Well & Pump in Michigan

mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
Hi I am a newbie. Great to hear all these great stories. I am not sure if this is a good place to as this question but it seems that there are several experienced or at least very resourceful members here. I am looking to install a well in northern MI off grid using solar power and have never had a well and especially have not drilled or had one drilled or powered the pump. I have many general basic questions and was hoping to get some good advice. :)

First of all I want to get the well "approved" Even though its out in the country there are building codes and am told I should get a "permit" What does anyone know about this?
Second I met a "well driller" who has done several in the area and he told me things like "it HAS to be 4 inch", "the pump HAS to be a 220", "you CAN NOT have a manual pump"
Thirdly his quote was several thousand dollars and most all of MI has no rocks and is sand and other wells in the area range between 40-75 feet. This seems ridiculously expensive

Any advice to these three "Starter questions" would be greatly appreciated. I realize It should be a new post but havent figured out where to do this yet--looking now. The reason I posted here was the fact that someone drilled a 250 foot well by HAND so why cant I do something similar to get down 75 in sand :)?

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,061 admin
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    I have moved your post to its own thread.

    I would like to read the responses to drilling your own well... Going down 200+ feet with hand drilling sounds like a lot of work.

    Yes, you can get manual pumps, and a few people share the same well with both a manual and submerged pump.

    There are also several different ways of addressing the pump in well question.

    There are now DC (or even DC/AC capable pumps) that can take solar panels (pump only when sun is shining), DC battery from battery bank, or even AC power--with the same pump... But these are not cheap--something in the range of $900 to $1,700 to $2,000 each (or more).

    And there are also VFD (variable frequency) controllers which can can drive standard AC Pumps (three phase, or pumps with well head mounted capacitor) and give you soft start and variable speed (slow pump RPM down for more efficient/lower power pumping).

    There are even some pumps that can do both manual and electric (basically a gear box and motor to drive the pump rods/handle at the well head). Very handy for emergency/backup wells.

    I guess it gets back to defining your needs. For example, a way of pumping would be to use a relatively low power pump to bring the water up to a cistern, then use a small pump (AC or DC) to pressurize the water for domestic use. This also works nicely for low production wells (a few gallons per minute).

    Once you know your water needs (volume of water per day, pressure, above ground storage or not), then you can look at pumps that will meet your needs.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    mattbro23 wrote: »
    H

    First of all I want to get the well "approved" Even though its out in the country there are building codes and am told I should get a "permit" What does anyone know about this?
    Second I met a "well driller" who has done several in the area and he told me things like "it HAS to be 4 inch", "the pump HAS to be a 220", "you CAN NOT have a manual pump"
    Thirdly his quote was several thousand dollars and most all of MI has no rocks and is sand and other wells in the area range between 40-75 feet. This seems ridiculously expensive

    )?

    "Other wells in the area are 40 to 75 feet". Very interesting that the well driller proclaims your well must be 4 inch and you must use a 220 volt pump etc.
    Here in Nova Scotia, all wells drilled for the last 40 or 50 years have been 6 inch, only old wells were 4 inch. And pumps? That totally depends on what you want, the water level in the well, and how far that level lowers when water is being used. The pump most definitely does NOT have to be 220. The pump and motor voltage will depend on how deep the water is if a submersible pump is used, and likewise how far it is from the house. You can also use a jet pump, where the actual pump is in the house and two water lines go down the line, one to bring water up, the other, usually smaller diameter, to send water under high pressure down the well to operate a jet down in the well, which actually pushes water up the larger pipe and into the pump. With these pumps, some of the pumped water goes to the storage tank for use, while the rest goes down the well to operate the jet.
    By the way, "several thousand dollars" is not expensive by normal standards in these parts, as they can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
    There are many kinds of pumps and a number of voltages that can be used.
    I was brought up and lived my life with wells and pumps, and have much experience with both submersible pumps, jet, gear, and piston pumps, and have rebuilt and repaired all 4 kinds.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    I'm not at all surprised by the well-driller's comments. If it's really going to be 40 to 75 feet down it's likely going to be a minimum 4" casing, require a deep well pump which is inevitably 240 VAC, and will indeed cost several thousand dollars. Usually they charge per foot for the drilling, then there's the expense of the casing, pump, wiring, et cetera. And inevitably this has to be done with a permit by local AHJ to be sure it all meets code and health standards.

