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View Full Version : Advantages/Disadvantages of installing a well.


Carolina Cuts
06-10-2008, 08:47 AM
besides the monthly water bill being cheaper.... is there anything else to consider?

Wet_Boots
06-10-2008, 09:06 AM
Upfront cost. Sandy water killing sprinkler heads. Strainer cleanings. Water tables dropping.

Carolina Cuts
06-10-2008, 09:20 AM
Upfront cost.
not sure of the 'average upfront cost' down here... have any ideas?

Sandy water killing sprinkler heads.

that I can live with... small property. Inexpensive heads.

Waterit
06-10-2008, 09:32 AM
Well driller should have run pump, clearing sand and debris - but we run them 15-20 minutes before hooking to system anyway.

Advantages:

1. Not subject to pressure/volume fluctuations like domestic water supply.
2. Usually not subject to water restrictions.
3. Better use of resources - saves domestic water supply - usually draws from different aquifer.
4. No sewer charges.

Disadvantages:
1. High installation cost - wells here go from $1K and up.
2. Mineral content in water may lead to staining/odor problems, and be expensive to treat.
3. Can't think of any others - we love pump-and-well systems here.

Carolina Cuts
06-10-2008, 09:40 AM
sounds like you would recommend it....

I was just curious.... before I start looking into it more seriously.
My neighbor mentioned last night that his side.... (near by) had one put in.... took less then an hour to install. (supposively) was under $500- for everything.

my water bill in the off season $30/month.
my water bill now.... clear land, no trees, no shade ALL hot sun... not an oz. of rain in 3 weeks........ irrigation often to keep it from drying up.... $150+/month.

Debating if it's worth it.

AWJ Services
06-10-2008, 09:55 AM
My drinking water well was 4500.00

Waterit
06-10-2008, 10:45 AM
My drinking water well was 4500.00

Drinking water wells require a lot more work than irrigation wells - testing for contaminants, etc. And are ususally MUCH deeper.

Prices I gave were for complete P&W package - just the well runs about 500.

Wet_Boots
06-10-2008, 10:48 AM
Do you guys use PVC points? Wash them down? Up around here, it would be steel points hammered in.

Hustlinfireman
06-10-2008, 12:13 PM
Carolina, I am in the southern part of robeson county. Every system in the past year that I have installed has been to a well, with the exception of 5 in harnett county. Here in my area I have 3 differrent well guys that I use. 2 for shallow well work and 1 for deep well. the shallow well guys use either a wash down method or a small rig that one has. All of our wells in the area are between 22 - 50 ft depending on where we are. those wells produce anywhere from 12- 30 gpm. Deep wells we have are all 4-6 inch work. they are 50- 110 ft. producing 12- 45 gpm. I love wells because of low power bill instead of high water bill. My shallow wells run me anywhere between 350 to 500, plus pump. deep well 1500 to 3500 and that includes pump.

AWJ Services
06-10-2008, 02:57 PM
There have been 200+ wells put in for Irrigation in Atlanta and lets just say they were not 500 dollars.
Most spent in excess of 7k too have them installed with the correct pump.
The well companies here do not test the water after drilling.
That is up too the home owner.
They drilled 450 foot through a solid piece of granite at my house which started at 30 foot down and ended up 650 foot deep.
If you have a shallow well here they just will not support an irrigation system on average.

It is amazing how different it is too have the same job done in different areas of the country.

Drew Gemma
06-10-2008, 03:09 PM
Ohio wells are 5k to 12k no guarantee if they drill and get nothing or crappy water sorry about your luck pay up.

Takes about a week to put it in also electric hook up not included.

Mike Leary
06-10-2008, 06:40 PM
besides the monthly water bill being cheaper.... is there anything else to consider?

If you have city water available, in our case, you cannot drill.
If you can drill, do. If it's for irrigation, ask your driller/pump guy
about "on demand" pump systems. (Please, no cycle-stop comments).

Waterit
06-10-2008, 06:41 PM
Do you guys use PVC points? Wash them down? Up around here, it would be steel points hammered in.

PVC points, PVC screen, PVC casing.

2"well:
Drill rig punches 4" hole, checking tailings to tell when in good layer, pull drill, glue point into long coupling, then onto 10" of screen, screen to casing, drop it in hole and backfill. Mount 1-1/2HP centrifugal, pump well off, grout around casing, get check, go to next one. Usually about a 1-hour process.

