broken pump at bottom of well shaft

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by fleemanc, May 5, 2009.

  1. fleemanc

    fleemanc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Does anyone have any tricks/ideas on how to remove half of a submersible well pump from the bottom of a metal (4-5") well shaft?

    No, I didn't do this myself...
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A bit more info would help!!

    What do you mean half a submersible pump? Did the motor fall off the wet end or did the pump fall off the drop pipe etc. etc.? Did someone cut the thing in half vertically or what... half a submersible pump....
  3. fleemanc

    fleemanc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    the pump broke in half horizontally - the top half of the pump, attached to the drop pipe (I guess that's what you call the pipe which goes from the pump up to the junction with the pipe which goes into the basement and thus the pressure tank) is still attached to that pipe and is out of the well. The bottom half of the pump fell to the bottom of the well.

    Sorry, I'm not a plumber nor am I particularly well versed in well lingo, so I'm doing my best here.

    Thanks!
  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    OK then, you have the wet end and need a new motor. That's if the wet end has the holes for the 4 bolt studs that come out of the motor and go through the holes in the wet end flange/bracket to put nuts on them. I'm assuming the nuts came off and the motor fell off, breaking the power cable to the motor pigtails. Maybe the wet end shaft end is chewed up too.

    I'm telling you all this because the only way to fish the motor would be to get hold of the pigtail wires and I don't think you'll pull the motor out with just the 2-4 of them without them breaking them because pulling on them will bind the motor into the casing/rock of the well and hang it up as it comes up.

    You might as well replace the whole pump with the same gpm and hp that you had.

    You could tell us what has been done so far to get it out if anything. AND, unless the motor simply fell off, you could tell us how this happened and who did it.
  5. fleemanc

    fleemanc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    First, my intention: I wanted to figure out if there was a way to remove the half of the well pump (motor and whatever else may be attached to it at this point) from the well so that a whole new pump and pipes can be installed WITHOUT having to drill a new well. Apparently new well pumps cannot be placed into existing wells in which old pump parts are at the bottom of the well. This does make some degree of sense to me.

    As to what has happened to this point, I was hoping to avoid that very long and convoluted story, so could I just give you the Cliff's Notes version?

    Our 20 year old pressure tank failed (bladder failed), so we hired a reputable well guy to replace the tank. Well guy found problems from the last tank install and needed pull the pump. Pump broke in half (I don't know the details - I wasn't present for the work) while it was being pulled out of the shaft and now the bottom half of the pump is at the bottom of the well shaft. What is out of the shaft is the top half (about 8 inches?) of the pump along with over 100' of wire and pipe. Apparently well guy tried to remove the broken piece from down in the well using some sort of corkscrew shaped device, but no luck.

    That is pretty much the extent of my knowledge on the events leading up to this point.

    Thanks!
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Is there some code in your area about this? I know of wells that have several old pumps stuck down hole. As long as there is enough well depth and standing water, you just cut the pipe off a few feet and set the new pump just above the old one.
  7. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    Depending on what type well you have, the motor can be left in there.
    If you have a screened well.
    It can be a straight wall well or a two string.

    A straight wall well will have the screen attached to the casing at the bottom.

    A two string well will have the screen dropped out the bottom of the casing with a piece of liner pipe going up in the the casing with a seal.

    If you have a straight wall, the motor can be left in the well.
    If you have a rock bored well, it can be left in there.

    If you have a two string, then it has to come out. The motor will set on the liner pipe stopping the flow of water into the well.


    Getting a motor out is a very tricky job. It can be done. The well guy that dropped it, (IMO) is not the one you want to call back.
    It takes a custom built tool to get a motor out.


    Travis
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    And if it is a rock bore well, the motor may be stuck anywhere below the bottom end of the casing.

    A picture of the wet end they brought up would be very helpful.

    If the bracket that the bolt studs go through to hold the motor onto the wet end broke, you'd have to be extremely lucky to fish the motor out but, it may be able to be pushed down, and below the depth the pump was set at. Then you don't need a new well. We don't have the whole story but because he fished for awhile and then suggests a new well.... he sounds like a guy that keeps his prospective customers in the dark and suggests a new well instead of getting creative and fixing what's wrong.

