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Old 01-28-2009, 12:40 AM   #1
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I just moved into a home with a well, and I know nothing about it. Hopefully, someone can give me a quick education on how wells works. The well is about 200 yards from my home and I have a pressure tank in the garage. I assume the well pump brings water to the pressure tank and that in turn supplies water to the house. Also, I share this well with a neighbor. How does the well supply water to both my home and my neighbors? The power to the well runs from my house. Is the cost of running the pump fairly negligable or is my nieghbor making out not having to share the cost? Thanks.

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Old 01-28-2009, 06:12 AM   #2
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Who is going to pay if you have to replace the pump or have the screen replaced? This is something that should have been dealt with before you bought the house!
200 yards sure sounds like a long way to run water.


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Old 01-28-2009, 07:28 AM   #3
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That is an unusual set up.
I would think that your real estate agent should have given you some information if there is an easement to share a well.
Who owns the land? Who owns the responsibility to maintain it?
These are things you should know.
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Old 01-28-2009, 07:44 AM   #4
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I have herd of this type of situation, as well as a shared driveway etc.
You make mention of moving and no mention of owning. If you rent then your land lord should have made mention of this to you. If you just bought this home--------
Your attorney should have caught this at closing. But then if it was not specified in your deed your attorney would not have seen it. Or at the very least this should have been in the disclosure paper work! If it was not deeded then you have some options. Since the water and pump are on your property it would seem you have the upper hand so to speak. Myself I would pay the coin and talk to your/a attorney to to get the skinny!!! I would also be very curious about the real estate agents as well. Again, another matter for the attorney!

Good Luck to you!
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I was made fully aware of the shared well before I purchased the house. It was properly disclosed and documented. That is not my concern.

I'm just wondering, in general, how the well can pump water about 200 yards, split the water between me and my neighbor, and how the pressure tank works with all of this. Is the well pump constantly working 24 hours a day? Does it only pump when the pressure tank gets low? I have been told by the previous owners that they watered their lawn for several hours on a hot summer day and ran out of water. They said it was OK a couple of hours later. Does this mean that the pump couldn't keep up and the pressure tank emptied? Just trying to learn more about the system.
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Old 01-28-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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There is a pressure switch on the tank or the piping connected to it that controls the pump. When the pressure drops in the tank from use and reaches a low set point, contacts will send current to the pump to start it. The same switch has a high pressure cut off that stops the pump when the tank reaches it's set high pressure. I don't know how a shared well would work. Is there a pump setting next to the tank? (shallow well) Or is the pump down in the well? (deep well). I've heard of shared water rights where someone sells a piece of property but retains rights to pull from a well. I've never seen one where a property owner supplied it pumped to surface free of charge. Depending on the depth of the well, size of the pump and how much the neighbor uses, yeah they could be making out. If someone watered lawn for hours, they could certainly pump a well down. There are a lot of unknowns. A dry spell with no rain will certainly lower water tables in the ground. It's even worse if the well is marginal to begin with.
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
I have been told by the previous owners that they watered their lawn for several hours on a hot summer day and ran out of water. They said it was OK a couple of hours later. Does this mean that the pump couldn't keep up and the pressure tank emptied?
Nope,...

That means the Well ran Dry,..... Nothing to do with whatever pumping system you might have...
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Old 01-28-2009, 01:47 PM   #8
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Thanks Bondo and Maintenance. Forgive my ignorance, but in my naive little mind I guess I always assumed that if a well was pumped dry you were out of water for good. From what you are saying it sounds like the well will replenish itself. I live in the Seattle area so we're not too worried about dry spells.

Given that my neighbor has a tank too, the pump must be working overtime keeping both full.
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Old 01-28-2009, 09:13 PM   #9
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I had a pressure switch go bad on my well at the lake. I usually turn the breaker off to the well when I leave. I forgot to do it when the pressure switch failed. The reason I found out there was a problem is when I received my electric bill, it was about $70 more than it should have been. We had not been at the lake all month.

We called the electric company who sent someone out to check the problem. Being this is a rural area, the person who they sent out went to were the well was located in the yard and listened to see if he could hear the pump running, which he did.

The point of my post is that if the neighbors run the water a lot, it will effect your electric bill.

Also the cost of repair was a couple of hundred dollars for them to pull the well to fix it. I have an in well tank is why they had to pull the well. I am again having well problems, the well people should be out in the next week or so to pull the in well pressure tank and put a tank in my house. The tank is under warranty yet, but the labor is not, so this will be another couple hundred bucks.

When I had the in well pressure tank put in I thought it was a good idea (no tank in the house). I have since found out the tanks the well person used have a fifty percent failure rate. Talking to the well guy I was the only one in the area that he put in. I can not blame it on the well company since it was something I saw on TV and thought it was a good idea.

I would definitely find out how the cost are shared (if at all) before there is a problem with the well. It's not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sasman View Post
Thanks Bondo and Maintenance. Forgive my ignorance, but in my naive little mind I guess I always assumed that if a well was pumped dry you were out of water for good. From what you are saying it sounds like the well will replenish itself. I live in the Seattle area so we're not too worried about dry spells.

Given that my neighbor has a tank too, the pump must be working overtime keeping both full.
No. I've pumped mine down a bunch of times. Shut the pump off for a while until the water seeps back into the casing. Then it's good to go again. Rarely does a well go completely dry and stay dry, unless something happens like a competing well robs it of water or it collapses. If your neighbor has a pressure tank too, then I wonder if you are just sharing the well casing, but each have their own pump. I've never seen a set up where a single pump serves two pressure tanks. Seattle gets rain on a lot of days, but it is not spectacularly high in annual rainfall. (It is pretty country though )
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Old 01-29-2009, 04:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sasman View Post
Thanks for the replies. I was made fully aware of the shared well before I purchased the house. It was properly disclosed and documented. That is not my concern.
But now WE'RE CURIOUS! Do you have a legal agreement with the other home owner? Do they have an easement to use the well? What's the skinny?
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Leah Frances View Post
But now WE'RE CURIOUS! Do you have a legal agreement with the other home owner? Do they have an easement to use the well? What's the skinny?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 01-30-2009, 07:03 PM   #13
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The way this well system works is that you have a solid system meaing that both of you have bladder tanks. You have the tank with the controls so that when you or your neighbor use water it is actually coming from both of your tanks. when the preasure switch hits the turn on preasure the pump pumps up both tanks. The way the system is setup will work just fine but the way it sould be is that there is a inlet line that would come to your house first and into the preasure tank then back out of the tank to both you and your neighbors. Its ok though you should have no problems. Your elctric bill for the well will be significantly low so that shouldnt be an isue. The only problem is that when it breaks you both should be willing to share the cost.
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Old 01-30-2009, 08:24 PM   #14
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You could just turn off your well when you go to work or at night and I bet pretty quick you could come to an agreement!

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Old 01-31-2009, 06:50 AM   #15
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Or if the water rights are written into your deed, you could end up in court for breaching a contract.

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