Need advice from anyone who has bought and used the DIY water well drilling setup that uses an air c

yogifink

Songster
6 Years
May 16, 2013
464
247
161
Pinebluff, nc
My Coop
My Coop
I did some research on this a while back and plan to put a well in on our property. I really liked the idea of the homemade water system, and it seems pretty simple to do a DIY version of one. LOTS of information on this on youtube. I don't see why you would rent a compressor, most small rentals are $25-50/day, and it will take you more than a day to drill. For a few extra bucks I would just buy the compressor and then keep it or resell it. I think you would also want to pick up a mud pump to pull crud up from the bottom that is too heavy for the air to push. I would also think, you might run into some difficulty with this method if you have rocky soil?

When I go down this road, I will probably go with a hand auger. The water table in our area is only about 20' down. Here is a good link for some more informantion. http://www.drillyourownwell.com/auger-drilling.htm
 

refamat

Songster
7 Years
Feb 16, 2012
251
17
141
Blaine, WA
Hand augering is ok, had a friend who grew up in Cuba, he and two brothers hand augered down to almost 3oo ft when they were young men. Even in soft soil that would be rough. Shallow wells are ok, but unless you get some volume you can run them dry easily. That's what I want to do is deepen a unused well on my property to increase storage (the previous owner said it went muddy which means the sand pack failed (poor design, I used to install monitoring wells for contamination, not much different from water wells but don't have any equipment myself).
You can hydrodrill down to 40 feet or so easy enough, would be easier than augering.
 

newbie32

Songster
6 Years
Aug 16, 2013
928
56
128
Low Desert, CA
I would love to learn how to dig a stable well by hand. Someday life in the U.S will change, maybe not in my lifetime but just in case.....
 

refamat

Songster
7 Years
Feb 16, 2012
251
17
141
Blaine, WA
there are many ways to put a well in, hand digging one is hard an dangerous. Hand augering is also possible but finding the equipment could be a challenge. The best DIY options are the deep rock home well rig which run S10-12k, the DIY kit from the website I posted for under $600 but lacks the compressor which from what I've read will need to be 5.5 hp to supply the needed 16 CFM at 90+ PSI. or to use hydro point rig you can see on youtube which is depth limited.
I had a friend who is a professional driller in Kentucky who said he put in monitoring wells with one of the rented Little Beaver post hole drillers you can rent. You can also ine Simco Earthprobe and Geodrill rigs which have a hydraulic motors and augers to drill wells with that can go to 100 ft or more. I used to operate both types for soil sampling of contaminated soils (but that's a different process).
 

newbie32

Songster
6 Years
Aug 16, 2013
928
56
128
Low Desert, CA
there are many ways to put a well in, hand digging one is hard an dangerous. Hand augering is also possible but finding the equipment could be a challenge. The best DIY options are the deep rock home well rig which run S10-12k, the DIY kit from the website I posted for under $600 but lacks the compressor which from what I've read will need to be 5.5 hp to supply the needed 16 CFM at 90+ PSI. or to use hydro point rig you can see on youtube which is depth limited.
I had a friend who is a professional driller in Kentucky who said he put in monitoring wells with one of the rented Little Beaver post hole drillers you can rent. You can also ine Simco Earthprobe and Geodrill rigs which have a hydraulic motors and augers to drill wells with that can go to 100 ft or more. I used to operate both types for soil sampling of contaminated soils (but that's a different process).
hmmm I was wanting to dig a well as soon as the MIL gives up the land. I don't want a compressor run well. I want one that fully operates by hand or by a windmill or both. Basically an old fashioned one that wont be an issue if electricity goes out for extended amount of time.
 

refamat

Songster
7 Years
Feb 16, 2012
251
17
141
Blaine, WA
wind power is good sometimes in SoCal..when the Santa Annas blow, it would devastate your structures I'm thinking. I remember seeing many uprooted trees when I was a child in the San Fernando valley. Drilling there can be a challenge though. Your looking at a variety of soil and rock types there and aquifers can be at any depth. I know there were artesian springs east of Saugus so it is possible to find good water sometimes. Having said that though, the well that supplied Honby (where we also lived) went bad in the mid 60's.
 

ds75751

Hatching
May 14, 2019
1
1
2
Ok I bought the Kit and Just put a well in using it here is my review of the Product. Forgive the ramblings of an old man.
I was Impressed when I called for advice how fast someone got back to me. For me that's a good thing. I went with a 4 x 4 foot slab with a six inch case. Place Six foot down. I do know I will hit water at two feet surface water pooling. A 1 foot layer of clay then sand In this swamp. I will also Hit from 10 past water that is stable at 17 feet I will be in water bearing sand an I know it will be the good stuff all the way to 8 feet. I am worried about the drillers mud an the side caving in.

