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Thread: Submersible pump results is more sediment?

  1. #16
    DIY Member mariner's Avatar
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    Just a thought - is it possible that your breaker needs to be replaced too?
    I would change out that breaker for a new one just in case you end up chasing ghosts.

    When I bought my place a couple of years ago, just as the old people moved out the wife mentioned that when they tried to use a counter outlet for their microwave it tripped the breaker so they use ne in an adjoining room. I trid and sure enough the breaker tripped. Tired the appliance outlet on the stove and had no problems. Purchased new breaker and went to install it and found the wire connection loose!!!! This had caused current overload and the breaker to trip. I installed a new breaker and have not had a problem since. As a precaution I went through both breaker boxes checking the wiring connections and found several a bit loose.

    Because of what I found, I would hate to think you have bought a new pump when the breaker was faulty.

    HTH

    mariner

  2. #17
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mariner
    Just a thought - is it possible that your breaker needs to be replaced too?
    I was definitely open to that possibility, but my previous problem with that particular breaker tripping ultimately proved related to a hard-starting motor. Nevertheless, yes, I will certainly be watching that breaker.

    Quote Originally Posted by mariner
    ... found the wire connection loose!!!! This had caused current overload and the breaker to trip ... found several a bit loose.
    One of the old pros at a locally-owned hardware store with a pump shop also suggested that possibility just a few hours ago. He said one of my submerged connections could be bad and causing (only once, though) the breaker to trip ... and again, I will be watching to see whether that happens again. At the moment, however, I believe I have at least temporarily solved a problem that has yet to be identified ...

  3. #18
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    I need to go back through this thread and look again at what suggestions were made a few months ago, but my new pump is now working like it first did, and that is *much* differently than just a few hours ago.

    Along with what I have reported over in the CSV thread -- I have no explanation here -- my pump will now achieve 50 psi and stop and wait and restart for its next cycle while the kitchen, lavatory, tub and shower (a total of 4) faucets are all running wide open, both cold and hot ... and the only significantly-related thing I have done since yesterday is a chlorine-shock treatment. Something seems to have been restricting my flow or somehow holding my pump back, and I do not know any reason a chlorine treatment would fix that.

    I have two other things to mention here, but I do not know whether either is related:

    1) I have clear hoses connecting my pressure-accumulation tanks, and those hoses had been quite black on the inside until after today's treatment;

    2) I have removed the anode(?) rod from my water heater, and it was just about the nastiest-looking thing I have ever seen. This picture does not show this very well, but the rod had globs of something soft and nearly clear all over it ... kind of like globs of uncured silicone or something. What is that?!

    In any case, I need to do something about my well, but I have no idea what to do.
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    Last edited by leejosepho; 03-17-2007 at 06:20 PM.

  4. #19
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    The sludge is IRB (iron related bacteria). It forms the sludge and hard encrustations that will starve a pump for water ...

    Shocking the well will kill the bacteria but it is a temporary 'fix' and repeated shocking can cause more encrustation; especially on the well screen which reduces the production of the well.

    Then you do well cleaning/rehabilitation or drill a new well. In this case you could also use a pellet dropper on the well to constantly dose chlorine to prevent the bacteria from recolonizing the well and causing more problems later.
    Is there a difference between "repeated shocking" and "constantly dose chlorine" in relation to "can cause more encrustation"? I have just done another "shock" and purged the entire system, and now I am leaning toward some kind of "constant dose" system. However, I would first like to know what I might have to deal with later as far as caused-encrustation is concerned.

  5. #20
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho
    [My old pump's] intake screen [was] covered with red sludge and the outlet [was] slightly restricted by a hard build-up of something black.
    My question here is about that black scale. Some had built up inside the outlet of my old pump as well as inside my tank connection. Then, the insides of my vinyl hoses now connecting my tanks were also black until after yesterday's chlorine shock. So then, would a constant-dose chlorinator keep that black scale from building again, or am I possibly dealing with two kinds of black substances/sources here?

  6. #21
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Can anyone explain how a chlorine-shock treatment could take my system from this ...

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho
    I was just surprised [two days ago] to discover that with a main-floor shower running and a basement bathtub being filled at the same time, my pump can barely maintain 30 psi ...
    ... to this ...

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho
    ... my pump will now achieve 50 psi and stop and wait and restart for its next cycle while the kitchen, lavatory, tub and shower (a total of 4) faucets are all running wide open, both cold and hot ...
    ??

    That has me baffled.

  7. #22

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    I have a similar well and have cleaned it by adding a very high level of chlorine, raising the well cap a few inches and recirculating water down through the well for a few hours. Also made sure all fixtures were flushed with the chlorinated water. Down the hole the crud is red but once it sees light of day the staining is strictly black - oxidation?

    My pump makes 30 gpm+ so I suspect I am pulling the sludge daily - gave up on filters. Its an old all SS Grundfos that just won't quit. This is a rock well without any screen or lining so no issues of plugging up at least.

  8. #23
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raucina
    I have a similar well and have cleaned it by adding a very high level of chlorine, raising the well cap a few inches and recirculating water down through the well for a few hours. Also made sure all fixtures were flushed with the chlorinated water. Down the hole the crud is red but once it sees light of day the staining is strictly black - oxidation?
    Yes, that is exactly how I have been treating my well also, but I *think* I would (and maybe I would not) prefer a less-drastic and on-going treatment of whatever kind if it is not too difficult to get the chlorine or whatever back out of the water once it is inside the house. My overall thought there is about my wife or other family members who are not all that mechanically-inclined possibly having to one day deal with all of this in my absence.

    My experience with "black" (and seemingly two kinds) is the opposite of yours, however. My whole-house filters *sometimes* come out black, but then they soon turn to red while sitting there on the basement floor ... and the black scale I have elsewhere found inside various fittings has to be chipped away with a chisel.

  9. #24
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    The sludge is IRB (iron related bacteria). It forms the sludge and hard encrustations that will starve a pump for water ...
    I chlorine-shocked the well and let it set overnight when you first wrote that just before I had installed a new pump four months ago, and now last week the new pump's flow was again greatly restricted. So then, it would seem I either did not get rid of the bacteria back then, or that it might never go away ...

    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    I don't know if you are doomed to have Iron Bacteria or not. We have very little of it here. But where I have encountered it, chlorinating the well did away with it.
    Could it be possible that my bacteria problem has grown to a point that it has found its way back into the ground outside my well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    I suggest the air lift the driller suggested, and then shocking the well running highly chlorinated water through out the house to all fixtures after by-passing all water treatment equipment and then sanitizing any softener and/or backwashed or regenerated filter.

    Shocking the well will kill the bacteria but it is a temporary 'fix' and repeated shocking can cause more encrustation; especially on the well screen which reduces the production of the well.

    Then you do well cleaning/rehabilitation or drill a new well ...
    Would that cleaning/rehabilitation be the air lift I did not have done four months ago? The thing I am trying to do here is to come up with a better plan than what I did last time. The well is now about 15 years old, and I am beginning to wonder whether this bacteria problem might have begun while the well was dormant for a year before my wife and I got this place about 2-1/2 years ago. If that is so, then I need to see whether it can be rehabilitated ... and if not, I need to either have a new well drilled or to treat the existing one to sustain it as best I can for as long as possible.

    Am I thinking correctly here? In other words, I believe I am at this point:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    ... well cleaning/rehabilitation or drill a new well. In this case you could also use a pellet dropper on the well to constantly dose chlorine to prevent the bacteria from recolonizing the well and causing more problems later.

    After cleaning the bottom of the well of sediment, air lift purging will clean the screen if they use acid and control the pH to 2 for a few hours and then take the pH to 12 for a few hours and then adjust the pH to 7 and then shock the well. The process will clean the screen and (any) gravel pack and get back into the aquifer some. There are chemicals to do this with an the driller if knowledgeable of rehabing wells ...
    No bacteria can survive the radical swing in pH in such a short time frame. If 180* water were used, it's even better. Also, the use of a brush for your size casing is a good idea and usually necessary. Otherwise you don't get all the encrustations and bacteria under them.
    I suspect I will have difficulty finding someone to do all of that, but I am going to get it done somehow!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser
    IMO your pump should be set just above the screen or more correctly, 10-15' below the pumping level of the well; wherever that is in the well.
    What is "pumping level"? Is that a constant "water level" while the pump is working at maximum volume?
    Last edited by leejosepho; 03-24-2007 at 11:02 AM.

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