4" well:

Drill 6" hole, again checking tailings, pull drill set 4" sch. 40 casing, attach submersible pump (up to 7-1/2HP) to sch. 80 threaded drop pipe, lower into well with rig, wire up, set well seal, "T" on top and pressure relief valve, pump it off, grout around casing, get much bigger check, go to next one. Usually about a 3 hour process.

Valveman
06-10-2008, 06:59 PM
So called "on demand" pumps are a piece of junk. :nono: If anyone has had one last more than 4 years, I would like to hear about it. Most don't even last that long but, I guess I can't comment on something that really works?

Mike Leary
06-10-2008, 07:05 PM
So called "on demand" pumps are a piece of junk. :nono: If anyone has had one last more than 4 years, I would like to hear about it. Most don't even last that long but, I guess I can't comment on something that really works?

I knew it..I almost did not post because of the diatribe from a earlier thread.
Ours have lasted for years and years and years. Chew on a cycle stop,
THEY are worthless.

BrandonV
06-10-2008, 09:32 PM
mike please describe for me what an "on demand" pump is, sometimes I can't follow you're god-like terminology... but when you bring it down describe it I can figure out and translate it to southern english

Dirty Water
06-10-2008, 09:43 PM
Drinking water wells require a lot more work than irrigation wells - testing for contaminants, etc. And are ususally MUCH deeper.

Prices I gave were for complete P&W package - just the well runs about 500.

You guys and your high water table and sandy soil.

Up here, Wells are steel casings hammered down 100+ feet.

Dirty Water
06-10-2008, 09:46 PM
mike please describe for me what an "on demand" pump is, sometimes I can't follow you're god-like terminology... but when you bring it down describe it I can figure out and translate it to southern english

On Demand pumps are variable speed pumps controlled by a central control unit. A lot more sophisticated than the usual 60/40 switch, but they are spendy.

You can set your desired GPM/PSI on the control panel and then just pump away.

Oh, and Valveman has valuable input, but a bit of a bias since he sells cycle stops.

In my opinion (and experience, having installed a handful of pumps in my day), is that cycle stops and on demand pumps are not necessary when you design the system right.

Give me a 60/40 on a properly designed system.

BrandonV
06-10-2008, 09:53 PM
ok that's what i though he meant, we've got two houses w/ those, will flat move the H20

Mike Leary
06-10-2008, 09:56 PM
Give me a 60, a properly designed system.

In your wildest dreams.

Waterit
06-10-2008, 11:17 PM
Give me a 60/40 on a properly designed system.

I prefer a straight pump-start on a properly-designed system - don't have to worry about tank bladder failing (common in these parts) or pressure switch getting out of adjustment.

60/40 won't work on a centrifugal, 30/50 at best, they simply don't develop the pressure. :::waits for someone in another part of country to hammer me on that statement:::

Valveman
06-10-2008, 11:19 PM
The small VFD or "on demand" pumps haven't even been around for years and years. The oldest one is the Grundfos SQE, which has only been around for about 9 years now. In that nine years I know of at least 6 major design changes. Only a tiny percentage of those have made it 9 years, the average life is less than 4 years. All other brands are not as good and have only been in existence for less than 4 years, and none of them without several major changes and problems. I got into using valves after having my fill of VFD controlled pumps. I tried everything I know to make VFDs work before I switched to Valves. There are some things about VFDs that Mother Nature just wont let you change or fix. Here is a comment from another experienced pump man. This is the kind of thing I hear everyday. When you get tired of the problems, added expense, and finally reach the same conclusion, I promise not to say I told you so.

Dear Mr. Austin,

I've met you several times at the Mountain States Groundwater Show. I have used several different VFD's instead of using your valve thinking that it would be a better system. After seeing the prices of these systems rise from 3-5% every year for the last five years I started feeling very guilty selling little 3" pumps for thousands of dollars that probably won't last any longer than what I was selling and went back to using the Cycle Stop Valve. I always thought that putting back pressure on a pump would hurt it as much as turning a motor very fast. But after reading your website I have to make a big apology. I should have been using your system all along. I've had less call backs on systems where I've used Cycle Stop Valves they are more reliable than any VFD. I'm making a lot more money than I was with the VFD's also. My customers ask me how can you beat your competitors price by $1,000.00 or more. I just laugh and have to educate them about your product versus the big manufacturers. I hope to see you in Laughlin this year and you've made a customer for life. I'm done with expensive VFDs. Cycle Stops are all I will use.

