Category Archives: Tips

What to Expect During a Water Well Inspection

For any home or building that receives its primary water supply from a water well, regular inspections of this well are a vital consideration. Inspections allow professionals to check your well for everything from contaminants to other concerns — avoiding them will pose several risks, and should not be done.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re happy to offer the very best water well inspection services in Utah, ensuring well owners are never worried about issues like contaminants or others. If your well was only recently installed and you’re readying for your first such inspection, here are some basic tips on what you should be prepared for and what to expect.

expect water well inspection

Initial Evaluation

When your water well inspector arrives, they’ll begin with a few simple areas of evaluation. A few themes or areas that will be investigated:

  • Submersible pump: A submersible pump is an important component that delivers your water to the home or building. You’ll want to know that it’s in good shape and safe for continued use. Also, there will be a check into the pump-house of any leaks which might render it useless — you do not want to go without water, so this is very important.
  • Well casing: A well casing encases the entire well and actually enters the surface of your property. It becomes necessary to check on it for signs of damage, leaks, or other factors which could affect its integrity.
  • Well screen: A well screen filters water as it comes into the system — making sure your source is always clean and dependable. You’ll want to know that it’s in good shape.
  • Groundwater level: A water well is not always in use — when it’s not, you need to know how much groundwater is available. Any liquid test will check for this, making sure your water source remains sound when you’re out of use here.
  • Well cap: Well caps keep your water source from becoming contaminated — they’re an important part of any well. Your inspector will make sure the cap is secure and good for continued use.
  • Pressure tank: A pressure tank stores water prior to passing through your submersible pump. You’ll want to be sure that this system is in good shape and safe for continued use.

Checking for Rust

As they move through many of the above areas, your well inspector may also check for rust. Rust absolutely affects the integrity of a water well — it can corrode and break through important components. You’ll want to know how severely this has affected your water source so you can plan accordingly.

Contaminant Presence

Another of the single most important aspects of any water well inspection is the discovery of contaminants. It’s most common to find this in an older water source, but it can affect newer wells too. A chemical test will determine whether there are contaminants present in your well.

In addition, water well inspectors will use a few other potential methods to determine whether contaminants are present. One method is the use of an ultraviolet light — this will reveal if there are any problems that would indicate contamination.

Testing Valves and Capacitors

On top of all the above areas, your inspector will test certain components of your water well. Components like valves and capacitors can affect the overall function of your system — you’ll want to know that they’re secure and functional, since these aren’t easily replaced if they break down or become faulty.

The best part is, these kinds of tasks can easily be carried out without your inspector needing to break any ground. Various visual and other tests can be performed without ever entering your crawl space or the well itself — in some cases, these inspections can even be carried out using video cameras that are inserted into the well casing itself.

Possible Costs of Water Well Inspection

While we’d love to give you a single number that serves as a baseline cost for a water well inspection, this isn’t really how it works. Rather, your costs will be determined by a few factors, including:

  • Size of the well: Bigger wells require more work, and may also be more expensive to inspect as a result.
  • Connections: Is your well connected to just a single property, or to a wider area? The number of connections you have will affect the inspections your inspector must perform.
  • Depth of well: Your depth factor is key here — a shallow well may take less time and effort to inspect than one that’s very deep.
  • Geography: You may have heard this before, but it does play a role — where you live and the climate in which you reside do affect inspections.

Very generally, a water well inspection tends to range from $250 up to about $1,000 for most standard situations. Now, if certain additional services are required, such as a replacement storage tank or some kind of de-contamination, these will naturally cost more.

That’s part of the value of water well inspections, though: Finding issues and remedying them instantly. A quality inspector from a company like ours is capable of more than just assessing your well. They can help you with a variety of additional issues, ranging from pump repair to replacement and more.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a quote, as it’s our goal to make everything easy for you! We’d be happy to sit down and figure out your various water needs together — after all, we live in this area too!

For more on what to expect during a water well inspection, or to learn about any of our water well drilling or installation services, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Signs Your Well Needs a Water Softener Installation

For many households and buildings, the presence of hard water becomes an issue for one of several reasons. Present in both traditional water sources and some water wells, hard water refers to water that has a high concentration of minerals like magnesium or calcium, leading to several possible issues, from poor taste and smell to issues with leftover deposits and more. 

