Photograph of a drilled well casing Guide to Drinking Water Wells, Well Types
Well Diagnosis & Repair

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Guide to all types of water wells: well construction, troubleshooting, & repairs.

This article series describes how to identify types of wells and water pumps, and how to diagnose & fix water well problems or water pressure or water quantity problems.

We describe various types of drinking water sources like wells, cisterns, dug wells, drilled wells, artesian wells and well and water pump equipment. We provide advice about what to do when things go wrong.

Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved.

Types of Private Wells & Water Sources & What to Watch Out For

Photograph of a water pressure booster pump and tank systemThis article series describes the different types of sources use for drinking water: wells, cisterns, springs, different well types & different locations for water wells. Here is a comprehensive list of common drinking water sources & well types:


Basement Wells

Photograph of a water pressure booster pump and tank system

Before we discuss modern drilled or driven point wells and hand dug wells found outdoors, let's get this odd case out of the way first.

In some older homes you may find that the water well is a drilled or hand dug well located in the building basement or crawl space.

Wells located in the basement or crawl space of a building are sometimes found, usually at older, pre-1940 buildings. On occasion it appears that the well was originally outside the building but the building was expanded over it.

Early American construction sometimes located a well (or cistern) in a basement so that a mechanical hand pump could be located indoors (perhaps in a kitchen).

Photograph of a basement well hatchThis pair of photographs show my clients discovering that the plastic in the center of the basement floor covered a flimsy wood cover which covered a hand-dug stone lined well in the home's basement.

Some concerns for basement wells include the problem that if the building needs to be treated for termites there are extra costs because the well is certainly located too-close to the building.

Also if the building has a problem with basement water entry, depending on the type of well in the basement, there may be a risk of well contamination.

For a modern drilled well which has been "built over" during a building expansion, it becomes impossible to pull out and replace the well piping, foot valve, or submersible pump unless someone has cut a trapdoor into the ceiling/floor above.

Well problem diagnosis continues with the articles listed below.


Or see LIFE EXPECTANCY of WATER PUMPS - Well Pumps: how long should a water pump last? What affects pump life?

Reader Question: identify well casing types

I was in the process of buying this home when we discovered this pipe hiding on the property. Do you know what this is? Is it some kind of underground oil storage tank? Thanks - F.L. 11/3/2012

Photograph of an unknown device, probably a well casing Photograph of an unknown device, probably a well casing


From looking at the fencing behind the vertical steel device in your pictures I infer that the diameter is around 6-8 inches - which would make this more likely a steel well casing, not an oil storage tank.

What was mysterious or maybe misleading was that apparent oil-stain like discoloration around the steel pipe elbow and close nipple connected near the top of the casing.

Here are some further investigation steps you can take to convince us we know what this is:

(Apr 4, 2014) Jamie said:

That is a common method used for containing old drilled wells. The large pipe has been pushed over the existing drilled well pipe. If i had to guess the water has a high salt content (drilled too low) and the pipe had rotted. I know this because I have a property with the same problem.


Continue reading at ARTESIAN WELLS, Well Spools or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see WELL LIFE EXPECTANCY how long should a water well and its water supply last.

Suggested citation for this web page

WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.


Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Click to Show or Hide FAQs

Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia

Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.

Search the InspectApedia website

Comment Box is loading comments...

Technical Reviewers & References

Click to Show or Hide Citations & References

Publisher's Google+ Page by Daniel Friedman