    If it were a shallow "dug well" you could do it yourself and save, but only if the local authorities approve. That permitting process is a big thing to contend with. Drilling down yourself 75 feet even in sand is not as simple as it seems. I've installed a few "sand points" in my day; they are designed to do this (basically a drill point on a 2" stainless steel mesh pipe 3' long at the end of continuing lengths). By 20' down it is really hard going. You hammer, twist, hammer, twist ... until you hit that one big rock and are stopped dead and have to pull it out and start over somewhere else.

    We are about to install a drilled well at our house "in town" to get off the failing private system. We have an estimate of around $5,000 for a 50 foot deep well. We'll see how it turns out.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    Here is a term you want to use when talking to that well driller: Static level which is the depth the water is from the surface, as opposed to well depth.
    Ours is 50 feet and 305 feet, so the pump only had to 'lift' the water 50 feet not 300, a big difference in the size of pump needed.

    Another is recovery rate which will be in GPM (gallons per minute) which is determined after the well is cased by 'bailing' out the well.

    go for a 6 inch casing not 4.

    hth
     
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  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    mattbro23 wrote: »
    Thirdly his quote was several thousand dollars and most all of MI has no rocks and is sand

    Around here it costs more to put a well in sand than in bedrock. Sand requires casing and bedrock does not. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Around here it costs more to put a well in sand than in bedrock. Sand requires casing and bedrock does not. --vtMaps

    Although the drilling process itself will need to insert the casing as it goes through sand, while drilling in bedrock does not, almost all wells these days have casing for at least part of their depth to prevent ground water infiltration and cross links between aquifers at different depths. Out here in CA there are serious contamination problems caused by abandoned wells allowing surface water or shallow aquifer contamination (from industrial activity, farming, etc.) to spread into the deeper aquifers. And those are mostly cased wells where the casing has deteriorated.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,501 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    Offgrid in a normal well one would only consider 220VAC or DC. I keep hoping to see VFD controllers that made sense on this continent.
    Gould makes a nice VFD home water pump system.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    In my state, well permits are the job of the Dept of Natural Resources, a division of that dept which covers water wells. Other states may have county control, I don't know. But it should be a five-minute job on the web to find out. Then call them or go in, if close enough, and talk to them. I think it cost me about $100 to get a permit six yr. ago. But, again, that's in my state, Colorado.

    Here, drillers won't drill you a well without the permit.

    I don't agree with the 220-volt pump. It would work fine, but it isn't necessary for such a shallow well. For example, my well drilling hit water at 326 ft. The static level is, however, the surface, since it is a flowing well. But the well is located over a hundred feet below the house, so the head for the pump's work is that hundred feet. Not only that, the well is 300 ft. from the house. The pump won't care too much about that distance [within reason], the head is the real story. My pump is a 120-volt Grunfos run off my PV system for the house. It works great. This is a 5 gpm pump, if you need a lot more, perhaps you will need a larger, more powerful pump.

    Your driller will perform a flow test; they have a slick little electronic device that does this. That will give you the level the water in the well pipe will drop to while you're pumping it out. This will tell you how deep the pump needs to be set, the gpm you want the pump to handle, and/or the time it takes for the water level to get back to the original level when you stop pumping...in other words, the regeneration rate.

    Around here, the drillers all use 4" pipe for residential wells. Don't know whether everyone everywhere does that these days.

    But well drilling is quite pricey. For a 326 ft deep drill with all the pipe and etc., everything but the pump, it cost me $9K six or seven yr. ago. The cost is a per-foot basis. There was also a minimum move-in fee for the equipment. My well was drilled in solid rock, all the way. Your place there might not need as powerful a drill rig as I needed and might cost less.
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    BB. wrote: »
    I have moved your post to its own thread.

    I would like to read the responses to drilling your own well... Going down 200+ feet with hand drilling sounds like a lot of work.

    Yes, you can get manual pumps, and a few people share the same well with both a manual and submerged pump.

    There are also several different ways of addressing the pump in well question.

