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Well, it IS hot...

When last we left our heroes, plumbing had been disassembled, plumbing had been reassembled, filters had clogged, and lobsterization was the goal. A little bit has happened since then.

It turns out that the screwing around with the plumbing and the pressure tank didn’t just throw one glob of sediment and be done with it. Oh no – we have serious amounts in an ongoing fashion. The faucets clogged after a couple of moments of running.  The shower head clogged before I even finished adjusting the temperature. That was profoundly sad. However, I don’t give up easily. Our shower head is one of those really old adjustable Water-Pik style deals. One of the settings is “massage” where three wide-bore outlets alternate jets of water. Because it’s over a decade old, the lock points are more like suggestions than settings. I managed to finesse it in between settings so that there was a steady flow of water out of one of those outlets, and the diameter of those is far too wide to clog. So I got my scalding hot shower. It wasn’t quite what I had in mind, but I got plenty clean and my fingers and toes shriveled up. I probably combed some iron particulate out of my hair, but I can live with that. For Charlotte’s bath, I overfilled the tub, pushed all the sediment down to the drain, flipped it open to pull the sediment out and bathed her in what was left.

We figured that when they blew open the pressure tank, the membrane moving for the first time in probably a couple of years scraped an accumulation of rust off of the sides of the tank. So when it didn’t stop after running the water full bore for a while, we moved on to plan B. Monday night we turned off the well pump, hooked up the garden hose to the bottom of the pressure tank, threw the other end into the shower pan on the first floor, and drained the tank. Then we refilled it and did it again. Lather, rinse, repeat. We did this at least ten times. Every time, the hose runs clear for five to ten seconds (probably pushing out what’s sitting in the hose on the basement floor), pushes out a huge sediment load for two or three seconds, then runs clear. Every five gallon fill is pushing out about a tablespoon of large diameter sediment, which is more than enough to clog any outlet with a filter. There’s no way that I could fill the washer, for example.

Dad’s next thought is that they stirred up the well playing with the pressure tank. That’s one of those deals where perhaps it will settle down. Perhaps not. So last night we used as little water as possible so as not to draw from the well. Tonight there need to be showers and a bath though. We’ll see.

The next option according to dad is to put a whole house sediment filter back in-line. Notice that I say “back.” The house came with one. But about, oh, three years ago, someone leaned on it too hard changing the filter, and broke it. He cut it out of the system and replumbed so that we would have water, and was going to fix it “next weekend.” Well, three years later, next weekend may be here. Mind you – three years ago dad was convinced that the sediment filter was the reason our water pressure sucked. However, faced with the prospect of being unable to run the dishwasher or the washing machine, I guess he’s willing to look at it again.

So the plan for tonight is to see if things have settled down. I don’t know if that means we’ll do the thing with the hose again, or if we’ll just turn on a faucet. If it has – fabulous. If not, we’ll be doing some research into sediment filters, and I know what we’ll be doing next weekend. I wonder if mom will come with him, given dad’s last run in with the driveway?

On the bright side, we were running the hose down
our problem drain. It’s probably in fabulous shape now. I guess that counts as my silver lining.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2011 11:38 pm (UTC)
Rob installed a whole-house filter for Sitto a few years ago, he may have some resources for you.

All I know is we found that the water smells sulfurous when the filter needs replacing... and I've been kicking myself since then for not knowing that ten years ago. Pretty early in our first search we turned our noses up on a lovely house because there was nasty smelling well water. :(
Feb. 10th, 2011 12:12 am (UTC)
That's a completely different type of filter - probably a charcoal filter. That actually changes water quality. What I need is a sediment filter - same water comes out as goes in, it's just less chunky. I just don't like having to strain my water through my teeth. :-)

You can fix almost any problem with well water with the right filter. As long as it's clean of chemical contaminants, you're good to go.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )