Private water wells for home consumption must be safe for all uses. The type of pipe used is a major consideration in the safety of the well water. Many wells contain minerals that quickly corrode metal pipe. Different types of plastic pipe are typically used for a water well. Plastic pipe is not only lighter in weight, but will not corrode when exposed to most minerals or chemical treatments to the well water.

Thickness of the pipe

Pipe comes in various thickness called schedules. Use a pipe that is at least a schedule 80 in wall thickness. The heavier-walled pipe can withstand the stress of a submersible pump. Use the required diameter of piping that is called for by the pump's manufacturer. This can range from 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter. A 1-inch schedule 80 pipe is approximately 3/16 of an inch thick and a 2-inch-diameter schedule 80 pipe is almost a full 1/4-inch thick.

PVC Pipe

PVC pipe is rigid pipe and comes in 20-foot sections. The ends of the pipe are typically pre-threaded. Stainless steel couplings are used to hold the sections together and make a watertight connection. This type of pipe is very strong and can withstand the stress of a submersible pump hanging from a long run of piping. A disadvantage to using the sections of pipe is that it must be removed one section at a time if the pump needs to be replaced. The PVC piping is sunlight resistant and is also resistant to most all chemicals such as bleach. Bleach may be used to treat water wells from time to time in case of contamination.

Black Plastic Pipe

Black plastic pipe comes in the same schedule thickness as the PVC. An advantage of the black plastic is that it can be purchased in rolls that range from 100 feet to 1,000 feet long. The roll of pipe is fed down a water well opening in one continuous piece. The pump is suspended from the heavier pipe. Typically, a series of stainless steel hose clamps are used with special fittings to make watertight connections. If the pump has to be pulled from the well, the entire assembly is raised from the ground and the long length of piping is spread out. More recently, water wells are using the black plastic piping over sections of PVC. The cost continues to drop as more manufactures are using this type of pipe not only for water, but for conducting other materials as well, such as natural gas and chemicals.