Designing the Correct Pump System for Your Well
Bison Pumps developed this page to assist customers in completing the Well Information Form that is used to gather your well information so you can obtain a quote for a deep well pump system. Before you begin, print the form so you can follow it while you read the instructions below. If you have your well report, it will contain most, if not all, of the required information. The information will contain links to more detailed information. A quick review of the provided links is recommended to provide you with better insight into the terminology, etc.
First we’ll start with an overview of the available pump system types and capabilities. This will help you gain a quick overview of pump systems, capabilities, terminology, etc.
- Bison Pumps provides both Shallow Well (suction pump) and Deep Well Lift Pump Pump systems. For an understanding of the differences between the two, review Deep Well versus Shallow Well Pump Systems. All Bison pump systems are closed systems, meaning they can build up pressure. This allows them to have the feature of Pressurizing or Pumping Uphill.
- Bison Pump systems can be installed with many water sources: lakes, ponds, rainwater cisterns, hand dug wells, standard cased wells and Artesian Wells.
- Most of the Bison Deep Well Pump Systems are NOT Freeze Proof. Shallow well pumps and pump systems where the water exits above ground such as Submersible Connection Deep Well Pump System and Inline – Top Deep Well Pump System are NOT Freeze Proof.
Prior to going to the well, be sure to turn off the electricity to the electric pump in the well if you have one. If you have been using a lot of water, please wait 30 minutes after turning off the power for your well to refill. Remove the well cap for access to the inside of the well casing.
Let’s get started understanding the questions on the Well Information Form!
Question 1 – Does the well have a well casing?
Customers who have hand dug wells typically do not have well casings.
- NO, your well does not have a well casing, proceed to Question #10.
- YES, your well has a casing, We need measurements related to the well casing because the pump head will be attached to it. Proceed to Question #2.
Question 2 – Does the well casing extend above ground?
Please visit Well Casing Measuring to learn how to measure your well casing.
- NO, your well casing does not extend above ground and is therefore below the ground or below grade. We cannot attach a Bison Pump head to it and therefore we will use a different approach to connect the pump head to your well. If you answered “no,” skip to Question 5.
- YES, your well casing does extend above the ground level. Continue to Question #3
Question 3 – My well casing height extends _____ inches above ground.
Question 4 – The well casing is made of:
Question 5 – My well casing’s outside diameter is _____ inches.
Question 6 – My well casing’s inside diameter is _____ inches.
Question 7 – Is there a secondary casing (liner) inside the primary casing?
See Well Casing Liners for details.
- No. Skip to Question #10.
- Yes. Continue to Question #8.
Question 8 – The inside diameter of the liner is _____ inches.
Measure this the same way the well casing diameter is measured.
Question 9 – The liner starts _____ feet from the top of the well casing.
Question 10 – My static water level is _____ feet.
String measurement _____ minus well casing height equals _____.
Static Water Level refers to the distance from the top level of water in a well under normal, undisturbed, no-pumping conditions to ground level. Static water level is best determined when the well has not been pumped for several hours prior to measuring. You may get a false reading if the well was pumped just before the static water level is measured.
To measure the Static Water Level, lower a weighted string into the well until you hear it hit the water. Repeat hitting the water to confirm the proper level had been reached. Tie a knot in the string at the top of the casing. Pull the string out of the well and lay it out on the ground. Using a measuring tape, measure the distance from the end of the string to the knot. This distance, in feet, is your static water level. However, if you have a well casing, your static water level is this distance minus the well casing height.
Question 11 – My Overall well depth is _____ feet.
This measurement is needed to verify there is a sufficient water column in the well to service the pump system. To measure the Overall Well Depth, follow the same instructions as for measuring the Static Water Level except let the weight go to the bottom of the well, and then mark the string.
Question 12 – Does your well have an electric submersible pump installed?
The primary point of a Bison Pump Deep Well Pump System is to be installed in a well along with an existing electric submersible pump. We have specifically designed the system to accommodate wells with various styles of electric submersible pump systems. To properly design your Bison Deep Well Pump System we need to know details about the current system that you have since the two systems must work inside the same well casing.
- No – Skip to Question #21
- Yes – Continue to Question #13
Question 13 – The depth of my electric submersible pump is _____ feet.
We normally place our cylinders about 20 feet below the Static Water Level. If this placement is in too close of proximity to the electric submersible pump it could cause issues. We would need to adjust our design accordingly. Usually this information is provided on your well report. Your well driller should know this information as well.
Question 14 – The GPM rating of the electric submersible pump is _____ Gallons Per Minute.
This rating is important to us if we have to recommend Stacked Deep Well Pump Systems. The Stacked Cylinders have maximum rating allowances that must be considered.
Question 15 – Where does the water output from the electric submersible pump exit the well?
This is a really important question in designing your well pump system. It will determine the type of well adapter that is in your design.
- Above Ground. This tells us we need to account for a water connection in the well adapter. It also means that you will need to complete the Spout, Handle and Water Outlet Orientation Form. Normally wells with the water exiting above ground need the water connection pointed towards the water line that runs to the home. Completing this forms helps us design the proper well adapter configuration for your situation. Again, a photo of this type of well is extremely helpful to determine these types of questions.
- Below Ground. This indicates that there is most likely a Pitless Adapter in a well like this. When there is a Pitless Adapter it is usually the largest obstruction in the well. This creates a Choke Point which represents the largest diameter of a cylinder that can pass by this point. While the Static Water Level may indicate a certain diameter of cylinder we cannot recommend that cylinder if it will not pass by this Choke Point.
Question 16 – What is the size of water output pipe in question 15 above?
When we are evaluating the amount of available space inside a well casing or liner we must reduce it by the outside diameter of the pipe coming from the electric submersible pump. In cases where the water exits the well through the well cap this information provides details for the design of the well adapter. These type of well adapters have water connections that correspond to the electric submersible pump output size.
Question 17 – The pipe is made of:
This helps identify the measurement of the pipe size. For example PVC will have a specific size Outside Diameter but will require a coupling to connect the pipe. We use the Outside Diameter of the coupling rather than the pipe in this case for reducing the available space inside the well casing/liner. Same issue for the metal pipe in terms of couplings. In addition, if a Stacked system is to be recommended we need to know if the pipe is metal due to weight considerations. If the pipe material is POLY then there are no couplings. Therefore a response of 1” Poly pipe tells us that the pipe takes up 1 inch inside the well casing/liner.
Question 18 – My choke point measurement is:
Select the largest size that will fit through your Choke Point. That will represent the largest cylinder that will pass by the choke point telling us the options for selecting your cylinder.
Question 19 – How do the wires enter the well?
Wells with Electrical Wires from Electric Submersible Pump must supply the pump with electricity. This is supplied using special wiring that goes from the power source to the well casing and then down to the pump. Since the Bison Pump Deep Well Pump System includes a well adapter that replaces the existing well cap an accommodation must be made for the wires to enter the well casing.
- Through the top of well cap. This is how wells that have a teardrop shaped top allow wires to enter the well.
- Through the side of the well casing. Not all states will allow it, but some do allow a hole to be drilled through the side of the well casing. An adapter (Bison Pumps offers a Conduit El – Side Mount for this function) is installed in this hole and the wires are fed through it instead of out the top. This is the preferred method with a Bison Pump installation. It keeps the two pump systems, electric and manual, separate and eases maintenance down the road.
Question 20 – Are there any casing obstructions in the well?
Any Casing Obstruction issue should be brought to the attention of the Bison sales person helping you to make sure you get the proper pump system.
Question 21 – Does your well have a jet pump installed?
If a two pipe Jet Pump is installed, your Bison sales person will need to determine if the well casing is large enough for the deep well system to operate in the same well casing.
- No – Skip to Question #24
- Yes – Continue to Question #22
Question 22 – The jet pump is installed:
- Directly onto the well casing.
- On the ground near the well casing.
Question 23 – How many pipes go from the jet pump to the well?
This helps confirm the Jet Pump type.
- One (1)
- Two (2)
Question 24 – My recovery rate is _____ GPM.
You Well Recovery Rate is usually on your well report. If not, contact your well driller. This information is needed if the water column is small.