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10 Things To Ask Before Hiring a Well Contractor

Your well is one of your home’s most valuable assets. The health and safety of your family rely on your well continuously producing clean, safe water. There may come a time when you have an issue like your well running dry, or your pump needing an upgrade and you’ll need to find a qualified well contractor to drill a new well or hydrofracture an existing one.

Contacting the NH DES or health department can help you to find the names of qualified contractors in your area. How can you know if they are the right company for the job?  Start by asking the right questions.

Here are the ten questions to ask before hiring a well contractor.

1.  Ask for their professional qualifications.
Any well contractor you hire should be licensed, certified or registered with your state health or environmental agency. Requirements vary by state. Ask for proof of credentials and association memberships. Roger B. Skillings, C.W.D. – P.I., is the Chair of the Water Well Board of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

2.  Ask for and check references.
Get the names of former customers in your area. Find out how long the company has worked in your area and how many wells they’ve drilled. Check the references!

3.  Verify that they carry the proper insurance and are bonded.
Make sure they carry liability and Workman’s compensation insurance for all  employees, and for your protection. Some states require bonding. Find out what your state requires.

4.  Ask about state and local laws.
A good well contractor will know the laws and regulations of your state and town that govern drilling.

5.  Ask about ongoing maintenance and repair.
It’s important to have a good contractor on call and available in the event of an unanticipated problem.  Consider a company that provides ongoing service, it will make life easier for you.

6.  Inquire about necessary permits, site visits and additional fees.

The homeowner is typically responsible for pulling permits with the local health department, or government agency. A qualified well contractor can tell you who to contact, what permits you’ll need and how much it will cost.

7.  Does the contractor have knowledge of your local geology?
If you’re drilling a new well, most drillers charge by the foot. Make sure your contractor is familiar with your local geology. They will base their estimate on what they’ve found to be the typical well depth in your area.

8.  Make sure they will keep a well log and provide you with a copy upon completion of the work.
Your contractor should create a well log listing the full construction record including materials, depth, pump size etc.  Make sure you get a copy. Also keep all repair bills and information on your equipment. This can help with scheduling maintenance. Some states require well contractors to file a copy. Ask what your state requires.

9.  Ask to see a copy of their contract.
A professional well contractor uses a contract. Ask to see a copy. It should include job details, guarantees, and warranties. Ask for clarification.

10.  Troubleshooting
Ask the contractor to explain what the process is if water is not reached at the estimated depth. Also ask about testing and any options if the water needs some form of treatment

Selecting a well contractor is similar to finding a dentist or doctor, all are directly involved with your health.  Hiring an experienced, qualified contractor is your best guarantee of a steady supply of clean safe drinking water.