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Thread: DiY or No? Please help me decide. 350' 2hp replacement

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member natopotato's Avatar
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    Default DiY or No? Please help me decide. 350' 2hp replacement

    Cost is a big issue. I have a 2 or 3hp (prior owner is not sure) pump at around 3-350' deep with 20' 1.25" threaded PVC Drop.

    Ran through the franklin electric diagnostics to find out why my start overload pops within 5-10 seconds of running.

    Start Winding (red) pulling 12amps (3 or 6 amps is acceptable)
    Main winding (black) 9 amps
    Line (yellow) 20 amps

    Start ohms @ 7.0 (bit high)
    Main ohms @ 2.8

    So by several experts recomendation the pump needs to come up.


    I have pulled it up 3-4 feet to replace the top pvc threads that cracked but extracting the whole thing seems like it will be a challenge.


    I am a very savvy DIY'er I was planning to build a 14' ish tripod over the well and pull it 10'>clamp>10' >clamp etc. The original pump was supposedly 1.5 hp so I was planning to locate that original size as a replacement and reuse the drop pipe.

    So is 350' to much to DIY any advise or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    350’ of 1 ¼” pipe, full of water, wire, and pump is going to be heavy and slick. If you can pull it up 20’ at a time, you can clamp at the couplings, which is much safer. If a clamp in the middle of a joint slips, the pipe will slide down quickly and break the coupling off the top of the joint. If you drop or break anything, it would be less expensive to pay someone to pull the pump. If you don’t drop or break anything, you will save a lot of money.

    You can also pull the entire 350’ out in one piece. As long as it is not very cold, and you don’t bend the pipe very much at the couplings, you can lay all 350’ out on the ground before taking anything apart. Two or three guys pulling up on the pipe and wire, while another guy takes the well seal and top joint across the yard 350’. Standing in the back of a pick up truck while pulling up on the pipe will help keep the pipe from bending too much as it comes out of the hole and turns to the right. Just want to make as slight a bend as possible.

    Might be better to pay someone to pull out the old pump. Then go back with poly pipe and set the new pump yourself. Break the pipe, drop a tool, a nut, the wire, or anything down the hole and you will probably need a new well. Sometimes trying to save a few bucks can cost you dearly. I think everyone should try it at least once. You will learn a lot. Maybe the most important thing you will learn is that a pump mans job is not that easy. And when you consider all the liability involved, you can see why pump installers charge what they do.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Based on your plan, what makes you think you can't do it?

    You either do it or call a pump guy or driller to do it.

    You may have 20' pieces instead of 10'. And I wouldn't suggest sch 40 PVC (sch 80 if PVC) for more than 1.5 hp. And 160 or 200 psi PE is a better choice for up to 1.5 hp.
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  4. #4
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    350’ of 1 ¼” pipe, full of water, wire, and pump is going to be heavy and slick.
    It kinda' looks that way

    1.25 enter pipe dia in inches
    1.23 calcd pipe area in sq. in
    350.00 enter pipe length in feet
    35.79 calc pipe volume in cu ft
    267.73 calc water volume in gallons
    2222.17 calcd water weight in pounds

    Then you figure in the pipe density to get the pipe weight.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 11-27-2010 at 08:26 AM.

  5. #5
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatguy View Post
    It kinda' looks that way

    1.25 enter pipe dia in inches
    1.23 calcd pipe area in sq. in
    350.00 enter pipe length in feet
    35.79 calc pipe volume in cu ft
    267.73 calc water volume in gallons
    2222.17 calcd water weight in pounds

    Then you figure in the pipe density to get the pipe weight.
    Thatguy, I don't do math, but you better check yours as it's way off.

    I figure about 300 lbs of water.
    Last edited by cacher_chick; 11-27-2010 at 08:49 AM.

  6. #6
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    On a flatbed or truck with or without the tripod to even out the bend, perhaps 10 or 12' high.

    http://www.deanbennett.com/well-acce...s-download.htm -has some nice hose barbs for the below.

    Install with 1" x 160 poly one piece

    Its not heavy until you get above the water line. Have one guy hold the rope with a wrap around a tree or a rack.

    Have a pipe clamp ready if you need to take a break for some reason. 3 guys would be enough.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Why on earth would you consider this DIY? There are lots of job out there that are DIY, this is not one of them. Have you even checked what your local well guy charges to do this job verus what it's going to cost you?

    What are you going to use to pull up the pipe? How are you going to get the pipe up (we use pipe elevators). Have you ever done this job before?

    I really despise that poly pipe, I won't use it. Nothing wrong with that sch 80 PVC just make sure you use good collars. We never have to set one that deep but I am told that with PVC or Poly you have to use centralizers to ensure that the wire does not rub on the casing.

