dropped pipe in well and it's stuck

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Gerald, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Messages:
    6
    I have a 2" well I'm not sure of the depth. when the motor burned up on the pump and i went to replace it, I dropped the 1" line into the well!! While trying to retreive it I was able to get another pvc pipe glued to the original but I can't pull it back out it's stuck in the bottom of the well (it fell about 19' to the bottom) I think the foot valve must be catching on the bottom of the 2" well casing. I've been trying to hook it up where it is but haven't been able to prime it yet the foot valve is holding water and, something I don't understand, the 2" well casing is holding water to the top and equalizing to the same hieghth as the inner pipe, is that right? anyway any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. if I get it primed as is with the foot valve at the bottom of the well is it going to work that way or will it tear something up? When I was rigging to connect to the dropped pipe, I ended up using some 3/4" cpvc and at the top some 1/2" cpvc. I didn't think it would matter since I was going to pull the original ppipe out anyway (or back up to it's original position) but since the pipe is stuck and I mean stuck I'm stuck with a 1/2" cpvc pipe coming from the very bottom of my well. I tryed twisting bobbing jiggling and all that stuff but it would not come loose. It will move up and down about 4". It will not prime like it is I've been trying for 2 days to prime it.
    Thanks,
    Gerald Brumley

    Attached Files:

  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I will leave it to someone else to ask why the jet isn't bolted to the pump like it is designed to be.

    You say the water is coming to the top of the well as well as in the 1/2" pipe. Maybe there is hope without the foot valve.

    First, the 1/2" pipe is too small to work as a suction pipe. With that pipe in the well you might be able to use the casing as a suction pipe but you won't have a strainer.

    You will need a check valve somewhere. Do you have one in the discharge pipe? The pressure switch must be between the check valve and the tank. The check valve could also be on the suction side of the pump.

    Connect the suction of the pump to the top of the well pipe with a sealed fitting, using a pipe at least as large as the inlet to the jet.

    Connect a wet shop vacuum to that ball valve outlet that you have on the discharge of the pump. You might have to use tape or even a rag stuffed around the pipe and into the vacuum hose. Now, with the valve open, turn on the vacuum cleaner. If it has enough power to suck water up to the pump, then you are in business. If it doesn't, you may need to lower the pump to the top of the well pipe.

    If you have access to a self-priming pump of some kind you could use that to prime the pump by connecting the suction to that valve on your outlet. If you have access to a hand operated pitcher pump that would also work.

    After the vacuum cleaner has had a few seconds to lift the water, turn on the pump. If the water has risen to the pump, it will be pumping. Close the valve before the pressure blows up your vacuum cleaner.

    If the water is rising naturally to the top of the well pipe, and you have no leaks, the check valve on the discharge should hold prime.

    You will eventually want to get that junk cleared out of the well and put in a proper drop pipe.
  3. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Messages:
    6
    in reply

    Thank you for your quick response Bob. The injector will not match up to the pump, the paper work shows an adapter that no one around here has ever heard of and the instructions also show it connected like I have it. I see what your tallking about with the wet vac but I guess the one I have isn't strong enough. I tried it with no luck.

    If I just had one of these self priming pumps you mentioned, couldn't I use it as my well pump and not have to worry about losing prime from now on?

    Why is the 2" well casing holding water, shouldn't the water in the casing level out to the depth of the ground water unless now my blunder is stopping up the well completly? It doesn't fill up by itself but while trying to prime, the water came out of the suction pipe at the bottom (I assume a damaged foot valve) and filled the 2" all the way to the top - I don't understand that.

    Could I apply air pressure to the top side of the well casing and maybe force water out the bottom unplugging it? Or maybe hook a chain hoist to the stuck pipe and pull it until it comes loose or breaks? If it comes loose I feel like my well will be back in business, if it breaks could I rig something to drive the old stuck pipe down out of the way far enough to get a new suction line in. I ran a tape down before I glued the small pipe in the way and the water level is about 19' below ground.
    This is our only water supply to our house. We've been without running watewr since Saturday night and I have got to come up with something.
    Thank You for any ideas,
    Gerald
  4. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    You could hook onto the pipe and pull until something breaks or until the pipe comes loose. You aren't going to apply much force before the 1/2" CPVC breaks.

    Since you apparently have CPVC pipe and a foot valve, you could probably pound the stuff into the bottom of the well. Some of the well guys here might have some better ideas and I would certainly defer to them.

    If I were doing this without any suggestions I might get something like a 4 to 6 ft length of 1.5" diameter steel bar, put a very reliable eye in one end, chamfer the top, hook a 1/4" steel cable to it, and use it as a drop hammer to pound the stuff down into the well.

    Another tool might be a 21 ft piece of 1" steel pipe with a STEEL (not iron) cap on it. Use the 1/4" cable again. With a 21 ft length of pipe it might be possible to first smash the CPVC pipe and then put a tapered pointed device on the end to screw into the foot valve and yank it out with much force.

    The problem is that you might ruin any screen in the well, and might make the well unusable.

    I suggest waiting for an answer from a well expert.
  5. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Thanks again for your quick reply. The way this has been going "The problem is that you might ruin any screen in the well, and might make the well unusable." is exactly what will happen.

    But should the well casing be holding water above the ground water level?
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If the water in the well doesn't equalize to the level in the aquifer, then there is something plugging the access of the water to the aquifer.

