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Old 01-11-2009, 07:49 PM   #1
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


Hi All,

I recently fenced off 5 acres of my property and I want to irrigate it. I would like to address this question to anyone with intimate knowledge of wells and well pumps.

I live in SW Montana and have a well right now I have a pump that gets 18 GPM @ 230' installed.

In order to irrigate the 5 acres I was looking into a Nelson Big Gun http://www.nelsonirrigation.com/products/index.cfm?id=5. The low end GPM for a big gun is 50 GPM.

My question is, do I simply have to get my well contractor out here and install a 50 GPM pump? I dont know what size pipe is run in the well, the previous owner had it installed. I assume this matters? I know that from the well the pipe that comes into the house is 1" black plastic.

I know that I will have to run another water line for the big gun from the well, but I am unsure if it is just another more powerful well pump or if there are other things I am not thinking about.

Thanks!

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Old 01-12-2009, 08:32 AM   #2
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


Ayuh,...

I would think the 1st Question would be,..
Can your Well support 50gpm,..??..??

A nice green backyard ain't much Fun, when the water tap at the kitchen sink is Dry.....

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Old 01-12-2009, 09:58 AM   #3
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


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Ayuh,...

I would think the 1st Question would be,..
Can your Well support 50gpm,..??..??

A nice green backyard ain't much Fun, when the water tap at the kitchen sink is Dry.....
How do I know if my well can support that flow? I do know that my neighbors have the same depth well (or close to it) and they get 38-40 GPM. I only know this through past conversation and at the time I didnt know to ask them what size pump they had (they are seasonal so I wont see them again until mid-end of summer).

Is there a test I can run or something like that?
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:08 PM   #4
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


If your well is 230' deep, and you get 18 GPM now, you likely have a 2 HP pump. To get 50 GPM at that depth, a 5 HP or 7-1/2 HP will be needed.

This means a new circuit and larger wire from the panel to the control box, a new control box, and larger wire from the control box to the well.

What size is the pipe from the well to the pressure tank? And how long? If it's longer than 20' or so, it'll need to be 1=1/2", 2" would be better.

The pressure tank will need to be at least 80 gallon. Any smaller and the pump will short-cycle, thus reducing its life.

A 5 HP pump will fit into a 6" well, a 7-1/2 generally won't.

As you can see, there's more to increasing the capacity than just dropping a bigger pump into the well.

Rob
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:16 PM   #5
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


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If your well is 230' deep, and you get 18 GPM now, you likely have a 2 HP pump. To get 50 GPM at that depth, a 5 HP or 7-1/2 HP will be needed.

This means a new circuit and larger wire from the panel to the control box, a new control box, and larger wire from the control box to the well.

What size is the pipe from the well to the pressure tank? And how long? If it's longer than 20' or so, it'll need to be 1=1/2", 2" would be better.

The pressure tank will need to be at least 80 gallon. Any smaller and the pump will short-cycle, thus reducing its life.

A 5 HP pump will fit into a 6" well, a 7-1/2 generally won't.

As you can see, there's more to increasing the capacity than just dropping a bigger pump into the well.

Rob
Thanks Rob, there is more to it then I thought. I found some nicely priced 5 HP ones. My current one is in fact 2 HP. It is a 4" Gould.

I bet the pipe in the well is 4" and therefore I am screwed and can not get bigger pump, cus they are 5"+ right?...??

Answer: Wrong, Gould carries 4" 1-7.5 HP pumps. I guess it might be possible.

If i get a bigger pressure tank will I be better off?

Last edited by mntnvew; 01-12-2009 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


whats your draw down gonna do with the 50GPM?? You probably need a biggeer diamter well to get enough water into the hole to pump out. I would suggest trying to explore the 'drip' systems available,,,that is alot more water volume friendly and can be taylored to your gpm.

I used to run a big gun,,,but it was set up for 850 gpm with almost 2" bore and after half mile of pipe(drag coeffiecent of pipe) and 660' of drag hose,it had to be held to 100-110# of pressure(at the gun)(140# or so at the well) to make it work,,,,the walking mechanism,not the gun. Dont wanna stand behind that thing or it would blow you away!!! It was a total PITA besides!!

What are you needing to water?? Grass, garden,grapes? all makes a difference

Check with who ever drilled your well for the drilling log,,,that will tell them more on what the well will do,,or the test pump results. depends ALOT on what amount of gravel or water bearing rock your in,,,well drillers are the experts for THIS question!!

Last edited by 4just1don; 01-12-2009 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:26 PM   #7
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


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Originally Posted by 4just1don View Post
whats your draw down gonna do with the 50GPM?? You probably need a biggeer diamter well to get enough water into the hole to pump out. I would suggest trying to explore the 'drip' systems available,,,that is alot more water volume friendly and can be taylored to your gpm.

I used to run a big gun,,,but it was set up for 850 gpm with almost 2" bore and after half mile of pipe(drag coeffiecent of pipe) and 660' of drag hose,it had to be held to 100-110# of pressure(at the gun)(140# or so at the well) to make it work,,,,the walking mechanism,not the gun. Dont wanna stand behind that thing or it would blow you away!!! It was a total PITA besides!!

What are you needing to water?? Grass, garden,grapes? all makes a difference

Check with who ever drilled your well for the drilling log,,,that will tell them more on what the well will do,,or the test pump results. depends ALOT on what amount of gravel or water bearing rock your in,,,well drillers are the experts for THIS question!!
I already use 3 gph drippers on my landscaping & trees (about 100 of them). I need to water my pasture now, it is about 5+/- acres and divided into three sections. I want to keep my horses off one section while i water and it grows. Dont think they have a drip system for pastures.

We are also in a very windy area so i thought the nelson big gun would suffice. Across teh valley a fella has a 2 section pivot irrigation set up taht would be nice but I bet it cost a pretty penny.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:42 PM   #8
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


If its windy,,I assumed so,,and pretty arid,,,the underground drip system would be MUCH better. that gun you wont like in ANY wind,,cant get a good pattern. I only used mine at night to lessen wind bad effects. Ask your well driller what he suggests,,,but research drip because he may not know much of that newer better product. Unless your close to grape country out there. you can even fertilize thru the new drip lines. How wide are your paddocks?? Can you reach the center of them from both side fences?? if so solid set sprinklers,like tow line sprinklers work well. or maybe a side roll,,,depends on paddock dimensions. The pivot may be your 'cheaper' route!!! But then fencing it is a challenge
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:40 AM   #9
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Medium Sized Irrigation Set up


Anyone have any insight on what would happen if someone were to bury a dripper hose under the ground say 3-6" for pasture irrigation?

With the winds we have here and the water source aspects, I was wondering if I could just bury dripper hose under the ground n inches and have it be the irrigation for my grass.

Any thoughts from you all? Am I off my rocker...

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