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Thread: Stuck Pumps in 4" Wells

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    Default Stuck Pumps in 4" Wells

    We have tried lots of things to get stuck pumps out of wells. Four inch wells seem to be the biggest culprit. I would be interested in knowing what some of your solutions have been.
    rshackleford

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    This is an opportunity to try my engineering and ordnance experience. It is NOT based on any experience with trying to pull a stuck pump. Some of this you may consider humorous.

    1. Pump some hydrochloric and/or sulfuric acid down into the vicinity of the pump to dissolve some rock or rust to loosen it up.
    2. If it has a steel drop pipe or cable to pull on, you could hook up a puller with a hydraulic jack that would jack against the casing. You could easily apply as much force as the pump will stand. I can give you a puller design if you need it.
    3. If not a steel pipe or cable, rig something to get the plastic out of the way and screw a rod with a special fitting into the pipe fitting on the top of the pump. A special pipe fitting could be made with extra taper to make it easier to engage the threads. Then pull as per above.
    4. If a steel pipe is available, can you altenately pound and pull on it to kind of work it back and forth.
    5. If there is space below the aquifer, can you break off the pipe and just abandon it down the hole by pounding it below the aquifer?
    6. Seal off the casing around the down pipe and put an explosive mixture of propane and oxygen down the down pipe to create a bubble below the pump. Using a wire that you have fished down the pipe before you pump down the propane, apply enough current to ignite the mixture. ALL OF THIS SHOULD BE DONE BY REMOTE CONTROL, AND NOT NEAR A RESIDENTIAL AREA.

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    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    Interesting. We have found the most successful to be the acid treatment and the push down then pull up method.

    The explosive thing is interesting too. I have heard of firing a shotgun down a well for other reasons.

    I have though also about acid then blowing the well with an air compressor. This might loosen what is making us stuck and flush it.

    There are a lot of 4 wells in our area and they are a pain in the ass. With an eight of an inch on either side its easy to get stuck. Any ideas or tips are appreciated.
    rshackleford

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    Sulphur is the biggest culprit with iron coming in second for sticking pumps. The old Sta-Rite with the mild steel pump jacket was the worse offender.

    I have unscrewed 1-1/4" drop pipe down the hole, went back in with taper tap and jars and beat on a pump for over an hour after turning the drop pipe with a 24" wrench and a 5' 2" galvanized cheater until all the joints were butted and still couldn't spin the pump. Then after beating on it for an hour of more and making zero headway, my taper tap unscrewed and I was happy to get my tools back. That pump is still in the well today. There were others about the same, but I remember this one because it was in a building, which made it worse.

    I haven't tried the acid because of the danger and liability. I just don't think taking those chances are worth the danger involved.

    bob...

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    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Default Vibration Might Help

    When I was designing equipment, the most difficult thing to design to survive was severe vibration. I think if you could get some serious vibration coupled into the pump you would wear away the interference and be able to pull it up.

    Sound waves travel very well in water. Sonar can be heard for hundreds of miles. It might be possible to get a large enough transducer to lower into the well to set up a good axial vibration of the pump. Most of the smaller ones work at pretty high frequencies and you would need a power supply to match the sound transducer.

    Electrodynamic/magnetic vibrators operate at lower frequencies, up to about 2000 Hz. I don't know how much power you can get out of something small enough to go in a 4" well along side the pulling gear. If you have a steel pipe to the pump you could run vibration down the pipe, but I suspect that the pipe would fail before the pump came free.

    If you could fill the well with water to the top it might be possible to put the vibrator at the top of the well and drive the vibration down through the water column. It should not matter that there is water leaking around the transducer at the top so you could pump water into the casing to keep it full.

    It might be possible to set up a pressure vibration with a big high speed positive displacement pump. I don't think the typical pressure washers put out enough flow to be effective. You would get rid of any pulsation dampers on the pump for this application. Pulsation is what you want.

    I will continue to look for examples of equipment that might work.

    Be careful when you search the internet. When I did a Google search for "electrodynamic vibrators" I got eight paid ads at the right side for personal appliances.

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    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    What about a demolition hammer or 60# jack hammer to do the vibrating?

    My well driller after he did my well he went to another well and used his cable drilling rig to pound the pump into the dirt. After about 15 min he had pulverized the pump in the bottom, shoved it to the sides and was well on his way to getting a deeper well. Probably cost more to set up the rig than it is worth to simply pulverize a pump...
    Last edited by Spaceman Spiff; 12-29-2005 at 03:49 PM.
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

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    I don't know why he didn't just pull the pump. If he could beat it down, he could beat it up just as easy.

    It always bugs me when I hear of a driller knocking a pump to the bottom when he could have pulled it out with just a little more effort.

    bob...

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    Architect Spaceman Spiff's Avatar
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    The pipe had broken off a few feet above the pump and the well needed to be deepened anyway.
    Spaceman Spiff aka Mike

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    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    i know a little about jars. can they be homemade or are they typically rented?

    does anyone have anyother things that have worked for them?
    rshackleford

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    I had a friend make a pair years ago. They worked all rite. But the store bought variety has hardened steel and it doesn't bend so easily and can take more punishment.

    I own my jars. If your doing well repair it is a tool you can't live without.

    bob...

  11. #11
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    Do you have any pictures? I am not sure that i have ever seen a set.
    rshackleford

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    I posted a couple of pictures Shack.

    They were too big for this forum so I posted them on mine under Pumps in General at Pumpsandtanks Forum

    bob...

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    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pictures. The one looks like a tapered fishing tool.

    Are these spring loaded? It was my understanding that jars involved a percussion type action. Does the term jars stand for this percussion action?
    rshackleford

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    Yup, pretty much. Nothing more than an up and down motion. It is better to hit both ways, top and bottom to get something moving.

    There is no spring. The 2" jars are used with 1" drill rod to go down the hole to the desired fish, screw the taper tap in tightly and go to beating it up/down until it comes loose.

    bob...

  15. #15
    DIY Senior Member rshackleford's Avatar
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    i think the rental tools around here (oil field) must be hydraulic jars. it seems to me that they had some way of providing a little extra hammer of their own.
    rshackleford

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