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Old 10-15-2012, 10:36 PM   #1
killermrob83
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Default Pitless adapter variation

Need to replace a submersible well pump (in Michigan) as it is making a rotational-like sound throughout the plumbing in the house. I do not claim to be well versed in pump removal and installation by any means, but firmly believe that I have all of the skills necessary to perform the task at hand.

The original pump was replaced (new construction in '94) in Feb of '99, which makes it nearly 14 years old. The well casing is 4" and the depth of the well is approximately 80'. The pump hangs on black poly pipe. I need help in determining how to remove this type of pitless adapter, as I have not seen one similar to this in all of my searching.

With the cap to the well casing removed, there is some kind of a fitting (for lack of a better description) that spans the casing. This fitting is roughly
4 3/8" long x 1 1/2" wide x 1" tall. There is a hole through the center of it with 1" pipe thread. Threaded into the bottom of this fitting is a piece of 1" PVC pipe that extends down 48" from the top of the casing. When looking down the PVC pipe with a flashlight, it appears that there is some kind of
u-shaped cradle that one would use a push rod to release, then pull up on the aforementioned fitting with a t-bar threaded into the top of it.

Does anyone understand this pitless description, and if so, how does one go about releasing it? Are there some other resources where I can go to get a better understanding of this type of pitless adapter? Thank you for your time and consideration. Rob



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Old 10-16-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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Did some searching and believe that the pitless I am dealing with is a Merrill, or similar to their design. Found a thread in another forum that refers to one with the same description as a Wells brand, although I was not able to find any kind of information regarding that name; not even a manufacturer.

From what I have been able to find out, a special tool is required to release the pitless from the casing. This tool gets inserted down through the PVC pipe, and fits around a stainless steel bolt that has a special head; not your regular hex headed bolt. I believe this type of bolt might be referred to as a thumb screw. This special tool then slides over the top of the thumb screw and you loosen it as you would a normal bolt. From what I have also found out, one can make their own tool out of 1/2" galvanized pipe. All you have to do is flatten one end of the pipe (of sufficient length to reach the pitless, of course) with a hammer such that it will fit over the bolt head.

My question now is this. Once I have the pitless loosened from the casing, do I then just insert the pull pipe into the support bar (previously referred to as the fitting located just under the casing cover) and pull the pitless, pipe, and pump? My concern would be whether or not the PVC between the support bar and pitless adapter being stout enough to carry the weight.

Has anyone dealt with a Merrill pitless before? My initial description of the bolt on the top of the pitless was quite inaccurate, but was the best that I could give in light of the poor visibility at the end of the 4' section of PVC.



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Old 10-16-2012, 04:01 PM   #3
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I believe the Pitless you have is called the SMCK by Merrill. Here's a picture of it:

The thumbscrew your talking about is what loosens the cam that pushes the rubber seal up against the casing. Loosen it and it should lift out.

pitless.jpg  

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Old 10-17-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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Thank you speedbump. The picture that you linked is exactly what I see at the top of the casing (the support bar, as I cannot see down the casing due to cob webs that I have not as of yet attempted to cleanout). I will be making up the special tool soon and pulling the pump on Monday the 22nd. Will then post my experience. Hope all goes well (no pun intended!) and I don't wind up with a pump that gets stuck in the casing. If that should happen, is there a way that I can acidize the well myself without having to pay the expense of a professional? The last so-called professional reinstalled a broken casing cap seal, of which about 1/2 of it was missing, and therefore I have cobwebs and spiders nests at the top of the casing around the wires and support bar. I prefer to do things myself, when possible, so that I know that the job is getting done correctly. Unfortunately, one bad egg slights the rest of the dozen. Thanks again. Rob

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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I just got set up with a drilling/repairing tool company and will have them on my website in a day or so. Among them is a pitless wrench that I am quite sure fits your pitless. They are about $20.00, but if you can build one, all the better. It's not like your going to be needing it a lot.

If the pump gets stuck, acid is not the answer. Hopefully it won't. Once you do get it out, you could put some Nu-Well tablets down to clean the screen if you can find them. Here's a post that describes them and a couple places that might have them: http://www.pumpsandtanks.com/forum/t...?TOPIC_ID=2265

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Old 10-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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Wound up making my own tool to release the cam on the Merrill pitless. The most popular suggestion to making the tool is to use 1/2" pipe with the end somewhat flattened out. Because of the cost of galvanized pipe in this area, I decided to check for some at the local scrap/recycle yard. Came across some 3/4" hex rod for .25/lb. Picked up a 6' piece and used my angle grinder to cut a slot into one end............ fit like a glove.

The pump pulled out without a hitch, so did not have to do any acid treating. Was informed by a few well companies that trying to clean the screen with tablets or blowing out the well might actually ruin the screen or damage the casing if there is a weak spot in either. They used the old adage,
"if it isn't broke, don't fix it."

There was only one problem that I ran into with the entire job. I marked the location of the arrow stamped into the support bar onto the rim of the casing so that I could get the pitless lined up exactly like it had been prior to removal. When the pitless was reinstalled according to the mark, I couldn't get any water with the pump running. Turns out that the support bar had rotated on the 4' section of PVC between it and the pitless, when it was placed on the ground. I would highly recommend marking the location of the support bar not only on the casing, but also making corresponding marks on the pitless and whatever pipe you have between the pitless and the support bar. I had to lower a flashlight down into the casing to locate the hole in the casing and then realign the pitless accordingly. No big deal, but it through us for a loop at the first.

Thanks again for all of the great advice. Rob

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Old 10-29-2012, 03:39 PM   #7
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I don't agree with the drillers. Most drillers use Stainless or PVC screens. Nu Well tablets aren't going to touch either one. Most casing is in like new condition in a well unless it's exposed to water and air a lot or the water it's exposed to is acidic. Like with a low PH below 7.

Glad you got it all working.



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