How to remove cap from well

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Ctgcwiqc

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I'm looking at the cap to my well trying to figure out how to remove the cap. I need to determine pump depth, and static water level. It looks like a bolt has been modified to allow water line to extend from the top of the cap.

1. is there a way to remove the modified bolt at the pvc pipe, or should i loosen up the other 3 and see if I can get it out with just 3 loose bolts?

I will probably be replacing the cap and re-working the plumbing and electrical.

Thanks the the forum set-up for not having weird requirements to have "X" amount of posts to upload photos, most helpful and practical.

IMG_20200906_125015.jpg IMG_20200906_125026.jpg IMG_20200906_125032.jpg IMG_20200906_125037.jpg
 
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WorthFlorida

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You can try with just three loosen, do not remove them. Use a large screwdriver or the claw of a hammer to get under the cap to pry it off.

Screen Shot 2020-09-06 at 4.25.11 PM.jpg

 
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Ctgcwiqc

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You can try with just three loosen, do not remove them. Use a large screwdriver or the claw of a hammer to get under the cap to pry it off.

View attachment 65880


Thanks.
The bolts will not turn. I hit them with som WD-40 cause I ave no penetrating oil. About to go try again. There are actually only 2 that can be turned without hitting something, they modified the other two....Why me?
 

LLigetfa

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The threads are on the bottom plates so penetrating oil would have to go down through the rubber seal to reach the threads. Probably not going to happen.
You can always cut the casing a couple inches down.
 

Reach4

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Can you get a longer wrench? Preferably 6 point box wrench, or will a box wrench not access the problem hex head?

s-l64.jpg


I expect that you could grind the head off of one of the bolts with a cutoff wheel. Wait for people to say that is a bad idea before implementing that. My thinking is that this is not a split well seal, and it should be safe.
 
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Ctgcwiqc

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The threads are on the bottom plates so penetrating oil would have to go down through the rubber seal to reach the threads. Probably not going to happen.
You can always cut the casing a couple inches down.
Yes, failed to think of that. I will see about wrenching them off. If I lose comfort level I will just pay local well company I guess.
 

Ctgcwiqc

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Can you get a longer wrench? Preferably 6 point box wrench, or will a box wrench not access the problem hex head?

s-l64.jpg


I expect that you could grind the head off of one of the bolts with a cutoff wheel. Wait for people to say that is a bad idea before implementing that. My thinking is that this is not a split well seal, and it should be safe.
I have breaker bars and heavy duty sockets but can only get a socket on one bolt and the 1/2' hex slips...Can try to get it on another, just have to move a clamp on some conduit. Two bolts unable to wrench or anything, will have to be cut as shown in the photos. May have to cut off, will wait to see what others think as you suggested. Don't want the seal falling if that is possible. I am open to cutting the case a little lower if needed.
 

Reach4

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EDIT: well this is scary. There are well seals with a solid top plate and a split bottom plate.

If you had working bolts diagonal from each other, I think you could grind off the heads of the other two. But adjacent bolts look dangerous.

WS300-300x221.jpg


I wonder if somebody could weld something on top of a bolt to give something to grip.
 
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Ctgcwiqc

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EDIT: well this is scary. There are well seals with a solid top plate and a split bottom plate.

If you had working bolts diagonal from each other, I think you could grind off the heads of the other two. But adjacent bolts look dangerous.

WS300-300x221.jpg


I wonder if somebody could weld something on top of a bolt to give something to grip.
Yea I see what you are talking about. I'm sure mine was modified because some crazy guy wanted max flow (pipe is 1.5" coming from seal all the way past bladder tank) so that is why they modified the cap. Could I just try to pry up without loosening any bolts, or just grind off two opposite bolts and try to pry like that first without loosening or cutting the other two? Or I could just cut the two "modified" bolts on either side of the PVC pipe as this side, even if split back plate, should get caught by a coupling or clamp on inside of casing?
 

Boycedrilling

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It's real simple if you know what you're doing and have the right equipment.

Unscrew the pressure relief valve out of the tee. Thread a lifting plug into the top of the tee. Unscrew the union. Hook the pump hoist rig winch line up to the lifting plug. Lift the tee with the pump hoist. The well seal should come up with the pipe. If it doesn't come up with the pipe, you now have room to loosen the bolts and insert pry bars between the seal and the casing. This is also why I ALWAYS install a 6" nipple through the well seal, so that the coupler underneath will lift the well seal.

Now if all your trying to do is fine the static water level, you don't need to do any of that. I crew that blue plastic 1/2" p! in from the well seal. Now you can check the static with a sonic water level meter. Takes about 5 seconds to get a reading.

Now neither of these things will tell you how deep the pump is set. All you need to do for that is to run a sounding line down the drop pipe after you unscrew the pressure relief valve. Actually all this is really going to tell you is how deep to the first and hopefully only check valve.
 

