The Operating Systems, Lower Level, Interior and Exterior Inspection sections are EXTREMELY condensed versions of those found in our home inspection book: Home Inspection Business From A to Z

Real Estate Appraisers are not required to be home inspectors. However, I will include these sections anyway to give you some basic details about home inspections.


Well Water Systems

The main components of a well water system consist of a well pump, the water lines, the pressure gauge and the water storage tank. Well pumps are usually located inside the well and aren't visible. The life expectancy of a well pump is about 7-10 years but can be longer if the pump isn't overworked or neglected. The life expectancy also depends upon the type and quality of the pump installed and the acidity of the well water. Generally you should use the 7-10 year range during an inspection.

Try to get as much information as you can about the well from the owner or Realtor. Use the preinspection questions that I mentioned earlier for a guideline but don't be afraid to ask any other questions for further information. Don't be surprised if they don't know very much about the well system. Unfortunately, this is often the case. Don't be surprised if the answers you get don't seem to be the truth from the results of the well test.

Look at the well water lines to determine their overall condition. Take a look at the well water storage tank, if it's visible. Check for any rust or aging signs. The water storage tank should be painted and insulated to prevent any condensation from building up on the outside. The condensation causes rust over time. There should always be a pressure relief valve for safety in case the pressure in the system gets too high. It's usually set at 75 psi, (pounds per square inch), depending upon the type and capacity of the storage tank. Make sure the tank has an air fill valve to adjust the air-to-water ratio inside the tank during the periodic maintenance done by a well contractor.

The minimum acceptable flow for a well system is five gallons per minute, (GPM). Some local codes may require a higher GPM rating, so check with your local building department. What you need to be concerned about, is an abnormal drop in pressure. Just ask yourself and the client, if they're present: Are the pressure and volume of the water flow enough to take a shower with? If the answer is no, then tell the client to have the system checked out by a licensed well service contractor.

Real Estate Advice Education House Inspection Appraisal Home Improvement Renovation Check to find out if there's a water filter installed on the system. I even recommend that the client use water filters when their house is connected to the city water system. Water filters are highly recommended for health reasons, especially with all of the pollutants going into the water supply these days.

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