Common Well Water Pump Problems And How To Deal With Them

Well water pumps have become one of the most important accessories in any well. They make it possible to retrieve the water without much of a hassle, and can also have the water sent to your house for ease of use. The alternative to using wells is having a bucket and rope type of system to get the water from the well, which can be time consuming and impractical.

When you buy the water well, you will obviously want it to last as long as possible and give you minimal problems. Some of the ways of guaranteeing this include choosing the right type of pump (such as a shallow well pump when the water level is less than 25 feet from the ground) as well as picking the right type of brand. In addition to that, it might also be necessary to do regular maintenance on the pump.

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Failing to do some of these might result in an increase in the rate of pump failure. Some of the common problems that lead to failure include:

Short circuits

The wire leading to the pumps might short circuit, and this could lead to a failure of operation. This is usually the result of poor build quality, but improper installation can also result in this. One of the ways of checking for a short circuit is by using a multimeter, which will show very little resistance between the two wires when there is a short circuit between them. Some people might find it easy to troubleshoot the exact spot at which the short is occurring, but you are better off getting the relevant electrician or pump expert to solve the problem for you.

Clogging

If your pump starts to fail, it could also be the result of some of its piping becoming clogged. This is common when mud and other debris gets into the pipes. This type of failure is often sudden, but sometimes the clogging can occur over time and may initially be unnoticeable. Either way, you will need to find the point at which the clog has taken place, and then remove it. It is also important to explore some of the ways of preventing clogging, including using a mesh to cover the end of the pipe that is under water. This will prevent any solids from getting into the pump, and will make it easier to solve clogging problems since they will always be at the end of the pipe. Proper pump installation is important in preventing the problem from occurring.

Leakage

If you notice water pressure in your home’s plumbing reducing or noticing that your pump suddenly has to work harder, it could be due to the presence of a leak within the pump. The valves and other piping in the pump are vulnerable to this particularly if they are not well made. Ignoring the problem tends to result in complications such as the rest of the pump failing, and also noticing that it needs more fuel or power to run. This is a problem that should be sorted out by a pump specialist.

All in all, using high quality equipment and installing it using a quality skilled service is the best way to safeguard yourself against all these problems.

Using Well Water: Quick Tips For First Time Users

Today, drilling a well is one of the cheapest ways to get water, since the only major cost involved in doing so is the cost of drilling the well in the first place. Once this is done, however, you can enjoy the water at relatively low cost. However, there are a few issues that one needs to remember when using well water, since they determine how the water should be used for the best effect possible. For instance, if you are interested in using the water for domestic purposes such as cooking, drinking and hygiene, some of the tips you should remember include:

The water is likely to be hard

Well water is usually one of the hardest types known, since it seeps through a lot of rock and in the process absorbs some minerals from them. Science shows that a bit of minerals in the water is actually good for one’s health. For instance, the presence of calcium salts in the water has a modest effect in improving bone health. However, having too much mineral in the water has side effects as well, including the staining of containers in which the water is boiled. Using a filtration system that can get rid of the minerals is encouraged to reduce this effect.

Beware of contamination

By far, the commonest contaminant for underground water is fecal material from animals and human beings. Some of the signs that the water could be contaminated include episodes of diarrhea and generalized illness in the people who take the water. Remember, the water might look clean even though it has bacteria in it.

If you intend to use the water for domestic consumption, make sure that it’s boiled and filtered before use. Also, ensure that the well is sited far from facilities such as outhouses that might contaminate it. It might be necessary to line the well to prevent any environmental contamination as well.

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You will need to maintain the well from time to time

Most people think that since the wells contain water, it’s not necessary to clean them. However, you would need to clean the water every so often to make sure that it stays clean. Professional well experts can do this sort of maintenance for you and also provide a schedule on how frequently you should do it depending on the circumstances prevailing. In an industrial setting, for instance, the maintenance might need to be done more regularly.

If possible, test the water

For the purposes of health, some authorities recommend that the water be tested every so often. For instance, you could get a sample of the water every month or so, and have it tested for coliforms and other contaminants. Doing this regularly will give you an idea of when the levels of bacteria or other toxins in the water starts rising, and can also prompt you to diagnose the issue as well.

By following these tips, you are likely to find it much easier to use the well for domestic use with confidence!

Drilling A Water Well: What Does It Really Take?

