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Thread: Abandoned Well Restoration

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member NPSH's Avatar
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    Default Abandoned Well Restoration

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    I have a well on my property I'd like to make operational again. I am told it was taken out of service about 6 or 8 years ago prior to our purchasing the property. I've attached some photos since I have no data on the well or pump. What steps should I take to see if the well & pump still work? Can you tell from the photos the type of electric supply (110 or 220?) If 220, how many wire? My thought is to use a portable generator to supply power and direct wire the generator to the pump leads. Hopefully water will come out of the pipe. If it works, I'd have to provide proper electric supply from the house panel along with all the appropriate controls and piping. If I am on the wrong track, please give me step by step instructions for testing and restoring the well. I plan to use the well for irrigation and general use outside the house. The house has a new, working well system.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Since that's steel casing my bet is that the old one developed a hole in the casing, which was why the new one was drilled. The previous homeowner should have properly abandoned this well.

    If that's not the case then I would bet that the pump is locked up after sitting for so many years. Most submersible pumps are 220, you will need a minimum 3500-5500 KW generator to run the pump. Looks like a two wire pump, no control box.

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    DIY Junior Member NPSH's Avatar
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    Texas Wellman - Thanks for your reply. The story told to me by my neighbor is the well was abandoned when the previous owner removed a double-wide trailer and replaced it with a much larger house. The old well apparently was not adequate to serve the much larger house.

    My generator is more than adequate to handle the load, but I'm unsure of how to hook up the plug on the generator to the pump wires. Any suggestions?
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    Once I've hooked up the generator to the pump, how long do you think I should wait for water to appear or is there some other feedback to tell me if the pump is working or not?

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Use a voltmeter to tell which of the 4 prongs gives you 240 volts. Hook those two prongs to the two wires going down hole. Then use a clamp around ampmeter to see how many amps the pump is pulling. The largest the pump could be is 1.5 HP which will pull about 11 amps. If it pulls more than 11 amps the pump is bad. It should only take a fes seconds for water to start pumping if it is pulling the right amps.

  5. #5
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    The wiring for the L14-30 plug is;

    NEMA L14-30
    W (Neutral)
    Y (Hot)
    X (Hot)
    Ground (Green)

    You will be using the Y and X, and it would not hurt to have the generator Grounded for safety.

    DonL
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

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    DIY Junior Member NPSH's Avatar
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    Thank you to Valveman and DonL for your answers. I'll give it a try.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Post back up, I would like to know whether a pump sitting that long would run. Only drawback to the two wire pumps is that they don't have the starting torque that a 3 wire pump has, which might allow it to shake off the rust and get running.

    I have heard reports that the 2 wire pumps, when locked, will forward/reverse (torque) until they get free. Care to comment valveman?

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    It is called a biac switch, and like you said, it is no where near as good as three wire capacitor start. But I have stated pumps that have been sitting unused for 20 years. You never know until you try it.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member NPSH's Avatar
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    I'll be sure to post the results of my attempt to re-start the well/pump. However, don't hold your breath for the answer. The boss (my wife) has just re-prioritized my to-do list and taking out a dead tree leaning toward our house has been placed at the top of the list.

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