Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
I'm looking for pumping options for a well with a two-inch well casing. Currently, there is an air-lift system in place, but the compressor is missing and will cost about 4k to replace (with a windmill compressor). Then I get the joy of listening to it.

I'm looking for options, preferably something that would run directly wired to a solar panel.

About the only think I've found that is that small and would appear to be reliable is this Grundfos environmental pump: http://www.geotechnical.net/pumps1_grundfos.shtml The downfall of which is the need for a controller, and the fact that it requires AC power.

Does anyone have experience with pumps for small diameter wells?

Thanks!

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,058 admin
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    Not that I know much about wells--but how deep does the pump need to be placed?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    Oops. Meant to include that. 30 feet to water, 80 feet to the bottom.
  • bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    Maybe I should also add that I have a thousand-gallon tank on site.
  • EcnerwalEcnerwal Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    Simplest answer first:

    Local prices may vary, but my well driller would drop you a 6 inch well with casing (if needed to the full depth) for $1300 or so to 80 feet. If you get to firm rock before you hit bottom, skip a bunch of expensive casing (and pay less - casing costs 3X what the hole itself does, here). You already know where the water is, so the big unknown in drilling a new well does not apply. Drop in a fancy Grundfos solar pump and you are still under $4000 - and there are less expensive solar pumps...also a mere 4 inches will fit most submersibles you might care to run off solar, and that should also cost less than 6 inches.

    In the other hand, you are nearly in reach of direct suction. If the water level does not drop a lot over the year or when you draw water, you could dig a pit beside the well and set a shallow well (suction) pump less than 25-27 feet above the water level. 4 foot diameter concrete well casing works nicely for this purpose - if it's not solid rock, an excavator can dig a 10-ft hole, drop in 4 3-ft high sections of casing and fill the hole back up in less than a full day's work. You climb a ladder down to the pump from the manhole on top. If you pump slowly enough to keep the water within 35-37 feet of the ground surface, you're set with the well you have. Be sure to ventilate the pit before climbing into it, and while you are in it.

    <add>
    These folks are another option - a small diameter piston pump that goes down in the well, and which can be solar powered (or skip the gym membership and run it by hand...) - you need the smaller diameter one "for deeper wells" because of the diameter constraint, I think - but appears to be well under $2000 all told with the solar option.

    http://www.survivalunlimited.com/deepwellpump.htm

    http://www.survivalunlimited.com/waterpumps/spsolarpump.htm
  • bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    Ecnerwal,

    Thanks for the reply. You brought up a couple points I hadn't considered. Always a good thing.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    While the well pit idea is technically possible, be aware that well pits are notorious sources of well contamination. Even with proper seal on the well casings, the pit itself may be subject to flooding and therefore allowing surface water into the well.

    I would be quite careful with this approach.

    Tony

    PS,

    I don't know much about jet pumps, but can't you run a jet down on a much smaller diameter?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    A standard 1/2 HP convertible jet pump will lift from 80', but you need at least a 4" pipe to get the <I>two</I> lines down for it to work. basically, they send a small pressurized stream down the well pipe to create an increased velocity back up the suction pipe - which reduces pressure and increases lift capacity. This pump would require a lot of power: often over 3 kW for start-up. Generally speaking, in applications over 50' deep it's better to go with a "deep well" pump: one that puts the actual pump down where the water is. Pushing is easier than pulling.

    Pumping water is a tough job. It's heavy stuff. The deeper you go the harder it is to lift and the more it costs to do.

    The pump the OP links to says it's for sampling and therefor it may not be suitable for continual usage. It seems to be a bit short on specs? Or am I missing a link? I don't see anything on the page about its flow rate or pressure capacity. In other words, it might not be usable for a domestic pressurized water system.
  • bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    I have seen the Grundfos RediFlow II 2" pump listed as being able to pump at varying flow rates from minuscule to 9 gallons-per-minute and a head up to 270 feet. I agree that it is not designed for the application in mind and may not be the best tool for the job. That's on reason I'm asking for advice.

    My, perhaps flawed, idea was to continue to use the storage tank and use a jet pump from there if needed. I suppose an advantage of some sort of electric pump would be the ability to pressurize on demand and be rid of the storage tank depending on the flow capabilities of the well.

