Asking for a brief water well 101.
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    mjncad's Avatar
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    Asking for a brief water well 101.

    We had our house appraised this month to get an idea of what we could possibly sell it for, and the appraisal came back better than expected; though I know we wouldn't get that amount, which is another story. Anyway, my wife is jumping the gun and looking at houses and found one she liked; but she only sees the cosmetics and not the nitty gritty. There are things I like about this place and things that I have doubts about.

    Since I've never had a well; what are some of the things those of you with wells would suggest to look for, what are deal breakers, and the like? I'm just trying to get an overview at this time. I did find out some information on the well from the state's water agency web site, which is based on a March 2000 installation time frame. No records were found of repairs or replacements or a new well drilled. A water quality analysis wasn't available. The one thing that spooks me is the depth. I'm also concerned that the pump and drop pipe could be near the end of their life given the age.


    1. The pump was manufactured by Starite.
    2. The pump intake depth is 658'.
    3. The 'drop pipe' size is 1" galvanized.
    4. The total depth is 924'.
    5. The static level is 555'.
    6. The pumping level is 600'.
    7. The well produces 9GPM.
    8. Disinfection type is 1-cup of NTH.
    9. The well goes through layers of decomposed granite, shale, sandstone, clay and combinations thereof.
    10. The casing material is nominal 4" and 6" steel with a 3/16" wall thickness.
    11. A 2 to 2-1/2 sack grout mix depending on depth was used.


    So what are your thoughts? Thanks!
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    I have more ideas than ambition.


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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    That's a lot of well. First thing I'd do is check/ask about well depth of other houses in the area.
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    I'm with Gizmo. That's a lot of well. Our well is 225 feet deep. The current pump has been in since late winter 1994.

    Never had a water test until a few years ago. Cabot Oil and Gas has been drilling for natural gas in the area and is required by the state to test wells within a certain distance from the wells. Test results came back much better than I expected. I never had it tested prior to drilling. I guess I thought that what we didn't know wouldn't hurt us. Testing was done by an independent contractor.
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    We that are from the NE are not familiar with deeeeep wells like this. That said, the 1" galvanized pipe might be of some concern. The best thing to do is talk to someone in your area of the country that really knows.

    This kind of work is really regional. What works in one part of the country doesn't work in other parts of the county. Talk to an expert in your part of the country.

    Heck, in the NE, we have houses with wells that are less than 100' deep and have above ground jet pumps.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    From what I read, life expectancy of a submersible well pump is ~15 years.
    The last one I replaced here was about 20 years old, the impeller fins were about half gone. The pump still worked but it was extremely sloooow.
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    Wow that's deep. My pump hangs at about 60ft so I have no idea on deep Wells.
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    The depth isnít much to be concerned about. Iíve seen deeper. They will go until they hit adequate water flow, sometimes thatís lower down. As previously mentioned pumps usually last 15 years but I recently saw one that was from the 70s and it finally gave up. GPM is your big factor to look at and thatís good flow. Around my area municipalities use wells for town water. Nothing wrong with a drilled well, itís dug wells you should be more concerned about. As long as the water isnít contaminated itís a non issue to me.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray_PA View Post
    Heck, in the NE, we have houses with wells that are less than 100' deep and have above ground jet pumps.
    That describes my family's homestead. 15' deep dug well which is mucked out by hand every 20 years or so and a jet pump located in the basement of the house.

    mjncad's numbers are unfathomable to me. It looks like there's over 1000 lbs. of galvanized drop pipe hanging in the well before it's full of water being pumped to the surface!
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    This is a deep subject!

    I agree the age would have me concerned and if you needed a new pump what the cost would be to pull all that galvanized!! Here they would replace it with black poly. What size pump do they have to handle the 600' lift??!!

    I would look to see if the area is prone to development with a bunch of other users tapping into that water source?
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    At least you have the specs of the well and the pump - thatís rare. Most times you have no idea what you have as far as well depth or pump until something goes wrong.

    All you can really do is have the water tested for impurities and also the actual pump output. If the output shows itís up to spec you should be good. Thatís not saying the pump wouldnít give out within the next year. Living in the country you get used to this stuff - wells and septic systems. They both will take maintenance and repairs. The way I look at it it comes out about the same cost wise - you pay a monthly fee for water in the city - you donít in the country. The end cost at the end of a 20 year period probably comes out about the same.
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