Boycedrilling

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Oh yeah, a new pump truck will run you $125-150k tooled out. That sonic water level meter is a just over $1,000. But you can make that sounding line to $10-20. The experience to know what to do? Priceless.
 

Ctgcwiqc

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It's real simple if you know what you're doing and have the right equipment.

Unscrew the pressure relief valve out of the tee. Thread a lifting plug into the top of the tee. Unscrew the union. Hook the pump hoist rig winch line up to the lifting plug. Lift the tee with the pump hoist. The well seal should come up with the pipe. If it doesn't come up with the pipe, you now have room to loosen the bolts and insert pry bars between the seal and the casing. This is also why I ALWAYS install a 6" nipple through the well seal, so that the coupler underneath will lift the well seal.

Now if all your trying to do is fine the static water level, you don't need to do any of that. I crew that blue plastic 1/2" p! in from the well seal. Now you can check the static with a sonic water level meter. Takes about 5 seconds to get a reading.

Now neither of these things will tell you how deep the pump is set. All you need to do for that is to run a sounding line down the drop pipe after you unscrew the pressure relief valve. Actually all this is really going to tell you is how deep to the first and hopefully only check valve.

Yes so I assume a little bit of sarcasm? Problem is where I live it is hard to get any work done, even paid for...Just took 5 weeks to get the water well people out to repair a broken water softener, I had to build a large deck myself as nobody would come out to the country to work where I live and didn't want such a large project. I barely got 1 guy out of 5 contractors to come out and build a gravel driveway 1400ft long. The water well company has seemed less than capable stating a great bit of inaccurate data and bad advice. Also lots of times you pay a "professional" and you get crappy service, improper installations, poor quality work.

I am acquiring the knowledge here with helpful folks like yourself. I have plenty of equipment, tools, labor, and money to get this done as you suggested. I can fabricate a lifting device and attach to front-end loader of tractor and use come-a-long to hoist.

I think I'll pop the plastic plug off, insert borescope with mirror and check to see if plate is split or not and make sure there is coupling or something to catch the bottom plate if I just cut all the bolts. If not, I'll do as you suggested. Thanks for the ideas!
 
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Boycedrilling

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Yes sarcasm intended. But you also need to understand why pump installers charge such "outrageous" rates. I also drill wells, so I have quite a bit of equipment . Just my insurance runs $100 per day. My diesel bill can be as much as $1,000 every day.

Do you have any idea how deep your pump might be? It makes a big difference it it's 50 feet deep compared to 500 ft deep. Your discharge tee on top of the well seal is PVC, so I suspect your pump is rather shallow.

Again, you best bet to try to determine how deep the pump is set is to remove the PRV. Attach a weight to some fishing line and lower it inside the drop pipe until it stops. Pull it back out and measure how much was in the pipe. Hopefully there are not online check valves above the pump.

As I said previously, remove the blue 1/2" plastic plug to access the space between the drop pipe and the casing. You probably don't have enough room to drop a floating weight thru that hole though. You might do some experimenting with a "bobber" that will fit thru the 1 /2" hole but be heavy enough to tell when it is floating. More room if you're able to lift the well seal, but you meet to lift the drop pipe to be able to lift the well seal. Then you could use a floating "bobber" or a weight large enough to make noise , a "plopper". Hopefully you don't get the whole thing caught in the sub wire. I can't count how many depth founders I've gotten stuck in wells. Then it's pull till something breaks or pull the pump to retrieve it. There is a reason I spent the $1,000 on a sonic water level sounder. Yes, I know that isn't in your budget.

Here's the problem with trying to lift the pump with a front end loader. It raises in an arc and not in a straight line. Very easy to snap off from a side load on the drop pipe. This is not theory or something I've read about. I've had to actually deal with the aftermath of these attempts. I've also been on site when the owner has snapped the drop pipe off and sent it all down the well. Caution is advised. An engine hoist might be a better idea.
 

Ctgcwiqc

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Yes sarcasm intended. But you also need to understand why pump installers charge such "outrageous" rates. I also drill wells, so I have quite a bit of equipment . Just my insurance runs $100 per day. My diesel bill can be as much as $1,000 every day.

Do you have any idea how deep your pump might be? It makes a big difference it it's 50 feet deep compared to 500 ft deep. Your discharge tee on top of the well seal is PVC, so I suspect your pump is rather shallow.

Again, you best bet to try to determine how deep the pump is set is to remove the PRV. Attach a weight to some fishing line and lower it inside the drop pipe until it stops. Pull it back out and measure how much was in the pipe. Hopefully there are not online check valves above the pump.

As I said previously, remove the blue 1/2" plastic plug to access the space between the drop pipe and the casing. You probably don't have enough room to drop a floating weight thru that hole though. You might do some experimenting with a "bobber" that will fit thru the 1 /2" hole but be heavy enough to tell when it is floating. More room if you're able to lift the well seal, but you meet to lift the drop pipe to be able to lift the well seal. Then you could use a floating "bobber" or a weight large enough to make noise , a "plopper". Hopefully you don't get the whole thing caught in the sub wire. I can't count how many depth founders I've gotten stuck in wells. Then it's pull till something breaks or pull the pump to retrieve it. There is a reason I spent the $1,000 on a sonic water level sounder. Yes, I know that isn't in your budget.

