US 3875999 A
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United States Patent 1191 Liberg 1 Apr. 8, 1975 1 WELL CAPPING ASSEMBLY  Inventor: John E. Liberg, 27 W 021 St.
Charles Rd., Wheaton, Ill. 60187 221 Filed: July 15,1974
 US. Cl 166/85; 166/89  Int. Cl. E2'lb 33/03  Field'of Search 166/84, 85, 89, 189, 313
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,403,730 10/1968 Williams 166/88 3,556,213 1/1971 Kramer 166/88 3,605,886 9/1971 Cox et al.. 166/89 3,716,102 2/1973 Tubbs 166/88 3,721,296 3/1973 Tubbs.... 166/88 a? zr:
Primary Examiner-James A. Leppink Attorney, Agent, or FirmWolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann  ABSTRACT A well capping assembly in which a cylindrical cap is fitted into an annular well casing head and is formed with a pair of vertical passages. Lines are sealed to one passage toconvey water under pressure through the cap, and an opening directs water from that passage to a sealing groove between a pair of seals fitted between the cap and the casing. In the second passage, an assembly is fitted for sealing a second pair of seals around a conduit running through that passage, and openings direct water under pressure from the sealing groove to a second sealing groove defined between the second pair of seals. Alternatively, the assembly and conduit can be removed from the second passage and lines sealed to that passage so that a pair of water pressure lines pass through the cap.
3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures WELL CAPPING ASSEMBLY This invention relates generally to water wells and more specifically concerns sealing the casing ofa water well against contamination.
In a typical water well installation, the drilled well is lined with a casing leading from the ground surface to the water bearing strata. The upper end of the casing is sealed with a cap to prevent ground water or any other source of contamination from entering the casing and thus the well. The problem of sealing a well is more complicated than simply capping the casing, however, since it is necessary to run a pair of lines into the well casing, either through the cap or through the sides of the casing. If a jet pump is being used, the pair of lines include water input and output lines; if a submersible pump is employed, the lines include a water output line and an electrical conduit for the pump.
Because of the problems of reliably sealing wells where lines pass into the well, many governmental jurisdictions require that these joints or potential leakage points be positioned above the surface of the ground or, if a pit is dug, be positioned well above the bottom of the pit so that ground water will not be able to force its way into the well casing. Some years ago, so-called pitless adapters were designed to apply internal, well water pressure at the seal points of lines passing into a casing so that even if the seal area was buried or otherwise exposed to ground water, the pressure gradient would block water flow into the well. Moreover. any failure of the seal would result in leakage from, rather than into, the well so that the presence of unexplained water around a well, or the repeated or constant running of the pump, would signal leakage, a seal failure, and the need for service. More and more jurisdictions are permitting approved forms of pitless adapters to be used.
It is the primary aim of this invention to provide a novel well casing cap giving a pitless adapter" type of water pressure seal for lines going into a well casing, whether those lines are water lines for jet pumps or water and electrical conduits for submersible pumps.
An object of the invention is to provide a cap of the above type that is economical to manufacture and simple to install. In one of its aspects, it is an object to provide a cap of this type which permits easy vertical adjustment of an electrical conduit so that the conduit can not only lead electrical power lines into the well but also serve as an easily adjusted above-ground breather pipe for the well casing.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary section showing a well capping assembly embodying the invention installed in a submersible pump type of well installation;
FIG. 2 is a well capping assembly embodying the invention installed in a jet pump type of well installation;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the assembly shown in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary section of the assembly shown in FIG. 2.
While the invention will be described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, it will be understood that I do not intend to limit the invention to those embodiments. On the contrary, I intend to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Turning first to FIG. 1, there is shown a well head assembly 10 including a casing 11 having an upper annular head 12 closed and sealed by a cap 13 embodying the invention. The assembly 10 is intended for a submersible pump installation and a water pipe 14 and an electrical conduit 15 pass through the cap 13 to carry power lines 16 to, and water from, the pump. The assembly 10 is shown in a pit below ground level 17, but the cap 13 is so constructed that the pit can be filled without danger of leakage into the well casing 11.