Get the DVD and watch all of it if you decide to do this.
There was a lot of preparation prior to drilling. Weather has finally given me a shot the rain is clear. Today I water jetted a 2 inch hole for the well 17 feet Through 2ft Topsoils 10 Feet of Sand and Clay Mix then a hear layer of Clay and Iron Gravel some annoying rocks. I am Calling this a Pilot hole because I Know I can get to 30 ft with the water jet. At that Point I will not be able to push enough water in to get any cuttings. This is when I will really need good weather and will rent the compressor. I have in the past hit multiple pockets iron ore rock

The Kit Issue the the Dehumidifier /Air flow regulator Didn't work at all The Oiler did but it was a combined with the dehumidifier. Because of the faulty regulator day one was a night mare very slow and the bit would not operate correctly. Rocks would lock it up again the regulator/Dehumidifier component was the issue.I was ready to call it all off.

I had rented the biggest compressor I could find. I called the rental company told them I was bringing the compressor back. They Assured me the compressor would shove oil through to the tool all by itself. Moisture would be mixed in but the oil they used would still make it work.

I went back to work bypassed the dehumidifier and oiler hit the switch an the drill began to scream like it was supposed to. Blew through Red rock Iron ore (Rocks) No Issue this thing was spitting out Rock and Iron ore with no Issues at all 20ft in and 1 ½ hours I hit clay and gravel it slowed me down a a bit. I was done with 70 ft in 8 hrs tops. I mean done, Put the sand screen in 4 inch. For some resone it took way more gravel than 500LBS, I have to go and get more in the am.

It isn't hard work just tedious .Notes Make Sure you have someone to help it is not a one man Job.
The PVC Drill casing cracked mid way through the process. Gorilla taped it back together.Still worked still screamed. I did pour oil into the hose . And I mean pourd in into the compressor hose line every-time I added a 20ft section of PVC.
Bottom Line on the Kit it works but it isn't a cake walk I will be done with the well for about 1400 bucks. Companies here want 7 K drill wells in my area of Texas. Good luck and I will try to answer any questions about my experience,
 

MountainGaurdian

Songster
Jul 17, 2019
102
332
116
North Idaho
The minimum 17 CFM @90 psi that this system uses is going to require a fairly decent air compressor. An air compressor rated at 20 CFM @ 90 psi is going to run $400 to $1,000 to buy. You will also have to buy the 150 to 200 feet of 3/8 air hose to go with for another $100 to $150 for "cheaper" air hoses. You will also need a supply of power for this because the air compressor will pull a steady 20 amps or more. Count on $50 to $70 for every 50 feet of cord you have to run to get power to your compressor on site.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that most compressors are not designed to run full out non stop for hours on end, they tend to burn out fairly quickly. I would advise a commercial duty compressor if you intend to buy one and expect to be in the area of $1,000 cost when you buy it.

If it were me I would spend the money to rent a tow behind air compressor that runs off a gasoline engine. You will also be able to rent the hoses you will need along with it.

This system works well in topsoil and sand but when you get into clay or rock they warn that you will slow down considerably. In clay they say it will cut anywhere from 3 inches to five feet an hour. In rock they say to expect around 1 inch an hour.

If you had to drill our well with that you would have 30 feet of clay followed by 120 feet of granite. So a drilling rate of 3 inches to 5 feet an hour for the first 30 feet. So anywhere from 6 to 120 hours for the first thirty feet.

The granite drilling at 1 inch an hour would take 12 hours per foot for 120 feet or approximately 1,440 hours to drill. The grand total drilling time of between 1,446 to 1,560 hours of drilling time. Now with my well as an example this would give you a flow rate of 50 gallons per minute and a reserve of around 10,000 gallons. To put that time into perspective you are looking at drilling 8 hours a day for 180 days to drill my well with that system. I do believe this is all rated on the minimum 17 CFM @ 90 psi, if you run a better compressor and get more CFM you are likely to drill at a faster rate of speed.

But keep in mind, my neighbor next door just drilled three wells in a week literally 1,800 feet from my well and didn't hit water once and each well was dug to 250 feet. But in that small distance the under laying stone goes from granite to fractured basalt and apparently the water does not penetrate the basalt like it does the granite under me. If you had drilled my neighbors wells to 150 feet each you would have spent 540 days drilling to get no working well. I think that I can guarantee that at 1,400 hours of full tilt air on a compressor you are going to burn out at least one or three store bought compressors digging your well.

I would go to the local courthouse and see what wells around your property are for depth and take a look at what the driller said for what they drilled through be it clay stone etc.

Here is a Youtube video from this company on drilling a well with this unit...

I have never tried to "drill" a well before, I have dug a number of surface wells though. On my last farm I hand dug 4 surface wells in different areas to pump livestock water from. I dug them all 6 foot by 6 foot square and to a depth of 16 to 20 feet deep and I had a great supply of water in all of them. Each year I would wait until late summer early fall and pump out all the water I could and dig them a bit deeper increasing the amount of water reservoir I had in the wells.

I am trying not to rain any parades or anything, but I thought you should have a good understanding of what you might be undertaking with this project.
 
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