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How long does a well casing last?
Friday, March 11, 2022
Most residential well casings are carbon steel and have a life expectancy of about 20 to 35 years, with an average of 25. A casing of High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel or stainless steel lasts longer, but is more expensive. PVC plastic well casing does not have the corrosion problems of steel and can last longer; but it is not as strong as steel at resisting any ground movement and cannot be used in rock.
A carbon steel casing forms a surface layer of rust after installation that slows down any further corrosion, but that can be overwhelmed pretty quickly in a humid environment like Florida. Here's a photo of the above-ground portion of a steel well casing that was only 20 years old, with multiple layers of rust falling away. Painting the above-ground part of the casing with corrosion-resistant paint, and recoating every few years as necessary, is one way to slow down the progression of rust there. Likewise, painting PVC where exposed above ground is a life-extender. The UV-rays of sunlight make the plastic brittle over time and more easily fractured. Having your well contractor do an upper well cement grouting that wraps the the casing is yet another way to extend the casing life.
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