    There are now DC (or even DC/AC capable pumps) that can take solar panels (pump only when sun is shining), DC battery from battery bank, or even AC power--with the same pump... But these are not cheap--something in the range of $900 to $1,700 to $2,000 each (or more).

    And there are also VFD (variable frequency) controllers which can can drive standard AC Pumps (three phase, or pumps with well head mounted capacitor) and give you soft start and variable speed (slow pump RPM down for more efficient/lower power pumping).

    There are even some pumps that can do both manual and electric (basically a gear box and motor to drive the pump rods/handle at the well head). Very handy for emergency/backup wells.

    I guess it gets back to defining your needs. For example, a way of pumping would be to use a relatively low power pump to bring the water up to a cistern, then use a small pump (AC or DC) to pressurize the water for domestic use. This also works nicely for low production wells (a few gallons per minute).

    Once you know your water needs (volume of water per day, pressure, above ground storage or not), then you can look at pumps that will meet your needs.

    -Bill

    Thanks so much for getting me to the right place in the forum. I am not planning to drill my own--by hand--LOL I was just pointing out that it happened in Haiti.
    I will find out the volume of water I need per day, the pressure needed. I am very open to above ground storage and pressurization.
    Thanks for the wealth of information you provided. AND for getting me in contact with all these other experienced folks...
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    inetdog wrote: »
    Although the drilling process itself will need to insert the casing as it goes through sand, while drilling in bedrock does not, almost all wells these days have casing for at least part of their depth to prevent ground water infiltration and cross links between aquifers at different depths. Out here in CA there are serious contamination problems caused by abandoned wells allowing surface water or shallow aquifer contamination (from industrial activity, farming, etc.) to spread into the deeper aquifers. And those are mostly cased wells where the casing has deteriorated.

    Point taken. Thanks
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    SCharles wrote: »
    In my state, well permits are the job of the Dept of Natural Resources, a division of that dept which covers water wells. Other states may have county control, I don't know. But it should be a five-minute job on the web to find out. Then call them or go in, if close enough, and talk to them. I think it cost me about $100 to get a permit six yr. ago. But, again, that's in my state, Colorado.

    Here, drillers won't drill you a well without the permit.

    I don't agree with the 220-volt pump. It would work fine, but it isn't necessary for such a shallow well. For example, my well drilling hit water at 326 ft. The static level is, however, the surface, since it is a flowing well. But the well is located over a hundred feet below the house, so the head for the pump's work is that hundred feet. Not only that, the well is 300 ft. from the house. The pump won't care too much about that distance [within reason], the head is the real story. My pump is a 120-volt Grunfos run off my PV system for the house. It works great. This is a 5 gpm pump, if you need a lot more, perhaps you will need a larger, more powerful pump.

    Your driller will perform a flow test; they have a slick little electronic device that does this. That will give you the level the water in the well pipe will drop to while you're pumping it out. This will tell you how deep the pump needs to be set, the gpm you want the pump to handle, and/or the time it takes for the water level to get back to the original level when you stop pumping...in other words, the regeneration rate.

    Around here, the drillers all use 4" pipe for residential wells. Don't know whether everyone everywhere does that these days.

    But well drilling is quite pricey. For a 326 ft deep drill with all the pipe and etc., everything but the pump, it cost me $9K six or seven yr. ago. The cost is a per-foot basis. There was also a minimum move-in fee for the equipment. My well was drilled in solid rock, all the way. Your place there might not need as powerful a drill rig as I needed and might cost less.

    I found that well and septic permits in MI are managed by the MI Dept of Health and each county has the option to add additional statutes on top of the base code. I clicked the link from the county to the Dept of Health permit site and it was a broken link.... stay tuned on that LOL. Yes drillers will only do it with a permit in MI as well. Guess I will go with the 4 in pipe. The first guy I talked too said 4-5K depending on the depth and it seems that is not unreasonable.

    I am particularly interested in your comments on your 120V pump. Based on your well depth and distance from house I dont see why I couldn't also use a 120V. I am looking at a 75 ft well and maybe 300 feet from house. I am considering above ground storage and an additional pump to move the water but that introduces an entirely different analysis.


