We all need water to live. From drinking water to taking a shower, we can’t live without it. Sometimes having a well can make getting water day-to-day more difficult. In this guide, we’ll discuss well installation and repair. All the important details and factors to keep in mind when you’re having well services done.
Understanding Different Types of Wells
There are three main types of wells used for drinking water. They are dug/bored wells, driven wells, and drilled wells. Dug/Bored wells are holes in the ground dug by shovel or backhoe. They are lined with stones, brick, tile, or other materials to prevent collapse. Dug wells have a large diameter and are shallow. Driven wells are constructed by driving pipe into the ground. Driven wells are cased continuously and shallow (approximately 30 to 50 feet deep). Though driven wells are cased, they can be contaminated easily because they draw water from aquifers near the surface. Drilled wells are constructed by percussion or rotary-drilling machines. Drilled wells can be thousands of feet deep and require the installation of casing. Drilled wells have a lower risk of contamination due to their depth and use of continuous casing.
Choosing the Right Well Pump For Your Needs
Having the right well pump is as important as having the right well for your needs. Well pumps transfer water from a well into a storage tank. There the water will stay until you need it. In order to make this happen, well pumps use a system called a pressure tank system that sends water from the storage tank into your home’s plumbing. There are three types of well pumps to choose from centrifugal, submersible, and jet pump.
Centrifugal pumps are an automatic designed to move liquid by use of the shift of rotational energy from one or more driven rotors, called impellers. Fluid enters the quickly rotating impeller along the axis. These pumps are smaller than most making it easier for maintenance. Centrifugal pumps are also less expensive. They do not have drive seals, unlike submersible pumps. This eliminates the chance of corrosion or very costly repairs. Their size limits how much water they can suck up, so they work best in shallow wells no deeper than 25 feet.
Submersible pumps are one of the most popular pumps on the market. It favors a long, metal cylinder that is fully engulfed in a well. It uses a motor to pull water from the well, and upward through the pump into a reservoir that is above the ground. Submersible pumps can work for wells of many depths. This type of pump is underwater which helps keep the motor cooler, therefore it lasts longer. However, the seal can break down over time and allow water to come into contact with non-water-resistant areas.
Jet pumps come in two different types: one for shallow wells and one for deeper ones. The shallow jet pumps are similar to submersible pumps but the deeper jet pump is more powerful. Both types of jet pumps can be beneficial to access since they are offset from the well. This makes it easier to get to if repairs are needed. They are very susceptible to damage from sand, so keep this in mind if you live in an area with sandy soil. Jet pumps can also be used for irrigation and gardening purposes.
Well Installation Process and Consideration
One you can decide what kind of well would work best for you. Then you can figure out what pump would work best for your well. Now that you know what the options are for your well and well pump, it’s time to discuss the well installation process.
- Get your permits – It’s vital that you get all necessary permits before you start drilling your well. Make sure to reach out to your local government for which permits you will need. In some cases you might have to pay a permit fee, so check with your government office.
- Pick a site – Picking a site for your well can be tricky. You’ll want to choose a spot close to your home that way the water can easily get to your home. Another factor to keep in mind is ensuring the spot has good drainage.
- Start digging – Now you can start digging a hole. The hole should be about 5 feet in diameter. It can sound scary, but if you’re using a professional company they will handle it for you.
- Install a pump – Now is where you install the pump that you picked out. You may also want to install a hand pump instead of an electrical one in your well. This can be very beneficial for providing water on days when your electricity goes out. It’s wise to have a backup if the power goes out and you need fresh drinking water.
- Install a filter – A filter will help get rid of any rust, dirt, or sediment that is in the water. You can always remove it later, but it’s good to have the filter installed with your new well installation.
The Importance of Certified Well Installation and Repair
When you want something done well, it’s important that you get the right professionals for the job. You want to keep your family safe, especially when it comes to your drinking water. That’s why it’s better to let the professionals do it. There are many reasons to hire a certified well installation and repair company but here are a few.
When you end up doing everything yourself, you have to buy all the tools, all the materials, and everything you need for the project. When a professional comes out, they have everything they need. That way you’re paying one fee for the whole project. Not to mention, if you mess up doing something wrong, it could set you back a few hundred or a thousand dollars.
