How to plumb a well : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Here's a tough one: we are considering renting a farmhouse (1-year lease) with well and cistern-both of unknown condition. Assuming the water is ok, the well is located approx. 300 feet from the house and across a little-used dirt road. The cistern is approx. 15 ft. from the house. 1) What is the most economical way to get the well water to the house and keep the line from freezing in the winter?

-- David Cohen (, July 08, 1999


Most economical would be to carry it. Use 2 five gallon's a great workout. Not that we'll need more physical excersize. Best way would be to bury PVC pipe below the frost line. I think that I've seen coiled PVC at Lowes...probably if they have it most other big box stores like that would. If not, look at a Farm & Fllet, Tractor Supply, etc type. I know they have it.

Rent a trencher to do the dirty work. 300 feet should take 4-6 hours to dig, install and back fill, if you work by yourself. That's going 36" deep.

-- Ninh Hoa (, July 08, 1999.

You really need to check out that cistern. I'm lucky enough to have one when we bought the place (pre GI). About 6 weeks ago I drained it went down and cleaned it out, just debry nothing major. Then I filled it back up to the brim. The next day went back outside all proud of myself and what have you, flipped back the top and about half the water was gone. It was back down to the level of before I cleaned it out roughly 800 gallons. You need to know if yours has a leak and how much it will hold before you waste any precious water or carry any in five gallon buckets that far. Too much work for me!

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), July 08, 1999.

NEVER go into a cistern or rock-lined hand dug well without someone around AT ALL TIMES at the top to keep an eye out for your safety. Heavier-than-air toxic gases can accumulate quickly at the bottom from vehicle or gasoline-powered pump exhausts,cleaners such as bleach,decaying organic material at the bottom that you'll stir up tromping around,and from the earth itself in a well.A box fan at the top to blow fresh air down is a good idea,same also is a safety line around your waist with enough people power around to pull you up if you're overcome.

-- mchnst (, July 08, 1999.

David, seems likemyou have a neat place, I'd go with the trencher idea, 300 ft is along way. My spring tank is about the same distance from my new home, but the water is gravity fed to the house 24" down and thru a 2" PVC pipe. Concerning your cestern, if you have not yet cleaned it out,when you do use safety procedures to keep fresh air coming down while you work inside. Also use a product named Theroseal,it's a water proffing cement mix that you brush on the walls to seal them from the inside. I Therosealed my Mother-in Law's house over 20 yrs ago and no leaks. the stuff is good for cesterns also. Furie...

-- Furie (, July 09, 1999.

On this idea of safety if you go down in the cistern. The above information is absolutely correct. You can die down there. It is, for all practical purposes, air tight down there.

BTW, one advantage can be gained easily if the person on top is not a close friend or loved one. If it's just someone helping out, here's a helpfull safety tip given to me by old Papa Bear.

After you get everything into place - fan, rope, etc. - and just before going down, borrow a hundred dollars from the helper. Stick it in your pocket and decend into the well.


-- Got Friends?

-- Greybear (, July 09, 1999.

Your county agent will be able to tell you what the frost line depth is in your area. Just in case, lay your line 2 ft. deeper than that.

-- Tom Carey (, July 09, 1999.

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