Hello I am new to this forum and a novice when it comes to wells so your advice and help is really required.

Our deep well stopped working quite suddenly.

The motor works fine, and after try all ways to prime the system; I removed the pump to check the vanes.

All looked in order.

The well is a 2 inch with above ground jet? 1 Hp Pump. Mounted vertical on the 2inch pipe

How can you test to make sure that there is in fact water in the well (my neighbour has a well about 20 feet from mine and his is working well)

Question one
With the pump removed I lowered a bolt on a string and it went down about 70 ft, problem is I could only lower the bolt inside the 1 inch down pipe (is that the correct way to do it? Or do you have to pull the down pipe up before??).

Question two
What is the best way to test the well? For water? At this stage I think that I need to confirm that there is water available.

Question three.
Does the clamp adapter that holds the pump to the 2 inch pipe have to be air tight? I ask this because in the process of removing the pump two of the three bolts broke, but the pump and clamp sit very tight on the 2 inch outer pipe.

Question four.
Assuming I do find water in the well, is it possible to use plastic pipe instead of galvanised for the 1 pick up pipe.

Question five
On my system I have a diaphragm type dome assembly with an adjustment on top mounted between the tank and the pump, what does this do? Will the pump work without this is the system, or does it supply some sort of back pressure. Internally this has a large spring and diaphragm the plastic parts do not look in good shape, and two of the pointed triangles are missing, is this essential to the pumps prime?

I am worried that the well has run dry, and feel that the first stage should be to test for water, after all if there is water than the matter can be solved.