Thank You,

Matt Beeman
Beeman Brothers Drilling Inc.
Durango, CO.

Mike Leary
06-10-2008, 11:24 PM
I figured Mr. Know it all would chime in with usual long post. Guess they don't know
how to do pumps in the flats. :dizzy: Rep, that's the same quote, buzz off.

Tom Tom
06-10-2008, 11:48 PM
I figured Mr. Know it all would chime in with usual long post. Guess they don't know
how to do pumps in the flats. :dizzy: Rep, that's the same quote, buzz off.


Mike, have you tried a cycle stop setup?

Wet_Boots
06-11-2008, 12:07 AM
I prefer a straight pump-start on a properly-designed system - don't have to worry about tank bladder failing (common in these parts) or pressure switch getting out of adjustment.

60/40 won't work on a centrifugal, 30/50 at best, they simply don't develop the pressure. :::waits for someone in another part of country to hammer me on that statement:::A jet pump, in place of a straight centrifugal, will develop the higher pressure. Costs more, but higher pressure can increase head spacings, and ultimately save money on a system.

nylan8888
06-11-2008, 12:08 AM
We use a cycle stop valve on every well system we install. The only way to go!

Waterit
06-11-2008, 01:38 AM
A jet pump, in place of a straight centrifugal, will develop the higher pressure. Costs more, but higher pressure can increase head spacings, and ultimately save money on a system.

Ah, but jet pump produces less water at higher pressures, so it's a trade-off.

The standard here is 1-1/2HP centrifugal, only go to jet when depth-to-water is beyond centrifugal's reach. And usually try to sell up to submersible with our dropping water table.

You still haven't told more exactly where you are in Metro NYC:confused:

Valveman
06-11-2008, 10:24 AM
Here is a quote from another customer who replaced a so called "on demand" type pump. I will just give the link so it is not such a long post.

http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=57

I am not a rep. I have 40 years experience and several patents on this idea, so I think I know what I am talking about. Does Mike always tell people who are giving him good advice to "buzz off"?

Thanks nylan8888, you are way ahead of the curve. The others will have to figure this out the hard way, if they don't want to listen to your sage advice.

DanaMac
06-11-2008, 10:34 AM
Does Mike always tell people who are giving him good advice to "buzz off"?


Yes, he's a goofy old buzzard :) In the best way...

Mike Leary
06-11-2008, 11:02 AM
Mike, have you tried a cycle stop setup?

I have & I like on demand, just crazy, I guess.

Wet_Boots
06-11-2008, 11:02 AM
Valveman, you do have to understand one aspect of CSV advocacy that will always raise hackles, which is the implicit assumption that the sprinkler guy cannot design a system that matches pump output, and that insults the intelligence of an experienced practitioner of the irrigational art. Now, there are a few (more than a few?) sprinkler guys who couldn't design a grilled cheese sandwich, let alone a supply-matching system, so they could be 'saved' by a CSV.

Waterit
06-11-2008, 11:11 AM
Now, there are a few (more than a few?) sprinkler guys who couldn't design a grilled cheese sandwich, let alone a supply-matching system, so they could be 'saved' by a CSV.

Man, you guys are rough!:laugh:

Mike Leary
06-11-2008, 11:13 AM
If I have any of my ten on-demand pumping systems go down, rest assured, I'll
let everybody know. Until then, I stand by them as the most efficient way of
distributing water at a adjustable pressure rate. I regret even bringing it up again;
I knew as soon as I posted, we were going down this road again. :hammerhead:

Valveman
06-11-2008, 12:12 PM
Varying the size of zones does not necessarily mean the irrigation was not done correctly. Sometimes quite the opposite is true. There can be a considerable savings of water when the irrigation is set up to vary zone sizes to precisely match the need, instead of just trying to put out enough water to keep the pump happy.

