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If you collect the proper information about your well, there should be no reason that you could not install your own submersible water pump.
The first thing to determine is the well depth. If you do not have a well report from the well drilling company, you can take a fishing pole with lots of line, attach a sinker to the line, and drop it down to the bottom of the well and mark the line. Pull it up and measure the line up to the mark from the sinker, and you have an accurate well depth of ______________ft.
Next, remove the sinker, and place a small bobber on the fish line. Drop this down until it hits the water level, and mark the line. Pull it up and measure from this mark down to the bobber, and you now have the static water level in_______________ft. Static water level is the distance from the top of the well, down to the water level. When your well was drilled, they penetrated a water supply in an aquifer. The aquifer is under pressure from the earth compacting onto the aquifer. Your well is like a straw, and the water in the aquifer pushes up until it meets the atmospheric pressure. That is where your water will set all the time.
When they drilled your well, they should have told you how many gallons per minute of water your well produces in_____________gpm. This is the amount of water coming into the well, which keeps your static water level from pulling down during pumping. If your well does pull the static water level down, that is called drawdown, and represents the level loss when pumping at a specific number of gpm.
If you do not have the well production in gallons per minute, you can do a simple open discharge flow test. At your pressure tank, usually you will have a boiler drain that has connection for a garden hose. Connect the garden hose and start drawing water until you know that the pump is running, and not just water coming from the pressure tank. Have 5 gallon pails set up to pump into, in multiples that should allow at least 1 minute of running. Watch your watch until the seconds reach the top of a minute, and start filling pails. You will continue to fill pails until 1 minute has elapsed, and then you will quit. The open discharge quantity of water you pumped into the pails in 1 minute will give you a good idea of the performance of your pump.
Do you have to go uphill any once you get to the top of the well? If so, we need to know the number of feet of straight up rise we need to overcome_____________. How long is your run from the well to where you will pump the water______________? How far from the well is the meter that supplies the electric power for your pump system_____________?
Once we have the above information, we can select a pump, based on the well production. After you get your pump and well supplies selected, it is time to move on to preparing to install the pump in the well. If you have a well that is 300' or less in depth, there is no reason that you could not install your own pump system. Even deeper can be done, but it may require extra preparation and ability.
If you decide that you are going to use rigid pipe, either galvanized steel pipe or PVC threaded drop pipe, you will need to build a tripod that can support the pipe and pump while installing it in the well. We suggest that you get 4 pieces of 2" galvanized steel pipe in 21' lengths. Cut one of the 21' lengths into three 7' lengths, and have the ends rethreaded. Thread the 7' pieces onto the 21' lengths, and place a 2" galvanized steel tee on the top of each 28' leg. Run a chain through the tees and padlock it. This will give you a sturdy tripod that can support the weight of your pump and pipe while you are installing the pump into the well. You will need to use some sort of lifting mechanism to control lowering the pipe into the well. This can be a block and tackle, a chain fall, or a small winch that can be controlled by a remote control to lift or lower the pipe.
Next you will need to get tools that will hold the pipe at the top of the well, while you are putting the next length of pipe onto it. This is called a pipe holder. If you are using galvanized steel pipe, we have a ranchers pipe holder that can hold 1" up to 2" galvanized steel pipe. This pipe holder is load rated for up to 2000# of non-shock weight. You will also need to have a pipe elevator to support the pipe while lowering it into the well. We have a ranchers pipe dog, which has a loop that goes around the pipe and has an eccentric wheel with teeth that bites onto the galvanized steel pipe. The ranchers pipe dog is not rated, so you must be sure not to subject it to more than it can handle. These tools are ONLY for steel pipe. DO NOT USE THESE TOOLS ON PVC PIPE, since the tool may make the PVC pipe squeeze and it may slip and fall to the bottom of the well.
When you choose PVC drop pipe to install into the well for your pump, you will need specialized tools to hold the pipe and lower it into the well. We recommend the Kwik Klamp pipe holder for holding your PVC or steel pipe at the top of the well. This tool can be used on either steel or PVC, and has fine serrates on the gripping jaws, so that it will hold firmly and not damage PVC pipe. You will also need a pipe elevator that goes around the pipe, just below the coupling, to support the pipe while it is being lifted or lowered into the well. We have the pipe elevators that are economy drop pipe elevators for up to 1200# of weight. These are ideal for use with PVC drop pipe, since they go around the pipe below the coupling, have a pin that holds the hinged unit shut, and a 1/4" chain that has a 1250# test rating. When you hook the chain into your lifting mechanism, it gives you a secure way to support the PVC drop pipe while lowering your pump and pipe into the well. Remember that these tools are an investment. Eventually you will have to pull the pump back out of the well for service or replacement, and these tools will be needed at that time too.
Flint & Walling 4 inch submersible water well pumps are available in 5 gpm through 85 gpm pump series. These F&W pumps have stainless steel end castings, and stainless steel pump shell. The internal impellers and diffusers are made from space age plastic material designed to give you many years of service.
Most people need about 10 to 15 gpm to support their home water use. These smaller gallon per minute series pumps will have an 1-1/4" female thread in the top of the pump. When using PVC drop pipe, we recommend using a metal nipple in the top of the pump, and then converting over to the PVC drop pipe. This is because the threads in the stainless steel top casting of the pump are so sharp that they can cut new threads on PVC pipe. This could allow you to push the pipe down far enough to prevent the flat washer check valve, that is installed into the top of the pump, from opening. This flat check valve is standard in 5 gpm up through 27 gpm pumps. Larger pumps will have a 2" thread, and no check valve is factory installed in those models. Even with the factory installed flat check valve, the manufacturer suggest that you place a check valve within 25' of the top of the pump, and again every 6 to 7 lengths of pipe, ie: about every 120' to 140'. We now also stock check valves in stainless steel. At the top of the pump, you should install a TA48 torque arrestor that acts like a shock absorber to prevent the pump from hitting the casing wall when it starts. We also have the TA482 for use with pumps that use 2" drop pipe.
***When you buy a submersible water well pump there are 2 kinds of costs to consider:
1. The initial cost of the pump the material needed to install that pump plus the time and equipment and the labor it takes to install the pump.
2. The second and more important is the long term operating cost. This is not a job you are wanting to do every three years because of the great deal you got on an import pump. But If all you want is a cheap pump to get you up and running and you won't be there in three years when it needs to be replaced, then a cheap pump will do the job.
But, if this is your home and you intend to be there 10 to 15 years when an F&W may need to be replaced then invest the money in another great pump from F&W that won't need to be replaced for another 10 to 15 years.
3/4 hp flint & walling submersible pumps water well pumps and related accessories
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