New Well Setup - options?


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Old 10-04-14, 03:06 PM
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New Well Setup - options?

Hi,

Recently got 6" well drilled. 205ft deep, Static water level 80ft from top. Driller suggested placing submersible well at 180ft (sounds good to me).
Well is about 160ft from house site (yet to be built).

I initially planned to to run 1" line and #2/3 ACWU wire to wellhead from house site, build a shed over it, and put in all the goodies (PTank, gauges, electrical etc). Down the hole, I got a 3/4hp Franklin 230V (not installed).

Well, the driller said putting a shed over wellhead isn't done nowadays, as it is a pain to service inside a shed. Well, I said, I do build big sheds. 10'-12' ceilings should be high enough to rig a winch system and good placement of door should mitigate pump pulling etc. He suggested having pitless deep enough to avoid freezing and running line to a shed. I'm thinking, why not have everything together, with added freeze and tamper protection of wellhead (won't have to bury pitless).

Then I started thinking about costs. What if I could forsake a shed. Just run power and water line to wellhead, make a concrete pit beside wellhead, and stick the essentials in that? (pitless, check valve, disconnect and control box for pump). Have the Pressure tank in the house, with pressure switch, over pressure valve (75 or 100psi?)? Probably not doable, as the pressure switch supplies power to pump control box, both of which can only take a #8 wire. Maybe I could find mini splitter boxes to downsize wire? Then again, I could go back to my original plan and run #8/3 Teck copper wire, as all I am powering is the pump.

I do like building sheds, and other than cost, it would be nice to have an outbuilding with all the water stuff inside it, as down the road, I could run irrigation out of it too.

Before I drive my electrical wire supplier nuts (if I haven't done so), I'd appreciate your thoughts.

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Old 10-04-14, 03:20 PM
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You could have your Well's Pressure Tank and Switching mechanism inside a nice warm basement . . . . and still go about building that beloved shed; but use it for some other purposes.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 10-04-14 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 10-04-14, 04:24 PM
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I've just wondered about the mechanics of having a pressure switch that distance (160ft) from control box. How does one go about that? Pressure switch can only accept #8 max. Bit of a long run for #8. Do folks have this setup?
 
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Old 10-05-14, 09:10 AM
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Hi melliam –

Cold up there already? You guys only get 2 days of summer! lol (Just kidding!)

I’m no expert and probably not understanding the electrical calculation you are using, but it doesn’t seem to me you need anywhere near #8 wire for a 240 volt 3/4 HP pump at 250-300 feet? I think #12 wire would be OK – but maybe I am missing something.

I believe you can use this calculator to validate your thoughts:

Voltage Drop Calculator
 
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Old 10-05-14, 10:31 AM
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Pump sounds a bit small..

Also you dont want the tank outside as you state. 160 ft is a long way to draw water from the tank. You will have large pressure fluctuation IMO..

Put a pitless adapter in that well casing below the frost line.
Then run pipe from pitless to house.
Then electric from pump to house, to relay box.
Then you run electric to that box.

Tank gets installed in the home...
 
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Old 10-05-14, 12:05 PM
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Old 10-06-14, 01:08 PM
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Thanks guys! Yeah, the wiring to just a pump doesn't require a large gauge wire. I was thinking if I did a shed, then I'd need larger wire for lights, plugs etc...

I could do what is shown in diagram...part of me just likes the idea of having all the water 'stuff' in a shed, not in the house (Can put irrigation controls etc in it too). My first 'home' will really be a shed style garage to tide me over until I get enough dough to build a house. Given the small size, having a water closet will take up too much space.

Looking at diagram, the distance between well and home will be 160', which had me concerned about using the submersible pump (180ft of head plus 160' of horizontal pipe). I suppose the horizontal bit doesn't really matter much to pump. Driller spec'd a 3/4hp pump for well...as luck would have it, a kind neighbour showed up with two 3/4hp pumps (230v) for me to use.

