Frequently Asked Questions

How could I Chlorinate a well?*

These instructions are provided as a courtesy by Cribley Drilling Company, Co. Based on our experience with well chlorination. There is no guarantee and it is possible you may have to repeat this process. Cribley Drilling Company Co. Accepts no responsibility for the outcome. Proceed at your own risk.

  1. Put water conditioner on by-pass and if you have a reverse osmosis drinking water system shut off its feed water valve. This will protect them from being damaged by the chlorine.
  2. Turn power to the well pump off.
  3. Remove the well cap. (If the well cap has three or four set screws around the top this is a job you can do yourself. If it has one large bolt in the center of the cap, you should not attempt to remove the cap. Get a licensed well contractor to do it for you.) if you are in doubt, get as much information off the top of the well as you can, give us a call, and we’ll attempt to give you an answer as to whether you should attempt this yourself or not.
  4. For a steel casing well use approximately one cup granulated chlorine. We do not recommend using liquid chlorine bleach on steel casing because it can break loose corrosion from the side of the casing which might be sucked up into the pump and seize it up. Most hardware or pool supply stores carry this type of chlorine or you can stop by and pick it up at our office.
    Chlorinate Well FAQ graphic
    For PVC casing wells you can use either the granulated chlorine or two gallons of liquid chlorine bleach.
    You will be adding the chlorine to the annular space (see figure 1 & 2) without getting any on the wire nut connections at the top of the well. Do not put chlorine in the center hole (FIG. 1) or in the center pipe (fig. 2) because this is a dead end so the chlorine will not get into the water.
  5. Put the cap back on the well
  6. Turn the power to the well back on
  7. Hook up two hoses outside and let the water run until you can smell chlorine. (The purpose of using two hoses is so the pump will run continuously instead of cycling on and off.) when you can smell chlorine outside, turn the hoses off and run all the faucets in the house until you can smell chlorine. Turn faucets off and let chlorinated water sit in the plumbing lines for 12-24 hours. During this time you should not drink, bathe, wash clothes, or cook with the chlorinated water but you can flush the toilet with it.
  8. The next day you need to run the water long enough to purge the system. Start by running the hoses again until you can no longer smell chlorine outside. Then turn off the hoses and run all faucets inside until you can no longer smell chlorine. If you are chlorinating the well in order to take a coliform bacteria water sample, make sure you have the chlorine thoroughly purged from the system before you take the sample. If the lab detects chlorine they will not test your sample. Purging the chlorine from the system can take anywhere from two to six hours. There is no way to know how long it will take. Run it until you can no longer smell chlorine.
  9. If you are taking a coliform bacteria water test, take it now while following the tips below and with the water conditioner still on by-pass. If you are not going to take a sample you can take the take the water conditioner off by-pass and if you have a reverse osmosis drinking water system turn it back on as well.

If you need help, call cribley for service.

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How do I take a water sample?

The object of the test is to make sure the well is bacteria free.  Coli-form is a common bacteria which is easier to test for than some other harmful types of bacteria.

  1. Make sure you have completely purged the system of any Chlorine.  Please refer to FAQ 1 for complete details.  If the lab detects any chlorine, they will not test your sample.  Purging the chlorine from the system can take anywhere from two to six hours (and possibly more).  The key piece of advice here is do not take a sample if you smell any chlorine.
  2. Make sure your water conditioner and reverse osmosis system are bypassed.
  3. Be sure there is no screen (sometimes referred to as aerator) in the faucet from which you are taking a sample.
  4. Use a lighter to heat up the faucet spout for 5-10 seconds.  Obviously avoid this step if you have a plastic faucet, or simply use a different faucet.  Heating up the faucet may kill bacteria that was possibly living in the faucet area.
  5. After heating up the faucet, run cold water at half for at lease 30 minutes.  Do not touch the faucet while it is running, any changes might get bacteria from the valve into the water stream.
  6. Collect water in a bottle.  To avoid contaminating the sample, do not breathe directly in the bottle, and do no not touch the lip or the inside of the cap.
  7. Keep the sample refrigerated in a small cooler for an added measure and get it tested promptly.  Do not give the bacteria time to grow.
  8. If you have taken in more than one sample, ask the lab if they will give you a bacteria count so you can tell if you are making progress or not.
  9. It is not unusual to have to chlorinate the well once or twice after it is drilled.  We chlorinate the well when we drill it, but often the plumbing is not completed at that time so the plumbing lines have not been disinfected at all.
  10. Running the water for an extended period of time is probably one of the best things you can do, particularly if the house is new or has not been occupied for some time.  Make sure to run enough locations so the pump runs continuously rather than cycling of and off.

