Old well questions

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Spacoli

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I bought a cabin that had a buried wellhead. The cabin and well have set dormant for over 10 years. The well sits next to a river (75'-100' from the river bank).

It's a two-line system and it will only pressure up to 25-30 lbs and of course, the pump won't shut off. I'm thinking of a clogged injector at the bottom of the well.

I have dug up the well and it has a metal cap and covered up with rubber before it was buried.

The water is cloudy that is being pumped up. I'm thinking either groundwater is coming in through the top cap or sediment has built up at the bottom and is sucking dirt. Once I pull up the pipe I can check the water level and depth and see if it's sucking off the bottom and adjust the depth of the strainer/foot valve.

I have bought a new plastic/rubber seal for the wellhead and don't plan on burring it, but have an access tube and cover installed for now.

Can the injector be cleaned or unclogged or can I buy a new one? Are they specific to the pump?

Any other suggestion or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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WorthFlorida

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Any idea on the well depth and static water level? Sitting ten years I'm suspecting as you have that the jet is clogged up with rust, dirt or debris. You may need to pull it all out and check the foot valve. It also could be jammed up. You may also want to pour in a gallon of bleach down the well and let it set a while to help sanitize it.

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Spacoli

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Thanks for your reply.

I don't know the depth of the well or the water level yet?
 

Spacoli

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So I pulled the well piping and here is what I found.

The well is 80' deep from the top of the casing. I have standing water at 7'. The foot valve and ejector were at 32'. I haven't taken it apart yet, but I'm sure the ejector is clogged. I seen debris at the end of the pipe that I cut. The first 20’ of pipe was covered in rust or dirt. I’m guessing it’s because it has been abandoned for 10 years or ground water has been seeping in since the we’ll head was buried.

My plan is to do a temporary pipe drop with the pump sitting up on the ground. I want to drop the foot valve close to the bottom (2’-3’) and flush out all the dirty stagnant water. I already dumped a gallon of bleach down the well, then a gallon of water. Covered it up with a piece of rubber and zip tied it.

Just looking for any expert guidance or advise ?
 

Reach4

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2-inch ID casing?

You might be able to clean out some amount of muck with an air lift pump and maybe a 5 to 10 cfm compressor.

You can clean really fast with a big engine-driven compressor and a pipe to the bottom. Water and sediment fly out like a geyser.
 
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Spacoli

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2-inch ID casing?

You might be able to clean out some amount of muck with an air lift pump and maybe a 5 to 10 cfm compressor.

You can clean really fast with a big engine-driven compressor and a pipe to the bottom. Water and sediment fly out like a geyser.


5 1/2" ID casing. It sounds like a great idea, but very messy and smelly. Thanks
 

Reach4

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5 1/2" ID casing. It sounds like a great idea, but very messy and smelly. Thanks
With such a casing, you can put in a 4-inch submersible pump.

No priming. Super quiet. No drama. Uses less electricity for a given amount of water.

A 1/2 hp, 10 gpm submersible would give plenty of water.

Is that well head buried to prevent freezing? Extending the casing and putting in a pitless adapter would give you freeze-proof well. If this is not active in the winter, there is a way to make the water drain out of pipes above the frost line when you close up, if you design it that way. If this is a summer-only irrigation well, you could lift the pump out in the fall, and replace in the spring.

If putting in a pitless adapter, one existing polyethylene pipe could carry water, and the other may be able to carry the power wires if the run is straight enough to pull wire with an electrical fish tape.

The approved way to extend a steel caing is to have a piece of steel casing welded on. Using a coupling to use a PVC extension is not approved most places I think.

Regarding cleaning, the stuff out of the well is probably not going to bother the grass. Cleaning after you get the casing extended a foot above the new ground level would be best I think. You would not want to dump water into that dug hole. An airlift pump could be made to move the water and solids off to the side many feet, but the geyser method would not be suitable unless the casing was extended first. The air lift takes more time, and works with a smaller compressor. For DIY, that would be the deal, and you have the high water level to make an air lift pump work. Plus you have the time.

Try these searches in Youtube: well cleaning airlift and well cleaning
 
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Spacoli

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With such a casing, you can put in a 4-inch submersible pump.

No priming. Super quiet. No drama. Uses less electricity for a given amount of water.

A 1/2 hp, 10 gpm submersible would give plenty of water.

Is that well head buried to prevent freezing? Extending the casing and putting in a pitless adapter would give you freeze-proof well. If this is not active in the winter, there is a way to make the water drain out of pipes above the frost line when you close up, if you design it that way. If this is a summer-only irrigation well, you could lift the pump out in the fall, and replace in the spring.

If putting in a pitless adapter, one existing polyethylene pipe could carry water, and the other may be able to carry the power wires if the run is straight enough to pull wire with an electrical fish tape.

The approved way to extend a steel caing is to have a piece of steel casing welded on. Using a coupling to use a PVC extension is not approved most places I think.

