How to drill a shallow well by hand

How to drill a shallow well by hand


welcome to Brad’s project number 33 or
133 or something I’m fixing to drill my own well by hand and the reason I’m
doing this is the town I live in charges more for sewage than they charge for
water so if you water your flowers or wash your car or hose your driveway off
they charge you a crazy amount of sewage even though you’re not using the sewage
so I’ve been researching a lot of methods over the years of getting water
shallow well and here’s what I’ve come up with to be the best way for me to
access water this is a fencepost auger it’s 8 inches it adjusts from 6 to 8
inches it’s made by a company called Seymour and I’ve got 5 4-foot extensions
here and the 4-foot that’s on there that should get me down 25 feet when I got
some callers there too and if I don’t reach water in 25 feet I don’t know what
I’m going to do I’m gonna have to move try another hole somewhere else because
the pump the pitcher pump I have will only pull water up from about 22 feet
max so I’ve already started it here I’m down about a foot I just wanted to try
it out I did that yesterday but today I got all my extensions and fix him give a
shot this may be a long video it’s a lot of work and I’ve got to put a casing in
and pea gravel and more pipe and foot valves and I bought a pitcher pump for
20 bucks that needs the leathers replaced and a rebuild kits about 11
bucks from laymen’s so I’ll have to order that so it’s probably going to be
a maybe a 2-part for a 3-part anyway
that’s uh that’s today’s project see you okay I don’t want to jinx myself but uh
I’m officially down four feet and uh god it’s only taken me ten minutes to go
that far I’m going to add an extension and go
another four feet that’s what I get out of here so far I’ve got plenty of holes
I can use that dirty M god it is he’ll be in fact an old alright I put another
extension on and see if I can get another another four foot down there
okay it’s right at eight foot in about 45
minutes it’s starting to get really hard now got to put another four foot
extension on there keep going I’m a little hesitant to go dump this
dirt because if I don’t hit water I’m gonna have to have something to fill
this hole in otherwise all my dog will go up missing we’re a kid okay I’m gonna
take a break and put an extension on and get back to digging all right I got a
next section on and guess what as I was a I don’t know if you can see there I
don’t know he couldn’t see the reflection the last shovelful I took out
his water started seeping in so I’m assuming I’m at the top of the water
table which is good it was a 8 foot down I think I’m gonna go down another eight
foot see what happens and if the water replaces itself quick enough all I just
have me a 16 17 foot well oh okay back to work well I’ve gone down about
another foot and a half and but please don’t drop your phone my god that would
be terrible and it’s getting harder and harder to get a full shovel full up this
is what I’m pulling out it’s a sandy mud muddy sand and as I’m drawing this thing
up the largest portion of it has fallen back down the hall hole so uh I don’t
know what I’m going to do I may have to make some kind of bucket and
well I was sitting here catching my breath and my wife yelled out the door
that she wanted me to knock off clean up and come take her to eat Mexican food
and of course me being the man of the house I said I’m right in the middle of
something and I’ll take you to eat Mexican food
when I’m good and ready so it turns out I’m good and ready
so looks like I’ll be Mexican food here in a few minutes anyway
hasta manana man it’s another day where do I start last night we had torrential
absolutely torrential rains tornadoes touched down all around us I don’t even
know how many inches we had well I had gotten this hole down to about eleven
and a half foot not quite 12 foot I covered it up with this laid the
wheelbarrow over the top of it and then the rains came and let me show you
what’s happened here and I don’t know what to do it has completely filled up
and washed a huge cavity about two feet down below the surface of where I am the
rainwater has washed a gigantic cavity out from underneath this initial hole
here and I got I’m just scratching my head wondering I you know I’ve bailed
I’ve got this bucket here I bailed and bailed and bailed and I’m not even
making a dent in this it’s about half mud half water and I’ve called a rental
place let’s see how much rent in the trash pump would be that’s a hundred and
three bucks a day option two is to button this up and come back in August
when it’s a driest and try to finish this in August so if I
go ahead and if you see this then I decided not to continue and just wait
till August to dig this out all over again I am at my the limit I set for how
much money I wanted to spend on this and I’m a little over 200 bucks right now
and I rent a trash pump would put me at another hundred dollars 103 I’m not I’m
not sure what I’m going to do I’m going to mess with this a little bit longer I
think what I’m going to do is turn the light on this iPhone and hold my iPhone
down this hole so I can record or at least get a look and see how big that
cavity is down here and may not even I mean you know standing on this may not
even be a good idea of that cavity is big enough well I’m going to shut this
off and turn the phone the light on the phone and hold the phone down that hole