With global warming, we get three days of summer now...Actually, I am parked in the warmest part of Canada, so we only see a month of snow (tops). Getting a tad chilly for lake swimming now, but I am still hopping in (66F water temp in lake yesterday).
 
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Old 10-07-14, 09:38 AM
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Hi melliam Ė

Beautiful country up there and Canadians are great. Our company did work in many places in Canada and Iíve been to many places. When we were up in Red Deer Alberta it was so cold most of my co-workers didnít have adequate winter coats, and the Canadian military couldnít provide any Ė because it wasnít considered a cold weather zone, lol. So a lot of the folks got nice parkas on the company.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 09:01 AM
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Yeah, Red Deer can get balmy in the winter...for a day or two, if you get a Chinook. Otherwise, you need a polar expedition kit. I don't miss the prairies...
Heck, I even worked in Inuvik, and I found the weather better than the prairies. A wee bit colder, but drier air and less wind made it pleasant compared to the howling prairie winds.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 09:15 AM
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Put wellhead inside a shed, or outside?

The driller has given me some great advice, but when it comes to the question of whether to put the wellhead in a shed or not, I am not so keen to follow his advice. He says the wellhead should be outside...just in case it needs to be serviced. I get his line of thinking, but a shed with a high ceiling and properly placed door should mitigate any issues when it comes time to replace pump etc. BTW - I am using coiled poly pipe for wells, so the pipe is flexible.

Having it in shed means limited possibility of tampering, keeping wellhead clean etc. Also, another motivation, is that I can have all my water infrastructure kit in one place. Can keep everything from freezing.

Anybody have thoughts on this? This well has been drilled in rock, so I cannot see it needing a re-drill for millennia.
What does everyone else have? Upsides or downsides to either option would be appreciated.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 03:05 PM
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I'm just a Real Estate Broker; but I've had close contact with thousands of drilled wells, among others, and have to say most are outside. If you're in a high crime area, then the cast iron well caps usually accommodate a padlock.

Only once in 30 years. have I had a culprit sneak around behind a house I had for sale, and withdraw the pump from over 200 feet below grade, and run away with it (after stuffing the epdm pipe back inside the casing) . . . . leaving me to deal with the new Owner a few months later. Quite the heist !

And finding a Drilled Well inside a shed or building ? . . . . that too only once. That was when someone wanted to create additional storage lockers for rental income; and as it turned out, Locker #27 happened to have the Owners Drilled well sticking out of the locker floor. Probably qualified for a discount (if someone asked for one). Do what is the usual and customary in your area.

I did once have a Seller with a shallow well experience vandalism when hunters dumped deer entrails into his well. Apparently he posted his land just days before hunting season, and that irritated some folks.

But you Canadians may have other issues to deal with, as in Quebec, which is next door to me, and as an avid listener to CJAD, I've never heard of and serious well vandalism or pump thievery to warrant building a protective shed.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 10-15-14 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 10-21-14, 01:03 PM
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Thanks Vermont. Just trying to understand driller's perspective. How many wells in sheds have caused problems. How often does a driller have to come back to a well and redrill (only reason for having it outside, as far as I can tell). I am in the mountains, and the well is pretty much bedrock all the way down. Removing and replacing pump won't be a big deal (180') if in a shed (poly pipe). Are wells more prone to contamination in a shed or outside. How long can a well last?
Anyways, been laying water service line and power to well...
 
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Old 10-21-14, 01:13 PM
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A couple more pics...as I loathe to do things twice, like digging up trench to lay irrigation pipe and low voltage line, so I threw everything in there.
Have 200psi 1" water service line, 75psi 3/4" irrigation line, #2 ACWU powerline, and 12g LVL.
 
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Old 10-24-14, 10:37 AM
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Here in TX we have lots and lots of wells in sheds, but we really do not freeze in my part of the state. You almost never seen pitless adapters around these parts, but up north that's all they use I'm told. Being in Canada I would think that going pitless and putting the equipment in a heated space would be the only way to go. I have a hoist truck with a 38' derrick and we cut a hole in the roof to remove the pump and pipe.

