What Does Flow Rate Mean For A Well Pump?

February 14, 2023

How Flow Is Determined

The flow of water from the well depends on many factors including the strength and capacity of the well pump, as well as how deep the well is drilled into the ground. It is also affected by the quantity of water that resides within the aquifer beneath the well bore. Flow is typically determined by using an actual test of the well’s performance. This is done by timing the pump cycle of the well and counting how many gallons are drawn down from the pressure tank during this time. The flow rate is then compared to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements for older wells, as well as the amount of water that a new home or construction must have to pass inspections. Another method to determine the flow rate of a well is to use a test called a “pressure tank draw down.” This method uses a standard well with a pressure switch that turns on the pump at one pressure and off at a higher pressure. Counting the gallons “drawn down” from the pressure tank, and then the time it takes for the pump to build back up to the pressure that is between the cut-in and cut-out of the switch, allows the well professional to determine the well’s flow rate in gallons per minute.

The Flow Of Water From The Well

The Flow, or water coming from the well, is a critical measure to understand when evaluating a well’s performance. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute and refers to the amount of water that an entire well system can deliver to a household. This is an important factor for homeowners, as the average American household needs 100 to 120 gallons of water per day. A well that cannot provide adequate water to a household may require a well pump repair or replacement.

The Flow Of Water Into The Well

Once a well is drilled down into the ground, a series of passages or rock fissures are created at various depths in relation to the well bore itself. Each of these rock fissures or passages has a specific flow rate. These flows are grouped together to form the total well flow rate. The total well flow rate can vary a great deal over a brief period of time, due to the fact that different water passages in the aquifer are at different depths and thus have varying rates of flow. For example, one of the rock fissures may have a rate of 7 gallons per minute for 20 minutes, then diminish to 2 gpm for a longer or even indefinite interval.

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