and God help me if I drop this phone down there well I’ve decided to put this project on
hold for a little bit there’s not much I can do unless I rent a trash pump or put
this off until the dry season you know end of July August I’ve got a bunch of
other things I need to get done around here so I can’t afford to waste time on
this well when it should be going quicker I’ve got to get that any Christ
up in the driveway and take some parts of it see if I can’t figure out why I
don’t have any turbo pressure and I still got to make a pad for putting my
firewood down on behind my workshop sold my big-screen TV I need to get my wood
stove in here or the TV was and hooked that up and get the piper in and got a
zillion things I got to get done and I’m getting a little bit overwhelmed being a
truck driver and having a limited amount of time home it’s just you got to get so
much done when you are home and then when you’re on the road all you can do
is think about the things you didn’t get done oh well one day at a time I’m going
to go ahead and put this up if anybody has any suggestions on this well I sure
appreciate whatever input you have already see it well since I can’t finish
digging my well till I find a way to get all that mud out I’ve decided to go
start putting together the casing and the well pipe that will attach to the
pitcher pump and well the first thing I have to do on the casing is to cut a
bunch of slots in this casing in the bottom part of the casing four feet to
allow the water to come into this casing inside this casing will be the smaller
pipe that picks up the water that trickles in through here this is four
inch pipe what I’ll have is an 8 inch hole which will
two inches around it for me to fill in with a pea gravel so here’s what I’ve
done I started at about six inches from the end here I capped the bottom started
at about six inches and went up four feet and I drew lines all the way around
it three and eight inches apart which leaves roughly the same amount of space
in between each 3 and 1/8 inch section right here and here’s what I’ve started
doing every 1/2 inch I’m cutting slots using my sawzall with a hacksaw blade in
it and I’m going to do that in all three sections this section this section all
the way down to the six inch mark here all the way around and that will be
where the water seeps in at the very bottom of the well casing like I said
I’ll have gravel I think I’ll go up since I started finding water at the 8
foot level I think I’ll go up all the way near to the top of this with gravel
and then from there on up to the top of the hole I’ll fill in with dirt so I
still got a good bit of work to do I’ve actually decided to go rent a
thrash pump tonight and I called a rental place and if I rent it you know
just before they close then I have to have it back just before they close the
next day so that’s 24 hours of rental so what I’ll do is rent it get it back here
tonight get it all set up and ready to pump and first thing in the morning get
out here and see if I can’t pump all that mud out of there go down another
4-foot sink this casing fill it up with gravel and get as much as I can done
before I got to bring that pump back it’s about a hour over there to where I
want to rent it this is the problem with living in the middle of nowhere you have
to go so far to get anything done or rent anything or to buy anything but
it’s worth it okay that’s what I got so far see you okay I got all the slots cut
I got my bunk mounted and threaded and I got my collar
on there the collar is going to fit down inside this pipe I’m getting there
I’ve got my foot valves and threaded I don’t have this connected to the PVC
pipe yet because I’m not certain what length I’m going to need so I’m just
getting as much done as they possibly can
ahead of time and I’ve reached the end here so I think I’m fixing to go get my
thrash pump trash pump brother that’s a foot valve if anybody doesn’t know what
that is this is it’s actually goes like this it’s at the bottom of the pickup
pipe this would be near the near the bottom of the casing near this end here
and it’s a one way valve basically it allows water to come up this way that
doesn’t allow the water to go back out of it once you get it in there and the
reason you need that is so you don’t have to constantly prime this pump here
because without water in there there’s not enough suction to pull it whatever
24 22 feet up that pipe without being primed so if you use a foot valve once
you finally get it primed and up to the pump the foot valve doesn’t allow water
to drain back out so you can go away and come back a week later and pump that
handle and water will come out within a few strokes because the water will you
know stay up close to the bottom here okay
nothing uh nothing new when I get that trash pump all I’ll start them all I just couldn’t give up on this I’ve done
so much work to get it down as far as I got it I decided to rent a trash pump
and go ahead working but it’s real slow going all right I am back down to the original
12 foot that I managed to get down to first this thing it’s not easier it’s
just making it doable it was not doable before because the water in the hole
when I would get a bike with a auger get auger for the dirt by the time I got it
through the water and up out of the hole there was nothing left in it so I was
