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Thread: Removing Well Cap

  1. #1

    Default Removing Well Cap

    I need to disinfect my well and have not seen a well cap like this before where a pipe is coming out of the top. It looks like the cap is supporting the pipe and hose bib. How do I get into this to pour bleach down the well?


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    You could pull the blue plastic plug out and pour bleach down there. Problem is, even if you flush it down with 20 gallons of fresh water (which I highly recommend) you might still leave some bleach on the casing, droppipe and wire. I probably don't have to tell you what bleach does to metal.

    If you want to do it right, you would loosen the four nuts. No more than two turns. Then finagle the well seal and droppipe up far enough to pour bleach and water (in that order) down the pipe being sure to rinse all the casing, pipe and wire.

    This is going to be very heavy.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I agree with Bob.

    You could also take the boiler drain valve (faucet) with the missing/busted handle out and pour through the hole using a funnel.

    Whatever way you do it, rinse with lots of fresh water.

    Why do you have to shock the well?

    The "well cap" is actually a sanitary seal.
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    You could also take the boiler drain valve (faucet) with the missing/busted handle out and pour through the hole using a funnel.
    That would only work if the check valve in the pump is stuck open. Otherwise that pipe is going to be full of water.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    That's true IF the 1" galvanized coupler/fitting the boiler drain is in is part of the drop pipe, but don't think that's possible; an elbow with a straight side to it like a T somehow.

    I see a 2 line seal and they put a pipe, coupler and a boiler drain in it in the second hole for some reason, maybe to shock the well?
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    Well driller,pump repair. and septic installer Waterwelldude's Avatar
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    The best and safest way, is to just take the blue plug out and put the bleach in there.
    It cant be said enough, wash it down with lots of freash water.


    Travis
    "I shall never surrender or retreat" -Col. William Travis


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    CT pump guy Teets's Avatar
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    Could we see more pics at different angles, please?

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the info - seems like this is going to be a bigger job than I thought. Perhaps if I dilute the bleach in a trash can full of water then pour it down the blue plug? BTW, the reason for this is the county was providing free water testing and I did it. They called me and told me I should have the well disinfected.

    Here are some more angles





  9. #9

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    Thanks for the advice- I think I will get it tested again by an independent. BTW, The county folks did not even come out. They just sponsored this free weekend of well water testing and you brought down a water sample to them and left it.

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    One more thing to consider before removing the blue plug is that when you remove it the hole is going to be smaller because of the rubber lunch meat between the two metal halves of the well seal being squeezed. That hole is going to be about 1/4" in diameter. You can't pour very fast through a hole that size. It doesn't matter how much you dilute the bleach, it's still sodium based and will eat metal.

    If you took the test, like Sheza said, it's probably the "sampler" not the sample that failed. I can't believe any county would test water taken by a homeowner with no prior knowledge of water sampling. That makes no sense to me. If you even touched the sample bag on the inside with your finger the test would fail.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joejvj View Post
    Thanks for the advice- I think I will get it tested again by an independent. BTW, The county folks did not even come out. They just sponsored this free weekend of well water testing and you brought down a water sample to them and left it.
    I see now that the boiler drain is on a T on the drop pipe so you can't use that.

    Caution, Coliform bacteria comes and goes, so doing another test may or may not show a contamination but, usually once a well has shown the presence of Coliform, you shouldn't think you can shock the well and get rid of the problem.

    I have personally tested a couple thousand wells for Coliform and shocked hundreds that came back 'positive' or were found to be over the CFU (colony forming unit) allowed (which is < 1 cfu/100 ml) or shown to have E-Coli contamination, including my own.

    You're getting some advice here from people with no experience in this but, if you want to do another test, which is silly in my opinion because the county usually isn't going to screw up a test or its result or lie. And I doubt you stuck your finger inside a sterile bag or capped container. The county will write down your address though and keep a record of this, which I do not think is a good thing. And that recording is more what they are after than to help you but, now you know.

    You should be able to take a water sample from any sink type fixture in your house and have a no Coliform result.

    I do think you need to pull the pump/drop pipe up out of the well to introduce the chlorine. If it was mine I'd get rid of all the galvanized pipe and fittings too. And I'd go a pitless fitting IF you are in a freeze area. Galvanized does not get along well with chlorine and galvanized that is rusted give bacteria a great foothold to breed. Along with adding iron and rust to your water. The stuff should be outlawed for potable water use.

    Assuming a submersible pump, I'd use 160 psi rated PE pipe unless you are going down over 450', then I'd use 200 psi; both with extended length insert SS or brass fittings. Either way 1" down to 500' with a 1.5 hp pump. If a jet pump 125 psi and regular sch 80 PVC fittings is fine.

    The amount of bleach is critical. Usually a gallon of 5.25% regular nonscented bleach per 100' of water in a 6" well. Bypass any water softener and remove all filter cartridges from housings and shut off the feed water to an RO. *****After getting chlorinated water out of the well through the house for a few minutes, bypass a backwashed carbon filter but not iron etc. filters.

