Uncapping a well?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    My house was built in 1937. It is out in the boondocks, so originally had an outhouse and a well. The bathroom was apparently added in the 60's. When I moved in the kitchen sink drained out into the middle of the backyard (I have since run it into the septic system). I now have city water, but I knew the well had to be around here somewhere. Turns out that it is under the house under what used to be a back porch (now an enclosed porch). At some point in the past it looks to have been capped. How do I go about uncapping it? I would love to have well water to use for the gardens and whatnot. Plus, it would be nice to have a water source as a backup to the city water should something happen to that system.

    Does anyone have any idas of how to find someone to deal with it or how to upcap it myself?
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    CityGirl, Keith said to ask you how high the floor of the porch is above the cap (approximately)? It's a wooden porch right?
  3. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    All wells that I have ever seen have had a cap of some form on them. The trick is whether or not there is a pump at the bottom with a water line coming up. If it is under a floor, then the floor and probably the roof as well might need to be opened up in order to put in a new pump and line. IMHO though it is well worth doing. (Pun unintended). A modest 220VAC solar capable system can then power the well.

    If you can get the cap off I'd drop a string with a weight on the end down into it to see how deep it is. That will give you some idea of what you are dealing with. If it is shallow enough you might be able to get by with a smaller pump and black PVC pipe and do it yourself. Find the depth first.

    I am one of those nut job whackos that stores 6 months + of food and tries to be prepared if things get rough. Food and shelter are important but even more so is running drinkable water.
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    The floor above is probably 7-8'. It is a dirt crawl space, but I can walk around with plenty of clearance once I get in there.

    Baker- That is what I would love to do. A solar pump makes a LOT of sense. I don't especially want to open up the floor and roof though. The roof is brand spankin' new and the washer/dryer sit directly above the well. It would make a HUGE mess to have to mess with all of that. [​IMG]

    I went online last night and found a local well company. I probably should just call them to come out and look at it. I haven't the faintest idea what I am doing.
  5. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  6. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    If it were properly decommisioned it will be filled with concrete otherwise you can drill a hole in the cap and put a pipe down in the well with a foot valve and put the pump anywhere nearby especially if the static level (water depth) is high or near the surface.
  7. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Quote:This is what I was going to say. In our old house there had been a back porch/kitchen and the well was under that. The well was capped (not properly) and later and illegal washer was put in that drained into the hole. The well pipe was full of concrete but the washer drained into that hole for decades.....

    When we looked into re-opening the well we were told it would cost thousands to do and that the water was probably so contaminated as to be useless. Bottom line was that all we knew was that there was water there, a whole new well would need to be dug.

    If your sink was draining into the yard it is quite likely that for many years it drained into that well. This was apparently VERY common use in the early days as houses converted to "city water" and indoor plumbing. Ours was illegal because the sewer line mandate had already been put in place but the house was still draining the washer into the well. (It could not be sold in that condition.)
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Keith said that would probably be best. I haven't a clue about wells, other than to know we have 4 on the farm.
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    If you have a pipe coming out of the ground, with a simple cap screwed on , just unsrcew it.

    Then drop a weighted line down the well until you hit the water, and tie a small knot in the line.

    Drop it down farther until you hit bottom and tie another knot.

    The distance from the weight to the first knot will tell you the depth to the water standing in the pipe, and between the two will tell you will be the total depth.

    If the first distance is not over 25 feet, you can use a "shallow well" pump that will fit under the porch.

    If it's deeper, it will require either a "jet" pump or a submersible.

    Also for a submersible you'll need a larger diameter well casing than for the other types.

    Until you know the depth to the water, you won't know which type is needed

    Pictures would really help give better answers
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011

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