If you’re buying a home with a well, a separate well inspection should be completed in addition to a home inspection. A well water system inspection is comprised of three parts:
1. Well Inspection
2. Water Quality Test
3. A Well Performance Test
Private water wells are such an integral part of the total property and yet they typically receive very little attention throughout their life span. Often water well systems go several years without being inspected, serviced or repaired, and the output of the well can change over time due to environmental conditions and contaminants.
More often, reduced well yields over time can be related to changes in the water well itself including:
- Incrustation from mineral deposits
- Bio-fouling by the growth of microorganisms
- Physical plugging of “aquifer” (the saturated layer of sand, gravel, or rock through which water is transmitted) by sediment
- Well screen or casing corrosion
- Pump damage
If you are the agent representing the buyer, we encourage you to insist that a well inspection be completed by a specialist. A separate well inspection should be completed in addition to the home inspection.
A well inspection and water quality and quantity testing should be included as standard during the inspection period when a property has a private well water system.
One critical step in performing a thorough inspection of a private water well system is to assure the buyer that if servicing should be necessary, the well is accessible, and the equipment is replaceable. This can only be brought to light through a complete well inspection.
Below is an image we took during a recent well inspection at a property in Massachuetts. Even though it’s difficult to see because of low light conditions in the well, you’ ll notice at the top of the picture an object floating on the surface of the water in the well. After we removed this object from the well, we identified that it was a dead rat with maggots all over it. The well owner had no idea how long the rat may have been in the well. An annual inspection would have identifed the issue much earlier (many years).
What is Examined During a Well Inspection?
- Well pits and vaults (older homes)
- Well casing (drilled wells)
- Well Cap
- Electrical conduit
- The area around well for potential contamination sources
- Any above-ground pumping equipment (especially for dug wells). Ensure motors are properly cooled and vented, check for shaft seal leaks, and rust or other signs of weakened fittings
- Above-ground well system wiring and parts such as pressure tank(s), pipes, connections, joint seals, gauges, pressure relief valves
- Signs of corrosion or breakages
- Burned connections or wiring on the electrical control box and connections
- Water filtration equipment to make sure they have been maintained and replaced or recharged as required by the manufacturer and the quality of the incoming water.
While a thorough inspection of a private water well system typically costs approximately $150-$300, SafeWell includes the well inspection FREE as part of our water testing services!
Many home inspectors do not complete thorough well inspections, and not all water well drillers and pump contractors perform inspections for real estate transfers. It’s best to use a well water testing specialist.
Contact us to schedule an inspection as soon as you know there is a private water well system on the property for sale.