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Flow Testing A Well

This method will work for any well, but caution should be exercised with any well that runs out of water completely, and after a period of time, regains pressure. If that happens to be your case, log as much information as you can during the process, and then phone us. This is not a situation that can be easily dealt with via email, or on our website. In any case, doing a flow test halfway is of no value. If you are going to do this, do it when you have plenty of time, and can shut down the water system after the test to let the well recover before putting it back into service.

Wells must be flow tested off the boiler drain/hose fitting located directly on the water tank. Using an outside faucet, etc., will take longer, and distort the readings. The higher volume the well, the more this is true! Attach the shortest and biggest garden hose you can to the water tank, and run the hose to where it can run for a while without creating a mess. You will need a 5 gallon bucket as well. I strongly suggest that you take the bucket, and use a gallon milk jug to get 5 gallons in it for accuracy. Then mark this line on top of the bucket with a Sharpie for testing purposes. Just ˝ an inch difference on a 5 gallon bucket will distort the readings.

Open the boiler drain wide open, and after @ 3 minutes, run the hose into the bucket, and time it to reach the 5 gallon mark. Accuracy here is quite important. It would be nice to log this as to time of day, and the # of seconds it took to get the 5 gallons. You will need to continue this process until you have gotten the same reading, in seconds, for at least 30 minutes, but 45 mins. to an hour would be better! In other words, the time it took to fill the bucket kept getting longer. After a certain time period, the time became constant. You need the time to become constant for that 45 mins./hour to get an accurate reading. Once this has happened, that will give you the flow rate for the well.

The formula for getting gallons per minute out of this is 60 divided by the # of seconds to fill the bucket, and then multiply this # by 5.

Example 1; 60 divided by 30 = 2. 2 x 5=10 gpm.
Example 2; 60 divided by 45=1.333. 1.333 x 5= 6.666, and so on.

This formula will work in all cases, even if the fill time is over 60seconds.

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