What do you guys know about well water?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've always lived in a "city" with water/sewer available. We are looking at "yet another". lol, house for difficult child#1. This one appears to be a possibility. It has well water.

    I'm not sure if that means the water is "stinky" ? the water has to be purified for cooking and drinking? laundry might not be as clean? It is in a development just a few blocks from the city boundaries and all the homes were build in the late 80's.

    What do I need to know? OR Do I need to know anything. Thanks DDD
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I never had well water when we lived in Florida but we had it here in Tennessee when we lived out in the country. Our well water here was just as good as any city water we ever had. Our pump was in a little concrete thing in the back yard and it tended to freeze up in the winter - had to try to keep heat lamps on inside it when the temperatures dropped. But you shouldn't have that problem in Florida.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It depends on the well. Specify that the well water is tested as part of the "home inspection" process. The water may be perfectly good - or contaminated with minerals and pollutants (which may or may not be able to be filtered out). Also, check the condition of the well and make sure the pump is fully operational. If he well is cracked or the pump does not function properly, it can be a very expensive repair.

    Good luck!
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If a well is left to stagnate - not used for some period of time - it can become dangerous. Wells need to be in continuous use. Going away for a few weeks isn't the problem - but an unoccupied house may mean the well hasn't been used for a long time.

    Beyond that, it depends on the quality of the water. Some wells are "hard water", some not. Some have iron (affects taste, colors laundry). Mineral impurities are the easiest to remove - iron, calcium, etc. Bacterial impurities are not so innocent... that's when "boil water" is necessary.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The house is still occupied so stagnation isn't a problem. IF we proceed to contract I'll include inspections to include the well, I guess, just to be on the safe side. Thanks. DDD
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    We have well. You need a water softener and need to buy salt pellets on a regular basis. This can be delivered regularly for a fee. Heard of The Culligan Man? That's one service.

    The one thing about well water is that when you lose power, you lose well. You have to be very well prepared for a major storm. Toilets no longer flush, so you need to fill tubs with water for flushing. That's about the worst thing with well water. The stinkiness is resolved if you have the softener and it works properly. We also have a whole-house water filter, after the softener, which gets changed about once a month. They have three-month filters, but they are more expensive and they really don't last three months. I notice the water starting to have a metallic smell after about a month and a half.
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Depending on the local laws, the well might have to be tested by your county's health department. Either way: have it done!
    Make it a contengency that the water must be potable for the closing to happen. Once again, local laws differ on the topic and non drinkable water does not always mean the sale to be void.
    I suggest taking 2 samples: one from the well, one from the house faucet. It will tell you if the well is good but plumbing needs cleaning (easy fix)or if the well is contaminated (not always easy or cheap to fix).
    Here and in NY we've always had well water. Ours is healthy and does not stink (yes, sometimes the water can be healthy but stinks from sulfer for example).
    Also make sure to check the debit of water per minute and ask if there is ever any water shortage. Some wells have never ending water (or almost never ending) and some others not so much...
    If there are water shortages, it can be managed by not being wasteful and by adding a reservoire in the basement or other appropriate location.
    When everything runs good, having a well is not complicated.
    But when things go bad, watch out!
    So basically: ask questions and test it.
    Personally I LOVE our well water: no added chlorine that would make Partner sick (he can't drink city water because it aggravate his GERD). And I never pay a water bill.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I grew up around relatives with low-pressure wells - which meant you had to be frugal with water. But for general use... they had a large cistern, and it was stored on the TOP floor of the house... essentially, a miniature water tower.
    They pumped from the well to the cistern at a slow pace with an auto-shutoff if the cistern was full. Even if the power went off, they had water in the taps for a couple of days (couldn't do laundry or run a tub until power came back on... duh!)
  9. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    When we moved into our first house in Maine we had a well. Lightning hit the pump, came through the kitchen faucet, traveled to the stove and melted the enamel off of my big pan (Le Creuset). That destroyed the pump. How deep is this well? does that mean that the house has a septic tank too?
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Definitely a good point about a septic tank. If the house is on well water, it's highly unlikely that it will be on the sewer system. They kind of go hand in hand. If it's on a tank, difficult child will need to be good about putting enzyme eating bacteria down the toilet once a month. I'd have that tank checked before he buys, too. If it has not been well maintained, it may need to be pumped out. Not a big deal, but somewhat expensive and one he shouldn't have to deal with. They'll need to make sure it is intact, as well.
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I grew up on well water. Much better water than the city water I have now. If difficult child's girlfriend moves in - do not flush tampons with a septic tank.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    We have a well and while the water definitely tastes better than piped in city water, the minerals in the water can often discolor the tubs, sinks, etc., in between cleanings. Also, if he loses power, no water, no flushing, etc. Pita. Then there is the concern, depending up how deep the week is and what area of the country he's in, will it run dry during a drought? Will it be subject to a lot of storms, lightening, etc. where is it located on the property? Easy access for repairs, etc? How close is it to stores, commercial property? Does it run the risk of contamination? Just some things to think about.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good Grief Guys.....I guess I have to diligently check this out. The house is in a "development" that was built in the late 1980's. We live in Florida so there is no basement. :) I thought I could just take a water sample to the Health Dept. Rats...sounds like I need to do more than that but Thank You for covering my back. DDD
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It shouldn't cost any more for an inspection that includes checking the well and septic than it would without. Leave that to the professionals. I guarantee you, a good inspection is the best spent money in the process. Don't skimp on it.