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Thread: Well pump for trickle flow ...

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    Well pump for trickle flow ...

    I have a spare well, not hooked up to the house (it is a relic from before the neighborhood got city water), and I have been using it for my pond water changes by having a sump pump hanging in it by a rope and plugged into a remote with a garden hose hooked up to the pond ... push a button - fill the pond up! The water is clean and has acceptable PH, KH and GH readings.

    So I have been wondering how I might change to a trickle system, without getting an expensive well pump and pressure tank, that would cycle on and off all the time. One idea I have is to find a low wattage submersible pump like a Laguna, in a size that by the time it overcomes the head loss of being down the well, only a trickle is coming out (I'd run it 24/7). Most of the year the water is sitting 8-10ft. down in the well plus another 2 ft. to pond water level, so a head of 10 to 12 ft.

    The negative would be experimenting (maybe with borrowed pumps) to find the right size, but I also wonder if running at the absolute max head would put a lot of excess wear and tear on a mag drive pump ... does the pump care?

    Any opinions or better ideas?
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    I don't think the pump would wear out any sooner near max head.

    Having a well with good water changes things a bit. You could run as much water from the well into the pond as you felt comfortable with, meaning not so much that the well went dry or your overflow runoff couldn't handle the load. Overflow from the pond would end up back in that water table so not really a waste. Instead of a trickle you could do more what I would call a real flow through system.

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    How much water per day do you consider "flow through" vs. "trickle through"? Would a real flow through make my filters redundant?

    I don't know how fast the well recharges, but I do know the level goes down a lot in the summer as I use water for the gardens plus more frequent water changes ... so this is another unknown I have to experiment with.
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    A drip hose can be cut to a length that it'll give you a fairly accurate gph regardless of pressure. They put out fairly specific gph per foot of hose

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loco4Koi View Post
    A drip hose can be cut to a length that it'll give you a fairly accurate gph regardless of pressure. They put out fairly specific gph per foot of hose
    Not sure what you mean by a drip hose - like a soaker hose? Irrigation hose with little holes in it?
    So, are you saying throw a pump in the well with enough umph to get the water up and regulate the gph at the other end?
    (I don't believe this hurts a mag drive pump, either, just wastes wattage, correct?)
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    This is what I'm talking about
    http://m.homedepot.com/p/Toro-Blue-S...618/100009182/

    As for wasting wattage,, I'm not sure at all,, but it seems I've read somewhere that if you choke the outlet you don't use as much electricity as you do if left wide open

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    I just read Doc Johnsons article on trickle thru:

    http://drjohnson.com/a_article_pond_...erchanges.html

    Sounds like maybe just using the house water would be easier to set up and following his formula, no need to worry about chlorine. Opinions on this? Do all of you who use trickle flow thru not use dechlorinator?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldieGirl View Post
    I just read Doc Johnsons article on trickle thru:

    http://drjohnson.com/a_article_pond_...erchanges.html

    Sounds like maybe just using the house water would be easier to set up and following his formula, no need to worry about chlorine. Opinions on this? Do all of you who use trickle flow thru not use dechlorinator?
    If you have well water available then you'd be silly not to use it... why risk it and why pay for water if you don't have to

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    Water is cheap here and I may be paying more to run a pump than I would for the city water. Plus my tap is right next to the pond and would be easier to hook up a system.

    So my questions stand for the trickle flow users - do you worry about chlorine?

    (no chloramine in my city water)
    Last edited by GoldieGirl; 11-03-2012 at 12:25 PM.
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    I've pondered those same questions (our shallow well is a long ways from the current pond). I think if you give out specifics it might help elicit more responses you can use... how big is the pond? how much were you thinking about trickling? etc.

    Up until last year, I did have a trickle system going utilizing a 30-gallon pressure tank and a shallow-well pump (I think the combo cost me ~$250) and though the electrical cost to run it indeed was cheaper than using city water, it would still take 20+years of trickling to get a return on investment... and I'm sure I'd need a new one before then, so "no" I don't beleive it would pay for itself if that were the only reason one would purchase a well pump and pressure tank... BUT if you have other uses for that well water, such as watering the grass or a garden, using pressure washer, a drip irrigation system, etc then, Why not use it for both as it would surely then pay for itself. Even though we do have a shallow well I use for cleaning the filters and re-filling the pond... if I do decide to again hook-up a trickle system I believe I'll do it with city water just because it will be so much easier to do in our situation, also the city charges us at about 25% for water than doesn't go back down the drain (I would first have to first purchase a meter from them for $75 to connect to any outside outlet).
    Last edited by monomer; 11-03-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by monomer View Post
    I've pondered those same questions (our shallow well is a long ways from the current pond). I think if you give out specifics it might help elicit more responses you can use... how big is the pond? how much were you thinking about trickling? etc.
    650 g pond, so because it's so small, I can do a lot of trickle! I was going to ask about the ideal amount after I figured out the best method of delivery (: My well is about 40ft from the pond, and as I mentioned, the water level in it fluctuates from approx. 8-10 ft. to as low as maybe 15 ft. down in the summer.

