Any members knowledgeable of these?
I recently bought a “cabin” on a local river. There is an existing sand point well that was used with the old cabin but it was flooded and hasn’t been used in several years. I am in the process of converting the garage to a cabin and need to get my water situation figured out.
I have a shallow well jet pump with attached 5 gallon pressure tank. This cabin will be used periodically year round but not continuously inhabited so freezing is a concern. I know next to nothing about wells and plumbing but am gonna have to learn. I guess my questions are;
Can a well go bad from sitting? Or especially after the ground above it was flooded? If the existing well is or likely is good I have two options. 1 build a well house over the existing well and put my pump there. I would insulate well and install a heat lamp to prevent freezing. Or, 2 is to put in a new well and put the pump inside the cabin. This doesn’t completely prevent freezing as I don’t intend to heat it when I’m not there so I would likely still have to have an enclosure and some sort of heat source. Additionally I’m not sure how noisy these pumps are. Obviously it wouldn’t run when water isn’t being consumed but I don’t want to listen to a noisy pump when someone is in the shower. I guess I could also put in a new well that is also separated from the main cabin.
Though it would be nice to be able to drink the water it isn’t a necessity. I can bring drinking water with me but at least I want to shower and do dishes. It may not matter but the next door neighbor (40 feet or so away) lives there full time with his family, his well is 27’, and they drink the water.
I have a shallow well (35'), though not a sand point. The pump and pressure tank are in the kitchen (the basement floods too frequently to have anything in it anymore). I boxed them in with a decorative fake counter/cabinet, but trust me, you know that they're there.
The well probably cannot go bad from just sitting, but if it was flooded it may have been contaminated. Water testing is easy and pretty cheap - I'd do it even if you were assured by an Archangel that the well was fine. The well head has to be sealed well enough that flooding the area cannot contaminate the well, and you have no way of knowing how well it was sealed in the past.
A 5-gallon pressure tank will result in the pump running far more frequently for shorter durations. I'd recommend a larger pressure tank. The pump will last longer, and the noise will annoy you less.
A well under the cabin may violate code. It has to be a certain distance from the septic, a certain distance from any drygulch, etc., so research before placing a new well is a must.
The pump is LOUD, and having it in the house is a nuisance, but I've mostly gotten used to it. You could hear it somewhat when it was in the basement, but when it's on the first floor you really notice it.
The pump on the first floor means you have to have a dehumidifier right next to it, or at least in the same room, because the condensation on the pipes, pump, and pressure tank is more than just a nuisance, it will wreck the floor.
If the water tests out safe, the biggest problem with drinking it is that you'll be spoiled by it and hate any other kind.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have *not* offended. Please be patient. I will get to you shortly.
Even if the well was contaminated it may be possible to treat with sodium hypochlorite (industrial strength bleach) to solve the problem. Scary as E Coli sounds in your well, dump an appropriate amount of SH in the well, let it sit for 24 hours, then pump it for an hour or so, let it sit another 24 hours and test again. The odds are very high you’ll be happy with the results.
|Not really from Vienna|
We have a 8x8 well house that contains the well pump breaker panel and pressure tank. It sits adjacent to the well, maybe 5' from it. When our cabin is unoccupied for a stretch of several days in freezing weather I drain the water lines by opening a hose bib that is at the lowest point in the system (pipe at at the bottom of the pressure tank) and a faucet in the house. If we are using the cabin in freezing weather I use a "milk-house"electric heater set on low in the well house (which is fairly well insulated). I used a lamp for heat in the past, but sometimes it would burn out without my knowing it, causing problems with freezing. The pipe between the well and well house is insulated also. So far this set-up has worked, but we usually don't have freezing weather for longer periods than a couple days at a stretch here. I sure wouldn't want a booster pump and pressure tank inside my house.
Whatever you decide to do, please make sure you drain and winterize the pump each season if you are not going to be living there. It does get cold up there and a simple lightbulb wont keep a pump from freezing.
Pumps are expensive.
Every year someone brings my dad a pump to try and weld back together....it is next to impossible to weld up a broken pump.This message has been edited. Last edited by: MikeinNC,
"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers
I'd bleach the well before testing - no sense in testing 2x when $5 of bleach will cure the most common issues.
I'd run water through all the system before & after you bleach, 1st to get it flushed out, then to get the bleach in places that have sat for a while. If you don't, you could back-contaminate after you test.
So a couple of things. Maybe consult a local reputable pump guy to access your system including the piping and give you his thoughts on it.
If it is a homespun deal the acsessment might be a total replacement. But because it is a shallow/small horespower system it would not be a huge expense to upgrade.
You could do a submersible and get the entire set up underground including pump, pressure tank and piping.
The pump guy will know the answer to your question about the water quality situation as well.
Just a thought.
"Practice like you want to play in the game"
|SAC trained killer|
Anything beyond 25' is considered a deep well just for your information. That 25' depth is also the difference in a one pipe versus a two pipe system. A deep well jet pump requires two pipes, whereas a submersible pump would only require one pipe.
" May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am".
Incorrect. The definition of "deep well" vs. "shallow" is dependent upon the area and the the source of the water.
All jet pump systems require two pipes: Incoming and outgoing. That is the nature of jet wells. (N.B.: They may be, should be, concentric piping: One pipe [incoming] inside the other [outgoing].)
To the OP: If the property is or has been flooded I wouldn't fool with it. Find a good local well guy and consult with him. The aforementioned E. Coli is only one of the many contaminants that may be present in a shallow well's water.
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