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Irrigation Discussion Discussion of irrigation integration with HomeSeer systems.

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  #1  
Old December 12th, 2017, 01:32 PM
sbrunner sbrunner is offline
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Well Pump Control

We are looking into putting a new well in for irrigation. I was looking at variable speed pump controllers. My driller recommended Xylem/Goulds Solo2 that has AQWIFI remote monitoring via app (http://goulds.com/pump-controllers/aqwifi).

I was wondering whether anybody gave this a thought, how to monitor a well. Variable speed controllers are a little bit more engaged. They do not need a pressure tank, and most important for irrigation, they keep pressure very constant, independent of zones called. I would be useful to have some events such as how many zones to call, depending on pressure. Production of the well will also depend on season, depending on aquifer recharge.

I can monitor the main valve, and the pump is controlled indirectly via call to the valve. What I also like to monitor is pressure and motor frequency, and any alerts such as dry well.

AQWIFI connects to the controller via some sort of serial link, and it is mounted outside directly next to the controller. I am not sure that there is also a WebUI interface, or just the app.

Maybe somebody knows of an alternative.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 02:40 PM
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jrfuda jrfuda is offline
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I have a Franklin Electric SubDrive 3HP variable speed pump for my irrigation system. I have 1.5 acres to water. My sprinkler zones pull close to 50GPM at 75 PSI at the pump (down to 50s by the time it gets through the filter/screen, backflow, and valves down to the sprinklers), with my drip zones in the 20 GPM range. This pretty much maxes out my pump when any one sprinkler zone is engaged. I have 2 Inch pipe going to 1.5 inch valves.

Now, your zones may be much smaller - but depending on what the output is of your pump and unless you're going for something over 5HP - you may not be able run more than one zone at a time (maybe drips), so you should really calculate everything out before you pick a pump.

If you have not done so already, look here: https://www.irrigationtutorials.com/ for information on running all the calculations.

I was fortunate as the drillers hit water around 50 feet, drilled to 85 and dropped the pump somewhere around 70.

I used that site to design and install my irrigation system, getting all my supplies from Sprinkler Warehouse. I saved a fortune, and the well has paid for itself in the 4 years since in what it would have cost me to use city water (which would still have been about $1000 up front to the city and for the filter/screen and backflow and probably around $1500 a year in water usage).

In hindsight, I probably should have went to a 5HP pump, as I have one zone that maxes out the pump and wish I could have a few more PSI to compensate as the filter/screen clogs between cleanings (my sprinklers are pressure-regulated, so as long as they get enough pressure, they spray consistently).

We still have city water for the house (required by the city), but all the outside water needs are taken care of by the well. I even installed 5 freeze-proof hydrants that work great.

My apologies if I'm repeating a bunch of stuff you already know.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 05:12 PM
sbrunner sbrunner is offline
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We have to go down 400-450 feet. I was hoping to get away with a 5HP pump. The controller gets exponentially more expensive with a 7.5HP pump. I am hoping for 20 gpm > 40 PSI. We pay over $15/1000 gal, which translates into a few thousands in water over the year. I am keeping city water for inside, as it is cheaper than water filtration, specifically where our water has lots of solids.
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Old December 12th, 2017, 11:12 PM
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aldo aldo is offline
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Sorry if I get in the middle of this conversation, I was always wondering of installing a pump for my irrigation system. I was always concerned that the driller would say " I will find the water" but they would not. Do they have a technology nowadays that can determine if there is water or not and exactly how much it will cost me? I do not want to get them starting and continue to charge for drilling because they cannot find water.
Aldo

