Homemade Water Well Drill

When you need to dig a well, it may be quite expensive to hire a professional to do that for you.

Select a Site for Your Well

A way around this expense would be to drill your own water well. It does take some time and effort, but the end result will be worth the effort.

Finding a site for your well is the important first step, as you should dig in a place where a source of water is guaranteed. You can find information on this from your city or county office, which will have geological data as well as logs of other wells dug in the area. Perhaps you can do this with a divining rod or hire someone to do it for you. Know the composition of the ground to avoid digging through granite, and also choose a site away from runoff, animal pens and other possible contaminants.

Dig a Hole

Dig a hole about 5 feet deep in the location you've chosen. Fill it with water and let it sit for a day or two. This will soften the soil, which will make digging easier.

Start Drilling

Insert a drivepoint into the ground and make sure it's level. A drivepoint is, according to Fred Dungan, a "hollow, conically shaped metal point adjoined to a fine mesh screen" which is available at a well supply store. Once you have determined it is level, drive the galvanized pipe into the ground by striking its cap squarely with a wooden mallet or a sledgehammer. If you hit rock before you've gone very far, pull the pipe out--with two hydraulic car jacks if necessary--and start again.

Add More Pipe

When you reach the point when you need to add more pipe, make sure you cover the threads of both pipes with Teflon tape, This helps ensure a good seal.

Hitting Water

When you think you have hit the aquifer, drop a stone into the pipe that's tied with a string. If the rock comes back wet, you've hit water. If not, keep adding pipe. If you are successful, come back the next day and test to make sure the stone comes back wet when you test again. If the stone's still wet, drive the pipe in 2 more feet. Doing so alleviates the risk of fluctuations in the water table and drought.

About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.