Pulling a deep submersible with steel drop pipe

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by sreeb, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Location:
    SoCal
    I recently purchase some land with a pump that hasn't been used in 20+ years.

    I tried applying power. No joy so I am going to pull the pump.

    I don't know how deep it is. Probably 300-500'.

    Down pipe is 1 1/4" steel so heavy.

    I can't lift it by hand but I was able to lift it a foot easily with a tractor loader.

    So I know the general procedure will be to lift it and dismantle it as it comes up.

    I want to do this safely and without dropping it in the hole.

    Is using a tractor loader/mini-excavator a good approach?

    The obvious disadvantage is having to make multiple grabs for each coupler.

    So I need a way to grab the pipe to lift and clamp it. I'm going to save by pulling it myself and will probably use this setup a couple of times so I am willing to buy some stuff.

    Any suggestions on elevators, clamps, and procedures?
     
  2. ThirdGenPump

    ThirdGenPump In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Location:
    MA
    You use a pump hoist or a crane. You need 21+ ft of head. You use rated lifters/elevators. Doing anything else is stupid.

    There was an incident not to far from me where two guys lost hands trying to pull a steel drop pipe with an excavator. The customer thought the price for a pump company to pull it was too high. His irrigation company made a lower offer.
     
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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Like Thirdgen says, pulling 300'-500' of steel pipe without the proper tools can be dangerous at over 2,000#. Doesn't mean it can't be done, but it will be easy to lose a finger, hand, or worse. Plate and bell or pipe elevators are the only safe ways to handle that pipe. With elevators and 21' pipe, you will need a 25' hoist to pull up a full joint of pipe. If everything goes well, with a lot of work you can save some money. But if you break something or drop that pipe in the well, paying a pump man to pull and set it would have been cheap.
     
  5. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

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    Oct 29, 2018
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    SoCal
    My tractor isn't that big and wouldn't have been able to lift 2000#. I would have guessed around 300# from the "feel".

    I think 1.25" sch 40 is 2.25#/ft. So 500' would be 1125# + wire + pump.

    I'm pretty sure I wasn't lifting even half that so maybe it isn't anywhere near as deep as I thought.

    Maybe I can think up a way to weigh it.

    Probably worth making another attempt to find a well report from when it was drilled.

    Sounding it to get water depth may provide some insight also.

    I do see your point that I should get a quote on pulling it.

    I'm not under any time pressure and don't need to do anything rash.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Plus the weight of the water that is above the waterline; the pipe will be full of water.
     
  7. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

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    Oct 29, 2018
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    SoCal
    Just ordered a Chinese "crane scale" off ebay. Weighs to 660# which should give me some idea what I am dealing with.
     
  8. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

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    Oct 29, 2018
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    SoCal
    Given that it hasn't been run in 25 years, I expect it to be empty but it could still have some water in it.

    So another 67# / 100ft above the waterline.

    Too much speculation to make a decision with. I'm going to measure. If it is above 660# I will take a closer look having a pro do it.
     
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  9. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    1 1/4" steel full of water weighs 2.93# per foot. Check valve at the bottom will make sure it is full of water, unless the check is bad or have a hole in the pipe. Guessing at a 50# pump and 300-400# for wire.
     
  10. ThirdGenPump

    ThirdGenPump In the Trades

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
    Location:
    MA
    The amount of water displaced by the installation also subtracts from the weight. This can make them appear much lighter than the totality of the materials. For crane lifts we always calculate pipe full of water and weight in air to give a comfortable safety margin.
     
  11. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

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    Location:
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    2 strands of 10GA at ~80#/100ft.

    Over 25 years, even the slightest seepage through the check valve or evaporation would empty the pipe.
     
  12. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

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    Weight is ~630#.

    So 200-250' of pipe, wire, and pump.
     
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  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Close one!
     
  14. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

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    Paid a local pump guy to pull it.

    13 sticks = 273' of pipe.

    No water weight since the pipe had rusted through near the bottom.

    Pump it self is pretty heavy. I haven't weighed it yet but I think 30-40 lbs each for the pump and motor.

    Both are copper cased. I don't see any markings on them that indicates the capacity or manufacturer. Check valve was marked "Reda" and pump guy thought they may have made the pump also.
     
  15. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    That is gonna be an old one. I would be curios of the age if you can find the label?
     
  16. sreeb

    sreeb New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Location:
    SoCal
    I don't see a label. Just a few numbers stamped into it where the motor bolts to the pump.
    I think it probably dates from the late 60s to early 70s.

    I think it may still work. Motor was drawing current. No water at the top but that was because the pipe was full of holes.
     
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