able to suck all the mud out of the hole with this I had to really I had to get
my garden hose and add water and then I took this and just kind of stirred it
all up and took about an hour and I finally got down to the bottom of my
12-foot hole and now I’m taking a few bites with this and then sucking the
water out with that and then going back with the auger it’s time-consuming now
if I get to that top of that handle that’ll be a full 16 foot and I sure do
want to go 20 at least 20 foot or maybe 18 or 19 we’ll see I mean there’s a lot
of water in there so we just had a huge huge rainstorm so that might be you know
I I want this to be able to pull water out of it in the middle of the driest
part of the summer so I’m going to go down as deep as my 51 year old muscles
can pull this thing up out of the ground okay I’m down 16 foot that’s as far as I
can that’s as far as I can go that’s pretty darn far when you’re standing it
up I got my pipe down in there with the slits I cut now I’m going to take the
gravel pea gravel and dump it around the casing from the bottom of the well up to
about the 8 foot level which is where I before the rain that is originally where
I hit the top of the water table so theoretically I’ve got 8 foot of water
down there and when I first started digging this it had been a long long
time since we had rain and we’ve been under drought for quite a long time so
I’m pretty confident I’ll have water even in the driest part of the summer so
all right I won’t start dumping this gravel down there and I’ve got some
place in and I’ve got this watery muddy mixture of clay and mud and sand that
I’ve been pulling out so I think I can fill this cavity that washed out I think
I can use this to fill that cavity in so I’m going to take a little break drink
some water and start pouring that gravel down there okay I got my casing in they
got the gravel in I got the cavity about halfway filled in and way under where I
ran my when I pump this out a whole bunch of mud came out and at the end of
the 50 foot hose is a bunch of more dirt I think I might be able to scrape that
up and fill this in they got my pump ready and I’ll take another break and
then slide that pump down in there and my next video will be of me pulling out
muddy looking water what do they say when they strike oil there it is get you
good better oh yeah chocolate water my plants don’t care
what color it is yeah I’ve got like a whole lot of pumping to make it clear
but uh well if you could just go ahead and pump up some of that Texas tea yippee okay
like they get the hit okay back at the pump I’ve made a form to
pour an apron I have bent some rebar I’ve got it temporarily attached just to
hold it in place using these blocks and a big hose clamp
I made these uh tees here the the concrete I’m going to pour a column up
to about this height right here which will leave these uh tees in the concrete
and I’ll be able to tighten the pump down into the concrete after a oh I
probably give it a week are really getting hard drying and so I’m going to
do this next the pad the apron and I’m thinking late this afternoon it’ll be
dry enough where I can set my other form on it which will is going to be a square
form a bit of a taper a foot square at the bottom and about ten inches square
at the top now pour it right up to about a half inch below this cap here that way
I can undo these nuts and pull this pump off and this pipe just sets down inside
this cap here so if I have to work on it I can pull it all out and put a new foot
valve on it and everything if I have to okay I’m going to get to work mixing
this oh by the way eighty pound bags of a cement they’re lying they’re more like
a hundred and eighty pounds okay there’s the first pouring I want to let that dry
for about 20-30 minutes and come back see if it’s set up enough for me to put
a nice around it edge on the on the top corners and then I’m going to go build
my form for the column I’m going to pour around the casing pipe there and when I
get that built and installed I’ll do another quick clip here’s my form for
the column I’m going to pour around the the casing up to the base of the pump
it’s not pretty but it’s functional and I’m hoping this apron that I’ve poured
will dry and a few hours enough for me to pour this because I’d like to get
this done today because I believe we’re going to have rain this weekend so if I
can if I can get to it all film it and put this video up okay I got my form out
here I removed them blocks of wood that I had in there holding the rebar up and
now I’m fixing to fill this up with concrete using my high-tech concrete
installation tool here this is a paint can did you know they’re making paint
cans out of plastic now anyway I cut it with a knife and I’ll be dumping the
concrete in with that now if this were the government you could call this
concrete installation tool and sell it for 300 bucks alright I’m going to mix
up my first bag concrete and start dumping it in there I’m I’m guessing
three bags two bags exactly and I brought it up a little higher than I
first anticipated on and the reason is this shrunk about a quarter of an inch
so if this does the same that’ll put it at just about exactly where I wanted to
stop with a level of the concrete here okay
tomorrow I’ll pull this form off and that’ll be the end of this video this
this little job here will be complete alright there’s the finished product not
not kind of nice I’m proud of that