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Why should I choose Cribley Drilling as my well drilling contractor?

We have up to date, well maintained trucks and equipment to do the job efficiently.  We take the time to research wells in your neighborhood which gives us a full understanding of the probable outcome of your well.  We have proven methods for getting the most out of every well we do.  The products we sell are time-tested and made with quality by leaders in the industry.  Most importantly, our highly trained professional staff will give you the best well possible.

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Will my well go dry in the future or if I use too much water?

It is unlikely this will happen.  In Michigan, we are fortunate to have an abundant supply of water that consists of huge aquifers that are sometimes interconnected.  These are merely underground pockets of sand, gravel or bedrock that contain vast quantities of water and are constantly being replenished.  The most common misconception about wells going dry related to older wells that have become clogged with mineral deposits and do not produce as much water as they once did.  If this occurs, there is a possibility that the well can be reconditioned to alleviate the problem.  If a well is in fact going dry, it can usually be drilled deeper using the same casing if it is a bedrock well.  If the well is drilled into sand or gravel it would have to be replaced with a deeper well in hopes of find a better supply.

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When is the best time to get a well drilled when building a new home?

It is usually best to have the well drilled first so you know that you will have water when the house is completed.  The latest the well should be drilled is during the drywall stage of construction if at all possible.  Finding water on most sites is not a problem.  However, if the house is started or worse yet, near completion and a dry hole is drilled, it could be quite unnerving.  Some areas in Washtenaw county are designated “well first” by the local health department.  These sites must have a completed well (not including the pump or finish hook-up to get a building permit.  To find out if you are in a well first area (when building a new home in Washtenaw county) check with the health department.  If you are hoping to do a well later in the building process, you should at least check with Cribley Drilling to see if your site is located in a known “good” area for finding water.  The following townships (Augusta, superior, and York) are designated completely well first in addition to parts of other townships within Washtenaw county.

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What is the best way to choose a well driller?

The best way is by reputation.  As a friend or neighbor that has had a well drilled, they will often have an opinion who is best.  Price comparison is also a good idea, but should not be your only determining factor.  Your well is one of the most important aspects of your home.  You will form an opinion of the company by the way it presents itself along with reputation and price.  If there is still doubt after that, you can always inquire with the state environmental health department.  Most states will list any company which has had complaints filed against them.

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How can I be sure that my water is safe?

Ground water is for the most part very safe and dependable.  If there is cause for concern, it is best to have the water tested.  Water testing is always available to you from your local and state environmental health department.  The most common test is for Coliform bacteria, but there are a few other things that you may wish to test for like fluoride or nitrates.  Most people will not find a problem with their water, but testing will bring you peace of mind.  There are also certified private labs in most areas.

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When drilling a well, how do you know when you reached water?

We keep an extensive database of all wells (over 16,000) we have drilled to date.  From that information, we can determine your the depths and static water levels of neighboring wells.  We also review details regarding the construciton of those wells.  This information can be helpful when we bid and construct your well.  The database and the experience of our drillers will help make the final decisions that result in a successful well.

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How do water softeners work?