You will regret using that 75 psig pipe, even for irrigation.
 
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Old 10-25-14, 12:51 AM
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Haha...yeah, that 75psi pipe was a cheap option....couldn't stomach the idea of putting a double run of the 200psi pipe ($$$). Oh well.

I hear folks, down in your parts, use solid pipe over poly. I'm guessing it is because of the depth. Given it is solid, you'd need a hoist.
 
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Old 10-25-14, 07:31 AM
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Follow lasrosa's advice and do not place the well in a shed! If something would go wrong with the pump, it is a headache to pull the pump through the roof a a building. If you are concerned with tampering, you can get a locking cap for the well. You may want to investigate the use of a torque arrestor for the pump with poly pipe. I know people with deeper wells that needed them.
 
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Old 10-25-14, 10:40 AM
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No torque arrestor as per drillers instructions. He used to install thousands of pumps, and he no longer uses torque arrestors. He says they cause more problems than they are worth. They end up getting stuck and/or grab wire and becomes a rats nest nest when trying to pull it out. Now, on rigid pipe, it may not be a problem...I don't know. Instead, I am putting on a pump sleeve/shroud as per his instructions. Making it out of 4" PVC. Drilling a hole in cap for pipe and wires. My thinking is that this limits torque (side to side motion), as water will pulled up from bottom (also limits sand ingestion). Even if it did move, the shroud will protect pump from walls of well.

Since I am using poly pipe, I don't need go through roof. Don't need a crane.
 
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Old 06-05-15, 10:22 PM
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Slow progress...

Getting rather warm and dusty up here and hauling water sucks...

Shut down over winter, as I was broke, and building a well shed over winter didn't resonate with me. At any rate, got going in spring. Shed built enough so I can get the power and plumbing hooked up.
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Old 06-05-15, 10:43 PM
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Here is the interior...just a 100 amp loadcenter, with 3/4hp rated control box beside it. I have a thing for teck cable and fittings. Rather pricey, but I couldn't resist.
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I wish I had done a detailed diagram of everything...I just focused on getting everything plumbed into shed, without thinking where things would go. I used pex for the short run to 'T'. Not sure it is much cheaper than using municipal line and brass Ford couplings. Should get a pressure tank next week...just capped it for now. On to drop pipe and pump tomorrow...
 
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Old 06-06-15, 06:29 PM
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Things are moving along...drop pipe and pump. As I mentioned earlier, the well man suggested a sleeve over pump...well, he didn't really suggest it, he told me what to do. He also said no rope or wire, which I ignored. I'm not that brave. Not going to call him up to fish a pump out of my well.
I just jerry rigged power to the pump to test it with the pump wire hooked up. It appears I mistook B for blue, not black on the controller (blue is the new yellow). Thankfully, I came to my senses before I torched the hand-me-down pump.
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Old 06-06-15, 07:38 PM
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I dont know about the sleeve and disagree to some point...

Pump Sleeve / Flow Sleeve / Flow Inducer Sleeve / Pump Shroud
 
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Old 06-06-15, 11:37 PM
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lawrosa - appreciate any input. Part of me feels like I am a guinea pig, since I know of no neighbors with similar setups. And there doesn't seem to be a lot of sleeve research on the web. My immediate concern was flow, period. Not a lot of room between pump body and pipe. The well man did come by and see my sleeve, and he said it was good. After some quick calculations, with a 1/4-1/2 inch gap, I still have 2-4 times the area of the drop pipe, so I suppose all is good. I could have made the hole on cap smaller, but my initial plan to have cap underneath bushing wasn't feasible.

Clicked on your link...did like the sand/junk ingestion benefit, but the cooling effect never occurred to me.
 
