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Can I Siphon From a Well Pump to Sea Level?

06/05/2019 10:07 PM

Hello

I own a farm and have a need for a high volume of water. I have a 10 HP well pump that will produce 165 GPM that is feeding a 5000 Gallon tank that then feeds a large cooling system using fresh water the full need of water at the bottom of the system is 400 GPM. My question is can I siphon from the running 10 HP well pump if it is running and assist the well pump with a pump that is below the main well pump to achieve my desired volume of water?

The 10 HP pump runs the farm and homes on my property under normal conditions, and has pressure assist tanks to achieve the needed pressure and volume of water to reach the homes and buildings. When the need arrises for the high volume use, the assist tanks will deplete and the pump will only provider the GPM that the pump can provide. So I am trying to determine if I can get more volume from the pump by assisting it since its shut off command would not be trigged unless the pressure switch hits 85 Lbs ? I hope this makes sense I look forward to responses.

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#1

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/05/2019 10:49 PM

It sounds like the system has become undersized over the years....Perhaps you could add a second holding tank....The volume of water you can get from the well will depend on the maximum yield available through the existing line....You can always add another well...?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/05/2019 10:56 PM

Thanks for the reply.

The well is a massive artisan supply the pump is new, I just was trying to find out if the pump can be assisted through an additional above ground pump or a siphon as I have a 350 foot drop to sea-level from the well location and the water is needed at that location as well. I know I could ad more tanks but It just seems like I should be able to draw as much as I need as the well has the supply and it only seems to be limited by the pump, and larger pumps of that size are very expensive.

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#3
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/05/2019 11:30 PM

You can siphon water, if the top of the well level is above the level of the top of the receiving tank/pool/whatever.

So, depending on the head (elevation difference) yes. Flow will depend on pipe size and friction. (Reynolds number)

Don't siphon through the pump.

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#4
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 12:12 AM

OK so if I understand this, you want to tie into the well head before the existing pump and siphon water from the artesian supply which is under positive pressure....Now you realize that with the pump running this is not likely to still be under positive pressure, in fact it might be negative...so the first thing you have to know is what is the pressure in the suction line with the pump running....? If it's still positive then you can siphon water with the pump running....If not and the suction line is negative pressure, then the well line is too small and is limiting the flow...so you would only be able to siphon water when the pump was off, and you would need a check valve to maintain suction for the pump...

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#5

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 1:22 AM

Thank you again for the responses. I belive I understand the main points as written. The pump does have positive pressure when running so in theory I could assist it, however to be safe a true siphon seems the way to go. For lack of a better term it would be assisted siphon as I need the volume and pressure to run the irrigation and cooling systems at sea level and I have plenty of fall to achieve a good siphon, I would need to figure out how to get a pipe down the well as it is currently occupied by the standard well pumps pipe and wiring, I will need to see what kind of room I have in the current well casing and what diameter of pipe I could achieve running down the well casing. At that point I belive I am only limited to the math needed to calculate the distance of fall X diameter and the trash pump at Sea-level.

Make sense ?

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#6
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 2:01 AM

OK you lost me....So this is a 10 hp electric down hole submersible pump existing? ...and you know it's under positive pressure when running because the well casing is sealed and has positive pressure....is that right?

If that's the case why would you need to run another pipe down the well casing?

Maybe you could draw a diagram and label everything for us....

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#26
In reply to #6

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/07/2019 6:10 PM

He lost me too! Does he realize that the siphon has to be airtight from source to exit? You can siphon to a lower elevation, but not to a higher elevation. Yep, we need a sketch/picture of some sort.

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#27
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/07/2019 6:51 PM

Assumptions were made in #6 that may have no basis in fact.

This isn't Old Faithful, it's a seeping aquifer at that location whose GPM output/pressure are unknown and apparently barely above atmospheric pressure.

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#16
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 8:26 AM

If the source of water is at atmospheric pressure, a siphon can only lift the water about 33 feet above the source surface level no matter how far down the exit of the siphon is. In practice, it may be less than this because dissolved gases in the water will come out of solution forming a bubble at the top that may eventually block the siphon.

