My wife and I moved into a new house last year, and we have a well that hasn't been used in >15 years. I'd like to either a) cap it and forget about it, or b) put it into service, but right now I can't do either because of two hoses stuck in the well.

The two hoses seem to be ~1" diameter and ~1.5" diameter. I (and others) have tried pulling on them as hard as possible and they don't seem to budge.

What's the better option?:

A - hire someone or try better tools/techniques to try and pull these hoses out of the well, then attach a cap? (ARE there better tools/techniques to try here?)

B - hook these hoses up to a pump (?) and see if I can get water out?

Well & hoses

  • Not an answer but water is getting expensive. If you can get it working I'd do that. even if you use it for landscape watering. Check with neighbors to see if they still have well water. If they do chances are you can get yours going. Mar 16, 2022 at 22:28
  • If it is a deep well, the hoses would attached to a well pump near the bottom, making it hard to pull up.
    – crip659
    Mar 16, 2022 at 22:32
  • 2
    Could be that the small one carried electricity to a deep-well pump. You'd really need to research why it's abandoned -- no water? very hard/smelly water? toxic chemicals in the water? switching to public water (and sewer) when it became available? expensive maintenance and purification? Mar 16, 2022 at 22:33
  • Someone was able to measure the water depth in the well at ~25 feet, so it's not particularly deep. No idea why it was abandoned - the previous owners of the house never used it, and they'd been living here 15 years. Mar 16, 2022 at 22:35
  • Oh, and no other neighbors have wells around here. (But I'm in CA so if I can use this for landscape watering I'd LOVE to do that.) I'm just mystified why the hoses are stuck so badly! Mar 16, 2022 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


Two hoses like that indicate a deep well jet pump - surface mounted pump, water is pumped down to an injector in the well itself that brings more water up to the surface. The injector is what's stuck.

Why it's stuck is an issue. Highly dubious that you want to spend the money on an obsolete (IMHO - they are very power-inefficient, and made a lot more sense when electric motors were much more failure prone) deep well jet pump to "try this out" with the injector that's stuck down there, given that it was abandoned. The well casing may have collapsed, something may have fallen or been put in (think kids) from the unprotected top that is jamming it, it's hard to know.

Might be worth having a well company out to try more serious pulling on it. But that might just break the pipes.

  • Would a borescope camera be helpful to figure out what's going on here, do you think? Mar 16, 2022 at 23:09
  • Quite Possibly. Depends how much silt is kicked up getting it in to have a look, (since it's hard to see much in a cloud of silt, so long pauses may be required) and/or whether it becomes the third thing stuck in the well...
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 16, 2022 at 23:46
  • You could also try connecting a fitting to pump compressed air down one or both of the pipes, to see if the bubbles would shift anything (and a well company might do the same, with a compressor more in the scale of one you'd have to rent - but perhaps renting a big one (tow-behind jackhammer sized...) would cost less than hiring them...
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 17, 2022 at 14:36
  • Even with a small compressor or bicycle pump, a pressure gauge (reading static pressure when not pumping) would tell you how far under the water level the end of the pipe is, if you first pumped until bubbles came up.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 18, 2022 at 12:20

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