What does it take to drill a well? This is a question that should definitely be thought through when you are interested in setting one up in your property. Taking anything for granted when in this position is likely to result in a massive waste of resources, since you are likely to end up having to do it multiple times before getting it right. Proper planning will allow you to sink a well in the right spot and not have to deal with any consequences later on. This is therefore one of the most important parts of the process. Some of the things you can expect to go through at this stage include:

Finding out if you need any permits

In most parts of the world, you will need some sort of permit before drilling a well. The reason for this is that in some cases, there are environmental consequences to doing so. Simply drilling a well without getting the right permits set you up for future legal action, which can sometimes be very expensive to deal with. As soon as you realize that you will need a well, find out whether or not a permit is needed (which depends on your locality) and apply for it before doing anything else.

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Understand what it entails

How is the drilling done? It’s important that you understand this, even if for the sole purpose of knowing what to expect once you start the process. Usually, drilling a well means sinking a pipe into the ground, until it reaches a water table. A pump can then be used to get the water out of the ground. This already tells you a couple of things: you will need special pipes to do the job, and you may also need to invest in a pump for this as well.

The location of a well

This is never arbitrarily decided. Some of the factors that influence the probable location of the well include:

• The presence of any underground contaminants: Facilities such as sewers have the potential to contaminate the water in the wells. Making sure that the well is drilled away from such sources is important in preventing such problems.

• The nature of the ground: Ideally, the well should be drilled in a part of the ground that has the softest earth possible. If a survey is possible, it should be done to find out parts of the ground that do not have too much rock in them.

• Your local regulations: In some parts of the world, you might not be allowed to drill wells when a few circumstances are not met, such as when there are too many wells in that region. In such cases, it might be necessary to find a more distant location to drill one.

These are just some of the variables that need to be understood before sinking a well. Consulting a quality well expert is often necessary to ensure that all the above are done with minimal problems, since they can rely on their skill and experience to make sound decisions.

Tips To Make Your Well Water System More Reliable

In many homes around the world, wells represent an excellent source of water that can be used for both domestic and commercial purposes. However, one of the problems that many people face with them is having systems that are prone to problems such as contamination and lack of reliability. Such problems can be mitigated by simply making sure that the wells are built to code from the word go. There are a few tips that can also be used to during the regular maintenance of such wells to ensure that they function as expected. Some of these include:

Keeping contaminants away from the system

Irrespective of the reason why the well is in place, having too many contaminants in the water can result in problems for you in the long term. For instance, if there are poisons stored around the well and they happen to seep into the water, this could cause health problems and even lawsuits from the people who use the water. The design of any well water system should be such that the risk of such an occurrence will be minimal. In addition to storing dangerous contaminants away from the system, the latter should also be constructed to resist any contamination should it occur.

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Preventing any back-siphonage

A common way in which contaminants can contaminate water in a well is when the pipes admit them, allowing retrograde flow of material into the tank. This can lead to contamination of all the water within the well. In order to avoid this, the systems should be designed in such a manner that they can prevent the back flow of such material. A simple way to do it is by using valves in the piping to allow water to flow in one direction only.

Wells should not be neglected totally

From time to time, you will find that you have to stop using a particular well and start using another one that is close by. When doing this, you should keep in mind that both of them are likely to have access to the same water table. This means that once you stop using a particular well, you should have it sealed thoroughly. Simply neglecting it could lead to some of the environmental contaminants seeping through the old well, and then contaminating the water that is left in it. Since the water table is shared by all the wells around, this could spread the contamination to all the other surrounding wells.

Don’t forget water conservation

Just because the water is coming from underground does not mean that it should be wasted. Putting in place measures to reduce wastage can actually save time and money in the long run, and so should be taken seriously. Some of the simple ways of doing this include checking the piping regularly for any leakage, and also installing the well with water conservation in mind. Keeping the well covered at all times will also reduce waste due to evaporation.

If you put in the effort to observe the above mentioned tips, you can be sure that your well water system is likely to be more reliable and safer for usage.

Why You Should Soften Well Water Before Using It

Drilling a well in your property is a good way to get a reliable source of water for your domestic needs. However, one of the problems that most people in this position encounter is finding that they have to make an extra effort to make sure that the water is suitable for human consumption. Understanding the science behind this is important, so that you can then make the right decisions regarding how to go about it. One of the problems you might have to contend with is that most of the time, the water retrieved from a well or borehole will be hard.

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What is hard water?

Hard water is that which contains a large concentration of minerals. When you get water from a well, chances are that it has seeped through a lot of rock. In the process, it might have picked up a large quantity of minerals in the form of salts. Using this type of water has some health benefits depending on the concentration of the minerals in it, but it is also associated with a few disadvantages as well. This is why it’s important to consider softening it.

What are the disadvantages of hard water?

