View Full Version : driving a well point

04-30-2012, 07:27 AM
I started to drive a well point down by the cabin, figured a little fresh water would be refreshing. I'm going to put a shallow well pump on it and by winter hope to make a well cylinder and install as drop pipe and sucker rod. This way it won't freeze. One thing I noticed is that I'm not as young as I use to be LOL I feel like somebody kicked my a double s. 12 slams with the rammer equals a half inch of pipe driven.

The spot chosen was the only spot that my whitchin stick tugged on. There are no guarantees I'll hit water

iIm down about 15 feet.

Here's a photo of the point, pipes and rammer. I made the rammer from a chunk of 4 inch pipe and a heavy piece of steel.

I dug a hole with the digger and got it started straight with the rammer.

04-30-2012, 09:35 AM
If I was closer to you I would come give you a hand, I am curious as to how this works. Is the pipe perforated? Did you just drive it down into the ground like a t-post? My dad has a heavy duty two guy rammer (he uses it by himself, but he has more muscle than me lol) he made out a a piece of 12" casing. Used it a few winters ago to drive 6x6 boards down into the lake for a dock, weighs about 100lbs.

Dwane Oliver
04-30-2012, 10:51 AM
Very energetic endeavor, I hope you hit a gusher.
What does the first piece in look like?
How deep do you think you will have to go?

04-30-2012, 12:36 PM
Good post, lots of info here.

Driving a point does beat digging a well with a shovel....although that has been questioned by a poster here a while back....

About 15 years ago I had help driving a point for a"stock well"...... that's what you call it if it's not been inspected and fee paid to the state.
All sorts of rules governing approved water wells.
Maybe not suitable for drinking without treatment.

Neighbor helped pock out a spot on the edge of my lower field close to the river.....when it floods very close to the river.

Neighbor had a home made auger bit welded on a shaft, chucked up in a brace as in "brace and bit", was like 12 ft....stand on the tailgate of the truck to get it started.
Did hit water at about 12 ft, which was about water level at the river bank.....so kept going.

Used a steel post driver, but wasn't heavy enough and just bounced off the driving cap.

I had bought 21" lengths of 1-1/2 pipe, but had to get it cut and threaded to 7 ft, or you couldn't reach it from the truck tail gate.
Need 'driving couplers as well so the threads don't get beat up, as well as a 'driving cap", that has a hole to release air on you down stroke, and heavy duty threads to you can unscrew the cap to add lengths.

As this was back in my "factory life" when I had a real complete machine shop at my disposal, for "government work' (personnel little jobs).
They built me a 4 ft driver out of 6" schedule 80 pipe. welded cap and re-bar handles.
I added about 25 pounds of molten lead as a cushion and driving weight into the cap.
That sucker is heavy, I still have it and has been lent out many times over the years for other wells.

Anyway, that really drove that point but was a 2 guy job (young guy at that, we don' need no stinkin' weight bench...LOL)....so hit hard pan about 20 ft and kept going to 27 ft of pipe, 48" point, so total depth is 31 ft.

Added the small pitcher pump, but leathers are real hard to keep wet and not rot.....a deep sucker rod style would be better, but does work.....you can see the blue pump in the picture.

Picked up a gas powered (no electric) 'trash pump" thinking I could use that, as I was having a problem finding a gas powered jet pump....Didn't work.

The Amish use a hand pump with a gas powered "pump jack", used to work a hand pump with a gas motor,

Found one, but didn't use it yet, as we had a 'state approved deep well, and pump set up,drilled by the cabin......Up on the hill
That well is 185 ft, cased and grouted,to 95",... 6" case to 4 in pipe.

04-30-2012, 02:35 PM
Jeepers. You need a tractor with a bucket or a backhoe to push that down. My shoulders hurt just lookin' at it. Did you say you were witching for water or wishing for water. Never mind. It's the same thing. Good luck!!!!!!! If you were closer I'd come over and watch you work.

04-30-2012, 04:22 PM
Thanks for ther comments. I wish Sparky was closer too. Only ten more feet to go, did I say yet that it feels like somebody kicked my a double s?

The point is a perforated pipe about three to four feet long with a hardened point and ss screen. It's the first piece of the well.

04-30-2012, 04:49 PM
years back I drove a shallow sand point well for my garden. I think my shoulders still hurt from that. lol Goodluck, and may that last 10ft be easy drivun !


04-30-2012, 05:29 PM
when I was a whippersnapper I would have drove that entire well down in a day. Now I'm about all wore out probably from doing $hit like that. LOL

04-30-2012, 06:13 PM
Sure is a good thing you can afford to mechanize operations or hire it out when you get older.....LOL....I hope.

04-30-2012, 07:16 PM
I'm to stubborn, just ask the wife but she's right.

04-30-2012, 07:44 PM
I have a list of stuff I can't do any more. It's right next to the list of why I won't visit Florida. Almost as long, too.

04-30-2012, 10:40 PM
Great info here. I'm really thinking about driving my own hand pump well on the new place. Two miles from the creek and will have to be about 60 feet deep I'm guessing. Haven't asked the locals how deep theirs are yet. Those are third date questions..

