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Pitless Adapters with Support Bar

Merrill MCK and MSS pitless adapters have a support bar that makes installation of any handpump difficult or impossible. Very common in Michigan often with a 5 inch casing.


  1. The best case scenario is that there is enough clearance inside the well to install one of our Slim Jim (SJ) series pump kits.  We offer this pump to not only lift water from depths exceeding 100ft but for shallower wells that have internal clearance issues such as an oversized pitless adapter.  The clearance test is simple; purchase a 10ft stick of ¾ inch PVC pipe and glue a cap on one end.  If you can get the cap past the support bar and the lower part of the pitless then you can install the SJ pump if there is a clear shot to the water after clearing the pitless.  Often this is possible with a 6 inch casing.                                                                                                                                

  2. Find a likeminded nearby neighbor that has a compatible well and strike a deal.  You supply the emergency well pump and they supply the well.  This is a win win situation for both families.

  3. These obsolete pitless adapters can be replaced with a “normal”, slide style pitless adapter.  This is a major undertaking and hiring a professional well worker is often the way to go, especially if your electric pump is over 10 years old (time to replace it anyhow).  Basically, the top of the well needs to be excavated down to the pitless adapter.  The old pitless is disconnected (special tool) and the pump is partially removed from the well.  The old pitless is replaced with the new.  This involves replacing both parts of the pitless (casing and drop pipe) and reconnecting to the entrenched supply line to the house.  The pump is reinstalled with the new pitless that provides enough clearance.  Please note these support bar pitless adapters are often used on 4 and 5 inch well PVC casings.  If this is the case, then excavating below the pitless and cutting off the undersized casing and “sleeving” it with a 6 inch casing can provide extra clearance if one wants to install our AK or AR pumps that require 1.9” or 1.66” clearances respectively.

  4. Our pumps can be installed as needed during an emergency.  Store several days worth of water in your house to ride out nuisance power outages that last less than a few days. If it becomes obvious that the loss of power is prolonged then the electric pump can be removed from the well and our emergency pumps can be installed using our stealth block and the rapid install method (“Start here” tab).   You will still need the special tool for this pitless and removing the electric pump can range from challenging to requiring power equipment or other means, depending on the depth of the electric pump

  5. Drill another well.  This is an expensive option but maybe not as expensive as you might think.  Normally a well package price includes an electric pump, trenching, pressure tank etc.  None of this is required for a well that will have only a hand pump.  When you call your local well drilling company for a quote be clear that you want a well drilled for a hand pump.  You already have a known Static Water Level so you know how deep the well needs to be SWL + 15ft so a quote should be straight forward.  Keep in mind two things; well drillers will drill in increments of 20 ft (casing lengths) and you only need to hit water and go another 15 feet.  Also a deeper well might be needed to access better quality water.  If one can save money by drilling a 4 inch well, great, all our pumps are compatible with 4 inch casings.

  6. If your water table is very shallow and your subsoil is not rocky a sand point well might be for you. A sandpoint well is a “do it yourself” well.  You purchase a sand point and 1-1/4 or 2 inch steel pipe and literally pound a well into your yard.  Search “sand point wells” on YouTube and watch a few videos.  Our SP pumps have been specifically designed to fit inside both 1-1/4 and 2 inch sand point wells

  7. Rain water collection systems, generators and treating surface water are also options to consider

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