Author Topic: Well pump backup power  (Read 638 times)

Offline fritz_monroe

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Well pump backup power
« on: July 17, 2019, 05:21:59 PM »
We've lost power a couple of times recently, and while it hasn't been for more than a couple of hours at a time, that still is enough to make it a PITA.  No toilet flushing, no dishes, etc.

So I'm looking at what I would need to do to provide backup power to the well pump.  My ideal setup would be batteries and an inverter to last for 3 or 4 hours, and we'd still conserve water to ensure that the power lasts.

But I have enough of an electronics background to know that they not only require a pretty good amount of power, they also have a huge start up surge.  It's been a while since I've done any AC calculations, so I'm not sure how to determine the power requirements for my well pump.

I have a Goulds J05853 Jet Pump. 
3/4 HP
115 V
11.4 Amps
RPM 3450
Max load Amps 14.8
Single phase

So what size inverter and batteries would I need?

Offline DDJ

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 10:29:34 AM »
 :popcorn:

Fritz Thanks for posting this I have been pondering similar although I do not have enough pump details.

I suppose you could put a Power monitor after the switch and watch it. 

HMMM.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 11:25:29 PM »
Simplest is a generator. That's what we have, though it powers everything.

Hang you a female plug out of your wellhouse and roll the gen from the garage to the well and plug it in.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 09:03:44 AM »
I have battery back up that powers my well pump.  But, I also have solar panels so this is part of that whole system.  You can get the inverter and batteries now and add solar panels in a couple years.  So then your well pump back up is just stage one of a larger system. 

First, I changed well pumps when I went solar as my original well pump was 240V, so my well pump is 120V and either 1/2 or 3/4 hp, I forget. I have a top of the line inverter/charger controller like this https://realgoods.com/pre-wired-schneider-conext-sw4048-off-grid-inverter-system-w-midnite-classic-150-controller and while that may look expensive it is the most expensive part of a whole house system and has lasted 20 years so far, this brand, more or less, this brand is who bought out the brand I have. An inverter like this is all ready to both be grid tie and to wire to back up batteries, all that is built in, no other components to buy, just wire batteries and panels. Everything that powers my house can be bought for $10k-ish, total ( I only have 2. 5kW of panels, it is not true that a house needs alot of power). 

You can absolutely buy a less expensive inverter to power your well, there are others that can handle a short start up surge.

you can call the technicians at real goods and they can advise you,  I just think you should think ahead as to what you want over all, just well pump back up or solar in the future ?

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 01:51:31 PM »
I have generators, but that's not what I'm looking for.  I don't want to have to pull out the generator for a 3 hour power outage.

In the past, if I knew there was a strong possibility of a power outage (i.e. hurricane, snow storm) I would fill up a big trash can with water and carry in jugs of water for the toilet as needed.

I'm just trying to figure out if I can make use of a 2000W inverter and a couple of deep cycle batteries to give me enough power to run our toilets for a couple of hours.  I may just have to break down and give it a try.  Even if it didn't work, I'd still have a nice inverter to use elsewhere.

Offline bartsdad

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2019, 03:11:46 PM »
I keep probably 50 2liter bottles of water just for that. 2 equal about a gallon. Following the if it's yellow let it mellow and if it's brown flush it down philosophy it doesn't take much reserve to make it through a short outage. Each toilet has 1 flush in it. We have been through outages to know the drill.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2019, 03:12:14 PM »
Well if you have an extra casing or can squeeze this in on top of your present pump, you can set this https://smile.amazon.com/Solar-Submersible-Panel-Complete-Tuhorse/dp/B01N7TNPCK/ref=sr_1_167_sspa?keywords=manual+well+pump&qid=1563570160&s=gateway&sr=8-167-spons&psc=1 up, then continue being a couch potato.

 ;D

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2019, 04:53:55 PM »
BD, I do keep a couple of jugs filled with water, but we don't drink much of any soda, nor do the rest of the family.  But maybe I'll see if the neighbors do. 

Stwood, I have a jet pump that's in the basement.  So I can't really put another pump down in there.  I actually don't know where the actual well is, the outside portion is completely underground.  But it's not long before I have to replace this pump, it's at least 30 years old.

I do have a high water table, so I'd love to put in a hand pump for emergencies, but that's not anytime soon.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2019, 05:47:27 PM »
Thats what we're planning, a deep well hand pump that sits on the casing, in-line with the submersible. About a $600.00 SS pump. Just switch a valve.

Anyways, yea, I think I'd be finding your actual well. Ought to be able to figure out something there.....sit a pump on top of it.......
If your incoming pipe is at floor level, that means you casing will be possibly 6' down? How much of your basement wall is showing outside?

We also keep water jugged up. 100? gallon or so, for everything but drinking.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2019, 06:36:56 PM »
We will likely be replacing the pump in the not too distant future.  I'll find out where the well is then.  I have a ballpark idea of where it is, but just by way of a plat.  Those tend to have a bit of error in them.

I'm also considering switching to a submersible from a jet pump.  It really depends on how much of a difference there is in price. 

Offline Stwood

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2019, 06:46:11 PM »
Our pump went out after 22 years. Had a good, long life.

$950.00 cash for the local well man to replace it.

Yours shouldn't involve much more work to change it over.
I would set the switch and tank in the basement. I advise against using a bladder in the casing.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2019, 07:15:51 PM »
Already have a pressure tank in the basement.

I really don't know what I have as far as the well itself.  I've been in the house for 10 years and haven't had any issues.  But I know that jet pumps and the corresponding parts that are down in the well itself are temperamental.  I'll be replacing all the plumbing in the house, but I've found that the valve to block off the rest of the house from the pump isn't working right, so I at least need to have that replaced before I replace the plumbing.  Otherwise I may allow a bunch of crap to enter the well and clog up the workings down in the well itself.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2019, 07:35:56 AM »
We will likely be replacing the pump in the not too distant future.  I'll find out where the well is then.  I have a ballpark idea of where it is, but just by way of a plat.  Those tend to have a bit of error in them.

I'm also considering switching to a submersible from a jet pump.  It really depends on how much of a difference there is in price.

I have a submuresable pump, but my pump is down at 220ft, my groundwater level fluctuates madly depending on the season. 

DO Call the Real Goods technicians they sell small inverters too and know their stuff.  https://realgoods.com/renewable-energy-tech-support

Offline DDJ

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2019, 10:41:28 AM »
We started with 2 55 Gal barrels for both drinking and sanitation needs.  Have added 2 more 55Gal as rain water collection which would be sanitation, pets and chickens only.  Just last year I added an IBC (325 gal?) for rain water.  I have a second IBC awaiting connection to the downspout and 2 more 55Gals holding on me finishing a rack for drinking.

I still feel the need to put backup power on my well.

If you do not know the pump, because you did not put it in is there a better way to figure out the draw than finding a clamp on meter or a Kill a watt meter (where do those let the magic smoke out I wonder?) in line.

I am thinking of cutting the electric line between the pump and house box before the pressure switch and adding extension cord ends to the wire to get power to the well for emergencies.  Anything wrong with that thought? Should I need high amperage plugs?  That should allow me to start with a generator and move to  a battery bank later.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Well pump backup power
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2019, 12:26:19 PM »
I would go with twist lock plugs on your added plug. Nothing else will fit it.
You'll need to make up a gen cord for that.
Shut your house breaker off (feed line to well) then plug your gen in.
If you have a well house, mount the twist lock in the wall, or inside of it.
I don't know your scenario there.

Most pumps seem to be 1 to 1-1/2 hp. I don't know how to tell you to ck it.