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sand point well questions  RSS feed

 
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I am attempting to drive a sand point well at a property in northern Wisconsin that i recently purchased. I purchased a 2" sand pint and 2" galvanized pipe.  I have driven this down just over 20'.  When i check for the water depth with a string and weight, i hit water at 15'.  So i have 5' of water. I put a 1" PVC pipe with a foot valve at the end down the 2" casing that is 19' down.  I can draw water with a pitcher pump, but when I put a Little Giant 1/2 hp pump and pressure tank on, it will not draw water.  I prime the pump and it starts to draw water to the outlet faucet but then it spits air and no water. I am quite sure that all of my connection are air tight.  I have been told that I do not have enough water to draw from for the pump.  My questions are:

1.  Is 5' of water enough for me to pump?
2.  Since if have hit water, if I pound my 2" pipe down another 5' - 10' will I stay in the water or will I go beyond the water?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Hi Donald, welcome to Permies!  And welcome to northern Wisconsin

How much water did the Little Giant pump before it started spitting air?  Did you use the pitcher pump to pump any large volume of water or just a gallon or two?  Is the pressure tank new or could the baffle in it be bad?  Do you know if you're in sand or clay down where the water is?

I'm not a sand point expert so I shouldn't try to answer you questions.  But it's no fun if I don't take a stab at it, just value my input much lower than any you get from someone who actually knows a bit about it.
1.  I think 5' is plenty if the surrounding earth is sandy.  If it's clay it might not be enough.
2.  I think that you can't drive a point past the water.  Unless the aquifer is sitting on a layer of clay that you poke through.  Otherwise the only thing that I think could hold an aquifer up would be bedrock which you won't be pounding through.
 
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Hi Donald-

My suspicion about the air in your pump is the pump is pumping out the water faster than the well can refill the casing, also an indicator that the pump is oversized. That 5 feet of 2 inch pipe has 0.816 gallons of water in it; the formula is volume = pi x radius squared x length. One way to determine a rough estimate of your well supply is use the pitcher pump you have, and start filling one gallon containers along side a stopwatch until it too starts pumping air and you can get some idea of how many gallons per minute your well can supply.

 
donald bishop
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I am in sand. I never checked how much water the pump pumps before it spits air but it only runs for about 5 - 10 seconds. It is a new  pressure tank.  Is there a way to tell if the baffle is bad.  That by the way was another question I had, if I turn the faucet off, the pressure tank should fill with water right?  It does not appear to be getting water in it.

If my pump is pumping faster than the casing is filled, can I put a ball valve before or after the pump to slow down the input or output?  Or am I better off pounding the casing down deeper?
 
James Freyr
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You can throttle the flow from the pump with a ball valve but only if the valve is after the pump, on the output side. If the valve is before the pump, or on the input side of things, it can cause pump cavitation which can destroy the pump.

I am hesitant to give advice on sending your well deeper. I'm not a well guy or a expert at anything really, just a layman. If you are interested in sending the well deeper, I think the best approach is to ask neighbors and others in the vicinity that have sand wells how deep theirs are. That may help establish some average. For what it's worth, try using the USDA Web Soil Survey to learn about the different layers of soil beneath your feet. It can contain information on things like how deep your first layer of sand is, and depths to obstructions (like bedrock) and sometimes available water supply at certain depths. It's a pretty cool tool. Hope this helps!
 
Mike Jay
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My house is on a sand point in sand.  I have a full sized pump and pressure tank.  I have no idea how deep it is but I'm guessing 15' down.  I can run a sprinkler for hours.  

If you close all the valves and allow the pump to fill the pressure tank, it should fill it with how ever many gallons the tank says it holds (likely 5 gallons).  Then the pump will shut off.  Mine runs about 70 seconds to fill the tank.  Then you can open the valve and use the water until the tank trips the low pressure point and the pump should come back on and refill it.  If you're spitting air and the pump is only running for 5-10 seconds, there is some air in the system or something else is messed up.  Maybe the foot valve isn't working right and is letting the primed pipe of water leak back down into the well?

A way to double check things would be to hook back up the pitcher pump and trying to manually pump the well dry.  If you can get more than 5 gallons out of it relatively quickly, the electric pump system is not hooked up right or is not working right.

I kind of thought with sand points that you use the 2" sand point pipe as the water sucker-upper.  Then you put a check valve at the top to keep the pipe primed.  Then your inlet to the pump would be much bigger.  Versus the smaller inner pipe and foot valve.  But I have no idea...
 
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Hi Donald. So you have a sandpoint with the spike and the screen? attached to a 2 inch galvanized pipe which you hammered in correct? The next step usually is to put a check valve at the top of casing directly and attach it to the pump. Then you extract the air with some form of priming pump (I use a guzzler hand pump) and it pulls water. From the description above you inserted another line inside the 2 inch casing. That is not how sandpoints work. Think of a sandpoint well system as a straw in a milkshake. you have put another smaller straw inside and are sucking so you get only what is in the big straw or what can seep in. You want to use the 2 inch casing as the straw to build up vacuum and"suck" out that water from the porous ground... Sandpoints are very common here. Mine in the greenhouse goes 10 ft down and will pull 4gpm as long as there is electricity to run it...
Hope that helps
David B.
 
donald bishop
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David Baillie,

Thanks for you input.  Your response makes a lot of since. I will try removing the 1" pipe this weekend and put in a check valve and let you know if that solves my problem.
 
donald bishop
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David Baillie your suggestion was spot on. I removed the 1" pipe and put a check valve on the input side and it started to work.  But now i have another question.  I have a 7 Gal. pressure tank.  The pump has a 30/50 pressure gauge.  The pump runs for 12-13 minutes before it shuts off.  Then after using the water, it takes another 12-13 minutes of running to shut off again, during which time i don't have enough pressure to provide water to me trailer.  What is the possible cause of this, or is this normal?  The 2" input pipe is ice cold so I am guessing that it is full of water.  Is it the pump size,? ( I am using a 1/2 hp pump)  Is it maybe that the check value is no working properly?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
David Baillie
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It sounds like you are sucking air... compress the ground around the Sandpoint as much as possible and run the pump for a few hours. You are trying to get the sand to collapse around the casing sealing it up. A possible scenario is the screened sandpoint end is not totally in the water table. It is possible your screw fittings on the Sandpoint sections are leaking as well. You could have something blocking the jet as well. Hard to diagnose.  I use a piston pump or a diaphragm pump on my Sandpoint they are more forgiving of air in the line. A jet pump sucking air can't generate pressure to shut off. Check you priming screw is tight as well.
All I got... let me know
 
donald bishop
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i have had some health problems so it has been quite awhile since i checked this post.  since my last post i had a local plumber take a look at my well.  it was 26' deep and found water at 16', i had 10' of water in the pipe. the plumber tried to get it to pump water using his pump after putting 40lbs of preasure on the pipe. he could not get more than a trickle from the well.  i told him that i had another 5' pipe that i could drive down to see if that would help.  after driving the pipe down about 3' i checked the pipe by dumping water down it.  the pipe filled and it never went down.  i guess that this means that my point is in clay.  i checked it the next morning and the water level never changed.  one good thing that came from this is that my pipe and connections must not have any leaks (sucking air) because the water just sat there.  i guess next spring i will start looking at it again.  if i was to go deeper  do you think i will eventually run into enough water to get the pump to work (or a different pump, depending on the depth) or should i look at having a well drilled.

thanks for your input
 
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