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Experience:  Licensed Architect- 17 years
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We are pulling a well pump - snapped the schedule 40 pvc pipe

Resolved Question:

We are pulling a well pump - snapped the schedule 40 pvc pipe and pump and wiring went to the bottom - what now?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Brian replied 5 years ago.

HelloCustomer

Welcome to Just Answer.

Sorry to hear about your problem.

If you suspect the pump is old, you need to be concerned about possible damage to the pump from the fall; it could be leaking PCB's or oil and contaminating the potable water. PCB's are man-made chlorinated hydrocarbons similar to pesticides. The manufacture of PCB's was banned by the EPA in 1976 and most uses of PCB's were banned in 1979. Capacitors within the motors of certain two-wire submersible pump models manufactured before 1980 contain PCBs, which could be leaking into the surrounding water. PCBs are not a concern in submersible pumps manufactured after 1979 or in pumps with three wire, water-cooled motors. If you suspect the pump may have PCB's, have the well water tested before consumption is allowed.

 

Based on this information, a diligent attempt must be made to remove the pump, but caution is warranted. Leaving the pump in the well can result in contamination, but excessive force while fishing for the pump can cause physical damage and oil can be released into the well. Observing the position of the pump by inspection with a downhole TV camera aids in selecting the proper fishing tools. If fishing is unsuccessful, entombing the pump in cement grout or pump/casing extraction by overdrilling may be necessary. A new pump can then be installed.

 

 

If you need further help or clarification on this answer, please do not hesitate to reply to this post.

 

Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer.

Best of Luck, Brian

 

Please leave feedback at your convenience.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
This well is at a flip house we are working on. The well is older as in 1983-84 and when we had the house pressure-washed before it was painted we think that the painter ran the well almost dry and that the pump burnt out tring to pull all the silt up that was on the bottom. The toilet and sinks have silt and mud in them and the filter for the house (when we checked) was completely full of the same! We do not think it is the breaker, and yesterday started to pull the pump we got out one section of the pvc pipe and assumed (incorrectly) that it would be connected to the black flexible pipe (it did not!) We were just starting to grab the next section when the pvc snapped and the pump, pipe and wires rushed to the bottom of the well. We do not think the pump was damaged in the fall, but it is burnt up and still needs to be pulled. We have a full time company, TTJ Communications, that installed computer networks and are very savvy at fishing walls and ceiling, you name it - but even with a flashlight down the hole, and using fish tape and a few different types if hooks and all our tricks, so far nothing is working. I think part of the crew if searching for a grapling hook now. We can see the wires and can see the pipe we just can't find a the best way to "hook" it , to get it far enough up to grab it - and since the well is all the pvc pipe (we think?) what will stop it from breaking again? at any time? The well is 325 feet deep and we only broke off about a 20 foot section- how do we stop the breaking once we get to start pulling again? Should we break it at regular intervals? We can't very well run it straight up in the air for 300+ feet?? Any good advice!!!???
Expert:  Brian replied 5 years ago.

Wow, I see your dilemna. What a lousy setup if the entire piping is SCH40. I would probably try to guide a rope with a self closing knot and try to have the knot close around a coupling. I would then pull it up slowly and every 20 feet or so torch off the section that is out; this way you don't shake anything, possibly breaking the pipe again. Just don't breathe in the vapors. Once you get the pump out I would still test the water for PCB's.

 

Good luck to you!

 

 

 

 

If you need further help or clarification on this answer, please do not hesitate to reply to this post.

 

Thanks for asking your question at Just Answer.

Best of Luck, Brian

 

Please leave feedback at your convenience.

Brian, Architect
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2957
Experience: Licensed Architect- 17 years
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