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Author Topic: off grid well options  (Read 872 times)

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Offline Sauna freak

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off grid well options
« on: February 22, 2021, 10:12:30 PM »
At my hunting property, I presently have a 15' sand point/hand pump well for wash water, and to keep a fire bucket full.  It works alright, but it's a lot of work filling a 5 gallon pail.  The water bearing sand is very tight, resulting in a slow draw when operating the pitcher style pump.  

Wondering if there is a better option for drawing water from such a system?  I do have a gasoline generator onsite I use mostly for running power tools and the utility pump for the pressurized shower I built for the wife(the main reason for having the well in the first place).  An electric pump of some sort for intermittent use would be an option, but not sure if I have enough head in the well to draw for any length of time.
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Offline bodagocreek2

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2021, 08:06:48 AM »
Check out DMMCOY link below yours. Read whole link, next to last post.

Offline Sauna freak

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2021, 09:43:31 AM »
Check out DMMCOY link below yours. Read whole link, next to last post.
I don't understand what you're asking me to check out
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2021, 06:54:23 AM »
I think he meant this

well pump

He meant a couple posts under yours in the same topic.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Nebraska

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2021, 02:17:54 PM »
Aeromotor Windmill
 May not be feasible where you are, my farm was set up with several cisterns that  gravity fed the livestock tanks and the house. Just an option if you can get the wind.

Offline John Mc

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2021, 07:57:44 PM »
If you went deeper, would you have a better flow rate?

I'd be hesitant to use an electric pump if I were likely to run it dry regularly.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Gearbox

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2021, 08:17:33 PM »
cap the well and blow it with air then blow it again .Pump and blow it 3 or 4 times will rearange the sand and free up the water flow .
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Offline Bcg

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2021, 08:01:14 AM »
Aeromotor Windmill
 May not be feasible where you are, my farm was set up with several cisterns that  gravity fed the livestock tanks and the house. Just an option if you can get the wind.
Have you priced pumping windmills lately?  You can drill a well and install a solar pump with a pressure tank and booster for what one costs.  We have one that's non-functional on our ranch, the quote I got for repair was $13,000.  I actually wanted to use the hole under it for an open loop geothermal system, unfortunately it won't make enough water so we've abandoned it.

I think your best bet would be to deepen the well some and blow it out to loosen the sand and improve the recharge.  A bigger cased area with a screen will give you more water out of sand and a faster recharge, making pumping significantly easier.  Once you have good recharge, you could put a small jet pump on it to run off the generator or a solar pump to pump it into a tank of some sort.


Offline John Mc

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2021, 08:39:53 AM »
Sauna Freak -

I'm curious if you need water at this camp in the winter as well? That would introduce a few other complications, as cold as it gets in your area.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Erik A

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2021, 12:28:03 AM »
Besides using air, you might try a pressure washer, 1500 psi. water may open up the sand?



Offline Jeff

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2021, 07:35:35 AM »
Both the eastern u.p. wells we drove got much better after we pumped them for a few hours with a proper electric pump.  My 28ft well went from 5 to 10 gallon a minute 
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Offline Sauna freak

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 08:08:01 PM »
Sorry, I kind of forgot about this one for awhile, now I see there are some replies to work with.

I like the idea of trying to blow or hydraulically fluff the sand to free up the pore space.  Really nothing to lose here, and I have access to the equipment to do this.  May have to give it a whirl.

I already have a system to free the well in winter.  Frost line goes to 3' by late winter even with insulation around the head.  I've been able to free water by applying heat gently to the riser pipe, then flushing the system top-down with near boiling water from melted snow.  Opens enough of a trickle to free itself with pumping.

A windmill is absolutely not an option.  Solar likely not a good one.  For the limited amount I use the well, a short run of gasoline generator or 12v tapped off an ATV battery would suffice.  I'm really never drawing more than 10-20 gallons at a time.

Deeper is not an option for a driven well.  Hit hardpan/rock at the bottom of the driven section.  Mineralogical testing has revealed an iron bearing formation at shallow depths on the property ranging from near surface to 100'.  Assuming this is what I hit.
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Offline tmarch

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Re: off grid well options
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2021, 03:33:10 PM »
Try digging a bigger hole so more area is exposed to the water bearing sand.  Then grout the area with coarser rock to allow that to hold back the sand and let the water through it to the pump.
Retired to the ranch, saw, and sell solar pumps.


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