cloudy well water

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Old 04-15-03, 04:36 AM
Antony W. Serio
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Question cloudy well water

I decided to drain my water heater yesterday, and now all of the water in my house is cloudy with black grit suspended in it.

Before I drained the tank, I noticed that the hot water in my house had a slight redish tinge to it. My water heater has a mfg. date of 1975 stamped on it's side, and while I don't have hard water in my well, I do have iron. To drain the tank, I shut off the breaker (electric water heater), shut off the cold water line, ran a hose off of the drain and opened the relief line. The water that came out was brick red and had black crud in it. After draining the tank, I re-pressurised it, only to have all of the hot water lines runing red. I figured there was probably a lot of sediment at the bottom of the tank, so I reconnected the hose to the drain valve and let it run clear.

After I started flushing the tank, I noticed that the cold water in my house was coming out cloudy, and my faucets were starting to run slowly. I shut the drain valve on my water heater, and checked the pressure gauge coming off my well. The pressure was 35PSI. I thought that perhaps crud from the tank had backwashed into the other lines somehow, so I shut off the pump and drained the lines in the house. After re-pressurising, the water was just as bad as it was before.

I spoke with a plumber over the phone last night. He told me that I had probably run the pump for too long, which churned up all kinds of debris in the well. He said the problem should correct itself in a few days, and that he could put a screen on the pump if it doesn't. Has anybody else had any experience with this before? If the problem does correct itself, does anybody know how I can un-clog my fixtures?

I've already removed the aerators, but that doesn't seem to help my flow problems. My toilet took half an hour to re-fill the tank this morning. Would simply draining the system again help, or do I need to dismantle all of my fixtures?
 
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Old 04-15-03, 06:06 AM
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I have had that problem when I filled my swimming pool. What I was told is that the level in the well drops and dirt that was clinging to the ides of the well starts falling in because it's not submerged anymore. It took a few days to clear up. I did not get the clogging you have. It would probably be beneficial to have some kind of filter on the supply. Not necessarily a 5 micron charcoal one but something to take out the big chunks.

When flushing the water heater, after it is drained, turn the cold water on for a few seconds and leave the drain open. Then turn the valve off and wait until it stops draining. Do that as many times as necessary to clean the bottom of the tank. It will eventually run clear. It is the turbulence caused by the first few seconds of water that breaks up the sediment. So filling it all the way and draining again is not very helpful.

Ken
 
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Old 04-17-03, 05:16 AM
Antony W. Serio
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Well, the plumber was right about the water clearing up. My cold water is clear now, although there is still sand in it, which clogs up my washing machine and aerators. Is a filter on my pump something that I can install myself, or would I need specialized equipment to pull the pump?
 
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Old 04-17-03, 06:11 AM
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The filter doesn't actually go on the pump. It gets installed inside the house, after the well tank and before anything else is teed off. So, you could probably DIY if you are capable of working with the type of pipe that comes of of the well tank. Your faucets will last longer if you eliminate the abrasive material that comes through. It will take its toll on your pump, but thats the breaks.
 
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Old 04-17-03, 06:27 AM
Antony W. Serio
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I tried one of those filters on the cold water supply to my washing machine. I had to replace the element after only six loads of laundry. Draining the water heater may have fixed this problem, since the cold water intake is tee'd off of the cold water intake for the water heater. Anyhow, considering how difficult it is to replace the element in these devices, and how often I would have to do it, it probably isn't worth the effort.
 
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Old 04-17-03, 06:46 AM
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You may have used a filter cartridge with too fine of a filtration. I would suggest one with a very coarde filtration. It will take out the harmful sant and sediment, but will let the cloudiness get through. I did the same thing at my house. I had a filter that used 2 of the tall cartridges and I had to change then every 3 weeks. They were about $10 for the pair. That got a little expensive so I got the ones that look like a tube of string (sort of) and they would last 3 months or more. If you get a filter and a wrench to grab the lower housing, you shouldn't have too much trouble changing it. What was the major problem for you when changing them?

Ken
 
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