How to Remove a Submersible Well Pump:5 Steps DIY Guide!


To remove a submersible well pump: 1) Turn off the power, 2) Disconnect the pump from the power supply, 3) Release the pressure tank valve, 4) Remove the well cap, 5) Attach lifting tool to the pump connector, 6) Gradually lift, monitoring for pipe length, 7) Disconnect water pipes, electrical wires as sections clear well. Use safety gear; ensure structural integrity of well casing.

What You Need

  • Protective equipment: Rubber insulated gloves (Class 0), ANSI-approved eyewear, steel-toe boots
  • Hand tools: 6-inch adjustable wrench, screwdrivers (flat and Philips), claw hammer, voltmeter
  • Rigging equipment: Manual chain hoist (1-ton rating), stainless steel cable (1/4 in), pulley (4 in)
  • Replacement pump, discharge piping, fittings (as spec)
Submersible pump

Image Credit: Submersible pump by Kemikungen

Disconnect Power Supply

The first step is to disconnect and verify the loss of power to avoid electric shock.

  • Locate the main breaker box and switch the dedicated 30A single pole breaker off.
  • Unplug the conduit at the receptacle and use a voltmeter to check for the absence of voltage at the receptacle terminals and at the float switch wire leads underneath the well cap.
  • Once power is confirmed disconnected, tape off the wire leads.

Remove Well Cap

Next, access the well casing by clearing debris and removing cap.

  • Use a flathead screwdriver and hammer to gently pry corrosion build up around the edges of the cap.
  • Attach 6 in adjustable wrench to flats of cap fitting and turn counter clockwise while lifting vertically on the wrench.
  • Remove the cap and any accumulated mineral deposits or debris inside the casing.

Extract Pump and Piping

With the access point opened, setup rigging to retract pump components.

Rig removal equipment

  • Position 1-ton chain hoist tripod centered directly above the casing.
  • Feed stainless steel rigging cable from hoist down into casing, leaving 6 ft tail at the surface.
  • Bolt pulley securely to casing lip to guide cable.

Disconnect plumbing

  • Unbolt discharge head from well casing using wrenches.
  • Sever stainless nipple fittings connecting to drop pipe with 6-inch pipe wrench.

Lift pump equipment

  • Secure cable swivel through pump bail eyelet (if present) or clamp cable to drop pipe.
  • Signal assistant to operate tripod hoist, extracting 100 ft of piping at a steady pace.
  • Continue retracting cable while guiding piping away from inner casing walls to prevent binding until pump surfaces.

Inspect and Service Pump

The pump can now be inspected and parts replaced as needed.

Diagnose faults

  • Clean and visually inspect all extracted components for wear/damage.
  • Check pump shafts, bearings, sleeves, and impellers for uniform wear patterns.
  • Conduct winding resistance test on motor leads to identify any electrical shorts.

Obtain parts/new pump

If defects found or whole unit unserviceable:

  • Reference original pump label for replacement model number.
  • Order new submersible pump and discharge components matching well depth/specs.

Reinstall using fresh rigging

Reverse extraction procedure with care when lowering rebuilt pump assembly back into casing:

  • Ensure cable is firmly attached to avoid dropping pump.
  • Align threads and tighten all discharge connections properly before lowering further.
  • Go slow allowing pump to hang freely while checking for obstructions.

Restore Power and Confirm Operation

The last steps involve energizing and testing pump functionality.

  • Reconnect conduit to receptacle and wiring to level control switch wires under cap per circuit code.
  • Close breaker and verify pump operation by checking for leaks, vibration, and steady discharge flow.
  • Seal well cap back in place once pump testing finishes successfully.

Reference: Submersible_pump