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Thread: What is the deal with this Whitewater well cap?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member asnyder's Avatar
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    Oct 2013

    Default What is the deal with this Whitewater well cap?

    First, a little background...

    I have a galvanized steel well that goes to an unknown depth. The pump had been getting progressively louder for months, and a week ago stopped pumping water. The 3/4 HP control box has a breaker on it and trips a few seconds after resetting it. Before it trips, a substantial humming noise can be heard coming from the conduit between the main service panel and the pressure switch. I have swapped the control box with a new one with the same result. I have tested and found 240 volts at the pressure switch, at the control box, and at the well head with the pump disconnected (it is a 3 wire, and yes I am aware of the voltage switch over from the red to the black wires). A few of the times I was able to reset the box and forced the pump to kick on for less than a second before...nothing. I have also checked the resistance of the wires coming from the pump to the top of the well and each reading seems out of the range. At this point I am relatively confident that the pump has either locked up (because of sediment, etc.) or the windings are bad on the motor, or both. The pump is at least 5 years old, but probably much older. The house was built in 1966, and the wires to the pump have been replaced at least once, as the old wire set sticks out of the ground at both ends. The ground wire on the newer set of wires to the pump has never been connected.

    On to the &$*$#@ well cap problem...

    The cast iron well cap that is at the top of the well is marked "Whitewater Mfg., Whitewater WI." There is also some mention of patents that are held for their pitless adapter products. The cap has an eye bolt sticking out of the top, and appeared to be held in place by 3 set screws spaced evenly around the side/perimeter of the cap. If the photos appear below as I hope, you will see that by peeking through the portion of the cap that is the junction box, a galvanized pipe (1 or 1 1/4") appears to run straight up into the bottom/center of the cap.

    I have used a hammer to make sure that the cap is not rusted onto the well pipe, and can slowly rotate the cap by hammering one side of the junction box, and I can wiggle the cap with my hands (side to side), but I cannot pull the cap up. My only thought is that the galvanized pipe that is visible is screwed into the bottom of the cap and also into the pitless adapter. Is this possible, and, how do I remove the cap (an engine hoist)? I was hoping to pop it off, put a T-bar in the pitless adapter and start pulling the pump up (with the help of a few friends, of course). But none of this is possible if I cannot figure out what is going on with this cap.

    Hopefully the pictures show up...thanks in advance for any help.

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    Last edited by asnyder; 10-03-2013 at 07:53 PM.

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member asnyder's Avatar
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    Oct 2013


    Second picture...

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  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    Apr 2012


    That sure is one F'd up looking arrangement.

    It does look like the eyebolt is somehow connected to that short piece of galvanized. You will probably need a hoist truck to pull it.

    My immediate concern is that when galvanized is left in a well like that it tends to corrode and when a pull is put on it, it will break off at the pitless.

    Something else to consider is that the pump maybe hung on galvanized pipe and be wayyyy too heavy for you to pull by hand.

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