Some of the common problems associated with hard water include:

• Residue deposition: Hard water has a tendency to leave deposits in most of the containers it comes into contact with. This is a function of the concentration of minerals in it; the higher the concentration, the higher the chances of the staining occurring. Some of the ways in which this staining can be noticed including finding that your kettle has some deposit in it. In severe cases, the stains may accumulate in your piping, leading to clogging in the long term. This deposition is usually a consequence of the minerals crystallizing out of the water.

• Doing laundry using hard water also has the potential to make it look dull. This happens even if you use detergents that are designed to retain the colors in the clothing. After washing, you may also notice that the clothes become very stiff, and may even be uncomfortable to wear.

• Hard water has the potential to increase your energy costs. The formation of a lime scale in your boiler could act as a form of insulation, reducing the transmission of energy from the heater to the water.

As you can see, there are many reasons why you should actively try to get rid of the minerals in hard water. One of the most effective ways of going about this is by investing in a high quality filter system. There are some that will only get rid of particulate matter in the water, but better ones can also reduce the concentration of minerals in the water as well. Spending just a little more on such filtration systems will result in a better outcome since you will not have to deal with any of the problems mentioned above. Of course, it would be important to put the filtration system between the well and the home’s plumbing for maximum effect.

What Types Of Water Are Suitable For Consumption?

The age-old question regarding the water sources that are safe and respect the quality standards deeming them suitable for human consumption is still up for debate nowadays. Advocates of public tap water clash with the supporters of privately drilled well. At the same time, there are those who maintain that purified and distilled water constitute the best options. There are, of course, arguments pertaining to each choice. The following guide aims to provide readers with the necessary details required to make an educated choice.

Where does most of the water come from?

At global scale, studies estimate that approximately 30% of the fresh water sources consist of underground streams. Lakes and rivers contain the rest of the fresh water, but it can’t always be safely or inexpensively harvested, filtered and purified. In the United States, public and privately owned water sources are, in an overwhelming 78%, underground streams. Evidently, the remaining 22% of the US’ reserves are the lakes and rivers. So, where does the dispute stem from? The method of extraction and government bodies regulating and upholding the standards of purity.

Tap water

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Flowing from the reservoirs of the municipal water sources and down the pipelines into people’s homes, the quality of the tap water is regulated by the EPA. After passing through the centralized filters and being treated with chemicals considered safe by the government, the pipes hooking up your faucets, heaters, toilets, dishwashers and other appliances deliver it into your house.

While the municipal water supply supporters argue that it’s the safest one to drink because it’s up to code with the EPA standards, in reality the city managers are the ones who decide how often the water delivery and filtration infrastructure is checked and undergoes maintenance.

Well water

It has been said that privately drilled wells are not as safe as the municipal water infrastructure because there is currently no regulatory body testing the purity of the streams. However, it is safe to assume that homeowners who prefer to tap into the local water resources for one reason or another (lower running costs, municipal infrastructure is out of reach, concerns regarding the public water supply, etc.) also ensure that the water is fit for consumption.

This operation involve working with a professional well company, drilling the well according to building codes, installing filtration devices and hooking up the pipelines to home appliances correctly. In spite of the fact that the authorities are not required to verify the purity levels of the private well, it is in the best interest of the homeowner to uphold the quality standards and perform maintenance when it is required.

Purified or distilled water (bottled)

The purification processes pertaining to bottled water imply the removal of all pathogens, chemicals and minerals present in the water. Practices employed deionization, carbon filtrations and/or even reversed osmosis for this purpose. The resulting fluid is considerably purer and high above the requirements instituted by the EPA in this sense, but there is also a downside: minerals are also eliminated from the contents. Considering that drinking water also has the role of ensuring that our daily intake of minerals is on par with the body’s needs, the purification process taken to this extent doesn’t make the water better for you.

What Should You Ask Before Selecting A Water Filter For The Entire House?

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Well water filtration systems come in two categories: whole house and point of entry. The key distinction between them is that the former system involves a single filter installed before the water pipeline diverges to the outlets in your house, whereas the latter features individual filters for every single dispenser.

Opting for a single filter placed at the Point of Entry (POE) entails the water entering your home is already purified. The direct benefit is that the indoor pipeline’s lifespan increases, as the chemicals and minerals can no longer deposit along their span. However, the durability and efficiency of a POE is in direct correlation with selecting one that’s a appropriate for your home. Let’s find out what you need to find out in order to make an informed decision.

What contaminants are prevalent in your water source?

Before you start considering different brands, it’s important to determine the nature of the contaminants that require filtration. For instance, if the water feed comes from the municipal services, then your POE filter should be designed to stop mainly chlorine, chemical residue and hard minerals. Alternatively, when the inline is hooked to a water well, you’ll require a filter that can deal with sediments, harder minerals and iron.

Remember that correctly determining the quantity of contaminants present in the water supply is also important. Establishing whether the contaminant level is low, intermediate or toxic implies taking samples and performing tests on them. Working with a professional retailer who doesn’t just want to sell you the most expensive filtering system is the best way to ensure that the water supply in your household is 100% purified.

What is your household’s combined water flow rate?

Flow rates, measured in gallons per minute (GPM), constitute the quantity of water streaming through each outlet and appliance in the household. This includes the bathtub/shower, faucets, the water heater, toilets, the dishwasher, etc. Selecting a filter that can supply a sufficient water flow to ensure all these dispensers can run simultaneous at consistent rates will prevent issues like low water pressure and extend the lifetime.

Ideally, you should check the information provided by the manufacturer of each appliance. When that is not possible because you are no longer in possession of the documentation, remember that showers typically require between 2.5 GPM and 5 GPM, dishwashers need approximately 5 GPM on average and standard toilets call for 3-4 GPM. The added GPM of the appliances constitutes the necessary flow rate of the water purification filter.

Does the filter you intend to buy have NSF Certification?

Always check if the filter you intend to buy presents the NSF seal of approval. The NSF Certificate represents a guarantee that the materials and craftsmanship are up to code with the modern standards in the field of water filtration systems. Irrespective of whether or not you have chosen a water purification filter designed for the specific contaminants in your water supply and with the correct GPM/dimensions, the NSF Certification is the best way to ensure that you should not experience issues throughout its expected lifetime.

Selecting The Optimal Location For The Well

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Purchasing property in order to erect a home in an area that is not connected to the central water supply presents you with a unique problem: determining where the well should be drilled. Running water constitutes a commodity that you can’t do without or, at the very least, its absence will pose numerous issues in the long run.

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Constructing the building in the proximity of the well is recommended. Otherwise, you will be faced with major investments in the pipeline infrastructure and high maintenance costs. But the question remains: how do you determine the top drilling location, one that provides access to a substantial water supply without employing the trial and error methodology? After all, randomly drilling wells is not only tremendously expensive, but also risky and damaging to the landscape. You might end up drilling several wells without actually reaching water.

What are your options?

As it happens, you have several options when it comes to making an educated decision on the ideal location of the water well:

• Hiring dowsers

Experts have yet to reach a consensus on whether or not there is scientific basis to the process of locating water supplies using wishbone-like branches (typically willow) and “reading” the vibrations through the stick. However, there have been several documented cases of success. If you don’t mind the lack of technical evidence that could explain why the tip of the stick is drawn downwards whenever a water supply is near, you can always hire a dowser.

• Investigating vegetation

As a rule of thumb, plants with broader leaves tend to prefer locations that are rich in underground water. If you notice that certain sections of your property contain an abundance of plant life featuring broad leaves, then it is safe to assume an underground spring runs in its proximity.

• Using the topographical specifications

Landscape depressions – typically a valley or a gap – constitute superior drilling locations compared to the spots with a higher altitude. When you drill on a hilltop, for example, you will have to go much deeper to tap into the water supply. The closer you are to ground level, the less drilling will be required, and the lower expenses you’ll have to dish out for the operation.

• Searching for potential water springs

There’s no better indicator that the ground is saturated with water than the presence of an aboveground spring. Furthermore, springs can also confer a general idea regarding the direction and source of the water flowing underneath your property. A sizable stream might even be harvested as-is, eliminating the need to drill.

• Conducting a geographical survey

Geographical surveys provide important clues regarding the underground water. A skilled geologist relies on various soil/rock formations to determine the probability of finding a water supply. For instance, the existence of stress-caused fractures in the bedrock could indicate a stream running underneath it, causing erosion.

Additional considerations

It’s advisable to drill the water well according to the local business codes, in order to avoid legal issues. Planning the positioning of the sewage/septic lines in such a way that they don’t intersect with the water feed ensures that your supply does not get contaminated in case corrosion and other factors affect the integrity of the pipelines.

Is Your Well Water System Contaminated With H2S?

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The gas known as hydrogen sulfide, or H2S for short, develops naturally through a variety of chemical reactions or as the direct result of a sulfur bacteria culture infestation. The primary characteristic of the water contaminated with gas consists of the pungent odor, which is similar to rotting eggs.

Purifying the water source, extraction system, pipeline and appliances requires a professional expertise. In order to determine the source, extent and optimal course of action, a battery of tests has to be performed on your well water system. Let’s find out the basics of hydrogen sulfate contamination, to better understand what you’re dealing with.

What causes the gas to develop?

