Pitless fell in well, now submersible is stuck--how much trouble am I in?

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DYI13

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We had a well company come out to fix a leak in the pitless adapter inside our well. They recommended replacing it with a stainless steel one. When they tried to pull the old adapter into the well to lift it, it fell off and down the 150-foot well. It must have lodged itself between the well wall and the pump, because now they cannot move the flexible hose pipe connected to the pump up or down. This means they cannot attach the pitless, as it is 3 feet below ground level and the pipe won't move that much.

In order to attach the pitless, they made a skinny "S" shaped pipe. The top of the pipe is right at the top of our well cap, and the bottom of the "S" is attached to the pitless. Photo attached of the top. The water works fine.

Here are my questions:
* Since 3 feet of the pipe is within 3 feet of the ground, will it freeze (Pennsylvania)? The well guy said they were careful not to have the skinny "S" touch the sides of the well. He committed to take care of any repairs if the "S" burst for any reason.

* The well guy said this is not against any codes that he knows of. Really?? This sounds to me like a real problem if we go and sell the house.

* The well guy said that the alternative was to run a new pipe and pump (pump that they replaced 10 months ago, 125 feet deep) right next to the existing pipe that's attached to the current pump. Said there was room, and it's commonly done when they can't pull a bad pump for whatever reason.

* What do you think the weller's culpability is here? In my view, they should do what's necessary to bring this up to code on their dime.

* What do you think the well guy's next step should be? Or our next steps?

I hired a professional. Geez, I could have dropped that pitless into the well all by myself!!!!!x!x?! I'm a nervous wreck right now.

You have helped me with problems in the past. Thank you so much for your help here. Please let me know if you need further information.
 

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Valveman

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I don't quite understand? Usually when the inner half of the pitless falls in the well it is still attached to the pipe and the pipe falls with it. Did the pitless half come off the drop pipe and then fall into the well? They should have had a pull pipe attached to the piltess and the pitless half should not fall. What is holding the pipe and pump at the moment? Is it just stuck in the well?

A pitless half dropped down the well will prevent the pump from every being pulled. Maybe they could run a camera down there and get a hook on the pitless to get it out.
 

DYI13

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I don't quite understand? Usually when the inner half of the pitless falls in the well it is still attached to the pipe and the pipe falls with it. Did the pitless half come off the drop pipe and then fall into the well? They should have had a pull pipe attached to the piltess and the pitless half should not fall. What is holding the pipe and pump at the moment? Is it just stuck in the well?

A pitless half dropped down the well will prevent the pump from every being pulled. Maybe they could run a camera down there and get a hook on the pitless to get it out.
I don't know how it happened. The pipe and pump are being held up by the skinny "S" pipe which is attached to the new pitless. But the pipe is also stuck in the well. Please see my attached rough drawing (as I understand it).

They do not have nor are not willing to run a camera. They would want us to do it and pay for it. Does that sound right to you?
 

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I don't think that "S pipe" could be holding any weight. The pump and/or pipe must be stuck in the well. I still don't see how that could happen? Did the pull pipe break? Where they trying to remove the pitless with something other than a pull pipe?

An open well is like a magnet attracting anything loose to fall in. If they didn't have a good grip on the pitless, I would think it was their fault. If the pull pipe or pitless broke, then it is probably not their fault. Even if the pipe attached to the pitless broke, they should have still have a good grip on the pitless half. Trying to pull a pitless with a rope or something is a good way to have a problem like that.

Sounds like you may need a different company. Maybe one with a camera. Even if you have to pay for it, removing the old pitless is probably worth the effort as a new well would be much more expensive.
 

DYI13

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I don't think that "S pipe" could be holding any weight. The pump and/or pipe must be stuck in the well. I still don't see how that could happen? Did the pull pipe break? Where they trying to remove the pitless with something other than a pull pipe?

An open well is like a magnet attracting anything loose to fall in. If they didn't have a good grip on the pitless, I would think it was their fault. If the pull pipe or pitless broke, then it is probably not their fault. Even if the pipe attached to the pitless broke, they should have still have a good grip on the pitless half. Trying to pull a pitless with a rope or something is a good way to have a problem like that.

Sounds like you may need a different company. Maybe one with a camera. Even if you have to pay for it, removing the old pitless is probably worth the effort as a new well would be much more expensive.
The pull pipe didn’t break. I think they were trying to pull the pitless half that’s on the outside of the well into the well so they could bring it up to the surface, and it slipped off. Pardon my ignorance as I am only looking at pitless drawings and putting it together with what he told me happened.

If necessary, can they run a new pipe and pump down the well right next to the current pipe as he claims can be done? Thank you.
 

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I can see where they might have been holding the pump and pipe over to one side with the pitless and pull pipe attached. Then after unscrewing the large nut on the outside of the casing, the other half of the pitless does come into the well to be pulled out.

I would have pulled the pipe and pump out of the well before trying to remove the pitless half on the casing. This gives you more room to work, getting the pipe out of the way. Then if you drop the pitless half, it will go to the bottom of the well as the pump is not in the way. But hind sight is always 20/20.

Yes, you maybe able to set another pump beside the drop pipe in the well. It might be your only choice. But I would want that pitless, old pipe, and pump out of the well. Someone with a camera might be able to hook that pitless and be done in only a few minutes. It really pays to be able to see what is down there.
 

