Three Questions To Ask About Well Water Before You Buy A House

Construction & Contractors Blog

Buying a house with a private well may seem like a complicated venture with lots of things that could go wrong. If you know the right questions to ask, however, you can easily ensure that the water is safe, drinkable, and as economical as city water. Be sure to ask these three questions about the water before you close on any house you're thinking of buying.

1. Is the water hard?

If a water softening system is in place, you'll want to be aware of it; it's an additional complication, and it will require occasional maintenance (usually just refilling with water softening salt). But if the water is hard and there's no softening system in place, you may be put to the expense of installing one after you move in.

Maybe the current owner is used to well water and isn't bothered by the orange deposits in the bathtub and the cloudy film the minerals leave on glasses. But if you don't want to live that way, you'll need to consider the possibility of installing your own water softening system, which is an additional expense and will then need to be maintained. It may not be a dealbreaker, but you'll want to include it in your budget if you do decide to buy the house.

2. Has the water been tested recently?

Water testing is the only way to keep an eye on any changes that may occur in well water. Because the water isn't processed like city water is before use, the homeowner is responsible for making sure water is safe and palatable. If the seller shows you testing records from two or three years ago, you can rely on some of the results (such as the arsenic levels and other mineral levels) to be fairly accurate, but such out-of-date testing isn't sufficient to reassure you of the absence of possible contaminants (such as giardia, nitrates, and e. coli). These should be tested for annually, as they can enter the well water and create a hazard in less than a year's time through either natural processes or because of some man-made factor (such as farming in the area).

3. Are there any water treatments in place?

If any current water treatment systems are installed for treatment of the well water, you need to know about it because if you're the next owner of the house, the care and upkeep of the treatment systems will fall to you. This can be a significant expense (although usually not prohibitive). For example, filters for point-of-use arsenic removal systems often cost upwards of a hundred dollars each and you may have to replace the filter every year and a half. Water treatments probably won't put the house out of your price range, but you do need to be able to factor in the cost and hassle of their upkeep as you're making your final decision.

As you can see, these three questions can help guide you to a better understanding of the well water in a home you're thinking of buying. Because water is such a crucial element of life, you should consider carefully before settling on a house that has water problems (especially untreated ones). If you want to test the water yourself to ensure its safety, contact companies like Funks Drilling Inc for more information.

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3 February 2016

Those Cold, January Nights

When I was in college, I lived in an old house just south of the university campus with five other girls. When we came back from Christmas break, the heater was broken. The beginning of January was the coldest time of the year, and because it was the weekend, the heating company couldn't come fix it for a few days. My roommates and I pulled our mattresses into the front room and slept all together to keep warm. Two weeks later, our heater broke again! That time we ended up getting a completely new furnace. Needless to say, we got to be good friends with the heating contractor that month, and it was a good experience that led to the creation of this blog.