the only way they find out about new and beneficial technology.

With the constant pressure valve the 18 gallon tank is all you really need. The extra tank is not hurting anything. You can adjust the valve or the pressure switch to keep the pump from running very long to refill the tank(s). With a 40/60 switch, you just set the valve at 58 PSI. Then it only fills the last 2 PSI or 1/10th of the pressure tank at 1 GPM. With 23 gallons of draw down, that should take about 2.5 minutes to refill the tank(s).

You adjust the valve to the desired pressure, considering the size of the pressure tank(s), then you adjust your irrigation to use less than the amount your well will produce. The valve will let you do this and protect the pump from cycling.
 
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Old 03-02-09, 11:54 AM
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Which Valve

So which valve should I go with?
 
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Old 03-02-09, 01:50 PM
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Use the one that ends with 1Z.
 
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Old 03-02-09, 05:36 PM
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Dole valve

I told the well guy I was looking at a constant pressure valve and he comes back with the idea I should use a dole valve set at 15 gpm. Now what the hell is a dole valve and its benefitrs and drawbacks over a constant pressure valve. I read the dole valve is good for plus or minus 15 %. What kind of pressure do these things work at at 15gpm. The biggest I found on the net was 12 gpm.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 07:23 AM
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[QUOTE=dwiall;1526590]I told them I wanted to run the sprinkler system at 20 gpm at 50 psi and they said I should be fine.QUOTE]

So now they are saying you need a 15 GPM Dole valve? A Dole valve is only a coupling with a certain size hole to restrict how much water you get. A 15 GPM Dole valve will only let you have 15 GPM, plus or minus 15%. Try to run 17 GPM and your sprinklers will not be shooting very far. Why did they not just put in a 15 GPM pump, if they knew that you only had 15 GPM to work with? I take back the nice things I said about your pump man, he doesn't have a clue. Dole valves are used for low producing wells. Yours is a low producing well but, you have additional water available for a short time. You can use as much water as you want for short periods of time. A Dole valve would not let you do that.

The nice thing about the constant pressure valve is that is works like a variable Dole valve. It will only let your pump produce 15 GPM, if you are only using 15 GPM. But it will also let you have 20 to 30 GPM for a short while, as long as there is water to pump. You just can't use this much water for very long before the well is depleted. So when you are using 15 GPM for the sprinklers, and you need water in the house, the cp valve will give you as much water as you need. With the Dole valve, pressure would drop really low if you try to use more than 15 GPM. Then you would also be refilling the tank(s) at 15 GPM, and using any less than 15 GPM will cause your pump to cycle on and off.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 08:01 AM
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Yes they screwed this up I feel. They really did not test the capacity of the well, I did after they left. My test have shown the well capacity is 15 gpm for 1 hour and has a real fast recovery. I don't think this guy did me right and is not up with current technology, wish you could talk with him and get him straightened out. I have not paid him yet for his work and will probably have him come back and take out the pressure tank. He wanted $500 to install the dole valve and put in a box that would shut my pump of it it was running dry, works of the amperage draw of the motor. What are these motor stops called so I can get/install my own? What do you think of these types of motor controls?

I talked with Cycle Stop yesterday and said what you have been saying and recomended the CSV1Z.
 
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Old 03-03-09, 08:28 AM
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They can also help you with a "dry well protection relay". I just can't say the name of it here.
 
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Old 03-06-09, 09:14 PM
Vey
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>Yes they screwed this up I feel.<

No, I don't think they did. You want a "magic" well that does all things under all conditions and just that isn't possible.

A crappy well is a crappy well. No technology will make it better.

Either a well produces a lot of water at lower pressure (irrigation) or it can produce smaller amounts at higher pressure (house well).

Asking a single well to do both is unreasonable. 15GPM makes for a lousy irrigation well -- Period. That is a crappy well. Fine for house water, but just not enough for decent irrigation, sorry.

So if you are looking for an excuse not to pay this guy, don't look here.

I'm not going to go into what this guy recommended when you insisted that the well could do double duty. But he was being pressed because you were pressing to him to solve the unsolvable problem.

