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Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

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  • Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

    Ok, new to the whole well thing. looking to buy a house, paid a "well and pump" guy to inspect the well. He went over there when I wasn't there and left me a voicemail saying it is a deep well jet system going to an old buried well somewhere on the property and there is no way of knowing where it is or the condition of it.
    All I know is that it is a 2 line jet pump. Problem is that I need to know where the well is to know how far it is from the septic tank to know if it is going to pass fha requirements.
    Home was built in 1965 and is foreclosed so no homeowners to ask where it is

    My questions are...
    What is a deep well jet system going to a buried well?
    What kind of well is buried? dug well? drilled well?
    About 30' from where lines come in to house there is a 2'x2' square cement slab, could this be the well?

    I am supposed to close on this house Friday and Septic Guy won't give it a passing inspection without knowing where the well is!

  • #2
    Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

    It could be a dug or drilled well. All kinds of things were done way back when.

    You have a well that the top is "buried" if you will. Two pipes going from your pump, horizontally through the ground, then vertically into the well.

    At the bottom of the pipe run in the well, the two pipes come together at the jet and then to a foot valve.

    Dowsing is baloney if someone tells you they can find it accurately that way.

    Two ways to find it in my opinion. Look for the pump, get an idea which way the pipes are heading, and you might get lucky to notice a depression in the ground or some other marker.

    Or disconnect the suction line, fish an electricians tape through it, and trace it with a locator. More scientific but you also need some luck getting the tape through if they made any turns. And then a person that knows jet pumps to get it back running. So, someone with a locator and pump experience.

    I hate finding buried wells.

    Good luck.

    J.C.

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    • #3
      Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

      About 30' from where lines come in to house there is a 2'x2' square cement slab, could this be the well? it is level with the ground.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

        Originally posted by MikeD1980 View Post
        About 30' from where lines come in to house there is a 2'x2' square cement slab, could this be the well? it is level with the ground.
        It could have been a bird bath base at one time, who knows, what a 2' x2' cement slab is on a 50+ year old property?

        It is a possibility, but who knows, is there any round cap in it, or can the slab be lifted and see if any type of pipe is under it, (most likely the well is cased, that is a pipe about 4" to 6" in diameter, that goes into the ground that supports the well, in it will be the two pipes in your situation, that are in the casing), the pipe or casing may have a cap or a old bucket over it, to keep things out).

        IF it the cement is in the direct line of the pipe leaving the basement, I would explore it and see if it a possibility, (most codes to day say the well casing needed to extend above the ground level to day to protect from contamination, of water seepage or flooding),
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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        • #5
          Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

          Unhooking the pump and snaking the pipe is a good idea. Then get out the shovel.

          I use a Schoenstadt Locator to find buried wells, but mine cost me $750.00 back in the 70's. I know they are a lot more now.

          You could have a well in diameter of 2" thru 6" in most cases. The jet may be a two pipe jet or a single pipe jet. If you want to know more about these, you can view my Helpful Info page. It has pictures and explanations of how these systems work: http://www.pumpsandtanks.com/Helpful-Info/

          The seperation of well and septic used to be 25 foot years ago here in Florida, now it's 75'. I would think yours judging from the age, may not meet the minimum requirements for VA/FHA.
          Frequently asked questions about pumps and tanks.

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          • #6
            Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

            Call me old fashion but I like putting two sticks together and crossing them making an X. Now here is the important part.... walk around and the sticks will get closer together or further apart and that is how you know if your getting closer or further....

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            • #7
              Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

              If the well is from 65 it is probably galv pipe right?
              Not much plastic in use back then.

              Check the pump and see if there is a sticker from the well driller on there or some other clue as to who might have installed it. Then give them a call you might get lucky. If its from '65 might not be much help but if the well is newer they might have some kind of record.

              Look on the wall near the pipe where it exits the building, might be a cryptic note about the location of the well. It might only give a distance like 45' or an arrow and a number, ya never know.

