This wonderful new money trap we bought has a problem with the water well.
I'm not real sure of the terminology but here goes, I have a driven well
point that is supposedly only 21 feet deep. The pump is in a closet in the
basement. It has two plastic, 1 inch I think, pipes coming out of it, going
into the floor. There is an expansion tank that I cannot see. (It is
behind the closet wall)
We have more than enough water for household tasks, laundry, dishwasher,
showers, etc. However when I try to run the lawn sprinkler system I have
problems. I can run one zone for about 5 minutes, after that the pump
starts "chugging". The sprinkler output drops way down and I can hear the
pump sucking water from the upstairs toilet and hose spigots. I can't stand
the noise from the pump so I shut the system off. Needless to say my lawn
has almost completely burnt up.
The interesting thing is that the system must have worked for the previous
owner, because last fall when we looked at the house the lawn was gorgeous.
Any suggestions? I've thought of driving another point with a separate pump
for just the sprinklers but I'm not sure what size pump and how far from the
existing point should I be.
Wells aren't that cooperative. You may or may not be able to get enough
water to water your lawn, but you should definitely drive a separate well
for the purpose. If it comes in with enough water, great. The main thing
is to have enough water for your house and not screw up the well you have.
The pump size is mostly dictated by the well depth. A .5hp pump is more
than enough to water your lawn; it can deliver 12 gpm from a shallow well,
if the well has 12 gpm available.
Most people with wells don't water their lawns.
The well owner that successfully waters their lawn on and ongoing basis
has a number of things going in their favor. First is the well has been
done with that water use in mind. Second, the pump has been sized
correctly for the well, the house water needs and the irrigation
requirements. Third, they usually water after other water needs have
been met; like overnight etc.. Miss getting any one of those right and
you should stop trying to water the lawn or you may end up with no water
to use anywhere. Or the water will go dirty etc. and you won't want to
use it in the house. Or you burn up a pump.
Anything that has a change in the sound it produces when operating needs
to be serviced or otherwise looked at now; especially a well water pump.
Waiting usually makes things much worse while drastically shortening the
time available to fix it. That usually increases the cost and/or chances
of screwing up the fix.
Anyone putting a well pump and pressure tank in a tight closet should be
shot. At least twice!
The tank has to be checked for proper air pressure, the (compressed) air
is actually the power used to move water when the pump isn't running.
Proper air pressure is 2 psi less air than the cut-in pressure switch
setting; I.E. 30/50 water pressure gets 28 psi air pressure when there
is no water in the tank. If this doesn't solve some of the problems,
then you look at the condition of the pump and how much water is in the
well and the recovery rate of the well. And that's the proper
Quality Water Associates
Almost everybody gets a guy with a stick to help decide. Since there is
almost no rational basis for locating a well, this will help you too.
Almost all well-drillers will haul out a forked stick at the drop of a hat,
so this should work out fine. I gather that if you have a shallow well now
and others in your area have shallow wells. Shallow wells are not very
costly, so let whoever is doing it choose a spot.
One thought that has occured to me is that if everybody in your area is on
wells, and various folks water lawns, the result could be that the ground
water table is dropping. Whether your new well will affect your old well is
hard to guess. But probably not.
If the new well is in the recharge area of the old one, both will be
effected by pumping the other. The effect of that will/can be an
increased cone of depression with the deepest part between the two
wells. That can limit the output of both and increase the recovery time
Quality Water Associates
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