    IMO, if this guy broke the motor brackets, he has some responsibility in making things right. If the nuts came off the studs, he doesn't. He obviously broke the power cable, splices or motor pig tails when it got too tight instead of stopping and discussing with you the potential problems if he continued. But then if the pump was on galvanized drop pipe, he couldn't tell things were going to break unless his machine was straining and he noticed it.

    Years ago a pump manufacturer used a material for their motor bracket that would corrode and that severely weakened the bracket. A picture would help.

    I'd like to know why he had to pull the pump when there was supposedly something wrong with the pressure tank you called him to replace. Did you mistakenly think the tank was bad and it was the pump or cable or drop piipe instead?
  9. Babypickles

    Babypickles New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Thank you

    Yesterday afternoon we lost all water to our house. My husband immediately thought that it was the points on our water pump, so we went to town and bought the stuff to replace them. When he got them installed we still did not have any water. After messing around with it for a few more minutes all of a sudden the wires came loose and went down through the hole into the well. After a few minutes of screaming and throwing a fit, I finally got the picture that something bad had just happened. Eventually, we (along with some friends at this point) took the cover off the well and (we have a deep well by the way) and we pulled up this very long pvc pipe, I think it was 45 feet long by the time we got it out. We were all shocked there was no pump on the end of it. It was just a long pipe and then NOTHING! How the heck does that happen? I still do not have a clue! This well is six years old and I would have thought it would have lasted longer than this but I must be wrong. I also can't help but wonder if this happens often?
    Anyhow, I stayed in the house away from the chaos and Googled what to do next and I came across this thread. After doing some reading and a bit of research my husabnd decided that instead of calling a professional he could do this himself. We went to town this morning and bought a new deep well pump at Lowes and do you know it actually worked! So for that I thank you so much for this thread and for saving us a ton of money!!
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Glad to be able to help.
  11. justinblake2188

    justinblake2188 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    United states
    Pump in well

    i have a very similar problem!! my ignorant dad was putting in our new well pump (after the old one had burned up because of him and he too lost in the well as well) we just lost a brand new pump in the well is there any way at all possible to get it out?..i think i could have done a better job just flushing my money down the toilet!!:mad:
  12. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Is it a 4" well? How deep is it?

    Is there any pipe still attached to the pump? If so, what type of pipe is it? (galvanized, PVC, etc)

    Did any length of pump wire fall down with it?
  13. justinblake2188

    justinblake2188 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    United states
    well pump

    no there is no pipe connected the only wires it took with it are the ones that were made onto the pump.. im not sure of the pipe but it is a flexible black pipe
  14. justinblake2188

    justinblake2188 New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    United states
    oh and the well is a 4 or 5 inch and it is 180 feet deep
  15. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    The pipe you have should be installed onto a stainless steel barb fitting and DOUBLE clamped with stainless clamps torqued to specs to keep it in place. The threaded side of the barb fitting is what screws into the top of the pump.

    [​IMG]

    Unless your well is relatively shallow, there is a very slim chance you might be able to fish the pump out using custom-made tools. Professional pump setters have such tools and still often have to walk away.

    Anything dropped into the well it could prevent you from setting another pump at adequate depth and you would then need a new well drilled.
  16. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    The pump can be fished out. Get a well guy out there.

    Depending on the type of well, and what part of the pump is looking up, it can be fished out.

    It would depend on how you well was drilled.

    Is it in rock?
    Is it in sand?
    Is it a straight wall well?
    Is it a two string well?

    You MAY not need a new well.
    Call a well guy that has been in business for at least ten years. Im not saying he would know how to remove the pump, but the chances are better he should.

    There is not much that can't be retrieved out of a well,
    with the proper knowledge, and tools.


    Travis
  17. Waterwelldude

    Waterwelldude Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer

    Messages:
    303
    Location:
    Texas
    What brand or manufacturer used this type of material?
    I have seen alot of pumps over 40 years old and never seen one corroded.
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