May I compare my well water setup to yours (3,094 usable gallons)

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What you did is OK to a point and for a quick approximation. To get a better measure I'd turn the water on very low, like .5 GPM and see at what rate it can keep up without running dry. Slowly increase the flow rate until it just runs out of water. Tha'ts the well's continuous flow rate.

A reasonable domestic well target is 15 GPM continuous. Just had one drilled here in NJ, 4" casing, 50ft deep and that's what it's yielding. That's enough to support doing things like watering an acre of lawn with just the well and no tank. Of course you can't get that in all areas or with any given well depending on it's condition. Then you have to figure out what you can get and what you can support with it. You flow rate of about .5GPM is extremely low.
I take back what I said before about not seeing the need for such a large tank. I forgot the irrigation need which is clearly why you need such a large tank. With a 200 head sprinkler system, I'm kind of amazed this whole thing works. That's huge, depending of course on the flow rate of the heads. You're only pumping 720 gallons of water a day. Even if you water once every 4 days, that only allows for 2900 gallons, or about 15 gallons a head. A typical rotor on a domestic system is usually putting out 2gpm. You'd go through that water at the rate of 7 mins per head.
Have you asked neighbors what their situation is? Either the aquifer at 500 ft is getting depleted or else you have a well that just has it;s own problems. If the latter, it's time for new well. IF the former, then unless there is a deeper acquifer, I guess you're screwed until the drought ends. BTW, I though CA drought had ended and this year with all the snow pack there was plenty of water?
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Your well pump can pump 5 gallons per minute. Your well can supply half a gallon per minute or 720 gallons per day. That is not very much water. You probably can't increase it. You will probably have to reduce the amount you need.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2011 18:18:49 -0700, Pat wrote:

It's even worse than that because it shuts off every few minutes; then it waits exactly 1/2 hour, and then kicks on again.
In two days, the tanks rose about 20 inches, which, at 40 gallons calculated per inch, is 800 gallons ... or 400 gallons a day.
As you said, my only choice is to conserve.
Later, when money permits, I will consider drilling another well (the property has an elevation change of about 400 feet, so, what I can do is put the well at the low point of the property and pump it up to the house).
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wrote Re Re: May I compare my well water setup to yours (3,094 usable gallons):

There is not guarantee that you will hit water at the low point of the property.
--
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 07:55:58 -0500, Caesar Romano wrote:

Understood.
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No one has commented on this yet and I think it could be important. How exactly does it shut off and wait 30 mins? The issue here is normally a well pump is designed to run continously and not run out of water. But since you have those huge tanks it appears this well was set up to accomodate low flow from the start. If so, it may have some special mechanism to cycle the pump. So some thoughts:
A - If it has some special cycling arrangement, is it possible that is what's screwed up and it might be short cycling even though the well has not really run out of water?
B - If doesn't have some special cycling arrangement, what is shutting it off and keeping it off for 30 mins? If it's that the pump runs dry and is overheating, I'd think you'd want to institute some kind of cycling system, perhaps with a timer, to stop that from happening. I doubt a submersible pump likes to run dry, overheat, shutdown. It relies on the water to cool it.
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wrote:

Good comments
..perhaps his "short cycling" & "dead period" is really a pump control issue and not completely a well recharge issue.
Getting the pump behavior to match the well / aquifer behavior might be easiest way to maximize water output.
cheers Bob
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 06:31:57 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

