grout type change for new vertical loop

Discussion in 'Quotes and Proposals' started by dawei, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    David,
    Reality check.
    I (and I suspect I'm not alone) am very concerned that you are headed for trouble with an ignorant installer.
    One of the reasons you continue to ask questions here is his inability to answer them for you. Yet you proceed.
    You say it's too late, but I fear you may look back and say "boy if I'd bailed then it only would have cost me that much."
    While I'm usually not a huge fan of a third party designer, perhaps you can find a local ME or perhaps the regional equipment supplier has an expert on hand to help.
    Maybe this guy is fine.
    Maybe this guy has been filling wells with gravel for years and local code doesn't prohibit it and high water tables make them work.
    Maybe there is no way to get the loops to your house underground.
    Maybe you are worried about nothing.

    You may have information you haven't shared with us that makes this a better idea than it sounds.

    Start getting answers to the troubleshooters checklist now. It will give us a better idea if your guy might know what he's doing.

    Good Luck,
    Joe
     
  2. Verdae

    Verdae Member

    The use of pea gravel to fill up a well is not grouting it. However if your well is in rock and it is filled with water, using pea gravel that is clean can be part of a proper design. In the area where I work individual domestic water wells are common and these water wells generally transverse multiple water veins so grouting the well to prevent mixing in a geo well is somewhat pointless. However it still needs to be grouted to prevent ground water from entering. Based on what you are saying I would suspect that your contractor is unable to provide a proper seal.
    Yes the IGSHPA guidlines call for grouting from the bottom of the well, but these standards are made for all conditions and work under all conditions. Variations from these standards are acceptable when the contractor understands what he is doing and is following all State requirements. I have used a well driller who is VERY experianced and was the president of our states well drillers association and he is the one who demonstrated to me how to use pea gravel to increase the performance of the vertical well without causing a problem with ground water entering the well. However this should not be done by contractors who are not experienced with all types of wells and who are competent. As always safely varying from standards requires knoweldge and experience.
     
  3. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I am the president of the local bareley pop association. Does that infer that I am a better ruffian? States that do not require grout are states that have the current luxery of not dealing with ground water contamination issues. I have heard every argument both pro and con for grouting or not grouting and I refuse to drink the cool-aid in any form. Arguments for not grouting are just excuses for not being proper stewards of the enviroment. Excuses for not buying grout or the required eqipment or the investment in education. It is a very selfish view.
    For all those who think not grouting is ok, consider this. You have a domestic water well on property in a deep aquifer. You have a vertical loop field that is "enhanced with pea gravel". Your neibor who just happens to live up groundwater flow from you gets drunk prior to moving his overloaded trailer full of ag chemicals, and it spills:eek:. How are you going to feel about letting your granchildren drink out of your domestic well after that? How about your brother in law does the spilling and on your property and the contaminent goes down stream to your neihbors grandchildren?
    Eric
     
  4. Verdae

    Verdae Member

    New York State, where I am located, does have very good rules about protecting the well from ground water intrusion. However using pea gravel in most of the well and topping it off in a manner that seals the well head, as defined by the State, does just as effective a job at sealing the well from surface contamination as the grout or the cased water well.
    I believe in environmental stewardship and agree that proceedures should be followed that give a high likely hood of protecting the drinking water supply, and yes I have a well for my drinking water, it also provides my ground connection for my geo. This is known as a standing column well. I do not have a heat exchanger because even if the coaxial coil broke and the refrigerant and POE oil entered the well, an unlikely occurance, it is not hazardous and easy to clean up. According to HasMat POE oil is less hazardous than cod liver oil or vegetable oil, and the refrigerant dissipates with out any residue.
    I agree that following IGSHPA standards properly, assures ground water protection, but what about all the grout that looks more like drilling mud than thick snot? I have had enhanced grout installed that had the sand separate due to the thinness of the grout. I took handfuls of the sand that was left on the edge of the well hole and dropped them into the grout and they sank into the grout and disappeared. The driller said he mixed the grout to directions and called me nuts. I do not allow this driller to work on my projects anymore, but he does lots of them.
     
  5. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Good stewardship of our water is never bad.
    That said on an international forum where many municipalities have many sets of standards, I am reluctant to tell somebody their driller doesn't know what they are doing without an understanding of local practices.
    j
     
  6. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Regardless of location, not grouting is poor stewardship. The example used in that the surface casing is either set with drive shoe and or cemented in place does not address the issue of frequency.
    We all strive to mitigate or limit exposure to risk. In the case of drinking water wells the bore has to produce, so the above achieves the maximum in mitigation. With multiple bore holes to contend with that do not have to yield water, grouting them shut is the way we reduce or mitigate risk.
    IGSHPA who looked to" the ground water trust" for guidance in setting standards for geo loops adopted their idea of mitigating or eliminating risk, by grouting the entire bore.
    If poor results were gotten by any given driller in terms of grouting, that just showed or demonstrated a need for con-ed or onsite instruction from a product rep to get the desired result, sand suspended in bentonite.
    That is good stewardship.
    This post is to educate, not belittle or pick at anyone.
    Eric
     
  7. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Eric,
    I think we agree on stewardship, I'm simply saying if local laws permit gravel in the hole with a cork at the top, we may object to the practice but it still may be legal and typical in a given area.
    We also disagree with local codes that suggest vertical loops are dangerous to the aquifer (grout or not) and not permited.

    Codes and laws are often rooted in prejudice and ignorance, but still have to be obeyed until legislators are better educated. We still have one on our books that won't let a warm air plenum closer than 1" from the floor joists overhead yet the exhaust pipe is 0 clearence as it exits the bond.:confused:

    J
     
  8. waterpirate

    waterpirate Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Joe,
    I agree that code is often far behind, or far rediculous depending. My issue was the defense of stewardship being defined as absolute given the driller was a past president. That point does little to support code or stewardship and legal or code is not equal to stewardship and best practices.
    Eric
     
  9. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    agreed and well said
     

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