Routine well pump maintenance can aid in the protection of water quality, the proper operation of the system, and ensure operational longevity. In addition to this, regular maintenance helps in protecting your health and the health of those that reside in your home.
If water is poor in quality, it could result in adverse health issues. The cost of unsafe water or no water at all is much more costly than the cost of a simple once-a-year service call.
The EPA has established that over 23 million homes in the United States are dependent upon private wells as their home’s water source. If you own a private well, you are responsible for the safety of the water from that well and the system that manages that water.
Unfortunately, many homeowners simply forget the importance of caring for this system until it malfunctions. In this case, a malfunction could mean that your household finds itself without running water. Maintenance is a preventative measure that is an easier and more cost-effective measure than a repair.
Common Types of Wells Installed at Residences
The first step to well pump maintenance is knowing what type of well you have at your home. Generally speaking, there are three different types. These are outlined below with a brief description of each:
- Dug or Bored Wells – These are holes that are dug with the assistance of a shovel or with a backhoe. Once dug, they are lined with materials that will prevent the well from collapsing. Examples of these materials include stones, bricks, and even tiles. While the diameter is large, the well is shadow and measures anywhere from 10 to 30 feet in depth. These are not cased on a continual basis.
- Driven Wells – These types of wells are created by pushing pipe directly into the ground. These are cased but water may become easily contaminated as it is drawn from the aquifers that are in close proximity to the surface. These are considered shallow wells as their depth measures anywhere from 30 to 50 feet.
- Drilled Wells – These types of wells are created using percussion machines that have the capability of going thousands of feet deep. Casing must be installed to protect the water. The fact that casing is involved and the well goes so deep reduces the likelihood of water contamination.
What Components are Included in Private Well Systems?
Now that you are familiar with the types of private well systems that may be used at your residence, it is time to learn about the basic components that these systems have. By knowing the components and what they do, you will have a better understanding of the maintenance that will be required on the units. Below, we will briefly outline these components not including the filtration system which is also a necessity:
- The Casing – The casing of a private well is a type of tube-shaped product that is placed within the well so that it connects to the groundwater and brings that up to the surface. These keep out contaminants and excess water. Most of the time, casings are composed of steel, plastic, and even stainless steel.
- Caps – The caps of a well are found on top of the casing. This helps to ensure that insects, debris, and other things do not get inside of the well. They have a vent that helps to control the pressure of the well while pumping occurs. In most instances, the cap is composed of plastic or even aluminum.
- Screens – A screen is placed at the very bottom of a well’s casing to ensure that sediment from the groundwater source does not make its way into the well. There are many types that are commonly used. These include the slotted pipe, the continuous slot, and the perforated pipe.
- Pitless Adapter – This is a specially-designed connector system that aids in ensuring that the pipe that carries the water in the system and to the surface stays below what is referred to as the “frost line”.
- Jet Pumps – If a well is 25 feet or less or considered a “shallow well”, this type of pump is used. They are mounted directly above the ground. They utilize suction in order to pull up water from the water well below the ground.
- Submersible Pump – If a well is deep, this type of pump is put into place in the casing and it is then directly connected to a type of surface power source in order to push up water so that it can make its way into the home.
Maintenance Tips for the Actual Well Pump
If you have a well pump on your private well, you should perform the following steps regularly to ensure proper functioning:
- Cleaning – When you look at your well pump, you will see various openings and other spots. It is important that you clean out any cobwebs, leaves, or other debris that gets caught up in these areas. If you fail to do this, the debris will clog up the cooling fans. Eventually, the system will start to overheat. This will – eventually – damage the system. By cleaning the unit on a regular basis, your cooling system will continue to work appropriately and keep your well pump in optimal working order.
- Prevent Corrosion – If you have an outdoor well pump, it will be subjected to moisture and other conditions that may result in the development of corrosion. Over time, corrosion could render your well pump non-operational. You may purchase and apply products to your pump that are designed to prevent the development of corrosion. If you are not comfortable with this, you may contact a plumber to have an anti-corrosion substance placed on your well pump.
- Regular Inspection – You should inspect your well pump on a regular basis. You should look for debris accumulation, leaks, parts that appear to be burned, any type of melting, etc. In some instances, these signs may indicate that some components simply need to be tightened or even replaced. It is always best to handle any issue that you observe immediately. Failure to handle an identified issue could result in costly repairs down the road.
- Flow Testing – You should have a flow test performed on your well pump at least once a year. This is especially true if you have a deep well. This shows the general output of the system. If the test fails, it could indicate that a component needs to be replaced. Examples include the internal pump, in the pressure tank, or within the control system.
- Water Testing – Many people do not realize it, but water testing is an important step in maintaining a well pump. This will determine if there are bacteria and nitrates in the water that are contaminating the water. If your water is not clean, steps will need to be taken to clear the issue up as this could be quite harmful to your health.
Well Pump Maintenance and Servicing
We here at Reynolds Plumbing specialize in the maintenance and servicing of well pumps. Regular, annual inspections are advised. By having this maintenance and servicing performed at regular intervals, you can prolong the life of your system and potentially save thousands of dollars over the course of its life. Why worry when we can give you peace of mind? We have been servicing the Richmond area for 40+ Years. In addition to well pumps, we also specialize in heating, air, and plumbing. For more information, contact us now by calling: 765-966-0994