    Run a garden hose out to the well. Dilute the bleach into water in buckets and pour it down the well. Stick the hose down the well 10-20' and let it run full open for 20-30 minutes and shut it off. Then run water at every cold water fixture and tap in/outside the house until you can smell bleach in a large container at each cold water faucet, Then turn on washing machines to fill for a minute and shut it off. When done with the cold, run hot water for 3-4 minutes at one faucet and shut it off. Set the temp on the heater to 140f for a few hours and that kills all bacteria.

    Then *** bypass a carbon filter and wait 15-20 minutes and run each cold water faucet for 10-15 seconds shut it off and go do the next. When all have been done, repeat that every 15-20 minutes for two to three hours.

    This water will spot all clothing and you should keep it out of your eyes and no one should ingest it in anyway. Send all kids somewhere off site and tell them you'll call when they can come home.

    At the beginning, expect your water to be very dirty and you might have to take faucet tip aerators off but, you want to smell a strong smell of bleach at all the cold water inside and outside faucets the first time you run them. As time goes by it will decrease and the water may be clear to start and get dirtier or cleaner.

    Bleach is heavier than water and it will fall to the bottom of the well, that's why you need to run the hose for that 20-30 minutes, don't shorten or lengthen that time. Bleach weakens when the water is aerated and the idea is to keep pulling strong bleach out of the well to each faucet to replace the used up bleach so you get a full 'kill'. Letting the bleach sit for hours or days weakens it and it doesn't do much more than smell bad and cause things to corrode.

    After the 2 hrs or more of the 10-15 minute water runs, pull the hose out of the well and run water somewhere where you don't mind rusty chlorinated water that will probably kill vegetation and stain things. You do not want to run more gpm than the pump can keep up with or to run the well dry, so set the gpm at like 5 gpm and pay strict attention that the water doesn't stop or reduce to a trickle. If it does, shut off the hose for 30 minutes and start it again. The idea is to pump out all the chlorinated water.

    When done, sanitize any water softener by using a 1/3 cup of bleach in a couple gals of water poured into the water in the salt tank and do a manual regeneration.

    Then 7 to 10 days after there has been no smell of bleach in your water anywhere in the house, take a sample for another Coliform test. Don't be surprised if it comes back as contaminated. If not, retest in 6 month periods from now on as all people with a well should be doing anyway.

    Shocking a well can cause pump, power cable, drop pipe and water quality problems that are expensive to fix and if it is a water quality problem like colloidal iron, impossible to fix.

    Repeated shocking can make a bacteria problem worse and causing well cleaning and/or rehabilitation to be needed. It can be real tough to impossible to find anyone to do that and most drillers will want to drill a new (read expensive) well for ya instead. Which won't have any guarantee as to the water quality you would get.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    DIY Senior Member upper's Avatar
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    Sammy,when you catch someone with their pants down,what do you expect!!!!!!! Upper

  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sammyhydro11 View Post
    ... almost every well that i have chlorinated ... and was properly sealed, has not tested positive for coliform since.

    sammy
    Yes shocking a well, especially a rock bore well, is no guarantee that you can get rid of a bacteria contamination and many times shocking doesn't help at all.

    But it is not because the well is not "properly sealed". And we also know that many wells aren't properly sealed or sealed at all.

    For others reading this, there is no way to seal a well from surface water intrusion from somewhere at any distance from the well. And especially in the well head protection area which is the surface area around the well that recovers the well. Otherwise the water table around the well would not rise and fall with water use and precipitation. Or, you wouldn't be warned about pouring oil, gasoline, pesticides, herbicides etc. around your well.

    All the groundwater has been on the surface of the earth at some time and we know that groundwater is constantly being recovered by surface water from somewhere at any distance from the well or the well would go dry.

    Below is a graphic I found of a typical rock bore well. It is not perfect in its depiction but it's close enough to be used as an example. Notice the drawdown of the water level in the well as water is used. That only happens IF the water use gpm exceeds the recovery rate gpm of the well.

    Also notice the cone of depression around the well as water is used.

    When the water use stops, the well recovers, meaning that the water level in the well rises to equal the level of the water table outside the well.

    If you believe the well is "sealed", meaning the casing has a drive shoe on the bottom end in the bed rock and the outside of the casing is grouted from the shoe up to the surface with cement etc., ask yourself where the recovery water comes from if not the water table around the well. Not all wells have a shoe and grouting, or a shoe or grouting.
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    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  14. #14
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    We are talking about all wells all over the US and probably Canada, not just those you in MI drill.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  15. #15
    Radon Contractor and Water Treatment 99k's Avatar
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    I do believe that shocking a well is just part of the process of correcting the water and not the solution ... it must be done inconjunction with other changes. Perhaps, a better well cap, a well casing extension, etc. Shocking the well by itself typically addresses the symptom and not the actual problem.

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