04-30-2012, 11:57 PM
You finish driving that well point home you should be fairly well qualified to drive most any point home. Look forward to the debates.

05-01-2012, 06:09 AM
If it takes 12 licks to move 1/2 inch, I'll be saving up some money to pay H63 to drive it..

05-01-2012, 06:21 AM
If I were going to drive a point 60 feet or so I would use a heavier wacker and a tripod with a slip winch. Set up a tripod with a pulley, then have a little engine with a pulley. Run a rope from the wacker up to the pulley on the tripod, down to the stationary engine pulley and then wrap the rope around the engine pulley a couple times. Get the engine running on low speed and engage the pulley with the clutch. To use pull the tail of the rope tight, it'll tighten on the pulley and that will lift the driver, when the driver just about gets to the top of the tripod , loosen up on the tail, the driver will drop, at the bottom of the drop tug the tail and start over. It works but being careful is in order.
Uncle John and Uncle Ron were house builders in the seventies. This is the way they put the wells in. I suppose a winch would work too and probably better due to the lower speed. I'm not sure of their exact particulars. The next one I do will probably be driven this way.

05-01-2012, 06:22 AM
ya know some folks pay for a gym membership. I get my exercise for free, I'm frugal that way LOL.

05-01-2012, 11:03 AM
With the soil and lack of rocks that we have, twelve whacks would probably result in a deep well.

05-01-2012, 12:10 PM
If I were going to do it again....I would have a loop welded on the cap of my heavy driver, and use a tripod, and counter weight set up.

The coolest one i have ever seen, was a tripod, with pulley........rope from driver to pulley then to mechanized driver.
In this case it was an old Ford with the rear end jacked up,...... second rim welded on the rear drive wheel....car was in gear at idle, rope wrapped around empty drum, once.
To activate, operator would pull and tighten up rope, pulling up the driver, then loosen tension 9slack) to drop it, over and over.

Be aware that keeping it straight is a real PITA as if it does hit a rock, it won't pound thru, but glance off, (hopefully) to keep going.

If you do hit some thing that you can't get thru, you also have the problem of pulling it back out again, the points are expensive.

05-01-2012, 08:14 PM
Sounds good Hunter, this weekend I think I'm going to take my old homemade forktruck and pull the cable off the winch, run the forks all the way up and install a snatch block at the forks, wrap a rope around the drum and go to pounding. May have to add a few pounds to the driver.

05-09-2012, 07:43 PM
I beat and I hammered and beat and hammered and beat and hammered and beat and hammered, did I say I beat and hammered? LOL. Well (no pun intended) at 13 feet I hit something extremely hard, harder than my head. could not blast through so I moved over 20 feet or so and drove another and at 13 feet hit that same hard something. I hammered so hard I broke the pipe. I took my 90 pound bosch demo hammer and made a adapter for the top of the drive pipe and gave it the double hockey sticks with no success. So I'm back to square one.

05-09-2012, 07:44 PM
Probably just a high pressure gas line. Hit it harder.

05-09-2012, 07:54 PM
LOL I doubt that, I'm the second owner of this property from the fella that originally homesteaded it. Not only that I'm the last place on a dead end road with nothing behind me but forest LOL. As long as we're speculating, I think it was a oil vein and I was within a 64th of a inch of piercing it and having a geyser of black gold. Randy Clampett LOL

05-09-2012, 08:16 PM
Let me tell you all a story 'bout a man named Randy
Puttin' down a well and doin' just dandy
His well point hit a geyser of oil
and now he has forty three new cousins, two baby daddies, three old girl friends that have shown up, a cadre of mothers with rented kids in tow, 164 lawyers with gauranteed investments, 145 bankers and the county tax man at his door.

05-09-2012, 08:30 PM
actually there is a bit of truth to that, a tiny bit. The state owned property behind me was involved in the largest mineral lease in michigans history. anyhoo it affected adjoining property owners in a positive way. Not to sure about the fracking process though, no activity yet.

05-09-2012, 10:06 PM
Look at the bright side....

20 feet apart is about the right distance for poles for the volley ball net.

05-10-2012, 06:58 AM
I think your witchin' stick was a boulder pointin' stick.

06-14-2012, 08:41 PM
I haven't gave up on a well. Been working on a cutter of sorts and going to attempt to cut through that hard stuff.

06-14-2012, 09:06 PM
What ever happend to the guy that wanted everyone to carry a shovel in the BOB so as to "just dig" a well....ya otta get aholt of him.......LOL.

06-15-2012, 06:12 AM
Yeah.....he said it was simple and easy.:whistling:

06-15-2012, 06:39 AM
yea, where is that fella? I hit water at three feet or so but I want something a little more permanent.

06-15-2012, 11:37 AM
I tried my lower field hand pump while work around "The place", and seems the leather is shot again....pumps need to be used.
Anyway, that's the 31 ft stock well, which I don't really use much since the deep well went in.

So note to all: If you have a pump with leathers in it, keep a gerry can or jug of of water, and at least dump some down the top of the pump, every so often, or it will dry and crack.
Just wanted to see what kind of water I had as everything is dry up above, but I'm sure that I had gotten thru the top layer, into the water table.
Guess I gotta change out the pump, (I have a spare) and re-build the bad one....again.

