Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Keving On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:01 am

My brother in law lost his well pump new years eve. He has no idea where it is other than advice from the neighbors. I have been giving him a hand with the hunt. We ran a snake out through his basement until it hit the pitless adapter, marked the snake and ran it a above ground and marked an arc which should be the range for the well to be located. I used an el-chepo metal detector and found three places that had good pings. We took turns ramming the snake into the well casing while the other listened with a piece of pipe placed down through the snow and ice and into the ground. It is really tough to hear anything but now and then we can hear faint tapping from the snake. It appears that the well is buried in the middle of his driveway. We shoveled up lots of nails and suspect they were pinging the metal detector and not the well casing. Temps are -10 here this morning and have been brutally cold for the past week. I hear the best way to thaw ground for digging is with a huge pile of charcoal which I suggested but he is kind of miserly and we started out using a metal trash can filled with a wood fire. It actually is working to some degree and we got a hole 12-15" deep and 3' in diameter started. We can now hear the snake tapping without the aid of a hearing pipe but it still sounds faint and could be another 12" deeper or more to the left or right. I fear that our hole is off. He put a electric heater in the hole last night and covered it with plywood. I hear the rental companies rent some kind of ground defroster but have never been unlucky enough to need such a device. I know there is a lot of talent and wisdom on this site and thought I would run it past you guys to see what advice you would have. Thanks.
Keving
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130
Coal Size/Type: Kimmel pea coal

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Sting On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:31 am

Short Bus may have more on this but history shows us the way

http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/thawing
Sting
 
Other Heating: OBSO Lennox Pulse "Air Scorcher" burning NG

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: chubs On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:40 am

Witch it with apiece of wire, always been accurate for me
chubs
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: combustioneer 77
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker bit.
Stove/Furnace Make: Combustioneer
Stove/Furnace Model: 77


Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: freetown fred On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:02 am

YEP, witchin works REAL well (no pun intended) I don't have a well head, mine's buried. I don't have the knack, but an older neighbor --that's right you young woodpeckers, I said OLDER then me, never misses:)
freetown fred
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut/Stove mix

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:04 am

Helping a Cheap Miser in -10*....You have my utmost Condolences and Respect. You must really Love your Sister and Her Family. Try witching it. Build a good fire in the hole if it'll take and not fill with thaw water. Let time and heat do it's job. Dig toward the witch and the tap sounding. God Love You. All our wells have the casing rising above ground for period chlorination,sanitization and well pump removal. This means he's done none of this. Last I remember,a length of 3/4" pipe will thread into the Pitless to pop it out and allow you to pull the whole deal out of the well casing. You want to thread a "T" on the the pipe to make an easy pull of it. We'll go from there. Good Luck,My Saintly Friend :yes:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:06 am

Simple. Run the snake out to the pit less adapter, and follow it with the metal detector.

You need a kerosene salamander heater.
carlherrnstein
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: combustioneer model 77B
Coal Size/Type: pea stoker/Ohio bituminous

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: waldo lemieux On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:11 am

If the pump is a submersible , disconect the power and have a ufpo guy (underground utility locator service) ping the thing for ya.
waldo lemieux
 
Stove/Furnace Make: efm
Stove/Furnace Model: s-20

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Dirty Steve On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:13 am

Local plumber may have a snake with a radio transmiitter for locating drains and such under ground. Saw it on a DIY show once. My parents well pump only ever goes down in the winter!
Dirty Steve
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Oil- Off line
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: KA-6

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: SMITTY On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:19 am

Last time I lost a well pump was mid January '06. My heart goes out to ya - I'd be a raging lunatic!! :shock:

I ended up calling a well company for that one ... and of course, they screwed me good. Charged us for the trip out the day before to diagnose why it kept popping capacitors, then, never flushed the crap out ... so every water-using appliance in the house got plugged solid with silt because they installed the pump at the friggin bottom of the well (presumably to charge max.for the wire & pipe length) ... and to top it all off, they went in the basement and screwed with all my tank settings, so that the pump would kick on every FIVE SECONDS and off every THREE!!!

