Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,337 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,415 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,046 Posts
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.
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
36,123 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
The depth isn’t much to be concerned about. I’ve seen deeper. They will go until they hit adequate water flow, sometimes that’s 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 that’s good flow. Around my area municipalities use wells for town water. Nothing wrong with a drilled well, it’s dug wells you should be more concerned about. As long as the water isn’t contaminated it’s a non issue to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,087 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,177 Posts
This is a deep subject! :hide:

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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,531 Posts
At least you have the specs of the well and the pump - that’s 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 it’s up to spec you should be good. That’s not saying the pump wouldn’t 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 don’t in the country. The end cost at the end of a 20 year period probably comes out about the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
There are quite a few wells in our area. Having worked on ours a few times, I've learned a little bit.

I would not be afraid of a well system - I'd go into knowing it will eventually cost you some amount of money.

First, try to consider the entire system. I have a well - hollow round hole drilled into the ground, casing - steel 6" pipe grouted into said hole, a submersible pump, a pressure tank, a pressure switch, 1" plastic pipe connecting the tank to the pump and wiring to power it all. If there's an issue, say low pressure, knowing all the components will help diagnose issues.

My well is 250' deep. It is NOT a hole into an underground aquifer - there's not some "underground lake" that I'm tapping into like other areas. Rather, there are cracks in the rock underground and the ground water seeps into these cracks. The well provides a path for the water to run out of the cracks and gravity takes care of the rest. There's some geology websites that explain this.

I've had to address pressure issues 3 times in 20 years, each was different:
  1. The pressure switch failed. Actually, it was still working but the installer had used galvanized pipe to connect it into the system and it rusted on the inside. When I took it apart, I could barely blow through it. The local plumbing supply sold me a new switch with a brass pipe - no more issues.
  2. The pressure tank failed. My tank has two sections separated with a rubber bladder. Air on one side, water on other. The rubber failed and leaked water into the air section. Eventually it has to be replaced.
  3. The pump failed. After more than 30 years, the pump impeller sheared off. 30 years is a long time for a pump.
A few other issues I've had.
  • The plastic pipe in the well shaft was rubbing on the side of the well. It wore a hole through the pipe and allowed water to leak out of the pressure tank. I was getting air in my system. Google was my friend and helped diagnose it.
  • When I replaced the pipe, I replaced the wiring which was stil working although it was worn.
To prevent these from happening again, I installed some plastic "rings" designed to keep the pipe away from the sides and a damper on the pump to absorb the energy when it starts.

Here's a few thoughts:
  1. When I replaced the pressure tank, I bought the biggest tank that would fit into the utility closet. The water pressure is more even and the well starts less. I've been told, fewer longer cycles are better for electric motors.
  2. Eventually the pump will fail. And you'll know it when you have no water.
  3. Check out the entire system before you move it. How old are each component? What's been replaced and when?
  4. Put a pressure gauge that you trust on the system, say a hose bib outside. Measure the high and low pressure - run the water in a tap until the pump starts. Turn off the water and observe the pressure. This might indicate some problems.
  5. You can pull a pump yourself - there's videos on YouTube on this. Rent the pump puller. If there's water in the system, 550' feet of 1" pipe with water is a lot of weight to pull. When I pulled mine the first time, two of us could barely get it started. We put the puller on it and it came right out.
  6. I have only one regret - when the pump failed, I let the repair guy install what he had in the truck. Its a good pump but I wish I'd installed a variable speed pump. These maintain constant pressure and have a good reputation for lasting a long time.
The most expensive repair is likely one involving pulling the pump - its labor intensive and they may want to replace all that pipe once its out. You might consider calling a few well drilling/service companies and ask them what a typical well repair cost in your area. It was $1800 for them to pull my pump and replace it. I would have done it myself but I didn't have time and we needed the water back on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,237 Posts
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!
That’s about 100’ deeper than mine. 15-20 years is about what you get out of a pump/drop pipe when they are that deep.
At that depth the pump has to develop over 300 psi.
I had a hole in my pipe a couple years ago, and replaced the pump too since it was 17 years old. Total repair bill was about 7K.
I wouldn’t be afraid of yours, but plan on sinking some money into it in the next few years, then you will be good for another 15-20 years.
The price you pay for country living

