Well Drilling & Pumping
We are aware of and operate by all of North Carolina’s regulations for where a well should be located (as well as which locations should be avoided!). We have several methods for drilling your well and take all of your property’s conditions and needs into consideration when choosing the best method for setting up your well.
Methods for Drilling Wells
Rotary drilling involves releasing a water-based drilling fluid such as bentonite clay slurry to keep the hole open. High-pressure compressed air in a rotating bit makes drilling easier while pumping out drill cuttings. A driller will change drill bit sizes as it works for the strata formations (from softer to harder layers). This method can reach up to 1,000 feet, creating holes up to 24 inches. While this method can work faster than many other drill methods through most materials, rotary drills can have trouble drilling through boulder formations.
Drill by High-Pressure Water Jet
High-pressure water jets use the same tools as rotary drilling, without the drill bits — the water drills the hole and pulls out the drilled material. While this method can be done quickly, wells can only be up to 50 feet deep and the drill water needs to be treated to prevent it from contaminating the aquifer.
Percussion Cable Drilling
The final method for drilling a well is with percussion cables, which work like pile-drivers, with a bit moving up and down on a cable to pulverize the ground. Water is also used in this method to clear the area, but it is added manually from the top, not from the drill bit, as in the rotary method. Percussion cables can reach the same depths as rotary drills but are a bit slower and more expensive to operate. Their benefit is that they can successfully drill through denser materials than rotary bits.
A well pump system pulls water from an underground well and delivers it to a storage tank. The majority of pumps are electric and use suction to pull water through the pipes. While there is a type of water well pump for almost any requirement, most pumps fall into one of two major categories: jet pumps and submersible pumps. The difference between the two main pump types? The jet pump pulls water up from the well while the submersible pump pushes water upward from in the water.
What it comes down to in choosing which type of pump is the depth of your well. For the deepest wells, a submersible pump system is used. The submersible pump system is the most popular system as it can be used in shallow wells, but can also extract water from up to 400 feet deep. A submersible pump uses a pressure tank to pull water from a pipe into the home. A submersible pump is completely submerged in water and pushes the water upward to the home, rather than using suction, as a jet pump does. The submersible pump generally requires less maintenance than a jet pump because it stays fully submerged in water and is never in danger of losing its prime. It also manages to pull more water into a home than a jet pump, even with a comparably sized motor. However, if a submersible system starts having problems, the entire unit may need to be pulled from the well casing. Thankfully, submersible wells are known for their reliability and can often function for up to 25 years before they are in need of service.
If you have a shallow well system, you could also consider a jet pump system. Jet pumps are mounted above wells and draw water up with suction. Wells only up to 25 feet deep are best suited for a single drop jet-pump system. One-way check valves help keep pumps primed, and the pump sits above the ground, pulling water through an inlet pipe. The mechanics are straight-forward and require less maintenance, making this a budget-friendly pump system option. The height that the water can be lifted depends on the weight of the air. Even though air pressure varies with elevation, jet-pump-operated shallow wells are often limited to 25 feet. Jet pumps create pressure through an impeller — a centrifugal pump. The impeller moves water (drive water) through a jet mounted on the housing in front of the impeller. As the water leaves the jet, a vacuum sucks more water from the well. The additional pumped water combines with the drive water and discharges into the home at high pressure. Since the process of drawing water with shallow well jet pumps uses water, the pumps need to be filled with water to work.
For wells deeper than 25 feet and up to 110 feet deep, a double drop jet pump system can be used. The double drop system requires two pipes: one to draw water from the well and the other to push water upward. This system requires a foot valve to prime the pipe and also separates the jet from the impeller housing, putting it down in the water. The impeller pushes water down into the jet’s body while the jet brings water up to the pump. Suction at the jet brings water into the system as well as the pressure from the impeller to pull water from the well into the home. Our technicians can help you determine the best system for your budget and your home’s needs.