    I would answer your question with another question: What does it cost to have back surgery? What does it cost to have the tip of your finger sewn shut after it gets chopped off from a slipped pipe or other mishap. What does it cost to fish a now stuck pump and pipe out of the well?

    Good luck and post up some pics.

  8. #8
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    I came up with roughly 150 lbs, but I'm not sure the exact ID of 1-1/4 pipe. Should be close.

    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    Thatguy, I don't do math, but you better check yours as it's way off.

    I figure about 300 lbs of water.

  9. #9
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I would answer your question with another question: What does it cost to have back surgery? What does it cost to have the tip of your finger sewn shut after it gets chopped off from a slipped pipe or other mishap. What does it cost to fish a now stuck pump and pipe out of the well?

    But that applies to changing your muffler and tires and oil and especially repairing your roof and cleaning the gutters. The well is more of an economic than injury risk for the DIY, and most guys with the guts to try it usually have the ability to succeed.

    But I would get a bid on just the pull anyway.

    I think many well guys dislike poly pipe in wells, in many cases, because now Billy bob and his dog can pull it out in 3 minutes. Kind of why plumbers are [were] afraid of PEX

  10. #10
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    Thatguy, I don't do math, but you better check yours as it's way off.

    I figure about 300 lbs of water.
    At 8.3 pounds per gallon 300# is 36 gallons. And 7.48 gals per cubic foot.

    That's why I used a spreadsheet - so each step could be checked.

    Sumpin's wrong somewhere. . .?
    Last edited by Thatguy; 11-27-2010 at 11:05 AM.

  11. #11
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    I would answer your question with another question: What does it cost to have back surgery? What does it cost to have the tip of your finger sewn shut after it gets chopped off from a slipped pipe or other mishap. What does it cost to fish a now stuck pump and pipe out of the well?

    But that applies to changing your muffler and tires and oil and especially repairing your roof and cleaning the gutters. The well is more of an economic than injury risk for the DIY, and most guys with the guts to try it usually have the ability to succeed.

    But I would get a bid on just the pull anyway.

    I think many well guys dislike poly pipe in wells, in many cases, because now Billy bob and his dog can pull it out in 3 minutes. Kind of why plumbers are [were] afraid of PEX
    No, it's nothing like changing your oil or rotating your tires. You see, there are no special skills in doing either of these and you can get all the tools and parts you need from Sears and Wal-Mart. Plus, the chance of losing a finger or damaging your back is very slim.

    Roofing is a good example of DIY. Almost anybody can install a new roof, but few do. It's back-breaking work, dangerous due to the height and angle, and not very glamorous. I'm a very Pro-DIY'er, and a roof is one thing I won't touch. Besides, it's too cheap to hire it out.

    You're wrong about my assessment of poly-pipe. Most people couldn't or wouldn't change their control box or pressure switch, much less pull and change a submersible pump. And half the ones that did would find that they did not fix their problem. My hate of polypipe stems from all the leaks and repairs I have had to do over the years. Never had any problems with PVC but had to dig up and repair lots and lots of poly pipe that split etc. 160 psi polypipe? I'll bet a lot of subs can dead-head above that pressure, although I don't make a habit of dead-heading any pump. Ever pulled on a stuck pump? You won't get much bite on that poly-pipe. Also, witness the numerous people on here and other forums with bad sub cable that rubbed on the casing, all hung on poly-pipe. Poly-pipe is for people who can't plumb, a cheap-skate way to get by.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member natopotato's Avatar
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    Thanks for the incredibly in depth reply's this forum is incredibly informative.

    I was quoted 2-3k to replace the pump with a new 1.5hp.

    I would not be pulling this with my "back" for sure ><. I would have to be assembling a hefty 4x6x14' tripod crane rig.

    Last time i pulled up the well (4feet or so) I used an old 2" weight bench bar clamps (picture a 5lb iron scope ring with wingnuts) I used that to clamp it at the head while i reset my lifting rig.

    I lifted the pipe with a hefty rope tied in a series of 3 or 4 tension loops around the pipe. With a backup tension not and second "safety" line.


    My own estimate based on my prior pulling experience I would wildly guess that it is 500+- lbs.

    So let me clarify a few things.

    1. It will be heavy as hell and dropping it will be catastrophic. When a pro comes out there is a risk of dropping it right? Do I pay for a new well if he drops it? Or is this some sort of insurance situation.

    2. My drop pipe is sch80 20' F to M. I had never thought of flexing it out into a strait line. I do have the space to do that. So my question is should this pipe be reused? Or would that be a bad idea? I think this stuff runs $2.50 or so a ft. and 100ft poly 1" runs closer to a buck a foot.