100 thoughts on “How to drill a shallow well by hand

  1. when we was younger we had a well on our property that we used for potable water. tasted way better than what the city has. good job taking a project like that on by your self.

  2. What an awesome video! How did you know where to start digging? I am in Florida and have the same B.S. water/sewage billing as you and that is what led me to this video. I hope I do as well as you.

  3. lol.. you mite be the man of the house…. lol…. but she"s the boss …lol great video thanks .

  4. Very nice..what model Seymour Auger was that by the way? Does it come with all those rods or you buy extra as needed?

  5. Nice Job! This isn't a slam or anything but, the concrete you poured kinda looks like a monument to the water company. Ironic LOL

  6. Great video The well head and pump looks sharp. Its been 6 years now how is the well doing ?
    Did it ever dry up ? Do you still use the well ? And if you was to do another well would you change anything? Enjoyed the video Thanks

  7. i love that you finished your well it was a lot of work but well worth it . anyone who gives this poor guy a thumbs down should just go else where and put that thumb where it belongs !!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I would like to see a follow up video to see the water clarity and overall operation a few years later. How did you seal the top of the well pipe between the red pump and the concrete? Was it deep enough? Is the water potable?

  9. Really appreciate this hard working fellow who is doing everything alone. Thanking him for minutely detailing every step very clearly.

  10. I would like to do something like that, but I could only imagine what the city would say if they found out I drilled a well in my back yard. Probably say that I was contaminating the ground water or something like that as the levied a heavy fine.

  11. should of put the pvc pipe down there in the mud then plug up the top end to create a vacuum an pull the pipe back out will pull all the shit out.

  12. Amazing job man! This is inspiring, since I've wanted to drill my own well for some time. I think I'm finally going to do it, but I'm going to try water drilling it before using the bucket auger like you did. It must be very difficult lifting 16ft of pipe plus wet dirt up that hole.

  13. I don't know what part of the country you live in, but a foot valve to keep the water up at the pump here in Missouri, would lead to freezing up and breaking of the pipe.

  14. you could get a plactic pipe a little bigger than your auger! set it down in there a foot taller than the depth ot this hole. then you can fill the hole. come back later and drill down thu the plastic pipe! then you wound be deeper with the inside of this plpe!..be sure and seal the top water proof!

  15. Congratulations!
    You are an intrepid man!
    "I don know what I'm gonna do if I don't find water at 25 feet"
    ¡Excellent!
    "The world is not done by those that stay there just to rest" JFK.

  16. Thumbs up! I admire your drive, energy, a well thought out plan and especially after all that effort, instead of just pouring a functional pad, you took time to give it some aesthetic appeal.

  17. In my town is is illegal to have a private well. It's not because of money. It is because the groundwater is not safe to drink. The city sewers and rain sewers leak. You get anything that runs into the catch basins on the street or leaks out of the sanitary sewers.

  18. It is hell being fat lol i love watching something that is funny and useful when im on my 10 hour break ps driver the problem with ur truck is its a Volvo just kidding i love the video

  19. Top Work Big Man – Top Work !! — Spit my coffee through my nose when the Missus said – " WELL IF YA CAN JUST GO AHEAD AND PUMP UP SOME OF THAT TEXAS TEA "

  20. I am in a small city and about 20 years ago I inquired about this very thing but was told it was illegal to have one as the city wants to sell us water a charge us even more for sewage going by the water meter no matter how much I use on the yard. When you have a project and need a inspector they will check your whole property if they like for illegal stuff. So to avoid the headache I just cut back on summer water yard use. So no more garden and spend the money on store vegies instead of sewer bill. However I do like your well.

  21. Great job but I noticed something that could be a problem later. You poured the concrete for the column to the top of the cap for the casing. If you have to do anything that requires pulling that cap off as you suggested, you’ll have to bust up some of that concrete.

  22. Great job—and I'll bet that water has cleared up in the last 16 years! I picked up a 'Shallow Well Pump' from Harbor Fright today for my 13 foot deep hand dug well. These shallow well pumps (all of them are the same) will draw water from wells less than 20-25 feet deep. They are 120v AC but you could likely set up a couple of solar panels/inverters to beat the power company. This is my third Shallow Well Pump in 16 years—they last quite a while if you drain them before the first freeze. Usually around $160 now in 2019.

