Well liner question

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Oregon Incognito, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    Just bentonite is fine. Yes, cover the outlets adapter with bentonite. That has been a concern of Washington's Dept of Health in our Technical Advisory Board meetings. They have seen instances where the spud nut on the pitless adapter wasn't tightened enough or a sloppy hole was cut, resulting in surface water leaking into the well around the pitless adapter.

    A correctly drilled hole along with a correctly tightened spud nut should result in a sealed fitting that will hold pressure from the inside or outside.

    As a practical matter, probably less than 5 percent of wells have the surface seal restored after digging the trench and installing the pitless adapter.
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
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    Lubbock, Texas
    It is hard to install a pitless in an existing well without messing up the surface seal. But when we drill a new well with a pitless planned, the surface seal is all below the pitless. Surface seals only require 10' seal where a pitless requires 25' sealed below the pitless.
     
  3. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Any Loctite Red etc on the nut for the pitless?
     
  4. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    Washington and Oregon both require 18 ft surface seals starting at ground level. Personally I've lobbied for a deeper seal and forget about the top 3-5 feet. I've been outvoted in the TAG meetings when reviewing changes to the rules for Washington. The example I've used also is the full pitless unit. The casing is going to be dug out with a backhoe 3 to 5 feet deep. If the backhoe has the standard 24" bucket, you end up with a hole at least 5 feet in diameter. What good is that 2 inches of bentonite or cement going to do in that 5 foot diameter hole? Of course as a practical matter, when I use a pitiless unit, I've normally done a formation seal 100 to 800 feet deep. In Washington, by definition the top 18 feet is a surface seal. Sealing deeper than 18 feet is by definition a formation seal.

    No, locktite would serve no purpose on the spud nut. The problem is installers using a cutting torch on steel casing to make the hole, and not cleaning the slag off. Or not cutting a round hole. For over 25 years, I've been using a hole saw to cut the hole for a pitless adapter. PVC IS NOT normally used for casing in Washington. There is actually a prohibition in the regulations for drilling inside PVC casing. So PVC is normally bused as a liner installed after drilling. Again definitions. I remember once 30 years or so ago I drilled a well and used 6" pvc casing at the surface. The pump installer came out as I was finishing the well. He had never seen pvc casing at the surface before. He wanted to know how in the hell he was going to cut a hole for the pitless adapter with his cutting torch. I lent him my hole saw. I

    As I recall, the pitless adapter standards call for a pitiless adapter dealing rings to deal up to 25 psi internally and externally to the casing.
     
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  5. Oregon Incognito

    Oregon Incognito Member

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    Jul 9, 2019
    Location:
    Albany, Oregon
    Good to know.
    Yes, I bought a steel cutting hole saw and plan to die grind the sharp edges. Next, I was going to use my 4.5" grinder and sanding disk and get the rust and debris off the outside of the casing so the rubber seal will make good contact. Do you use paint primer on the bare metal for rust prevention around the seal?

    Inside the well cap do you use crimp and heat shrink or do you use silicone wire nuts to terminate the pump wires to the incoming power wire?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Heat shrink only under water at pump. Wire nuts at top under cap.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I would use Molykote 111 or similar silicone grease on any rubber seals and o-rings that don't move in action. I am not a pro.

    Softener seals that move would be better with a lighter silicone release compound, but a pitless is one of those that don't move while in service. Either would do fine with a pitless.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
  8. Boycedrilling

    Boycedrilling In the Trades

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Location:
    Royal City, WA
    Per the NEC the inside of well casing is defined as a “wet location”. Again definitions are important. So this means that the spice under the well cap cannot use plain wire nuts. They have to be the silicone filled wet location rated wire nuts. Same with Polaris connectors. The plain ones are not allowed. Have to use the wet location ones. Of course butt splices with shrink tube is allowed. In Washington you have to have an electricians 03 or 03A license along with the corresponding plumbers license to install pumps. We obtain electrical permits and the installation is inspected. The method of splicing the electrical conductors and grounding of steel casing are some of the things the electrical inspectors here look for. If it is not to code, I get a correction notice and it is reinspected after I have made the corrections.

    I have received a correction notice for not using the correct screw to ground the casing.
     
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  9. Oregon Incognito

    Oregon Incognito Member

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    Location:
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    I installed the pump last weekend and wired it temporarily yesterday. A little never racking setting a pump for the first time, but everything went great. I put an air pressure gauge on the system at 50PSI and it only went down to 45 in a week. With the pump free-flowing it is producing about 15GPM. The water ran clear from the beginning. It does have a slight sulfur smell to it. Next, I will get the water tested.

    Thanks again for all of the help!
    Steve
    Pump.jpg
     
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  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Nice.
    Air precharge is set and measured when the water pressure is zero. If that is what you did, then a 5 psi drop in a week is not good.

    If, on the other hand, you measured the 50 psi when there was water pressure, not surprising. If the water pressure is higher than the air precharge level, the air will read about the same pressure as the water pressure. That measurement is only done to compare the calibration of the water pressure gauge and the air pressure gauge.

    Are you bringing up sediment into that bucket, or are you sand free?
     
  11. Oregon Incognito

    Oregon Incognito Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2019
    Location:
    Albany, Oregon
    After I installed the pump I air pressure tested it with no water in the system. Basically the air was from the pump check valve through all the piping and couplers to just outside the pitless adapter. The gauge was installed at the pitless adapter outside of the well casing. Would you consider that a leak? My understanding is air has no viscosity(leaks easier than fluids) so water at this pressure or more would probably not leak.

    No sediment or sand in the bucket.

    Steve
     
  12. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I think you are implying that you held some level of air pressure, presumably while not adding more air. Yes, the air will go through a given leak place much faster than water would. So if it held air at some psi, it would hold water to a much higher psi.
     
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Semi-Retired
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    NW Ontario, Canada
    Most if not all of the 5 PSI drop can likely be attributed to temperature change.
     
    Bannerman likes this.
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