whether or not to chlorinate well

plympton_maAugust 22, 2010

Within the next couple of weeks, I'll be replacing my well pump and am uncertain about the need for chlorinating the system.

The well is a 4" PVC with a submersible pump. It is 90' deep through sand with 50' of coverage in the well. Over the last 30 years, I've replaced the pump twice and never chlorinated the well (didn't know I was supposed to) and never suffered any ill-effects. Lucky, maybe? Now, I've read---repeatedly---that I should have shocked the system after replacing the pump. I've also read that the chlorine is not good for the bladder in the pressure tank (new, expensive tank), leaving me wondering just how to proceed.

Would adding chlorine to the well, lowering the pump up to the pitless adapter elbow and then pumping the well out onto the ground suffice? If I haven't pumped any water into the house after replacing the pump, why would there be a need to pump chlorinated water into the plumbing?

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It is normally not required by any residential plumbing codes to flush and chlorinate or shock the system when doing normal repairs or replacement of residential piping or fixtures.

Unless you have unusually strict local plumbing code requirements in Massachusetts you can do what you propose without any chlorine at all.

All that would would be required is to run the well water until 'clear'.

This can take 6 hours or more.

Call you local plumbing code office to be sure what they require.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 11:48PM
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Just don't drag the pipe and pump through any dog/bird poop in the yard while you are removing it and installing it... Oh, wait, perhaps a little bleach wouldn't hurt that much after all.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 10:03AM
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Thanks, guys.

It made no sense to me that that it would be so universally recommended to shock the entire plumbing system simply because the pump was swapped out.

I concede, I may have been lucky that I didn't introduce any nasty bacteria during the first two repairs.

I might try running a roll of kraft paper across the lawn to lay the pipe on or may throw some bleach down there and just pump it out from the pitless adapter across the lawn.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 11:51AM
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