This blog post is about our bore hole. Our 82 metre deep borehole, that until this weekend, had a pump stuck at the bottom!

Why was it stuck? I’ll explain that later. How did we get it unstuck? With lots of research, patience, and help from our friends. What a relief!

When we first dropped the pump down into the well, everything seemed to go so smoothly. It went down nicely, and worked once it was connected to a friend’s generator. The problem was, the thin rope that had supported the pump, was sooooo damn tight, that we knew something was wrong. It was almost tight enough to snap, and was impossible to raise the pump, even an inch. This was not a good start, and so I couldn’t leave it like this.

Once the pump was switched on, the force of the pressure was pulling it down, and the pipe was wanting to sink deeper, and I knew we had to raise it again, so I eventually landed on building a tripod and using an engine hoist to do the heavy lifting. I’ll mention here that me trying to lift the stuck pump actually put my back out and I was out of action for a little while! So the hoist was going to be necessary.

After learning and implementing lots of new techniques, like using climbing knots to pull on the ropes, and custom made clamps to grab onto the pipe, we started pulling, and the hoist was doing an amazing job. After some moments of incredible force being applied upwards, it seemed to get easier, so we ditched the millimetre-by-millimetre hoist and pulled by hand.

It was a dream! Whatever had been keeping it stuck had come unstuck, so all my worries of having to ditch the well and get a new one drilled were on hold. A few times it got stuck again, so we used the hoist, and eventually we got the pump to the surface and celebrated with tea and hugs.

The pump had a small metal clip on one side, clamping down the cable. This clip had somehow been slightly bent, which meant that it could do down, but got caught on the inside of the plastic liner when it was coming up, and our brute-force technique had bent the metal further, forcing it beyond what was possible by hand, and luckily it bent itself into a shape just small enough to make it up and through the tight space.

Now we’re not yet sorted for water, because we have to drop the pump, cables and pipe again once we’re sure it won’t get stuck, this time on a thick rope that won’t stretch, but we’re at least further than we were last week.

Thanks for all your help – you know who you are.

The blue bits are the plastic that was chewed up by that bent clip as it tore it’s way upwards

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