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Well owners—ongoing costs/maintenance?
Old 09-06-2019, 08:00 AM   #1
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Well owners—ongoing costs/maintenance?

We’re exploring adding a well to our property, mainly for irrigation. Water rates here are high and going higher...

We have solar that should offset the electrical, so don’t care about that. If you have a well, curious what the ongoing maintenance and repair costs have been. How often have you had to replace the pump, what other ongoing maintenance issues have you had?
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:03 AM   #2
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Zero maintenance. We've lived in the house for 18 years and the well/pump has been in use for 40+ years.

We had to replace the water softener about 15 years ago and then a minor repair to it last year.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:07 AM   #3
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Depends on your water:
As a kid, the water in our area was extremely high in iron and minerals. To the point that a pressure tank would last 3 years tops. We had to pull up the entire pipe and jet at the bottom about every 5 years to replace all of the parts that had rusted solid.


Depends on your refresh rate: Really slow refresh rates means the pump can run dry if things aren't balanced exactly right.

Depends on your aquifer: a sandy well will have issues to deal with that fractured limestone will not.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:11 AM   #4
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Lived in a house with a well last 23 years. My well pumps seem to last around 15 years. I have 2 sediment filters that I replace every 60-90 days. I've also had to replace the well pressure tank 2X....but they are ~$200. I don't have a water softener.

Overall, I'm very happy with it. I see the water bill my in-laws get every month and it makes me even happier.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:18 AM   #5
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Wow, 18 years on a pump! Most of the wells in our area are 600+ feet, so I’m assuming that means a shortened pump life? PDriller told me to assume 800ft, but we could get lucky. Also told us across the street has a 600ft well that is producing 75gpm, so flow rate is probably decent. He didn’t think we would need a filter, so I’m guessing that means minimal sediment. I know he said most of the drilling is through granite bedrock, if that’s meaningful.

Spock, any idea how much that cost? It sounds expensive!
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:19 AM   #6
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As others have said, this REALLY depends on water, soil quality and on how much you use it. I'm on my 2nd pump and my 2nd pressure tank over a 20 year span - some may last longer but I'm quite sure, some require repairs much more often.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:20 AM   #7
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We have had wells since 1986 at two different homes. Zero maintenance for both... though in our last house the well was hit by lightning and was fried but the replacement was covered by insurance.... we were away on vacation in Europe and my sister-in-law, who was watching the property arranged to have it fixed while we were away.

No idea on electricity cost, but I suspect that is is negligible... perhaps $5/month.

At the old house we had a whole house filter that I changed once every few years. We have more iron in the water at this house so we change the whole house filter once a month... there is usually 1/4" of very fine clay-like sediment in the bottom of the cup when we change it. There is also a filter that addresses the hardness of the water (just a tad on the hard side) that I change annually.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:21 AM   #8
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We recently had to replace our 1/2hp submerged well pump after 13 years. This is a typical service life for a two-wire pump. Labor was $400, new pump was $299. So, about $55 per year.
If starting from scratch, run your new wire in conduit (so the cable can be replaced without digging) and use cable that is appropriate for a 3-wire pump installation. This puts your starting capacitor and relay above ground where they are easy to replace.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:22 AM   #9
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250 feet here, 6 years so far in a house with (presumably) a 20 year old pump. Had the above-ground electronics replaced about 2 years ago at a cost of about $700. That included a PumpSavr, as our well is a low producer.

So far, that is all our cost other than the electricity to run it.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:26 AM   #10
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Our well water has a somewhat high calcium carbonate level but not enough to require use of a water softener. Over a 20 year period we have replaced the pump once ($850), the pressure tank at the house once ($1200), the well pipe once ($400), the power pole once ($2,100)(huge oak branch fell on the pole and demolished it) but the main problem has actually been the quarter mile pipe from the well to the house (house is on a hill top) which has had multiple breaks over the years ($1,000) and probably other misc for $1,000.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:36 AM   #11
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This is all so helpful. Samclem, thanks for the tip on the wiring. The guidance the driller gave us was that we should think about replacing the pump every 5-8yrs at $2k and every 10yrs or so assume we have some wiring issue that needs to be dealt with.
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Old 09-06-2019, 08:55 AM   #12
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This is all so helpful. Samclem, thanks for the tip on the wiring. The guidance the driller gave us was that we should think about replacing the pump every 5-8yrs at $2k and every 10yrs or so assume we have some wiring issue that needs to be dealt with.
I think I'd be looking for another well company if they're quoting $2K for a replacement pump.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:13 AM   #13
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Still on the learning curve

The retirement house DW & I bought last year has a well. It's 15 years old, but had been used as a vacation house and only sparingly at that. It's on a lake, so our well doesn't need to go nearly as deep as some others.

We haven't encountered any issues with corrosion or water hardness issues, but the replaceable filters were clogging rapidly (<10 days) with sediment. Some speculation that this may be related to the house having been virtually unused for 5 years. We installed a self-flushing sediment filter (estimated life >20 years) and now life of the replaceable filter cartridges has tripled.

The automatic filter cost 2k, but I didn't put it in to save money on disposable cartridges. My concern was making the system suitable for full-time living once we move there permanently. Changing a filter cartridge every few months vs every few days was paramount.

Since this is our first house with well water, we're still experimenting with different filter cartridge types: string-wound, pleated, multi-stage, carbon-core, etc.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:23 AM   #14
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We replaced our pump at about 25 years of age for around 2 grand. We think the failure was due to a local lightening strike about 30 ft away. We also had the tank blow a fitting which fortunately happened while we were present and we could shut the pump off. Otherwise the pump would have just kept on pumping more water into the house. The water softener is still doing it's job after who knows how many years?
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:37 AM   #15
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I think I'd be looking for another well company if they're quoting $2K for a replacement pump.
My last replacement was ~$2k....but it included pump plus:
- new wiring
- 250 ft. new sched 40 PVC piping (i had the crappy plastic tubing in the well)
- mosquito-proof well cap...new code requirement

I got 3-4 estimates. All were similar.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:54 PM   #16
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I had to replace the pressure switch to my tank 3 times in 14 years. I think it's the mice.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:57 PM   #17
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:51 PM   #18
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We've lived in the same house for 36 years and never had a problem with our pump or tank. Raised three kids, had a pool and an acre of land so we used it heavily. I think it's about 400 feet deep. I'm assuming it's all original from 1973 when the house was built. Every few years I drain the tank and reestablish the air bubble but that's it.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:39 AM   #19
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We have acreage and flood irrigate from a surface water source. Annually I'll have our well water tested for bacteria. Costs about $20.


Have a shallow well, have possible exposure from surface contamination, use the well infrequently? --- Then you had better test the well water on a regular basis for bacteria.
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Old 09-07-2019, 08:13 AM   #20
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I have a well that is about 150 ft. it is a submersible 3 wire 3/4 hp. had to replace the bladder style pressure tank 2 or 3 times in the 40 years we have been here. replaced the pump twice. went from the old style iron pipe to regular black plastic pipe. replaced the wire and pipe at the same time, about 15 years ago. with the 3 wire 240 volt pump the controls are above ground so they are easy to replace. If you are at all handy you can replace any of these components yourself. with the black plastic pipe, I can pull my pump out of the well and replace it in half a day. it is by far the cheapest way to go. I live in a small town that has gone to a city water system, my price stays the same while I see my neighbors on city water getting increases annually. price to actually run the pump is minimal. there are many places online where you can see how to install the pump and size it correctly. its not rocket science, just do the research.
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