Well HELP. Should I connect to house or not


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Old 09-01-14, 02:38 PM
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Well HELP. Should I connect to house or not

I have a 3200 sq ft home that is only occupied by my wife an I. Our water is supplied by a community well and we pay about $38 per month. We plan to stay in this home for at least 10 more years.

The previous owner had a well installed for an irrigation system and to supply water to a apartment over a garage. It is not currently being used.

I would like to connect the well to my home but I am unsure about how much this should cost.

Here are the specs on my well.

260 ft deep
1 1/2 HP Flint and Walling Pump
10 GPM
20 Gallon Flotec pressure tank
Square D Pressure switch 40/60 psi

Can someone help me with these questions?

1. Is this pressure tank too small. I think that it probably is. The pressure tank is currently located outside beside the pump in an enclosed small insulated building. I will either need to build a bigger location for the tank or relocate it into my garage.
2. Do I need black flow preventer since I have an irrigation system?
3. I live in central NC. How deep does the water line need to be buried?
4. What type of pipe should be used to run from my well to my home? Copper, Galvenized, PVC, PEX or something else.
5. I have an encapsulated crawlspace. Should the pipe enter the house through the foundation and then lay on the ground or be held from the joists.
6. Is it possible to connect to the existing connection without plugging it. I would like to use a valve to switch between my well water and the community well if I decided to buy water from the city again.

Am I missing anything?

I am pretty handy and plan on doing the work myself but I just need some help before I attempt this.

Thanks for you help.
 
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Old 09-01-14, 03:58 PM
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If you have city water it may not be permitted. If you have city sewer you will have to pay for sewer plus maybe a service charge for no water. The irrigation water may not be potable. The well output may not be large enough to meet your needs.
 
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Old 09-01-14, 04:10 PM
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We buy our water through a company and not the city so it should not be a problem to connect to the well. Yes, I do pay a separate fee for sewer and that will remain.

I plan on having the water tested before I make the final decision to connect this well. However, this well is currently connected to a kitchen in my apartment so I would assume that it is potable.

I am unsure about the output but my well seems to have significant more pressure when comparing the outdoor faucet from my well vs. the outdoor faucet on my house. My GPM from the well is a lot more than our current water supply.
 
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Old 09-01-14, 06:25 PM
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Hi lambo -

Guess you need the knowledgeable people to weigh in here but on page 17 of this doc they talk about the frost line in the various counties in NC. I believe your supply pipe is supposed to be buried at least to that depth. At least I think so. (I had to bury mine 48, SE Pa.) Sounds like you may not have to go very deep at all. That should help a lot.

http://www.ncdoi.com/osfm/Manufactur...ions/15-25.pdf

I think you are correct about that 20 gal tank being too small. I believe the drawdown for the tank should be about a minutes worth of pump time. I think the pump should run for a minimum of one minute. Apparently the starts and stops are what kills the pump and the manufacturers say the pump should run for a minimum of a minute when it starts.

If you look at the chart on page 3 of this document I think it says that for a 40-60 pressure setting and a 10 gpm pump, your total tank volume should be 40 gal.

http://www.watersystemscouncil.org/V...Tank_FINAL.pdf

So I guess you would need to double the size of your tank. I wonder if you could just add another 20 gal tank to your system if it is a real problem to increase the size of the tank at its current location? Seems like that could work?

Need the pros to jump in here.

Good luck with the job!
 
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Old 09-02-14, 09:45 AM
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You say you are not on city water but mention having a sewer bill and at the end of your post you mention that your water comes from the city??? I think you need to very specifically research what you can and cannot do. If your water does not come from a municipality you may have neighborhood covenants requiring you to pay the water fee.

1. The pressure tank just reduces the on/off cycling of the pump. In general bigger is better but the system can work OK with a smaller tank. The pump will just be turning on and off more frequently with could shorten it's life.

2. Yes, for new construction I think you need a back flow preventer to isolate the irrigation system. If you are not doing work on the piping in that area you might not technically need to upgrade it as it might be grandfathered depending on when it was originally installed. Still a backflow preventer is relatively inexpensive so it's not a bad idea to stick one in.

3. In my area, probably north of you, the water line must be a minimum of 12" below grade.

4. I would use 160psi rated black poly pipe for the water line.

5. I would excavate up to the foundation wall and knock a hole through. Mortar a piece of larger, rigid PVC like 1 1/2" or 2" to protect the water line where it passes through the wall. Then dig inside the crawl space to bring the water line above grade. You can use mortar, spray foam or caulk to seal between the water pipe and the conduit in the wall. I like to get the pipe up and hanging from the joists just to get it out of the way so it's not damaged by crawling over it.

6. I don't know what's permitted or not but your water provider may not allow you to remain connected without paying. How will they know you haven't flipped the valve and are taking water without paying?
 
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Old 09-02-14, 10:29 AM
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When I began reading, I thought you wanted the well working for irragation purposes. That's the normal route because who wants to pay sewer bills on water used to sprinkle the grass?

$38 a month for water isn't very much money. You run that pump all the time for house water and you will see it on your electric bill. That's why a bigger tank would be needed. You don't even have enough in there to wash the clothes.

Your sewer bill is based on how much water you use. They don't meter what goes out, only what comes in. The rule of thumb on sewer charges is that they should be 3 times the water bill. This is why most places (and I have never heard of one that doesn't) that have sewer service require that you use the city or community water for bathing, washing dishes and clothes, toilets, etc.

If they catch you using well water for those thing, they will fine you stiffly because sewer is where the real money is at. Most places will however, let you use well water for irrigation and pool water. Some places will even install a second meter, one for the house and the other for irrigation and the pool. The second meter doesn't get involved in the sewer charges.

Last time I heard about a fine, it was a couple of thousand dollars + an estimated amount of water and times 3 that amount for the sewer charges evaded. It was enough to discourage folk.
 
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Old 09-06-14, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Let me clear up what the details of my water and sewer.

I live in outside of the county limits and the city does not provide water to me. My current water supply is from https://www.aquaamerica.com/our-stat...-carolina.aspx and I pay about $38 to $50 per month for water.

Our sewer is through the city that I live in and I pay a flat fee of $38 per month for sewer. There is an agreement with the city of this flat fee for all of the house in our area that receive our water from AQUA NC and not from the city.

I contact our county department this week and asked if they require a permit if I want to supply my house with the water from our current irrigation well. They told me that they don't require a permit to do this and I could connect to the well if I choose to . He only suggested that I have my water tested which I am currently doing. I plan to test for Bacteria and Nitrates. Is there anything else that I should test for?

So, basically I can do anything that I want to with this well and my plan is to connect it to our house because it has a lot more pressure that our current supply and it is free.

The GPM for our well is actually 15GPM and not 10GPM which I entered in my first post.

I have posted some pics of my well and where the water line enters the house. It appears that the current supply line enters through the foundation and then through the garage as PEX

The left side of the T goes to my irrigation system.

So here are the questions that I have.

I will just rent a trencher and run the line from my well to my house and enter through the foundation.

Do I need a back flow preventer? If so, which one and how should it be connected?

Once inside the crawl space I will attach the PEX to the joists and I guess that I will run the supply line through the crawl space into my garage where the current shut off valve is. My plan is to connect the well supply line at this point and cap the current PEX supply line. Is this the correct way to connect?

What else am I missing/

Thanks
 
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Last edited by lambo; 09-06-14 at 08:52 AM.
  #8  
Old 09-06-14, 08:42 AM
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You can add additional pressure tanks if you think that the tank you have is too small.

Another purpose of a backflow preventer on the community water line is to keep your pump from donating water to everyone else.
 
 

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