    I assume your Grunfos uses AC, and running off your PV system and an inverter? This is for a weekend hunting cabin so I would think a 5 gpm pump would be fine although I want to do some crop and landscaping watering. I want to find out more about an above ground storage tank and how that might affect the pump design.

    Thank you so much for your input.
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    vtmaps wrote: »
    Around here it costs more to put a well in sand than in bedrock. Sand requires casing and bedrock does not. --vtMaps

    That makes sense not sure but maybe sandy clay down deeper.... Thanks for the heads up
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    westbranch wrote: »
    Here is a term you want to use when talking to that well driller: Static level which is the depth the water is from the surface, as opposed to well depth.
    Ours is 50 feet and 305 feet, so the pump only had to 'lift' the water 50 feet not 300, a big difference in the size of pump needed.

    Another is recovery rate which will be in GPM (gallons per minute) which is determined after the well is cased by 'bailing' out the well.

    go for a 6 inch casing not 4.

    hth

    Great info on the diff between static level and well depth and recovery rate. Why 6 inch instead of 4? I know bigger pipe means less frictional resistance but it also means more water to lift. Not sure how they counteract each other?
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    I'm not at all surprised by the well-driller's comments. If it's really going to be 40 to 75 feet down it's likely going to be a minimum 4" casing, require a deep well pump which is inevitably 240 VAC, and will indeed cost several thousand dollars. Usually they charge per foot for the drilling, then there's the expense of the casing, pump, wiring, et cetera. And inevitably this has to be done with a permit by local AHJ to be sure it all meets code and health standards.

    If it were a shallow "dug well" you could do it yourself and save, but only if the local authorities approve. That permitting process is a big thing to contend with. Drilling down yourself 75 feet even in sand is not as simple as it seems. I've installed a few "sand points" in my day; they are designed to do this (basically a drill point on a 2" stainless steel mesh pipe 3' long at the end of continuing lengths). By 20' down it is really hard going. You hammer, twist, hammer, twist ... until you hit that one big rock and are stopped dead and have to pull it out and start over somewhere else.

    We are about to install a drilled well at our house "in town" to get off the failing private system. We have an estimate of around $5,000 for a 50 foot deep well. We'll see how it turns out.

    Thanks so much for your input....
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    mattbro23 wrote: »
    Great info on the diff between static level and well depth and recovery rate. Why 6 inch instead of 4? I know bigger pipe means less frictional resistance but it also means more water to lift. Not sure how they counteract each other?

    That is the casing size, not the outlet pipe. The larger diameter of casing gives a larger 'clear' reservoir of water readily available to the pump (as opposed to water contained in the surrounding soil).

    At the old house we had a shallow well with a 6" standpipe (13 feet deep) from which the surface pump pulled water. Beside it was a 4' diameter concrete reservoir. Odd system, but it worked.
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    "Other wells in the area are 40 to 75 feet". Very interesting that the well driller proclaims your well must be 4 inch and you must use a 220 volt pump etc.
    Here in Nova Scotia, all wells drilled for the last 40 or 50 years have been 6 inch, only old wells were 4 inch. And pumps? That totally depends on what you want, the water level in the well, and how far that level lowers when water is being used. The pump most definitely does NOT have to be 220. The pump and motor voltage will depend on how deep the water is if a submersible pump is used, and likewise how far it is from the house. You can also use a jet pump, where the actual pump is in the house and two water lines go down the line, one to bring water up, the other, usually smaller diameter, to send water under high pressure down the well to operate a jet down in the well, which actually pushes water up the larger pipe and into the pump. With these pumps, some of the pumped water goes to the storage tank for use, while the rest goes down the well to operate the jet.
    By the way, "several thousand dollars" is not expensive by normal standards in these parts, as they can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
    There are many kinds of pumps and a number of voltages that can be used.
    I was brought up and lived my life with wells and pumps, and have much experience with both submersible pumps, jet, gear, and piston pumps, and have rebuilt and repaired all 4 kinds.

