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Thread: Iron staining, Sulfur smell, water options

  1. #16
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    Gary, half a gallon of bleach per 100' of well? Are you SERIOUSLY giving out this advice on a public forum, with no other guidance? I sincerely hope no one pays you any attention, without doing some research themselves. Your advice does not take into account the diameter of a well, therefore no accounting for how many gallons of water, and of course no thought is given to PPM of bleach. How about you give some specific numbers before you cause an innocent viewer to damage something?
    Yes I should have mentioned that was for a 6" well. But I did give specific "guidance" but I didn't say that if the smell of bleach at the boiler drain wasn't all that strong to add more bleach to the well; I thought that would be understood....

    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    The numbers you gave would be about right for a 6" well, but it would be shy of the 200 PPM mark typically used in sanitizing. 4.41 pints for a 100' deep 6" well would actually be closer to the mark.
    Ya see the difference between you'n me, I have shocked hundreds of wells and had many more people do it them selves per my instructions, and this is not the first time I;'ve posted them online, but I doubt you have shocked many wells.

    I did this under DEP, VHA and FHA oversight for Coliform and E-coli bacteria remediation for both private and commercial wells.

    Quote Originally Posted by F6Hawk View Post
    For anyone reading this who wants to sanitize their well, I suggest reading this: http://msucares.com/pubs/publications/p1865.htm or other sources which set forth correct amounts of chlorine to use for disinfecting your well.
    BTW, if you want to play around following what a university says about PPM, lol I wish you would and get back telling us how well you did. You know they don't go out and shock any wells, they simply reformat and reprint what someone in the government has said right?

    Do they mention anything about a minimum PPM of FREE chlorine or just total chlorine? I'm thinking you don't know the importance of that slight but serious difference. I can tell you from years of actually shocking wells for customers that a shotgun approach is much better than Olympic target rifle accuracy at a 1000 meters.

    And last but not least, how much water was in the 6" well that you used to be able to know the PPM and number of pints for this reply? I ask because you question me about the depth of the well. What I said was a half gallon per 100' of WATER IN THE WELL so I did mention the volume of water.

    I guess you think the whole well is full of water and it's all usable? It's not because all the water below the pump inlet is unusable. And bleach being heavier than water sinks to the bottom of the well. Do the college or government guys mention that or using the garden hose? The last I looked they didn't.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    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.

  2. #17
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Jordan View Post
    Per this website I should use about 2.25 gallons of bleach in my well to chlorinate it. I have traditionally used ~1 gallon. This could be part of the reason why I can never get rid of some of my problems, if in fact it is a bacteriological problem.

    Our well is 380 feet deep, 6" casing. That website says I have 559 gallons of water. I need about 18 pints, or 288 ounces of bleach. Which is right at 2.25 gallons.
    Unless you told them your static water level, that's how far down to the surface of the water in your well, they or no one else can tell you how much water is in your 6" well (1.47 gal/ft of water); unless they incorrectly assume it is full of water. Your usable water is from the static water level to the pump inlet. But... my experience in shocking 6" wells (and your ongoing problem) says you need more than the gallon you've been using.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Jordan View Post
    I may try that this weekend to see what the long term effect is, since in all my previous attempts to chlorinate the well I have either used a pool chlorine tab or 1 gallon of bleach.

    I turned my water heater up to 150F last night for 10 hours to see if it would remove the sulfur smell, from internet research, if it is bacteriological that should kill the bacteria and greatly reduce the smell? I let the hot water run for awhile this morning before my shower and I'm not sure the smell decreased at all. Is this further indication it may just be a sulfur gas problem rather than a bacteria problem?
    Good idea and, yes, bacteria would be killed at 140f or higher if exposed to it for an hour or so. H2S would not be affected. An actual measurement of the temp of the water is the only way to know if you get to 140f or higher.
    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.

  3. #18
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    One method prescribed for recurring well bacteria, is to "overload" the well. It involves pumping about 500 gallons into a storage tank, then chlorinate both the water in the storage tank and the well before pumping it back into the well. The idea is that the bacteria may get established in the aquifer and simply chlorinating the water in the well will not reach far enough into the aquifer.

