Specialty installations are ones that we either don’t encounter often, or aren’t configured the same way as a traditional well and water system. These are some of the unusual systems we’ve worked with in the past, but if you have something else in mind, give us a call – we may be able to help you out.
Every now and again we get a call from someone who wants to go “off the grid,” or to have a backup plan in case there’s no electricity. For example, a bicycle could be a manual backup to a car. So it might seem that a hand pump would work as a backup for an electric pump.
Mark, our sales and service manager, advises folks thinking about a hand pump that it’s the best workout program you could ever ask for. In the city of Hailey near East Fork road, Ritzau Park has a hand pump available for the public to use. The well is only 20 feet deep, so you can get a feel for a “best case” scenario for a hand pump.
In a best-case situation, it takes about ten minutes to get one gallon of water from a hand pump on a shallow well. If you are looking to install a hand pump in the Magic Valley, it gets even worse. With wells going as deep as 400 feet, the weight of the water is often too heavy for the pump.
If you have the chance, try the hand pump in Hailey to get a feel for the amount of work it takes to get water. If you’re still interested, we can find an appropriate pump to install with our top-quality service.
Solar energy has been used for several years to power pumps, especially in remote areas. A solar pumping system generates electricity from solar panels and may store that energy in batteries. The electricity then powers a pump, which pulls water up from the well.
In recent years, solar and pumping technology has improved dramatically. Older, less efficient solar panels could only drive a low-end pump at a slow rate. It might be enough to fill a tank or two over the course of an afternoon, but it would be difficult to run a home with such a low flow. This kind of installation might be good for watering livestock though, as the pump can be set to run by itself, and the overflow can be piped downhill to another tank.
More recently, however, pump manufacturers have put a lot of research into using more efficient solar panels and lower-enegery pumps to push more water. These pumps perform more like a standard water well pump, producing enough pressure and flow to run a household. One advantage to this kind of pump is that it doesn’t take manual work like a hand pump, but can still operate “off the grid.” Another advantage is that you can get water without running a generator, but with sunny conditions found often in Idaho.
For more information about solar pumps, you can either call us or send us an email. We can tell you about the types of systems available, the intended usage of your pump, and what kind of price you’d be looking at for installation.
Another type of installation we don’t see very often, but we’re happy to install if you’d like. A sump pump takes water from a standing pool and moves it somewhere else. That could be a basement sump, in case your basement tends to flood (although we don’t install these). Typically, an irrigation sump rests in a ditch or standing pool of water, and pumps the water out through sprinklers for irrigation. If you have questions about these types of pumps, give us a call.
UV Disinfection, Chlorine Pumps
If your well or water system has come back with a positive Bac-T sample, you have a couple options. The first thing we try is a one-time chlorination of the well. If that doesn’t clean it up, then you’ll probably need to install a more permanent disinfection solution.
A UV disinfection system pumps water through a length of clear plastic pipe. Next to the clear pipe is a UV light. The light shines through the pipe and the water, and kills any bacteria inside. We don’t find a big market for these, but we are fully capable to install and service UV disinfection systems. If you need to install one of these, you need to remember to change out the UV bulb once every year.
A chlorine pump is pretty much everything it sounds like. A small pump is attached to your water system, and it njects small amounts of chlorine into the water as you use it. The chlorine works like it does in a swimming pool, killing any bacteria in the water.
Reverse osmosis systems are a bit more complicated, and we don’t typically work with those. An RO system will usually be installed inside your home, with a filter you need to change periodically. Since it’s part of the home plumbing, our licensing doesn’t cover us working on them. If you need a recommendation though, we know several dealers in the area.