Potential Plumbing Nightmare?


Old 01-28-02, 03:02 PM
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Question Potential Plumbing Nightmare?

Here's the scenario and symptoms. (I'll give too many details, too much info better than no info....:-)
Bought house 2 years ago. 1 family 1 bathroom, 2 people. House has well water/ septic system. Jet pump on floor looks like it is covered in rust (so far no problems). House has copper tubing leading to all fixtures. When we bought house, the inspector said the water quality was "so-so", well needs shocked. As far as I know this was done. Water leaves blue/green stains in bath tub.
We dont drink the water, we use bottled, which is a waste of $$$ but thats another story. 2 summers ago I changed elements in electric water heater (water was cold). Last summer, that same water heater died, flooding the basement, and was replaced with same size unit. No other changes have been made to system. (when heater was changed, I did have to install new hook ups, and I did replace another small section of copper tubing about 6 feet away from heater). In the last few days, I am getting a banging sound whenever I turn off hot water in kitchen (closest faucet to water heater). I don't notice this sound when turning off other faucets. Also, hot water seems to be running out a lot faster than before. So I guess my questions are:
Should pump be replaced?
Is the water quality causing the water heater and or other items in the system to "go bad" at an abnormal rate?
Do I need filter? Softner? Combination of both?
How can I get a good test done of my water? and should it be done at the well and at the tap?
As far as I know there are no major problems with the water table in the area.
Many Thanks in Advance!!!
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Old 01-28-02, 03:45 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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1. If your water pressure is o.k., there is no need to replace the pump just because the outside of it is rusty.
2. The blue-green from your copper pipes is caused by high acidity level in your water. You need to get a water neutralizer system that will lower the pH to 7. And yes, acidic water will do mischief to your water heater, pipes and fixtures over time. Depending upon the hardness, you also may need a water softener.
3. Get your water tested for hardness and pH by your local Health Department or a water conditioning company. There may be a nominal testing fee, but you'll know what you need to get to resolve the water quality issues. Water samples are taken at the taps.
4. Your water heater may have a bad element, thermostat or dip tube. If an element or tstat goes bad, I always replace both elements or tstats at the same time (although usually lower one goes first, since it is used more). Start by turning OFF the breaker to your heater (assuming that it's electric), and test the elements with an ohm meter for continuity. If it reads below 9, replace both elements.
5. The banging sound is either caused by a faulty rubber washer on the hot water side, or a loose pipe doing its water hammer thing. Check the faucet washer first, and replace if necessary. If you can get to the pipe, see if you can wedge or clamp it to a structural member better.
Hope this helps you get started. One of the pros (I'm not one) in here (Plumber 2000 or toiletjockey, etc.) can give you more info.
Good Luck!

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