There are several important components that play a role in the operations of your water well system, and several of these are partially or fully responsible for helping prevent contaminants from ever making their way into your water supply. Among these components, the water well cap is one of the smallest, but also one of the most important.
At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to assist Utah clients with all their water well needs, from water well drilling and installation to well service, rehabilitation and more. What are water well caps, what role do they play, and what are some situations where you might need to look into repairing or replacing yours? Here’s everything you should know about these tiny but vital components of a well.
What is a Water Well Cap?
To understand what a water well cap is and what it does, you first have to be aware of how typical water well casing systems work. A standard water well comes with a casing, which is a long, slender pipe that is placed below the surface of the earth to allow water to flow freely into the well. A water well cap is then placed on top of this casing and acts as a barrier between contaminants found in surface soil and the water inside the well.
You see, most water well casings will have small gaps between themselves and the ground surface. Without the water well cap, these gaps could cause dirt and other contaminants to seep into your water supply. The water well cap is designed to seal these openings and keep the inside of your well clean and safe.
Types of Water Well Caps
There are a few different types of water well cap out there, and which is used will depend on a few factors – including the size of the well and the location. Here are some of the most common such cap types that you’ll typically find on a well today:
- Basic well cap: Basic well caps are those that do not have any kind of power cables or piping connected to them. They have a single hinged lid that is bolted down and kept closed with a chain or padlock. They’re usually used in places where the pump’s power supply is found in a basement or pump house – in these cases, for safety, jet pumps are usually installed on a pitless adapter instead of cables actually running from the cap. These are the least expensive form of well cap, though they may not have as many useful benefits as other types.
- Conduit well caps: Typically used with submersible well pumps, conduit well caps are those that have power cables leaving the well via the top of the casing. They’re built with a “conduit zone” that allows these cables to enter a power tube just outside the well pit without any risk of moisture-related issues.
- Watertight well caps: Watertight well caps also allow an electrical tube outside the well pit, but in this case the conduit and casing are sealed fully for a waterproof tightness. There’s a vent screen added near the conduit, allowing for the well to maintain ventilation and keep pests away.
Risks of Well Cap Damage
While we’ll go over a couple specific ways well cap damage may impact your well in our next section, we also wanted to discuss the general risks of damages.
First and foremost, a damaged well cap means you have a hole in your well casing – which could lead to contamination of your water supply if left unchecked. This is why it’s so important to regularly inspect your water well cap for signs of damage or wear and tear, as this can help make sure that such risks are avoided.
Additionally, a damaged well cap may also allow water or other liquids to enter the well casing, which could result in pumps and other components being damaged by moisture. In some cases, these problems can be very costly – but if caught early on, they can usually be fixed with minimal expense.
Finally, there’s always the risk of animals entering the well casing through a damaged cap – which can lead to a number of issues, including clogged pumps and pipes. Again, this is why it’s important to be on the lookout for any signs of damage or wear and tear in your cap.
Possible Signs Your Well Cap Needs Repair or Replacement
There are a couple common situations where well caps will need either a repair or a simple replacement:
- Cap is broken: If your cap has undergone some sort of physical damage, such as being cracked or broken, then you’ll need to either repair it or replace it with a new one.
- Cap is leaking: If the cap is starting to leak or has signs of water seeping in through it, then it’s likely time for a replacement. This will help ensure that your well system remains in good shape.
- The well cover is damaged: In other cases, the cover (or lid) may be damaged, which could mean that the seal is no longer tight. A new well cap will help prevent any possible contaminants from entering your water supply.
It’s important to always remember that a functioning, intact water well cap is integral for ensuring a safe and reliable water supply – so make sure you’re regularly checking yours to ensure it’s operating properly.
For more on well caps, or to learn about any of our water well services for Utah clients, speak to our team at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.