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Water wells?


Aloha8

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As we are searching for property (see my thread: Looking to move to SE TN) the question of using well water has come up. Although some have city or public water available, several possible properties have only water wells. We have no "modern" experience with well water for our home (as a kid, many, many moons ago 🙂 I did). Anyone with experience with wells to share, the good, the bad, and maybe the ugly?

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Well, no pun intended, I have no recent experience with water from wells, but I'm sure there are some here who do. In fact, I seem to remember it being discussed here some time ago. You might do a search on wells here and see.

I can say however, having grown up in rather rural areas, well water, hand drawn by rope, no fancy pumps, was all I saw or drank until I was at least 12. That was when my dad mustered out and bought a small house for us.

It had "city water". We were in the big time then. Actually first in the family to have water actually from a tap inside the house. And another big benefit...an inside toilet! Wow! No more outside trips or emptying those bed pans! I loved it. LOL!

That sure brings back a lot of memories. Memories of family and friends long gone. And times that were, at least in memory, much better.

Sorry for getting off your original question, but just sort of came to mind.

Don't remember if I welcomed you or not...but in any event; Welcome to TGO. I think you'll enjoy it.

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There is nothing wrong with a well.  Pro's and Con's like most other items.  Biggest things with a well that you need to know are its capacity meaning how many gallons per minute can it supply the pump and what is the condition of the water.  Well water around here is typically going to be pretty hard due to the limestone.  

You may or may not have enough sulfur in it to require removal.  If you do a well, I would plan not only for the cost of the well, but also the cost for a conditioning system.  I have a Kinetico reverse osmosis system to take the little sulfur that I have out as well as to soften the water (salt).  Depending how bad the sulfur is, it could go from needing nothing to a full on desulfurization setup.

Kinetico is pretty well top of the line on water systems and mine ran about 6k with a high end drinking water (K5) option.  If you had to get a true desulfurization setup, it could add another 4-5k from what I understand.   I was able to get by with a charcoal based filter media for my use.

Depending where your closest neighbor would be, it would probably be good to see if they have a well and their water quality.  Kinetico will come do a test and tell you what you need, but you need to have the well in to do that.  Lots of things can be in the water, so a test is really mandatory if you want to know what you really have.

Here is a link to their site to give you an idea of their products.  https://www.kinetico.com/

 

Edited by Hozzie
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42 minutes ago, ALoha8 said:

As we are searching for property (see my thread: Looking to move to SE TN) the question of using well water has come up. Although some have city or public water available, several possible properties have only water wells. We have no "modern" experience with well water for our home (as a kid, many, many moons ago 🙂 I did). Anyone with experience with wells to share, the good, the bad, and maybe the ugly?

Lord I remember summers on the mountain with my aunt and uncle as a child.  They had a well and the first few days there I hated the water because of the sulfur!  After a few days though, the smell/taste became unnoticeable.  

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26 minutes ago, hipower said:

Well, no pun intended, I have no recent experience with water from wells, but I'm sure there are some here who do. In fact, I seem to remember it being discussed here some time ago. You might do a search on wells here and see.

I can say however, having grown up in rather rural areas, well water, hand drawn by rope, no fancy pumps, was all I saw or drank until I was at least 12. That was when my dad mustered out and bought a small house for us.

It had "city water". We were in the big time then. Actually first in the family to have water actually from a tap inside the house. And another big benefit...an inside toilet! Wow! No more outside trips or emptying those bed pans! I loved it. LOL!

That sure brings back a lot of memories. Memories of family and friends long gone. And times that were, at least in memory, much better.

Sorry for getting off your original question, but just sort of came to mind.

Don't remember if I welcomed you or not...but in any event; Welcome to TGO. I think you'll enjoy it.

We always had 'city' water, but I spent a lot of time at my grandma's house and they had a unused well, as they had gotten city water at some point.  It was just the one cold tap in the kitchen though.  No hot water and no inside toilet.  Like you, great times...

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4 hours ago, hipower said:

Well, no pun intended,

I remember carrying pails of water from the spring house at my great aunt's. Good memories, most of it, but not wanting to repeat them 🙂 .

Thanks for the welcome, some nice folks here, just as expected.

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3 hours ago, gary_boom said:

I don’t think I would look at anything without city water.

Thanks Gary. City water is our strong preference, but some interesting places have only wells. I'm still a city water guy, but it's worth investigating wells just in case.

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Have you actually looked at the results of city water composition in many places?   You may be surprised what tolerances are allowed.   Most people don’t like wells because they don’t understand them.  Not saying city water isn’t fine, but I wouldn’t let the need for a well stop me from buying a property that had everything else I wanted.  
 

I have two friends both on city water that also have Kinetico systems.  Just because you are on city water doesn’t mean you have good water. Depends how picky you may be I suppose. 