    Just what i was looking for, someone who has EXPERIENCE with the design and operation...it seems to be consensus here 220 not needed. Why do you think the std there is 6in? I believe here it is recently 4 in and used to be 3 or even 2 inch. What drives this? depth? recovery rate? Interesting explanation of jet pump...Thanks so much for your input.
  • vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    I have a place just west of Gaylord MI, I drilled a well 33 feet deep by hand using 3" PVC Pipe. it took me about 12 hrs to get down to 33 feet.. I lost 10 pounds that day..
    Long story short, that well only produced about 1.5 gallons per minute... not enough for me...
    I had a well drilled by a pro, it is a 4" well 120' deep. the pump sits 90 feet down.. it is a 220 pump I'm not sure of the brand I was not there when it was installed.
    The well cost $3500 last year..
    P.S. the driller got the permit for me, I live 200 miles away from my camp
    Where you at in MI?
  • mattbro23mattbro23 Registered Users Posts: 9
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    vibeline wrote: »
    I have a place just west of Gaylord MI, I drilled a well 33 feet deep by hand using 3" PVC Pipe. it took me about 12 hrs to get down to 33 feet.. I lost 10 pounds that day..
    Long story short, that well only produced about 1.5 gallons per minute... not enough for me...
    I had a well drilled by a pro, it is a 4" well 120' deep. the pump sits 90 feet down.. it is a 220 pump I'm not sure of the brand I was not there when it was installed.
    The well cost $3500 last year..
    P.S. the driller got the permit for me, I live 200 miles away from my camp
    Where you at in MI?

    Wow you are VERY close I am about 20 miles due west of North Higgins Lake. Probably 35 miles from Gaylord. I too am about 200 miles from the property. It is in Missaukee County and I am thinking that may be the code. 4" casing, 220 pump and he said he could get the permit. I havent had time to call to find out on the permit and code yet. Would you mind telling me what contractor did it for you? Thanks for the info
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    mattbro23 wrote: »
    Why 6 inch instead of 4? I know bigger pipe means less frictional resistance but it also means more water to lift.

    No, there is no more water to lift, only what is in the plastic pipe you attach to the pump AND no matter how deep your pump is in the well, the pump only has to 'lift' above the static level.

    A 6 inch Casing has ~ 1 gal per foot of storage and more importantly most pumps are about 3 + inches in diameter and have been known to jam up in the smaller casing especially when something drops down the hole accidentally. your guys may have more experience with this, avoiding it that is.
     
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  • vibelinevibeline Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    mattbro23 wrote: »
    Wow you are VERY close I am about 20 miles due west of North Higgins Lake. Probably 35 miles from Gaylord. I too am about 200 miles from the property. It is in Missaukee County and I am thinking that may be the code. 4" casing, 220 pump and he said he could get the permit. I havent had time to call to find out on the permit and code yet. Would you mind telling me what contractor did it for you? Thanks for the info

    I think the name of the drilling company was L and R...

    P.S. I had a camper at the Cut River Camp ground for years...
  • tmarchtmarch Solar Expert Posts: 143 ✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    I just had a well dug this summer, 435 feet deep @ $20 per foot. That's 4" caseing and gravel packed, ready for the pump to be installed. Most well drillers in this area charge that for anything over 50 feet, and a little more if it's less than 50 feet.
    I run this well with straight solar @ 6GPM from 420 feet deep-static water level is 350 feet.
    Do some checking and find a driller you can trust as they know when they get to water bearing material and with experience can tell close to the recovery rate of the well as they are drilling.
    Above all overestimate your usage as it's better to have a well that will produce more than not enough.
  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    Things must be different here in Pennsylvania. All the well drillers here use 6 inch casing. This summer it cost about $10.00 a foot for the 6 inch pipe I bought at a pipe yard for solar racks. When I got my well drilled back in 87 it cost me $600 to get my 82 ft. 6 inch dia well drilled. :Dsolarvic:D
  • Ken MarshKen Marsh Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    I grew up in that area. It is basically all sand.
    You do not want to go deep because you will get into highly mineralized water and in places salt water.
    But if you stay shallow it is great water.
    Wells are simple and high flowing but the point will lime up in a few years.
    It seemed like most rural people drove their own well.
    They were usually 1 1/4 inch.
    This was fifty years ago. They will not allow a suction system now.

    In reading through this thread, here are a few comments;

    Since this is an occasional use cabin, I would stay away from surface storage and two pump system.
    You don't need it.
    The well will provide all the water you need without storage.
    You will need a small pressurizing tank but make it drainable.

