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  • Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

    I'm new - looks like a great forum!

    Given enough time, I can usually do most plumbing, electrical, etc tasks - and really enjoy trying to do things myself - have found forums like this to be a great way to keep from screwing things up :-)

    I have a residential well, that following removal of about 18 inches of soil around it, now stands about 32" above ground - to the top of the pitless cap - I need to lower the cap level to about 12" above ground.

    So, leaving the ground, the 7" iron casing is welded to a 6" (or likely 5 3/4) iron pipe top piece where the pitless cap fits on. I need to lower the level below the ~6" pipe piece to about halfway down the 7" pipe.

    I have an industrial grade angle cutoff/grinder (Milwaukee) - but, none of the high end pro saws or plasma cutters ... can I just spend the time using a cutter wheel on this? I have lots of clearance to get around the pipe ... was then gonna go to a 7" pitless cap (it holds the power box and seals the pipe) - would end up with a 7" pipe out of the ground, about 12" to the top of the cap ... reasonable plan?

    Any issues cutting the side wall thickness on the 7" pipe?

    Recommendations on the wheel to use?

    Thanks!!!

  • #2
    Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

    First off I'm just curious to why even touch it?
    Proud To Be Union!!

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    • #3
      Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

      It now is within about 1 foot of the edge of a new driveway in a very visible area that we have been landscaping - just need to get it a bit lower to be able to hide it effectively.

      Think I can cut the 7" pipe with a cutoff wheel on a grinder?

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

        I don't see why a grinder and cut off wheel will not work to cut it,


        BUT, you have lowered the ground level.

        The purpose of the pit less adapter is so the water line is below the freeze line of the soil,

        your now going to need to lower the water line and the entire pit-less adapter to below the freeze line,

        more than likely it would be best to cut the casing and lower and re weld the top of the adapter unit back to the casing,

        Also this would entail the pulling of the well and lowering as to move the pit-less adapter deeper would need to be done with out the weight of the well hanging on it, (may even mean cutting the well pipe shorter) depending on if you have room in the casing to lower it any before hitting bottom of the well.
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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        • #5
          Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

          Somebody correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think he can lower the pitless without digging up the pipe that goes from the pitless to the house. I know my pitless connects to a horizontal run that enters the house. I couldn't lower it and still make a connection. The big question is--How deep is the pitless now and what is the frostline? It may be deep enough now.
          Jim

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          • #6
            Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

            Since he lists his local as Northern Va the frost line shouldn't be too deep, probably 36" is a safe depth there so maybe he'll get lucky and still be deep enough.

            I'd also be worried about keeping debris out of the well when cutting with the grinding wheel or a saw. Best to NOT cut all the way through the pipe wall until the very end. Keep going around and around and making your kerf deeper and deeper without breaking through anywhere until you are left with a thin sliver of pipe wall. You can then sever this easily and avoid getting metal bits and grinding wheel debris in your well pump or water system. As a back up stuff a couple rags tied off to a rope or wire and push them down in the casing below the level where you will make the cut to act as a dam that will catch anything that accidental falls in. It's easy to say it won't happen...that you have no intention of dropping anything in there, but invariably it WILL happen. You'll lean over the pipe and have a pair of sunglasses or smokes or what have you in you shirt pocket and they will get a mind of their own and make a suicide jump for the hole. I've seen it happen too many times.
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
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            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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            "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

              If I under stand his plan is to jsut cut the top off of the adaptor, or the pipe that adaptor is connected onto,

              (I know on the style that I have you could not do that, as the entire thing is a unit that works together),

              but I believe there are some styles of pitless adaptors that connect to the casing or a pipe above the casing,

              he says he is located in Northern Va.
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                The pitless adapter I've dealt with has 1" fpt on the top so you can adjust the height from inside the casing. I've lifted 180' of PE drawpipe out with a submersable pump on the end.
                Buy cheap, buy twice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                  Thanks for all the great replies and information - yes, here in NVa is relatively mild - plus, what I didn't say in first post, to keep it shorter, was that the exposed portion of the well pipe has been that way, with the pitless connector (I have dug down that far) about 30" down from ground level - not as deep as I would like ... but since it has been OK (I watched it carefully the first year or two after I removed about 18" of soil) figured I would wait before buying into lowering the whole thing - the pitless adapter does connect and run to the basement water entry where it comes in about 4 feet from the surface.

                  I like the cautious approach, too - I was planning on stuffing the pipe with rags - tied onto something to prevent losing them! Cutting a kerf, as Bob D noted, is great idea vice cutting through in several spots.

                  Looks like all I need is a 7" pitless style cap and then cut pipe, re-tie the rope holding the pump, shorten the wiring, and reconnect in the box ... I have heard some drillers dump a gallon of Clorox down the pipe after working on an open pipe - does this seem reasonable?

                  Anything I can screw up bad - other than dropping something down the pipe?

                  Really appreciate the help - increases confidence level!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                    A 6" casing can be anywhere from 12 guage to 3/16" thickness depending on how deep the well is. I don't see any problems with using an angle grinder to cut it.

                    Mark
                    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                      When I drilled for the navy, we would put granulated chlorine in the casing with the after drilling but it was used to break down the filter cake (thin layer of mud that provided sidewall support). We also poured chlorine after drilling to disenfect the well but we drilled in 3rd world countries. Might not be needed in the states.
                      Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                        Thanks - the 7" pipe looks pretty thick - would estimate close to 1/4" - the 5 9/16 is welded inside the 7" - but I will be several inches below so probably don't have to sweat the overlap ...

                        I will take a shot at when I locate the pitless cap in 7" locally.

                        Thanks, again!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                          I use a big pipe cutter for well casings. then take of the edge with an angle grinder. Cutting it with an angle grinder will be a real ***** but is do-able. Plan on it taking at least half a day for they project. You need not worry much about getting filings from the casing into the well. It really isn't a concern. Losings a bundle of rags could be far more problematic. Avoid any oils and such. I use vegetable oil in place of cutting oil for wells.

                          I'm confused about your well cap concern doesn't it have one already? Can't you just pull it off cut the pipe for the wires down then cut the well casing then reuse the existing cap?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                            Yes on chlorinating the well. Anytime you pull the seal off it is good practice to do so. For sanitation purposes I use a half gallon per hundred feet. Avoid getting any on the pitless adapter it can damage the O-ring or bee's wax.

                            You should be measuring the inside diameter to determine the well size. I've never seen a 7 inch in my area. Most are 6 inch. The ones my grandfather put in are all 6 1/2 inch. He liked the 6 1/2 because it was better and thicker pipe. It can be problematic to find caps and seals for 6 1/2 wells I always try to reuse the existing ones.
                            Last edited by boytyperanma; 09-22-2007, 10:12 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cutting 7" Iron Well Pipe

                              I gotta work on my measuring skills :-) .... I measured again - the 7" pipe (external diameter) is the main pipe (I don't think I can be off 1/2" - just to be sure, I measured the circumference at 22"). A six inch pipe is either slipped into the 7" and welded or just welded - I think it is slipped inside ... circumference of it was 19 3/8 - right at 6". Are these standard casing sizes?

                              Well was drilled around 1975 or so ...

                              Thanks!

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