Author Topic: well line, trench, and electric  (Read 1928 times)

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Offline MarkAndDebbie

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well line, trench, and electric
« on: July 25, 2008, 05:32:23 PM »
I am going to have some more time to work on the house this week. I need to dig some more holes for sonotube footings for our ever-expanding deck/porch. I have dug some of them by hand (post hole digger). I also need to dig a trench from the well to the house for the water line and run electric wire to the well for the pump. We have not put in a pump yet - just a ~300' hole (cased most of the way). I thought I might rent a machine to play with and dig both at the same time - so not a trencher - more of a mini/micro excavator. where we are in GA the frost line is < 12". I wasn't thinking about the plumbing/electrical yet - so I am unprepared as to how to do this. I searched, but the term "well" seems overused  ;) I have also considered getting some more gravel (for various uses) and thought the machine might push it around easier than my shovel and wheel barrow.

So here are my questions.
1. how deep do I need to bury the water line?
2. the electric?
3. can they share? how much separation?
4. what type of wire do I need? ( I don't know the size of the pump I may have someone else install that. I'll have to look for the receipt from the well driller to know the refresh rate /gpm)
5. inside the house I am doing PEX. Should I put that in direct ground contact or use PVC?
6. what machine should I rent?

Let's start there (the more I ask the more I think I may need to wait).

I've got a couple of "electrical" and plumbing books, but they start at the breaker/bell. If you have a book to answer these miriad of questions, I can run up to the library. Worse case on this is that I go back to plan and wait till I read more. Meanwhile I'll buff up and slim down with the post-hole digger.


Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: well line, trench, and electric
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2008, 05:58:31 PM »
I am going to have some more time to work on the house this week. I need to dig some more holes for sonotube footings for our ever-expanding deck/porch. I have dug some of them by hand (post hole digger). I also need to dig a trench from the well to the house for the water line and run electric wire to the well for the pump. We have not put in a pump yet - just a ~300' hole (cased most of the way). I thought I might rent a machine to play with and dig both at the same time - so not a trencher - more of a mini/micro excavator. where we are in GA the frost line is < 12". I wasn't thinking about the plumbing/electrical yet - so I am unprepared as to how to do this. I searched, but the term "well" seems overused  ;) I have also considered getting some more gravel (for various uses) and thought the machine might push it around easier than my shovel and wheel barrow.

So here are my questions.
1. how deep do I need to bury the water line?

If your frost line is 12" then 18-24" should be sufficent

2. the electric?

Depending on your pump and whether is has a capacitor on the pump or not and the HP would have a lot to do with it.  I ran 10/4WG underground well wire for a 390'

3. can they share? how much separation?

Mine water line adn electric line were ran through a 4" corrogated conduit to protect each.  If a leak or short occurs then I pull whichever and replace without digging a 250' trench again

4. what type of wire do I need? ( I don't know the size of the pump I may have someone else install that. I'll have to look for the receipt from the well driller to know the refresh rate /gpm)

See above

5. inside the house I am doing PEX. Should I put that in direct ground contact or use PVC?

Mine is black poly 200 PSI. I have used Pex once for an outside furnace but the price is a little steaper and the black poly will hold up. 


6. what machine should I rent?

For the trench or spreading gravel.  Depending on what you are going to do and how easy it is to dig.  The trencher has a blade which can level gravel.  Neither has a bucket capable of carring any great amount of material.  Maybe a small backhoe with a bucket might suit your needs better.Let's start there (the more I ask the more I think I may need to wait).

I've got a couple of "electrical" and plumbing books, but they start at the breaker/bell. If you have a book to answer these miriad of questions, I can run up to the library. Worse case on this is that I go back to plan and wait till I read more. Meanwhile I'll buff up and slim down with the post-hole digger.



I am sure our resident plumber or past well driller might have the answers and pick up and enlighten both of us.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: well line, trench, and electric
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2008, 06:29:02 PM »
Pex can be buried without protection if necessary, but cannot be exposed to UV.  I use pvc for all my cold water runs and have no aversion to growing large cancerous growths ... I don't see anybody else with any either.

Looks John covered most of the rest pretty well.
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Offline MarkAndDebbie

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Re: well line, trench, and electric
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2008, 04:38:14 AM »
Mine water line adn electric line were ran through a 4" corrogated conduit to protect each.  If a leak or short occurs then I pull whichever and replace without digging a 250' trench again

This sounds like a good idea. This way I could pull both through later (after I learn some more). I assume 4" corrugated conduit is something different from the black landscaping drainpipe?

For the machine I am leaning toward the mini excavator type - no loader bucket, but I can dig bigger holes for the sonotubes.



Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: well line, trench, and electric
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2008, 05:38:38 AM »
MarkAndDebbie the only problem with digging for your sono-tubes with a excavator bucket is that you loose the support of the gound around your tube.  Another is that unless you are really skilled in their use you will not be able to bottom out your hole without creating a large ditch.

In town they rent a "skid steer" which has multiple attachments. A backhoe bucket, auger and of course the front loader bucket.  I think it rents for about $175 for 8 hours.  That ideally would do most of what you want to do. Might check around.

As for the pipe I got non-perforated.  There is a trick to pulling well pipe through it though.  Sometimes it goes fairly easy but sometimes it catches on the raised surface occassionally.  You can heat the end some and blunt the edges.  You can also get the Schedule 15 ( I think) 4" smooth wall in 10' joints which is about the same price but allows easy insertion.  If you do decide to go this route do not tape the electric wire to the pipe or it will defeat your purpose and not allow for independent repair. you can tape the wire to the end of the pipe to pull both through intially but leave them independent on the final installation.

Lay out all of conduit, make a plug out of a piece of foam, or even a knotted rag, tie the plug to a spool of fishing line or light string. Stick the plug in one end and stick the business end of a shop vac in the other. As long as you have no water inside your conduit it will take a couple of seconds to suck the plug all the way down the conduit.