I own two vacation houses on adjacent lots in Wisconsin, about 150 feet apart. Each has their own water well. The well at the first house is in bad shape; I think I need a new sand point or possibly a new well. It has very low pressure, and can pump out a very limited volume before it just stops and needs time to refill.

The well at the second house is totally fine, and the house is rarely used. I had the idea that, as a stopgap measure until I can get someone out to do the "proper" fix to the well, I could run a garden hose from an outdoor spigot of the second house to an outdoor spigot at the first house, to provide a second supplemental source of water, and run both at the same time.

I've seen this done in urban areas when the water main is being repaired, where the water company runs a pipe down the sidewalk that connects to garden spigots on the fronts of people's houses. That's what gave me the idea. But I don't know if there are fundamental differences between houses plumbed for well water and houses plumbed for municipal water.

Obviously this is not up to code, and is completely unsuitable in the winter. I do plan on getting the well fixed, but I'm also looking for a short-term immediate temporary solution. My question is whether it is a clever temporary hack, or a terrible idea that will damage my plumbing. What kinds of issues might this cause? Are there things I can look for to determine if it's reasonable?

  • Technically you aren't supporting a well with that plan. You're just supporting more plumbing fixtures. It's no different than building an addition on the supplying dwelling.
    – isherwood
    Jun 30, 2021 at 14:44
  • 1
    I am old enough to remember drinking from a hose, riding a bike without a helmet, playing outside until dinner, what was sun screen? All these things used to be ok but the hose may just be one of the more toxic things if the water is not flowing, do I still drink out of a hose, sure but I let it flow for a while. Our motor home has white hose for potable water, don’t get caught hooking up in a RV park with a common hose, one of my friends was asked to leave. The couple was my age and new to RVing and did not know. Some get upset even if they are not the ones drinking the water.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 30, 2021 at 15:12

3 Answers 3


Both houses would have pressure tanks so short term flow wouldn't be a problem, even with a garden hose. Even at a low flow rate, the "bad well house" would pressurize and work well for short term flows. My concern would be if they are OK for drinking water.

Regulations regarding water and wells vary greatly all over the nation, even within counties. I have 2 houses on one lot. At first, the county said I needed 2 wells, so I drilled a second well (unfortunately a very low producing well), then about 10 years later, the County decided it's OK for 2 houses to be on one well.

Would it be practical for you do simply connect the house with the good well to the plumbing of the house with the bad well on a permanent basis and abandon the bad well? In my neck of the woods that's done via a "shared well agreement". It may impact property values slightly, depending upon your future plans.

Lastly, I have to disagree with Solar Mike, even if the OP connected the 2 houses via a hose, there's no way water could run from one well to the other. If that were possible, once a pump shut off, the pressurized water would immediately backflow into the well. They all have check valves to prevent that.


There are special hoses for potable water usually white.

The hose material would be the only thing that could hang up a temporary feed if a rental and someone had an issue.

the old well should have a. Check valve or foot valve and the pressure tank there will help to supply the water as there will probably be a pressure drop which flow over that distance once the flow reduces the pressure will build.

So the only problem I see is the possibility of a complaint about the hose itself for a temporary fix.


Also keep in mind the presence of any backflow-prevention mechanisms on the outdoor spigots, since you are specifically producing a backflow into the second house.

  • That's a good point. Depending upon local code, there may be backflow prevention devices that would make the garden hose approach more difficult. Jul 1, 2021 at 4:51

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