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Thread: Air in water or lines?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Park Hills MO

    Question Air in water or lines?

    We have some definite air issues with our water. When you turn the hot water on it sputters and spits with enough force to knock whatever vessel you are holding out of your hand sometimes. But I have also noticed that we seem to have a lot of air in our water. (i.e. a glass of cold water will appear milky for several seconds until it clears.) At any rate the air in the water/lines is causing our water softener not to work. The technician says that the air is knocking some kind of float ball out of place and the problem can't be solved until the air is taken out of the water. We have extremely hard well water and I really want my softener back. I have read that sometimes heat can create a chemical reaction in some well water and create air. How do I determine what the problem is?

  2. #2
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    S. Maine


    If you have a well and a well tank, I would start by checking the tank pressure. With the pump off and the pressure drained the tank pressure needs to be 2lbs less than the cut in pressure.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Wherever I park the motorhome.


    Check the water heater doesn't have an element stuck because of a bad thermostat overheating the water.

    Take the faucet tip aerator off the kitchen sink faucet without losing any parts and then see if you still have air bubbles/gray in the cold water; aerators add air bubbles.

    If the water is clear and bubble free, I don't see air coming in from the well. I then would suspect methane, a clear odorless and tasteless gas that comes out of solution as water is heated.

    You can test for it by taking like a 2 liter soda bottle and fill it half full of cold water, cap it tight and shake it very hard for 10-15 seconds and have someone light a match or lighter as you/they uncap the bottle and squeeze the bottle so the air comes out of it through the flame. If the air ignites, you have methane.

    Also, run water until the pump comes on and shut off the water. When the pump shuts off, watch the pressure gauge for 5 minutes or more and see if the pressure falls.

    If so you have a leak somewhere so shut off the water past the pressure tank (house side) and watch for 10-15 minutes and see if the pressure still falls.

    If so, then you have a leak on the well side of the pressure tank; probably in the drop pipe going down the well above the water level in the well.

    Let us know what you find.

    I forgot about the water softener.

    If you have air bubbles in the cold water after removing the aerator, by pass the softener and see if you stiil have air bubbles then.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 10-09-2009 at 11:51 AM.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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