How to drive your own water Well

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by GrandpaDave, Oct 14, 2011.


  1. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    CaboWabo5150 and VisuTrac like this.
  2. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    My father and his brother in law did this when we lived in Indiana years ago.Drove the pipe down thru the kitchen floor with a sledgehammer and put a hand pump on it.I was only 7,but I remember that.They took turns holding a piece of 2 x lumber rather than using a drive cap.
     
  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ive got articles about wells here too that you might find usefull
    as well as a few other handy bits of knowledge
    Old world crafts - tribe.net
     
  4. CaboWabo5150

    CaboWabo5150 Lost in the woods


    Just picked the stuff up about a week ago.. They had everything at Menards...

    Pitcher Pump $49.
    Well point $42.
    Couplers $7 ea.
    I forgot how much the rest of the stuff was.. All told well under $300...
     
  5. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    hope ya didnt forget the foot valve
     
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Yep, you need one if you are pulling over around 26 feet. No way those hardware store lift pumps will pull much more vacuum than that.
     
    ColtCarbine likes this.
  7. CaboWabo5150

    CaboWabo5150 Lost in the woods


    Good to know... I haven't driven it into the ground yet... I suspect I'll hit water before 25 feet.. Pretty low area, with swamp 1/4 mile in almost any direction.. I'm probably not more than 15 ft above the swamp..

    Foot valve eh ? Would a check valve work ?????
     
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    A foot valve is a check valve, just happens to sit at the bottom of the well below the top surface of water in the hole (best place is right above the drive point.) So it has to fit down hole, won't work well anywhere else. The idea is to keep the riser pipe full, and hold a prime. (That slit in the top of the pump is so you can pour in water to prime the pump. If you are lifting more than the (say) 26 feet, you'll need a way to get priming water in below the pump itself above the foot valve.) If your water table is at 15 feet or so, chances are pretty good you don't need one to hold prime, but ALWAYS have a standby bucket to prime the pump no matter what. Meaning don't use it all up and walk away from the pump without drawing up a bucket full and set it aside for next time.

    Linky-poo-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_pump
    Sorta discusses hand well pumps in general terms. Note that you have a shallow well pump (pump itself is located in the body) which should be OK for your application. Wells deeper than around 20ish feet are going to have the pump proper located down hole with the operating rod sticking up to the pump handle. That way, the pump will be automatically primed by being below the static water level and simply have to hold the water column while on the down stroke. It will have a foot valve below the pump to maintain the column above. Usually, there should be a pin hole in the foot valve to allow water in the column to leak/drain back down below frost when pumping action is stopped.
     
    ColtCarbine and CaboWabo5150 like this.
  9. teeter

    teeter Monkey+

    A quart jar will suffice for priming, is a lot more concealable than a bucket and you can seal its top. Why put insects and crud back down your well hole, eh?
     
  10. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Yep, and he knows a lot about cramming holes and priming pumps...
    newgunkid.
     
  11. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    One of the few times John Melvin makes a coherent post. Refreshing.

    I have been wanting to try this driven well idea here, but we have lime rock not far down. Even putting in fence lines can be difficult. My sister's old property had solid lime rock a foot down! She was in an old (normally) dry riverbed.
    My property is on a raised ridge - about 75 feet above sealevel (nose bleed altitude in sunny Florida!). ;)
     
  12. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Same here, I live on a mountain. The good news is there is a spring fed brook nearby.
     
  13. CaboWabo5150

    CaboWabo5150 Lost in the woods

    So... Just wonderin' Any reason that one wouldn't drive the well inside the house in the basement ? Just thinking it sure would make it a lot easier in the winter to get water...
     
    BTPost likes this.
  14. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    CaboWabo,I am fortunate to have An old hand pump well inside my cabin as well as one outside.We built our cabin over the old well.It's nice to have if times get tough.It's some great tasting water.
     
    CaboWabo5150 likes this.
  15. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    here in michigan they wont issue permits for such and if you get caught driving a well without one these days....
    but it has been done before, you just have to use shorter pipe sections
     
    Sapper John likes this.
  16. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    I like using the shorter sections anyway... Ever try to swing a sledge at a pipe sticking up above your head... even those post setters are hard to use if you have to reach to high... best part of driving your own well... is you can do this in your own yard at night then build a play house around it so nones the wiser
     
  17. usmcvet

    usmcvet Monkey+

    I've been thinking about doing this at home. Gotta have water. I went to Scout Camp with my son this summer and they had a few around the camp site. Very simple and they work well. Thanks for the info.
     
  18. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Anyone here have any experience with "caliche'"?
    It's a bear! I have to get thru it to get anything down...Much like white concrete...it varies in places from just a few inches to over 6 feet thick!
     
  19. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    Excellent video Dave...the only thing I would mention is a hint given me years back by the local "well guy" when we did ours.

    Assuming this is a "secondary" water source, once you are at water depth, put a temporary hose nipple on the top of the pipe and throw water down the pipe at the best pressure you can produce. This supposedly has the effect of pushing particles out of the screen and opening up a little area around the well point.
     
    GrandpaDave likes this.
  20. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    What your talking about is small scale Hydrofracking...
    Yeah it works... I should know as there a time in my life when I worked for an oil field service company... of course in the oil field were talking about pressures as high as 13,000 psi... pumping something like 30 barrels per minute...

    anyway most often these little wells don't dry up... they clog up with all the sediment that gets washed into the pipe along with the water... esp in sandy formations
     
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