Repairing a Bent Wellhead

Page 1 of 3  
This water wellhead was damaged when a clumsey gravel-truck driver backed into it. I don't know anything about working on wells, but I'm guessing that I probably need to rent something like a portable band saw to cut the bent top off?
Also, I can see an electrical wire just inside the shaft, so I guess the pump is still down there.
Do the pumps go all the way to the bottom? I think the well is like 150 feet deep.
My dad said they tend to pull a lot of amps and that I probably wouldn't be able to test the pump with a vehicle powered inverter. There isn't any electrical run to this well anymore, so I guess my only other option would be to rent a generator?
http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/7266/20110702damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img850.imageshack.us/img850/7266/20110702damagedwellhead.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If there is no power to the well what is it used for?
There are both submersible and jet pumps for wells. Since there is a wire going down that sounds like a submersible. But there should also be a pipe coming up from the pump. Frankly I'd be worried about pulling it up with the wire as usually you also can pull on the pipe. When was the last time it ran? I wouldn't have high expectations if the pump has been sitting unused at the bottom of the well for years.
No, you probably won't run it off an inverter, at least not a small one, and it might be 240 as well. Depends on the pump.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It was for an old trailer that isn't there anymore. The meter is still on the pole near the well, but it isn't in use. The goal is to get this well fixed up so that is can be used for a nearby building that has its own meter. A trench of several hundred feet will have to be dug for water and electrical lines.
I guess I could just run some temporary line from the building to the well, but I'd have to figure what the pull from the pump is and what the voltage drop over that distance would be.

You can see the wire in the pic. It's cut off just below the top of the cap, which seemed odd to me.

There is no pipe comming up. My dad thought that the pump just pushed the water up through the entire diameter of the shaft, but he was just guessing, and pushing a water column that wide doesn't really make sense to me.

How far down are the pumps usually placed? Do they just set down once they reach their sitting place, or is there any sort of lock or twist that holds them in? Do you just pull straight up to get them out?

It's probably been unused for about 10 years.

Should I just go ahead an remove the pump and test it while it's out?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Calling a gravel truck driver clumsy for running over something that was concealed in tall grass is not a fair thing to do...
If you have important infrastructure on your property you need to mark its location with 4' tall sticks before you allow someone to drive a vehicle loaded with something on your land...
About the cut wire: the well was abandoned and the trailer (with its electrical panel) was removed from the site... The wire was cut off at the most convenient place... Having a service drop and a meter can on a pole doesn't mean you have power accessible at that location without a panel...
A bigger question you would want to ask yourself is where is the old water feeder pipe ? They typically emerge from the well below ground like another poster described...
A well that is 10 years dormant ? Good luck -- sounds like at minimum you are looking at replacing the pump, if you are lucky...
~~ Evan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This was years ago, and I wasn't there at the time. I don't know what the area looked like back then, but it's sure grown up now.

It just seemed odd for them to cut it off as low as they did. I would think that they would leave some extra wire the work with. It may be common to do that, I don't know.

I'll try to get a better look down it when I get the chance. All I had on me last time was my cell phone and a weak flashlight.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 15 Jul 2011 14:18:24 +0000 (UTC), ShadowTek

If there is no pipe coming up, I would guess the pump was pulled. The "entire diameter of the shaft" guess is definitely not correct. Pumps hang from the pipe they are attched to and not the wire. They do not rest on the bottom of anything. As others have said, the top of the pipe is usually at a pitless adapter which is anywhere from 2 to 4 feet down the well. That's where the water goes through the side of the casing into a horizontal pipe to the house/trailer/whatever.
The top of the casing being bent is mainly an issue when trying to get an old pump out or when trying to insert a new one. The pump might not fit past the bend. You mentioned cutting the bent part off, but keep in mind, most code requires the casing to entend above the ground in order to keep surface water out of the well. So, if you cut off the bent part, you also will need to add casing to get it back up the height it is supposed to be.
Best of luck, Pat
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Jul 15, 12:47pm, snipped-for-privacy@neo.rr.com wrote:

