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Well pumps

Robert Jones

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I'd specify if it was a jet or submersible, note the expansion tank size and condition, check the in and out psi....that sort of thing. If it's a submersible, about all one can ask for is the age and when the point was last pulled.

The usual commentary about testing potability, distance from septic, etc.

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Hi Rob,

This time I'm going to post it in TIJ's links library (I keep forgetting); the best thing I've found is an online course by Purdue University. It's extensive and it will take hours and hours to work your way through it, but when you get done you'll know more about private water supply systems than the average home inspector.



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Hi Kurt, I have a submersible pump like you mentioned. Can you expand on your 'when the point was last pulled'

thank you


The screen or "point" at the bottom of the pump is where the water is collected; it filters out the dirt and gravel. Depending on the quality of the aquifer, they can somtimes get clogged up and restrict water flow. Sometimes the point needs cleaning. I've done it; it's not hard. You just pull the pump out of the casing, clean it, put it all back.

I'm not expert on wells; I owned a couple properties in Michigan with various well and pump configurations for 28 years. You own an old cottage with a well & septic, and you learn a little about pump failures and well problems.

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See how long it takes to cycle the pump. If you open a tap, it should draw down for quite a while (a couple minutes) before the pump kicks on then take 20 seconds or so before it kicks off. If is cycles quickly, the pressure tank needs to be recharged, or if a bladder tank, replaced. Assuming a submersible pump, turn everything off and see if the pressure continues to drop. If the pump cycles on with the water 'off' at the tank, there is a leak at the pump foot valve or piping in the well.

You can't draw any conclusion by how old the pump is. Some last 3 years, some last 30 and it doesn't seem to matter what brand. Also. check that there is a way to remove the pump (hatch in the roof, etc.)

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