How to Pull a Submersible Water Well Pump?

Check state laws before attempting to replace the well pump yourself. Many states only allow licensed well contractors to replace a well pump.

If the local laws allow you to pull out well pump from your well and the depth of the well is not too deep, you can pull out the pump yourself with a couple of helping hands.

The pump in your well is responsible for pumping water out of the pump. Although you can expect an 8-16 year service life from a high-quality well pump, problems can happen for various reasons. If you are wondering how to pull a submersible water well pump and how much it costs to replace it, you are at the right place.

How to Pull a Submersible Water Well Pump by Hand

Before pulling the water pump with your hand, you must check your well’s blueprints to know how deep the pump is and which pipe it is using. If the well pump is less than 100 feet deep and utilizes PVC pipes, you may be able to pull out the pump with a couple of your friends. Galvanized steel pipes or depths greater than 100 feet make it difficult to pull out the pump by hand.

feet make it difficult to pull out the pump by hand

If the pump is 100 feet deep, expect the pump and water in the line to be at least 100 pounds. That’s a lot of weight, especially if you pull it from under the ground with your hands. Other factors like your foot grip, body strength, and quality of the rope you are using also play a critical role in determining the success of the whole process.

Follow the steps below to pull a submersible water pump with your hands.

  • Turn off the breaker to the pump and arrange for high-quality non-slip work gloves for all the people who will pull the rope with you.
  • Clear a 10-15 feet radius around the well cap to ensure you won’t slip or get caught in the plantation.
  • Wear non-slip boots while working on this task.
  • Remove the well cap with a screwdriver. You may need WD-40 to loosen the screws a bit.
  • Once the cap is removed, attach a T-handle pump removal tool to the pipe. You will need a flashlight to see the pipe opening. You may be unable to fit in the T-handle properly due to corrosion on the pipe head. If this is the case, try fixing it as much as you can and then tap it with a hammer.
  • The next step is to attach a safety rope to the T-handle. Make sure you select a high-quality thick that is at least ¾ inches thick. Connect the rope with the T-handle and let one end stick out of the well cap so you can hold it if needed.
  • Pull out the pump from the well casing. This is the toughest part of the process. Feel free to take turns and ensure that one person always holds the rope.
  • Once the pump is out of the well, you can diagnose the problem and insert it back the same way you pulled it out.

How much does it cost to pull a submersible water well pump by hand?

Pulling the pump by hand doesn’t cost you much. If you are a handyman, you will already have a rope and other tools.

However, the risk factor is very high. If you drop the pump, you will need to hire a pro to pull out the pump. This will cost way more than what you would have originally paid a contractor to remove the pump.

How Certified Well Contractors Remove the Submersible Water Well Pump?

Well contractors have sophisticated machinery that can pull out the pump in a few minutes. It is the safest way to pull out the pump as no risks are involved. Even if something bad happens, it is the contractor’s responsibility to take care of things. Moreover, it is also the state-approved method for removing the well pump.

How much does it cost to get a submersible water well pump removed from contractors?

It depends on the depth of your well. The rate varies from one area to another and also depends on the material used and the quality of the pump you are installing. The reputation and experience of the contractor you have hired also impact the final cost.

The average cost for submersible pump replacement in the US ranges from $400 to $2000. It may go higher depending on the factors discussed above.


  • Roy Jones

    Roy lives in Anderson, Texas, and has been a part of various certified well drilling firms. He has extensive 20 years of working experience in water wells maintenance, repair, and drinking quality. Roy has been guiding neighbors on well issues and writes to educate private well owners about various well water issues.

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