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Clean water on demand—it’s something most of us take for granted. However, for those of us whose homes rely on well water systems, even small problems can be a big deal for your health and comfort. Don’t worry though! With the right knowledge, maintaining your well water system can be simple and stress-free.

In this article, we’ll talk about easy, effective ways to maintain your well water system like a pro. You’ll learn how key components like well caps and pumps operate, why routine water testing is non-negotiable, and easy steps you can take to cut off problems before they start.

Understanding Well Water Systems

Firstly, to keep your well water system running smoothly, it helps to understand what’s going on below the surface. A basic well water system has three main parts:

  • The Well – This narrow shaft is drilled into an underground aquifer where water collects. The depth depends on factors like soil composition and local water tables.
  • The Pump – Submerged into the well, the pump operates to pull water up through the casing and pipe that connects to your home. Pumps run on electricity or use wind or solar power.
  • The Storage Tank – Before entering household pipes, water from the well is stored temporarily in a pressurized tank, ensuring consistent flow.

Knowing the role of each component makes it easier to pinpoint issues. For example, a drop in water pressure could mean there’s a problem with your pump or storage tank. We’ll cover more troubleshooting tips ahead. 

Example of the main components in well water systems that are essential to maintenance.

The Importance of Water Testing

When it comes to your health, nobody wants to take any chances. For that reason, testing your well water quality regularly is a must. Professional testing checks for contaminants like bacteria, nitrates, arsenic, and unsafe pH levels.

Annual water testing is recommended for private well owners. Testing more frequently, such as seasonally, provides an even safer plan. This allows you to detect potential issues before they escalate. Consider having water tested after events that could affect water quality as well. This includes nearby construction, flooding, earthquakes, or changes in taste, smell, or appearance.

While DIY test kits are available, professional lab testing provides the most complete results. Labs can detect a wider range of contaminants at lower levels. Home tests also often require you to collect and handle samples properly to ensure accuracy.

Keep Well Water Systems Healthy With a Simple Plan

While it does take some attention, protecting your water supply doesn’t require a complex routine. Incorporate these essential maintenance practices recommended by experts:

Conduct Thorough Annual Inspections

Initially, walk the entire system to check for issues with the well cap, casing, piping, pressure tank, and pump. Examine for cracks, leaks, malfunctions, corrosion, and risks like improper sealing or contaminated runoff.

Test Frequently

Check pressure and flow rate during high and low usage times. The ideal pressure is 40-60 PSI with minimal fluctuations. Decreasing pressure or flow rate indicates an issue. Cloudy/discolored water or changes in taste/smell mean contaminants are present.

Keep the Area Clean

Equally important, maintain a minimum 4 ft radius around the wellhead free of potential contaminants. Divert rainwater runoff. Never apply chemicals, dispose of waste, or allow excess plants/foliage near the well.

Disinfect and Flush Regularly

Every 3-5 years, an expert should shock chlorinate, purge iron bacteria, and completely flush/purify the system. Annually sanitize exterior components yourself.

Address Changes Immediately

Finally, don’t ignore any shifts in water quality, flow, taste, smell, or color. Promptly inspect for underlying causes like pump failure or leaks. When you implement these simple practices recommended by pros, you can optimize water quality and prevent costly repairs. Don’t take chances with your water quality or availability!

Well water systems should be inspected after any change in the water quality or pressure.

When to Call a Professional

While at-home maintenance can keep your well system in good shape, some issues require calling in expert help. Don’t try to tackle every problem yourself—there are certain scenarios when a licensed well contractor’s skills are critical. Here are scenarios when calling a pro is advisable:

  • You are unable to identify or resolve the issue. If straightforward fixes don’t work and problems persist, don’t continue struggling in vain. Professionals have the expertise and equipment to properly diagnose and address underlying causes.
  • Major component malfunctions occur. Issues with pumps, tanks, or well casings typically require a pro to overhaul or replace the broken parts. Don’t take chances improvising DIY fixes.
  • The well needs major disinfecting. If water tests reveal high bacteria levels or significant contamination, a deep clean and shock chlorination performed by an expert may be needed.
  • Water quality or flow changes substantially. Sudden shifts in quantity, pressure, taste, smell, or appearance can indicate serious issues. Don’t wait to contact a specialist.
  • Construction, flooding, or contamination occurs near the well. Nearby activities or events that could impact water quality necessitate professional testing and treatment if needed. Don’t drink potentially compromised water.

Wrapping Up

Today, safe, clean water is something we expect with the simple turn of a faucet – but well water systems require a bit of regular TLC. Now, you’re equipped with expert-approved tips to maintain your system optimally!

By implementing basic inspections, testing, disinfecting, and preventative care, you can keep your well running smoothly for years to come. Don’t ignore warning signs or tackle repairs beyond your skill level—contact a professional when needed.

For homeowners in Orlando, FL, and surrounding areas with well system questions, concerns, or just to schedule a home inspection, reach out to American Property Inspections today.

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