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Old 03-01-2006, 09:00 AM
Pick Pick is offline
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Default Pipe retrieval tool for water well

Here is the situation. I bought a vacant lot that had the house torn down. It has a 2" water well about 60 feet deep that has/had a Sta-Rite vertical jet pump mounted on the well casing. It is SUPPOSED to have a 1 1/4" iron pipe going down to the jet. But the previous owners replaced the pipe with PVC. In trying to pull the jet out, which is sealed tight against the casing with leathers, I keep breaking the PVC. I need to come up with some kind of retrieval tool to lower down into the 2" casing to grab the PVC and try and pull it up.

Local well drillers say it is a waste of time, just drill a new well. I like a good challange.
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Old 03-01-2006, 09:09 AM
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Tom Zachman Tom Zachman is offline
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One idea for consideration (unknown variables) is to drop a lifting tool (your design) inside the pvc as deep as possible. Hopefully down to the pump. Then inject a 'cement' to encase the lifing tool. Let it cure before retrieval....

Hey, it's early.

Good luck with your pickin' Pick... and welcome to the well digger's thread.
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Old 03-01-2006, 09:20 AM
Big Al Big Al is offline
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If the top of the PVC pipe is above water and can be seen, take a length of pipe and glue a coupling on it and then put glue on the bottom of the coupling and push it onto the one in the well and let it dry and pull it out.
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:30 AM
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Heavy line with the largest fish hook you can fit in the pipe. Drop it to the bottom and hope it catches on something in the pump.
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:30 AM
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LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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Quote:
Local well drillers say it is a waste of time, just drill a new well. I like a good challange.
Heck, the drillers around here are drunks, I won't even use them to drill wells anymore.

I have in the past used something akin to an expandable plug. A rubber cylinder with a washer on top and bottom and a bolt and nut holding it together. Once the bolt and nut start to tighten, the rubber expands.

I made a longer than normal expansion plug, about 24" long. Every 4" the rubber was seperated by washers and a nut, with lots of lub, watersouable. The bolt for holding it all together was of acme threads to keep the needed revolutions down to a minimum. It was set up so the plug had to be pushed down the hole with enough grip as to allow the bolt assy to be turned with a socket to tighten it up. It didn't take many turns. I'll explain furthur how I determined this torque.

This is hard to explain without pictures. the whole assyembly was tethered with 2, 1000 lb+ wire ropes of about 3/32 diameter.

The plug assy was pushed down into the hole to a depth that was pre measured to know exactly how deep to go to be just above the jet pump.

I made a drawworks over-head and mounted my Dayton electric winch on it. Thje two wire cables were spooled on to the winch and slack taken out.

Now as I was pushing the plug down into the hole, I split 2 opposing sides of an old socked, and tacked it well to the nut assy that was welded to the acme thread rod. I inserted a 10' length of 3/8" rod, (grnd it a bit to allow it to slip into the socket,) and welded the rod to the socket.

As the expanding plug and socket was pushed into the hole with the rod, I stopped when the free end of the rod was close to the ground. I used hvy wall pipe of larger diameter, with split sides to allow for the next length of rod to be welded fairly solid to the first.

Pushing down, and repeat, repeat, till I had the plug assy down to the depth I neede it to be.

Carefully, after sitting in the lawn chair for an hour, putting off doing anything else and drinking down a good 4 fingers of bourbon and chased with a hot can of coke, I carefully turned the rod, to tighten up the plug.

As I turned the rod 1 turn at a time, I hit the button on the little ele winch. If the rod popped up with the pipe moving, I tightened it another round.

5 tries got it to where the pipe started moving.

Now it got a little hairy for me, due to the bourbon kicking in about that time.

As I winched up and pulled on the rod at the same time, I would cut the 10' sections of rod off as it came up.

Took 2 days to rig everything up and less than 20 minutes to pull it up.

Remember, plastic will break if a large force is exerted on the interior. That's why I made the plug 24" lg to spread that force over an extended area.