If I ever got ahold of that guy, I'd still be in jail today .... :mad:

So far, 8 years almost to the day .... (KNOCKING ON LOTS OF WOOD ... :| ) Probably due to fail any minute now ....
SMITTY
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Patriot Coal - custom built by Jim Dorsey
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III (not currently in use)
Coal Size/Type: Rice / Blaschak anthracite
Other Heating: Oil fired Burnham boiler

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:25 am

Thats why I cling to my jet pump! Note to self: replace the foot valve this summer.
coalkirk
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Harman VF3000
Coal Size/Type: antrhcite/rice coal

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:29 am

Smits.I like the fact that you've avoided the "3 Hots & A Cot" area known as "Jail" :lol: . The supposed Pro's can be true Merchants of the Assinine ! Ohh,and Carl,you're a Flamin' Brain Surgeon! I love that truckload of common sense idea about getting the Metal Snake to Tap on Pitless and the locate with the Cheapo Metal Detector. Speakin' of cheap,this B.I.L. sure as Hell aint gonna spring for the cost of K-1 or Heating#2 for a Torpedo Heater. He will have to play Amish Scrap Wood Collector,build and tend said fire. :bang:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: samhill On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:58 am

Horse Crap!






That's what we have always used, if you have a source nearby bring a spreader over & put down a generous pass or two, in a few hours your ground will be thawed & it's even a bit warmer working out there. :shock:
samhill
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: keystoker 160
Hand Fed Coal Stove: hitzer 75 in garage
Stove/Furnace Make: keystoker/hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: koker 160/ hitzer 75

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Keving On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:05 am

Just came in from plowing and having a mug up. Just talked with my in-law and he is looking for an electrician that has a pinging device to chase the wire. My gut feeling was that you guys would have some good ideas. I feel so damn stupid to be trying to find the well with the metal detector and never thought to chase the snake with it or the wire for that matter. He lives in a old renovated farm house and I fear that we might get led astray by the nails scattered in the ground. We found a lot of the old square ones yesterday. After I left his place yesterday he dumped the trash can full of coals in the hole and threw some more wood on, he said after it went out he put a electric heater in and covered it. Curios to see what kind of shape the soil is in this morning.
I am a firm believer in dowsing and know some old timers that are deadly with a couple of brazing rods or a y shaped branch with some sap in it. I can't do it but could hold the hand of the dowser or one half of the branch and feel it. I wouldn't ask them to come out in this weather. Call me stubborn but I prefer to do things myself than to be looking out the window for a pro to show up. I like a good challenge and sometimes I even learn something in the process. I got to put my layers back on and get down there, I am anxious to see if I can chase that snake. Thanks again for all the great ideas. I'll keep you posted on our progress.

Ha, I love the horse crap idea, all we have around here is lots of bull crap and hot air but it is a tough job to get it away from the coffee pot at the local country store. :P
Keving
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130
Coal Size/Type: Kimmel pea coal

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:15 am

Somebody was thinking when they built this house because the wellhead is right in the basement, there is little bunker built for it that extends under the front patio which is concrete base with flagstone. Patio has little man hole to pull it out. :)
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Tips and Tricks for finding a buried well in -10 temps

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:37 am

I like the Common Sense of that,Richard! We're not allowed to have that set-up anymore. I talked with the County Sanitarian that comes out and issues site permits for wells. He said that they've found instances of sub-surface Methane bubbling through the water column and rising up into structures. And that's without any Fracking Activity in the area. Interesting,and I can see the obvious Hazard. Best thing was,this guy was a Common Sense Man,not some Local Government Power Stooge. Keving,on your end,take good care of yourself. There's nothing at all wrong with doing it yourself.We were built on that Spirit and Drive. Just have the tooling and equipment needed to do it your way. These Board Critters are some Smart,Righteous Dudes,Ehh? :woot:
Hambden Bob
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni !