21 Dec 2012

Angie’s List 2012 Super Service Award!

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We were contacted last week by a representative of Angie’s List who told us we had received their “Super Service Award”. This award is the highest honor given annually to less than 5% of companies on Angie’s List.

We really take our customer’s satisfaction seriously, that is one of the reasons C&J Well Co. has grown to be Central Indiana’s premier well contractor. Building good relationships with our customers by giving them fair prices and providing them with professional help at a time when they need it most is what we have built our whole business around, and what we will continue to do.

If you have any kind of well water issue, call the trusted well pros. But don’t just take our word for it, check our ratings out on Angie’s List!

Not a member of Angie’s List? Not a problem! We take our customer satisfaction so seriously that we dedicated a whole page for them to leave reviews. If you’d like to check out what our customers are saying about C&J click HERE.

12 Dec 2012

Well Pumping System – Part 3

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Well we have covered the basics on where to drill & how to drill. In part 3 we will cover the pump system and in part 4, Kirk (our water treatment specialist) will cover the basics of water treatment for a typical residence on well water.

 

So, let’s dig into the basics about a typical pump system for a residence.

 

The first thing to consider is how much water the well makes. If your well doesn’t make more than enough water then you may be limited by the amount of water you can pump. In that case you will simply pump as much as you can without over pumping the well. This is not usually the case in central Indiana, but if it is we have options of installing larger storage tank systems and or equipment that can protect your pump from dry running.

 

Now if your well makes plenty of water (more than enough preferably) we have the liberty of selecting the ideal pump system for the home. There are basically 2 types of pump systems. There is the standard pump system that uses a larger pressure tank and a standard 4″ submersible well pump. This is the old standard that was installed every where in Indiana from the 1960’s to the late 1990’s. These are very dependable systems and are still being installed today; however in most new home situations families in central Indiana tend to go more commonly with the SQE or “Constant Pressure System”. This system has not only proven itself to be dependable, but it boasts city water pressure as well. It has gained popularity because people can take several showers at the same time, or shower while someone is doing laundry or irrigating. Here at my house we run 3 showers simultaneously almost every weekday. The constant pressure pump system produces pressure and volume much like (and even better than) city water pressure.

 

Usually we start recommending the constant pressure if the square footage of the home is greater than 3500 OR if the home will require open loop geothermal, irrigation or high volume showers.

Next we consider the horse power of the pump. When selecting a standard pumping system keep in mind that the larger the pump, the larger the tank. When you think of the horsepower this is what we increase to increase the volume or gallons per minute (or to pump from deeper levels if the well is unusually deep).

For a home that is less than 2500 square feet with no irrigation or other high flow needs we are typically fine with a standard 1/2 horse power pump system.

For a typical home in the 2500-3500 square foot range with no irrigation or other high flow needs we recommend one of the 3/4 horse power pump systems. Either standard or constant pressure. Whatever you, the homeowner would prefer.

Once we start recommending pump systems for homes in the 3500-4500 square feet with no high flow needs we like the 1 horse power constant pressure pump system.

4500-6000 square feet with moderate irrigation, a high flow shower or a lot of people we tend toward the 1 1/2 horse power constant pressure pump system.

For houses larger than 6000 square feet we like to recommend either the Grundfos 3 or 5 horse power constant pressure pump system. We will usually look at these homes individually to insure we have all of the needs accounted for.

These are good rules of thumb and obviously do not take unusual circumstances into consideration, but will typically get you right in the ballpark.

Our pump systems all come with a 10 year limited warranty, and we use only the best brand name products installed by our licensed, trained water well professionals.

We at C&J pride ourselves on delivering pump systems that take a licking and keep on ticking. They typically outlast the amount of years our customers stay in the homes that we install them in by far.

So, whether your house is large, small or in between we have just the right combination of pumping equipment for your needs.

 

Check out next week’s post about water treatment.
In it, Kirk Smith, our water specialist, will cover the basics needed to treat average well water in central Indiana. You can also click the following links to check out PART 1 and PART 2 of our water well series.

05 Dec 2012

Proud of being a well driller

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Well drilling is not a good profession for just anybody. As we head into the winter months, our drillers are beginning to mentally and physically prepare for the freezing cold temperatures. You may be asking yourself “who would want to stand out in the cold and drill wells all day long”, and to be 100% honest, every well driller has asked himself the same question at least once in his life. But at the end of a long day of hard work, there is nothing more satisfying for a well driller than to see his rig standing over a new water well that will provide that home or business with fresh water for many years to come.