    Thanks for all the input. So far the "Simple Pump" with a motor adapter seems like the leading alternative.

    I just got off the phone with the local drilling outfit, and they quoted $3000 for a 100-foot hole and casing assuming a perfect hole. They said they won't come out for any less than that.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    What about an old fashioned rod pump? Rocker arm on the surface pumping the rods up and down, with leathers at the bottom. Used for hundreds of years,, low flow, but high reliability.

    Just a thought,

    T
  • EcnerwalEcnerwal Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    Ouch. Local prices do vary a lot for well-drillers.

    Icarus - the Survival unlimited "simple pump" is the equivalent of the "old fashioned rod pump" with a few new fashioned details (not leather). While they may be out there somewhere, I didn't come across any other options of this type, and only ran that one down because I knew to look for it, having tripped across it a few years ago. Took some searching to find it again.

    <more - back to benthere>

    Getting rid of the storage tank would depend a lot on flow capacity of the well, and also on how useful to you 1000 gallons of accessible water is - for feeding to a fire truck, or in case of any problem with the pump/well. With a generous pressure tank or tanks, you might well be able to do without it most of the time - but you might want to keep it filled anyway. One big factor is that you have essentially no "borehole storage" with 50 feet of water in a 2 inch well, so you really can't pump that much faster than it recharges. I've got 300 gallons of water in my well when it's "at rest", so I can use water faster than it makes water for quite some time before I run out - if my calculations (rough) are correct,you have about 8 gallons in the well hole. May not be a problem if it flows in fast, though.

    <yet more - following up Icarus>

    Found yet another weird website by following the idea of looking for truly "old fashioned" deep well "rod pumps". Not only do they have "traditional deep well rod pumps" for your hand or windmill pleasure, they even have a jet pump variant that might work (still cost a lot of power to run, no way around that aspect). It's a "jet by means of sealing to the well casing" - jet water is pumped down the outside (I think - could be the other way around) and pumped water comes up the central pipe.

    At the bottom, below the more typical 4 inch and unusual 3 or 2-1/2 inch ejectors. They call it a "packer"

    http://www.deanbennett.com/deep-well-vertical-jet-pumps.htm

    Their windmill section does have (brass, love that old fashioned lead in your water) cylinders designed to enter 2" pipe (slim-line, 3rd section on page):

    http://www.deanbennett.com/cylinder.htm
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    Dean Bennett is a pretty reliable company from what I know.

    Tony
  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 117 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing
    icarus wrote: »
    Dean Bennett is a pretty reliable company from what I know.
    Dean Bennett Supply is where I got my Aermotor Windmill and pump rod, tower, and brass pump. Good people, lots of advice.

    However the pump is ment to be hung at the end of a 2" pipe inside a larger 4-6" well.

    Rancher
  • bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    They also have pumps listed as "#442 ALL-BRASS SLIM-LINE CYLINDERS TO ENTER 2" SCH 40 PIPE" (http://www.deanbennett.com/cylinder.htm)

    It seems like one of those might do the trick. The price is right depending on the cost of a pump jack, op-rod, etc. I think I know someone with that setup. I'm going to ask him about it next time I see him.

    The well driller I spoke to yesterday did mention that he would make me a deal on a pump jack. Maybe I should see what "a deal" is.
  • jacobsjacobs Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭
    Re: Pump options for well with a two-inch casing

    I've seen many good used pump jacks on eBay for a fraction of new cost. Often sellers can't hardly give them away. Problem is shipping as good ones are heavy.
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,360 ✭✭✭✭
    An old post, but needs to be corrected.  Packer ejectors are readily available in a 2" size.  Ie, you can use a jet pump with a 2" well (created by driving down a "well point" or jetting it down) to extract from depths 50'+.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • bentherebenthere Solar Expert Posts: 113 ✭✭✭
    jonr said:
    An old post, but needs to be corrected.  Packer ejectors are readily available in a 2" size.  Ie, you can use a jet pump with a 2" well (created by driving down a "well point" or jetting it down) to extract from depths 50'+.
    Thanks for posting this, johnr.  I've been using the air lift for several years now but am always looking for a better option.
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