Rick From California
Rick bought the plans and DVD and built the whole kit from scratch; he drilled his own well in this very small backyard. He sent me some comments after the well was finished that deserve to be quoted here:
"I wanted to write you a short note now that I have almost finished the well. I really appreciate all of the help you gave me during the process. You really are to be commended for coming up with such a clever system.
I did a few things differently than in your plans, and realized most of them were a mistake. Here are some thoughts I had now that the well is finished.
First, don't even think about trying to drill without a water recirculation system. My backyard is only about 10' wide and is covered with brick except for the 12" near the fence. I thought I would simply use the garden hose to provide water to drill. This was a big mistake, and if one can afford to use a garden hose to drill, then one doesn't need a well. Since I couldn't make a recirculation system like yours (no room), I ended up sending the waste first into a trash can, which overflowed into a rubbermade chest, which sent it down a pvc pipe to the hole. Unfortunately the photos of this recirculation system did not turn out, although it worked fairly well given the tight space.
Second, after pulling the drill out of the hole, always put the bit higher than the drill and turn it on a bit, to get the water out. My drilling took me several days, and when I would pull out the drill and turn off the air, water in the pipe would run down into the motor. I found the easiest way to avoid this was to pull it out when it was jammed (which happened often) without turning off the air (since the bit was not turning). But if it wasn't jammed, I would turn it off briefly, get the drill higher than the tube, and then blow the water out. Until I did this I would have to take the motor apart after taking it out.
Third, it is a waste of time to start over in a new spot when one hits rock. I tried this several times, and always hit rock. I wasted a couple of days this way.
... I looked around on the internet and this seems to be the only system that uses the pipe as an exhaust; others use the pipe to feed fluid to the drill. I think this worked really well and am impressed at your ingenuity. When I wasn't drilling through rock it could go really fast, and it wasn't that slow even when I hit rock (although it seemed slow). I drilled mostly through clay or gravel (or rock) and the standard bit seemed to work fairly well. My friends are amazed this worked, and I can see how one could easily go deeper.
Thanks again for all your help and especially for figuring all this out. The plans were well worth the money.