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

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DYI13

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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
I see what you are saying, but this is the orientation as per the person with the camera. We'll know for sure when we get our camera and take a look.

Any advice or special fishing tools you recommend? Thank you very much!
 

Reach4

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I have never attempted any down-hole well work. My advice would be to post the best photo you can. Maybe the rare person who has done successful fishing will see it and give you some insight.


Here is an idea: cut from maybe 1/4 inch steel. Match inside diameter of hook exactly to diameter of pitless thread. Run cable thru maybe 3/4 inch pipe to hook. Position hook along side. Rotate pipe 1/4 turn to rotate hook. Lift cable.

This is not a polished suggestion. Instead maybe use this to inspire a better design. Of course you could model this from wood etc, and play. Is that pitless thread 1-1/4 or what? You would need to know that.
 

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RSole

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If that mockup is correct, it will be difficult to fish since it it jammed against the drop pipe and casing. But, you said it was between a rock and a hard pipe (sorry, pun intended) so it must be below the steel well casing. Hooking a fish around the round threaded portion of the pitless piece may cant it as it is pulled, jamming it further. If a DIY fish hook of 1/8" mild steel curved to match the radius of the pitless threads could be made that is wide enough to embrace the width of the threaded portion of the adapter, it could possibly be pulled up in its current perpendicular orientation without getting stuck again.
Is the cavity below the well casing (where it's stuck against a rock) larger or smaller in diameter that the well casing? Fishing may only get it stuck at the bottom edge of the steel casing.

What about trying to pound it down further, past the rock, with a heavy steel rod attached to a rope? Might it fall to the bottom where it will no harm?
 
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RSole

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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
Unless there was room for it to tumble into a different orientation. Wells are drilled to a depth, then casing inserted, many feet above the bottom of the well. Below the casing, the bored diameter should be slightly larger that the inside diameter of the steel casing. A rock jutting out is where it is supposedly stuck, so it could be in any position.
 

DYI13

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I have never attempted any down-hole well work. My advice would be to post the best photo you can. Maybe the rare person who has done successful fishing will see it and give you some insight.


Here is an idea: cut from maybe 1/4 inch steel. Match inside diameter of hook exactly to diameter of pitless thread. Run cable thru maybe 3/4 inch pipe to hook. Position hook along side. Rotate pipe 1/4 turn to rotate hook. Lift cable.

This is not a polished suggestion. Instead maybe use this to inspire a better design. Of course you could model this from wood etc, and play. Is that pitless thread 1-1/4 or what? You would need to know that.
Thank you. Will pass your suggestion to the well person and keep you posted.
 
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DYI13

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If that mockup is correct, it will be difficult to fish since it it jammed against the drop pipe and casing. But, you said it was between a rock and a hard pipe (sorry, pun intended) so it must be below the steel well casing. Hooking a fish around the round threaded portion of the pitless piece may cant it as it is pulled, jamming it further. If a DIY fish hook of 1/8" mild steel curved to match the radius of the pitless threads could be made that is wide enough to embrace the width of the threaded portion of the adapter, it could possibly be pulled up in its current perpendicular orientation without getting stuck again.
Is the cavity below the well casing (where it's stuck against a rock) larger or smaller in diameter that the well casing? Fishing may only get it stuck at the bottom edge of the steel casing.

What about trying to pound it down further, past the rock, with a heavy steel rod attached to a rope? Might it fall to the bottom where it will no harm?
Thank you, will pass your questions along to the well person. Since the pitless is stuck 117 or so feet down, I thought it was below the casing. We have a camera now, and am trying to get the well company to give it a try.
 

RSole

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I don't know what camera you did get, but there are cheap GoPro-type cameras with waterproof cases that you could lower down after starting the recording. Test one in water first to determine if it need weights to prevent floating. I'm not sure if it was mentioned in this thread that the stuck piece was below water or not.
 

DYI13

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I don't know what camera you did get, but there are cheap GoPro-type cameras with waterproof cases that you could lower down after starting the recording. Test one in water first to determine if it need weights to prevent floating. I'm not sure if it was mentioned in this thread that the stuck piece was below water or not.
Thank you. $250 on eBay, the guy puts the camera together himself and others gave it good reviews so it was worth a shot. Yes, the pitless is stuck about 75 feet under water. We’re afraid to try to fish the pitless out ourselves in case everything gets stuck, so we’re trying to get the boss of the well guy who caused the problem to try to fish it out. We are going to pass along all suggestions from this group.
 

RSole

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Can you sue the well-guy's company to have a new well drilled? It could cost them tens of thousands of $$$ but surely they have insurance to cover these oopsies. If that company drills wells, and not just does servicing, it won't cost them as much as what they would charge you. They might even do it with a threat of lawsuit to avoid additional legal fees, who knows. Or, they go bankrupt and open a week later under a new name.
 

DYI13

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I have never attempted any down-hole well work. My advice would be to post the best photo you can. Maybe the rare person who has done successful fishing will see it and give you some insight.


Here is an idea: cut from maybe 1/4 inch steel. Match inside diameter of hook exactly to diameter of pitless thread. Run cable thru maybe 3/4 inch pipe to hook. Position hook along side. Rotate pipe 1/4 turn to rotate hook. Lift cable.

This is not a polished suggestion. Instead maybe use this to inspire a better design. Of course you could model this from wood etc, and play. Is that pitless thread 1-1/4 or what? You would need to know that.
Hi--The OD of the stuck pitless part is 1 1/4. The well man is fashioning a hook and will try to fish it out eventually.
 

Reach4

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Nominal 1 inch thread would be about 1.3 to 1.315 inches OD

So if they said "1 1/4", they probably meant nominal size. The tool maker would best have an actual pitless piece to use for comparison.

And remember, my idea for a hook is not based on experience.
 

DYI13

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Good point, tho it could be NPS. But it could also be proprietary.
We are letting the well man figure out what the hook should look like. I am hoping he feels like he has a lot invested in a successful fishing expedition, since his company created this situation. Thank you all, will post back if there is new information.
 

RSole

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Interestingly, a magnet for non-ferrous metals is possible, but might be too large to fit, I would think. I saw instructions on how to make one decades ago in Popular Mechanics or Popular Electronics magazine.


 

DYI13

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Nothing good to report. Last week a company came out and with a camera, hook and crane tried to get that pitless piece out to no avail. They tried for 1 1/2 days. They wound up running a thinner pump next to the stuck pump. The new pump is sitting around 115 feet in the well so we are good for now.

The only option now is to pull the original pump until it breaks and then drill it out. We're debating whether we should pursue this option or just stick with the second pump adjacent to the first pump, fully serviceable. I don't know what having 2 pipes in the well will do to resale value to our home--any thoughts on that?

We've yet to get the bill, but our thought is to pay it and try to get reimbursed from the original careless wellman who caused this problem. We are also getting an estimate on the cost to pull and drill out the original pump.
 

Valveman

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It might be best to drill a new well rather than try to drill out a stuck pitless. Sounds like he gave it a good try, you certainly need to pay him. But getting reimbursed from the guy who caused the problem will probably not happen. If there was room for the 3" SQ pump and it works you are good. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
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