    Bacteria can also get established in the plastic supply lines in the home. The usual symptom of that is a strong smell when the tap is first turned on after not having used it for a while but then diminishes.
    That's called surging a well and surging will work in rock bore wells but not very well in a screened sand and gravel well. Surging doesn't use a pump to add the water to the well, you use a bailer on a derrick/hoist truck or air lift using a very high output air compressor with a line to the bottom of the well. Both lift a/the column of water and suddenly drop it back into the well. Pumping the water into the well isn't going to force much water out of the well very quickly or far.

    A puff of odor at first water use after it has not been used for hours is usually due to odor producing gas in the water rising in the plumbing system to the highest points overtime.
    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.

  4. #19
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mariner View Post
    I have just been reading this thread and thought I might make a comment.
    I too, am on a well which is 350 ft deep. The well was already installed when I bought this proerty seven years ago (older home about 1965'ish). I have both water filters and a water softener.

    My cold water smells yet my hot water does not smell. The hoses to the washing machine show a marked difference - the hot water hose inlet is clean and stain free. The cold water hose inlet has rust stains and the water smells.

    I am thinking that in my situation has the water temperature affecting the outcome.

    My system has two water filters - 5 micron before the water softener and 1 micron filter after the softener. The water tastes great and there is no staining of the laundry.

    Of the two bathrooms I have, one toilet has mineral deposits inside the bowl (only five years old) and the other toilet has none and is over twenty years old. I think the toilet bowl staining has something to do with the porcelain glazed surface, other wise both toilet bowls should have the mineral staining/deposits.

    I know this doesn't directly relate to the original post, but there are similarities and therefore, should be of interest.

    Thanks

    mariner
    Rust stains say the softener isn't removing all the iron. That may be due to the prefilter you have in front of it reducing the flow to the softener. That and the other disposable cartridge will not remove iron, just particles. Remove the cartridge in the prefilter and replace the one after the softener with a carbon/GAC cartridge and see if the odor doesn't go away. If it does you probably have H2S.

    I'd leave the prefilter cartridge out. I'd also run some Iron Out or Super IO through the softener.
    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.

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member Bobby Jordan's Avatar
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    I have contacted a few online resellers and all of them have told me I need to add chlorine injection. I'm still skeptical of chlorine.

    Could a properly sized water softener and a properly sized backwashing carbon filter (not a disposable) potentially solve my problems? Wouldn't the water softener remove the small amount of iron and the carbon filter remove the H2S gas, if it is gas?

    Worst case scenario I see is that this doesn't solve the problem, then I probably have to add a chlorinator at that point anyway? But if I go the softener/carbon filter route and it works, I might save $1000 not having to add chlorine injection/a holding tank.
    Last edited by Bobby Jordan; 08-09-2012 at 09:59 AM.

  6. #21
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Yeah I know, if if if..... If you wanted to grow bacteria, carbon is an excellent medium to do that in.

    If you need to use a disinfection, instead of a solution feeder/injection system, check out the dry pellet erosion chlorinator and the mixing/retention tank at the link below and if you call them mention my name;
    http://www.apwinc.com/chemfeeder.html

    I suggest a back washed Centaur carbon filter.
    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.

  7. #22
    DIY Junior Member Bobby Jordan's Avatar
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    I don't want to grow bacteria, but I also don't want to buy a chlorinator if it is not necessary You seem to imply I shouldn't use carbon, or that carbon should only be used in conjunction with chlorine? That makes sense if there is a bacteria problem, and I will test for bacteria if I go that route to make sure there are none. Maybe another issue is that with well water you cannot completely kill off all the bacteria as they could be in the aquifer itself? I don't know the answer to that question.

  8. #23
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    I know. lol

    I treated a lot of water just like yours for many years and dealt with many guys with your type of thinking which is normal.

    By the time you pay for those tests you mentioned, you'll probably have a couple hundred dollars less... And I say there is only one fool proof way to go, and that's to use chlorination/filtration from the beginning.

    Otherwise there are no guarantees except you may have to go to chlorination later if you don't go with it now and by them you may need new carbon.

