I just moved to "the country" and have a well. I want to pour a
concrete slab around the well, but worry about eventually having to
replace the pump. People tell me that the metal pipe has to be pulled
out to replace the pump and that I should avoid pouring up to the
casing and leave an access opening in any roof over the well to allow
the pipe to be pulled out. Is this true? How much clearance around
the well pipe should I leave? How much access in the roof is needed?
This reply will assume that by "pipe" you mean something like a 6 inch
The pipe does not have to be pulled to pull the pump out. The pump comes
right up through the casing (six inch pipe, typically).
You do have to leave access from the top. IF your pump was installed using
galvanized pipe, it is likely in 20 feet sections. Those sections would all
have to be pulled out of the well, one at a time. That alone would require
20 feet of headroom. This is usually done by a small crane/lift/winch,
built into the truck that the pump company would use.
If you have pvc pipe going down to the pump, you still have to have room for
the truck/machinery to be positioned in place over the top of the casing.
So, a small well house is fine, but you need to be able to complely remove
Well, if you have (as it sounds and is typical) a submerged pump, how
would you expect it to be replaced/repaired when necessary if you don't
pull it? Dig a new well?
The casing isn't pulled, the pump is on the end of the supply pipe and
goes down the well inside the casing. You can pour a slab around the
casing, but certainly you must leave access to pull the well when
required. As for how much space, it will depend on what type of rig and
how deep the well is for absolute bare minimums, but you'd best
think/plan on essentially making it so that a truck the size of a well
drilling unit can back up to the hole and set up and two big, burly guys
can work essentially unconstrained around it. Otherwise, you're simply
asking for trouble and additional expense. Also, note that when you
pour this slab, if it extends any significant distance from the well
that it must be sufficiently strong to support such a truck and the
leveling pads they'll put down to pull the well...it can take a pretty
stout pull to break a pump snubber free from the casing after it's set
there for several years since the last time it was pulled/set.
Household wells here typically are set at roughly 200' w/ 1-1/2 - 2"
pipe. That plus the pump/standing water head and breaking force as
noted is a fair load. IOW, don't build a pretty little house around it
that you can't get good access to the well itself around and don't pour
just a thin sidewalk slab at least on the one side where there will need
to be access to the well w/ the service rig.
Of course, if you're in one of those areas that has a shallow small
well, that's something totally different...there one can rig up a gin
pole or pull it by hand w/ a few stout buddies...or some buddies w/
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