Well durn, durn well - Advice sought

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mr. Dot, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    Howdy,

    My well pump failed recently. While the wellguy was pulling the old one he felt a tad of resistance at 235' but the pump came on out ok. When he went to dropping the new one in it encounterd an obstruction at the same depth and would not go down. We gave it a breather over the weekend then he returned today with an attachment for the end of the pump that he hoped would align what he thinks is probably detached and mis-aligned sections of the 4" pvc liner.
    Didn't work.

    The theories are:

    1) the pvc joint at that spot has detached and is creating a blockage.

    2) there has been a collapse of the well wall at that point which has constricted the pipe.

    3) the good jolt of an earthquake we had last year might have busted something down there.

    Options are:

    1) Pulling the 400' of pvc liner and reinstalling - possibly $2000.00 with a high risk (according to my wellguy) that the disturbance of pulling the liner might cause the existing hole to collapse/slough or continue to collapse/slough. A roll of the dice in other words.

    2) Drill a new well close but not too close to the existing hole. $10~12,000.00 dollars and a sure thing.

    Either of these options will be a major financial hit for us. Option 2 will require a loan.

    Anyone ever had experience pulling a liner and reinstalling successfully? $2000.00 is obviously more attractive than $10~12,000.00 but if I'm throwing that money away I'm just digging myself deeper in the hole. So to speak.

    Original (somewhat dubious) well log shows brown shale and pea gravel at this depth. The existing well was not dug by my current wellguy - who I think is honest, by the way.

    Any suggestions or advice would be very welcome.

    Thanx.
    High and dry.
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We face difficult dicisions with wells.

    Our well guy always said to do a 5" casing, so these problems don't show up very often. Too easy to get a pump stuck in a 4" casing. Old news, doesn't help you....

    If the casing came apart, how will it pull up? Doesn't sound very promising to me.

    If you go option 2, might want to think about more $$$ now 5", less bother later in life....

    --->Paul
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i am not an expert in any field so take what i say as "free thinking" from a "free thinker", lol.

    are there any 3" well pumps available? could you run 3" pvc inside the 4"?

    are there any pumps that could operate from the surface and utilize plumbing that would fit in your well down to the water level? maybe you could run 2" pipe down to the water and use a pump on the surface.

    is there a way to get a camera down there to check things out? i know there are some chimney sweeps and inspectors who use the latest technology to examine chimneys for problems.
     
  4. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    I am real sorry to hear you are having these problems. Our well was damaged by an earthquake last year as well. Our 400 foot well became a 170 foot well- which what quite a problem for us since it is really a non producing seep spring in a well hole. We went ahead and dropped our own 4" casing and well pump down to the damaged area and are still able to pull 200 or so gals a day which is so much better than no water at all. I'm thinking if you can afford a new well (payments) now is better than later when it will cose even more???
     
  5. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    A casing at 235 feet? My casing is only 10' and I think my well guy told me the law requires either 10' or 20'. I've never heard of putting casing all the way down. Maybe different in other parts of the country.

    Could you put some kind of drill point down to clear the obstruction?

    Are you using a submersable pump? Could you switch to a above ground pump? Don't know that it would help as you still might not be able to get the foot down.
     
  6. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts (keep them coming).

    rambler - interesting thought about the 5" pvc. I'll do some pricing.

    MELOC - There is a 3" pump and I have considered that option but I have a gut feeling that my obstruction won't allow the 3" pipe. Here's the link to the 3 incher:

    http://www.grundfossmartflow.com/?gclid=CMX1v7fR9IYCFRICNAodKjZZZQ

    Supposedly the well diggers governing board has a camera and I'm thinking I might take that route. I think it'll add at least two weeks to my now 3 week no-water stretch though. The well is only 8 years old and I'd like to know why it is now a worthless piece of...um, hole in the ground.

    sisterpine - sorry to hear of your problems too. I bet the same quake bit us both. I'm in the Blackfoot Valley up North of you. You're probably right about the doing it now part. I may have to log part of the property to come up with the scratch and I'd prefer not to.
     
  7. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Your borehole has to be cased all the way down if the well is drilled in unconsolidated material (ie, soil). The borehole does not have to be cased when it's in bedrock.
     
  8. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    The 6" steel casing (according to the well log) goes from +2'~158'. The 4" pvc liner starts at 9' and allegedly goes to 400'.
     
  9. Mr. Dot

    Mr. Dot Well-Known Member

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    I've put in a request for the camera.
    Solar showers and bucket flushes in the meantime.

    :benice:
     
  10. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    Would home-owners cover any part of that damage from the earthquake?
     
  11. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

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    We have casing down to 650'. Yep, depends on what you find as you drill.