New house... First well???

Old 04-13-07, 06:23 AM
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New house... First well???

I'll be moving into a my new house in June. It has a well, which is my first expierence with one. I need to add a softener because the water is very hard. I need some advice and what should I know about a well?
Thanks... Brian
Old 04-13-07, 06:44 AM
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It would be a good idea to get the water tested first. Not all water softners are the same. You want to make sure you have one that is adequate for your needs. There may be other things that need addressing also.

It's been 16 yrs since I had well water but Sear's used to test your water for free, they send it off to a lab. I don't know if they still do that or not.
Old 04-13-07, 07:13 AM
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First thngs you need to know is where it is, how deep it is, how old the pump and tank is and observe the normal cycle of your system -- when the pump is supposed to come on and when it is supposed to turn off and why. There is a lot of info available on the web from different Agricultural Extension Services and companies

The time to learn these things is now, not when you turn the tap on one morning and nothing comes out. Once you understand what is going on, then you will become a wise consumer.

You probably want to find a good wellman. Ask the neighbors who they use and when you are ready for a water softener, he may be able to help you. You may want to have him come out soon and have him give you a lesson as to how the well works and how to spot problems in advance. It would be $50 well spent.

I am not crazy about water softeners for a lot of reasons, they are expensive to operate and can be complex which means plenty to go wrong. Water softener companies tend to use high pressure salesmen to scare the bejeezus out of the "city people" that move out there with their "free" water tests and what-not.

Often the water really doesn't need to be softened, but when city people look at raw well water, they don't like it much since they are not used to it -- so they immediately want a water softener when a little patience and adjustment would have been a better choice. In other words, a water softener salesman would "see you coming" and will be more than happy to pick your pocket. You show how ignorant you are about water wells and he starts licking his chops.

You should also learn how to use a septic tank before you ruin the drainfield. Don't use bleach. Pine oil is a disinfectant and it doesn't break your septic system. Single ply toilet paper breaks up faster in the tank. Once again, google is your friend when it comes to the care a feeding of a septic tank.
Old 04-13-07, 02:15 PM
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I agree that once you get used to it, well water does not need to be softened... in fact softened water feels very slimy to me. Get the well tested and install at least a basic filter before your water heater to keep out the cruddies. Things like heavy rainfall can sometimes cause muddy water, and filtering out the big minerals and other floaties will extend the life of your entire plumbing system.

Also realize (as everybody should anyway) that this is YOUR well - you are fully responsible for using it wisely. It's a reality check to come to terms with the fact if you run out of water, you have to find a new source, which may or may not exist. Learn to conserve this precious resource... only wash full dish and laundry loads, shower with a friend, have hot tubs filled by trucked in sources, don't let the water run when you brush your teeth, etc. Redrilling or refracing a well can be very expensive! Following these kinds of guidelines will also benefit your septic.

Oh there is one catch to wells. You lose power, you lose water. Depending on how often this happens where you live, you may want to keep a couple to several gallons on hand just in case.

Also if you live in a radon-prone area, you may want to have your water tested for radon. There are special systems you can install to pull the stuff out of the water. The only time it's released is when the water gets hot and evaporates (ie bathing), but if you have high radon, this could be a genuine concern.

Personally I love being on a well and we love the taste of the water. Even filtered city water tastes like a test tube of periodic table ingredients to me - YUCK. Yummy, pure (at least where we live), healthy, mineral-laden well water can't be beat!

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