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Thread: Leaky well pipe (PICS attached)

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    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Default Leaky well pipe (PICS attached)

    I have a small leak in the wall where the water supply pipe from the well enters the house. To be clear, it's a groundwater leak....not the black well pipe.
    It only leaks when there is significant rainfall, but it is annoying nonetheless.

    I tried to fix the leak by packing the area with some of that DryLok Masonry crack filler (comes in a caulk tube) but that didn't work.

    So, what is the best solution?
    Is this a DIY job?

    thanks.
    mm
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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    WHOA! it those wires are actually cemented into the wall, then the chances that ANYTHING that was packed into the wall to seal the hole actually completely filled it are very SMALL. WHO would run plain wires like that? You can try hydraulic cement, which is a powder.

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    DIY Senior Member mrmichaeljmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    WHOA! it those wires are actually cemented into the wall, then the chances that ANYTHING that was packed into the wall to seal the hole actually completely filled it are very SMALL. WHO would run plain wires like that? You can try hydraulic cement, which is a powder.
    by your post, i guess this wasn't done properly...

    Who should I call to make it right? A plumber, electrician?
    I assume it is the well company who ran the pipe and the wires, when the house was built and the well was dug......should I call them to make it right? (House and well are about 16 years old).

    And, what is the "right way"? Should the wires be in some sort of conduit?

    thanks.
    mm

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    That type of installation is the norm on the east coast. It has been used for many decades. Usually there is no problem with water leaks or the wires/cable or water line(s).

    To fix your water leak problem you will probably have to go outside the wall and either plug the hole and get the wires and water line flat to running downhill away from the wall and/or, cover the wires and line with plastic out from the wall a couple feet to shed water coming down from rain gutters or a roof without any gutters. Or add dirt along the side of the house above this area so it slopes away from the wall a couple feet. Or add roof rain gutters, or fix existing overflowing rain gutters above this area.
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    Well that makes two in a row that need to be moved to the electrical forum. I'm pretty sure that violates a whole bunch of codes. OK, I know that violates a bunch of NEC codes relating to proper protection etc.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Well I bet it didn't when the place was built, or do you think it did?
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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    I have a similar deep well setup. No leaks thru the wall and the hole was sealed with cement. The pumps electrical wiring is in a seperate plastic pipe and goes thru the wall and to the pump controller. My well was installed by one company and I ran the 220 volt electrical feed for them from my panel. If you wanted the wiring covered as it should be an electrician could easily disconnect the wires from the pump controller and feed them thru some plastic seal tight or other shielding and reconnect them at the controller. The thru the wall area of the wires is not easy to fix. You'd need to dig them out and then what about outside in the trench to the pump? I would use some fast drying cement to try and seal the leak but the exposed wiring makes it tough to work around them. The wiring was definately poorly done by the installer.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Rich'n others, other than looks, what do you see wrong with it when the wire is capable of being direct buried?

    How many if any of this type installation do you know of failures or problems with?
    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.

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Gary...I am not an electrician but did work as one right out of high school many years ago. I do work in a related field today. I don't believe wires are allowed to be exposed like that without a covering. Direct burial to me means UF service type cable or those wires inside grey PVC for protection. Individual wires should be covered with an outer jacket or run inside a pipe. I work in the standby generator field. NO wires are allowed to be run in such a manner in any building I have even been in. I live in the northeast and have a typical deepwell installed in 1988. No inspection was ever done as I recall but there's no way I would have accepted wiring looking like that. I was present when that well was dug and connected and installed. My Code Check guide states that direct burial UF type cable needs to be protected as it enters and exits a buidling and they are talking about jacketed type cable.

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    Let's get HJ to bump the thread over to the electrical forum and see what those licensed boys have to say. I could look it up in the NEC book but damn that's a big book and reading it makes my head ache

    If it was installed before the town or city adopted the electrical code then I would guess that it is indeed grandfathered. Still, kids, dogs weed wackers all could do a number on it.

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    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrmichaeljmoore View Post
    I have a small leak in the wall where the water supply pipe from the well enters the house. To be clear, it's a groundwater leak....not the black well pipe.
    It only leaks when there is significant rainfall, but it is annoying nonetheless.

