Stone well surrounded with potted flowers nearby a stone wall house.

Buying A House With Well Water: How Well Water Works And The Pros And Cons

April 11, 2024 5-minute read

Author: Carla Ayers


When buying a house, it’s important to understand the home’s basic systems, including the water system. Where does your water come from? How clean is it? How much maintenance will the system require? These are all crucial questions to consider, especially when becoming a homeowner solely responsible for the everyday functions of your home.

Read this guide to learn all you need to know about buying a house with well water.

What Is Well Water?

Well water is a common system used in rural homes and waterfront properties. The water is found deep in the ground, beneath layers of rock and soil that act as a natural filter for contaminants. So, the water tends to have a higher mineral content than municipal water.

See What You Qualify For


Type of Loan

Home Description

Property Use

Your Credit Profile

When do you plan to purchase your home?

Do you have a second mortgage?

Are you a first time homebuyer?

Your email address () will be your Username.
Contains 1 Uppercase Letter
Contains 1 Lowercase Letter
Contains 1 Number
At Least 8 Characters Long
Go Back


By submitting your contact information you agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy, which includes using arbitration to resolve claims related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.!

NMLS #3030
Rocket Mortgage Logo

Congratulations! Based on the information you have provided, you are eligible to continue your home loan process online with Rocket Mortgage.

If a sign-in page does not automatically pop up in a new tab, click here

Rocket Mortgage Logo

How Does Well Water Work In A House?

Well water travels from beneath the ground – as far down as 1,000 feet – and is drawn upward by a well water pump through a casing. Water then comes through a pipe between the casing and a pressure tank, which stores the water that goes into your home for use.

Other parts of the system can include a water softener, which removes some of the water’s minerality, making it easier on appliances and on your skin.

Take the first step toward the right mortgage.

Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.

Maintaining A House With Well Water: 5 Helpful Tips

Since well water differs slightly from city water, be aware of the necessary steps you’ll have to take to maintain the water. With city or tap water, the local water authority oversees many of these steps, but since you have your own well, you’ll need to do a little bit of work to ensure your water is of the highest quality.

1. Test Your Well Water Annually

You’ll need to test your well water for a variety of elements, depending on your location and any problems in the area. At a minimum, your well should be tested every spring for harmful bacteria, dissolved solids and nitrates. The pH level should also be monitored.

You can buy testing kits to analyze water quality yourself. Be sure the kit tests for bacteria, nitrates and fertilizer. Also, get kits that can test for contaminants like copper, lead and pesticides.

It always helps to contact your state or local health departments to learn of any problems with well water in the area. They can alert you of things these kits won’t pick up, like parasites. If you suspect there’s a bigger problem, you may have to submit a sample to a lab for more in-depth water testing.

2. Get Your System Inspected Each Year

Wells need to be inspected annually for cleanliness, mechanical issues and contaminants. To schedule an inspection, you can locate a certified contractor through the contractor listings provided by National Groundwater Association Another option is to talk with your neighbors about who they use to inspect their wells.

3. Observe Your Water Softener

A water softener is a piece of filtration equipment that helps remove calcium and magnesium content from water (often referred to as “hard” water). Hard water can cause buildup on pipes and in sinks and is rough on your skin.

If you notice hard water stains, you may need to recharge your water softener with fresh sodium.

4. Prevent Hard Water Stains

Even with a water softener, you can get hard water stains. These stains occur because, after the water evaporates, the high mineral content remains. The best way to prevent these stains is to clean them as soon as they appear.

After showering or bathing, squeegee your tub so the water doesn’t evaporate and leave behind a stain. If you see a stain, one of the best ways to remove it is with vinegar. Spritz a mixture of 50/50 distilled water and vinegar on the stain, let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes, then rinse with distilled water and buff dry.

5. Pay Attention To Your Drinking Water

If your drinking water smells, tastes or looks different, you should schedule an inspection. Many times, small changes aren’t harmful to your health but could lead to future plumbing problems.

Signs like your water turning and staying orangish-brown could indicate the presence of iron, which can cause buildup that clogs your pipes. Likewise, a persistent rotten egg odor means elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide gas produced by bacteria. This gas can be a breeding ground for other bacteria and may produce more stains and buildup.

Need extra cash for home improvement?

Use your home equity for a cash-out refinance.

Pros And Cons Of A House With Well Water

When considering buying a house with well water, you should know the system’s positives and negatives. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of having a house with well water.


  • There’s no bill: There’s no water bill if your water comes from a private well.
  • The water has nutrients: Well water can taste fresher and have more nutrients and minerals.
  • You don’t have to rely on the grid: Well water means you’re not dependent on the grid if there’s a massive water problem.


  • It needs electricity: A well pump depends on electricity and won’t work without power. You may want a backup hand pump.
  • Contamination can occur: Well water can become contaminated with chemicals, sewage and even dead animals in the water source.
  • Maintenance is required: You are solely responsible for maintaining the quality of your well water.

FAQs About Houses With Well Water

Here are some answers to common questions about houses that use well water.

How can I increase my water pressure in a house with well water?

To increase your water pressure, you can check and adjust the pressure on your pressure tank, have your pipes inspected and cleaned and consider installing a pressure system onto your water line.

What causes no water pressure in a house that uses well water?

While it’s true that homes with well water often have lower water pressure, they don’t have zero water pressure unless there’s a problem. How much water pressure you have depends on your pressure tank and well pump. Check that the water pump has power and is functioning properly.

Should I buy a house that uses well water?

As long as you feel comfortable with the ongoing maintenance well water might require and are content with where the water comes from, then buying a home that uses well water shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Where does well water come from?

Well water comes from underground and is drawn upward by a pump through a casing. The water flows through a pipe between the casing and a pressure tank, and can then be used in your home.

The Bottom Line

Don’t let a home with well water be a downside to you buying a property. With proper attention, maintenance and inspection, well water can be cheaper and cleaner than city water. Just know what to look out for and what steps to take to make sure your well water keeps running smoothly.

Ready to start your home buying journey? Start an application today with Rocket Mortgage®.

Take the first step toward buying a house.

Get approved to see what you qualify for.

Carla Ayers Headshot

Carla Ayers

Carla is Section Editor for Rocket Homes and is a Realtor® with a background in commercial and residential property management, leasing and arts management. She has a Bachelors in Arts Marketing and Masters in Integrated Marketing & Communications from Eastern Michigan University.