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Thread: Well located under house.

  1. #16
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    You could also insert a wire (pair) into one of the pipes going to the well. How much you can push will probably give you an idea how far away the well is. You might even be able to feel how far the pipe goes down before turning. Anyway, once the wire is in, use a signal generator and receiver designed to find underground wiring. You may be able to rent one, use a contractor that does that, or search the internet and build one.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member deuce6911's Avatar
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    If I start probing around with a steel rod don't I run the risk of damaging the plastic hoses going from the well to the pump? I am assuming the top of the well will be about 4 feet down since that is the depth where the hoses go horizontal under the foundation.

  3. #18
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    It's all in the fingers! Do not have a sharp point on the probe, and be gentle ... and when you think you have found something and begin (or continue) digging, be even more careful with the point of your spade!

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member deuce6911's Avatar
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    I am thinking with the jet pump setup that I have the top of the well must be at least 4 ft deep. Otherwise I don't see how the pump could be primed if it was lower than the top of the well where the hoses enter the well. Does that make sense?

  5. #20
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The well could have a pitless adapter, which brings the water line out the side of the casing, below frost depth, and the top of the casing could have a sanitary cap on it, and maybe be only a couple feet under the grass roots.

    Or you could have 4' square pit 6' or deeper with a cement roof on it a couple feet under the yard's surface.

    So go find either one and bring the casing up out of the ground or suffer no water someday while the ground is frozen to like 5-6' deep under a couple feet of snow while you wait for someone to find the well and open it. You'll need serious luck in finding that guy.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    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.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member deuce6911's Avatar
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    Good point, I will find this thing before winter.

  7. #22
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Good man. If you know anyone at the local water company or an excavator that digs up yards, find someone with one of those wands that they use to find and mark underground lines so they don't 'break' them when digging. They make finding a well fairly easy if it's possible.

    As a last resort, you start digging down along the outside of the cellar wall until you find the lines and then follow them.
    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.

  8. #23
    DIY Junior Member deuce6911's Avatar
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    The pipes are plastic so I think a tracer wire would have to be inserted from inside the house to use the electronic locating method. I would rather not disassemble any piping until I know what I am dealing with.

    Our soil is very easy to dig in (all sand) so I may just dig near the house and see what direction the lines are going. Then I will dig another hole 5 feet away and so on. The hard part will be explaining to the wife that this is necessary in order to ensure a reliable source of domestic water in the future.

  9. #24
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I do have experience doing this... A wand can find the metal casing or pitless adapter or sanitary seal.

    Digging down and following the lines is the easiest, quickest and best way to do it. Think of what you'll do after digging a hole large enough for you to go say 5' deep and not finding the lines. Should you dig another 6"? A foot? Or, move over somewhere else and do it again?
    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.

  10. #25
    DIY Junior Member deuce6911's Avatar
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    After further research it seems likely that the well is located under my front step. This is based on some documentation that another neighbor had. It shows the location of the well as under the front step. They have the same house built the same year. Their well depth is recorded as 182 feet, ours is 178 feet. I dug down next the the step and there is a wall going down seven courses of block deep. The jet pump is located just on the other side of the basement wall. Apparently this used to be common back when the house was built in 1971. So now I need to remove the step to get access. Not sure what I will see or if I will need to do any more digging. If the well is indeed located there it would make extending the well casing above grade more difficult since the step is there.
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  11. #26
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    That discovery, my friend, to put it mildly SUCKS. I take it your discovery has lead you to let sleeping dogs lie ?

  12. #27
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Unless you are positive that the well is under the slab, you might want to dig out in front of the steps to see if the lines go on out into the yard.

    Otherwise you remove the slab to get to the well. You have a pit type well, under the slab. Remove the slab and you probably will have a cement walled box 4-5'+ deep with the well in the middle of the floor.

    If you're creative, bust the wall out around the pipes and see if you don't go into a small room, under the slab.

    Removing the slab shouldn't be very difficult, unless you've never done anything like that before. A couple strong ground pin type steel bars to raise it (or a backhoe) so you can get a thick walled pipe under the front edge and some way to pull the slab away from the house, rolling it on pipes. Then you roll it back when done.

    You won't be able to raise the casing unless you cut a hole in the slab that can then be covered. That would also require a pitless adapter which you probably don't have now. A pitless would be a good idea and then you wouldn't have to remove the slab in the future; just the slab hole cover.
    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.

  13. #28
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deuce6911 View Post
    I would like to upgrade my 1/2 hp convertible jet pump in the near future. According to all documentation that I have and what I can see in the basement, the well seems to be located under the house. The house was built in 1971 and the well driller is now out of business. I talked to my neighbor who has lived here for years and he says that the wells in our development were drilled and the houses built over the top of them. As I understand it, I will need to replace components inside the well when the jet pump is replaced. All that can be seen from the basement is the two plastic lines going from the pump through a rough opening in the basement slab. I have no idea how far down the top of the well is. My plan is to bust up some concrete around the opening and dig down to find the top of the well. My questions are: How far down would the well typically be in this situation? Do I need to extend the well casing above the slab, if so what is involved? I am located in Andover, MN.
    1st, though it would be nice to extend the case above the steps, it would be a pain in the you know what considering the times that you may have to access it.

    2nd If you know the make/model of the pump, you should be able to get a pretty good match for the jet that is in the well.

    3rd The set up is working now so why make work for yourself.

    Now that you know where things are, relax. Even if it craps out in January it won't be much more difficult to service it then.

  14. #29
    DIY Junior Member deuce6911's Avatar
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    I'm thinking it would be possible to extend the casing to about 10" to 12" above grade. Then replace the cement step with a small deck using 2 x 10 joists. Could be made to look nice. Then the well head could be between the joists and could be accessed by removing a couple deck boards. But yes, now that I am almost positive I know where this thing is I have a couple other projects to get done first.

  15. #30
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    Default If it's not broke don't fix it!

    As another post advised, Today most states require that a licensed professional (Driller or Pump Installer) to upgrade to modern standards/codes when doing any kind of work on what you presently have, and that could include moving your well outside the foundation.

    You could ask a well driller or pump installer (without divulging the location) what would be required if they serviced the well. Then you would know if you wanted to call a professional.

    I would just look into obtaining a new Drinking Water Well Permit, get a quote for a new well with a submersible pump and be prepaired to go forward when your present well dies.

    I don't believe in fixing well or pump system until it breaks or suspect it's about to break.

    Respectfully,
    Porky

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