Putting bleach in my well...

Old 07-07-10, 08:41 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 341
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Putting bleach in my well...

Hello, I have sulfer smelling water and always have. A few years ago I had a new well pump installed. The installer suggested since the pump was new to dump a gallon of bleach down the well. Here's what I don't remember. For some reason he had me dump like a 5 gal. bucket or 2 of water after the bleach. Why would I dump water after the bleach? How much water should I dump behind the bleach? Thanks as always! Jack
Old 07-07-10, 01:04 PM
shacko's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Baltimore County Maryland
Posts: 2,137
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Shocking Well

I never did it that way. All I did was to use maybe 2gal. bleach, dump it into the casing splashing it around the casing itself, go into the house and run the water in each fixture until you smell bleach, shut it off, let it set for a couple of hours, and then flush it out.

If you go to a pool supply you can buy a kit that will tell you when the water is safe to drink.
Old 07-07-10, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 381
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
dump your bleach in the well, run your garden hose back into the well and run it for 30 min..this will mix the water and the bleach in your casing..then run each tap in the house till you smell bleach...after you have done this run the garden hose again untill the bleach smell is gone then do each tap again till you smell no more bleach

don't run the bleached water on your garden or lawn it may be strong enough to kill your plants and grass
Old 07-07-10, 05:58 PM
Vey is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Mid-Florida
Posts: 1,343
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
These amounts (gallons) are mighty high. Most people talk about it bleach in cups. In fact, some would say that you guys are polluting the ground water with that much bleach.

The important part seems to have been lost . . . that point being to leave it in there for at least 24 hours, THEN using the pump to pump the bleach and the water for several hours.
Old 07-08-10, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 381
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
shock your well

google "shock your well with bleach' you will get your answers, however a sulphur smell in your well usually means you have sulphur water and bleaching it will only be short lived. your water may well be safe to drink itis just sulphur water and if you don't like the smell or the taste you need to buy some sort of filtering system to remove the sulphur. and the last poster was right (i forgot that important part) if you are bleaching yoru well you need to mix the bleach in the csing by running your garden hose into the well and "stirring" the water then let it sit for a day or two before flushing the system

google as i said and you will get a good explanation
Old 07-11-10, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: MN
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts

Why Well Water Smells Bad - University of Minnesota Extension

Here is the website to visit. It explains why you normally have the sulfur smell, has links to pages that explain how to apply the bleach, charts to determine how much bleach based on diameter and depth of water column. I used these instructions at our cabin and it worked well. In your case you may have to do this procedure several times since it sounds like a prolonged problem.

One problem we came across was our hot water heater. The bacteria that causes the smell grows more vigorously in warm/hot water. Be sure to get a good concentration of bleach in there.

Another problem we came across was when pouring the water and bleach down the well we washed sediment from the casing (i.e. rust) into the well which clogged many of our Fixtures because we didn't have a sediment filter. (360 foot deep well through solid granite doesnt get much sediment)

I would suggest adding one before you do this procedure as you will have to (or at least should) re-chlorinate the system whenever you do any plumbing work.

And as the website I gave you says, dont use too much chlorine, it will corrode your cast iron well casing at a rapid rate.

Good luck, you just may need it. Beer 4U2
Old 07-12-10, 10:16 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 341
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks all! I appreciate your help!
Old 01-21-11, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 88
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
shocking the well

I know I am late to the party with this comment but thought I would add if someone searches on this topic as I just did. My well pump got replaced yesterday and the installer used a granule chlorine product to "shock" the well. Granules seem like a better way to go from the standpoint of the ease of introducing them to the well and not having to worry about rinsing off the inside walls of the casing like when using liquid bleach.
Old 01-21-11, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 40
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
He probably told you to run water down behind the bleach to wash it off any exposed pumping equipment. In my area, there are lots of snappy pitless adapters, and if you don't wash bleach off, it can/will severely corrode the release cable and the female threads that you screw in to to lift. We also have lots of sulfur around here and get fairly consistent good results with a micronizer (air injector) and a galvanized tank (no bladder). We've also had good luck with whole house carbon filters, but you have to change them. Bleach works great as well, but is a temporary fix unless you use a direct injection pump.
Old 01-21-11, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,652
Received 85 Votes on 79 Posts
hi folks -

I'll need to chlorinate my well this spring so I looked into this a while ago and found the same procedure described in many government and university sites - they say re-circulate the bleach water for hours? That blows my mind. Guess your pump would just run for hours without stop? Why do they say run for hours? That scares me! But I've seen it in many places. Maybe I misunderstand the procedure? Here is one example, an excerpt from the Minnesota Department of Health on shocking the well:

“ … STEP 6 - Recirculating chlorinated water

Recirculating the chlorinated water mixes the water column thoroughly
and distributes the chlorine. It helps to wash down the inside sidewalls of
the well casing, pump wires, and drop pipe.

►Turn on the power to the pump.

►Connect a clean garden hose to a nearby yard hydrant or an
outside faucet. Run the water out of the hose in an area away from
the well for approximately 10 minutes until the water runs clear.
You may notice that the water coming from the garden hose turns red,
yellow, or brown. This is due to the chlorinated water precipitating iron
from the water.

The chlorinated water may also dislodge scale or rust
from the sides of the well casing. Scale, iron, manganese, or other
precipitated minerals may form when the chlorine is added to the system.
These solids can cause clogging of faucet aerators, valves, water
solenoids, and equipment using filters. Run the water out on the ground
until the water runs clear. Additional chlorine solution may need to be
added to the well.

Do not run discolored water through the household plumbing, and do
not run it into a septic system. Since a strong chlorine solution may
harm vegetation, dispose of the chlorinated water away from
sensitive plants. Do not discharge water into a lake or stream as this
may harm aquatic life.

When the water coming from the garden hose is relatively clear,
turn the water off, place the garden hose into the top of the well
casing and run water into the well. After the chlorine smell is first
detected from the garden hose, recirculate the water back into the
well for about two hours.
You can use chlorine test papers, such as
those commonly used to check the chlorine in swimming pools, to
provide a visual indication that chlorine is present.

Turn off the power to the pump. Remove the garden hose from the
well casing and replace the well cap or threaded plug in the well seal.

Turn on the power to the pump. Run chlorinated water through
the entire plumbing system by running water to each fixture* one at a
time until you smell bleach (or use chlorine test papers available at
pool supply businesses) and then close the fixture. Do this for each…”

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: