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Thread: Bailer bucket.

  1. #1

    Question Bailer bucket.

    Hi all. I've got an older(30 yr), 26" bored well that I need to get the sabd out of the bottom. The static water level is 52'. The well is inside a block building so the only way to clean it out with a cable bailer is to take half the roof off.
    My question is: Can someone tell me how to make a bailer bucket that I could use with a rope and pulley?
    I know it involves alot of up and downs with the bucket, but I've got to do something....

    All help is appreceated.:

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Suction bailers have to be heavy to dig, and they get even heavier when you suck them full of sand. If it is loose sand, you could blow it out with an air compressor. Use some 1 1/4" sch 80 PVC that is threaded and put it together with brass or galv couplings. Run an air hose down the side of the 1 1/4" pipe. Put 2 elbows at the bottom of the air line and drill a hole about 2" up from the bottom of the 1 1/4" pipe. Stick one of the elbows through the drilled hole to point the air up into the 1 1/4" pipe.

    Now when you blow air down the air hose, it will suck sand off the bottom and blow it up the 1 1/4" pipe. An elbow at the top of the 1 1/4" pipe with a hose or another length of pipe will get it out the door. Dab the pipe around the bottom of the well until you get the sand out.

  3. #3
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Here is the "Inventor" in me solution.

    Get a submersible dewatering pump such as the Grainger 3YU56 (About $100).

    Connect the pump discharge to the bottom of a large burlap bag (like the feed sacks we had on the farm). I would extend the discharge pipe about half way up into the bag so the sand will settle below the end of the pipe. Secure it well since you will be lifting the pump (about 10 pounds) by the bag.

    Hang the pump/bag assembly with a rope bridle so you can drop it down to the sand in the bottom of the well.

    Run the pump and move it around so it pumps water and sand up the pipe and dumps it into the bag. The bag is like a vacuum cleaner filter. You want high flow to entrain a lot of sand.

    When the bag has as much as you want to lift, haul it out with the hoist and dump it out the top of the bag.

    Hoist the whole thing when the bag gets 100 pounds of sand in it. Dump the bag from the top. It will be like a big vacuum cleaner bag.

    Hoist the assembly with an electrically operated cable hoist hanging in the building.


    Alternatives:
    I tried to find a small clam-shell bucket such as is used for cleaning catch basins but didn't find one.

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    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    The Red Green in me says rent a towable compressor, stick the 1-1/4" pipe down the well deep into the sand, turn on the compressor and run like hell....

    Solved three problems...
    1. well is clean of sand
    2. well house has roof removed
    3. family has private beach in backyard!

    I crack myself up...
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

  5. #5
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    You will need a fairly good size compressor, even for just 1 1/4" pipe. In the past I have used a 1200 CFM compressor with 4" pipe, had to hang on to the discharge hose. It did a good job on sand and could actually drill new hole. I made a few sandy beaches in the middle of cotton fields.

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    That is called air purging or lifting. All you need is a shut off valve. You send the air line down and turn the air on in a few seconds and wait. The air will come up through the water column. Then play with the volume of air until you get water to come up to the top of the casing, then increase the air until you get a large volume of water out of the well. The water that doesn't make it out falls back down the well stirring up all kinds of dirt. This can take a large 85 cfm or larger roadable compressor (you can rent one if you can tow it) and volume of air. For a 6" casing, a 6" 90* sch 40 PVC elbow set on the casing pointed in the direction of where you want the water to go, with a hole in it aligned straight down the well for your 1' PVC air line to down the well through helps a lot.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member HidyHarve's Avatar
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    Default availability of materials for suction bailer

    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    Suction bailers have to be heavy to dig, and they get even heavier when you suck them full of sand. If it is loose sand, you could blow it out with an air compressor. Use some 1 1/4" sch 80 PVC that is threaded and put it together with brass or galv couplings. Run an air hose down the side of the 1 1/4" pipe. Put 2 elbows at the bottom of the air line and drill a hole about 2" up from the bottom of the 1 1/4" pipe. Stick one of the elbows through the drilled hole to point the air up into the 1 1/4" pipe.

    Now when you blow air down the air hose, it will suck sand off the bottom and blow it up the 1 1/4" pipe. An elbow at the top of the 1 1/4" pipe with a hose or another length of pipe will get it out the door. Dab the pipe around the bottom of the well until you get the sand out.
    This sounds like it would be excellent for my issue. My well is near Paducah tX, where we have a 104' well in which we have added 4" pcv casing. static water is at 72', but refresh rate is poor because there is 14' of "suitcase sand" clogging the bottom. We have been able to get the casing down 96' and must get more sand out to get it all the way down. Would it be feasible to rent materials in Lubbock to try that on my well?

  8. #8
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    These air powered eductors require that the well supply a reasonable quantity of water. If the well production is too low, you will run out of water and have to stop long enough for the well to recover.

    Last year I recovered about 10 feet of depth in my well by recycling the water back into the well at the start. I trapped the water in a large barrel where the sand settled to the bottom and the water syphoned off the top. As I progressed, the well production rate increased to the point I no longer needed to recirculate the water. I was putting in a new pump, so I just used my old pump to bale out the mud.

  9. #9
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Seems like a high head sewage or basin pump on a rope would move the sand out without any other rigging except some firehose or 2" pvc for an outlet. Probably cheaper than the rental on a monster compressor.

    pool suppliers sell vacuums using garden hoses with a venturi that might suck up the sand using your own well pump.

    If the recovery is low, do your filter at the top of the well and recirculate.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 02-20-2012 at 11:28 AM.

  10. #10
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    My father and I went down 120 feet on his well using the washout/washdown method. It was a home-made jet nozzle with one forward facing jet and a bunch of rearward facing jets. It works a bit like an eductor in a venturi, with the 3/4" supply pipe pushing the slurry up the 2" casing.

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