A professional will know to protect your water table. If an accident should occur during drilling, it could taint the water table for everyone. Poorly dug wells are dangerous and can result in a fine for anyone who owns the property. A well driller is trained to spot these hazards before they become a problem. They will also tell you if your digging site will draw bacteria into your well.
Safety is a number one priority for well drilling companies. They understand all the risks that come with well drilling and will know how to keep everyone safe. Professionals also have to do tons of safety training including following OSHA ordinances. You can always ask a company for their safety certifications.
Well drillers know how to do the job well the first time around. You won’t have to worry about big costly mistakes, because this is their day-to-day job. If you do it yourself, you can easily make costly mistakes such as crooked well shafts, drilling improper well lines, or drilling too close to the septic line.
Lastly, a certified well driller will ensure all the proper paperwork has been completed. They will make sure that all the proper permits are in place before construction begins. If there are any issues, they can help walk you through the process.
Hiring A Professional for Installation and Repair
Did you know that the average cost for a well in North Carolina is between $7,500 to $9,000? When that kind of money is on the line, you want a professional to handle it for you. A professional can ensure that all the paperwork is correct, the job is done correctly, and that is safely constructed.
Also in North Carolina, you are required to be certified by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to install a well, well pump, or do any kind of well maintenance. There is an exam that someone is required to take in order to be certified. You can also check through the directory on their website to verify if the company you want to use has been certified.
Well drilling companies must additionally carry insurance. That way if anything happens you will have peace of mind. You can always discuss what the policy includes and how it works. When you work with a professional well drilling company, they can answer any questions you might have.
Maintaining Your Well for Optimal Performance
Maintaining your well is vital to keeping it running smoothly. This can save you from costly repairs and emergency maintenance work. Some of the ways to maintain your well are using a professional well company, doing an annual maintenance check, keeping hazardous chemicals at bay, checking your well cap, and taking care of your well when mowing.
An expert professional is the only way to go when it comes to doing work on your well. If you get someone without any experience, it can cost you a lot. Not only in money but in any damage that could be done to your well. Expert well drillers will know how to safely take care of any issues with your well.
The North Carolina Health and Human Services recommends annual maintenance checks on wells. This includes testing for any kind of bacteria that can harm you. This helps ensure that the water you drink isn’t contaminated and doesn’t make you sick. These checks can also help determine if you need to replace any parts or have any issues.
It’s important to maintain the safety of the water in your well. Avoid spraying pesticides, fertilizer, paint, or using motor oil near your well. All of these chemicals are harmful for consumption. If a harmful chemical does end up in your water, make sure to call the professionals.
Take the time to check on your well cap. The well cap is the top part of your well and ensures you have a clean water supply. It keeps any contaminants out of your water supply. Make sure to periodically check that it is in good condition. If you see any cracks or damage, don’t wait to replace or repair it.
It’s important to take care of your well when mowing your lawn. A damaged casing or lid could jeopardize the sanitary protection of your well. Don’t pile snow, leaves, or other materials around your well. Check to see if anything is piled around your well whenever you’re doing lawn care.
Signs Your Well May Need Repair
It can be difficult to know when you need a repair. How do you determine if it’s a temporary issue or if something needs to be repaired? Below are some signs that your well may need to be repaired.
You need water to live, drink, do household chores, shower, and so much more. If you don’t have any water it may be a sign that your well pump needs servicing. Check through some basic troubleshooting, but if nothing works then it’s time to call in the experts.
A loss of water pressure isn’t an obvious sign of repair, but it’s important to take note of. If you have a lack of pressure in your pump system, it’s possible that your well is not able to draw up as much water. It’s also a common issue if you’ve installed a new dishwasher, washing machine, or any other new machine that requires water. Your well may not be able to keep up with the demand for water.
Another sign your well may need some repair is if your faucet is spitting air. If air bubbles are coming through the faucet or shower, it will sound like it’s “spitting” at you when you use it. If that’s the case, the water isn’t consistently flowing because the pump isn’t able to pull the water up properly and is pulling up air instead. This could be from a crack in the pipe or from the well itself running dry, but either way, you’ll want to get the problem fixed to get your well pump working right again.
If your water smells bad or looks dirty, that’s a sign your well needs to be looked at. Any time your water smells or looks dirty, it’s important to call professionals. Don’t continue to drink the water until you’ve had the problem assessed. Contaminants or bacteria in your water can cause severe health issues.