    So shock your well again my way and go from there.
    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.

  9. #24
    DIY Senior Member F6Hawk's Avatar
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    Yes, I understand how to subtract the static water level from the well depth, and I know you do too, so I didn't use the proper words of water column height vs. well depth. Sorry.

    I don't think the site I quoted mentioned the hose method, but several other sites on how to shock a well do. And I agree with you that more chlorine is better than not enough, at least to a point... it's easy to get TOO much and potentially harm parts in the system. So knowing what the correct amount of chlorine to use, and using at least that much or a little more is pretty important, I'd wager. But getting less than required may just waste time, eh?

  10. #25
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    That's called surging a well...
    No, I'm not talking about surging.

    Only in Canada you say?

    http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/deptdocs.nsf/all/wwg411/
    To accomplish this, a large volume of chlorinated water is siphoned down the well to displace all the water in the well and some of the water in the formation surrounding the well.
    Last edited by LLigetfa; 08-09-2012 at 07:41 PM. Reason: typo

  11. #26
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I know. lol

    I treated a lot of water just like yours for many years and dealt with many guys with your type of thinking which is normal.

    By the time you pay for those tests you mentioned, you'll probably have a couple hundred dollars less... And I say there is only one fool proof way to go, and that's to use chlorination/filtration from the beginning.

    Otherwise there are no guarantees except you may have to go to chlorination later if you don't go with it now and by them you may need new carbon.

    So shock your well again my way and go from there.


    I agree with Gary's assessment here.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  12. #27
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Chlorine damages 'stuff' and it doesn't matter much if more than needed is used but I'd like you to tell us how anyone, especially at a university or with the government, can say how much is correct for anyone's well without knowing the chlorine demand of the water and without using FREE chlorine instead of total chlorine content.

    BTW, when I first started posting on the internet in Jan 1997 in Usenet Newsgroups (now Google Groups) and then on forums, I had been shocking wells for about 10 years, and no one but me was using the hose down the well (or smelling for chlorine at the faucets etc. etc.). As time went by I saw more and more guys saying to use it but no government or university types suggesting it. That's because they don't have to live with the results of doing it their way and especially for customers.
    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.

  13. #28
    DIY Senior Member lifespeed's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add that ozone is a very powerful oxidizer and disinfectant, and superior to chlorine in many ways for the OP's problem.

  14. #29
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    And I'll add that although that is true, and ozone works much faster than any other disinfectant but... ozone is difficult to get to work and very expensive. Thereby it is not very popular.

    Part of the problem with ozone is that the manufacturers of ozone equipment haven't established a minimum volume that all ozone generators should produce. And there are two very different means to produce ozone. And in most of the country an air dryer is required because you can't produce much ozone using humid air. Air dryers cause increased and expensive maintenance and cost of operation.
    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.

  15. #30
    DIY Junior Member Bobby Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    I treated a lot of water just like yours for many years and dealt with many guys with your type of thinking which is normal.

    By the time you pay for those tests you mentioned, you'll probably have a couple hundred dollars less... And I say there is only one fool proof way to go, and that's to use chlorination/filtration from the beginning.
    I agree the tests do end up adding up. I think I'm already up to 50-60 or so in home tests. If I have a lab do the bacteria it will be another 70-100 on top of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    Yeah I know, if if if..... If you wanted to grow bacteria, carbon is an excellent medium to do that in.

    If you need to use a disinfection, instead of a solution feeder/injection system, check out the dry pellet erosion chlorinator and the mixing/retention tank at the link below and if you call them mention my name;
    http://www.apwinc.com/chemfeeder.html

    I suggest a back washed Centaur carbon filter.
    How does that unit work since it doesn't have a pump? Does it use the flow of the water to meter how much of the chlorine is put in water? Do you have to buy proprietary chlorine tablets to work with that unit?

    What are the chances a chlorine injector will work without a retention tank? I'm thinking of space issues in terms of laying things out. I'm going to go home today and measure out the area to see how much room I have to set things up.

    I think I'm going to shock the well again with ~2 gallons of bleach this weekend too.

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