"

Maximum height of siphon:

This is the maximum height that a siphon will work. Substituting values will give approximately 10 metres for water and, by definition of standard pressure, 0.76 metres (760 mm or 30 in) for mercury. "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siphon

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#24
In reply to #16

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/07/2019 12:45 PM

Given the distances involved, conduit friction losses should also be evaluated, including, but not limited to:

- entry and exit losses;

- expansion(s) and contraction(s), if any;

- quantities, and type(s)s, of bend losses;

- conduit length(s) loss(es);

- fitting losses (connection(s), valve(s), meter(s), etc.)

- pump head loss(es), etc.

A good mechanical reference book contains most of such data.

One example reference is ''Cameron Hydraulic Data'' (new and used versions of which are still available on Ebay, Amazon, etc., and through:

https://edpf.pub/cameron-hydraulic-data.html

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#17
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 12:18 PM

What you said makes sense to me.

The well will need to be open to atmospheric pressure for the siphon to draw properly.

Smaller tubes/pipes, even though they will create more wall friction might allow you to pull a higher volume of water out of the well since you can work those around the existing well plumbing. Then when they come to the ground level you can join them into a larger siphon pipe for the downhill run.

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#18
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 11:53 PM

I suspect that someone marked your post OT because your statement: "The well will need to be open to atmospheric pressure for the siphon to draw properly." is false, IFF the well is still under positive pressure when the existing pump is running.

Your second statement is definitely correct, as long as the reader understands that you are referring to two or more small pipes that can fit the bore, when a single larger pipe can't get past the pump.

To the OP: If you have 350 feet down to sea level, and don't need to use the water at intermediate levels, then you should have around 300 feet of head, which corresponds to roughly 150 PSI. enough to run a small hydroelectric generator, once you have the siphon established. I don't know what volume of water is available, so I have no idea of the power available.

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#20
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/07/2019 12:28 AM

The OP is so weakly defined that it and almost everything else in this thread is OT.

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#25
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/07/2019 12:49 PM

OP said, "Yes it flows to the surface but the flow is very low and has a submerged pump drilled to 20 feet"

Maybe a "seep" would better define the well.

It seems to be "open" to the atmosphere.

So, not knowing what the flow is and knowing that when the pump is running, water will likely be drawing down in the casing more rapidly than the well is replenishing the supply, we ned more information or a report from the OP as he has promised.

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#28
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/07/2019 8:58 PM

If the well is under positive pressure, then the well head needs to be sealed, other wise you would have water flowing out when the pump was off....The OP characterized the well as "The well is a massive artisan supply " , I assume the pump is 20' below the surface to allow the 165 GPM rate of extraction without danger of sucking in air...Now to me the question is can the well produce 320 GPM with the existing trash pump he has, and possibly also cycle the 165 GPM pump in place at this time...

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#7

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 3:00 AM

"A picture is worth a thousand words" - Anonymous Poster #0

Please?

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#8

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 4:11 AM

Attached is a farmers best attempt at a diagram.

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#9

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 4:15 AM

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#10
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 4:42 AM

Is the well setup like the one I pictured...You are speaking of an artesian well that has water flowing to the surface naturally...? ...with no pump required?

What is the GPH of the well water flow without any pump?

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#11
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 4:47 AM

I don't see why you need the three inch trash pump....it seems to me you just need a larger tank (36,000 gals) and a 4 inch line running downhill with a valve...

https://acerwatertanks.com/pioneer-water-tanks-40000-gallons/

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#14
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Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 5:27 AM
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#12

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 4:49 AM

Yes it flows to the surface but the flow is very low and has a submerged pump drilled to 20 feet

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#13

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 5:14 AM

From what you have described, the most probable answer is that your proposal is not feasible.

With only marginal "natural" flow needing to be assisted by the 10HP pump (Per your later response) with maximum 165 GPM the well level would probably drop if you draw multiples of the current flow.

Others have suggested an increased storage volume for the 90 minutes period that you need the high flow and that is logical.

