Laura at (not so) Urban Hennery posted about shocking her well, and I realized we actually *have* been doing something at the house, it’s just been so slow it doesn’t feel like progress.

Anyway, I’d never heard of shocking wells before we moved here. Apparently, you throw a bunch of chlorine down them a couple times a year to get rid of iron bacteria. Most of the neighbors in our area do it, and we wanted to start as fresh as we could before replacing the softener, so we went ahead and gave it a shot.

We bought an ‘official’ kit from a local water softener office. I think chlorine is chlorine as far as effectiveness is concerned, but the granules were easier to deal with than liquid, and we wanted good instructions and measurements the first time through.

The process was pretty simple. Pour the chlorine down the well, run the water with the hose going back into the well for a while to get it distributed, then run the faucets in the house until you smell chlorine. Then wait. We’d thought it was a 24 hour process or something, but apparently you only want to do 8 or so to avoid damaging the pump. Then you run the water again until it doesn’t smell like chlorine (a few hours).

That’s where we got a little scare. When we ran the water afterwards, it stayed cloudy even after the smell went away. We’d had a hard time getting the water to clear after installing the new pump, and were afraid again of having to drill a new well if it didn’t clear. We let it run overnight into the yard, which was what we’d done when the pump was being installed (thank goodness all this is going on during a wet spring, not a summer drought). Thankfully, in the morning it was better. It really seemed to knock a lot of crud out of the pipes – grit and strange colored water would come out of the faucet when you cycled the water for some time, but a couple minutes standing at the sink turning the water on and off seems to have fixed it for good.

And I am such a convert. The water here used to be *nasty*. I know well water, I don’t have a problem with it. M’s family has some pretty icky well water, and I can deal with it, even when it turns my toenails orange from showering. This water was nasty. It smelled horrible, iron and sulfur and just nasty. Tasting even a drop off your wet finger was not advisable. B – A – D. After, it just tastes like well water. Still not yummy well water like my grandmother’s, but you could drink it, if you were thirsty. It was a good experiment.

In other news, we’ve found a guy to do the floor who actually seemed to recognize that there was a difference between our old-growth pine, and normal hardwood or modern pine. And, he was willing to do the prep like countersinking the top nailing and other things we’re not sure about himself. There was another company specific to old house restoration that we were considering, but given that after two calls, they still can’t call us back to schedule an estimate, I guess they don’t really need the business.

Now we just have to decide whether to sacrifice the upstairs, or the dining room to get patch boards. The dining room would be a better choice, as it is large and in poor shape, but it would require a pretty big transition from old to new wood between it and the office. We’re trying to decide whether that would look too strange.