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Adding Second Home to Well

 
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A little background first: Currently one home with one well. Depth unknown (yet). Casing cap additional holes unknown (yet). The property is being purchased by a family member and I am planning to put a used mobile home out there to live debt-free and try for a homestead for us all.

I will have a well dug eventually, but to get us out there sooner, my family member has offered to let me piggyback onto their well for a bit. I want to determine feasibility and rough steps for doing so.

The well is approx. 300 feet away from our homesite and approx. 40 feet lower than the homesite.

I have a well pump from or last home (well was converted to city water by city--no choice), could I drop it down the same well and use two pumps in one hole? Any problems with trying to use a pump again after it's been out of the water for 6-8 months?

Sorry for so many questions, search didn't help me much, but I'm bad at searching.

Thanks!
 
pollinator
Posts: 3467
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
55
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Depends.

You can run a second pump if you have a large casing.

You can tap off the water line of the existing pump. May need a booster pump.

A pump sitting dry may have issues, I would have any seals replaced while it is out anyway.
 
Sam Man
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Good suggestions, good ideas. Thanks
 
R Scott
pollinator
Posts: 3467
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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If you do put a second pump down the casing, make sure the wells recovery rate can handle it. It is possible both pumps would run the well dry and burn up one or both pumps!
 
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Location: Little Rock, AR 7b
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Since this might be a temporary solution, I would recommend simply tying into the existing supply line leading to the existing house. If there is too much pressure loss, put in a booster pump with a pressure tank. Setting a second pump in the same casing sounds problematic and unnecessarily risky to me.
 
Posts: 63
Location: Hinesburg, Vermont
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duck fungi trees
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Hijacking this older thread.

What would you do if you were starting from scratch, and wanted to have one well supply several buildings? This summer I am moving onto a piece of land that already has a drilled well. One of the first things I want to do is get the well up and running, but I want to do it smart, thinking about the future. I am building a small house this summer for us to move into, but probably in a few years we'll build something more permanent, and keep the first as a guest house or rental. There will eventually be other outbuildings and maybe more tiny houses that need water as well. Some might be a few hundred feet from others. So what is the best setup here?

-One pump into a branched distribution pipe, with a pressure tank at each building? (More tanks, maybe more pump cycling)
-A large, central pressure tank at the well, that feeds all the distribution pipes? (I think this is better, keeps each tiny house from needing room for it's own tank. Like a mini-municipal system)
-The well is actually at the highest point on the property. I could pump to a cistern at the surface, and let it gravity feed to each building where it gets pressurized at the point of use. Obviously that means a new pump for every building, but they could be smaller. Any advantage to having the distribution pipes unpressurized like this?
-The other variation on that is having the well pump be powered directly by solar to fill the surface tank, then just pressurize it "downstream" of that tank. Still needs an extra pump, so I'm not sure of the advantage. But then we'd still have water in power outages, even if it was unpressurized.

I guess what is the simplest, cheapest, most reliable system here? It might make sense to have a little pump house to keep a central pressure tank from freezing. Any other suggestions or personal experience with something like this? Thanks!
 
pollinator
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Ben de Leiris wrote:
-The well is actually at the highest point on the property. I could pump to a cistern at the surface, and let it gravity feed to each building where it gets pressurized at the point of use.



I like this design, with a storage tank at each house, and booster pump and pressure tank for each. This way each house would have its own emergency supply of water, in addition to the large cistern uphill, in the event of a failure somewhere in the system, or a longish natural disaster. I'm a big supporter of redundancy in systems.
 
R Scott
pollinator
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+1 for the cistern. Having a cistern greatly reduces the wear on a well pump, both through reduced cycling and only pumping to height instead of height plus 70 psi.

You could then do a single large pressure tank and pressure pump, or distributed at each point of use. It depends on the demand, length of pipe runs and diameters, and other uses. You can probably get away with smaller pipe everywhere if you run it pressurized, which could be cheaper overall depending on the length of pipe runs. Or maybe only some buildings will need small boost pumps and pressure tanks so it would be cheaper to be distributed.
 
Ben de Leiris
Posts: 63
Location: Hinesburg, Vermont
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duck fungi trees
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Thanks guys. Is it silly to think about reducing wear and tear on the well pump if that means I just need a whole second pump? Is a booster pump on the surface cheaper, or more efficient, or more durable than a well pump, to make it worth having more links on the system? I guess the big plus in my mind is that it allows the cistern. After consideration, I definitely think it makes more sense to just have one centralized pressure system rather than pumps and tanks in each building. I think it would still be able to gravity feed with no power, right?

I'm trying to think of other things to build into the system to make it more functional, or for ease of maintenance or future expansion.
 
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