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Thread: iron problems

  1. #16
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Calcite for an Acid Neutralizing filter is ofter available locally at much lower prices than available on the web. In my area the local Agway sells a 50 lb bag of Calcite for $15 while most web sources I am familiar with charge more than $50 for the same quanity--the difference is shipping. Local sellors typically don't deliver the product to the consumer while web sellers typically use UPS or similar services for shipping to the customers home.

  2. #17
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    Thanks to everyone for your advise, I am a electronic engineer by trade, not a plumber, but have learned a lot from this site. Not sure about the size of the pump, etc. I do have two baths. Also, thanks about the calcite.
    When I turned my water on this morning, had almost no pressure, did not look under the crawl space to make sure the pressure guage on the tank was showing pressure, but with a faucet open, and water trickling out of it, I closed the shut off valve that is in line with my cartridge filter and took the filter out and it was completly brown and looked clogged up, it is a charcoal, fine sediment filter that I picked up a lowes.
    Put a regualar type filter in and turned the shut off valve on and had pressure, so hoping it was just the fact that the filter was clogged, just not quite so sure why i only had a trickle of water when I turned on the water, wish I had checked the pressure on the tank first. Could it have been because the filter was so clogged up with what I think looks more like brown rust instead of Iron and had sit all night that it would just not let any water pass through.
    I will be going out of town for a couple of weeks to work and hoping nothing major could have happened to anything by shocking the well like I did, do really hope it was just a stopped up filter.
    Still planning on taking the pressure switch off when I get back in town and make sure the nipple is not clogged, but yesterday the tanks appeared to be turning off and on like it should have, when I watched it, it was a little over 50lbs and had to dropp down to about 30, which seemed like it took about a minute or two to drop down to the 30 and then I could hear the contacts close and the pump turn on, so thinking the nipple is not clogged.
    Will check my water first thing in the morning again after it has been turned off all night. The filter I put in this morning is a reqular sediment type cartridge filter and have used the water today and it has a slight light brown tent.

  3. #18
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    Just a note, was talking to my neighbor up the road this morning, who is a retired plumber and he was impressed that I could now run a glass with water and the filter I have on is not a red tent, just from doing a chlorine shock to the well, he kept saying that putting the chlorine tablets in would not do anything because the water in my well does not stay there, that it comes in and out constantly. He still has a hard time understanding how shocking cleared up my water so good, he almost got upset with me when I told him that I plan on still putting in a iron type filter but wanted to make sure that I killed as much of the iron bacteria as possibe until I got around to it. In our conversation he said that just a few months ago he had to replace the pump in his well. I asked him was it coated with the red iron like mine was about a year ago and he said it was, that was when I told him that I thought it failed sooner than it should have due to the iron bacteria and if he had shocked his well with chlorine maybe once a year it would not have failed, now that was when he did get upset.
    Is he just too old school to understand?
    Thanks

  4. #19
    In the Trades Wally Hays's Avatar
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    yea maybe. There is a difference between iron bacteria though and ferric/ferrous iron. Iron bacteria generally shows itself as a black slime in the back of your toilet tank. It can be controlled with either chlorine injection or hydrogen peroxide. That "red" staining iron however needs to be taken care of either with a sofetner ( if the level is not too high) or a birm or greensand filter. I am pretty sure your loss of pressure ws from the clogged filter. If it's been that bad the little line or pipe that goes to your pressure switch may fill up with crap also and prevent the switch from feeling the pressure. You can spin it off and flush it out.
    Perception is 3/4 of reality

  5. #20
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Rihorton, if you are leaving home for a couple weeks leaving SWYLAMO home alone, you should remove that cartridge filter from the housing before you leave or she may be out of water some morning and will be calling you or some more handsome handyguy, or the old guy plumber that's already upset with you in to change it for her that evening; while you are living out of a suit case or kit bag a few thousand miles away. Either way, none of that is good.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Rihorton, if you are leaving home for a couple weeks leaving SWYLAMO home alone, you should remove that cartridge filter from the housing before you leave or she may be out of water some morning and will be calling you or some more handsome handyguy, or the old guy plumber that's already upset with you in to change it for her that evening; while you are living out of a suit case or kit bag a few thousand miles away. Either way, none of that is good.
    Oh man, this site is great, i making sure she has a good supply of them before I leave and have taught her how to replace them, actually she changes it every week, i learned that it may be best that she know how, just so the old plumber want have a chance to service anything while I am gone.
    Getting back to the old plumber, think he has changed his mind, I showed him a glass of what was coming straight out of the tank with no cartridge filter and then showed him what it look like now, and believe it or not, he said he might should do his well even though he has a what he refers to as a 2000 filter system, that you can tell he is proud of.
    What really made hime change I mind was when i asked what did his pump look like that he changes out a few weeks ago and he said, yea, you right, it was coated with iron.

  7. #22
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Shocking a well is at best a temporary 'fix'. And it can cause serious problems with the pump, the drop pipe, the power cable, the water quality etc.. So it should not be done very frequently because it can actually make a bacteria problem worse because they will cause incrustations that chlorine can not penetrate. Thne you get into well cleaning and rehabilitation if you can find anyone to do it and have the money to do it.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  8. #23

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    rihorton
    I think your problem is more on the sediment side than the iron. I have a friend the lives in Waxsaw, NC. He has the red dirt that I believe you are talking about. The filter you are changing out should last longer with .28 iron than yours is. You may want to investigate an auto sediment filter more than an iron filter.

