Broke well pipe stuck inside the well. PVC pipe

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Heather Putnick

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What is the best way to retrieve a broken piece of well pipe inside of the well? I have paid 3 well companies to come "fish" for it and they can't get it. There is no cable anymore at the top. It broke off. Its between 150 to 250 foot down and sits in a 4in casing. They said that I would have to drill it out or re drill a new well. Or I could keep paying them to try. But it is very expensive. I can't afford it. I have been here with this problem now for 3 years and no water. I was curious of I could run 3/4 in pipe down over the other pipe n pump) of its fits by or what. There has to be something that I can do. Thanks guys.
 

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Stuck in 4" casing is a tough one. Usually you can fish with an overshot and at least break all the PVC pipe away from the pump. But the 3.5" pump is probably stuck in the 4" casing because it got hot and/or collapsed somehow. Tight fit to start with, so it maybe planted as we say. I have been able to break out all the pipe and wire then pound the pump to the bottom with a bailer. But it may break the casing, if it is not already broken. My advice is to cut your losses. I hate being the bearer of bad news, but you probably just need to move over and drill a new well. At least 5" casing this time???
 

Heather Putnick

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Stuck in 4" casing is a tough one. Usually you can fish with an overshot and at least break all the PVC pipe away from the pump. But the 3.5" pump is probably stuck in the 4" casing because it got hot and/or collapsed somehow. Tight fit to start with, so it maybe planted as we say. I have been able to break out all the pipe and wire then pound the pump to the bottom with a bailer. But it may break the casing, if it is not already broken. My advice is to cut your losses. I hate being the bearer of bad news, but you probably just need to move over and drill a new well. At least 5" casing this time???
I'm not sure about the pump because we have not been able to get past the broke pipe. What I don't get is no one has done that well of a job even trying to fix it. They brought 1 tool and no camera. Since they had no way to see I let them go. I couldn't afford to pay them to fish for something that they had no way of seeing and didn't seem to have much to work with. So it didn't go well. Lol today I found this page after trying to figure out if I can fit a new pipe around the pervious one inside the casing also that I could at least have some type of water. Idk if this idea is possible. Do you?
 

Craigpump

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What type of pipe are we talking about? If it's poly, you're in trouble. If it's sch 80 PVC or steel, there's hope.

First thing I'd do is run my camera to see what I have, then I'd make an over shot to go over the drop pipe, run it in on 2" steel and run the tool past a coupling, grab it and pull it out.

It's not rocket science, but it does take creative thinking, some fabrication and patience.

I bet Richard Simmons in Buchanon Va can get that out.
 

Reach4

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What is the best way to retrieve a broken piece of well pipe inside of the well? I have paid 3 well companys to come "fish" for it and they can't get it. There is no cable anymore at the top. It broke off.
You have a pump at the bottom of that broken pipe I assume.

How much pipe came out from above the break?

The cable you refer to-- is that the electrical wire, or a steel "safety cable"?
 

Heather Putnick

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You have a pump at the bottom of that broken pipe I assume.

How much pipe came out from above the break?

The cable you refer to-- is that the electrical wire, or a steel "safety cable"?
Cable wire. The metal piece that attaches to the water line
You have a pump at the bottom of that broken pipe I assume.

How much pipe came out from above the break?

The cable you refer to-- is that the electrical wire, or a steel "safety cable"?
Yes unless it fell out completely. When well company tried to get broke piece of pipe they knocked pipe and pump down further. My well is 400 foot apx
Deep. I was going to try to squeeze by smaller or same size pipe. And unless they make a very small pump that will fit through a diameter of about 2.5 to 2.75 with broke pipe still stuck. Then just put In a above ground pump. But now idk. From what im reading I don't think a above ground pump will left water that far. Do they make a even. .5 hp pump that will fit in the room I have left? Anyone have any kind of ideas even if ur not sure if it will work.
 

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The SQ pump at 2 15/16's is the smallest they make. And no a jet pump cannot pump from more than like 25'. A two pipe deep well jet can go deeper, but needs two pipes and an ejector which is larger than 2" down the well.
 