My company use to install about 2,000 pumps a year. That gave me a much faster learning curve than someone who just installed 10 and is sitting back waiting to see what happens. I can tell you what is going to happen. The pump either won't shut off or won't come on. The manufacturer will warranty the first controller or two, saying they have a new program or new controller that will solve the problem. A few weeks or months later the problem will happen again. About the third or forth time the customer is out of water, he will lose patience and you will be looking for some real answers. The first time you charge the customer for any of this, he will find a new irrigation or pump contractor, because he now believes you don't know what you are talking about.

It takes a long time to gain a customers trust, and only about a second to lose it. Using equipment that is "proven" to last is the best way to keep your customers. Using them as genie pigs for new and "unproven" equipment, is the best way to lose customers.

zimmatic
06-12-2008, 10:31 PM
I have posted this before, I have a 10hp on demand pump (grundfoss) 60-70gpm @ 90 psi. operating on a pressure transducer. The control pannel is quite impressive (imo). When I designed the system I needed to know all the zones psi and gpm requirments for the company rep to program the driver for the pump. If we had zones that didnt fall within the majority of the other zone paramerters we would have to increase the nozzle size. The rep said you didnt want the pump to run at levels below 80% of total capacity. We only had to change nozzles out on 2 zones to bring it up above 80%
I like the variable speed pump. I think designing a system for a varriable pump is just as much work as a cycle/stop pump. I always try to keep the pumps running at 80% -90% of capcity. The variable pump has a little more cushion than a cycle/stop pump.

Valveman
06-13-2008, 11:12 AM
I must disagree. You have a lot more variability with the Cycle Stop Valve than with a VFD. Of course it is more efficient electrically to use the pump as close to it's design capacity as possible. However, a CSV will allow you to safely operate the pump at much lower flow rates than a VFD. This is especially true with submersible motors. A VFD "creates" a smaller pump from a larger pump so, the motor still needs adequate flow to cool a fully loaded motor of a lesser size. The CSV actually "derates" the motor by making a larger pump use less power and produce less flow. A "derated " motor can actually be cooled by hot water so, it takes much less water flow to keep the motor cool than when using a VFD.

The same is true of above ground centrifugal pumps except that they are air cooled. With the CSV in control the motor and pump are always spinning at full speed, and only the water flow and power consumption is reduced. This means that the motor is working at reduced amperage (producing less heat) and, the air flow from the fan is still 100%, which is more than adequate to cool the motor.

With a VFD, you are actually creating a smaller motor out of a larger motor. So if you run the pump at 50%, the fan is also only spinning at 50%. However, the 5 HP motor that has been created by slowing down the 10 HP motor, still needs enough cooling for a fully loaded 5 HP motor. At lower speeds the fan is not spinning fast enough to cool a fully loaded 5 HP. That is why you need to keep the zones at about 80% with the VFD, when you can easily go below 5% when using a CSV.

I have seen many of these type systems that have had to use an extra and separate squirrel cage fan attached to the motor, to keep the VFD controlled motor cool. Then the "impressive" electronic controller is just like any other computer. It can only handle ambient temperatures of 50C or 122F before it fails as well. In our area, these are normal everyday temperatures inside almost any well house. Therefore, I have seen many installations where the VFD system had to be in a room with air conditioning. One in particular in Can Cun Mexico had three widow units air conditioners, that actually used up more electricity than the pump system itself.

I have retro-fitted several of those Grundfos Vari-Pacs with Cycle Stop Valves and replaced the "impressive" controller with a simple pressure switch. These systems were only 1 to 3 years old and the customers had already had enough with the with the not so "impressive" controller. I do not even know how old the Grundfos system you have is but, if it were sitting next to an identical system that was controlled by a Cycle Stop Valve, I can assure you the CSV system would outlast the VFD system many times over.

zimmatic
06-13-2008, 12:42 PM
You are correct in regards to keeping the driver cool. The one I have has an 6" (bladed)internal fan that opperates. It does not always run only on warm day's and in short intervals. Yes you are also correct in regards of keeping enough water passing/keeping the motor cool. The system is only 2 years old, and I have the system opperationg between a 80-98% range of total flow when opperating. I do not dout one second the issues these pumps may have, but I havent had any issues with the one installed, and the well driller and myself will stand behind it.
When I said impressive I refer to the large unit with all the programing, a 6" X 6" lcd digital operating display, and an 6" internal fan, compared to other clients I have that a small 12" X 12" unit on there wall in the basement that has minimal/no programing involved.

k911lowe
06-13-2008, 12:50 PM
my well is for 2 1/2 acres with a 1 1/2 hp pump.out here the average well is 5000.00 dollars.my water bill b4 was 200.00 per month.