              Don't wells require a permit from the state? You probably don't have time to go that route but the location would have been part of the permit.
              ---------------
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              • #8
                Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                Your best bet is to look for clues of the original installer and hope they are around and have records.

                Absent any records you need to someone experienced in locating wells. Experience matters. There are many clues a rookie in the field or homeowner won't pick up on. Size of trees. Size of the pump. Knowledge of how others in the field did their work. Size and types of drill rigs used in the area at the time.

                As others suggested disconnecting a line can give you an idea of how far from the house the well is.

                Based on what you've said so far if you were in my area. I'd expect it to be a drilled well. I'd expect the well to be in a well pit 10-20 feet from the house. The well pits are typically 1 or 2 3 foot diameter concrete casings with a concrete lid on top. It would be buried 1-2 feet bellow the surface. I'd expect the piping to be plastic, ABS, possibly PVC in the well.

                The concrete square you've described does not sound typical of anything I've seen.

                My area now requires the well be 100 feet from the septic, 25 feet from the road, and 100 feet from a natural water body or wetland.

                It sounds like you are generally concerned about where the well is, but in my area passing inspections are a requirement of the seller not the buyer. Why aren't they locating the well?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                  No records of the original permit? that's where I'd start if a look around didn't tell me anything.

                  Most locators will pick up 50-60 hz. Does it run? turn the power on and try to find the wires with a locator. Or find the wires at the house end, disconnect them, energized them and then locate.

                  Your local 800 no dig type service should be able to put you in touch with a company who can do this.
                  Last edited by Ace Sewer; 05-10-2010, 09:00 PM.
                  This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                    Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                    No records of the original permit? that's where I'd start if a look around didn't tell me anything.

                    Most locators will pick up 50-60 hz. Does it run? turn the power on and try to find the wires with a locator. Or find the wires at the house end, disconnect them, energized them and then locate.

                    Your local 800 no dig type service should be able to put you in touch with a company who can do this.
                    No wires on this one. Sorry.

                    J.C.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                      What... the pump's in the house then? All I ever see around here are submersibles, occaisionally with a holding tank and shallow well jet pump at the house if the well is slow.
                      This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                        Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                        What... the pump's in the house then? All I ever see around here are submersibles, occaisionally with a holding tank and shallow well jet pump at the house if the well is slow.
                        Yeah it's in the house. Deep well jet. Submersibles were around then just very pricey in comparison to the cheaper and more available jet pumps

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                          ok, seller doesn't care where well is, it is a foreclosure.

                          Just found out today that the well doesn't pass FHA cause it isn't up to Michigan code by having a jet pump, has to be submersible and only well company around wants $2000 to locate well and install submersible.

                          Health Dept and County has no record of where well is, The well guy that came and inspected it is the only Well Co around, and he hasn't been in business long enough to have drilled this well.

                          So now I get to wait around and see if seller (Freddie Mac) will spend the $2000 to have well located and pump replaced. If not, I am out the cost of Home Inspection, Well Inspection, Septic Inspection, and the few minor repairs I did to the house to make it pass the FHA Appraisal.

                          Turns out, that the seller knew the well wasn't up to code, because they had that same well guy out there 3 months ago to replace Bladder tank and he told them then that it wasn't up to code and they said, "get water running in the house at the least cost possible" yet they still accepted my offer of FHA!!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                            Sorry to hear. There will always be Sharks in the water.

                            J.C.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Old buried well? Urgent help needed!

                              $2k doesn't sound out of line at all. The pump alone is $700 or so, then there is running power out to the well head, finding a circuit to run it from, all that expensive well pump wire down to however deep it is, after you find it in the first place, installing a pitless if there isn't one, etc etc. $2k sounds pretty cheap. Tell seller to drop $2k on the price? or does it have to be done before fha will cut the $ loose to close? Would they accept $2k in escrow for the repair to get it closed?
                              Last edited by Ace Sewer; 05-10-2010, 10:35 PM.
                              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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