Here's the problem with trying to lift the pump with a front end loader. It raises in an arc and not in a straight line. Very easy to snap off from a side load on the drop pipe. This is not theory or something I've read about. I've had to actually deal with the aftermath of these attempts. I've also been on site when the owner has snapped the drop pipe off and sent it all down the well. Caution is advised. An engine hoist might be a better idea.
Thanks for the info. I was not going to pull with the bucket, just use it in the raised position with a come-a-long if needed pulling straight up but you got me re-thinking life. This well is needed as this is our only source of water. I may just have to wait for the pros to be available...My problem isn't paying them, it's waiting for them and getting sloppy work for my money.
 

Boycedrilling

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What part of TX are you in. I do know people that I could recommend in Texas. My wife was born in San Angelo, grew up in Humble. She had an uncle that did pump work in Midland. Valveman will probably be on the forum tomorrow. He's located in Lubbock. And knows installers all over.
 

Ctgcwiqc

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I got the borescope in the 1/2" hole, but was unable to determine if the back plate is split. The bolts and bottom of the inside plate are heavily oxidized. There is no coupling inside the cap, just straight PVC. elctrical wiring is electrical taped to the pvc about 6-10" from the seal. Unable to see coupling. I went down about 10'.
We are south of Brenham, near Columbus.
 

Valveman

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The static level and pump depth makes little difference if your pump is operating as it should. Don't make problems where there aren't any. By knowing the HP and GPM of your pump, you can determine the pumping level and even the static level with flow and pressure. Deducting the max pressure your pump can build from the max pressure on the pump curve can give you the static water level. GPM from a wide open bucket test can tell you the pumping level. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)
 

Ctgcwiqc

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The static level and pump depth makes little difference if your pump is operating as it should. Don't make problems where there aren't any. By knowing the HP and GPM of your pump, you can determine the pumping level and even the static level with flow and pressure. Deducting the max pressure your pump can build from the max pressure on the pump curve can give you the static water level. GPM from a wide open bucket test can tell you the pumping level. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it. :)
I'm a firm believer in your philosophy. Goal is to install a hand pump. That is the reason for attempting to determine well/static depth. Looking at a few options, either a Bison in-line pump or one installed along side the existing pump in a 4" casing which I was told is not possible but have read that it actually is thanks to Reach4 for providing links to that.
I guess another question I have a water hardness of 60 GPG. Is it possible a higher/lower well drilled in the same area (within 150' radius) would give better quality water? What we currently have even with a softener eats up my faucets pretty bad and cakes on minerals. Softener is working because when it does not work the dishwasher knows immediately. All black plastic utensils become caked in white residue, and dishwasher gets lined with white chalky mess.
 

Craigpump

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Yes sarcasm intended. But you also need to understand why pump installers charge such "outrageous" rates. I also drill wells, so I have quite a bit of equipment . Just my insurance runs $100 per day. My diesel bill can be as much as $1,000 every day.

Do you have any idea how deep your pump might be? It makes a big difference it it's 50 feet deep compared to 500 ft deep. Your discharge tee on top of the well seal is PVC, so I suspect your pump is rather shallow.

Again, you best bet to try to determine how deep the pump is set is to remove the PRV. Attach a weight to some fishing line and lower it inside the drop pipe until it stops. Pull it back out and measure how much was in the pipe. Hopefully there are not online check valves above the pump.

As I said previously, remove the blue 1/2" plastic plug to access the space between the drop pipe and the casing. You probably don't have enough room to drop a floating weight thru that hole though. You might do some experimenting with a "bobber" that will fit thru the 1 /2" hole but be heavy enough to tell when it is floating. More room if you're able to lift the well seal, but you meet to lift the drop pipe to be able to lift the well seal. Then you could use a floating "bobber" or a weight large enough to make noise , a "plopper". Hopefully you don't get the whole thing caught in the sub wire. I can't count how many depth founders I've gotten stuck in wells. Then it's pull till something breaks or pull the pump to retrieve it. There is a reason I spent the $1,000 on a sonic water level sounder. Yes, I know that isn't in your budget.

Here's the problem with trying to lift the pump with a front end loader. It raises in an arc and not in a straight line. Very easy to snap off from a side load on the drop pipe. This is not theory or something I've read about. I've had to actually deal with the aftermath of these attempts. I've also been on site when the owner has snapped the drop pipe off and sent it all down the well. Caution is advised. An engine hoist might be a better idea.
 

Craigpump

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Boyce, you need a well seal puller. Steel rod with 1/2 npt threads & a shackle screwed into the vent port.
 

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