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Old December 13th, 2017, 09:57 AM
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jrfuda jrfuda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldo View Post
Sorry if I get in the middle of this conversation, I was always wondering of installing a pump for my irrigation system. I was always concerned that the driller would say " I will find the water" but they would not. Do they have a technology nowadays that can determine if there is water or not and exactly how much it will cost me? I do not want to get them starting and continue to charge for drilling because they cannot find water.
Your driller should have a pretty good idea of at what level the water is in your area unless your nearest neighbor with a well is really far away. In my case, my nearest neighbor with a well was a local high school, about 1/2 a mile away as the crow flies, that recently had a well put in to irrigate their athletic fields. There well was producing 70+ GPH at around the same depth mine was drilled to, so I knew ahead of time about where they'd hit water and how much I'd be in for. This is also a good way to vet your driller. If they can't give you a good estimate, look for another driller. Of course, they can't guarantee anything, so you'll be out the X dollars per foot if they do come up empty.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 10:14 AM
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aldo aldo is offline
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Thanks, so far in my area o do not see yet a pump but I will start looking around in spring, do you know how much it runs for feet?

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Old December 13th, 2017, 11:55 AM
sbrunner sbrunner is offline
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You typically share the risk. Drilling is only part of the cost. The other cost is cladding the borehole, pipe from the bore hole, pump, motor, motor controller, trenching, electric, plumbing, and backflow preventer. Lets say you pay $3k for drilling, you pay another $20k or more for the rest. Irrigation wells are a more demanding than potable water wells, as you have to maintain consistent flow and pressure. For potable water you need filtration and desalination perhaps, but you can fill up a 50 gal tank over an hour or so with a small pump. Your cost exponentially goes up with depth as you need longer and bigger pipes, bigger pumps and motors, and bigger controllers. There is a lot of sunk cost for little things, like $2k for trenching, $2k for electric, $2k for the backflow preventer, etc. A lot of this cost is because you need lots of different contractors, who put into their head that they want to make $2k - seams to be the magic number. But you can do a lot of this work yourself, and get day labor for things like trenching. Electric and plumbing is not rocket science.

The per-foot cost in drilling is very misleading. It typically pays if you have a large property, or here in Austin, when the city supplements property taxes by sticking it to the suburbs, by using selective and "tiered" rates. Residential tier 5 irrigation water in Austin is 5x as much as what a tier 1 household for potable water pays, and 3x compared to community property, like MUD owned parks, managed "garden" home communities, multifamily, or country clubs. There is a lot of politics involved. Some cities sell grey water, filtered wastewater. It is cheaper for them to dispose in people's yards. Some cities have "ditch" water, which is unfiltered surface water. Some cities charge a hefty wastewater fee even for irrigation water. Amortization all depends on your local circumstances.

Last edited by sbrunner; December 13th, 2017 at 12:14 PM.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 12:06 PM
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jrfuda jrfuda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrunner View Post
... There is a lot of sunk cost for little things, like $2k for trenching, $2k for electric, $2k for the backflow preventer, etc....
Of course, you can save money by doing most of that yourself.

My driller did the digging and pump install. I did not even have power to the well yet, so he used a generator to power it during testing.

Over the next couple of weekends I trenched and installed 220V/30A power to the pump. It took me about 6 months of weekends and a few vacation days to complete the trenching and install for the sprinkler system and hydrants. I rented a trencher to trench my sandy, yet root-laden yard (had previously been wooded and I had stumps ground instead dug up). Couldn't feel my fingers the next day. Funny thing is, since it took me so long to get all the pipe down, I pretty much had to re-dig everything as I completed each zone. I remember scrambling one night after work to bury some pipes as there was a freeze coming and I had exposed, water filled pipes that I had to cover (my hydrants are on their own 1" pipeline, separate from the sprinklers and were already all in place before the sprinklers were complete). Good thing the frost line is only 4" here, so I did not have to go crazy and could still lay the rest of my pipe over the buried waterline.

Sorry for instigating the diversion of this thread so far off topic. I hope you get some answers to your original question.
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Old December 13th, 2017, 05:49 PM
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aldo aldo is offline
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Thank you, I think lot of people find this very interesting, thanks for sharing.
Aldo

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