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Old 06-07-15, 08:06 AM
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He also said no rope or wire, which I ignored. I'm not that brave. Not going to call him up to fish a pump out of my well.
I remember an old thread that discussed that topic – to use or not to use a rope. One of the pros said never use a rope because there is a significant enough probability that you can get the rope jammed down in the well such that the cost-benefit trade-off isn’t worth it. Other people disagreed, but I remember at that time I did a little investigation and it did seem that more pros than not said the same thing: do not use a rope.

That left me scratching my head because the installation manuals I have for Goulds submersible pumps definitely say use a rope. Yet the guys who do this all the time say NO!

So what are we supposed to do? lol

The installer didn’t use a rope on mine so I really don’t know whether I’ll install a rope when the day comes and I have to change the pump. As you say you don’t want to go pump fishing but you don’t want to get the pump and rope jammed either- life is so tough! lol

(but I think I'm leaning towards the guys that do this for a living, who knows lol)
 
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Old 06-07-15, 02:14 PM
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Yeah, I went with a SS wire, so we'll see one day...
I wrapped it up to pipe fairly well, so the hope is it won't be a problem.
BTW - I GOT WATER!
Dropped the works this morning solo...probably should have had an extra pair of hands...got sketchy near the end with T bar. I jerry rigged a roller at well lip to facilitate drop. That really helped. Had a clamp on standy so I could take a break. Grippy gloves also helped.
Nothing happened when I powered up...took a reset or two to get things going. Just need to hook up pressure tank, and voila! Stressful job as I've never traveled down this road before. Initial test 6.7gpm @10psi through a garden hose. Works for me.
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Old 06-29-15, 01:01 PM
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Pressure Tank install

I go a tad overboard, over think things, and just plain forget my plans. I just wanted a bullet proof setup, one that I wouldn't have mess with down the road...getting old. I wanted two pressure tanks so that when I irrigate, the pump isn't cycling (with these two tanks 44g and 20g, I get a 6 minute cycle time with one sprinkler on). That works out to 3.5gpm flow rate. The area in which I ran into problems was going all metal for piping from 'T' to tanks. Too many fittings = too many leaks, especially for SS. Now that I've cleaned them up with 4+ wraps of teflon tape, my hope is that will be it. Another issue is price. I should have gone with Philmac and Pex pipe from T to tanks. Would have been less than half the price. You can see I have Philmac fittings on the T...so easy to work with!
Valve coming off a T against wall is for exterior hose bib and irrigation line. Had a spare check valve and threw that on there...

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Old 06-29-15, 01:15 PM
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What is wrong with this picture

I was having a head shaker when I couldn't seem to adjust the high cut off...the bigger adjustable spring is for adjusting the 20psi spread up or down, as one. The little spring is for adjusting the high pressure cut off. I kept torquing down the nut and nothing was happening, the pump kicked out at about 52psi all the time. Eventually, I bottomed out the nut, and still the same. I thought this is weird...I decided to take it off completely, and still the same 52psi high cut off. Finally I figured it out....scroll down for answer...guess first! Clue is plainly visible in first pic.
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The problem was that the Square D assembly person was likely working on a Friday, and got the order of assembly mixed up...easy to do...spring goes on first, then washer, and finally nut. Square D owes me!
Upside is that one learns something, but geesh, it wasted a chunk of time, and my poor pump...
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Old 06-30-15, 08:40 AM
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Well I flunked, I didnít see it. Really good detective work! (You wonder how many others they did like that and some poor souls are out there going crazy right now trying to adjust it.)

The shed and entire installation looks really good to me. Good luck with everything.
 
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Old 06-30-15, 05:47 PM
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Thanks Zoesdad. In the pic without the spring, you can sort of tell the the post steps up a size as it goes through the pressure plate. The spring slides over it, but the washer doesn't...if the washer was a tiny bit larger it would too, and I wouldn't be typing this...it would be working. Yeah, I wonder how many have been replaced because of it...someone might rightly think the pressure plate is defective etc...and at $30 or so, just replace it.
Just thrilled to have water, and have my own source. All the areas hooked up to municipal water have meters, and the time is coming when they will be charged for usage (money grab). The bugbear is that we are in a rainforest (albeit, we are in a dry spell now). It isn't that we have limited water, we have limited foresight. No new sources were tapped when new residential areas popped up, hence the metering. And I keep hearing how California is buggered, and that we should prepare for doomsday up here too. Rankles me. We have enough water around here to fill all of California's reservoirs, and not even notice...of course, that won't happen, for the time being...
 
