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Thread: Black stuff and now...

  1. #1

    Question Black stuff and now...



    About a week ago I started finding my faucets clogged with some black stuff. It was also in the Cold Water line on the Washing Machine. (More in a second on this) This stuff is really more fibrous than greasy, and has virtually no odor.

    Sunday afternoon we were out in the back yard near the pump and noticed it was running continually. So we run inside thinking the kids had left something on or we had a burst pipe. Nothing. Since I had replaced the Pressure Switch last year, I decided to check it and it appeared to be burnt. So I ran to Home Depot, bought a new one, and an hour later the new switch was installed but the pump still ran continually when I turned the power back on.

    Now, the only distinction here with this "run" and the "typical run", is that this one is MUCH quieter than the typical "HIT" we normally get when someone has flushed a toilet or has the Washing Machine going. And it is continuous. If you have a pump you know the sound or action when the pressure has dropped and activates the switch. This one is different. It's more like a "sewing machine" on a steady "purr".

    Finally, I get up this morning to no hot water. Now up until this point NONE of the hot water items have had any of the black stuff in them. However, they have been the ones that have held the best pressure and flow. My wife has been able to wash things that require HOT because those lines have remained clean. So my shower had, I would say, just little less than normal Pressure, but was TOTALY void of any heat.


    Any Theories Guys? I have a few but would like to hear some experienced voices.

    Thanks

    P.S. Wife just called me after talking to a Well/Pump company, and their theory at this point (without inspection) is that there is a leak in the Drop Pipe. What do ya'll think?

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I see I'm way late for a timely reply but for future use by others... Yes you have a leak between the submersible pump in the well and its pressure switch on the pressure tank. There is no other possiblity, the only reason for you to question this troublshooting is due to you not undetstanding how your water system works... guys that work on wells do know. And the pump will have to be pulled and hopefully the pump won't drop off the drop pipe if the leak is at a fitting.

    Switches rarely fail to open or close and yours was closed which is the only way the pump gets power. The pump was running because the water pressure was insufficient to shut off the power to the pump which is done by raising the pressure to the cut off setting of the switch. You heard water running in the well or the pump running and knew to check for a fixture open in the house. And now you question the well guy... lol yeah I know, you don't want the pump pulled and the cost of it but the electric bill you haven't received yet may show you the error of that thinking.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

  3. #3

    Default Thanks for the response

    Gary,

    Thank you for the reply. What you have said is exactly right. There is however one more option on this scenario. As it turns out, the previous owners had kept the old Galvinized Tank when they upgraded to a submersible pump. Where this created a problem was that this type tank stays water logged and thereby causes the pump to have to do double duty. The pump was only 3yrs. old. What had happened was the impellers had worn down so much that the pump couldnt generate enough pressure so shut the switch off. This mimicked a broken lift pipe to a tee! Pump running continualy with no visible water leak!

    So as you say, for those to come along later with these same questions, here are some good real life examples.

    Thanks again,

    Kent

    p.s. Still havent identified the black fiberous gunk. It almost looks and acts "automotive" in nature. Leads me to believe it may be some of the pump workings. Impeller shreds maybe? Oh well, $900.00 later we are back to life as usual. I am going to replace the tank myself next week.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    The black could be bacteria like manganese reducing or iron reduciing types. Any odor in your water on either cold or hot side or both? Check the toilet tanks for and oily film on the water, a snotty jelly like substance at the water line and then flush and wipe the palm of your hand on the side of the tank from the water line down. What do you find? Snotty stringy jelly like in any color says bacteria.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates

  5. #5

    Talking My nose is clean bro!

    Yeah, none of that stuff at all. Here again is why I am making the "automotive/mechanical" call. There is no odor, no slime, no gelatinous type material. Inside of Flush Tank is just as coarse as the day it was fired. The "black stuff" is all but gone now. It took about three(3) days for it to run out and now we are good.

    oh well!

    Kent

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