Here in the south some well pipes come all the way up out of the casing instead of the pitless adapter. We just cover them with those foam fake rocks :-)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't think they pulled it. There was no reason for them to do that, and they didn't mention it. Besides, what's the wire running to? lol

Does the output pipe have to be removed for the pitless adapter to be raised?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

With a pitless adapter the output pipe is connected to a pipe running out of the side of the casing. You thread a pipe into a hole on the top of the adapter to pull the adapter, pipe and pump. If there is one you shouldbe able to see it with a good flashlight.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

No. The output pipe connects to the pitless adaptor on the outside of the casing. The pitless adaptor is in two parts. One is the outside part the delivery pipe is connected to. The other is attached to the pipe going down to the pump. That part locks onto and seals with the part attached to the casing. Hence, you can easily pull the pipe and pump inside the casing.
If you get the pump and well working, the best solution to fixing the bent/damaged casing is to dig down until you have undamaged pipe. Get a welder to come in, cut off the casing and weld a new piece on to it. Then you can get the appropriate cap, etc,. Or you can call a well service and I'm sure they will deal with it.
Also, the condition it's in now is a violation of code, at least here in NJ. The health and environmental folks don't like open casings that allow surface contaminents to go right down 150 ft into the aquafers. Even if you abandon a well there are strict standards for how it has to be sealed. So, I'd get it taken care of ASAP.

It's also an issue with regard to being able to correctly cap and seal the well, which you talk about below.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The bent portion only extends down about 6 inches, so it would probably be cut off about ground level.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You're still supposed to protect the top from intrusion by runoff. The inspector is probably going to require you to extend the casing.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 7/15/2011 4:34 PM, jamesgangnc wrote:

If the OP is going to use the well he for sure wants to protect from runoff (and cover the pipe).
You should be able to see a pitless adapter OK with a flashlight. If the sun is out a great way to see down the well is to use a mirror/sunlight. A flat mirror off the side of a car works good.
The pump motor may have a start capacitor on the surface. If 2 wires it should just be 240V. One wire may be a ground. You may want to have a water well company look at it. They could bring a generator to check it.
--
bud--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was up there today, but I didn't have time to take pictures. The electrical wire had yellow sheathing with 3 wires lying flatly together inside.
I'll take a better look next time I'm up there.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here are some better pictures.
http://img845.imageshack.us/img845/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
http://img546.imageshack.us/img546/9057/20110718damagedwellhead.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Good pics! That's a standard pitless adaptor installation. The top of the pitless adaptor inside the casing appears to be full of dirt that has fallen into the well. You need to get that dirt out of there and then you can screw a length of pipe into it and pull the pipe inside the well and the pump. Before you do that you should figure out the length/weight of what is inside the well. A 50ft well using poly pipe can be pulled by hand. A 200 ft one using steel pipe, well that's another story..... The one thing you don't want to do is get it out of the pitless adaptor and let if fall down the well.
The electrical wires come up through the cap on the well head and then make a u turn, heading down to connect with the PVC electrical conduit that has the other end of the wires. To fix it I'd pull the pump and verify that it works as someone else suggested. Then I'd get a welder to cut off the damaged casing and weld a new section back on. Get a new well head cap, hook it all back up and you're good to go.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

True that. A deep well is really heavy. The well guys set up a tripod over them so they can use a power wench.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I think you'll find that adapter has pipe threads in the top once you clean the junk out of them.
You might be able to straighten that well casing a bit if you have a welding set to heat it with. Probably be a real pain though. Cutting it off and adding a short section would be the easiest.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 15 Jul 2011 20:27:09 +0000 (UTC), ShadowTek

Code now reqi=uires the casing to extend well above ground level - and iff abandoned, to be properly "plugged"
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The well cap was broken, so they put a bucket over the wellhead it at first, but that was gone when I got there. There could be dead birds and crap down in there now for all I know. :(
There's a road with a ditch about 15 or 20 feet from the well, so I could dig down a little around the well once I cut it off, and then dig a trench to the road to divert groundwater buildup. That sort of thing might violate code though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.