Old driven well is stuck


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Old 05-23-15, 06:48 PM
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Old driven well is stuck

I have a 1 - 1/4 inch galvanized pipe, driven well. It is 27 feet deep in sand and clay. I'm trying to pull it. I built a rig and hooked a 2 ton come-a-long to it. Put a cheater bar on the handle, bent the handle and the pipe didn't budge.

I hooked up a garden hose to the well pipe using a pump getting water from the lake and put 50 psi of pressure on it. The pressure dropped to 44 psi after about 20 minutes and then held steady. I thought I might get some water up the outside of the pipe to loosen it.

This is the second day it's been sitting there with I'm guessing about a ton and a half of "pull" on it.

Any one have any ideas about how I could get this thing "unstuck"?
 
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Old 05-23-15, 07:39 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Not a pro with driven wells but I was under the impression that a driven point well that deep could not be pulled back up and that usually a new one was installed next to it.

I know if you have a clogged driven point you can use an air compressor to try and blow the end clear.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 03:25 AM
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What problems did the well have before it got "stuck" ?

How'd you determine that it's 27' deep ?

I'm thinking that you may be more successful by trying to drive it a bit deeper before trying to make it budge coming up . . . . if that is even necessary.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 04:12 AM
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I'm not sure why it's so important to remove the well. If it's in the way I would dig around it and cut it off below grade and fill in the hole abandoning the well in place.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 06:21 AM
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@ Pilot - Only important since I thought I could use the hole for the replacement well making the pounding easier and the chance of hitting a rock less. I attempted to put the new well closer to the house and hit a rock (or something) at about 7 feet. Had to pull it, bent the point, so that gave me the thought to pull the old one since I had built the frame work for the come-a-long. The well head (a T with a short piece of pipe and a cap coming up) is about 2 feet below ground level so it's already out of the way.

@ Vermont - I've been struggling with low pressure and air for over a year now. It's a vacation home and so I'm only here part time. I lost heat last winter and some of the pipes froze. Since they were old and only 1/2 inch, I replaced everything with 3/4 PEX. Still had problems. Rebuilt the Sears 1 hp jet pump. No help. Dug up the suction line under the house, no leak. Dug up the suction line from the well to the house (about 30 ft), no leak. Put "chemicals" in the well, no help. Put 80 psi on the well, no help. Got a 10 psi drop in about 10 mins. Hooked up a pump directly to the well head and got....... you guessed it..... low flow and air.

Then hooked up the pump from the lake to the well head. Got 54 psi, pump shut off, dropped to 42 and held there. Didn't check it to much after that.

My conclusion then was a clogged point that wasn't going to unclog. The well has been there for at least 28 years, maybe longer.

Dropped a string with a lug nut on it and measured the string.

After everything I've done. Attempting to "bang" that well a little deeper is worth a try.

@PJmax - I'm beginning to have the same impression.... lol As you can read earlier here, I tried the air pressure thing.

Thanks to you all for your interest in this. I've cleaned a few sink traps, replaced a toilet valve or 3 and replaced the flex line with PVC on the pool pump so that was the extent of my "plumbing" experience.

Do any of you think that if I just ran the hose from the lake into the hole around the pipe that eventually it would find it's way down to and dissolve the "stuck" area?

And, BTW, I tried to upload a JPG file and kept getting the message "the upload failed". Got any ideas of what I may be doing wrong?
 
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Old 05-24-15, 08:58 AM
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You are probably trying to upload too big a picture. The board has a 50Kb size limit. It will resize somewhat larger pics but not gigantic ones like from a phone.

By air pressure I was referring to +100psi.... although I see you tried 80psi.

Maybe the water is just not there anymore. Water tables change.
 
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Old 05-24-15, 03:39 PM
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I think you'd be shooting yourself in the foot by pumping lake water down a potable water well. If you contaminate the aquifer the well may not be worth much.

I would give up on the idea of pulling the well. I've had rebar and fence posts 3' in the ground defy all reasonable efforts to remove them and they only yielded after using heavy machinery so unless you're ready to pull with many tons of force I'd say it's easier to just keep trying new well locations until you get one in. It's expensive but you can also consider a drilled well.
 
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Old 05-26-15, 05:06 AM
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@ PJmax - Thanks. Most of my pictures, from a digital camera are many times larger than 50 Kb so no pics of my project.

@ Pilot - Yes, my foot is getting pretty shot up. I put together about 25 feet of 1/2 inch CPVC that I had laying around, hooked up the "lake pump" and fed it down the old well pipe to see if I could flush out the point. Only ran for about 5 mins and the water ran clear. So I don't think I was getting any flow back through the point (which actually didn't surprise me but just wanted to try).

It is as you have stated a choice between "pull the old" or "drive the new". I'm a bit gun shy from the first attempt.

I have about 30 to 40 feet of 3 inch diameter pipe. It's been laying out back for years and is rusted but it is real heavy gauge and seems sound enough to be used as a casing.

Can I get some opinions on the following:

1. Put the 3 in pipe over the existing 1 1/4 well, pump water between the 3 and 1 1/4 pipe while turning the 3 in pipe. Thinking this will flush out the sand/clay around the 1 1/4 as well as allow the 3 to go down easily. Once I'm down 10, 15, 20, 24, 27 feet?, the 1 1/4 should come out easily. Then I have a 3 inch casing and can put PVC down.

2. Put in the 3 inch in a different spot. Cut "teeth" on the end. Flood with water and turn. Again, now I have a 3 inch casing.

3. Pound in the 1 1/4 with/without teeth with/without flood water.

I like the idea of the 3 inch casing but after the effort required to do 1 1/4, 3 inch really scares me. I'm also concerned about getting the 3 inch out if I hit another rock.

Do you think the old well could be "wore out"? I've read where it could be "contaminated" or "spoiled" after so many years of use.

thanks again for all the help.....

Oh, and by the way, did I mention I'm and engineer...... which should explain why I keep coming up with different approaches and why I ask so many questions..... lol
 
 

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