Extending Well casing

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by estone, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. estone

    estone New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have a 4in galvanized casing that the well guy wants to cut off below the pitless adapter and add an extention. (The pitless adapter would not budge. He was going to excavate it but I decided to do it by hand to save $$.)
    Anyway I have it dug down 7ft. to pitless adapter. (I don't know why it is that deep)
    Well guy is going to cut if off with a torch.
    At that point will he clamp a PVC section on? He won't weld a gavanized extention will he? And probably splice some new wire to accommodate the new extention. Fill the 8ft. hole in. Pour a pad around the top near the cap.
    Let the cement set before he pulls the pump? (He wants $3000 to excavate put extention on, pour pad, pull pump and replace. It should be about $1000 less since I did the excavation and would like to do the extention.)

    Is this something I could do myself? I suppose I would need something to keep the pump from falling while I remove the old pipe and put in the new?
    Is that the hardest part? I don't have a tractor with loader, could I build something to hold the cable?

    Any advice would be appreciated!
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That connection from steel to plastic needs to be water tight. Installing 7' of top casing is tricky if you don't pull the pump first. You will also need to change out the part of the pitless that is on the top of the first joint of pipe. That is also hard to do while holding the pump in the well. I know it sounds high but, I think the guy is giving you a fair price. You might want to just do what you can of the job, and let him make the connections. If you drop something, it won't be cheep.
  3. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I want to know why you are doing this in the first place.

    bob...
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    "The pitless adapter would not budge."
  5. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Sorry, I missed that part.

    So is he going to put on another one, or just install an extension? I would be looking for another brand of pitless if that one is fused.

    bob...
  6. estone

    estone New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Colorado
    The well guy said in 50 years he's never seen a pitless adapter like this one. It's the original one, probably 50 years old. I think my well was drilled in the 60's Pump was last pulled in 1979. So it hasn't been moved in 30 years. Can't believe the Goulds pump has lasted that long.
    Anyway, as I stated he wants to cut off the galvanized pipe below the old pitless adapter(7ft down), and add an extention to bring the cap above ground. The current cap is 18in below the surface.
    Sounds like more than I can handle on my own. I dug the hole, I guess that may be all I will be doing.

    Do you know,
    1. Will he pull the pump before he extends the pipe?
    2. Water is very scarce where we are(Eastern Colorado), and water tables are also questionable. Can he test the well before pulling the pump? If my well doesn't look good I'd hate to pay him all this money to extend the pipe, and add a new adapter, etc., and find out my well is not worth putting a pump down.
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If the pump is still running you can test the well now. If the pump is not running, you will have to get a good pump in there before you can test the well. I am sure he will pull the pump before extending the casing, I would.
  8. westcoastplumber

    westcoastplumber Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    los angeles
    A 7' frost level:confused::p
  9. estone

    estone New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Colorado
    The only thing I can think is that the cap might at one time been at ground level or higher.
  10. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I would be inclined to put a 5 or 6 inch casing above the 4 inch casing. The new pitless adapter would be installed in the larger pipe. If there is any misalignment of a 4 inch extension you might never get the pump past the joint.

    My engineering invention would be to cut the pipe as low as possible and connect a 5" or 6" casing with a Fernco coupling.

    First cut the pipe using SawZall, abrasive wheel, or torch. Then pull the top of the casing and the pump together to raise it to where you can grab the pipe and pull the pump. You will probably get rid of the top of the casing as soon as you can safely do so. After it is cut off and the pump removed, chamfer the inside of the casing with a torch or grinder so it will be easier to hit the hole when dropping in the new pump.

    The Fernco coupling will be installed at least 1 ft (more is better) below the cut so that a length of the 4" casing will extend into the new extension.

    http://www.fernco.com/coupling.asp

    http://www.fernco.com/1056.asp 1056-54 adapts 5" to 4" pipe. 1056-64 adapts 6" to 4" pipe. Whichever you select will probably be a special order. Be sure you get the stainless clamps.

    Here is a PVC adapter that you can make and install yourself if you really want to DIY this.

    Get at least 10 ft of 5" or 6" PVC Schedule 40 pipe, a Schedule 40 coupling, and a pitless adapter that is used with PVC pipe.

    Cut a short piece (at least 12", more is better) of PVC pipe that will extend down over the 4" pipe. Slip the Fernco coupling down over the 4" pipe, small end down, and set it so the upper end of the PVC pipe will be about 1/2" below the cut end of the steel pipe. Slip the PVC pipe over the steel casing and connect the lower end of the PVC pipe to the casing with the Fernco coupling. The upper end of the PVC pipe is to be 1/2" below the cut end of the casing.

    Now carefully center the casing in the new pipe and fill the space with plaster of paris or mortar to keep it centered. Be careful not to distort the PVC pipe so you will be able to install the PVC coupling with PVC cement. And be careful not to get mortar down into the casing; that is the reason to have the end of the PVC 1/2" below the end of the casing.

