What kinda well do I have / How do I get it going?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by RayJay, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. RayJay

    RayJay New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    DC
    Hi,

    My recently-bought house is over 100 years old and I have a water well that is in a pump room in the basement. Pump is ancient (driven by leather belt), is disconnected and there's no motor. The well is about two and a half feet in diameter (lined with approximately 3-foot sections of some sort of ceramic casing) and about 27 feet deep. Usually there is water visible at the bottom and there is gravel down there too. An inch and a half or two inch galvanized pipe goes down the inside of the well casing and into the gravel at the bottom. There is a 1/4 or 3/8 inch steel rod inside the galvanized pipe, which seems to be stuck. What can anyone tell me about the well and recommendations for un-sticking the rod, making the well useable, type of pump to use, etc.? Thanks in advance!

    RayJay
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Sounds like an old pump jack. The rod should move up and down. Not worth saving, IMHO.
  3. RayJay

    RayJay New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    DC
    Agree, the old system is in pieces and not worth saving.

    Should I try to free up the rod (assuming that the galvanized pipe is worth keeping)? Or, should I pull out the galvanized pipe? How would one go about doing either of these things? I assume the galvaized pipe does not go much deeper than the gravel at the well bottom?

    What kind of modern pump should I use?
  4. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,224
    Location:
    Maine
    If its a dug well the first thing I would do is get the water tested. Dug well are notorious for being contaminated by all manner of things both chemical and organic. If the well tests OK I would drop a new pipe with foot valve down there and swap your pump for a 1/2 hp goulds jet pump and an xtrol 202 tank, 30/50 pressure switch. Be aware though that dug wells need to be tested often for contamination. All sorts of things can leach into the ground water and ruin your well. the very best thing to do would be to abandon it altogether and have a new well drilled
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    That well is a big unknown. Given that you only sometimes see water above the gravel and we don't know how far the gravel goes nor what the recovery rate is on the well, makes it hard to give good advice.

    Since it's 27 feet deep it's too deep for a shallow well jet pump. You could try pulling the existing pipe and driving a sandpoint down into the gravel in its stead, then use a checkvalve at the top of it where you would mount the eductor with two pipes coming up from there. Of course, that would involve going down into the well and air quality (and death) would be a concern.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,224
    Location:
    Maine
    Two pipe set with the jet in the well. Less money than doing the submersible thing.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Less money but more hassle with priming. To put a sub in, you would have to auger down a slotted casing into the gravel.
  9. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,224
    Location:
    Maine
    And run wires and support the drop pipe. Lots of money for a well that may go contaminated at any time.
  10. RayJay

    RayJay New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    DC
    Thanks to All!

    Thanks much for the advice! Actually there is enough room to go down in the well, but I better not chance it! First thing is that I will probably have the water tested. Then...will try out some options.
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