    3. I will get some quotes on just pulling it up.


  13. #13
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    One factor in my NO answer is the fact that the pump is set so deep. At 20' per joint you have at least 15-20 joints of pipe to deal with if it is truly at 350'. That's a lot of connections and pulling and opportunity for things to go wrong.

    I have seen the PVC pulled out in one string but it was glued and we had a good tree to get a good arc. I don't know how those threads would like being flexed like that.

    I would at least get several more quotes.

  14. #14
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    350’ of 1 ¼” pipe, full of water, wire, and pump is going to be heavy and slick. If you can pull it up 20’ at a time, you can clamp at the couplings, which is much safer. If a clamp in the middle of a joint slips, the pipe will slide down quickly and break the coupling off the top of the joint. If you drop or break anything, it would be less expensive to pay someone to pull the pump. If you don’t drop or break anything, you will save a lot of money.

    You can also pull the entire 350’ out in one piece. As long as it is not very cold, and you don’t bend the pipe very much at the couplings, you can lay all 350’ out on the ground before taking anything apart. Two or three guys pulling up on the pipe and wire, while another guy takes the well seal and top joint across the yard 350’. Standing in the back of a pick up truck while pulling up on the pipe will help keep the pipe from bending too much as it comes out of the hole and turns to the right. Just want to make as slight a bend as possible.

    Might be better to pay someone to pull out the old pump. Then go back with poly pipe and set the new pump yourself. Break the pipe, drop a tool, a nut, the wire, or anything down the hole and you will probably need a new well. Sometimes trying to save a few bucks can cost you dearly. I think everyone should try it at least once. You will learn a lot. Maybe the most important thing you will learn is that a pump mans job is not that easy. And when you consider all the liability involved, you can see why pump installers charge what they do.
    I would ditto this post!

    About 20 years ago poly pipe was pretty lousy, especially Cresline. 160 PSI poly is bombproof and wont burst in a cool well until about 400 psi. Or do 200 PSI.

    Pulled and set a few 350' 1" poly wells by hand, but its a good workout. Use some center devices if the bends worry you, but the pipe pulls out straight just like pvc.

  15. #15
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    I can get you a weight on that string tomorrow. I have a chart for that on my desk. It is much lighter when under water because of buoyancy. So if you have a high static water level, it won’t weigh nearly as much. I recently worked on a 200’ deep well, with a ¾ HP on 1” poly, and the static water level was only 4’. I was able to lift it off the casing with only one hand. I am guessing 75 pounds resistance. It seemed there was more resistance from trying to pull fast than from the weight itself. Like pulling a boat through water, slow is easy, fast is hard.

    Good PVC pipe should last a lifetime. No problem reusing the sch 80. You can put it back the same way you pulled it out, all in one piece. Goes back much easier than it comes out. Just make sure you tape and tighten everything before you start, because it is hard to stop. Then don’t let it hit hard on the well seal at the last second, or you will pop off the top fitting and the pump will fall to the bottom of the well.

    Pipe centralizers and torque arrestors just hang up and make things harder, don’t use them. Torque won’t wear out the wire if you don’t let the pump cycle excessively. And if it does cycle excessively, torque arrestors and centralizers are actually what rubs the hole in the wire, so just don’t let it cycle excessively.

    I had a lot of problems with poly years ago as well, especially underground. Usually the hose clamps would rust off and blow off the barb fitting. I haven’t seen many problems with fairly recent well systems using poly pipe, especially with the longer barb fittings in brass or Stainless. I think fear of losing a pump down the well is the reason most pump installers shy away from poly. They think they need the safety rope. Now they are also afraid the safety rope will drop or break and wedge everything in the well. And threaded and coupled pipe is easier to handle when you have the right equipment, so it reduces liability.

    Most pump installers will do everything they can to make it right if they drop something. However, there are circumstances they are not responsible for. If the pump was stuck when they started, the well casing is bad or not straight, or anything that was not there responsibility should not be their problem. They will usually tell you they have tried everything to get the pump unstuck before they break it off. The customer usually makes the decision to “pull as hard as you can”.

    But if you drop something???? I have had many DIY people who didn’t want to pay $500 for a pull and set, so they tried it themselves. Only to call me the next day asking how much I charge for fishing. Fishing can be expensive. Sometimes you still have to drill another well, even after paying a lot for fishing that didn’t work. There are many variables in fishing. Drop a 3.5” pump in 4” casing with 10’ of pipe, wire, and safety rope still attached, and you will probably need a new well. Break off the top coupling when you start, and you might only be out 75 bucks.

    But you can buy a pump like that for $500 to $1,000 and save a lot of money if it all works out. Either way you will learn a lot and gain respect for pump installers.

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