Pull casing on old well?

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I have a well that was put in in 1972. It only flows at 2.5 gpm but I have a solar pump and that would be fine for my needs with tank storage. My problem is that the casing is 4" down to 100' and then drops to 2" and that goes to 300', but the water level is @ 103' and my solar pump cannot sit in the water, because it needs a 4" casing.

Now, I have spoken with two drillers here and they say that I must put in a completley new well. At $9.50 per foot, that is too steep for me. It makes sense to me that the 2" casing could be pulled leaving a 300' foot hole and just drill it down another hundred feet and replace the casing....is that possible or logical?

I want to get some input from others who may have dealt with a similar problem.Thanks for your help in advance!

-- Doreen Davenport (livinginskin@yahoo.com), May 06, 2000


Hi, Doreen understand your thoughts on the matter and your idea looks good on paper. I don't think you'll find anyone willing to attempt it. It is standard practice to abandon the present well and drill a new one. I think the reasoning is "collapse" should they remove the old casing. They understand the soil under 100 feet much better than we mere mortals. I think your estimate is very fair--that same manuever around here is 13.00 bucks a foot. Good Luck !

-- Joel Rosen (Joel581@webtv.net), May 06, 2000.

Doreen, around here we put a liner in a well, if necessary, but the liner comes clear to the top of the well. I've never heard of a two inch liner, either. Very strange.

Check with a couple or three well drillers. Some of them have special tools for pulling tools which get dropped down, or break off in, the well. I doubt if they will be able to lift hard enough to pull the 200 feet of two inch pipe out, at least assuming that the pipe has been caved in on. But maybe.

Another possibilty is that the two inch pipe was the drop pipe on either a fairly large horsepower pump, or a fairly large windmill, which somehow got broken off. If so, a driller probably COULD pull the whole mess out. Unless the formation caved onto the pump, which may be why it's still down there.

I'd check with the original driller and/or the county or state watermaster's office to try to get a record of how the well was constructed, too.

Good luck,


-- jumpoff joe (jumpoff@echoweb.net), May 06, 2000.


The 4" down to 2" casing method you described is common practice here in Maryland too. I would tend to agree with Joel's assessment. I've been involved in a number of well repairs, but what you've described is advanced. It is possible to have the well "blown-out" (compressed air forces sand out), but I don't know how this would work with replacing casing. Usually, you can try to have the well blown out when it "collapses" for $350-$500. You might want to check around more or call other drillers out of the immediate area for second opinions.

-- Derrick Comfort (dcomfort@ccnmail.com), May 07, 2000.

Joe, I have tried to find out the original driller and I guess the man passed on as no one is familiar with him any more. The county here doesn't have records that go back to '72 on well specifics, just how deep and who drilled it.

I am going to check into some drillers from some adjacent counties, as you have suggested. The county that I am in has a lot of oil industry so I was thinking that maybe I could persuade one of those guys to give the pull a try on this. The well isn't sanded in, just 4 years of drought dropping the water table lower. Also, I think if it went to 400' which is what people are currently installing that I would have better flow.

If I do indeed have to drill a totally new well, how far from the old one should I make it? This would be a problem if I had to go too far because I have the solar set-up on my barn and you're not supposed to run more than 200' vertical to this pump. I HATE throwing $$$ at stuff and then throwing even more at it. Ah, nuts.

-- Doreen Davenport (livinginskin@yahoo.com), May 07, 2000.

Again, this must be so frustrating for you. I understand frustration well ! Speaking of "Oh Wells" I had one put in --in Iowa--land of if you drink it over 160 feet deep-- you DIE. They drilled it 30 feet from the other hole and dynamited the previous hole(state law) Hope this helps.

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), May 07, 2000.

Joel, what did you mean on your last post, where you said "if you drink it over 160 feet deep you die"?

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), May 07, 2000.

I had a clerical error--if you drink water in Iowa from a well that is drilled to "LESS" than 165 feet deep than you will DIE ! It might take years but,it takes 165 feet of Iowa's limestone based soil to filter out the "nitrate based" fertilizers we used there and "Iowa" is all fertilizer !

-- Joel Rosen (Joel681@webtv.net), May 13, 2000.

This solar pump is causing you more headache than you need. First of all you say this pump has a 200 ft. vertical lift. Why would you want to pay someone to drill your well (300') another 100' deeper if you intend to use this solar pump that is only good to 200'. In a proper setup the pump should not be more than several feet off the bottom of the well. Not knowing your location, I'd be happy to have a well drilled for 9.50 a ft. Where I live it's 17 a ft with casing and 15 a ft of rock. Check to see if any of your well drillers us pounders rather than rotary drills. Pounders go much slower than rotary but usually don't have to go near as deep. rotary because of it's speed may seal off veins and therefore is one of the reasons for going so deep. Anyway what I'm getting at is you may not need to go as deep as you suspect with a new well. See if you can talk to a water witch in your area. It was worth my $20.00

-- peter (pdfitz@mkl.com), May 13, 2000.

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