Lastly, if your pump continues to run. Pumps are only designed to run when it is pulling water up out of the well. Once it reads the tank is full, it stops pumping water. If it continues to pump water it can damage the pump, the tank, or an array of other parts. The problem could be caused by a leak.
Ongoing Well Maintenance Tips to Keep Keep Your Well Repair Contractor at Bay
When you take good care of your well, you are less likely to have to call in the experts. While there are a lot of ways to keep your well in good shape, it’s important to note that if something is wrong you should call the experts. These tips will help you keep your well working at its best and hopefully keep any big issues at bay.
- Keep the area around your well clean. You always want to make sure the space around your well is accessible. In case of an emergency, you don’t want anyone to have to fall over some leaves or rocks.
- Be aware of local activities that might affect your well. If there might be some construction going on or work happening in your area, make sure your well is out of the way. You can always talk to your local water authority and government about construction activities.
- Complete a visual inspection of your well. If you see any signs of damage, corrosion, or cracks, call in an expert. When you leave it untreated it can cause more damage and leave you with a costly bill.
Even with active maintenance, it’s important to get a maintenance check every year. This will help avoid getting bacteria in your water. Always call in the experts when something is too much for you to handle.
DIY Tips for Minor Well Repairs
Sometimes emergencies come at the worst times. It can be difficult to get ahold of an expert or you need something repaired now. There are some ways you can fix some minor issues on your own. One of the first things to check when your well isn’t working properly is making sure the power is on. Check to make sure the well switch isn’t off. Then you can check the breaker and make sure nothing hasn’t been tripped.
Next, check on the pressure switch. The pressure is mounted near the pressure tank. You will need to remove the cover and bang a screwdriver handle against the tube below the switch. This will jar the electrical contacts. If you see a spark and the pump starts, the pressure switch is the problem. If the pressure switch is bad, you can replace it.
If the banging on the tube under the pressure switch kicks the well pump on, the contact surfaces of the electrical contacts might be damaged. They could be pitted or burned which is causing this poor connection. There is a way to temporarily fix this before you can get an expert out. First, you will need to turn off the power. Make sure to double-check it with a voltage tester. This is incredibly important. Next, pull the contacts open and file off the burned or pitted areas using a nail file. You will need to replace the pressure switch pretty quickly as this won’t last long.
While these DIYs help with small issues or last temporarily, it’s important to get the professionals. A professional will ensure that smaller issues won’t turn into bigger problems. They will also provide more long-term solutions to issues.
Well Water Testing and Treatment Options
Several water quality indicators (WQIs) and contaminants that should be tested for in your water are listed below. A WQI test is a test that measures the presence and amount of certain germs in water. In most cases, the presence of WQIs is not the cause of sickness; however, they are easy to test for and their presence may indicate the presence of sewage and other disease-causing germs from human and/or animal feces.
The Center for Disease Control recommends testing your well once a year. Test it once each year for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels. If you suspect other contaminants, you should test for those as well. However, spend time identifying potential problems as these tests can be expensive. You should always consult a local expert as they will be able to guide you through the process and explain what to look for.
If a contaminant is found to exceed health standards in your sample, contact your public health department for specific steps to follow and have your well re-tested to confirm the contaminant’s presence and concentrations. On-site treatment processes like disinfection, distillation, and filtration may remove the contaminants found in your well water. However, depending on the contaminant, its concentration, and the condition of the well, you may need a new source of water or to drill a new well.
Common Well Installation and Repair Mistakes to Avoid
With something as serious as a well installation and repair, there can be a lot that could go wrong. It’s vital to keep in mind these common mistakes. Electrical problems can run rampant, a well pump can blow a circuit. When installing your well, there are plenty of things that can go wrong. It’s advised to not try to install a well yourself, but to let a professional well company handle it. Depending on the age of your well, natural wear, and tear can deteriorate your well. While it isn’t avoidable, it’s important to do maintenance on your well yearly.
Conclusion: Ensuring a Reliable Water Source for Your Home
Water for your home is vital to survival. You need it for just about everything. When you get water from a well, there are unique challenges. It’s important to understand the different types of wells and pumps so that you can find what works best for you. You should also understand the process and any considerations you’ll have to make. When it comes to any kind of well work, you should always have a certified expert. Carolina Well and Pump provides the expertise you need for all of your well water and pump needs. They can dig a well, install it, make repairs, and provide yearly inspections.