Edited by Hozzie
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Our place here in EastTN had a well when we bought it. Pump blew, replaced it and 60' of pipe, guy said pump was 80 ft down, water was at 60 ft. 

When we built the house, on advice of the bankers (and the missus), we ran a line to city water at the road. We use the city water in the house, the well is used mostly for irrigation, but we do drink from it. Tastes pretty good. I like it better than city. 

I'll second the Reverse Osmosis (RO/DI). Used to be all we drank, I miss having my filter plumbed right next to the kitchen sink. If I were in your shoes: Budget 500-1k for a home water filtration system. Don't buy any carbon filters or softeners, RO and DI, with a bladder tank, and one of those spigots next to the sink. Can run a line to your fridge, too. DIY with Guest fittings from big box store is pretty easy to do.

Edited by ReeferMac
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4 hours ago, ALoha8 said:

I remember carrying pails of water from the spring house at my great aunt's. Good memories, most of it, but not wanting to repeat them 🙂 .

Thanks for the welcome, some nice folks here, just as expected.

My wife's family farm in Western PA has a spring house.  We joke that the water there tastes kinda like chicken soup.... sorta smells like it too.  They have leased some land to an oil well and fracking is also done in the area and the taste has changed since then.  We buy bottled water for cooking and drinking when up there.

Edited by Daniel
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2 hours ago, Hozzie said:

Have you actually looked at the results of city water composition in many places?   You may be surprised what tolerances are allowed.   Most people don’t like wells because they don’t understand them.  Not saying city water isn’t fine, but I wouldn’t let the need for a well stop me from buying a property that had everything else I wanted.  
 

I have two friends both on city water that also have Kinetico systems.  Just because you are on city water doesn’t mean you have good water. Depends how picky you may be I suppose. 

I grew up on well water in West Knoxville and it tastes so much better than First utility's water which reeks of chlorine. The well water IS much harder than utility water, so a water softener is wise.

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You got lots of good advice/suggestions so will not get into any of what has been covered. We were on a well for 10+ years, I like the taste, my wife didn't. We did have a softener. They ran water down our road and between my wife not liking the water and I figured the well pump probably would need replacing in a few more years we switched to town water. I wanted to have both available with a separate faucet for my drinking water and for washing cars and such, town would not allow it, so I filled in the well. Probably the biggest positive to switching (on my side) is we didn't lose water when the power when out. It was 220 well pump and I didn't want to invest in an expensive generator just for the well pump.

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I've lived in 3 houses that were on well.  2 of them were great, the third one had a very high sulphur content and required extensive filtration.  That filtration system was finicky and always needed something and the water so wasn't very good.  The neighbors well wasn't 200 yards from ours and had really good water straight out of the ground.  When it works, it's great.   I had good quality water and didn't have a monthly water bill.  

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6 years ago, moved from a house with city water/sewer at around $90 month to a house in the country with a well at $0 per month.   Since moving I estimate we have saved over $6,500.  Water tastes better, and never a problem with pump capacity (family of 6 & 3 bathrooms), but due to hard water, it does challenge my Keurig from time to time on deposits buildup.   Previous owners had installed a filtration system and it has a UV system too.  I change the simple element filter about every 6 months at around $10 and have never had to replace the UV light.  

Full disclosure, we did have a well failure about 9 months ago.  The check valve (one way valve) did fail, and caused the well to run continuous, and the pressure regulator finally failed which led to the discovery.  Never did notice any spike in the electric bill.  Anyway, the bill to repair was $1800 including a new well pump to be safe, since the old pump was 20+ years old.   Found out the well was over 460ft deep with water at the 340ft level.  Pump guy said with a well this deep, there should be 2 check valves, one at the pump and another 1/2 way.  Pump guy says I should be good to go another 20+ years.  So though I have saved $6500 in gross savings, I actually have saved $4700 in net savings due to the repair.  Still a no brainer on well vs. city water if you have good water and are making $$$ comparison.

 

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Been on a well for 13 years.  We love our water.  We have a Kinetico system that has worked well.  Yes it takes more personal effort than having city water but its pretty much on autopilot.  I havent read all of the comments but one thing to consider is that when the power is out so is your water.  That has been our biggest issue over the years. living in tornado ally.  We put in a Generac whole house generator last year so that problem is solved but definitely something to consider.

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Good point above.  I am in the process of putting in a Generac as I type this.  One thing the people that built my house did was put a hand pump on the well where you could get water even if the power was out.  You don't want to do it a lot, but it does give you the ability to get water for emergency purposes in a worst case scenario.

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20 hours ago, Hozzie said:

have two friends both on city water that also have Kinetico systems.  Just because you are on city water doesn’t mean you have good water. Depends how picky you may be I suppose. 

Hozzie, good points here, and even more to consider. Our "city" water right now is still filtered and certainly will be where we move to.

And no, we aren't going to reject having a well just because it's a well. Right now we're just exploring the pros and cons (and getting some great input).

Thanks.

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