    That could be something that occurred before you started working on the well, and may be related to the original pump failure, or it could be related to something that you did while working on the well.

    It is possible that there was dirt in the bottom of the casing and that the foot valve has become embedded in the dirt.

    If the body of the foot valve is sealed into the casing by dirt or other deposits, then it might allow flow upward but prevent flow downward.

    Since we can't see into the well, we are just guessing. You are the only one with site information. You have reached the point where it will probably require someone with both tools and knowledge to try to restore the well.
  7. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I think you are trying to hook a shallow well jet pump to a deep well system. The reason the pipe is stuck and the water in the well is the same as in the droppipe is maybe because there is more than just a foot valve at the bottom. Like a single pipe jet. This means the actual water level is deeper than a shallow well jet can pull.

    I wish you would have taken the pictures before instead of after. That Chinese looking pump you have there may or may not be self priming. The market is flooded with those things.

    You may find the shallow well jet may not like being so close to elbows instead of looking directly at the impeller.

    Can you describe what your system looked like before you transformed it.

    bob...
  8. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Messages:
    6
    the pump was a vertical jet pump sitting right on top of the casing. If the 90 before the jet is the problem I can fix that easily enough but I still need to unplug the well somehow.
  9. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    And how did you remove the pump and casing adaptor?

    bob...
  10. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Messages:
    6
    it's out

    Well I don't have water yet but at 11.00 PM Thursday 060806 the foot valve came out the hole!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! It took my wife's determination and finess, a rubber mallet, a 1 ton chain hoist, help from family and friends, and a lot of hard work. The old foot valve had 2 rubber gromets or somethings on it and it would get stuck at every joint in the 2" casing. The fact that the well is far from straight down didn't help matters any. It is possable to glue a 1" PVC fitting on, 20' down inside a 2" well casing ( the first time under water) and get it to hold well enough to get the pipe out. The first set of pipes I had glued on (1/2" & 3/4" cpvc) pulled out ten feet when Uncle Joe finally said, "Fix it or break it!" and I started really putting presure on with the hoist. Then the under water glue job turned loose but the pipe was stuck good enough that it didn't go back down. The next thing I glued on was a 12 foot piece of 1" and let it dry for a few hours. That was my wife's idea because she wanted to try something. She would put tension on the hoist and then hit the top of the pipe with the malet and twist it and let of and tightening back up and let off and pull till you break your rope (ours broke 3 times). Be sure to have a safety catch, we used a hose clamp with a 2x2 in it and kept moving it down as we went. It saved us a couple of times. Tomorrow, I'm going back in with new pipe and foot valve, and hope I can get it primed up. I'll let you know how it comes out.
    Thanks for all the advice and I really appreciate this site since we have never had any dealings with a well before. You gave us some really good ideas.
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    You are very lucky to have pulled a jet with plastic pipe.

    Did you measure the water level in the well? If not, you had better do it before trying what you intend to do. If the water level is more than 25 feet; what you are attempting will not work.

    This system was a deep well system not a shallow well system, and that is usually because of the lower water level.

    bob...
  12. Pumpman

    Pumpman Pump Sales

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    So. Cal
    That footvalve you pulled up was a packer, which is a single line ejector.
    You'll need to reinstall one if the water level is more than 25', or as Speedbump mentioned, what you are trying won't work.
    You don't need that ejector that's installed in front of your pump if you use the packer. Take a look here: www.peekspump.com/ejectors.html
    to see the packer setup.
    Ron
  13. Gerald

    Gerald New Member

    Messages:
    6
    OK I'm learning every minute. I see that it is a packard and that I have to use a packer because my water is about 50' down. Now that I see how it works, I think the ejector and foot valve are ok but the leather packers are messed up. Can I find just the leathers or is a whole new ejector required (low funds). The only place so far I've found an ejector is at Lowe's (60 mi. away), the local hardware store doesn't have it.
    What is the best depth to shoot for with an 85' well and 30-35' of water in the bottom? The best I can put together from the pieces we pulled out, it was about 60' down into 5-10' of water. It seems like I would want to be deeper if possible in case of a dry year.
    Also, what was hanging me up was the couplings on the 1" pvc catching in the inside joints of the 2" casing seeing how it is a very curved well. Is it normal to loose sight of the hole around 15' because the well is turning that much? I'm thinking of putting a slight bevel on the new couplings before I glue the pipe together so they will slide in and out easier, not that I ever wish to pull it out again.
  14. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The couplings will be the least of your problem, You have to get that packer down the well with the seals that are a close fit inside the pipe.
  15. tinytec

    tinytec New Member

    Messages:
    27
    I'm curious - why don't you use continuous 1" plastic pipe without couplers? A 100" coil may cost only about $30 and slip down your convoluted casing quite easily.

    Fred - not an expert!!
  16. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I thought you would have learned your lesson about plastic pipe. If you ever want to see that packer jet again, use galvanized. One inch is fine since you won't be able to find 1-1/4" turned couplings. Your jet will work if it is matched to the pump. Which is the one you removed. If the horsepower and number of impellers (1 or 2) is the same.

    I don't think you will be getting a lot of water pressure and volume with that pump I saw in your photos.

    I would also put the pump back on top of the casing if possible. It will perform better.

    If you can't find the leathers, I can send you some. You can find them on my Accessories page. They are called 2" leathers.

    bob...
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