  9. #24
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    As long as the pump, assuming under 1.5 hp, stays off for 60 seconds for proper cooling of the motor before the pump starts again, you're fine.
    This information is simply wrong. The poster clearly doesn't understand electric motors and what contributes to heat build up in the motors. Well pump motors are designed for continuous operation and there is no need for an off time for "proper cooling of the motor before the pump starts again".

    However there is a minimum recommended run time for a well pump. Because of the high starting currents associated with electric motors it is recommended that well pump motors should run a minimum of one minute to dissipate heat build up from starting current.
    Last edited by Bob999; 04-04-2010 at 07:50 AM. Reason: insert omitted word

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Wolverton View Post
    rihorton
    I think your problem is more on the sediment side than the iron. I have a friend the lives in Waxsaw, NC. He has the red dirt that I believe you are talking about. The filter you are changing out should last longer with .28 iron than yours is. You may want to investigate an auto sediment filter more than an iron filter.
    Thanks for reply, I thought it was as well, but now only using a cheap chartridge filter that I got at Lowes since doing the chlorine shock treatment, and after using it yesterday and even watering a area about 150 ft long and 8 ft wide for about and hour with the cartridge filter in, the filter is only a slight brown color and the back of the toilets which turned brown after the chlorine was done are not clear and the walls white, they where reddish orange, but after the chlorine all of the red had turned brown and appeared to look like fine brown sand, which from what I can tell is what I have read on this site and others happens to the Iron after it has been shocked with the chlorine.

  11. #26
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    What lab or test has the iron at the .28ppm?

    Some thing does not sound right ... that low of iron should not be causing so many challenges.

    The total number of starts on a pump what is getting talked about, normally for a home that topic does not come up, it is more for light and heavy commerical usage of the pump.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    What lab or test has the iron at the .28ppm?

    Some thing does not sound right ... that low of iron should not be causing so many challenges.

    The total number of starts on a pump what is getting talked about, normally for a home that topic does not come up, it is more for light and heavy commerical usage of the pump.
    I went to the local plumbing supply and got a kit to send off a sample of my water and it was sent to CUNO and the results came back as
    Iron .28 PPM.
    The questions about the on/off time was something that I asked because I was curious about how often you would expect to hear the pump cycle on/off because I do not know.
    The only thing I can think of is that the iron had gone untreated for as long as I have lived here (27 years). Still looking into the gettting a iron filter, not sure how long the shock treatment will last, but as of now the water is as clear as i can ever remember seeing it with just a cartridge filter.

  13. #28
    In the Trades Akpsdvan's Avatar
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    Even if the Iron has always been at the .28ppm for all this time, there should not have been the challenge as large as it is...

    I would find another test ... box store might have a little kit that has iron and hardness and ph in it..

    I know any number of people that use a filter to remove or reduce the iron that they have, but they are using a filter that is 4"X10" or 2 like that with a coupler, or even a 4"x20" often the filter housing is called a Big Blue..

    For me there is just some thing not right with that number of .28ppm and the challenges that you are talking about or seeing... they are not fitting...

  14. #29
    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akpsdvan View Post
    For me there is just some thing not right with that number of .28ppm and the challenges that you are talking about or seeing... they are not fitting...
    A possibility is that the iron test is resonably accurate but that there is also a silt problem. I think this is what Skip is suggesting. In any event I think the poster should take action to treat the acid water. A calcite AN filter will effectively remove a fair amount of silt, it will help with iron, and it will neutralize the acidic water. As you suggested early in the thread the poster then can reevaluate after operating the system for a period of time with the AN filter in place to see if further treatment is necessary.

    If there is both silt and iron then the backwash setup and frequency will be very important.

  15. #30
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Gary Slusser As long as the pump, assuming under 1.5 hp, stays off for 60 seconds for proper cooling of the motor before the pump starts again, you're fine.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob999 View Post
    This information is simply wrong. The poster clearly doesn't understand electric motors and what contributes to heat build up in the motors. Well pump motors are designed for continuous operation and there is no need for an off time for "proper cooling of the motor before the pump starts again".

    However there is a minimum recommended run time for a well pump. Because of the high starting currents associated with electric motors it is recommended that well pump motors should run a minimum of one minute to dissipate heat build up from starting current.
    Bob, are you saying that shutting off a pump doesn't cool it?

    Starting the pump causes heat build up. Historically pump manufactures have called for pumps up to 1.5 hp to be on or off for a minimum of 60 seconds before they are started again. This minimum time is used to size well pressure tanks so that the tank's draw down gallons are sufficient to provide that minimum 60 seconds off or on between pump starts. All pump manufacturers say that frequent starts are the prime killer of pump motors.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I think starting a motor builds heat and running that motor also builds heat, especially when the motor has no air or water flow through or past it.

    And the only way for complete cooling is to shut the motor off until it cools down to the temp of the air or water around it.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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