The picture above was taken earlier this week at one of our job sites. We are currently drilling test holes for a huge farm in western Indiana. We have two crews out there working every day, drilling test holes and creating water wells. The purpose of the test holes and wells is to create a massive irrigation system for the farm. The customer wants to irrigate as much of their ground as possible due to the much improved yield on their crop.
When it is all said and done, you can see the great skill and dedication our well drillers have. As they would say, a long day of hard work out in the field is worth it, if at the end of it you have view like this.

30 Nov 2012

Large well in Broadripple

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The images below show a well that we recently worked on.

This was a 10″ well we drilled for a huge public pool in Broadripple. We installed a 4 horse power specialty pump in the well. The purpose of the well is to fill several outdoor pits that feed the pool, and our 4 horse power pump is able to do just that by delivering about 130 gallons per minute.

As you can see in the picture below, we installed a custom built control box that has two main functions. First, it provides “dry-run” protection for the pump. Second, it is attached to a low and high level set of probes that are in one of the pits. The probe system allows the user to turn the system on without constant monitoring or fear of overflowing the pit.

We had to make a tall well head because of building code (in the state of Indiana, the well head should be at least two feet above the flood plain). The canal is about 60 ft away on one side and the White River is about 500-600 ft on the other side.

21 Nov 2012

Replacing pressure tank for wells

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replacing pressure tank for wells

Replacing Pressure Tank

Do you currently have uneven water pressure in your home? When you turn your water on, does your pressure switch click on and off? if so, you may want to look into our replacing pressure tank service.

 

A pressure tank for wells has an inner bladder bag or diaphragm bag that pushes down on water creating even pressure water to flow out of your faucets and shower heads. Older homes usually have steel tanks that rust on the inside, resulting in possible tears and rips to the bladder bag that will eventually render the tank useless. (For more information about bladder and diaphragm bags, and how sediment can pop them, CLICK HERE)

When a pressure tank for wells begins to fail, it will often sporadically ask for water, making your pressure switch click on and off (we call this quick-cycling). This is dangerous, because it will make your pump repeatedly turn itself on and off, and like a lightbulb, it will quickly burn out.

 

If you knock on your tank, and it sounds like it is full of water (tanks should be 3/4 full of air), your tank more than likely has a tear in the bag, and we recommend you start thinking about our replacing pressure tank service. Not only will a new pressure tank prolong the life of your pump, but it will also give you more even pressure throughout your house.

16 Nov 2012

What is the well drilling process? PART 2

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Genesis 26:18-19 (KJV)

18- And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. 19- And Isaac’s servants digged in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.

Well here at C&J Well Co. we drill instead of dig for water today, but the process is still largely the same.

We penetrate the earth’s surface until we find an aquifer that produces enough water for our customer’s needs and then develop this hole into a well.

So here’s how we drill a water well (see video below). Once we establish a good place to drill (click HERE to see the well drilling process part 1 post) we set up the drill rig and away we go. We start by putting a bit on the end of our drill tooling. We also flow water down through the center of the bit to carry our cuttings out of the borehole. Then we start to look for gravel after the first 25 foot of drilling. Anything shallower than 25 feet is not usable unless there is a variance obtained for such a shallow well. So we are primarily looking for sand and gravel. The sand and gravel acts as an underground conduit for the water. The water can’t flow through the clay, but it will flow through sand and gravel or a crack in the bedrock (which can also produce a good water well). Once we hit enough and the right quality of sand and gravel we proceed to turn the borehole into a well. We carefully measure the depth to the gravel, remove our drilling bit and tooling and install a screen attached to the end of our casing. Once the screen is lowered into the hole we have made in the gravel we then need to fill in the annular space between the natural aquifer and our screen. This is done by pouring a filtering sand down the borehole. Once this settles down to the bottom of the hole we begin the development process.

This process begins with blowing air into the casing with our drilling tools and an industrial powered air compressor. This air lifts the water out of the well. If everything goes well we then see fresh water from the aquifer coming out the top of our newly installed casing. We continue to blow air down inside the casing until the water coming out of the top of the well is clear and free of sediment.

After this takes place we then begin to pump pressure grout through a pipe that is attached to the outside of the casing. This grout is to fill the annular cavity between the borehole and the casing in order to keep surface contaminants from migrating down into the earth and your drinking water.

Now you are ready for a pump system of your choice and for C&J Water Treatment to install a softener and RO drinking water system. We will cover these two topics in a week or so.

