Cost To Run A Home
Water is the most important part of the home, without water, you cannot move in. Water comes to the property in 2 ways, a private well or town water.
Private water typically is acquired from either a shallow well, typically not more than 15’ deep, and in most cases a large casing in the ground. Many of these wells have a draw pump, this pump pulls the water out of the well and then pushes the water into the home. These wells are old, and most towns will discourage and even disallow these wells. The problem with these wells is that a large cap over the well top can be removed by a person. Should a small animal, like a squirrel or mouse, falls into the well, this could contaminate the water and make you very sick. Plus since these wells draw from water that is close to the surface, a spill of paint, chemicals, oil, etc. can get into the water supply, without you knowing, and poison the water. Again you get sick.
A deep well where a well company comes to the property and drills a 6” well down into the ground until they hit water. In many parts of our area the deep well is drilled into the ground, a steel casing is inserted into the ground to the level of the bedrock. Then they keep drilling through the bedrock until they get water. Some wells end up 800’ in the ground. If they get to a level that is considered deep enough, and they still cannot get enough flow (they want 5 gallons a minute, each town has a minimum Gallons Per Minute flow required), they will hydro-fractal the well. This is where they bring in a large pump truck full of water, the force the water into the ground, hoping to open up lines in the bedrock and release the water. If this fails, they have to move to a different spot on the property and drill again. Ouch… It is not uncommon to spend over $10,000 on a deep well. Plus in most towns, the deep well must be more than 100’ away from any septic system. That means 100' from the one on your property and your neighbor's property. Anything less could require a town variance.
Well water, shallow or deep, can have a bad smell and taste and can be hard water. You can fix this with filters and a water softener system. The filter you want is a Whole House Filter, get 2 of them. Put the white sediment filter into the first one and connect it to the water supply. Then go from this filter into the water softener, then when it comes out go to the carbon filter (black). Now you have GREAT water, and all the water in the house, from the showers to the ice cubes are fresh and clean.
If you have high iron water, the water is rust-colored, get the salt pellets/crystals for the softener that are for high iron. They are about $1.50 more per bag and they work great!
The whole filter system costs about $800 if you install it yourself. And well worth it!
I have one in our home for the town water, and my water is great. Here is a water softener system that has two whole house filters, a salt tank and a softener system. This system is fully automatic and cleans itself every night at 2 am, but you must fill the sale container and change the filters when needed.
Town water is good and bad. The good part of town water is that it is always on, even if the power goes off. But you pay for it, in Massachusetts in the town we have a home the cost is $9.60 per 1000 gallons, but in Cullman AL the rate is $27.51 for the first 2,000 gallons (a monthly fee is in this cost) and after that, the rate goes down after you use 2,000 gallons. Now some people think if they have a well the water is free, not true. The pump required to get water out of the ground uses electricity and based on the BLOG-Electricity, the average well pump uses 1,400 watts per hour, so I would not expect it is not much of a savings over town water. Plus you need a generator if you want water when the power goes out. Now if you have an irrigation system, then that is a whole different set of numbers. See BLOG-Irrigation Systems for more details.
A note about Town Water – Most towns add chlorine and fluoride to the water. Both of these help keep the water safe and clean and help with children’s teeth.
Hot water for your bath/shower, sinks, wash machine, dishwasher, etc. Today when a new home runs on natural gas or propane is typically produced by an on-demand system. The same system that provides the hot water for the heat in the home, is the same unit that provides hot water. The new on-demand systems have a separate water line for the hot water storage tank, where the rest of the home is controlled by the circulator pumps.
How the hot water storage tank (sometimes called a Superstore tank) works is that it has a coil in the center of the tank, that connects to the hot water line from the on-demand system. So you have hot water going through a coil in the center of the hot water tank that heats the water. There's also a boiler that runs on oil, wood, coal, corn, etc., and can also run a hot water storage tank.
Here is a typical Electric Hot Water Heater and next to it is a Hydronic System with Propane as the heating fuel, wall mounted boiler, storage tank for hot water, and an air handler that moves the hot and cold air through the home. The Hydronic system is a whole house heating system including hot water. The air handler also provides AC to the home.
If you want to use a conventional hot water heater then you have many sizes (40 gallons is the most popular, but larger families are moving to 60-80 gallons these days). Your choices are natural gas or propane, oil, or electric. Electric does not need a vent, but the other choices need a vent.
A note for oil run boilers/furnaces or hot water tanks – you do not need a chimney to vent the units, you can have a power vent installed so the heat and fumes are run through a vent in the side of the house, and it uses a fan to move lots of air with the heat & fumes though the vent to keep the temperature of the vented gases down.
Hope you enjoyed this BLOG, please come back for more.
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