    The sump pump I have in there now works fine for water changes and gardening, so anything new I put down there would be just for the trickle ... I have a spare 600gph sub pump, maybe I'll test it out to see what kind of flow it gets with various head heights.
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    If I use the well I think Waterbug's idea is a good one ... flow as much as I can, that the well can keep up with.
    Might take a lot of careful monitoring and adjusting in the summer, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldieGirl View Post
    How much water per day do you consider "flow through" vs. "trickle through"? Would a real flow through make my filters redundant?
    I don't really know. But like a Supreme Court Justice I know it when I see it. Some fish hatcheries for example divert river water thru their runs (or at least used to many years ago), I'd call that flow thru. A 1 GPH drip I'd call a trickle. In between who knows? At some point a flow is large enough that no other filters are needed. That might be a way to separate flow thru and trickle. Testing water parameters is the only way to tell if filtering is enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldieGirl View Post
    So my questions stand for the trickle flow users - do you worry about chlorine?
    (no chloramine in my city water)
    There's another thread on this "are dechlorinators necessary with water changes <10% with chloraminated water?".

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldieGirl View Post
    flow as much as I can, that the well can keep up with. Might take a lot of careful monitoring and adjusting in the summer, though.
    This could get tricky. If the flow was high enough that it flushed ammonia away before it could be used by bacteria and then you had to scale way back in the summer you could suddenly be lacking enough bio filter just at the time when it's most needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterbug View Post
    This could get tricky. If the flow was high enough that it flushed ammonia away before it could be used by bacteria and then you had to scale way back in the summer you could suddenly be lacking enough bio filter just at the time when it's most needed.
    Hmmm, good point. Would need to get more fish then to make up the difference (:
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    Here's what I've decided to do ... I don't know why I didn't think of this in the first place.
    I just put the sump pump that is down in my well on a timer so that it will pump 8 times per day for a minute each time.
    My overflow easily keeps up and this gives me about a 10% change daily of clean, non- chlorinated water.

    That's more than I was thinking of doing, so I may tweek that a bit (would like to find a timer that can be programmed by the second instead of minutes for less water, more often) Plus, I don't think I need that much in the winter ... just testing things out right now. I am also planning on combining this with another sump-pump-on-a-timer down in my vortex settling tank for regular flushings.

    I love all this automation!
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldieGirl View Post
    Here's what I've decided to do ... I don't know why I didn't think of this in the first place.
    I just put the sump pump that is down in my well on a timer so that it will pump 8 times per day for a minute each time.
    My overflow easily keeps up and this gives me about a 10% change daily of clean, non- chlorinated water.

    That's more than I was thinking of doing, so I may tweek that a bit (would like to find a timer that can be programmed by the second instead of minutes for less water, more often) Plus, I don't think I need that much in the winter ... just testing things out right now. I am also planning on combining this with another sump-pump-on-a-timer down in my vortex settling tank for regular flushings.

    I love all this automation!
    If whichever pump you decide to use provides more water than you want, why not just run a bypass and send the unneeded water back into the well casing!?!

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    Good idea for if I am limited to one min. of flow at a time and don't want that much water. I also can't seem to find a digital timer that can give me more than 8 settings per day.
    On the other hand, (if my well can stand it in the summer) 10% daily is good, if a bit overkill? People do that if they can afford to, no?
    Will I have to worry about not enough ammonia to feed my bio at that rate, as Waterbug suggested?
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    I use this on my air lifts... I can set it to come on (length) for 1 second up to 24 hours, and at intervals of the same (1 second to 24 hours).
    For example, my air lifts come on for 25 seconds every 1 hour 30 minutes 24/7... but I could set it for anything. I think it was around $60. I got
    it at home depot, but it looks like it might have been discontinued, but I'm sure there's others that are about the same.

    http://www.hydroponics.net/i/199990
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