Black River
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Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:01 am
Location: NE Arkansas

Can anyone help me with a submersible well? (pics)

When my wife and i bought our home this submersible well was on the property, as is:




The former owner installed this for an in ground sprinkler system he never comleted, and as far as i know the well has never been used. I estimate it to be about 30-40 feet deep. It has a flat yellow electrical wire down inside with four wires in it. I'm having to water my garden quite a bit, and we thought we might get this hooked up for practically free water, as our city water rates are going up. Also, there's an electrical box about 6 feet away on our storm shelter:

Can anyone tell me what i need to finish hooking this up? I was told i needed a pressure or bladder tank, and some valves maybe, but i have no idea what that is! I have no plumbing/irrigation experience!

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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

The line already has a pressure release valve. I assume the wiring is already hooked up? The pump sounds like the wiring is for 220 volts as it has four wires. The red and black are hot legs. The white is common, and the green is ground. If you are not knowledgeable or comfortable making such a connection then hire an electrician. If you hook up the wiring yourself and you have to splice, make sure that you buy a shrink wrap kit which is slipped over the wiring, and after connections are made, is heated with a hair dryer or heat gun to shrink and seal the wiring to keep moisture from cause a short circuit. 220 voltage is very dangerous, so make sure that you know what you are doing if you DIY.

You will want to buy a bladder tank,a pressure regulator, and a pressure gauge. All can be found in the plumbing section at Lowes. The pressure regulator is where the wire from the panel box hooks to one side. The wires from the pump hook to the other side of the switch. This switch causes the pump to knock on at minimum pressure and knock off at maximum pressure. These can be bought with various minimum and maximum. I use a 40-60 on mine for irrigation. You will need various PVC components to come from the well, then pressure relief value in photo, then pressure regulator, then bladder tank, then out to manifold with outgoing lines and valves. The electrical will take a double slot to get 220 volts, a double breaker with switches connected.

I rate this as an easy job, but one that requires some knowledge and care because of the potential from 220 volt electricity.

Note, wire from the box to the pressure regulator will need to be underground cable. It would be smart to encase that in conduit, for additional safely as it would be less likely for someone to cut the wire if digging in the area. Also, most locations probably have an electrical code that would contain provisions that should satisfied in the hookup.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

Black River
Full Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:01 am
Location: NE Arkansas

Thanks, sounds like good sound advice.

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Posts: 253
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 11:06 pm
Location: GA

The previous poster is right on target.
I'm gonna add a little more.. sorry it's going to be a little long.

I have a well I use for my whole house,.. it's about 120 feet deep and has some of the clearest, coldest water I have ever drank.
IMO 30 or 40 feet isn't very deep,.. on the other hand, just depends where the water table is, or if there is an underground river.

If you want to use yours to irrigate your garden, this would be an excellent way to do so for practically no charge (the water you save on a water bill will WAY MORE than pay for the extra power you use.
Also you can have it hooked up to water your grass with just any type of lawn sprinkler. Again no cost, and your green grass would be the envy of the neighborhood (and strong grass helps to keep weeds choked out)

I'm not sure how to go about it (Maybe someone can interject here). But as an afterthought, I'd see if I could find out if the well is still working, has good water, etc.. I had to replace my well pump a few years back, and it costs about $300. (like I said I run my whole house off of mine though -- so you might could get by with a smaller (cheaper) one if you needed one. If the pump works, that would seem to be your major expense already spent for you.

I'D DEFINATELY check about getting this hooked up. I live in the hot hot hot South East U.S. like you do.. so all the cheap (or free) water we can get is wonderful. IMO I think it'd be a great investment in the long run - just do a little homework and make sure the well is useable... have someone with electrical knowledge look it over, etc

The system in the pics looks like it was put in by someone that knew what they were doing.. so I'd think it'd be easy to finish up where they started.
Let us know how it comes out.

OH.. couple more things.. Often around a well you'll see a "pump house". It's a small building that you insulate to put your well / bladder tank, etc into (keeps things from freezing during winter)
Very low cost.

One other thing about the bladder tank.. the bigger one you get the less the pump cuts off and on. Cycling off and on frequesntly is what wears out a pump / or burns one up causing you to have to replace it.
I have 100 gallon bladder tank in my home, and keep the pressure set between 60 and 80 lbs (on and off). My pump puts out about 6 gallons per minute... and a few weeks ago I ran it for 4 solid days without never turning it off. (I have lots of water)

anyway, I don't think it's necessary to run a bunch of piping back and forth from the well to your house. Everything can bunction right there where the well is at.
And where the Bladder tank attaches there will be a faucet (like that comes out of the side of your house) Some call them a hose bib I think.
anyway depending on the size of your yard and the distance from the well to the garden.. you can just hook up your hose to that faucet, and water the garden, grass, etc all from that spot.

I found this link that gives you a geberal idea how to replace a tank (or in your case how to install one) I am sure more searches can lead you to more info.
Life is great..... but if you get lemons - compost them :-)
Near Atlanta GA... newbie to gardening & Composting

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