A water conditioner has millions of poppy seed sized beads made of poly styrene plastic which naturally attract positively charged ions like potassium or sodium.  Water flows through the beads (mineral/resin bed) and exchanges sodium or potassium for the iron or harness (calcium and lime) present.  The water will then go to a collection point at the bottom of the resin bed and is soft and free of iron.  This process does add a small amount of sodium or potassium to your drinking water so further treatment may be desired usually in the form of a reverse osmosis drinking water system.

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What happens when the resin beads start to run out of sodium or potassium?

A water conditioner will automatically regenerate the system by initiating a demand meter.  This demand meter counts the gallons of water your household uses and tells the control valve when the capacity of the unit is getting low.  Most newer softeners have the metered regeneration feature which is designed to save salt.  If the unit is not equipped with a meter, it either has a clock which can be set to regenerate the unit on a set schedule of days automatically or the unit is simply a manual unit.  A manual conditioner is one that the homeowner must physically cycle through each individual step.

 

When a water conditioner regenerates, it will typically behave in the following order at 2 AM.

  1. The backwash cycle will start and run for about 10 minutes.  The softener will pump water down the center distributor tube.  This is designed to expand the resin bed and allow foreign debris to escape out the drain of the unit.
  2. The brine and rinse cycle begins when the unit draws the brine solution from the salt tank.  The brine works its way down through the resin and up the distributor.  At this time the sodium or potassium exchanges with the iron and hardness which was attached to the resin beads.  The iron and hardness are now forced out the drain of the unit.  The chloride from the brine is not needed and is also forced out the drain.  The brine portion of the brine and rinse cycle lasts about 15 minutes.  The water condition will rinse out any traces of iron, harness, and chloride for the next 45 minutes.
  3. The rapid rinse cycle sends water down from the top through the resin and up the distributor for about 8 minutes.  This procedure packs the resin down tightly in the tank.
  4. The brine refill cycle sends water to the salt tank to make brine for the next time the water conditioner goes into regeneration.
  5. The service cycle is when the water conditioner sets the valve to service which means it is now ready to deliver soft water to be used throughout the home.

The Avantapure and selected Quicksilver systems have upflow brining.  This means that when the unit brings in brine for regeneration, it will enter the resin bed from the bottom instead of the top.  This is a more efficient way to introduce brine to the resin bed in most cases.  This will result in about a third less salt used per regeneration.

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What happens when someone is using water when the water conditioner is running?

While the water conditioner is running, any other water being used in the house will be unsoftened.  The water conditioner will typically run the 3rd or 4th day of the week from 2 AM to 3:30 AM so it may not be an conflict.  A twin tank water conditioner will have soft water 24/7 because it has a backup tank.

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What makes Champion the best water treatment company to choose?

Champion Water Treatment is one of the only sources in the area that can handle anything to do with water in your home.  We have been dealing with water wells for over 60 years and water conditioning for over 30 years in the area.  We have proven equipment and the knowledge to do the job correctly.

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How much salt is used to soften water?

Every home and water conditioner system will cause some variance.  It is not uncommon to see one occupant of a home using 15-20 pounds of salt per month or a family of 6 use 60-80 pounds of salt per month.  The amount of hardness, iron, and members in a family are the main factors of salt use.  Also, the type of salt saving features in a water conditioner system can impact the overall salt usage.  Once a water test is taken and your equipment is selected, we can give a better estimation of salt usage.  We recommend Dura Cube softener salt to help reduce salt use and for purity.

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Will a water softener remove iron?

If the water conditioner system is sized correctly and the iron is dissolved in the water, the system will typically remove all iron.  Extreme cases will need a pre treatment of some kind ahead of the softener to properly remove all of the iron.

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What will a reverse osmosis drinking water system do to the level of sodium and other contaminants in my water?

A good quality, properly maintained system can reduce most contaminants by at least 90%.  Some situations might even remove 95% or more of the contaminants.

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How much sodium is in soft water?

140mg of sodium is typically in quart of soft water.  In comparison, a slice of bread is typically 70mg of sodium, and a slice of pizza about 1100mg.  The average American takes in about 5000 mg of sodium per day.

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