  23. So why would you not show puting an extinction on ? Or digging the whole ? Putting the gravel in ? Only thing we saw you do was pumping the water .🙄

  24. Check out a Rhino PD55 compressed air post driver with a 70 cfm air compressor. Worked well for me in sandy soil (no pun intended).

  25. Thinking once the water table was reached, hand drive the pipe the rest of the way with a post driver?

  26. Sir it's people like you that have made America the greatest nation on the face of the Earth…not afraid of hard work and wanting to do something for yourself. I applaud you…thank you for your tenacity and the video.

  27. Man don't u got some kids around there?? 12 yr old boy s love 20$ bills every time u add an extension give them each a twenty .. they will be doing ring around the Rosie all Damm day and they learnt how to dig a well

  28. Nice job. Lots of ways to dig a shall well. It’s an art not a science and this artist has done his part to diversify the form. Beautiful.

  29. Not trying to be a troll on here. And I'll say that I have no experience drilling any kind of well. But I do know personally know a couple hundred people by name that make the living workin in the oil field. By what I'm getting at is. Everything ive heard you put the casing down the hole as you dig the hole. Basicly you dig your hole down through the casing. Digging the well in this manner the earth does not settle ,and collapse in on its self. And let me add this. "Hind Sight is Always 20/20"and the same thing holds true if your on the outside looking in. Everybody is and expert on the situation. Untill they get their hands on it. And their left to make the decisions. Then all of a sudden they aren't quite the expert they thought they were. Or they just got hit in the head really hard and forgot every thing they use to know. And in that case they need to go to the hospital and get help. This is just my thoughts on the deal. But anyways dude it looks you got it done. Great effort great job. You seem to be a very hard worker as well as a very savie business/financial man. Have you ever considered a job or a career in a field that you could apply your money and business skills?il I think I'm gonna go try to dig a water well of my very own right now. If I do I'll let you know how that goes.

  30. Amen I hear you, the area that I live also charges more for the sewer than the water and every gal. of water that you use a sewer charge is added…

  31. They say us Truck Driivers have a strong back, and weak mind. Thank you for proving them wrong. Great video, thank you , enjoyed watching your problems, and fixes ( trash pump ) Great Job. Owner Operator myself, if I’m not driving, I’m clicking wrenches. With that said, WOULDNT trade it for anything. Enjoy being my own boss. Not thrilled about Container Work, Peabody Mass to Elizabeth N.J. every night, DONT mind the 4 and a 1/2 hours each way, it’s EVERYONE with their hand out (50) bucks gets me in and out in 2 hrs vs 7/8. Thank you again Sir for taking the time for us Rookies out here. God Bless, Matt & Julie

  32. good job on the pump! with the bolts set in concrete you cant twist the pump off the pipe? updates? still working?

  33. Dude that is awesome, I had my well cleaned yesterday because I was plugging up filters. They got bailer stuck and and my well collapsed and pump wouldn't go back in. No water until I get a new well as punched could be 3 weeks, presently back feeding my house from neighbors hose to my outside connect.

  34. Why didn't you video you actually digging the hole? 8ft, I can't see you doing this by hand at that depth.

  35. Great work!! Suggestion cover the top inlet casing to prevent insects, mice, leaves, et cetera from polluting your well.

  36. I have a question, why not an electric pump? I know electricity cost a bit but you can't pump into water hose and water around yard.

  37. I HOPE this well is just for irrigating ……the depth you are at is basically rain water or seepage water that has not been filtered yet . It will be full of bacteria and can really harm you if you consume it. Clorox will not work to treat it due to the fact it will constantly be refilled with bacteria filled rain water. The bacteria comes from the ground surface. Which is why a drilled well is much deeper and through many layers of chalks, sands, rocks, clay's , and shells. By the time rain water reaches 100ft which usually takes 70 yrs. in most places the water is purified by traveling through these layers and becomes drinkable fresh water full of minerals ! I do applaud your effort !

  38. Trust a woman to stop your project just as you were getting into your momentum with Adrenalin flowing from excitement at hitting water…and wouldn’t you know it….first rain comes that night and really friggs it up. Go Figure.

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