    Cement the coupling to the stub. Then prepare and cement the casing extension into the coupling, taking care to align and support the casing extension. That will be a 2-man job.

    Install the pitless adapter and pipe to the house. Backfill the casing extension and seal it against infiltration. Install the pump.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I would recommend something a lot more Ridgid than a Fernco coupling. As the hole is filled in, that Fernco coupling could end up in any sort of deformed position making it even harder to get a pump past the joint. Threading using galvanized fittings would be one way, or welding a reducer on along with the new pipe. Now you have a good fit and a good seal. Using rubber underground especially before backfilling is not a good idea.

    bob...
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,468
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That is why most states require that sealing the well or well casing to the earth be done by someone who is qualified and licenced. Not to mention the safety issue of that cut off casing and fused drop pipe swinging above your head, or dropping something.
  13. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The Fernco coupling is not relied on for strength; it is only for the seal. The casing extension overlaps the steel casing by at least 1 ft and the space between the old and new casing is filled with mortar or plaster-of-paris. It is not going to move. I would encase the joint with concrete, up to about 6" above the top of the PVC coupling. With the backfill on top of that encasement it would prevent pulling the top part of the casing off if the Pitless Adapter siezes in the next 50 years.

    A welded joint would work fine but it would have to be done in a way that the inside of the joint could be inspected and any weld nugget removed so it can't jam the pump. A 6x4 or 5x4 reducer could be butt-welded on, the joint checked and cleaned inside, and then the extension pipe welded onto the reducer.
  14. estone

    estone New Member

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Colorado
    I decided to let the well guy do it. I don't have a reliable way to hold the pump while cutting, ect. I think it is well worth the money to have somebody do it who knows what they are doing.
    The one thing I did run into is the cement around the casing about a foot below the adapter. I really didn't try to chip it away and go any further. The well guy said a foot below should be enough. If not I guess I'll be paying him the labor to chip it away.
    He said he was going to fit a larger pipe over the old galvanized. How I'm not sure. Sounds like something similar to what Bob suggested. He did say he was going to put quick crete near the joint? hoope he is as knowledgable as you guys. Supposed to be the most respected driller in town, also the most expensive. $110/hr for their truck. Not sure what you all get. But water is like gold out here and few drillers to do the work.
    In any case I can see my tax return being spent as I write. :(

    Thanks for the advice.
  15. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've used Fernco fittings to do this but not with two different sizes of pipe. That allows the weight to sit on the old casing. And the 'joint' is not a problem.

    I don't see how you can look down a dark 6" or so pipe 7' or whatever deep and then get cement or plaster of paris between the two pipes only to the top of the inside pipe. Well there must be a way in BobNH's imagination I guess. :rolleyes:

    In the North East, Ferncos are used underground very frequently on sewer and other buried drain lines. You backfill and tamp properly and they last as long as the pipe unless there is some form of petroleum products in the soil.

    Anyway, the right way IMO, or how this driller will probably do it, is to get sch 40 PVC to barely fit over the casing and push it down a ways before he tightens the Fernco. Then backfill some and tamp and then put cement around the outside of the PVC above the Fernco fitting, or around it too maybe. Then backfill up to be able to do his new pitless and plumbing, then backfill to grade and drop the pump in. And hopefully he uses a pitless that can never not come apart in the future.
  16. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Gary; I described precisely how to do that. Read my post; starting with 4th paragraph from the bottom.

    I described how to install a short piece of 5" or 6" PVC to the 4" steel using the Fernco, with the top of the short piece below the end of the steel. THEN fill the space with mortar or plaster-of-paris. THEN cement a PVC coupling onto the short piece and cement the casing extension into the coupling.

    I forgive your wise-a** comment.
  17. sammyhydro11

    sammyhydro11 Previous member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    There are 2 ways on how to do this professionally and both ways have to be done by a licensed well driller and a licensed welder.

    First way is to do it with a flanged coupling / casing extension adapter(made by merill). A pvc male adapter gets threaded into the adapter and then the riser is glued into the female end. You can also get a piece of steel pipe that is threaded on one end and simply thread it into the adapter.

    The second way is to have a licensed welder weld a coupling on the casing and extend the pipe that way.

    The mortar and plaster thing is not an acceptable method and should not be attempted. This is precisely why there is licensing in my trade.

    Sammy
  18. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Let a Licensed Well Driller do it!

    It's best to let the licensed driller do it. That's why he is licensed!

    I doubt that the State Well Regulators would allow a Fernco Coupling or such make shift repair that has been suggested.
  19. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Sammy's Right!

    The mortar and plaster thing is not an acceptable method and should not be attempted. This is precisely why there is licensing in our trade.
  20. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The guy was looking for a way that he could repair it himself. The seal would be made by the Fernco coupling. The mortar or plaster was to hold it in alignment until the new casing was secured by concrete.
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