River is low, lots of marsh, wet lands looking dry in our area.....On our river, all the way down to the Wisconsin, but the Mississippi is running high....rain from different areas.

06-15-2012, 09:42 PM
those darn leathers go bad with regularity. So if or when I get a well down, I'm going to turn out a well cylinder and install a drop pipe and sucker rod. That way I won't have a freezing concern or a dry leather concern.

06-16-2012, 11:35 AM
Good idea, that would really solve a lot of problems.....all I have is a small pitcher pump and a check value......works but is a PITA to get it to run clean if you leave it sit.

Tried to find a gas powered jet pump, seems they are hard to come by....ended up picking up a "pump Jack" that the Amish use.
It a machine that you can mount a small gas motor on and will work the sucker rod on a hand pump.



Motor drives a shaft with gears to run two elliptical drive gears, arms drive up and down in a circular motion....
Never did hook it up.

06-16-2012, 01:48 PM
Hunter, that's a cool set up. In case it hasn't been noticed I like old time gizmos and gadgets LOL. I have a old kick start maytag engine that may run that well. Not sure on horsepower though.

06-16-2012, 05:01 PM
Yeah you can see where it fits on a pipe...the "V" castings in the middle.....attaches with "U" bolts...motor goes on the universial mount....I have a Clinton 3hp horzontial shaft with an old clutch on it I was going to use....just never got around to fitting it up.

Saw one running in the front yard of an Amish homestead, and asked the guy that built my cabin....he told me it was a pump jack, sold me this one.

Lot of people never even heard of it.......was hard to find even on Google

06-19-2012, 08:22 AM
tip from a buddy with a hand pump on his farm....take your leathers and rub in a "good dose of vaseline" supposedly helps to keep em from crackin' and dryin out.

06-19-2012, 01:22 PM
tip from a buddy with a hand pump on his farm....take your leathers and rub in a "good dose of vaseline" supposedly helps to keep em from crackin' and dryin out.

I suppose that would help, but we are talking years......not sure how it would last.
Always seemed funny to me that they wouldn't make them out of something that would last a little better....I mean leather?...What the heck?

06-19-2012, 04:53 PM
Lanolin works better then Vaseline. A good drug store will have it.

06-19-2012, 05:00 PM
I have a hand dug well on my place in west Texas that was dug in the 1870 's it's 12'X12' and 42 feet deep. The well has a current flowing in it with a large tunnel moving parallel to the ground. I guess it's more like a under ground spring. Glad I didn't have to dig it.

07-02-2012, 01:14 PM
I was looking thru some older pics and found a pic of my driven well point, I have discussed earlier.....as you can see it was during one of the 2008-2009 floods, and at 31 ft, not sure how thw water would be.


07-04-2012, 08:20 PM
Well guy says ours will have to be deeper than I expected. He's gonna bring the drill.

02-09-2014, 11:45 PM
When joining the pipes with the drive couplings be sure to use a good pipe dope on the threads. Lots of armstrong on the wrenches too. If you wish to use a shallow well pump just hooked to the top of the pipe you do not want or need air leaks.

02-10-2014, 12:05 AM
I hit something really hard at about 13 feet. Moved over and tried two more time and still hit something at 13 feet. Not sure what my next plan of action is.

02-10-2014, 07:04 AM
Probably the city water line..............

Stand Your Ground
08-11-2015, 12:12 PM
Surprised you haven't hit rock ...? From the looks of the terrain around your cabin I would say it's located in the mountains. Hope you all the luck in the world...!

Stand Your Ground
08-11-2015, 12:21 PM
It could just be hard pan .... feels like rock ...just beat on it a while if you don't break through after some serious waling you may have solid rock and it's time for looking for a spring near by...?

08-11-2015, 01:44 PM
It could just be hard pan .... feels like rock ...just beat on it a while if you don't break through after some serious waling you may have solid rock and it's time for looking for a spring near by...?

Hunter63 saying Hey and Welcome......
There is a intro section at:

BTW,... Randyt what ever happened with the point?...as your last post on this subject was 2/09/2014.

08-11-2015, 06:54 PM
I hit something at 13 feet so I made up a drill from leaf spring. This was welded onto a long pipe. I used a trash pump to pump down the pipe and up a casing into a trough and back down the pipe. The water flushed the cuttings up the casing. to run it I would pound it up and down, got down a couple extra feet and the darn thing broke off. That put me out of business and I think that darn well tore up my shoulder. Been thinking about digging a indian well next to my pond.

08-11-2015, 06:56 PM
I think it's hard pan

08-11-2015, 08:00 PM
Yeah sounds like it.....
When I pounded my "stock well"....started in the end ravine next to the lower field.......Farmer neighbor, I had borrowed his hand drill.....says, "Don't start there, filled with "scree" and stuff washed down the ridge......move over to the side."

Hit water about 12 ft, then a hard gravel layer at about 20 ft...and went to 27 ft of pipe....and a 4 ft point.
Looking at the river looks like that gravel layer is even with the river bead......and in line with the curve in the river.