Mistakes Well Owners Should Be Aware Of
As a well company with 30 years’ experience, we have seen a multitude of mistakes private well owners make when it comes to their wells and water systems. Some of the changes were almost amusing, while others were downright hazardous to the homeowner and others.
We have compiled a list of the most common well owner mistakes we have experienced. Perhaps this list of blunders can prevent other well owners from making the same or similar mistakes.
4 Common Well Owner Mistakes
1. Electrical Wiring: Without knowledge of local, state, and national electrical codes, they are wiring their well and/or booster pumps themselves. Private water wells are subject to electrical wiring standards in most places.
They’re not just there to collect an inspection fee; they’re there for clear safety reasons. If electricity is not installed properly, it might be dangerous. We have seen some shoddy and dangerous electrical work done by homeowners.
When electrical cables aren’t put in conduit when needed, it’s a major mistake.
Unrestrained wires emerging from well seals, starter-control boxes, pressure switches, and even out of cement floors were another prevalent and dangerous practice we have witnessed.
Electrical wires can be pulled out of place and produce a short if they are not properly restrained or installed in conduits.
It was also very uncommon to see privately wired well installations with no visible safety disconnect.
It is also typical to come across privately wired well systems with no safety disconnect within 10 feet of the well or booster pump.
2. Vehicle Accessibility: Cutting off vehicular access to a well for future service needs is a dumb decision for any well owner to make. We’ve seen a lot of cases where people-built structures over their wells with no access hole in the roof.
One customer encased his well in a structure far from the home, necessitating the rental of a huge crane to remove the pump!
Enclosing a well in a building isn’t required or even desired and is a bad idea in general. Put the controls and equipment in a building and leave the well where it can be conveniently accessed.
3. Water Quality Security: In many cases, the well or water storage tank’s water quality is not being maintained. This is a common blunder made by private well owners.
We’ve discovered well seals with holes in the tops and pitless well covers that weren’t securely affixed to the well casing.
Many undesirable critters such as bird, reptiles and rodents can sneak into the water storage tanks. And even worse, bacteria.
The most prevalent error we have seen is not taking water quality security seriously. What does that mean?
This means well owners not maintaining strong security of their water systems. Often, until I pointed out the flaws in their water security, the well owners were unaware of them.
4. Self-Plumbing: Another head-scratcher is the well-owners who are plumbing their own water from their well and tanks.
The majority of private well owners did not adhere to municipal plumbing codes. They also developed delivery systems without taking into account future maintenance requirements.
The majority of the time, they worked with PVC pipes that were glued together with no unions or other means of dismantling the system for maintenance.
While they may have gotten the water or electricity flowing in the appropriate direction, they frequently made it more difficult to service or, unwittingly, harmful to themselves or others.
When homeowners save a few bucks by doing their own electrical or plumbing repair, it frequently costs them more when the actual work must be reddone by a professional.
In light of the aforementioned common blunders, it is probably advisable for private well owners to contact and hire properly licensed and qualified water well contractors for the construction and maintenance of their wells.
If they are unsure about evaluating their system for these types of errors, they should hire a licensed contractor to do it.