Valveman
06-13-2008, 01:16 PM
2 years old is about the time all the lint, dust, and heat start taking a toll. If that 6" fan has an air filter, your filter will get clogged and the unit gets hot. If there is no air filter, the lint and dust settle on the circuit boards and they begin to fry. I use to stand behind those things as well until I realized how much it was costing me in money and my reputation. Please let us know when you start having problems.

Oh BTW, those little fans are not very dependable either. Lose a fan and everything else goes with it. Some people replace those fans every year as regular maintenance. One here in Lubbock had three turbine pumps. When the tech came out and replaced the fans, he switched the wires and started the pumps backwards. It unscrewed all the line shafts and the pump man spent a few days and lots of money putting it all back together.

zimmatic
06-13-2008, 02:15 PM
Valveman,
You got me thinking, how do you operate a csv at 5% of total flow and keep the pump running at all times? I guess I am from the school of thought to keep the pump running all the time so that it doesnt cycle which = higher cost for starting the motor and pump going out. Well guys have told me that all the time and so have some designers. I know you cant always adhere to that. Whats your thoughts? When designing a system using a csv I always try to keep the pump running while keeping 50psi at the base of the heads, so there is no/minimal cycling.

Wet_Boots
06-13-2008, 02:45 PM
Don't you get into multiple-pump systems if the flow range is extreme?

Valveman
06-13-2008, 03:59 PM
With a Cycle Stop Valve, even a 2,000 GPM pump can safely operate at 5 GPM. It will also deliver the same 50 PSI to the sprinklers no matter if running a 2,000 GPM zone or a 5 GPM zone. With this size system it is more efficient to use multiple pumps but, it will not hurt a single pump to vary it's flow rate from 5 to 2,000 GPM. It is just as easy for a 100 GPM pump to run a garden hose or a 5 GPM sprinkler zone, as it is to run at 80 or 100 GPM at the same pressure. A 100 GPM pump or even a 2,000 GPM pump WILL NOT CYCLE AT ALL while the CSV is making it deliver only 5 GPM.

The pressure switch is set at 40/60 or even 50/60 and the CSV is set a t 50 PSI. So the CSV will not let the pressure increase above 50 PSI as long as more than 5 GPM is being used. When the zones or hoses have been turned off, the minimum the CSV can close down to is 5 GPM. Then this 5 GPM has no place left to go except for the little pressure tank. The tank will then fill at 5 GPM from 50 to 60 PSI and the pressure switch shuts off the pump.

You are right that cycling is hard on the pump motor and waste electricity. That is what a Cycle Stop Valve was designed to eliminate. The CSV was really designed to protect the pump from these things which is why it makes pump systems last much longer than normal. The fact that the CSV saves as much energy as a VFD, safely runs at lower flow rates than a VFD, and holds a constant pressure like a VFD is just icing on the cake. The CSV also works great with multiple pumps systems, which makes it even more efficient.

The CSV started out being used as a bypass for a VFD. Then it was soon discovered that it gave better performance, was much more reliable, and much less expensive than the VFD it was supposedly backing up. Most of the systems we built 15 years ago are still running, and many have never been touched. That in a nutshell is my problem. Pump manufacturers don't really like pumps to last forever. So they push the VFD over the CSV, go figure.

zimmatic
06-14-2008, 08:29 AM
Valveman,
Do you have any good links to information on the csv? I know I stated I like the vfd that we have, but It doesnt go a darn bit of good if I dont learn the other options available in the event I get a call tommorow. Becasue in the end none of us want call backs,

Valveman
06-14-2008, 10:31 AM
You are exactly right! Here is a link to some stuff that the VFD guys hate for me to show anyone. Some of the stuff about VFD,s is so technically complicated that even the guys who sell them and work on them don't understand it. The second link is to a bunch of pictures of different systems.

http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/comparisons.html

http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/ppt/Photos-2006.htm