I think you should have two wells, one for the house and one for irrigation. Life really sucks when you suck the only well dry sprinkling the grass and you have no potable water to drink.

Wells change. Today 15GPM, next year, 10. Then what will you tell your wife?
 

Last edited by Vey; 03-06-09 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 03-07-09, 10:39 PM
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I am not looking for a reason not to pay him. Our agreement before he did the work was that if the well did produce enough water then he would take the equipment out he installed and only charge me for the labor. You tell me what you would have done. Since you know more about wells than I ever will and saw what happened when they tested the well you would have told them to undo what they had just done and cut your losses. I don't know anything about wells and the well guys said I should be fine. I put my trust in a professionals hands and expected him to give me honest work, did I get this?
After thinking about it I got on this site to see what others thought about what was happening and asked for education and solutions if there was any. I am just as unsure now as I was when I started.

The long and short of it is I told the well guy I wanted 20 gpm out of my well for irrigation. If I had called you, you would have told me to drill another well for irrigation (because you know more about wells than this guy) and I would have asked you how much that would cost. If it was in my budget I would have said drill it.

According to Valveguy all I need is a Cycle Stop valve; according to you, there is no way this well can be used for irrigation, who do I believe. I don't know much but I think there are wells that can do both house and irrigation. If it can provide enough water for irrigation it can provide a few gallons for the house, the pressure tank provides the pressure for the system.

So, before I have the well guy undo his work I wanted to find out what options there were. I have questions about the Cycle Stop valve. Its name, "constant pressure valve" makes me think it provides constant pressure but, what about constant volume.

I drew out a irrigation system using 15 gpm with heads that use 2.0 gpm. None of the zones are over 14 gpm (6 zones) I am not looking to put 2 inches a week on my grass, just enough to keep it somewhat healthy. I also tlked with a guy from John Deere Landscape ( he been putting in systems for 30 years) and told him what was going on and I forgot what he said. I wasn't a cycle stop valve or dole valve but something else. I am going to see him this week and ask him about what you have said and his toughts on a second well just for irrigation. What does it cost to drill a well???
 
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Old 03-08-09, 08:14 AM
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I am just curious. One thing you have not said is in what region of the country you live and what are your local water conditions. Do wells tend to produce well at reasonable depths? How large is your lot? Do you have enough room to get a second well far enough away from your primary well?
 
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Old 03-08-09, 10:41 AM
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PILOT,

I live in southern WI. I am not sure how to describe local water conditions. the well is sand and sand stone if that is what you mean, the water hardness is 12 grains. The farthest I can get from my current well is about 200 feet. I am looking at watering 1.00 acres now. The price of heads and the other things along with a well I don't want to stress has led me to down size it.

My current well. The well is 68 feet of casing and water at 63 feet, the well depth is 188 feet and the pump is set at 166 feet.

Hope this helps
 
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Old 03-08-09, 04:23 PM
Vey
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What pilot meant is "how's the water table."

There are many places where wells don't have to be all that deep to get water for irrigation. Professional well drillers usually want to drill over 100' because the surface aquifer could be polluted and the deeper wells tend to be more reliable.

Start asking around the locality about whether people have shallow wells around there. Barber shops are good places to ask and another is at a well/pump supply store. We have quite a number of those stores around here and while they usually deal with the trade, most of the time they will answer questions from the public.

That's what is done here. A deep well for drinking water and a shallow well (or more than one in a "well field" 5-10' apart) just for irrigation. We have people around here who specialize in digging shallow wells for not much money.

If it sand, people here do it themselves.
See fred's page:
Water Well Helpline
 
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Old 03-12-09, 05:46 AM
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Dole Valve vs. Cycle Stop Valve

Do I have this right? The Dole Valve will control the gpm and the cycle stop valve will control the pressure. The cycle stop valve does nothing for the demand of my sprinklers correct? it just supplies a constant pressure and does not care what is needed down stream. The dole valve will feed the demand downstream. let me know your thoughts and if I have this correct.

Thanks
Dave
 
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