Regarding cleaning, the stuff out of the well is probably not going to bother the grass. Cleaning after you get the casing extended a foot above the new ground level would be best I think. You would not want to dump water into that dug hole. An airlift pump could be made to move the water and solids off to the side many feet, but the geyser method would not be suitable unless the casing was extended first. The air lift takes more time, and works with a smaller compressor. For DIY, that would be the deal, and you have the high water level to make an air lift pump work. Plus you have the time.

Try these searches in Youtube: well cleaning airlift and well cleaning


Thank you for all the input. It's only 2' down t's not below frost level (36" in my area). We would like to use it in the winter. Your suggestion is what will be done in the future. It's only 10' from the cabin, so minimal digging. Right now I just want to get it up and running.
 

Reach4

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Can the injector be cleaned or unclogged or can I buy a new one? Are they specific to the pump?
I have never done anything with any jet pump, which includes a 2-pipe jet pump as you have. I have read various things.

But it is my understanding that they can be cleaned/unclogged or you could buy a new one. They are somewhat specific to the pump in that they differ according with how far the water needs to get lifted and how powerful the pump is.

I would undo the pipe from the house side of the elbows, because the elbows are helping to keep the drop pipes etc from falling.

For putting the elbows back into the poly pipe you will probably have to heat the piping. Usually boiling water is recommended for those less experienced, because damage can be done with a flame if you are not practiced.

While you have things pulled, you may want to replace the foot valve. A foot valve is a check valve with an input screen combined. The symptoms of a bad foot valve would usually be loss of pressure when no water is being used and the pump is off. You don't seem to have that symptom. I don't know whether or not it is good to replace those preventively. Menards has some well stuff including foot valves.
 

Spacoli

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I have never done anything with any jet pump, which includes a 2-pipe jet pump as you have. I have read various things.

But it is my understanding that they can be cleaned/unclogged or you could buy a new one. They are somewhat specific to the pump in that they differ according with how far the water needs to get lifted and how powerful the pump is.

I would undo the pipe from the house side of the elbows, because the elbows are helping to keep the drop pipes etc from falling.

For putting the elbows back into the poly pipe you will probably have to heat the piping. Usually boiling water is recommended for those less experienced, because damage can be done with a flame if you are not practiced.

While you have things pulled, you may want to replace the foot valve. A foot valve is a check valve with an input screen combined. The symptoms of a bad foot valve would usually be loss of pressure when no water is being used and the pump is off. You don't seem to have that symptom. I don't know whether or not it is good to replace those preventively. Menards has some well stuff including foot valves.

Thank you. Yes I have pulled and cleaned the ejector. It was terribly rusty, clogged and a lot of build up all over it. I have it ready to put back together my next trip to the cabin. I'm sure this will fix the pressure problem.

My next concern is the condition of the well and water itself as described above. It needs a flushing, cleaning and possibly a liner. Thanks
 

Spacoli

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Finally got around to dropping the cleaned up ejector and new well pipe down the well. I just set up temporary pump to flush out the well. You can see from the pictures what it looked like I no the beginning and what I’m get now. I dropped the foot valve down 70’ ( bottom of well is 80’). Previous foot valve was at 37’? It seems like I’m only getting 3 gallons a minute straight off the 3/4 hp pump. After turning the pump off, the well recovers to static level in 15 minutes. While it’s pumping, I can look down with a flashlight and still see water, but I don’t know the level? I never run out of water. Do I need a stronger pump?

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Reach4

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Try holding your hand over that discharging water. Does the flow increase?
 

Valveman

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With the right ejector a 3/4 is only going to do about 6 GPM from 70' anyway. Holding your hand over the water may not be enough. Do you have a pressure regulator or back pressure valve as shown in the picture above. Need to hold some water back with a back pressure valve and it will make the ejector at the bottom stronger and push up more water.
 

Spacoli

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So I closed the ball valve to build up pressure for the ejector and it seems like I’m getting at least 5 gallons a minute. I’m guessing the 1” line feeding the pressure tank should be 3/4”? This should help my cause with back pressure.

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Reach4

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So I closed the ball valve to build up pressure for the ejector and it seems like I’m getting at least 5 gallons a minute. I’m guessing the 1” line feeding the pressure tank should be 3/4”? This should help my cause with back pressure.
You don't want to create more resistance between the pressure tank and the pressure switch.
 

Reach4

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I suggest that you post a single photo that includes the connections to your pump, the pressure switch, the input to the pressure tank, and any nearby valves.

There should be no valve between the pressure switch and the pressure tank. Does your pump perhaps have a control valve adjustment?

converible-jet-deep_OverviewCrops.jpg
 
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Spacoli

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This is how the previous owner had it set up. Coming off the top with a valve and down to the tank. I’m getting ready to re- plumb and finalized the installation.

I received my new well cap yesterday. There is a vent hole in it. Should I vent or not? I was thinking this would be for adding bleach in the future without pulling the cap.

Thanks

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