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Irrigation well cost & questions

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ksJoe, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. ksJoe

    ksJoe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    Hi, I'm a homeowner considering getting a irrigation well some time in the next 6 months or so, and have a few questions. Its for our for our 6 zone sprinkler system on about 8,000 square feet of lawn.

    I'm trying to figure out how much it would save me. I googled a few well pump specs to see how much electricity they use. But I'm not sure if the amperage rating on the spec sheet is the typical/minimum/maximum operating rate, at what depth, etc. Do you guys have any general estimations like: "on a well ### foot deep, it takes about XXX kilowatt hours per thousand gallons"

    Another question is what's approximate cost of installation. I've heard they don't have to be very deep around here, and about half the yards in the neighborhood have them.

    I'm in Andover Ks. Are there any well installers on this site who work around here?

  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Will depend on how much water and at what pressure you are wanting to move. Lots of variables.

    They make some pretty efficient motors these days; cost of the electricity probably is not your major concern.
  3. ksJoe

    ksJoe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    Yeah, I knew I couldn't get an accurate number. I'm just trying to get a rough idea on operating cost. Like... is 50% of city water (not worth it to me), 10% (worth it), or 1% (very worth it... more or less "free").

    Thanks for the comment.
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    What do you pay for city water? Is your rate structure tiered? How much do you expect to use with the new system over 8k'?

    What does your electricity cost? I enjoy these comparisons; "just the facts, mam!"
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 49,448

    Start with the numbers for the existing system. What pressures and flows?

    In rough terms, your city water dollars can become well water dimes. You just have to spend a four-figure sum to make it happen.
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,166

    Also, think about how long you will be at this home. Are you planning on 2-5 years? or is this a lifelong home? ROI won't be realized for quite a few years.
  7. ksJoe

    ksJoe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    I was trying to spare you from doing the calculations.... I'm an engineer, I can do the math I just need to know the inputs :)

    Electricity is around $0.083 / per KWH ( I think thats about right... they don't print it on the bill, so I subtracted off what looked like flat rate stuff and calculated it).

    The water rate structure is tiered. The low rate (up to 110% of average winter usage) is $0.00187 / gallon. The next tier (up to 310% of winter usage) is $0.00712 / gallon. I don't know what the third tier is, because we haven't hit it yet. It occurs to me... despite all their city's promotion of water conservation, I could save a tone of money if I wasted a lot of water during the winter. If I don't get a well, I think I'll fire up the sprinkler system on a warm winter day and run it nonstop for couple days (then blow it out again).

    We have a sprinkler system. Its currently on city water. I think there is room to drill a well about 25' from where the PVB is located. It ought to be a pretty easy install.

    The thing I don't know how to estimate is how much electricity it takes.
  8. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    kWh cost .083 / total run time / 60...= total kWh cost per complete cycle

    sound right?
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 49,448

    Having a PVB on the existing system is a slight problem. You might want to get a pressure gauge and connect it to a testcock or blowout valve. With a zone running, you close the supply valve until the pressure reading has dropped 10 psi.

    Do the sprinklers still work okay? You are looking at what you will have when the PVB is removed and an RPZ is put in its place.
  10. ksJoe

    ksJoe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 676

    Why is the PVB a problem? I was thinking that made it real obvious where the sprinkler gets its water supply. So drill a well nearby, run a pipe to where the PVB is, take out the PVB and hook up the pipe from the well at the proper depth.

    The PVB is on the side of the house, and the pipe supplying it is easily accessible from the basement. So it will be trivial to remove the old supply to the PVB/sprinkler.

    I'll get a gauge and check the pressure (not tonight).

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