Well Water Problem

I just noticed that my washer was taking hours to fill. I cleaned the filter on the back and it was clogged with mud looking stuff. I then noticed that after flushing the toilet that the same particles where in that water as well. Not real thick but you could see them sitting on the toilet bottom. What is this? I've cleaned my filter on the washing machine 3 times now just for one load. This appears to be pretty serious. Anyone have any ideas what this may be and how to fix? I live in NC and we have been plauged by severe drought for the past year. It's gotten better over the last 3 months so could the water table lowering or rising have any impact on this problem?
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The odds are quite high that your pump is about to fail. The usual mechanism in a deep well submerged pump is that the bearings wear and rotating parts start to rub against stationary parts and grind away.
Our pump was about 30 years old when it failed. It cost about $1,500 to pull it out and replace it. The first sign of failure was "crap" that clogged up filters. Just before it failed the water has some oil in it.
You don't want to wait for a complete failure and you don't want to contaminate your plumbing with the oil.problem?
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What about rust? My Dad mentioned it may be rust from the pipes and replacing would solve this problem. Is there anywhere you can take the water to be tested to find out exactly what the debris is?
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What about rust? My Dad mentioned it may be rust from the pipes and replacing would solve this problem. Is there anywhere you can take the water to be tested to find out exactly what the debris is?
The only cheap water testing is for bacterial contamination.
I'm sure there are labs around your area that will test for anything you want. Don't be surprised if they want over $100 up front.
Since the OP has "stuff" in the filters, the first thing should be to get a magnifier and LOOK at the stuff. Is it sand or "mud?" Is it plastic or metal? Is it "sludge?" Indeed, is it rust?
If nature has pulled a fast one and the bad water is "natural" he will have to call in folks to either drill a deeper well or treat the now bad water or both.
But the odds are good that if up to now he had good water the odds are that something wore out.
If (as is quite likely) he is seeing ground up internal pump parts, he really should bit the bullet and get the pump pulled up.
If you call the guys with the truck and experience on an emergency basis and want the water back on ASAP, you will have to buy whatever pump they happen to stock. That's OK for most and that was OK with us. But you might want something different like a variable speed pump that tends to keep your internal water pressure nearly constant rathern than the 30-50 psi swing with a regular on/off pump pressure switch. My old pump was your typical 3 wire (plus ground) model with a "control box" above ground. The control box contains a starting relay and capacitor. The replacement pump only uses 2 wires and all the starting stuff was built into the pump. So far so good. It does seem to make a little more "buzz" noise than the old pump. It's amazing that the noise can come up 200' of well pipe and another 50' to the house.
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I used a clear glass and filled it up using our shower head. There was more coming from the shower head than anywhere else. Weird. It's not mud or sand. It's fine, fiber like particles. The water is crystal clear. After letting the cup sit about 1 hour the bottom was covered. Not deep but enough to cover it. Again, the particles are very fine, long (about 4 or 5 mm). Looks like fiber of some sort.
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Gre0145 wrote:

Like the other guy said, your impeller is probably grinding itself up. How is the run time to pressure shut off? Getting longer? Soon you'll need a long straw to get a drink.
--
Blattus Slafaly ? 3 :) 7/8

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John Gilmer wrote:

http://www.aquaamerica.com If they operate in your area call them and see about testing for what you need. They'll mail you a sample collection bottle and instructions. I take my samples in myself nd talk with the chemist (not lab tech) and we both know what and why before any tests are run. I have confidence in them (I'm a chemist.)
They have helped me identify some difficult problems in a medical facility that I watch over.
Also, I've never spent $100 there for a single set of tests.
Boden
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Thirty year old oil filled motor used for a well?
PCB's ?.......Did they use to use PCB's in well pumps? My guess is they did. Way back when PCB's were not recognized as being dangerous it was a common oil to cool and lubricate motors.
I wonder how many wells and or water sources have been contaminated?
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Gre0145 wrote:

Could be pump failing but you also should install a whole house sediment filter. By washer filter, if you are taking about the screen in hose line, I used to have this problem too. Whole house filter will resolve it.
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Frank wrote:

If you have a well, you should have a whole house filter with at least a basic sediment filter cartridge in it. Most wells will pickup some sand and crud at times that will clog faucet aerators and the like which the whole hose filter with it's much larger surface area will handle much better. The whole house cartridges are easier to change than chasing and cleaning aerators and filters at individual fixtures too.
As for drought and water tables, yes shifts in the water table can cause changes in the amount of crud a well picks up, as can nearby construction activity.
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If you have a dirty well, I agree the whole house filter may pay off. But it's just one more thing to change and leak. When our pump failed I put in a filter but I'm thinking of bypassing it.

It depends on how deep your well is. a 200' well usually gets the water from many miles away. "They" determined our water comes from about 40 miles away. "Nearby" construction doesn't make any difference except that new homes mean more wells and that can cause some problems caused by drawing too much water out of the aquifer.
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John Gilmer wrote:

The sediment cartridges are cheap, I see the $10/year in carts as well worth the cost and my time to change vs. maint on every damn fixture and hassles of things like toilet, washer and ice maker valves sticking open due to a little crud getting through. As for leak, I've got a filter sump that is now ~20 years old and still doesn't leak or have any issues.

Just drilling those new wells nearby can cause a temporary burst of crud in your well and enough of them can cause changes in the water table which also result in changes to your well. Varies a lot with regional geology.
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Then there is the seasonal changes. My well produces fine silt every spring but then it is only 65 ft deep but is below a very thick belt of caprock. It is on an aquifer that stretches for a hundred miles or so into the Idaho mountains.
Harry K
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