Replace pump vs drill new.. (long)

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by bradev, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. bradev

    bradev New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    ann arbor MI
    my first post so here goes

    house is 70 years. well is 85 feet, with pvc sleeved inside 4" steel casing. current pump is 1/2 hp, pvc and pump went in about ten years ago. Well room (tank, electric box) is in a "kickout", ie in basement, with concrete slab at grade. (ie no longer code)

    Pump is only pulling three gallons per minute. Twice the last week we lost water flow: pump was running but water not coming up to tank. turned off for an hour and now back to "normal". With a garden sprinkler on low to medium, the pumps holds at 50 (set up is 40/60)

    My well guy is concerned that pulling the pump will disturb all the gunk at the bottom (high iron + steel casing/screens) and then I will have the cost of all that labor and still need to drill a new well.

    He also has concern that IF the replacement option does lead to full failure, ie no water at all, then I still need a permit, still need schedule and it could be 1-2 weeks for the "unplanned" job etc...

    We have an iron remover as well as a 5 um inline filter right after the storage tank. That filter could be cleaned every 3-4 days we have so much iron..

    He also has concern that IF the replacement option does lead to full failure, ie no water at all, then I still need a permit, still need schedule and it could be 1-2 weeks for the "unplanned" job etc...

    I realize no one can say for sure but I curious as to opinions around throwing money at a 70(?) year old steel sleeved well in a basement kickout vs drilling new and then joining the new supply to the current tank.

    Thanks for reading
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You are still probably going to need a new pump. I would put a new pump in the old well and see what happens. If it doesn't work out, you can limp along with it until you get another well drilled, then move the pump. Your local driller is probably your best source of info on the old well condition.
  3. bradev

    bradev New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    ann arbor MI
    Thanks - a new pump is a given.

    The downside to "new pump only" is that the labor part
    is all for nothing IF the old well still doesnt deliver
    even with the new pump.

    Also, access to the current location is a pain with basement
    kickout and trees etc on the outside. so that labor part
    would be more than for an above grade access without
    restrictions..
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,486
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Why not check with a well driller to see if drilling your existing one deeper might reach a better vein of water.
  5. bradev

    bradev New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    ann arbor MI
    hmm, hadnt thought of that.

    the rub is that i dont know exactly what the root cause is:
    pump only
    pump + casing + whatever is going on at bottom of the well.

    also, drilling in the current location wont be easy: bsmt kickout, close to house, lots of tree etc.

    on the "replace pump only" option i guess that would be to pull up the 80 ft of 1" PVC drop pipe,
    pull the pump, replace pump, put it back together, chlorinate etc.

    thanks
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Labor for 80' shouldn't be much. And you would have to wait for the new well to be drilled anyway? Just saying! Probably couldn't redrill with old steel in the well anyway.
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