In carrying out the invention, the cap 13 includes a cylindrical body 21 fitted into the casing head 12 and defining a pair of vertical passages 22 and 23, and a pair of seals 24 are fitted between the body 21 and the head 12 defining, between the seals, an annular first sealing groove 25 connected by an opening 26 to the passage 22. The water pipe 14 includes lines 27 sealed by pipe threads into the top and bottom of the passage 22 so that water under pressure carried by the pipe 14 also flows through the opening 26 to define, in the groove 25, a water pressure block to ground water attempting to pass between the cap 13 and the casing 11.
The second passage 23 is formed to receive an assembly 30 that includes a second pair of seals 31 adapted to be pressed around the conduit 15 by a tapered-end sleeve 32 and an annular nut 33 threaded into the upper end of the passage 23. The seals 31 define, between them, a second annular sealing groove 34 surrounding the conduit 15, and openings 35 and 36 in the sleeve 32 and the cap body 21, respectively, direct water under pressure from the first groove 25 to the second groove 34 so as to create, in the second groove, a water pressure block to ground water attempting to pass along the conduit 15 through the cap 13.
In the construction so far described, should either one of the uppermost seals 24, 31 fail in the sense of developing a water leak, the flow will be up from the grooves 25, 34 and the respective water pressure blocks so that ground water remains sealed out. The existence of such leakage will be signaled by water flow from the well head and/or abnormal operation of the pump, so that the well user realizes service is required.
As a feature of the invention, the seals 31 are selectively pressed against the conduit 15 by tightening the annular nut 33 so as to develop camming pressure inwardly from the tapered-end sleeve 32. Conversely, by loosening the nut 33, the seals 31 relax their grip on the conduit so that the conduit can be easily adjusted vertically. This allows the upper end of the conduit 15 to be fitted with a breather cap 38 and positioned with the cap just above ground level, thereby providing a well breather pipe with little elaborate fitting, measuring or cutting.
The cap 13 of the invention is also easily adapted for use in a jet pump well assembly 10a (see FIGS. 2 and 4) in which parts corresponding to those previously described have been giving the same reference numerals with the distinguishing suffix a added. In the assembly 10a, a pair of water pipes 14a and 40 lead through a cap 13a and into a well casing 11a. The cap 11a has a cylindrical body 21a fitted in the casing head 12a, and seals 24a are disposed between the body 21a and the casing head 12a so as to define a pressure block groove 25a.
In this case, the seal assembly 30 has been removed from the cap passage 230, the annular nut 33a is sealed in the passage 23a by being driven against a seal 41, and the water pipe 40 includes lines 42 and 43 threaded in pipe threads formed in the nut 33a and the cap body 210 at the bottom of the passage 23a. Since in a jet pump installation, both lines 14a, 40a are filled with well water under pressure, openings 26a and 36a charge the groove 25a to define a pressure block resisting leakage of ground water between the cap and the well casing. It will also be noted that a positive pressure exists, from the inside out, across the seal 41.
Those familiar with this art will appreciate that the well casing caps 13, 13a create a pitless adapter type of water pressure seal for lines going into a well casing whether those lines are water lines for jet pumps, or water and electrical conduits for submersible pumps. Since the caps are basically alike, one assembly can be provided for any given well and the appropriate parts utilized depending upon the type of installation being made. It will further be apparent that the cap design is simple and straightforward so that it can be economically manufactured.
I claim as my invention:
1. In a well having a well casing with an annular head, the combination comprising, a cap with a cylindrical body fitted into said annular head and defining a pair of vertical passages, lines sealed into the top and bottom of one of said passages for carrying water under pressure from the well, a pair of seals fitted between said body and said head defining, between the seals, an annular first sealing groove, said cap body having an opening from said one passage to said groove so as to define, in said groove, a water pressure block to ground water attempting to pass between said cap and said casing, said other passage being formed to receive an assembly including a second pair of seals adapted to be pressed around a conduit passing through said other passage, said second pair of seals defining, between the seals, a second annular sealing groove, and said assembly and said cap body including openings for directing water under pressure from said first groove to said second groove so as to define, in said second groove, a water pressure block to ground water attempting to pass along said conduit through said cap.
2. The combination of claim 1 in which said cap body is formed so that said assembly can be removed from the cap and lines sealed in the top and bottom of said other passage so as to create a pair of water carrying lines running into and out of the well.
3. The combination of claim 1 in which said assembly includes means for selectively pressing said second pair of seals around said conduit so that the conduit can be vertically slipped through the cap to an adjusted height position.