View Full Version : Well problem atypical, I think

03-13-2012, 09:32 PM
I have a well, goes down to about 290-320 feet. Well will periodically producing water. Amount of water slows then stops. Solution is to turn off pump for usually a couple of hours. Turn pump back on. Pressure build back up. Works fine until the next time. Best I can tell this happens when water use in short period of time exceeds X gallons of water (Not sure just how many gallons X is - I THINK it seems to be about 2-3 washer loads AND 3-4 showers within a 4-6 hour period) We have switched out pumps and same problem. Well pressure usually runs from about 60 PSI to 90PSI with it staying higher rather then lower, and I have to admit my ignorance about turning it down. Have a 4 acre spring fed lake about 350 feet from my well. My FEELING is that the well goes into a cavern or pocket and what happens is, under a situation like I described above, we draw the water down faster than inflow into the pocket can compensate for. Not sure. I know that probably the only solution to this will be to drill another well, but I am hoping someone will have a better (cheaper) solution. Wells run about $10 a foot here.

Not sure who to discuss with, as everything well related I have found seems to
be about drilling a new well or hydrofracting it. I don't think that's the problem
but I don't know. Any thoughts/advice/POCs would be greatly appreciated.
This is my first time living on a well.
Delta, Alabama

03-13-2012, 09:58 PM
My guess is you are infact in a cavern of water & sometimes draw out faster then it is filled.

Here's my suggestion for your problem & the cheapest that might work. A load of laundry is a bunch of water. Collect rain water off the roof to one or more holding tanks. float pump to send it to the washing machine threw a simple filter.
You can install a simple "Y" fitting that you can choose between the well water & the collected water.


03-13-2012, 11:51 PM
how about a cistren at one of the springs that feed the lake?

if it is above house no pump needed, let gravity do the work. test the spring first

03-14-2012, 08:28 AM
I had a shallow well and had the same problem. This helps but in your case, it's gonna be a lot of work..

Pull the pump.
Pour 10 gal. of muratic acid down the casing and let it set overnight.
Reinstall the pump and quickly pump it out free flow at the well head until the water clears up. You will need to pump the well dry a few times to clean it out good.

The crap that comes out of the well will kill grass so be careful where you blow it out.

Muratic acid is some bad stuff! Be careful not to breath the fumes! It will smoke when you pour it down the well!

Just be very careful. Get the pump in as fast as you can and pump it out as quick as possible. A short period in the acid won't hurt it..

Have fun! ;)

03-14-2012, 03:03 PM
Yup, you're overpumping the well. Pumping the well dry will eventually ruin your pump unless it has a sensor to shut down the pump when the intake starts to suck air.

First and most obvious solution is to limit the amount of water you pump in a short time. That is, do a load of clothes in the morning, wait a few hours and do another load. Use flow restrictors on the showers or space them out over a longer time period.

90 psi at the pumphead is way too much, about half that is more reasonable. Not only will your water flow longer at the reduced pressure, your pump will last longer, too. 90 psi is a huge load on the pump motor.

Next step up in the complexity and cost solution is to get an external tank. Use your well pump on a timer to fill it, for example, let the pump run for 2 minutes every half hour (or whatever works for you). Then put a pressure pump on the outlet from the external tank to provide your domestic water.

A local third-generation well driller showed me a trick while changing out my pump for me. I had the same trouble you're having. Anyway, when he had the old pump out, he had me get a high powered rifle (I used an 8mm, but 30-06, 7mm mag, any similar round will work) and shoot it down the well. Immediately after, you could actually hear water flowing into the bottom of the well. The shock breaks loose buildup on the screen at the bottom of the well. Pretty neat trick, I thought.

03-14-2012, 10:28 PM
Delta, Alabama

Hi Bill!! Don't know anything about wells but I had to say HELLO!!!! If you live in Delta, AL you might be kin.. I'm one of the Spears/Daugherty Clan... I have family all over Delta/Lineville.. Clay/Randolph Counties :) That is where I was born and raised:D

03-15-2012, 02:47 AM
Your water flow isn't enough and yes, you will burn out your pump. You could put in a cistern for supply and then a slower puming pump but that's spendy.

I'd recommend a new well if you can afford it.

A rainwater cistern is good too, but you should always filter your rain water before it goes into the cistern. Clean water stays much fresher than water that has all the impurities off the roof and then try to filter it out before you use it.

A person can make a very good and simple filter box that the roof water will run into before going in the cistern and then use hardwood charcoal to filter the water. We've done that here all of my life.

Nothing washes clothes as well as rain water. I even prefer to drink it to the hard well water as water in our area is not very good.

03-16-2012, 02:00 PM
Delta, I suggest you talk to local well drillers and do some research about the soil profile and strata where the well is pulling water from. There may be hydrologists with your state environmental agency that can help. Wells can have a lifespan (you didn't mention age of your well) depending on many factors. Example: The screens can become clogged with minerals over time, how well it was developed to start with, aggressiveness of the water on metal, and lots of other things. I am guessing since you are in the delta? that your well is in a sand and not a rock strata. The local well drillers will be familiar with what it takes to develop a well to gain the best quality vs. flow and common solutions in your area. Good Luck!

07-11-2012, 08:57 PM
You are drawing too much water for the well to keep up. I've gone thro that. I'd fill the washer, let it agitate a few minutes then shut it down. I'd restart it in about 30 min and let it finish it's cycle. My shower head had a shut-off. Set the temp, wet, soap, rinse and done. Used about a tenth of a regular shower so several showers could be taken. Care was taken to space out the demand for water and it never let us down.

07-17-2012, 12:47 PM
2-3 washer loads AND 3-4 showers within a 4-6 hour period

Like the doctor on Hee Haw said, "Then don't do that"!