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Old 08-15-15, 10:39 AM
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Water tested

Moment of truth was getting well water tested. One thing I failed to appreciate, after spending $15k+ (and a plopping a nice shed by well), was what my options would be if I got a bad well (should have tested well right after drilling). A couple of regional reports have been commissioned for our area, due to the presence of Arsenic/Boron/Fluoride. I got a reading of 0.00068mg/L for Arsenic (Boron was below detection limits), which is well below the Canadian guideline limit of 0.01mg/L (used to be 0.025mg/L). That was sweet news.
I did have high Iron and Aluminum levels...From my readings, they are not critical, but I'd like to look at filtering those ones out. Has anyone had to filter out those elements? If you did, what did you use and were you successful?
Had my first drink swig of my well water last night...a fine year!
pH 7.18

Aside: was thinking Iron (Fe) level might be high because of pressure tanks? When I was playing around trying to get my leaks resolved, I noticed the inside of elbow on pressure tank was rusty...it wasn't that way when I bought it.
The pump is a used one, but it is all plastic and SS, so if it was disintegrating, I wouldn't get Al or Fe. Lastly, I've been flogging my system for irrigation..we were in drought conditions, and I was irrigating cedar trees, so I was pulling a lot of water from well. I think I might pull up pump about 5-10ft, as I may be picking up crap from bottom of well, given my turbidity reading was high. Hardness and dissolved solids were very low. And Bacteria was 0.
 
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Old 08-15-15, 11:21 AM
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Looks like a good clean install. I noted in your October comments about putting the shed over the well head. I had a client who did that, then the realization hit him that they used iron pipe for the casing. Pure orange water all the time, so he had to have it sleeved with PVC. Au contraire! Not with a shed sitting on top of it.

SO, we were hired to lift and move the shed, one click at a time to a new location. Up 3' and over the complete width. You'll see the well head in pix #3. Pictures of the nightmare:

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Old 08-16-15, 11:18 PM
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I didn't put shed over well head (shed is about 4ft to one side of well). I forgot to mention that I did notice the casing had a rusty interior, but the casing is only 20ft deep, and the static water level is around 80ft. But you got me thinking...if pitless was leaking, water would run down casing into well. It is all new, so I wouldn't expect that at all. See if can shine a flashlight down well casing to see if any water dribbles down from pitless. I wouldn't expect the rusty well casing to drop rust particles down well?
It is standard fare to use a metal casing up here...as it is all rock. Hmmm, maybe the high iron is from drilling? Will get it tested in a year....

Now, the high Aluminum has me stumped...nothing in system is aluminum. And the geology is intrusive igneous rock such as Gabbro (at depth), with perhaps diorite, granodiorite at surface. Must be a vein/sill of something Fe/Al down there...

If the casing is a problem, what does one do? Line it? Wonder how that works...
Have to look up Bentonite, the casing cement to see what is in that...hmmm, lots of aluminum in that...maybe some plunked into well?
 
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Old 08-16-15, 11:22 PM
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BTW - that shed moving job doesn't look fun at all. Like those jacks.
Did you grease the skids and slide it over?
 
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Old 08-17-15, 04:30 AM
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Jacks were awesome. Used them on the 4 corners and cribbed as we went along, one click at a time, holding my breath all the way. Didn't think of greasing the frame, but hindsight..... We used strap come alongs tied to trees, again one click at a time. Couldn't get my Ram up to the site due to wet slime on the roadbed. Otherwise I'd have used 4wd to pull it over.
 
 

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