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re proud to offer an important service for all our water well clients: Water softening solutions for situations where your well water is too hard for your liking and is causing issues. In many cases, you’ll be alerted to the issues hard water is causing by a few different possible problems — here are a few such concerns that may indicate the presence of hard water, possibly signaling the need for a water softener installation.

signs well water softener

Weak Water Flow

To be clear, hard water is not the only reason why your water well might be experiencing issues with water flow. There are also others, including clogs in your system and more. However, if you’re seeing a noticeable drop in water flow regardless of having tested the well for other possible problems (and assuming clogs or issues with your system are not an issue), it’s likely hard water is present, and may be impacting the function of your pump

A buildup of calcium and magnesium, which is only likely to happen if your home has a supply of hard water, can lead to clogging in the pipes leading from the wellhead or pressure tank, especially if you’ve been noticing an increase in these issues over time. Any mineral buildup is also likely to be affecting your pump, which will need either replacement or an overhaul.

In these situations, you’ll often be able to see a scaly buildup around your faucets and other areas where your water flows, and the water itself will often carry a white, cloudy appearance. If you notice these things in or around your home, it’s likely time to schedule a visit from Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, who can check out the system to see what’s going on inside and let you know what your options are moving forward.

Dry Skin and Hair

Again, there are other reasons why the skin and hair of people who live in your home is dry. However, if this is happening to multiple people in the home and there’s no other explanation easily found, it’s possible that hard water is to blame, possibly leaving your skin and hair less moisturized than it could be.

In addition to the lathering effects of soaps being lost in a hard water environment, bathing is also likely to be less effective because of the minerals present. In some cases, this can even cause slight discoloring or yellowing of your skin and hair.

If you’re concerned about these issues, it’s worth looking to see what the water quality is like where your wellhead or pressure tank are located — if you notice these symptoms more strongly in specific areas or at certain heights, the hard water present may be coming from above ground level.

Scratchy, Stiff and Uncomfortable Clothing

Another area where hard water may have a direct impact on a home is when it’s used for laundry and other cleaning. Hard water can leave your clothing less soft and comfortable than you’d prefer, often causing it to be stiffer or scratchier than other clothing in the same category.

In addition, hard water will typically have a negative effect on the effectiveness of soaps used for laundering clothes, leading many people who are dealing with this issue to move to harsher cleaners that will be more effective. Ultimately, the effects of hard water on laundry will vary based on whether you use traditional or soft-based cleaning solutions, and if using soap is simply less effective than other types of detergents in your home.

If you’re noticing any of these common issues with regard to your well water, it’s time to schedule a visit from Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC , who can check out the system, handle any necessary repairs and provide you with some options for how to move forward, including any installation of a water softener.

Dish Concerns

In other cases, you may begin to notice mineral spots and buildup on your dishware, glasses and other common items in the home. Generally caused by calcium or magnesium being present in either your hot or cold water supply, these issues are also likely to impact any appliances that use water during the cleaning cycle, including your washing machine.

These mineral deposits can lead to a bad taste affecting both your drinking water and your food, while also leaving your dishes lusterless and spotty. Again, this is another issue that can be solved with the installation of a water softener, which will help provide you with an alternative solution to your current system.

Appliances

Finally, have certain appliances like ice makers, hot water heaters and coffee makers been pushed to their limits in recent years? In some cases, this can be due to the minerals present in your water supply.

In fact, these minerals will often build up within these appliances over time, leading them to work much harder than they have in the past and reducing their lifetime significantly. This type of buildup is a common reason why ice makers will begin to make much less ice, or why hot water heaters and coffee makers may take longer to heat up your water.

If you’re noticing any of these issues coming from appliances that use water in your home, it may be time to schedule a visit from Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, who can check out the problem and recommend solutions, including water softeners for the well. For more on this or any of our water well installation, repair or rehabilitation services, speak to our staff today.

