It's time to put our well to work!

It's time to put our well to work!

In the past, when faced with the need for something new for our house in Brittany the way has generally been fairly clear. I stride out to Mr B's or Leroy's as pioneering 'DIY Man'. I have the confidence to go it alone... by-passing the gaggle of Brits you often see glazed over in front of the confusing array of plumbing fittings where, unlike the standard British 9, 15 and 22mm you have a range that rivals the organ pipes at the back of the Albert Hall. I too was initially dazzled into a stupor at the complexity of some French style DIY. In fact our lean-to is stuffed with things we've bought that have quickly proved to be inappropriate. But I don't want to make the same mistake with the well pump since it is likely to cost about £150 and that is too much to consign to the pile marked 'may be useful sometime'.

So... What have you dropped down your well that has allowed you to adopt a more relaxed attitude over your water usage?

Makes and models would be appreciated if James allows that kind of thing...and any tips gleaned from your own experiences?

Our water level is 16metres down so I know one figure that I need to match or exceed on the specification. Is it all as simple as it would first appear?

Well it works for me and most of my friends who have an above ground pump i have to do it once at the start of the season as i drain the system during the winter and i am certainly not watering the garden with all this rain about and the pressure on the gauge is constant at 4 bar even though it hasnt been used for 48 hours

Hi, sorry for the delay I have been marvelling at the speed of the responses on the 'food' comments this afternoon whilst the France v England game was also in progress...

But no... the pump will be a submersible down the well and probably attached to a tap at the top. Fingers will be crossed. Priming... initially I hadn't thought about this side of things. I'm hoping John is right. On the day I first drop it down (certainly after all the rain) my first intention is to fill a kids paddling pool to save 250 gallons going on the meter!!

Thanks all for your comments & help.

Once you have primed the pump and removed all the air out of the unit it should not have to be primed again that would suggest the non return valve on the pipe in the well is faulty and water draining back

Are you planning to use a detachable pump as we have, if so it is necessary to prime hose and pump each time before use, otherwise very straighforw

Stick with us all Chris, you can also have a good laugh sometimes too (my bl**dy Black...... aside)!


I have used my well water for two years and I think it all depends on the depth of your well and how high you have to raise the water .

I bought a submersable pump for Brico Depot for about €40 which had a float switch and can raise the water 8 M.

It has always produced water winter and summer . Use it mainly for the veg garden and filling the pool . If you are thinking of using it for drinking you can take a sample to your local chemist and they will have it tested for you . However be aware that the results only apply to that sample and does not mean the water will be OK next week .

Thanks to everyone for the tips and comments... This is the first time I have sought help from the SFN 'team'... and it's great what tapping in to a collective experience can do to light the way.

Yes John it's completely against current plumbing regs but everyone does it here, our place is sold anyway, the installation was already here when we bought it. We don't have the same nitrate etc. concerns as you do and our 75 year old neighbour was born in the house, his father dug the well and he's drunk the water all his life! We don't drink it, we use it for everything but drink bottled water ;-)

Right, but then the French tend to forget to declare it and we are following their cultural example.

I believe that if you use your well water for the house then you should be taxed on it. This is what we were told when we installed our forage. We only use it for watering the garden, washing the car and outside furniture and topping up the pool. This is tax free.

Yes, we are 16 to 18 metres down, big difference.

Brian as our well is approx 4 metres deep and has never run dry although we dont use the well for domestic use we were told do disconnect from the house supply, see previous post,i leave the taps turned on so can operate whatever appliances are required in the garden without having to go around turning on the pump which switches on and off as reqired with a pressure switch so can irrigate the whole of the garden simply with one valve the dogs have learnt very quickly to run for cover when i reach for that particular valve i am now working on a remotely controled electro valve wont that be a surprise for them

John it depends on needs and use. It you have various things like pressure switches, non-return valves and so on it often pays to have a more expensive immersion pump. Which is not to say yours is any less useful. Our well is deep and we need to have a switch down there so that if the pump, which over a metre off the bottom, goes halfway down the cylinder it switches the pump off and allows refill to about four metres above the pump. We can't exactly pop down there for a look now and again so rely on gadgetry that you clearly do not need. So we had no choice but to invest several hundred €s all together but I imagine that in a very short time it will have paid off when we look at the reduction of our water bill!

Andrew i believe it is a very serious offence to have the two supplies connected as was mine until it was pointed out to me by the guy from the electricity board who fitted our new metre, he spotted mine as the guy who we bought the house off had done exactly the same seperated only by a stop valve, if any contamination gets into the town water supply from the well any chemical from surrounding farms and folk start to be ill then it hits the fan i pleaded ignorance as i hadnt actually done it but since he warned me thought better to disconnect just incase he took it further and made a point of showing him before he left

Well at least Brian you can call for help if ever you fall in the well

Chris - just a word of caution on well water use.

My home used to run on well water but I was advised at time of purchase of the house that the nitrate and phosphate content, caused by excessive fertiliser use by the local farmers, was far to high for human consumption and that running mains and well water through common pipes was not a good idea.

However free garden water feeding has its benefits!!


Some time back I got a above ground pump with a tank so that I get a continues flow of water, bought it from our local agricultural dealer Espace Emeraude it was on special @ 69€ seen them since at much higher prices it has a Jet 120 pump fitted which has been since superseded but it has a head of water of 150 metres which stretches more than the full length of the garden and up into the field its ideal for the garden and running the jet wash it switches on and off as water is required, the pick up pipe into the well, not included with the pump, must have a one way vale at the end to stop water draining back from the pump make sure you know how far you need the water to reach no point in pumping water only to have to fill up a bucket and carry it to the spot its needed i have been able to run an iregation system, hose pipes and jet wash albeit not all at the same time but great for the garden, washing the car and jetwash the patio after the dogs

Yes, insured, but I don't yet have the nerve to go to give the agents a good laugh since I know them socially as well!

Good advice Ian, especially the nonreturn valve which I took so for granted I did not mention. Mind you, mine has its own Blackberry before anybody else mentions that!