Shallow well system continuing problem

Thanks to the good info here on this group I got the new jet pump in place and running last Thursday. I never thought I'd enjoy a shower and 3 loads of laundry so much.
The next day I went away for the weekend and upon returning yesterday morning found there was no water pressure in the house and the pump would not turn on. Figuring I'd screwed something up I called a plumbing service to have a pro look at my train wreck.
This was a reminder of why I should hang out here and not call plumbers. Thirty minutes and $150 after he arrived, the tech said that the pressure switch on my well pump was bad (found out later this was not true) and that his company does not do below-ground work on driven wells, so I had to call a well person, and then he left. In order to reach a diagnosis, tech excused himself to go out to the lawn and call tech support at his office to describe the problem get an answer. Some pro...
The tech's diagnosis for my real problem is that the well isn't producing enough flow to keep the column of water full under the check valve, which causes the pump to lose its prime. This may be true. He said this is due to one of two possibilities:
1. A screen or filter at the bottom of the well pipe may be clogged with dirt/debris; 2. The water table right at that spot may have changed.
The water table argument doesn't pass the smell test. None of my neighbors has a problem, we've had plenty of rain/snow and the previous owner of my house didn't have a problem in the 45 years he lived here.
My current plan is to open the top of the well pipe (requires removing some more 50-year old iron pipe sections, the hardest part of the job from a brute strength/time POV) and then run a few lengths of narrow iron pipe to the bottom and dislodge whatever might be blocking the well pipe. The well is less than 25 feet deep. Then I'd reconnect new piping to the pump, with some sort of filter or screen installed above-ground that I can service easily in the future.
Does this make sense? What am I missing? Thanks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BobN wrote:

An old trick (not that I am necessarily recommending it), is to place the barrel of a rifle down the pipe and fire a round. Theory is that (a)the shockwave will dislodge any accumilated debris, and (b)will "fracture" the underground structure enough to allow more water to enter the well. Warning however: (1) Don't hold your head over the pipe. (2) Don't do it with PVC well pipe - it will shatter it.
Bob S. (Who likes to live dangerously)
Bob S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"Mmm - lead! <arghlrghlrgh>" - Homer J. Simpson
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks, Bob. Have you used this method? I'd want to hear from someone who has done that successfully before considering it seriously.
"Bob S." wrote in message

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

No, my well is deep(220 ft) into an aquafer so I never had the need. Also it has PVC pipe. However a coworker tried the "shot down the well pipe" on his shallow well and said it improved the water output. But that's heresay and not what you're looking for.
Bob S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
BobN wrote:

the pipe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've seen shallow wells done two ways around here. One method is an 1-1/4 pipe driven into the ground with a piercing point on it that is screened, using a "pump baby". (old days). Two of mine are 2" pipe bored down 160 feet to the aquifer with a 23' long, 1" pipe dropped into it with a foot valve (screened check valve) on it. The foot valve can be removed and cleaned. For the other type, I would suggest a cap screwed onto the well, with an air fitting and valve on it. Compressed air forced down the well might just stir things up enough to get you some flow going. By using a small pipe screwed together in sections, along with a seperate water supply, you might be able to wash erode around the well pipe deep enough to pull it out with a chain hoist and "A" frame, allowing you to replace it. You won't do it without eroding around it though, it's like trying to pull a worm out of it's hole in the ground. This assumes a good water supply below, to begin with. All this will of course, depend on your local soil type, rock, etc. Then there's the old dynamite-down-the-well trick..........
RJ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"> Does this make sense? What am I missing? Thanks. I've tried the bullet down the well pipe and it never worked for me. The only thing that ever worked was to pull the old pipe and drive down a new point and pipe. However, once, I had to abandon the old pipe as it couldn't be pulled and drive a new point and pipe a foot or so away. My present well has an original pipe sticking out of the ground about two foot from the present pipe. The best but not cheapest solution is to have a well driller come in and put in a new well outside the foundation according to code with a submersible pump. I suspect that to drive a new well, you would have to do the work yourself. Around here, you can't have a well in the basement and can't fix one if it goes bad. Have to bring it up to code. In fact you can't sell a house with inside well, if the new owner has to get a bank mortgage as the lender will require a new well before loaning money.

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

You say that, but that's exactly what happened to a close friend. After almost 100 years of flawless operation by the slew of previous owners, the well simply ran out of water table. About the same depth as yours.
At best, he only had a couple feet of head room.

Trying to ream it is a little extreme. Simply pull up the line, and inspect the bottom end. At the same time, measure (with a weighted string), how deep the well actually is, and what the water level is. Then run the pump for a bit, and see how far down the water level goes.
I'd more think it's a plugged filter or leaks in the iron pipe.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

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.