Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a drilled well and a driven point well?
Drilled wells in northern Wisconsin are usually 6 inches in diameter, have better longevity, and will add more to the value of the property. A drilled well can also go deeper to achieve better capacity and quality water, the pump is submersed in the well (less noisy) and does not need to be primed, and is easier to hookup to the pressure tank and winterize.
A driven point well is usually 2 inches or 1-1/4 inches and is generally installed in sandy areas only. A point well can be driven in areas where accessability is a problem and costs less than a drilled well. When deciding which to install, a homeowner should take into account the types of usage of the well including how often it will be used. We install both 6" drilled and 2" driven point wells and can help you with your decision.
How deep will my well be?
Well depth can vary greatly in any area. In Wisconsin, a well must be at least 25 feet deep; generally most wells are 50 feet or more. A driller cannot guarantee the depth of a well in advance. Due to unknown underground formations, you may have widely varying well depths in the same neighborhood. Both the states of Wisconsin and Michigan have data bases available of wells installed over the years and many drillers use this to estimate a well for your area.
Richardson Well Drilling has been in the business for many years and drilled in many different areas of the northwoods. Although we cannot predict in advance the final depth of a well in any given area, our experience and resources can be helpful in estimating for a new well.
What guarantees are there for quality and quantity of water?
Unfortunately there are no guarantees in the water well drilling business. There are generalities common to areas, but even then there can be exceptions. Not all underground sources carry the same quality of water. Therefore, you may experience different conditions than your neighbor down the road.
Most wells produce an adequate amount of water for a home. There are measures that a driller can take if your needs are above normal and/or the well drilled produces less water than recommended. A well’s productivity is measured in gallons per minute. The depth of a well can have a big impact on how many gallons per minute the well produces. Our experienced crew determines at the time of drilling if the well will meet those needs and can adjust accordingly while keeping the customer informed of any problems or additional expense that may occur.
Will I need to have a water conditioning system?
The most common complaint in the northwoods is iron in the water. It is measured in parts per million and can cause your water to be discolored and odorous. Most wells have a low iron content below .5 ppm, but some can be at a level that may require treatment. While iron in the water is not considered hazardous to your health (iron is actually essential for good health because it transports oxygen in your blood), it can be troublesome for a home’s plumbing system.
When water is reached in the drilling process, we test for iron content in the field before finishing the well and keep the customer informed. Deepening a well does not always take you out of the iron, but generally the water quality will improve. Sometimes it is just not possible to get water that does not need treatment and you may have to look into a water conditioning system to correct the problems particular to your circumstances.
Where should I locate my well?
There are several variables to consider when planning the location of a well. You want to insure that your well is located as far as possible from potential sources of contamination. Most common, a well needs to be a minimum of 25 feet from the septic tank and 50 feet from the septic drainfield. Home owners should also take into consideration access for the drilling rig, placement of the pressure tank inside the home, and future landscaping plans. It is not recommended that you build any structure over the well that cannot be easily removed if repairs are necessary. We work with the customer or contractor to determine the best site and try to accommodate unusual situations as best we can.
What size pump & pressure tank will I need?
The standard size pump we use is a 1/2hp which is sufficient for most homes. You may want to consider a larger pump if your water usage will be unusually high due to more bathrooms, hot tubs or swimming pools, lawn sprinkling, and other uncommon uses. Pumps should be sized accordingly.
A common size pressure tank is a 20 gallon captive air tank, which is designed to cycle after 5 to 6 gallons of water usage to maintain an adequate pressure for the household. Again, you may want to consider a larger tank or a constant pressure system if your water usage is higher than normal. Constant pressure systems are state of the art technology available that provide a household with a consistent pressure at all times. Read about Pentair Constant Pressure pumping systems at http://www.increasewaterpressure.com
Most drillers quote a basic well package based on a minimum depth and a standard equipment package. Upgrades are available but are an additional expense to the basic contract. We can answer your questions and advise you on the best system to meet your needs. Our proposals can include any upgrades that may pertain to your situation so you have a more accurate estimate of the cost.
What kind of warranties can I expect on my well system?
Warranties vary from driller to driller. We guarantee the complete job for one year. Pumps normally carry a one to three year warranty. We install mostly Sta-Rite pumps, a Wisconsin-based company, which have a five-year warranty. Other brands of pumps we install are Goulds, Grundfos, and Schaefer.
Pressure tanks usually are covered for five years. We install mostly Well-X-trol tanks made by Amtrol, a leader in the industry. Well-X-trol pressure tanks now have a seven-year warranty. Manufacturers do not cover the labor to replace an item, however.