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?
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?
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
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.
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.
I have water testing done by Aqua America
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.
I've never spent $100 there for a single set of tests.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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