Sand Point problem

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Old 09-21-10, 04:37 PM
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Sand Point problem

One for the experts...

I have a small shack in N. Wisconsin in the middle of county forest; no electric.

2 years ago, I drove a sand point down 16 feet (I have driven 3 others successfully, so I know what to expect). As usual, I filled the pipe at 16' and the water drained immediately. Using a garden hose, I was able to flush the pipe of sediment with a small 12vdc pump. I hooked up my pitcher pump, and the water was flowing. After about 3 months, it started to become hard to pump. A year later, my arm looked like Popeye's arm as now it became a job to pump up water. I disconnected the pitcher pump and put my hand on the inlet and it pulled just fine.

Last weekend I went up to figure out what went wrong. I measured 10' of water in the well, from bottom of the point on up. It's pretty low land...lot's of water in the area. Then I hooked up an air tank to push the water out of the well point and then added some dillute HCl in an attempt to dissolve any rust that may have plugged the screens. No dice. Still can't pull anything up. So then I filled a 25 gallon barrel up with clean lake water, rigged some fittings to the pipe in the ground, and easily pumped the 25 gallons into the pipe; thinking it would clear the point. It was still tough pumping. At that point, I tried filling the pipe with buckets of water and a funnel to see if the water would stay up the pipe. It didn't.

So my dillemma is this: I have a 16' well with 10' of water. The water drops easily back into the ground, but I cannot pull anything up. The pump is good (both of them), check valve works (opens/closes).

It's as if my point is in a mass of clay, forming an underground check valve. Is this possible?

Did my point break off?

Any other ideas? What would you do; pull it or pound it another 3 or 4 feet?

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-21-10, 08:35 PM
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If your well will take water, it will make water. That is a rule with any well, no matter the type.
I would look at the pump or the seals inside the pump.
From the sound of it the well, I do not think is the problem.
If you can pour that much water down it, it should make plenty of water for a pitcher pump.

The only part of your system that sounds like could be bad is the pump itself or the seal on the bottom of the pump where it seals to the casing. If there is a small air leak anywhere, that will make it very hard to pull water up.


Travis
 
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Old 09-21-10, 09:05 PM
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You could have your sand point in a clay lens. Try to twist the pipe with a wrench and see if you can feel and grittiness indicating sand or gravel. If not consider driving deeper (more iron possibly) or pulling it out a bit bit to get into a better layer.

I worked with a guy (old timer) and we knew we had water at 2' below the basement floor (lake level), but it really would have not been good. We drove about 12' more and he continued to twist and check as we went down. At about 16' we had a good "feel" and he decided to stop before we hit a clay lens and would have to go another 30' deeper to get more water, but it may not be as good.

This was in northern Minnesota and the soil can be much different from yours in northern Wisconsin. I was lucky and we could jab a couple of wires into an outlet and run the pump for about 20 minutes while we had a beer before checking out the water. The sample submitted to the the state came back good.

It is worth a try to twist it and feel even if you don't have the experience. - I was just a learning/watcher.

Dick
 
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Old 09-21-10, 09:17 PM
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Hey Travis,

thanks for reading my situation and the reply.

...but my pump sucks and there aren't any leaks. I disconnected the pump from a point (at a union) on the well pipe, put my hand over the 1 1/4 pipe and my wife pulled the handle. It pulled my hand into the pipe. It didn't pull any air whatsoever. I eliminated the pump as being the problem unless it can't draw from 16'. I had this same pump on my well outside the cabin, which is 19', and it drew water with ease.

It's as if I left the plastic wrapping on the point when it was driven into the ground.

Don't get me wrong, I can get water up the pipe, but the effort of pumping doesn't make it worth while. My wife has to use both arms and but the weight of her body to pump it.
 
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Old 09-22-10, 01:31 PM
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You say your other well is 19'. What is the water level?
The depth of the well doesn't matter.
The thing that is going to affect the force required to pull the water out, is the static water level.
The depth down to the water, not the depth of the well.
The lower the static level the harder it is going to be to pump.
You have to lift the whole water column from the static level to the top.
If the water level is 10 feet. It will take enough force to lift that ten feet of water each time you pump the water.

If the water level is lower, it will take more force on the handle to lift the water out.


Have you tried to tie a contractors pump on to the well?
Sometimes that will help the water flow in a well such as yours.
Hook it up as to pull water out of the well.
If some of the screen slots were to be stopped up, this would help clean them.


Travis
 
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Old 09-23-10, 03:46 PM
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The other well, outside the shack, is 19' with 13' water level. It was actually the first thing I checked. The 2 wells are about 9' away from each other (one on a porch and one inside). The water levels are nearly identical as measured, or calculated, from ground level.

I completely agree with your quote that if a well takes water it should give it water. And that's what has me so baffled.

I did not try a trash pump yet. I do have an old swimming pool pump that I could rig up and try drawing with that. I was hoping that pumping the 25 gallons from buckets into the well would have cleared the screens, but it didn't.

One thing I am recollecting about the point I used; it had what looked like a teflon or some plastic coating/sleeve on the inside of the point. It looked like the screens were between the metal of the point and this sleeve. I wonder if this sleeve didn't detatch or shift inside that point...and therefore creating that check valve effect.

Did you ever see points with that sleeve?

Thanks for your input!
Paul
 
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Old 10-07-10, 04:11 PM
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Just wondering if any of you who have recently pounded a sand point, have noticed if the point you installed had a plastic-type sleeve or liner on the inside of the point.

As I stated earlier in this thread, the point I drove had a thin plastic/teflon? sleeve on the inside of the point with the screen in between the steel and this sleeve. I recently went to a few hardware stores to see what the heck it was, and if it could move around inside the point, and now I can't find any. I tell the hardware store person and describe what I'm looking for and they don't know what I'm talking about. I look on the web and can't find it there either.
 
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Old 10-07-10, 08:30 PM
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I had a thought.
Did you install a back pressure valve on the screen, and did you put it on top or on the bottom of the screen?
Forgive me if some of the questions sound simple or dumb.
You well does not make since.
If you can put that much water in, it should come out just as easy.
I have looked all over and cant find any thing on a "well screen" with a sleeve on the inside that would stop water form flowing in.
On the outside, yes, but that was just for shipping, if you left the shipping plastic on, it would just tear off on the way down, and would not let water in, IF, it stayed on.
The only other thing I can think of is the screen you bought is for a type of injection well. Kind of a one way flow screen.
 
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Old 10-10-10, 08:48 AM
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Try airlifting the well....that will definitively tell you if you have a well problem or a pump problem...
 
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Old 10-11-10, 04:16 PM
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Well, I know I didn't put any kind of valve on the point. And my wonderful wife allready hit me with the plastic wrapping on the outside of the point (we weren't drinking THAT much). I'm really wondering if that point didn't have some sort of protective sleeve on the inside of the point meant to keep the screen in place for shipping? and meant to be removed prior to installation (like a roll of TP). At any rate, I am going to just pull it and check it out.

That idea of airlifting is a good idea. I can easily drop a air line down, push the water in the pipe up and out, and at least see if it fills back up.

Thanks for the replies!
 
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