How to Remove a Pipe From a Well Casing

The difficulty level of removing a pipe from a well casing depends on the length of the pipe and what is attached to the end. In the case of a shallow, 10- to 20-foot well with only a foot valve attached, the job is simple. On the other hand, a 150-foot well with a submersible pump attached to the end of the pipe will involve a few more tools and a great deal more muscle power. The type of pipe used inside the casing also will determine the type of tools you will need.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver

  • Rope

  • Three pipe wrenches

  • Hacksaw or PVC cutter

Flexible Pipe

Step 1

Shut off the power to the pump and drain the pressure tank.

Step 2

Disconnect the pipe from the pump. Use a screwdriver to loosen the hose clamp that holds the pipe to the pump's intake and pull the pipe free of the pump.

Step 3

Use the rope to tie a running hitch around the end of the pipe. Secure the rope to a fixed object. This will ensure that the end of the pipe will stay above ground if you lose your grip.

Step 4

Pull straight up on the pipe. Lay it on the ground as it comes out of the casing.

Rigid Pipe

Step 1

Shut the power to the pump off and drain the pressure tank.

Step 2

Disconnect the pipe from the pressure tank or pump. For a submersible pump, the point of connection with the surface plumbing will be the pressure tank. The plumbing will connect directly to the pump on any surface pump.

Step 3

Tighten two pipe wrenches on the top of the pipe and lift. Place the third pipe wrench loosely on the pipe just above the top of the well casing. This will prevent the pipe from falling into the casing if you lose your grip. Lift the pipe until you reach shoulder height. Lower the pipe slightly until it rests firmly in the pipe wrench on the top of the well casing.

Step 4

Tighten one of the wrenches you used for lifting just above the wrench holding the pipe in place on top of the casing. Lift the pipe until you can fit the second wrench underneath the two used for lifting. Place the second wrench loosely around the pipe to use as a safety lock. Continue lifting and alternating wrenches until the pipe is completely removed from the casing.

Tip

When removing steel pipe from the well, stop at each pipe joint and unscrew the pipe from the fitting. Place the loose joint well out of the way before lifting the next joint.

Use a hacksaw or PVC cutter to separate joints in PVC pipe. Cut pipes at least 2 inches away from existing joints if you intend to reuse the existing pipe.

Electrical wire will be attached to the outside of the pipe for a submersible pump. Remove the wires from the pipe and coil them neatly as the pipe is lifted out of the well. Clean and inspect the wires for breaks or frays in the insulation before reuse.

Removing any type of rigid pipe from a well casing is usually at least a two-person operation. The job will be simpler and safer if you have another pair of hands.

References & Resources