    A good well man can be your best friend
    but remember there is commonly slippage between the actual code and interpretation of code.

    Well men want at least 20 to 30 ft of water over the pump even in a high flow well.
    This gets the well deeper when a submerged pump is used.
    But it is the best system anyway.

    Sometimes you can find a well man that will put just the well and screen down and pump it off.
    Then you mount the pump and finish it your self.
    You trade your time for $.
    The last dozen wells I have had put down have been that way.
    I was fortunate when a local lumber yard went out of business to pick up 10 submerged pumps for $75 ea.
    They were 10 gpm series mostly half hp, with two of them being 1/3 hp and one a 3/4 hp.
    The problem now is that I have run out of them and have to buy pumps at going prices, ouch!!
  • Texas WellmanTexas Wellman Solar Expert Posts: 153 ✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    The Grundfos pump you were asking about will run on either A/C or D/C. It uses AC power from 90-230V or D/C from 30-300V. Depending on water level and pumping needs 3-30ish volt panels stacked in series each about 180-220W will run it quite nicely. They have options to run directly from solar, batteries, wind turbine, or generator. You just need the right interface box. We run ours here straight solar to a storage tank. Easy to store water, hard to store electricity.

    Good luck!!
  • PorkChopsMmmPorkChopsMmm Solar Expert Posts: 189 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    Where I am located in Michigan driven point shallow wells are common. Although I did not pull a permit for mine I believe they are still code where I am because kits for them are sold with the driven point, pump, etc. at most local stores.

    In my signature you can see the specs for my system. This powers my whole house including my shallow well pump. I believe it is 1/2 HP. I drove the pointed well pipe into the ground with a jack hammer and just kept adding sections. I also hooked up a 44 gallon pressure tank so we have quite a bit of water on hand. Feel free to PM me with questions -- I had such a set up done in a day and later built and insulated pump house that has required no external heat so far this winter.
  • bailenforcerbailenforcer Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    Permit = much higher taxes, and a loss of rights in Michigan. Just like the persistent rumor that out houses are illegal in Michigan this is not true, the DEQ just requires a few things to eliminate or control flies. The outhouse must have tongue and grove siding to reduce fly infiltration and a vent pipe to draw off noxious odors and gasses to prevent the user from getting sick (assumption). In a county where I own property the state says build the outhouse, but the county says "we don't issue permits for those" ***? Hey county moron Michigan has a PREEMPTION LAW! You can NOT take away rights granted by the State in any way. So since I am being bull$hitted by the local county Nazi I build/dig my own outhouse. Come screw with me and we sue the county for violating state law. Northern Michigan is a crap hole of Nazi mentality by local self appointed "Kings of the county" in Northern Michigan. I used to be a go along to get along person but lately dealing with these idiots who violate their own laws I am tired of it.

    In Northern Michigan we have as many self driven wells as highly taxed permit pulled wells driven by the rip off well drillers. We have well driller price and territory fixing here BIG time. If you call a well driller in Petoskey he will NOT go 10 miles away to Wolverine and intrude on another price fixing territory.


    Now that I vented ....



    Where I am located in Michigan driven point shallow wells are common. Although I did not pull a permit for mine I believe they are still code where I am because kits for them are sold with the driven point, pump, etc. at most local stores.

    In my signature you can see the specs for my system. This powers my whole house including my shallow well pump. I believe it is 1/2 HP. I drove the pointed well pipe into the ground with a jack hammer and just kept adding sections. I also hooked up a 44 gallon pressure tank so we have quite a bit of water on hand. Feel free to PM me with questions -- I had such a set up done in a day and later built and insulated pump house that has required no external heat so far this winter.
  • bailenforcerbailenforcer Registered Users Posts: 2
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    I have seen no manual pump laws, and I have scoured the Michigan DEQ site. Well drillers around here are a mixture of crooks who lie to you and over charge for a well you didn't need. My property is in an area of many self drilled wells and the water table is very high here, you dig 6 feet and water appears fast. Most wells here are 25 to 50 feet yet the drillers say only 100 feet plus will work. They get paid by the foot folks. Ask the neighbors and old timers they mostly have shallow wells around me and most are self drilled, and produce water you can't pump fast enough. My plan is to put in two wells one will be a 25 to 35 foot self drilled well with a manual pump. Electricity is unreliable in many area of northern Michigan and I am not going without water and heat. (Wood stove backed up with a propane GRAVITY wall furnace is the way I go. Home depot has Williams brand wall furnaces under $700. Off topic I know.)