Edit: I should add, that it is the high iron content in the water in this neck of the woods that accelerates the destruction of the deep well pumps. That may not be the case in your area. You’ll have to ask around locally to refine your expectations.
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
36,123 Posts
This is a deep subject! :hide:

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?
I think around here for a well this deep they require sch 80 pipe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,237 Posts
Yes - it’s not that the black poly pipe couldn’t take the weight - it’s the connections. Schedule 80 ridgid pipe and fittings would be it.
And the pressure...in the case of mjcad’s well of interest at 675 feet, the pump would need to make 350 psi to get 60 psi at the surface. That would blow apart even the best poly pipe. Schedule 80 would be nice. I don’t know if they do that around here. Mine is schedule 40
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,251 Posts
I’ve grown up my whole life on wells.

Here the thing. They will cost you some money. At some point.

But the water company cost you every month as well.

At our previous house we have a 600’ deep well. It gave us 6 GPM and had a horse and a half pump. Only problem we ever had is when it got struck by Lightning. Fortunately it only took out the control box in the basement and not the pump.

Our current well is 130’ deep and gives us 30 GPM. We have a constant pressure system on it that’s awesome.

I will also say that growing up on well water I can’t stand city water. All the added chemicals I just can’t drink it.

Only other thing to consider is when the electric goes out you won’t have water either. If you lived in town you probably still did. Not a big deal but something to be aware of and plan for during storms. A few five gallon buckets of water is normally enough. :)





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,531 Posts
I’ve grown up my whole life on wells.

Here the thing. They will cost you some money. At some point.

But the water company cost you every month as well.

At our previous house we have a 600’ deep well. It gave us 6 GPM and had a horse and a half pump. Only problem we ever had is when it got struck by Lightning. Fortunately it only took out the control box in the basement and not the pump.

Our current well is 130’ deep and gives us 30 GPM. We have a constant pressure system on it that’s awesome.

I will also say that growing up on well water I can’t stand city water. All the added chemicals I just can’t drink it.

Only other thing to consider is when the electric goes out you won’t have water either. If you lived in town you probably still did. Not a big deal but something to be aware of and plan for during storms. A few five gallon buckets of water is normally enough. :)





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Same here. When we go to town every other week I will go to Wendy’s for lunch. I like to drink water with my meals. I bring along my own bottle of our spring water to drink. I forgot one time and got water from them - yuck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
Really the only thing that scares me about the well mentioned is the galvanized pipe. It has to be rusted to a much smaller internal diameter by now. My old house had a 450' deep well, no problems with it. Current house has a well on a 16' deep point.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,046 Posts
At least you have the specs of the well and the pump - that’s 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 it’s up to spec you should be good. That’s not saying the pump wouldn’t 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 don’t in the country. The end cost at the end of a 20 year period probably comes out about the same.
I live just outside of a small town in PA. Originally when my house was built, it had a drilled well and its own sewer. The well is 130' deep. Then as the "suburbs" grew, they ran town water and sewer by my house. So, my house has municipal water and municipal sewer and also has a well. I have all my outside water outlets connected to the well and the inside the house connected to municipal water.

I do not miss having my own sewer system. I do somewhat miss not having well water to drink.

Well water is actually superior to municipal water as long as you have it tested and assure it has no impurities. If it does, you need to install whatever system you need to assure it is pure. That said, I would rather drink well water any day than municipal water.

We filter our drinking water with our refrigerator filter to remove the chemical taste that the municipal water authority puts in it.
 

·
Senior GTT Super Slacker
Joined
·
36,123 Posts
Really the only thing that scares me about the well mentioned is the galvanized pipe. It has to be rusted to a much smaller internal diameter by now. My old house had a 450' deep well, no problems with it. Current house has a well on a 16' deep point.
I saw our galvanized 1-1/4 manifold pipe so bad I could barely stick a pencil in the pipe.
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top