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davidb6
Home Well (cap)

I have a well in my front yard that is not accessible unless I dig up the lawn. I have seen wells in other homes that are above ground and have caps on them. Is this (extending the well casing and adding a cap) something I should consider doing? My house was built in the 1960s and I’m guessing its standard code today. Any general ideas what’s involved? Is it a major project or a bolt on type job.
Thanks

keith3267
Re: Home Well (cap)

It's doable, but I can't see why you would want to do it. The only reason for digging up the well would be to replace the pump or a check valve. I'm guessing that the controls, pressure switch and the air tank are inside your house or garage.

If you bring up the pipes to the surface, then you will need to move at least the pressure switch over, maybe even the tank. That means a lot of plumbing and electrical work. The you have to cover it. If you live where there is freezing weather, then you have to insulate it all and provide a heat source.

If you still want to have it above ground, I'd wait until it needs major maintenance anyway.

davidb6
Re: Home Well (cap)

Sounds like a big project; I think I'll leave it alone for now.

Thanks for the info!

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Home Well (cap)

Not sure what the code is where you live, but here the well head must be above ground. The reason being it prevents ground water from entering and contaminating the well. Extending the well head should require no plumbing changes.

Jack

A. Spruce
Re: Home Well (cap)
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Not sure what the code is where you live, but here the well head must be above ground. The reason being it prevents ground water from entering and contaminating the well. Extending the well head should require no plumbing changes.

Jack

Similarly here as well, including that it must be at least 3 feet above potential flood waters.

shannonw
Re: Home Well (cap)

Hello, I am a liscenced well driller and pump installer in Missouri. I will give you your options as it pertains to Mo laws. Laws in your state may be different and I would suggest checking with your states DNR office.

Is your water source coming from this well, or do you have another source of water? If you aren't using the well for your water then this may be an abandoned well. (i.e. old sistern, old handdug well, or dry well) If its abandoned then it should have been filled with concrete, cut off below ground, capped, and buried. In this case it would have to be redrilled to remove the concrete. If it is your water source then it should be 16" above ground unless in a flood plain which should be 3' above flood level. This is to keep groundwater from contaminating the water table.

If you decide to raise the casing it must be done by a liscenced well man. Because you are tampering with a water source not just anyone is allowed to do it. Remember DNR owns the mineral rights to your land and we just own the right to live on it. We have to play by their rules. Also to raise the casing they will have to weld a coupling to the old casing, then weld a piece of casing to the coupling. Because of the welding there is a chance of dropping the pump, so it is usually recommended to pull the pump first.

If you do decide to raise the casing then you have two choices for that also. Choice 1 is to leave the tank and controls where they are and install a pitless adaptor. What this does is allows the water line to come through the side of the casing below the freeze point of your area.

Choice 2 is to move your tank and controls beside the well. Doing this means you would have to build a wellhouse and heat it to keep it from freezing. What I would do instead is to purchase an insulated concrete wellhouse. Since they are insullated you don't have to heat them. They don't rot like wood built houses, so they last forever. I have one at my house and I don't heat it at all not even a lightbulb. It heats itself using the water. Water coming out of the ground is 54 degrees F, and comes into the wellhouse, which keeps the temperature well above freezing. Although you have to watch which ones you get because they make them with and without insulation, so make sure you get the insulated one. In this area its only another $75 for the insulation. Also of note is the insulation is a full two inches of Styrofoam that is molded into the concrete.

Again remember this is to Missouri laws and statutes, yours may be slightly different. Also remember that you are messing with a water source and it is governed by your state so whether it complies with local codes is up tothe state not your local planning and zoning office. It must satisfy the state first.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Home Well (cap)

It's pretty much the same here in Ohio except while the DNR is responsible for protecting the water aquifers they do not own the mineral rights.

Jack

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