Signs Your Water Well May Need Shock Chlorination

As the owner of a water well, there are several methods you may take to ensure no harmful contaminants or pathogens make their way into your home’s water supply. One method that may be used, especially if you’ve had recent issues of bacterial buildup in the well, is known as shock chlorination.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, we’re happy to provide a wide range of water well drilling and well inspection services, including testing for contaminants and ensuring your water supply remains healthy at all times. What is shock chlorination, what does it do to your well water supply, and what are some common signs that it might be time to apply this method to your well? Here’s a primer.

signs well shock chlorination

Shock Chlorination Basics

Shock chlorination is a common process carried out in a few settings, one of which is within water wells. It involves controlled exposure of the well to a chlorine-based disinfectant, usually in a powdered form. This is typically done by pouring or pumping the substance straight down into the well, but depending on how it is being used, sometimes water from another source can be added as well.

The amount of time required for this process varies based upon local regulations and specific instructions from the manufacturer of the product being used. However, it is usually done for around an hour or two at a time, allowing sufficient time for an effective disinfection to take place within the well itself. After this process has been completed, the disinfectant should be flushed out of the well using water from another source; afterwards, normal functions can resume with the knowledge that any bacteria present has been completely removed.

It’s vital that only water well professionals attempt to use shock chlorination on their own wells, as incorrect handling could lead to adverse health issues. If you suspect any sort of problem with your given system and want to be sure it is done correctly, allow us here at Zimmerman Well Service LLC to handle the task for you.

Our next several sections will go over some potential signs that your well might be in need of shock chlorination or a similar process.

Slime Buildup

One of the most common signs that your well may be in need of chlorination is the appearance of slime or algae, both of which can be cause for alarm. As bacteria accumulates in the well itself over time, these substances will sometimes begin to accumulate around the well’s pump and other components. Slime may also appear on nearby surfaces; this is especially true if you find any greenish material present.

Shock chlorination can be used to effectively remove both algae and slime buildup, restoring the well’s pump to proper functionality. If you’ve started to see a slimy substance forming on the inside of your toilet tank, for instance, or in several other related areas, this might be a sign that your well is in need of immediate disinfection.

Discoloration

Slime or algae growth isn’t the only sign of bacterial build-up in your water supply. If you find that there is any kind of discoloration coming from the well itself, whether it’s a greenish tint to the water or some other change in color, this could also be an indication of bacterial growth taking place within the well.

Shock chlorination can help restore your well to its full original functionality after any sort of discoloration has taken place, so if you find that your water supply is darker than usual, there’s a chance it may be a sign that the well itself is in need of disinfection.

Laundry Stains

Even if you aren’t checking areas like the toilet tank or other parts of your water supply system regularly, you may see the signs of bacterial contamination in your clothes once they’ve been run through the laundry. Bacteria in your well system may make their way into fabric, causing stains to appear in your clothing that represent organic residue being left behind.

Shock chlorination can help remove any buildup in your well that might have caused discoloration in the first place, making sure that you don’t have any further problems when it comes to laundering your clothes. In other cases, the stains on your clothes may be due to rust from your pipes, which could be due to similar issues that shock chlorination will also help solve.

Major Foul Odors

While there are a few potential reasons for unpleasant odors coming from your well system other than bacterial build-up, it’s sometimes the case that you’ll find very strong smells emanating from your water supply. These odors are often described as pungent, musty, or otherwise unpleasant; this is another sign of bacterial contamination in your well. If these symptoms don’t go away on their own after a few days, you’ll want to have your well shock chlorinated as soon as possible.

Long term exposure to the chemicals in a bacterial buildup can lead to serious adverse effects on your health. It’s vital that you take steps to remove any problems with bacteria from your system before they become too severe, so call us today if you’re worried about these issues.

Never Been Shocked

Finally, while most of these other issues involve reactive use of shock chlorination, this is also a process you should be considering even without a specific cause if it’s never been done to your well in the past. Shock chlorination is a simple step you can take in order to ensure that no issues involving bacterial contaminants or pathogens will ever affect your water supply, so if you haven’t had it done to your system yet, give us a call today.

