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Thread: Galvanized drop pipe causing iron issues?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member TJanak's Avatar
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    Default Galvanized drop pipe causing iron issues?

    Bought a house last Feb. that was built in 1965. The original steel cased well was plugged and a new PVC cased well was put in sometime before we bought the house (at least 10 years prior). They used galvanized drop pipe to the sub pump. We have iron stains on porcelain fixtures in the house, sinks, on the shower heads, and a solid orange coating in the old toilet tanks. When I shocked the well with chlorine a while back I got some pretty cool blood red water for a while.

    How do I know if the iron is present in the water or could it actually be caused by the galv. drop pipe? Reading another thread in this forum got me to thinking because they replaced galv. with PVC and corrected an iron/rust problem. I could test the water but it runs through the pipe. It doesn't seem to me like that is enough time to pick up enough iron but I don't know.

    I would guess the well is 100' or slightly deeper based on surrounding wells.

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Rust is ferric red water iron and an iron test tests for ferrous clear water iron which is dissolved into the water. Run water for a few minutes to get the pump to cycle 2-3 times and take a sample for testing or test for iron. Unless the water is discolored you don't have ferric iron in the sample. Your galvanized could be adding iron to the water but very little compared to the amount in the water recovering the well.

    For the galvanized to be adding iron to the water, the water will have to sit in the pipe for hours. Unless you have acidic water and the outside of the pipe is all rusted.
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  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member David Alan's Avatar
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    TJanak,

    Our rusting galvanized pipe - 220 feet of it, was replaced by PVC Sch 80. The pipe was in the well 11 years approx. We changed out the pump in 2003, and were shocked how much rust fell off the pipe on the ground just from unthreading them.

    The well guy back then said: 'ya got rust in your sediment filter & a bit in your toilet tank ?' Not a ton, but a noticable amount. Fill a tub for a bath and it was definietly tinged yellow / red.

    He said, that will go away slowly once you pump things out good.

    He was right, it got way better. In 4 months, we could go nearly double the time on our sediment filter, and it wasn't dark red anymore.

    If your water had excessive iron content, besides the effect of the rusting galv pipe, that won't change.

    Best wishes,

    David Alan

    BTW, where is Victoria TX ? We're in Nacogdoches 140 miles north of Houston. The well story was from Riverside County, CA
    Last edited by David Alan; 12-23-2009 at 08:57 PM. Reason: xx

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    DIY Senior Member TJanak's Avatar
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    David,

    Victoria is about 120 miles southwest of Houston on 59.

    The water only appears to be slightly off color when it sits unused over the weekend and then it is only when you first turn on a faucet. It clears up quickly.

    If it is ferrous iron, what are some remedies? We are putting in all new fixtures in the house and it would be nice if we could avoid the red stains on the new sinks, tubs, etc. I guess softeners don't remove much iron? (we have on)

    We also get an off smell (I guess sulfur type smell, used to it by now) that is stronger in the hot than cold and also strongest when the faucet it first turned on after being off for a while. I guess the chlorination cleared it up for a while but it came back. Is this iron bacteria or sulfur bacteria or what?

    Thanks for all of the help!

  5. #5
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    What Gary said. Galv pipe does not help the iron problem, but it's not the problem. However, if you have a big iron issue I would get rid of the galvanized drop pipe because it will close up on you faster than PE will.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member David Alan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    What Gary said. Galv pipe does not help the iron problem, but it's not the problem. However, if you have a big iron issue I would get rid of the galvanized drop pipe because it will close up on you faster than PE will.
    Exactly my situation. Our neighbors well was 150' deep, ours was 300' - they had a bad iron problem, we did not. Except from that rusting galv pipe.

    Looking at it, a significant amount of thickness was gone off of it - at least 35% crumbling off - it probably perforated at some point - and that leaking helped wear out the pump. $$$

    As to treatment, It sure looks like Gary & others here can advise......

    wish you well,

    DA

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