07 Nov 2012

Well water system maintenance

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Is it really that necessary?

Yes, yes it is. Winter is quickly approaching, which means you probably had (or soon will have) your tires rotated, oil changed, and car tuned up to prepare for the nasty weather. Getting stuck in the middle of the road in the freezing cold is not something any of us are too thrilled about, so we take precautionary measures to ensure we and our families are safe.

But cars aren’t the only thing you don’t want to malfunction this winter. During the summer you put your well water system to test. You watered your yard every day, filled up the pool, washed the car, even re-enacted famous wars with water ballons. As fun as that was, your well water system took a beating, and if you don’t have a yearly checkup, you might be out of water soon.

 

So what is “well water system maintenance”?

 

A well water system is not just the white thing that comes up out of the ground in your front yard. A well system is made up of several pieces of equipment that allow for water to be pumped from the well all the way to your kitchen sink. An any of these pieces of equipment can wear out.

Clogged Well Screen:

Like we showed you in a previous post (click here) the well screen sits at the bottom of your well. Over the years, sand and all kinds of sediment can clog up the screen limiting the amount of water that it allows to flow into your well, and forcing the pump to suck up tons of unwanted sediment. For well screens, we recommend a full well cleanout. This will freshen up the water in your well, and allow more clean water to flow through the well screen. For more information about Well Cleaning, you can go HERE.

Worn Submersible Pump:

One of the most important pieces of the well water system puzzle is your pump. Pumps have an average life span of 11-17 years. There are several things that could go wrong with a pump, Too much sediment could damage the pump, running it too much can also cause problems, and lower water table could even burn it up. One of the most important things to have checked out before the winter is your pump.

Pressure Tank:

The average life span of a pressure tank is 8-10 years. Sediment can rip little holes in the bladder of the tank, that will eventually render the tank useless. Your tank could also loose pressure, so you want to make sure you have a well technician take a look at it to make sure it’s running as smooth as possible. And remember, a bad pressure tank can easily and quickly burn out a perfectly working pump.

Pressure Switch:

This is usually one of the first things that goes. Luckily these are easy to replace. While a broken pressure switch won’t damage any other part of the well water system, it will leave your home without water.

Those are just some of the main things to keep an eye for. There are several other things that could be problematic, such as lowered water table and leaks. You want to make sure you call a licensed well water profesional this fall to make sure your system is in good shape.

Because we feel that yearly well water system maintenance checkups are very important, we are currently running a fall maintenance special. Click HERE to learn more, save some money, and keep your home’s well water system running smoothly.

Why do we clean out wells? from cjdrills on Vimeo.

02 Nov 2012

What is the well drilling process? PART 1

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Getting a well drilled is a huge deal. Let’s face it, drilling a well is the largest part of your home or business’ working water system. The very source of your water as well as your water pressure. There are good wells, ok wells and bad wells.

So, what does the process of drilling a well look like? What all goes into the preparation for and the drilling of a water well?

It really all begins with the selection of a place to drill. Some of the things that go into this choice are the proximity to the home or business’ mechanical room, the levelness of the site, the presence of trees or other obstructions that would hinder being able to set the mast of the drill rig up. Finally, we should consider the presence of any contaminants that could get into your water well. These would include (but not be limited to) septic, sewer, buried fuel oil tanks, streams, creeks or ponds that could overflow or any other thing that COULD get into your water well. We need to drill in a place that is somewhat level, clear of overhead obstructions and within code when it comes to potential contaminates (the most common one we need to watch for is the septic system. In Indiana you must be at least 50′ from any part of any septic for a home).

Now we didn’t cover whether or not there was water present in the location of the desired spot for a reason. That reason is simple…until we drill in the most logical place for the positioning of a well, we should NOT move the placement of the well from that spot unless a dry hole is incurred. In other words, since we can’t see through the earth we should not assume that there is NOT water in the most convenient place to drill. And convesly we should not assume that there IS water in another spot on the property either. It can be an embarrassing thing to lead someone to a spot to drill 300-500 ft from the home and hit a dry hole and then end up drilling in a convenient place and making a gusher. Not a pretty picture.

You may ask “don’t you hit alot of dry holes that way?”. We really don’t. We average a good well on the first attempt on about 85% of the lots that we drill on. The other 15% of the properties we usually hit on the second attempt by using an age old process for finding water. We look at the lay of the land when determining this location and have found it to be very successful, but you may not want to drill 300-500 ft from the home until you know there is a problem finding water in the most logical place (by the home or business) to drill.