For more on shock chlorination or water well sanitation, or to learn about any of our water well drilling, rehabilitation or other services, speak to the pros at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Contaminants Your Water Well Filter is Removing

There are several concepts that are important to consider when installing a new water well on any property, and filtration is high on any such list. Unfiltered well water may contain a variety of different contaminants present in the soil where water is being pulled from, but the right filtration setup will ensure that none of these make their way into your drinking water and risk your health or that of anyone else in your home.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC, our water well drilling and installation services include every theme you might need for a well, including filtration concepts. What are some of the most common contaminants your filter will be keeping out of your system? Here’s a primer.

contaminants water well filter removing

Bacteria, Viruses and Parasites

These are likely the most common types of contaminant found in standard groundwater today, and they can be particularly dangerous because people are often not aware that they’re ingesting them. Bacteria, viruses and parasites may originate in places like septic tanks or other wastewater systems, which is why it’s important to make sure your water well system has a proper filtration setup in place.

A common parasite, for instance, is E. Coli, which can cause severe illness if ingested. Other parasites include Giardia and Cryptosporidium, which often show up in water sources after flooding events or other situations where human activity spreads contaminants like feces into groundwater.

Arsenic, Lead and Copper

Next up among our list of possible water well contaminants is a group that’s caused by the presence of heavy metals and sulfides in soil. These can enter the water supply when it’s exposed to air, and they’re most common in places where arsenic-rich minerals are found. Arsenic exposure can cause a wide range of health problems, from nausea to kidney failure.

Lead is another problematic element that shows up in groundwater, and it’s often related to old buildings or their plumbing systems. While lead exposure has declined in recent years due to legislation prohibiting its use, it is still an environmental concern in some areas.

Sulfide minerals are yet another source of common contaminants that appear when groundwater is exposed to air, and they can cause odors in water if not properly addressed. The smell of rotten eggs is typically a strong sulfide and indication that the water well has been contaminated.

Nitrates and Nitrites

These are contaminants that show up in water supplies, but they are also naturally present in soils. Nitrate contamination can be caused by animal waste seeping into groundwater or because of the use of fertilizers on farmland, so it’s important to check if your area is at risk for this type of issue.

Nitrite concerns usually stem from nitrates being converted into their oxidized state by soil bacteria found in well water. This comes through the process of nitrification, and it’s also a natural one that often occurs in land where fertilizers are used. While nitrates may not be dangerous for adults, they can cause problems with infant health when they’re present in drinking water.

Again, though, proper filtration will keep these away from your water supply.

Pesticides, Paints and Disinfectants

In other cases, contaminants that cause problems in water wells are chemical irritants that come from a variety of sources. Pesticides, for instance, may have been applied to the property when it was being used for farming or landscaping, and they can contaminate local groundwater supplies in the process. Many pesticides dissipate quickly over time if exposed to air or other factors, but some are persistent.

Paints and solvents that have been improperly disposed of can also find their way into groundwater sources, posing a potential health risk to anyone who drinks the water. While it’s hard to know what chemicals have made their way into your well, it is possible to test for them with professional testing services.

Sediment

Another major contaminant category to be aware of is sediment, which is a very common issue when it comes to water wells and refers to small dirt and sand particles making their way into your water. Sediment can be caused by erosion, which is a natural process that occurs over time, but it also poses a risk because of human activities.

One such example is construction projects in your area. Since they can spread dust and dirt into the air, which then finds its way into groundwater sources, sediment can make an appearance in your water well even if it’s many miles away. Therefore, the location of your property matters when it comes to this issue.

Radionuclides

Radionuclides are radioactive particles that can cause a wide range of health problems. They make their way into groundwater by various ways, including the presence of fertilizers and pesticides on land near your property or hazardous waste being disposed of improperly.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established safe limits for radionuclides in drinking water based on studies about how they affect human health. Like other contaminants, you want filtration in place to remove any radionuclides that could potentially be present in the water source on your property.

Excessive Fluoride

While fluoride in the right amounts is a healthy and beneficial substance for helping prevent tooth decay and other dental issues, it can be present in excessive amounts in groundwater — and this can lead to skeletal damage, tooth discoloration and other health concerns. Luckily, a proper well filtration system will only allow safe amounts of fluoride through into your drinking supply.

For more on the various contaminants your water well filtration system is helping to eliminate, or to learn about any of our water well installation, rehabilitation or repair services, speak to the pros at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.