BTW, your proposal to syphon to sea level has some other constraints. There is possibility of cavitation since the possible head is far in excess of 30 feet if your stop valve is at the top, or else possibility of collapsing the pipe.

You might get some benefit by having the high volume storage below the well outlet level, thus reducing the effort on the well pump, but in the current configuration that would draw down the pressure system for the items higher on the rise unless you use some "smart" interfaces to supply the pressure system before the header tank.

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#15

Re: Can I siphon from a well pump to sea level

06/06/2019 5:47 AM

I think you might be able to switch the trash pump at 320 GPM with the submerged pump at 165 GPM and be able to just gravity feed the water down the hill....Producing 320 GPM with a 5000 gallon tank reserve you would only need 80 GPM from the tank...that would enable the tank to last for 60 minutes...so you still need another tank but only 2500 gallons...

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#19

Re: Can I Siphon From a Well Pump to Sea Level?

06/07/2019 12:06 AM

Once again. Thank you all for the feedback. I now know at least the basics to move forward. I think between the well supply being on during the operation and the holding tank being a high enough volume I will be able to get close to the 60 minutes of operation and the needed pressures.

I will post back with some pictures and video of the set up as most all of it is in place I will now just need to run some testing to determine actual GPM and pressures.

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#21
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Re: Can I Siphon From a Well Pump to Sea Level?

06/07/2019 1:02 AM

I think that would be a great help...some feedback and testing...

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#29
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Re: Can I Siphon From a Well Pump to Sea Level?

06/12/2019 12:49 PM

I would add that the line draining water from the tank down the hill would need to be vented on shutoff...

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#22

Re: Can I Siphon From a Well Pump to Sea Level?

06/07/2019 6:16 AM

Hi Jamec.

Is your well only capable of delivering 165GPM? Is the pump a submersible pump or a jet type of pump that you use to draw water from your well. I would have thought that a 10HP pump would deliver more water. What is the depth from the well head to the pump pickup and how much water head do you above the pump in the well when drawing the water off?

I currently have a 1HP submersible pump sited at 80m below the well head and it has a depth of 60m to the water level from the well head so the pump is under 20m of water.

I have worked with systems using a secondary pump connected to the discharge of the first pump. This means that the first pump acts to precharge the second upmp and the delivery volume is increased for the primary pump works against a smaller head pressure. I have worked on two pump systems capable of delivering 400CM/Hr.

It is better to pump the water than to rely on syphoning as the secondary pump can create enough pressure to overcome the frictional losses in the pipe work. The figures for pipe losses can be found from tables for the size and type of pipe as well as each elbow or joiner adds cumulative losses.

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#23

Re: Can I Siphon From a Well Pump to Sea Level?

06/07/2019 12:28 PM

If I understand correctly, you have an artesian well feeding to a 10HP pump and want to increase flow by adding a second pump in series with the first.

The answer is yes to a point. You are playing with pump performance curves that include such things as intake suction pressure, discharge pressure and flow rate. I make another assumption at this point: the pump RPM is not able to vary much.

When you add the second pump in series, you do one or both of two things. You decrease the discharge pressure on the 10HP pump which will increase the flow. You may also decrease the 10HP pump suction side pressure, which will decrease the flow rate. The overall effect will be an increase in overall flow rate unless the second pump has some flow limiting characteristic, such as being too small or has an impeller geometry that at rpm is unable to add pressure to the flow, in which case, you are driving the rotation of the second pump as if it was a turbine.

In any case, you can find the change in location of the performance of the 10 HP pump on the pump characteristic curves to determine the new flow rate.

You have other alternatives as well. You can draw from the 10HP pump discharge and run a second flow through the second pump in parallel to the normal 10HP discharge, which would decrease the 10HP pump discharge pressure and increase flow rate. You could also plump in the second pump in parallel with the10HP pump and add the discharge rates together for a total flow rate.

Unless you lower the storage tank, siphoning doesn't sound like an option.

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#30

Re: Can I Siphon From a Well Pump to Sea Level?

09/04/2022 5:38 PM

Yes you can, it called a ‘Hydraulic Ram Pump’… if don’t know if it’s feasible with the investment.

I know this is an old thread..

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