Below ground well cap

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Richkenny

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Hello everyone, thanks in advanced for your time and help. New homeowner here.

I recently uncovered my well head. House is built in 1940 and I don’t have any information on the well. My cap is below grade and I dug it up to extend it above grade and put the correct cap on it. It was completely covered with dirt. I found that the water line is coming out of the top of the cap and is only about 8 inches below ground. I live in New York. I’ve been in the house for one winter and did not have any problems with freezing. There was one morning that water ran slow at first but then resumed normally.

the house is built on bed rock, so I assume this is why the water line is not deep below ground.
it looks like the we is drilled into the rock.

I attached photos. Please let me know what is going on here and what can be done to brought this situation up to code. Have you seen a set up like this in a northern climate?

thank you,
Rich
 

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Valveman

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Below ground installations are not legal in most states anymore for obvious reasons. Hard to keep the well from being contaminated. A pitless adapter is the best way to attach the pipe after extending the casing 18" above grade and using a pitless well cap. However, if the line itself cannot be dug deep enough to prevent freezing, the pitless won't help. When the lines and pitless cannot be installed deep enough to prevent freezing, a drain back type system is the only other way I know. A regular air over water pressure tank is used and the water drains from the tank all the way back to a bleeder orifice several feet below ground every time the pump shuts off.
 

Richkenny

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Below ground installations are not legal in most states anymore for obvious reasons. Hard to keep the well from being contaminated. A pitless adapter is the best way to attach the pipe after extending the casing 18" above grade and using a pitless well cap. However, if the line itself cannot be dug deep enough to prevent freezing, the pitless won't help. When the lines and pitless cannot be installed deep enough to prevent freezing, a drain back type system is the only other way I know. A regular air over water pressure tank is used and the water drains from the tank all the way back to a bleeder orifice several feet below ground every time the pump shuts off.
thanks for your reply.I have a typical pressure tank indoors. Is it possible that I have this drain back type system that you mention?

it is not possible to dig the line deeper due to rock. The house was a foreclosure so I don’t have previous owners to talk to, but it seems that it has been working since 1940. Is it foolish to rebury it?

that cap looks so old, I’m hesitant to remove it.
 

Valveman

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With a picture of the pressure tank I could tell you. Most likely it is a drain back type system being that old and not having froze up in all those years.
 

Richkenny

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With a picture of the pressure tank I could tell you. Most likely it is a drain back type system being that old and not having froze up in all those years.
I actually replaced the pressure tank this spring. I will attach pictures of the old tank. It’s an 86 gal wellxtrol from 1999. I replaced it with a wx-203 32gal.
The house is a 1 bathroom ranch.
 

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Valveman

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No, not a drain back system, That is a diaphragm type tank. The 86 gallon tank holds 20 gallons of water, but the 33 gallon tank only holds 8 gallons of water, which will make your pump cycle 3 times as much. Don't know why that line hasn't froze in all these years as it should be full of water. I would either trench below the frost line or switch to a galvanized tank and a drain back system.
 

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No, not a drain back system, That is a diaphragm type tank. The 86 gallon tank holds 20 gallons of water, but the 33 gallon tank only holds 8 gallons of water, which will make your pump cycle 3 times as much. Don't know why that line hasn't froze in all these years as it should be full of water. I would either trench below the frost line or switch to a galvanized tank and a drain back system.
 

Richkenny

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Trenching is not an option because of the rock. I will look into the drain back system. Stinks because I just installed the new tank. The old tank was water logged and the pump was kicking on ever time the water ran even a small amount.

Lets assume for a minute that I could continue running this set up without the line freezing. From what I can see, the well does not seem to be vented. Is it possible for me to install a vent that raises above ground?
 

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Yes you can extend the vent, but there is still the chance of contamination getting in around the wires and pipe fittings as those are not an air tight seal. The tank being waterlogged and kicking on every time water is used maybe why it didn't freeze as moving water won't freeze easily. The new tank may cause the well head to freeze now.

You will have to pull the pump up about 10' and install a bleeder orifice if you want to switch to a bleed back system. You may already have a bleeder down there. You can remove the plug in top of the well pipe. If the pipe is full of water you do not have a bleeder orifice. If the pipe has drained back 5-10 feet, there is a bleeder at that location. With a bleeder in the well you will need a check valve with a Schrader on the inlet just before a regular air over water tank, with an air volume control (AVC) installed half way up the tank.
 
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