Pump stuck in well

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Old 03-03-14, 05:22 PM
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Post Pump stuck in well

I've got my pump stuck in my well. It's a submersible pump, the well is approx. 20 yrs. old, the depth is 160'. I believe the bottom casing is 5" and the pump is a 220v I bought it at True Value Hardware but don't remember the brand. I believe the controller is a Franklin. When we first moved in here we had numerous problems with pipes cracking etc. and I pulled the pump up many times without too much trouble. Last week we noticed that the pump was running constantly even when I shut the valve off before the pressure tank. I figured I had a cracked pipe fitting again and decided to pull the pump. It's been 9 yrs since I last pulled it. When we dropped it last I put one of those rubber sleeves just above the pump, I was told it would keep the pump from jerking so hard and snapping the fittings, it seemed to have worked as it was a long time since I pulled the pump. A friend of mine also recommended that I put in two stop valves in line down inside the well...(mistake?) I had built a boom out of a cherry picker with a hand winch on it that I would put in the bed of my pick up which worked great for pulling the well. I'd pull 10' sections at a time like that. The hydraulic cylinder went out on the cherry picker ( I have one coming tomorrow ) so I couldn't use that. Instead I hooked up a 2000 lb. winch off of my ATV and bolted it to the floor. I believe my pump was down about 135' this last time and when we went to pull it up it stuck after pulling up 35' feet. It won't go up and it won't go down, I measured the amount of wire we pulled up and it was only 33' vs. the 35 ft. of pipe that came up so I'm assuming that I have 6-10' of wire wrapped up down there somewhere. Of course we can't see that far down, we did pull one of the stop ball valves free and can see that but that's it. When I get the boom fixed I'll have more pulling power, could even use both winches but I'm afraid something will just break. The wire and safety rope are still attached and I've untangled as much as I can see. I cannot see any wire ties or anything that was used to tie the wire to the pipe though....any help would be greatly appreciated as I've run out of ideas other than to just pull until something gives...Thanks ahead of time because I'm stuck just like the pump.
 
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Old 03-03-14, 11:03 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I'm trying to figure out what you mean by stop ball valves and why they are in the line inside the casing. Just pulling until something gives is dangerous as you could lose the pump.

One idea is to call a plumber that has a snake camera. You could lower that down and see what's stuck or caught.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 08:02 AM
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We have 1" pvc pipe going down and taking someone elses advice I installed valves that are supposed to stop the water from flowing back down in the well. I believe there's two of them, we have one above the PVC casing but there's one further down. My problem on having someone come out is I'm flat broke, I'm disabled and have very little funds to work with. Most people I've talked to want at least a grand to just come out and look to see if they can do the job. IF the pump broke off at the pump head I could pull the pipe up and then work on getting the pump up.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 08:11 AM
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Ok..... those are called check valves. They allow water to come up but not return. Too many check valves actually restrict the flow of water.

I don't know what else to offer you. Maybe someone will stop by with an idea. Good luck !
 
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Old 03-04-14, 09:57 AM
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Try using the search feature at the top right of the page as this problem pops-up several times a year. Many tricks have been discussed over the years.

I have never had a need to install check valves down the well as there is one built into most submersible pumps. In my mind more check valves are just more bits down the hole that can break or leak.

I never use anything to pull a well. Luckily most of mine are less than 200 feet and can be pulled relatively easy by hand, especially if you have a helper to manage the pipe as you bring it out. I like pulling by hand as you can feel what's going on. If it starts to bind you can usually just lower it a bit, wiggle or pull on the wire to get it freed. As you've found when pulling by machine you can lock it in tight before you know anything is wrong.

Now that it's stuck you're going to have fun (not). A camera down the hole to spot the cause of the problem would be the best next step at this point. You're in a tough predicament and I would strongly think about calling in professional help for this one. If you try pulling and the pipe breaks half way you might end up killing the well so the stakes are high.
 
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Old 03-04-14, 10:13 AM
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"rubber sleeves just above the pump, I was told it would keep the pump from jerking so hard and snapping the fittings"

Those are called torque arrestors and i hear that they stick sometimes.
Here is a guy that had a similar problem and how he solved it
http://www.doityourself.com/forum/we...oes-stuck.html
 
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Old 03-04-14, 11:49 AM
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Wow. That was quite a story. Sounds like it's easier to bring up 70 Chilean miners then to save a single submersible pump.
 
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Old 03-14-14, 01:34 PM
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Up Date....Pump is now out of well

After two weeks of misery and fighting getting the pump up we finally did it. My neighbor came over and gave me a hand, we used the boom winch and a 2000 lb. ATV elec. winch. We pulled up so hard that the cables were singing, the boom has 5/16" cable and the winch has 3/16" cable. We finally pulled until the pipe snapped off leaving 30 or so feet of pipe and the pump down there. The safety rope and wiring was still attached (at least we thought) Cory made a tool out of a fence post pounder and 10 lb. dumbbells with a pipe nipple attached to the top. We dropped it in the well 10' at a time, the length of my sections and when it finally bottomed out (went over the broken pipe first try, luck) the pump just started dropping to beat heck. We had the safety rope tied off and also had a 100 foot safety rope on the tool. We stomped on the ropes and looked at each other in amazement....We then pulled up about 15 ft. with rope and winch and it was tough going then it suddenly broke loose and we pulled the rest up by hand.
I learned a few things....our well does not have any PVC lining and it's rusty as hell, we brought up chunks of rust 1/2" thick, the torque arrestor shredded but came up, I figure we had several things jamming us up, the wire was tangled below the pump, all the rust and corrosion and as we started pulling the pump up the TA ripped apart and added to the mess. We haven't dropped the new pump down yet but the guy who I bought this place from said the well was only 160' deep, in reality it's more like 220 ft.

All is well that ends well I guess, thanks everybody for all the info and suggestions.
 
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Old 03-14-14, 01:37 PM
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Maybe it's 220 feet deep but only useable to 160 feet.
 
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Old 03-15-14, 08:47 AM
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Glad to hear you got the pump out! I personally would contact a local driller and see how much it would cost to have the well cleaned with a bailer. Bailing the well would remove most of the rust and sediment and help improve recharge. When they drilled the well they may have gone the 220' but only put in 160' of steel casing. It appears that the last time you lowered the pump into the well the wire slipped past the torque arrester. When you put the pump back into the well place tape around the outlet pipe and the wire every 25' and you should not get the wire below the pipe. I would also replace the wire. During the process of getting out the old pump you might have stretched or frayed the wire. I also would replace the pull cable with stainless steel cable.
 
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