SEE ATTACHED PHOTOS: 1. House Side: http://picturepush.com/public/6347599 2. Pump Side: http://picturepush.com/public/6347607 3. Well Side: http://picturepush.com/public/6347612
If 'you' can make sense of the setup, I'd LOVE to know how it actually works!
Why, for example, are their FOUR boxes for the well?
This one of those four boxes does the 30-minute timeout when the well runs dry: * Pumptec Model 5800020116 P/N 223122101 Rev 4 * The NoLoad Sensor Pump Protection System for Franklin Submersible Motors
Another box 'must' run the motor itself ... I think it's this one: * Franklin Electric Model 2801074915, 3/4 HP, 230 volts
A third box is clearly the circuit breaker for the well pump electrical feed.
The last box, has no writing on it, and I don't know 'what' it does.
If YOU (or anyone) knows what these four "well boxes" do, please edify me!
:)
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I think you've already figured out what they do.
One is the breaker box where the electric for the system is coming in, through the breaker and on to the pump
One is the pump controller. Submersibles come in either 2 wire or 3 wire versions. The 3 wire ones use an external controller to energize the start winding to get the pump going. Hence they need a controller. The two wire type have that built into the pump. Apparently you have a 3 wire type.
One is the pump protection system that senses when the well runs dry and cuts off the power to avoid burning out the pump. That is what is apparently cycling the pump at 30 min intervals. But you say in another post that from other testing it appears that is about the recovery rate of the well anyway, so fiddling with the cycling time of this box, assuming that's possible doesn't sound likely to yield much in the way of improvement
One box is unused.
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On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:12:05 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think you've helped me clarify the three boxes - but the fourth is definitely used. There is 'stuff' inside the box. And, it's wired.
I don't know what that stuff is doing though ...
In daylight, tomorrow, I can snap a picture of the INSIDE of that fourth box to see what it does.
But, so far, we have this: 1. Box1 is the circuit breaker 2. Box2 is the controller for the 3-wire submersed well pump 3. Box3 is the dry-well pump-protection circuit (times out for 30 minutes) 4. Box4 is ???
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On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:12:05 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I would wholly agree with that sentiment.
It takes about a half hour just to get about 3 minutes to 5 minutes of well water.
Then it goes dry.
In fact, it might be helpful for me to change the setting to one hour, so as to cycle the pump less frequently.
I may devise a test to test that out.
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Yes, I agree that's a good idea. At least with the water available right now, it would be advantageous to find the optimum off time. If it turns out you get just about as much water per day cycling it once an hour, that would be less wear and tear on the pump.
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On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 03:56:38 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It's an interesting concept: Pump less to get more water!
But, if I put it at an hour (or even longer), and it still drops out BEFORE a half hour, then, I now understand, from what you're saying, that I'll likely get as much water with fewer pump iterations!
Seems to me, any delay period (1 hour, 1.5 hours, 2 hours, etc.), that results in water pumping for fewer than a half hour, is all equivalent in terms of water gain.
Right?
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 06:31:57 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Yes. That's possible. However, I can 'reset' the cycle, at will, simply by turning off the power via the circuit breaker.
When I do that, it pumps again, but, all the action is consistent with the fact that it's running out of water.
For example, if I cycle it right away, almost nothing is pumped before it shuts off; and if I switch it back on a bit later, more water is pumped. The longer I wait, the more water is pumped before it shuts off (in a few minutes).
This, I don't think, is the problem.
But, there are FOUR boxes (that could go bad). 1. One is the circuit breaker 2. The other is the no-load sensor (discussed above).
I'm not sure 'what' the other two are: 3. One seems to be the pump controller itself. 4. I'm not sure 'what' that fourth box is.
See photos here: 1. House Side: http://picturepush.com/public/6347599 2. Pump Side: http://picturepush.com/public/6347607 3. Well Side: http://picturepush.com/public/6347612
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I agree it's not the problem. The problem appears to be that the well is only capable of a very low flow rate. You might be able to get a little more delivery out of it though by optimizing and adjusting the amount of time the pump is off after it runs out of water. It should not be off any longer than it takes for the well to recover. From what you've posted its sounds like it's already close to that anyway, but you might be able to cut the off time to say 25 mins and get more water per day that way. It wouldn't be a lot, but every bit helps I guess.

I don't know either. I made an error in my previous post. You said the 4th box has no "writing". I misread that as no "wiring" and hence said it was unused. It may be doing something. Taking the cover off and finding out what's inside would be a start.
If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say maybe a timer to cycle the pump so that it avoids running out of water. They might have had that before adding the electronic Pumptec safety. Open it up and take a look.

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wrote Re Re: May I compare my well water setup to yours (3,094 usable gallons):

No, you did a pretty good job there. I believe you now have a good estimate of what your well and pump can supply over a 24 hour period.
Your in-house water use will be about 50 GPD/person. Slightly more if you have people taking extra long showers.
You mentioned earlier that your pool use was about 100 GPD ?
Now all you have to do is figure out your irrigation use. My guess is that irrigation will be a load that your well can't handle during the drought.
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On Fri, 12 Aug 2011 07:08:51 -0500, Caesar Romano wrote:

G.Morgan kindly calculated that for us:

6,000 gallons/30 days = 200 gallons/day.
Based on the fact the tank level rose 20 inches in the past two days, I'm estimating that the well can supply, in the middle of the dry season, 400 gallons per day (at 40 gallons per inch of tank).
So, I agree with you.
In the dry season, I can't "afford" to irrigate as much (because the house uses whatever it uses, and the pool uses about 500 gallons every few days).
So, here's my short-term plan: - Shut off the irrigation (the plants will need to fend for themselves) - Fix the pool leaks - Irrigate manually only when the tanks are full
I'm curious how much a pool evaporates.
Those of you with a pool, assuming no leaks, how much does yours evaporate? (Note: The pool surface area is approximately 900 square feet and it's in the sun all day, from 6am to about 8pm or so right about now).
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wrote Re Re: May I compare my well water setup to yours (3,094 usable gallons):

Is drilling the well deeper an option?

1/2" to 1" per day http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_water_evaporates_from_a_pool
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 07:54:16 -0500, Caesar Romano wrote:

I guess that's 'always' an option! :)
I would start 400 feet lower so the well wouldn't need to be as deep. But, then the piping would be a few hundred yards in length. :(

Interesting. For my pool, 1 inch is about 500 gallons. So that's jives with what I'm seeing (500 gallons every few days).
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SNIP

Long term pool experience:
Large residential pool in OC, SoCal. 20x40 , all day exposure (yard / pool orientation, East /West)
Winter time usage ~1/2" per week Summer time water usage ~1/4" to 1/2" per day. Occasional high wind / hot weather usage as high as 1" per day.
Suggestion: Cover pool to reduce water loss & improve "swimability".
cheers Bob
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