What about witching or dowsing? Well, we hold a bit of an unpopular belief about that. We have just not found witching to be a reliable way of finding hidden aquifers. We wish there was a foolproof way of finding underground water sources, but the only dependable way is to drill and look for it.

What about maps that the state keeps on such aquifers? These are not a detailed map showing water on properties that have not been drilled on. These maps have been constructed by real live well logs (a form that has to be filled out for each well that is drilled by a licensed contractor showing depth and formations etc) and kind of connecting the dots to show where certain large aquifers travel. They don’t help when it comes to your property if you haven’t had a well drilled yet unless you lie in between a couple of dots. These maps are a good rule of thumb. In fact even cities and towns use exploratory drilling to determine where the best place to drill larger production wells should be located.

I hope this is helpful as you consider drilling a new well. There is a bit of risk involved with drilling a new well, but it is not too hateful. It’s wonderful to be the self sufficient owner of a high quality, long lasting, water well that doesn’t need to be injected with carcinogens (chlorine) in order to make it palatable and safe to drink. Cold and clean well water ready for a pump system of your choice and a little water treatment (both of which we will be talking about in future blogs).

This concludes part 1 of drilling a water well. Next week we will discuss the art of well drilling, a craft as ancient as some our oldest pieces of literature.

29 Oct 2012

Building a new home?

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If you are building a new home, you are well aware of the tedious process that is to find the right contractors, especially if you are planning on having your own personal water well system.

The last thing you want is to commit to spend several thousands of dollars on a water well system, and when the “driller” shows up, you realize he is a very shady individual with low-grade equipment who will create your well out of very low-end products.

Finding the right water well contractor should be one of the most important decisions you make when starting a new construction project. After all, it is your families’ drinking water that we’re talking about!

At C&J we have a reputation to live up to. Not just a quick buck. We have gone above and beyond to make sure our customers feel safe when consulting C&J about a new construction. All of our well drillers and technicians have been licensed and tested by the state of Indiana, so you don’t have to worry about under qualified performance.
We are also members of IGWA (Indiana Ground Water Association) and have excellent ratings on both Angie’s List and BBB. We’ve even created a page on our website (click HERE) for our customers to let others know about their experience with C&J

If you are starting a new construction project and are in need of a water well, do a bit of research, and you will find out that C&J is Central Indiana’s leading full service well contractor.

22 Oct 2012

Water Well Anatomy

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Have you ever wondered how wells work?

 

Back in the day, a well was just a hole in the ground where people tried to get water. In theory, that’s exactly what wells are today; however, there is much more to a well than just being a hole.

So what does a modern water well look like?

Let’s start from the bottom up:

 

Casing and Screen:

When drilling a well, a driller tries to find gravel beds. Gravel beds allow water to flow freely forming aquifers. When an aquifer is found and tested for quality and production, a stainless steel screen is attached to the well casing and lowered to the bottom of the well. The steel casing allows water to flow from the aquifer to the inside of the well casing.

Once the screen is in place, sand is added around the screen and pressure grout around the casing, for added protection and better water flow. This step is often skipped by other well drilling companies, but we have found that this is necessary in order to give you the best quality water well.

 

Pump and Pipe:

Submersible water pumps come in different shapes and sizes. At C&J, we use stainless steel pumps that allow for better performance and longer life of the pump. The pumps are able to push the water through the attached black polyethylene pipe into what is called a pitless adapter. A pitless adapter connects the pipe in your well to the pipe in the ground and allows for water to flow into your house.

 

Well Head:

This is the most familiar part of a well system. The well head is a short piece of casing that sticks out of the ground. By law, well heads should be at least two feet above the flood plain. At the top of the well head is a well cap that protects the well from foreign objects falling into it. Right next to (or in most cases attached to) the well head, is a thiner piece of PVC pipe. This PVC pipe works as a guard for your pump wires. The wires are attached and give power to the submersible pump.

 

There is much skill that is needed to be able to both find a good location for a water well and drill it. It’s also very important that the well drilling contractor uses the best products and materials available. If not, you will be left with an underperforming well. At C&J, we have years of experience and are known for producing the best quality water wells in Central Indiana (check out our reviews HERE). We are able to stamp each of our wells with a 10 year warranty, because we only use the best materials.

 

If you are looking for a well contractor with a good reputation and a long history of satisfied customers, C&J is the well professional for you!

 

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