Reach4

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Cable wire. The metal piece that attaches to the water line
I think you may be referring to a steel "safety" cable. I wonder if a tool similar to a drain auger like this is made to mount on well drill. In this case, you would hope the cable collapsed into a "ratsnest", I would think. Rotate the tool, snag the cable, and hoist. That would be my hope. Of course a camera inspection would make sense. If the people doing the fishing did not try a camera, fishing may not be their thing.
31HyAjYBIoL.jpg
 

Dinnie

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What is the best way to retrieve a broken piece of well pipe inside of the well? I have paid 3 well companies to come "fish" for it and they can't get it. There is no cable anymore at the top. It broke off. Its between 150 to 250 foot down and sits in a 4in casing. They said that I would have to drill it out or re drill a new well. Or I could keep paying them to try. But it is very expensive. I can't afford it. I have been here with this problem now for 3 years and no water. I was curious of I could run 3/4 in pipe down over the other pipe n pump) of its fits by or what. There has to be something that I can do. Thanks guys.
HI: Mr. Putnick. I live in Jackson MS and from reading your post on the underground well issue you have, I also have the same issue. My underground submersible pump stop pumping. I believe if was because the Pressure switch was sticking over a period of months and the pump kept just running and burned out. I purchased this house that was build in the 1950's and the well was put in around that time, The pump may have never been replaced before. Ans I can say that pump lasted a very long time, up until August 2022.
I am attempting to pull out the pump, It appeared stuck, at first, than I used a 4/4 to get more leverage and broke loose the stuck spot. After weeks working on removing the pump, I just pulled up 100 feet of PVC cable. And that PVC broke off after 100 feet. And I pulled up 100 feet of wire. I used a steel cable to send down the well with a Hook on the end of the steel cable. I went down the well case a second time and again I pulled up 100 more feet of cable pump wire. To my best knowledge my well is a 400 feet well. I pulled out 100 feet of PVC and 200 feet of electric pump wire. So I have a least 100 feet or more PVC pipe down the well case. Now I am like you; What and how to I hook on or hook to the PVC or WELL pump that is 100 feet down the well. What tool of device will allow me to hook the PVC pipe or the Pump itself. Have you heard of this PVC fishing tool(it slips inside your PVC pipe, and as you pull up it open inside the PVC pipe and lock on and let you pull up the PVC pipe. I do not know what the pump look like, or is the pump sitting on the bottom of the well or jammed at the bottom of the well case. Can you provide any ideas you have tried, that may work foe me..........
 

Reach4

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I have no relevant experience. But I can give you a search term that can aid in your searches.

fishing overshot well


Other terms in that article can be useful for further searches.

May I presume this well has a 4 inch ID steel casing? Once you are ready for a pump, look to a 3-inch Grundfos SQ pump. If you do that, consider a flow inducer. I can provide some info if you consider doing that.

How does the static water level compare to the top of the remaining stuck drop pipe?
 

2stupid2fixit

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There are auger bits to go on truck mounted drill equipment to recover lost pumps and pipe, etc but from what I have read the success rate is not over 50% across the board and you end up paying for the attempt, not the result. Some solutions pump drillers have succesfully used are to have what basically is a demolition bit at the end of the drill chuck, it is designed to chew up pvc, poly, pump wire, recovery line, the whole lost pump itself, anything else that happens to be in its way. After the demolition drill they try to extract all the debris up but I dont remember how they do it, but I think recovering the debris is done by sending the corkscrew auger down there in steps while flooding the well from the top. I think I remember this being a very expensive process that is only done when legal reasons prevent drilling a new well, as this method is very costly. It takes lots of time and the right equipment. Well drillers that dig LOTS of wells such as the ones that drill new wells for sprawling devlopers have this equipment in their arsenal on hand for when their own crew makes mistakes like losing a pump or whatever.

I lean to agree with suggestions to drill a new well and consider the broken one a total loss and move on. Camera= $. Truck mounted recovery tools=$. You have no water. that = :mad:
New well= $$$$ but at the end you wont lose your pump down there because you now have experience with it.
 
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