Variables that Impact Utah Submersible Well Pump Lifespan

One of the most popular and commonly-used components in water well systems today is the submersible pump, which has a sealed motor that’s attached to the pump body. This allows the pump to be submerged in water, pumping water to the surface using this motor and creating an efficient, consistent supply of water. Like with any motorized component that undergoes significant strain over time, however, submersible well pumps have expected lifespans that may be impacted by factors like maintenance, upkeep and others.

At Mike Zimmerman Well Service, LLC, we’re here to help with this and numerous other water well pump repair and service needs throughout Utah. We know that not only do our clients want the very best well pump technology utilized for their system, they want to know their pump will last for many years without issue. What are some of the factors that will play a role in the longevity and durability of a submersible water well pump? Here are several to keep in mind.

variables submersible well pump lifespan

Quality of Submersible Well Pump Materials and Installation

Two of the single largest factors in determining how long your submersible water well pump will last are the materials used and the installation performed for this component. In terms of material quality, you want to make sure the pump’s body is made up of strong, durable components that won’t break or crack under intense usage. Furthermore, you want the motor to be made from quality parts and pieces as well, so it can withstand water exposure without damage.

As for a good installation job, this means more than simply using the right tools and parts to bolt your submersible well pump in place. An expertly-done installation will include properly lining up the pipe work that runs from the groundwater level to the pump at the surface, so it can run cleanly and efficiently without any clogs or obstructions. If you’re not experienced with water well installation and water pump repair, it’s best to have a professional handle this aspect of the project.

We can’t even begin to tell you the extent of the issues we hear about when well pump installation is carried out by unqualified individuals. Not only will the pump last for far less time, it will often do so while performing on an extremely limited basis and may even lead to water quality issues in your home. Contact our team for any new pump installation needs you may have.

Water Quality

Another key factor in your well pump’s longevity, and one you may not have considered specifically, is the quality of water being pumped through it regularly. Wells with large amounts of sand or debris, heavy mineral content or other factors that may damage the pump will lead to a shorter lifespan than one using cleaner, clearer water. This is another area that traces back to installation, which involves properly assessing the water quality in your area before installing a well and pump setup.

Water Temperature

Generally speaking, higher water temperatures tend to lead to shorter motor lifespans in submersible water well pumps. Again, each pump is different, but the hotter your area’s groundwater level tends to be, the less time your well will last. If you’re in an area with high water temperatures (over 120 degrees Fahrenheit), it may even be best to seek a different solution than a submersible system; our pros will be happy to recommend alternatives if this is your situation.

Quality of Electricity Supplied to Pump Motor

In addition, a major factor influencing the long-term lifespan of your well pump is the electricity being supplied to its motor. If you have an area with low voltage or an inconsistent supply, this will also lead to a shorter pump lifespan. It’s best to try to operate your system in a location where electricity is consistently available and at the proper voltage level – if it isn’t, we can help you resolve these issues.

In some cases, you may have to arrange for power resources outside your normal infrastructure. In these cases, a generator may be an excellent option to make sure your pump’s motor receives the right level of power it needs to run smoothly.

Well Pump Component Quality

And finally, the actual components included in any pump you’re using will obviously play a significant role in how long this pump will last. Quality materials, including the bearings and seals used for this part of the system, can significantly increase your pump’s longevity.

Additionally, it’s important to make sure the seal between the top of the submersible water well pump body and the motor is quality; a good seal will keep out water that could lead to damage.

Eventual Replacement

Even if you’re extremely diligent and stay on top of everything we’ve gone over to this point, it’s a simple reality that your submersible water well pump will not last forever. Many systems are designed to last fifteen years or even longer, but typically they will need to be replaced after that amount of time. Be sure you plan for this eventuality during the initial installation process by lining up a contractor who can install a new pump when the time comes. Our team is experienced with this precise setup, installing well pumps but also arranging for regular maintenance and inspections that will help you identify the situations that might dictate a new well pump upgrade in the future.

For more on the factors impacting the lifespan of submersible water well pumps, or to learn about any of our well pump or water well installation services in Utah, speak to the staff at Mike Zimmerman Well Service LLC today.