Converting shallow well to deep


Old 04-06-20, 05:09 AM
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Converting shallow well to deep

Hi all,

I am replacing an old structure with a new one and want to upgrade the well service. I currently have a shallow well with a 6-inch casing that terminates below the frost line. I would ideally extend it to above grade and install a submersible pump.

Here is a link to two pictures from what I uncovered today:

I am just getting started with this job and was not able to find much online on how to make this conversion (or if it's even possible or appropriate). Is there an extension kit? Is this something that requires special tools and machinery to connect? Is there a way to DIY test the well if it has fast enough refill rate to make using it worthwhile?

I know, I am starting from ground zero.

Any advice or links to where to start reading would be very much appreciated.

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Old 04-06-20, 11:51 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

The first question is how deep is the current well ?
Usually converting a shallow well to deep well requires the well to be dug deeper.
Old 04-06-20, 11:51 AM
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hi bdh Ė

Iím no expert for sure but I have well with a submersible pump and the well head (looks like yours) is down in a 4 foot pit. The pit isnít allowed by code anymore since water can get into the pit and sit on top of the well head and seep down into the well (and my pit fills with water during rain Ė so thatís bad). I think probably yours also isnít code compliant because itís buried, and today the well head is supposed to be above ground on a slight rise so surface water drains away.

Anyway, looking in to this type of problem I discovered the way it is properly done these days is with something called a ďpitless adapterĒ. The well head is extended above ground and everything is buried, but there is a mechanism to pull the pump up if needed.

These links explain the setup (but they mention that in some localities pitless adapters arenít allowed, I didnít know that. Maybe thatís rare).

4? Well Casing and Pitless Adapters ? Blue Ridge Pumps

There are some experts that come to this forum and maybe one will jump in and give you some good info.
Old 04-06-20, 03:26 PM
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Good question, but I don't know. I have not yet taken the top off, b/c I wanted to have a plan before I did. Am I to assume that the shallow well, which given the wellhead and parts looks like it was installed in the 1970s/80s and therefore complied to New York (Dutchess County) code at that time, would have been installed into bedrock?

Either way, that will be the first question I try to answer when I move forward.

Old 04-06-20, 03:32 PM
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Thanks, Zoesdad,

Good info. I'll take a look at the links.
Old 04-06-20, 03:33 PM
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I think you have a deep well jet pump setup because of the two pipes of different size. The small one is pressurized water being sent down the well to power a venturi at the foot valve and the bigger pipe is what brings the water up and out of the well. So, the well might be bit deeper than you think.

Well casings can be extended or at least sleeved. A PVC pipe is placed in the well and the space between it and the outer casing is filled with grout. I've never seen it done but I assume the sleeve can be left long so the head is above grade.
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Old 04-06-20, 08:59 PM
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Why do you want to do this?

Two pipe well. could be 80 ft static well. Thats what the two pipe pumps can pump max depth. the venturi is down in the well casing. How far? We dont know. then there is a foot valve at the end.

when I pulled my well line up, like yours my well was 12 ft static water level. The total depth was 30 ft. I had great water. I was on a large kirkwood aquifer that ran the length of NJ almost.

Andway I had a one pipe system. The venturi was at the pump on mine.

So to convert you need to add a pitless adapter.

so first you get this adapter.

But Pull the old cap off and pull the line out. the venturi and foot valve will come out. I would advise getting a weight and dobber to dip the casing to see the depth of water level and the depth of well itself..

That will tell you some info. but we dont know the draw down. But most cases a 2 pipe pump you may get 10gpm max I would assume..

A submersible I would keep around the same GPM...

My opinion is " leave well enough alone"

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Old 04-07-20, 05:40 AM
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Thanks, Lawrosa! This is excellent info.

Why am I even considering this? The house will be demo-ed and rebuilt and the local inspector said although the shallow well and jet pump are OK for the existing structure, if I replace it he wants the well brought up to code too. So water and septic (which is OK) are job #1. (This is a long project but now I have officially started.)

The info you sent answered a lot of questions!

So now I need to know the static depth, well depth and refill rate. I will look into using the weight and dobber (I just found this link: How to Measure your Well?s Depth to Water ? The Pump Doc)

I was thinking if I did open it up and test the static depth and the depth of the well I could also drop a hose attached to a pump to try to get a feel for the refill rate. I have a backup pump for my sump in my existing house. Assuming I know the rate of the pump (e.g., via timing the filling of a 5-gallon bucket), and check the static height of the well before pumping, and then again during and after, it would seem I could get a feel for refill rate.

Is this reasonable? Any other way to do it without getting a sonar etc?

Thanks again!
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