The cables were tethered on a 3/8" washer, using welded eye bolts on either side of the socket.

I have the crap hanging in the top of the shop, just waiting for the next idiot to swing a backhoe into the pump shed, breaking the pipe and everything at ground level, and then have your cousins kids drop all kinds of crap into the hole on top of the pump. Lil ()*%)*(&%)#'s

I was working the backhoe digging up pine stumps at the time.

Now, if you have it in mind to drop something inside and try filling it with any kind of cement, remember that whatever you add to pipe, you also add to the weight of the pipe.

My rule of thumb now, all wells on the farm have no pvc/plastic pipe for the well's innerds and no plastic is run that is run exposed above ground.

If you have trouble picturing the plug assy, pm me and I'll try to draw a pic.

Basically I used 8 seperate expandable plugs, removed their innerds and added the one length of acme thread rod and acme nuts in between with the washers. The nuts were tacked to the washers that were snuggled next to each. the washers had pointed studs that pushed into the rubber abit to not allow the nut and washers of the interior assy to turn, just the top one for turning, the bottom was tacked and pinned as well.

Phewwwww!!!!!
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Last edited by LW Hiway; 03-01-2006 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:42 AM
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Now being reasonable, assume from the pictures that the washers you'll use will be sized correctly so as to not interfer with the pipe while the plug assy is going down to the bottom.

I have used the same principle to remove 4" pipe for a larger well that had rusted at ground level, broke off and fell into the sand about 2'.

Time consuming, but if you take your time, anyone around you will feel you really no what your doing and bring praise down upon you.

Well, maybe an invite to supper and a beer.
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:50 AM
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Oil men use two different retrevial tools to fish out a well bore. One is called an 'overshot'. It can be like braided steel mesh or sometimes like a cone shaped spring. It works like a Chinese finger puzzle.

The other is called a 'mousetrap'. The mousetrap is a tube with a one way flap valve in the bottom of it. The flap is lowered down over a broken sucker rod, then when it's pulled up the flap bites into the broken rod and grips it.

You're going to have to figure out some kind of hoist or A frame to pull with.

Welcome to the board.
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Old 03-01-2006, 10:55 AM
triptester triptester is offline
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A method you might try is slide a thin but strong rope or cable with a large washer on the end down the 1 1/4 pipe. Than insert a plumbers test plug into the pipe, pressurize the test plug and pull up the cable. I have seen plugs similar to the test plugs in hardware stores that pressurize with a garden hose and have a small hole in the end to unclog drain pipes.
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:06 AM
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The way I'm reading his post, the center pipe which the pump is attached to at the bottom is inside a casing, which may or may not be steel.

The center pipe will be of a diameter that won't allow for anything to be placed over or around it, except maybe sleeves.

I guess I should make for certain which type.

Is the pump and submersible pump. Or is the pump on top, above ground.

If it is an above ground pump, then all that will be in the hole will be the center pipe (ground feed), and the foot valve. Around here they all have a coiled spring assy surrounding the valve that traps some of the sand and any solids from interferring with the valves sealing. In some cases down here the hole will close in with sand and clay mush getting between the casing and the center pipe, making it near impossible to pull up.

That's when the drunken pirate well drillers around here will mover over 2' and punch another hole.

It also, if like a normal well down here, won't have seals next to the casing to the center pipe. Would be no reason for it. The casing in that case is just to make the hole stay round and not collapse against the center piping.

I'll be quiet till I find out.

I hate "drunken pirate well drillers"
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Old 03-01-2006, 11:23 AM
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Sounds like the guys who removed my tree on Saturday. There was a 40oz of Bud Light on my slab outside the garage door (tree was on the back side of the house). Then a few of the crew asked if I had and weed. I was getting very glad my insurance is paid up at that point.

They hauled it away, but left a mess in the yard and street. The shed is still standing, so I guess they didn't do any damage. lol Scary people for sure.
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