Well Sediment.....
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    Titleist1's Avatar
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    Well Sediment.....

    I mentioned this in a post in the GM thread but thought I'd separate it out to get some notice and input from the collective brain trust here!

    Over the 27 years we have lived here we have always had a whole house sediment filter on the water line for our well which is 125' deep. About every 2 months I need to change the filter, sometimes longer if I forget... and it will have a good amount of reddish sediment on it. The filter is right after the pressure tank (4 years old) which is right after the pressure switch (5 years old) which is just inside the basement wall where the water line enters from the well.

    This past weekend i had the pleasure of replacing the pump (and wire) which had been in place for over 23 years. The water line, wire and rope were all the same age as the pump. Surprisingly (to me) there was no reddish sediment coating on anything that was hanging in the water - the old pump, the rope, the wire or the pipe. There was no reddish sediment build up inside the pitless adapter opening or the inside of the fittings on the pump end either.

    Once the pump was replaced, and running, I flushed the lines for about 2 hours and changed the filter as there was a good bit of sediment visible through the clear filter housing and I hadn't crashed yet. I changed it again last night after 24 hours, it caught a lot of sediment. Pic is below. The filters work well for us, our laundered whites don't turn red!

    I am thinking about raising the pump about 10' to see if it helps clear the water on an onging basis. Maybe i'd only have to change filters every 6 months instead of every two. Our neighbors just down the road have a similar well depth and don't have any of this type sediment in their filter. I've helped the elderly folks change it and after 6 months their filter looks new, they probably don't even need a filter. There is enough water column in my well pipe to do this, I hit water at about 80' with about 40+ feet of pipe to go in. As dry as it has been here this summer I am confident raising the pump 10' will not get us out of water anytime.

    Anybody ever had to deal with something similar in their well by any chance? Thoughts on my line of thinking....sensible or crazy or I'm barking up the wrong tree on the source of the sediment?

    I'm not looking to get another work for nothing gained in water quality since my self assessment in the mirror indicates my lat's are developed well enough at this point in my ancient existence (yes, i have low standards ). Although it wouldn't be as big a pain as pump replacement. I would have something rigged up to hang the pump rope on once raised so I could easily move the pitless adapter down on the poly the 10' without pulling everything all the way up.

    2 hours on right and 24 hours on left.....

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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Well Sediment.....

    Here was my story:

    Help with our Well, Need advice please

    We had sediment or "silt" as I called it, it ended up sticking our pump in the well for a time. When we finally got it out and replaced it we set the new pump about 10’ higher and it solved that issue for us, now I only change the filter once a year.

    I do find it strange however that you saw no evidence of your red sediment on the pump or in the pipes
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    Thanks for the thread link, great info in there! Glad it all worked out for you in the end!

    I noticed the reference to the earthquake in one of the comments which got me thinking maybe that shook things up down at the pump level in our wells?
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    For another thread on well water sediments:

    Wells And The Stuff That Comes Out Of Them

    In my case, the well guys says that when the pump kicks on, the pump draws the water from within the casing causing the water level within the casing to lower. He claims that there are layers of iron sediment in the ground and as ground water runs into the casing to fill the void, it drags all that iron sediment with it. As a result, raising my pump won't help. I just need to put in better filters and live with it.
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    I would expect with a brand new pump that your filters will clog rather quickly for the first few months.

    By pulling the pump you disturbed all the well casings and loosend any loose material inside the well line to the house.

    You purged the line for two hours which is both good and bad. The purging with the new pump forced the well to recharge faster than it has in a long time which may have carried silt into the well. Silt can take a very long time to get rid of because it's so fine and stays suspended for a very long time. It's also very easily stored back up into the water

    The pressure tank in the house tends to have sediment build up inside of it. The greatly increased water flow from the new pump will stir that up quite a bit. If possible use the drain valve on the well tank and Purge the tank repeatedly. You will be amazed at how much sediment will come out of that tank. You will want to run the hose from the drain valve to a drain or outside. The sediment will stain driveways so be mindful of that.
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    I have often wondered why the filter isnt inline BEFORE the pressure tank.
    The tank will fill with sediment otherwise, and there really isnt a good way to get it all out. Id imagine it also a good cause of bladder tank failure, as any sediment abrading the bladder isnt good for it.
    Anyone know a good reason not to put the filter before the tank?

    Ill be replacing my tank and all associated parts/fittings in the somewhat near future and had thought I might just put one inline before anything else.
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    Unless I missed it, I did not see the height of the water in the well,,,,

    The only reason for any height of water above the pump is recovery storage,,
    If you only can use as much water as the well will produce, there is no reason for water above the pump.

    IIRC, my well is about 195 feet deep, and the pump is at about 150 feet.
    I have probably 100 feet of water over the pump.

    When pulling for a LONG time on my well, I can actually change the hardness of the water,
    from what I have been told, the water starts coming from a different crevice,, or something.

    I can pull red sediment from my well,, if I use water consistently for two days,,
    (we do not do that anymore,,, )

    So, you kinda need to know more answers to determine if the pump can be raised,,,
    and, in my opinion, the higher the pump, the better.
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    First of all...WOW JimR...Now THAT is a sediment problem!

    The filter is looking better tonight, not as much on it after 24 hours as the previous filter so things are getting back to normal already. As mentioned it was probably the agitation of pulling and setting the pumps that got things stirred up more than normal.

    As far as the filter before the pressure tank I am not sure. Seems like it would be good to catch the sediment before the tank but I wonder about a pressure difference due to a partially clogged filter and the pressure switch controlling the pump.

    The well does get 'exercised' occasionally when the 450 gal hot tub gets drained and refilled, the last time was mid August.

    I have about 40' of water above the pump so I think I will try to raise it about 10' and see if there is any effect on the rate the filter needs changing. I hope to have the same success as KennyD did in his situation.

    I think that will be a project for next weekend if I am not already volunteered for something I don't know about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJadamec View Post
    I would expect with a brand new pump that your filters will clog rather quickly for the first few months.

    By pulling the pump you disturbed all the well casings and loosend any loose material inside the well line to the house.

    You purged the line for two hours which is both good and bad. The purging with the new pump forced the well to recharge faster than it has in a long time which may have carried silt into the well. Silt can take a very long time to get rid of because it's so fine and stays suspended for a very long time. It's also very easily stored back up into the water

    The pressure tank in the house tends to have sediment build up inside of it. The greatly increased water flow from the new pump will stir that up quite a bit. If possible use the drain valve on the well tank and Purge the tank repeatedly. You will be amazed at how much sediment will come out of that tank. You will want to run the hose from the drain valve to a drain or outside. The sediment will stain driveways so be mindful of that.
    Good post, I agree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndianaJim View Post
    I have often wondered why the filter isnt inline BEFORE the pressure tank.
    The tank will fill with sediment otherwise, and there really isnt a good way to get it all out. Id imagine it also a good cause of bladder tank failure, as any sediment abrading the bladder isnt good for it.
    Anyone know a good reason not to put the filter before the tank?

    Ill be replacing my tank and all associated parts/fittings in the somewhat near future and had thought I might just put one inline before anything else.
    If you are putting the filter before the pressure tank, then most likely you are putting a filter between the pressure switch then as well. At least that is how mine is plumbed. What happens when your filter is clogged and it is restricting the flow on the other side of the system (to pressure switch and pressure tank)? The pump keeps pumping and you will kill it.

    Besides, sediment is just that, something that will drop to the bottom of the pressure tank. The bladder isn't at the bottom. So it really isn't much of an issue unless you have a ton of sediment.

    For my pressure tank, I have a ball valve right at the exit so I can flush any sediment out of it from time to time. Once every couple years or so.

    I use a Rusco spin down sediment filter like this as my first filter (after the pressure tank and switch). It has a ball valve on the bottom where you can quickly dump any sediment. I also ran a loop controlled by ball valves so I can backfeed it to push anything that might have been trapped in the sediment filter and out the dump valve. I flush this when I change the whole house carbon filter.

    Then the whole house carbon filter which I change probably not often enough. It is normally when I notice the pressure dropping off. That is probably every 6-9 months.

    I get the rust colored stuff in the carbon filter. Our water is clear though. I do run drinking water through an RO system. That is mainly to knock down the nitrates. While we live in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, we are in a somewhat strange rural oasis with farm land around us and are sandwiched between two golf courses. We do have a private well and septic. Even before adding the RO system we never had any strange taste or smell to our water.

    EDIT: This is how I have my filters set up. There is one more ball valve to the left just out of frame that I turn off when backflushing the sediment filter. In this shot you can see a little bit of dark brown sediment in the bottom.

    Last edited by sennister; Yesterday at 07:19 AM.
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