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The pull pipe didn’t break. I think they were trying to pull the pitless half that’s on the outside of the well into the well so they could bring it up to the surface, and it slipped off.
That explains it. I was wondering what happened, and I could see that. I am trying to think how this should have been prevented. It seems to me that if interior threads on the pitless part thru the casing could have been used to connect a cable to catch the piece if it fell. I don't know what the normal practice would be.

So the suggestions to get a company that can fish out the part sounds right, and then chase liability later. I am not a pro, and I have never installed or pulled a submersible pump. I guess I would be afraid that they might have pulled awfully hard, and really jammed it.

How big is your casing?

I am not saying that forgives it.
 

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I would have pulled the pipe and pump out of the well before trying to remove the pitless half on the casing. This gives you more room to work, getting the pipe out of the way. Then if you drop the pitless half, it will go to the bottom of the well as the pump is not in the way. But hind sight is always 20/20.
That makes sense, and in retrospect that seems to be the only proper way.
 

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I can see where they might have been holding the pump and pipe over to one side with the pitless and pull pipe attached. Then after unscrewing the large nut on the outside of the casing, the other half of the pitless does come into the well to be pulled out.

I would have pulled the pipe and pump out of the well before trying to remove the pitless half on the casing. This gives you more room to work, getting the pipe out of the way. Then if you drop the pitless half, it will go to the bottom of the well as the pump is not in the way. But hind sight is always 20/20.

Yes, you maybe able to set another pump beside the drop pipe in the well. It might be your only choice. But I would want that pitless, old pipe, and pump out of the well. Someone with a camera might be able to hook that pitless and be done in only a few minutes. It really pays to be able to see what is down there.
Okay thank you. Getting a camera down there will be our next step. Thanks and will post back.
 

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Hello, here with an update. A camera was put down the well and found the pitless wedged between a rock and the pipe, around 6 feet above the pump. It's stuck around 117 feet deep. The company is unwilling to take an "old school" approach by putting down a hook to see if they could dislodge it. They say they are afraid of their equipment getting stuck.

They want to bring in a crane and tug on the pipe until something breaks and then put in a new pump, pipe, and wire.

Should we try to find someone else to try to dislodge the pitless?

Thanks for your advice.
 

DYI13

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That explains it. I was wondering what happened, and I could see that. I am trying to think how this should have been prevented. It seems to me that if interior threads on the pitless part thru the casing could have been used to connect a cable to catch the piece if it fell. I don't know what the normal practice would be.

So the suggestions to get a company that can fish out the part sounds right, and then chase liability later. I am not a pro, and I have never installed or pulled a submersible pump. I guess I would be afraid that they might have pulled awfully hard, and really jammed it.

How big is your casing?

I am not saying that forgives it.
I am sorry, I somehow missed your comment. The casing is 6 inches. The pump is 4 inches and the pipe is 1 inch. The pitless piece, says the guy with the camera, is 3 inches long. The guys did pull quite a bit trying to get the pipe to move; they certainly could have jammed it.
 

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If they can see it, they should be able to hook it. Yeah, they may loose the fishing tools. Just ask how much it is and offer to pay for it if it gets stuck. They don't have to use anything expensive to fish with. Will probably be cheaper than a crane and I think it has a better chance.
 

DYI13

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If they can see it, they should be able to hook it. Yeah, they may loose the fishing tools. Just ask how much it is and offer to pay for it if it gets stuck. They don't have to use anything expensive to fish with. Will probably be cheaper than a crane and I think it has a better chance.
Thank you, we’ll try to get someone to try to hook it. Will update when I have news. Thanks so much.
 

DYI13

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They can even use some old pipe to do the fishing so it won't be much of a loss if it gets stuck.
Can I ask how you suggest they do the fishing? Camera down the well to see the piece, put a cable down through old pipe with a specific type of hook? Any tips you can give are appreciated. We have a message in with the company who used the camera to find out exactly how the part is situated in there.

Thank you.
 

Reach4

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Have you asked for photos of the stuck pitless part? I would guess that is part of your message.
 

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Can I ask how you suggest they do the fishing? Camera down the well to see the piece, put a cable down through old pipe with a specific type of hook? Any tips you can give are appreciated. We have a message in with the company who used the camera to find out exactly how the part is situated in there.

Thank you.
They should be able to give you some pictures. That is the point of the camera. I am old enough that down hole cameras were not available and we just had to fish blindly. A lot of trial and error. I always wished for a camera so I could see to hook the homemade hook I made to fit what I thought I was trying to hook. Lol! If you can see what you are hooking, make the right tool, and give it a try. That is a lot of stuff in a small hole though. If you hook it everything comes out. If you miss it everything might not come out. Worst case you can always hook up a big crane and pull like heck if everything else fails. Fishing is a pain in the butt no matter how you do it and a lot of people won't even try.
 

DYI13

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I am sorry for the delay. Nothing much has happened, and I have not been getting notifications from this forum.

The camera went dead before they could snap a picture. However, they sent us this mock up, attached. The pipe is wedged next to the casing, and the pitiless is wedged between the other side of the casing and the pipe.

We are purchasing an inexpensive camera on eBay, looks like other people had success with it. Once we get that, we are going to ask the Weller to come back and try to hook it. Any suggestions?
 

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Reach4

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Based on how this thing fell, I would think the orientation could be with the trapezoidal socket next to the pipe
 
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