    I tried to fix the leak by packing the area with some of that DryLok Masonry crack filler (comes in a caulk tube) but that didn't work.

    So, what is the best solution?
    Is this a DIY job?

    thanks.
    mm
    To answer the question I would use roofing patch tar (you can buy it in small quanities). I use it all the time to seal up foundation walls when we run new water mains through the foundation. It works great.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    Gary...I am not an electrician but did work as one right out of high school many years ago. I do work in a related field today. I don't believe wires are allowed to be exposed like that without a covering. Direct burial to me means UF service type cable or those wires inside grey PVC for protection. Individual wires should be covered with an outer jacket or run inside a pipe. I work in the standby generator field. NO wires are allowed to be run in such a manner in any building I have even been in. I live in the northeast and have a typical deepwell installed in 1988. No inspection was ever done as I recall but there's no way I would have accepted wiring looking like that. I was present when that well was dug and connected and installed. My Code Check guide states that direct burial UF type cable needs to be protected as it enters and exits a buidling and they are talking about jacketed type cable.
    Well Rich, I know you're right, the electrical code will call for conduit.

    My point is that there are probably a million plus wells (that is literally and I have personally seen thousands of them in PA and in pictures from across the US where there is no conduit) installed that way and weed wackers are kept away from the wires or at least not started in the basement next to the pressure tank; or the guy cuts his wires and suffers from his dumb ass carelessness, and should learn something from that screw up but I doubt it would be to redo his wiring inside conduit.

    Tell me, the next one installed like that that has a problem will be the first you ever heard of having a problem right? I'm 67 next month and I've been around wells since 1965, I can not remember any problem with wiring done that way and some were even done with Romex!! instead of pump cable.

    Peter, you leave the Sparkies alone, they are already stressed enough.

    Doherty, petroleum based products and PE pipe water lines should never come in contact with each other; it's a real no no getting them together. They can damage the PE (and other plastics) and can contaminate water in the line.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Well Rich, I know you're right, the electrical code will call for conduit.

    My point is that there are probably a million plus wells (that is literally and I have personally seen thousands of them in PA and in pictures from across the US where there is no conduit) installed that way and weed wackers are kept away from the wires or at least not started in the basement next to the pressure tank; or the guy cuts his wires and suffers from his dumb ass carelessness, and should learn something from that screw up but I doubt it would be to redo his wiring inside conduit.

    Tell me, the next one installed like that that has a problem will be the first you ever heard of having a problem right? I'm 67 next month and I've been around wells since 1965, I can not remember any problem with wiring done that way and some were even done with Romex!! instead of pump cable.

    Peter, you leave the Sparkies alone, they are already stressed enough.

    Doherty, petroleum based products and PE pipe water lines should never come in contact with each other; it's a real no no getting them together. They can damage the PE (and other plastics) and can contaminate water in the line.
    So the gist of all this is that in your opinion the wiring is ok?

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    DIY Senior Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Exposed wiring is a NO-NO.....period! If I'm a home inspector and I see that I am writing it up as a must fix. If I am an electrical inspector I am definately flagging that.

    How about a dog that likes to chew things or a kid playing in the basement and he finds something sharp to jab at those wires and the pump is running! Not a good scenario. Electrical safety is just common sense and should be taken seriously. Exposed wiring is a hazard and not acceptable to me. I can take a picture of mine if you'd like to see it.....NO exposed wiring....

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    Exposed wiring is a NO-NO.....period! If I'm a home inspector and I see that I am writing it up as a must fix. If I am an electrical inspector I am definately flagging that.

    How about a dog that likes to chew things or a kid playing in the basement and he finds something sharp to jab at those wires and the pump is running! Not a good scenario. Electrical safety is just common sense and should be taken seriously. Exposed wiring is a hazard and not acceptable to me. I can take a picture of mine if you'd like to see it.....NO exposed wiring....
    I'm not buying that you run all your exposed computer, lamp, TV. radio etc. etc. etc. power cords in your house in conduit. Or that you would if you have kids and dogs.

    And more than likely until that line is replaced it is probably grandfathered.
    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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