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OT- Collapsed Well

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  • OT- Collapsed Well

    Since our well pump was over 40 years old, I arranged for a company to come in and replace it, rather than wake up one morning when the snow is flying and not have water. 18 years ago when I moved in, out of curiosity I wanted to know how deep the well was. The well cap had 120 scratched onto the underside, so I added a weight to a 100 foot surveyors chain, it went all the way and didn't hit bottom, so I took the 120 as good.

    Yesterday, the company came and pulled the pump. I was concerned when I saw a significant amount of orange wet residue on a good portion of the pipe and pump. They reused the down pipe, cut off the old pump, new pump on, and down the hole it went.......but didn't go all the way. They tried to bounce the pump down but wouldn't go. Pump was pulled back out. I got my chain again with weight, and it went down 58 feet and stopped.

    I am thinking, the well has filled with sediments (I installed a sediment filter soon after moving in, and there is always some sediment in the filter and bowl) which explains the mess on the down pipe and pump when they pulled the old pump and it possibly allowed rock/debris to fall off the walls when the pump came out. Regardless, the well hole is 60 feet shallower than 18 years ago.

    There is 30 feet of water in the hole above the new "bottom", so we cut off the down pipe and reinstalled the pump in this water column so we have water, until we decide what to do. I suppose I will be talking to some well drillers for advice. Any thoughts on how the clear what is in the hole? My existing hole is 6", if I could get back down to exiting depth, it could be sleeved with a 4" perforated, my new pump is 3" in diameter.

  • #2
    Originally posted by rws View Post
    I suppose I will be talking to some well drillers for advice.
    This! I don't think that you want to be experimenting where unexpected consequences could result in your having to drill a new well $$$


    • #3
      What depth was the pump at? Did it pull Hurd at any point on the way out?

      A good driller will have a camera to take a look.


      • #4
        Why don't you just have them pump/flush the sediment out? Since you were able to pull the pump, the sediment isn't a hardened mass - if it was, your pump would have been a permanent fixture where it was. Certainly cheaper than a new well, especially if the old well provided enough water for your needs.


        • #5
          Have a plumber send the camera down the hole. Simple. If it's all gunk, have the well flushed and you won't believe how much crap comes out.
          Cheapest thing to do is run it until problems appear again.


          • #6
            I am waiting on a call back from a local large drilling company. The old pump came out fairly easily, one guy pulled it out by hand while his helpertended the pipe so it didn't kink. I would be fine to have a camera look, but it probably won't go below the obstruction. If it could be pumped/flushed clean, I would get new pipe and power cable and reinstall the pump and be happy.


            • #7
              Back in the day, my grandpa would've used a "sludger" to clean out the well. However, your well is much deeper than the shallow (now illegal) wells he fixed. A sludger is just a section of pipe with a leather flap valve on the end. The flap opens inward to allow the sediment to enter the pipe and be lifted out of the well. It's a good arm workout. 😄
              Location: Northern WI


              • #8
                As someone who has spent a fair amount on drilled wells, I would say you have several options. Around here they hydrofrac many wells. My present well is 850' deep and the pump is at 650'. One just up the hill from me is 1,100 and many go as deep as 1,500'. A good well driller can solve your problems, but be sure to talk to some of his customers. Bigger many not be better, just better advertising!
                Grantham, New Hampshire