The reasons why the water and water-distribution systems in your home are packing H2S are manifold. Bacteria species that thrive on sulfur often constitute the factor responsible for the gas when the contamination is present at groundwater level, within the extraction system or along the pipelines dispensing water to the outlets of the house.

At the same time, chemical reactions in the soil or between the materials of the pipes and the soil could be the culprit. Lastly, the hydrogen sulfide gas might stem from wastewater/pollution seeping into the underground water source tapped in by the well, but this incidence is infrequent.

Are there health risks associated with H2S contaminations?

Most frequently, the unpleasant odors does not imply that your water supply is unsafe to drink. The bacteria cultures responsible for the formation of hydrogen sulfide don’t represent a health hazard on their own. The issues arise when the H2S forms from wastewater or pollutant infiltration into the groundwater source. Testing the quality of the water will help you determine whether wastewater and pollution represent the H2S’ source or not.

Another aspect worth pointing out is that high accumulations of hydrogen sulfide within the confines of improperly ventilated room can be dangerous. This includes the well’s housing, basement and virtually all enclosures that are connected to the water pipes.

Additional issues associated with H2S

H2S producing bacteria might not be harmful on their own, but in certain cases they facilitate the development of iron bacteria. The latter category of microorganisms tends to form paired with sulfide bacteria and generate slime along the pipes and within the affected appliances (well, heaters, faucets, showers, etc.). The slime produced transforms into clogs over time and also corrodes metal parts and pipelines. In addition, the hydrogen sulfide will stain silverware and other appliances that come in contact with it.

Estimating the location of the contaminant gas

While you are advised to contact a specialized service to determine the presence, levels and position of the hydrogen sulfide contamination, using the following guidelines may confer a clue about what you can expect:

• Unpleasant odors triggered when the hot water faucet is running could indicate a contamination in the heater.

• Unpleasant odors triggered by both hot and cold water faucets running via the water softener exclusively may indicate the latter appliance is the culprit.

• Unpleasant odor that comes from both faucets and irrespective of whether the water passes through the softener, but fades after a certain period suggest a contamination within the distribution system and/or your water extraction unit.

• When the odor doesn’t fade after running the faucets for an extensive period, then the H2S might be present within the groundwater supply.

Defrosting Your Well’s Water Extraction Unit

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There are numerous advantages to owning a private well pump. From the ability to select the type of filtration system that’s appropriate for the drinking water of your family, to the superior taste and the lower utility bills, wells constitute an excellent asset for your property.

Are there any downsides to it?

However, as it happens with all good things in life, the advantages come at the cost of certain responsibilities. The authorities are no longer responsible for the maintenance of the infrastructure, which includes the pipelines, the extraction unit and the appliances connected to the water supply. Therefore, in order to ensure that the water is safe, you will have to address issues that develop on your own or with the help of a specialized well drilling and repair service.

For instance, power outages that prevent the water pump from extracting the groundwater or freezing temperatures that stop the circulation along the ductwork are your job. True, unless your well is equipped with a backup generator for this type of emergency, there is little you can do apart from waiting for the power to come back on.

What can you do when the water freezes in the pipes?

A freezing issue can be addressed in several ways:

• Keeping faucets running

It is common knowledge that flowing water requires substantially lower temperatures to freeze solid. To prove this assertion, you only have to look at how much faster still bodies of fresh water like lakes become frozen compared to rivers, and even streams.

Apply what you’ve learned to prevent the contents of your pipelines from turning solid by allowing a few water outlets to trickle when the temperature outside is below freezing. Even when the water is already frozen, running the faucets accelerates the melting process. Word to the wise, never run hot water through the ducts for this purpose; you might burst the pipelines due to the temperature difference.

• Applying flameless heating sources

Flameless heating sources are generally recommended because a) they don’t run the risk of melting the pipes and b) they won’t set any potentially flammable materials on fire. This category includes electrical blankets, space heaters, lamps, heated pads, etc. The heating source should be located at the junction between the pump unit and the pipe infrastructure. In the event that you can’t run an electrical cord all the way to the pump, then you can employ hot towels; replace them frequently for best results.

• Contacting a well maintenance and repair service

When the temperatures reach freezing level, standing outside with heated pads and hot towels, waiting for the ice blockage to melt is not exactly a picnic. A better solution to your problem would be to contact a plumbing service that specializes in dealing with wells and other extraction units. They have the necessary tools for the job – not to mention the expertise – to get the job done in a matter of minutes. When neither of the two aforementioned DIY tricks does the job and the temperatures are dropping fast, it’s better to pay for the service than to risk damaging the pump, pipes and your health.