    I asked the local driller he without hesitation said $7500 or more. It is all sand here I checked the facts, I believe he is trying to screw the customer. Well drillers in my area won't tread on another drillers territory and they all quote the same minimum costs sight unseen... Really? No wonder so many around here self drill wells. There is supposed to be a 4 inch well casing rule, yet I have yet to find the law/rule. Mine will be a 2 inch well, it's only this old man and a dog so 2 inch wells are fine. I personally know several people with families that have 2 inch wells with jet pumps and no issues.

    As far as the 220 comment you might call the Michigan DEQ they will know. There is an office in Gaylord, Lansing and other places, pick the one close to your area to make sure the person you talk to knows the area.

    I know this is am old post but information might be needed for the next person looking here.



    mattbro23 wrote: »
    Hi I am a newbie. Great to hear all these great stories. I am not sure if this is a good place to as this question but it seems that there are several experienced or at least very resourceful members here. I am looking to install a well in northern MI off grid using solar power and have never had a well and especially have not drilled or had one drilled or powered the pump. I have many general basic questions and was hoping to get some good advice. :)

    First of all I want to get the well "approved" Even though its out in the country there are building codes and am told I should get a "permit" What does anyone know about this?
    Second I met a "well driller" who has done several in the area and he told me things like "it HAS to be 4 inch", "the pump HAS to be a 220", "you CAN NOT have a manual pump"
    Thirdly his quote was several thousand dollars and most all of MI has no rocks and is sand and other wells in the area range between 40-75 feet. This seems ridiculously expensive

    Any advice to these three "Starter questions" would be greatly appreciated. I realize It should be a new post but havent figured out where to do this yet--looking now. The reason I posted here was the fact that someone drilled a 250 foot well by HAND so why cant I do something similar to get down 75 in sand :)?
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 527 ✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    Im in the catskill park area of NY .
    In my area the wells run between 23 to 27 $$$ a foot .
    Im drilling now , We are down 460' and im still bone dry , kind of a bummer .
    WE moved the well rig and water truck on thurs day about 100 mils north and drilled from 10am to 430 pm on Friday
    460 feet in 61/2 hr is making good time in my book .
    Drilling seems like a good racket but we are thru 400 gals of fuel 1000 dollars worth of payroll and the trucks are worth 1/2 a million bucks +.
    any way the 20 bucks foot is not charged for no reason .
    In my area where I live full time a 50' well is not potable , I have 3 wells at my house 1 66' 1 270' and a new one 560, I could dig a well with a back ho and have plenty of water year round but its not potable .
    I think the well guys just drill 100 feet as a minimum depth you could get buy with less but the charge would be the same .
    I have a 220 pump 1 hp and it works good , when we switched over from 115volt to the 220 my elec bill dropped 50 bucks a month .
    Im drilling at my cabin in bluestone , lime stone , and shale mix , all stone and he drills at about 60' an hr in sand the wells get cased all the way down it costs more .
    My drill guy only has 640' of drill rod on the truck I hope I get some water soon .
    I think next week ill be asking here , about how to pump the water out of the hole ?
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,021 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan
    wellbuilt wrote: »
    ....In my area where I live full time a 50' well is not potable ..

    What makes water non-potable ? Bacteria ? Boron ? It may be a lot easier to clean up the handy water, then to keep going dry bore after dry bore . Does a geologist say there is supposed to be water down there ?
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  • AguarancherAguarancher Solar Expert Posts: 307 ✭✭✭
    Re: Well & Pump in Michigan

    The last time I had a hard rock well drilled in the mountains, the driller wouldn’t even bring his rig on site until I had the site dowsed. Not very scientific, but the well came in at 10 gpm in an area know for 2-3 gpm. I consider it a $100 ‘well’ spent. lol
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