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Wiscbldr 11-21-2011 07:43 AM

Change in well water quality
I live out in the country and over the past few days Ive noticed a change in our well water pressure and water quality. We've never had issues before, but in the mornings the problems seem to be the worst. This morning when I turned on the kitchen sink the water sputtered a bit, then it started to flow, turned slightly brownish, then turned a milky color. The water eventually cleared up, but it seemed as though it was running directly on the pump vs coming through the pressure tank. If we run the water into a clear glass, its all milky with small bubbles, then it eventually clears up. I havent noticed any smells.

We are going to be calling around to have a plumber come out and take a look at it.

But does it sound like the pressure tank is going, causing the pump to work more, and in the morning its sucking up debris?.. or does it sound like the pump is going in the well and not functioning properly, or has debris in the casing?... or is our aquafer having issues?

We've liver her for over a year and never had any problems. There havent been any heavy rains. We live up on a high bluff area and the well is quite deep. The only thing new in the surrounding area is that we have two new neighbors who are now on well water themselves. Both of them started using well water in the past few months. Is it possible that theyre tapped into the same aquafer and their useage is afffecting our water quality?

I keep thinking its pressure related because its noticeably lower now then it was a year ago, few months ago, even a few weeks ago.

Any thoughts before we get the well plumbers out would be appreciated...

DexterII 11-21-2011 08:25 AM

Sounds like you might be on the right track in regard to the tank. If it has a bladder, that could be ruptured, or, if not a bladder tank, it may need to be recharged with air.

Wiscbldr 11-21-2011 09:21 AM

The Mrs talked to the well people and they think it could be:
-a check valve not functioning properly
-a water logged/poorly working pressure tank
-clogged, malfunctioning water softener lines/filters

They didnt think it was the pump itself.

Having the faucet shudder points towards air in the lines, which makes me think a check valve is allowing water to flow backwards back towards the pump. But if the pressure tank is having problems, wouldn't that create issues as well...

We're waiting for callbacks from the well people/plumbers to see when they can come out to look it over. I know we never had air in the lines before, and never had air in the water or any discoloration either. So hard to say what recently happened or broke?

Akpsdvan 11-21-2011 11:51 AM

My money is on one of the 4
Pressure tank bladder going
Check valve before the pressure tank going or not seating
Foot valve in the pump going or not seating
Leak at the Pitless

Wiscbldr 11-22-2011 07:50 PM

update and No water now!
An update:

Last night we came home and found some water next to the water softener. The softener was set to recharge during the day. After cleaning the filter screen, making sure the drain tubes were clear, I had it do a manual recycle while standing there, and it started its process, then eventually it sputtered and it kicked some water up and out of a vertical overflow pipe, which explained the water on the floor. It eventually went through its full cycle.

This morning we had the kitchen faucet spudder and eventually kick out some brownish looking water which we saved in a glass so the water people can see it tomorrow. It appears to be sediment. We were using the water sparingly, mostly just to flush the toilets, and using bottled water for drinking.

Anyway, a short time ago, the water went from low trickling out of the faucet, to now theres no water. When I came home from work the water pressure in the tank was at around 50, but in checking the water pressure tank a few minutes ago, the guage is now reading zero, and in tapping the tank its empty.

It seems to me that either the pump motor gave out, or the pressure switch to activate the pump has failed. I turned the circuit breaker for the well and switch off and back on. It clicked when turned off, and clicked when turned back on.. but.. theres no water flowing, and the pressure tank remains at zero pressure, so Ive left the power to the well off.

Tomorrow we have the well water people that installed and inspected the well a year ago coming in the morning.. good thing, because we're without water now.

Any thoughts now that the symptoms have changed...or does it still sound like the same thing.. tank, check valve, foot valve, or failing/failed motor.. or.. possibly a dried up water source??...hmmm..

NancyNGA 11-22-2011 09:28 PM

We just went through something with similar symptoms, except no sediment in the water.

The pump/well repair man said the pipe going down into the well had developed a leak. The pump (submersible, 200' down) was running nonstop. Amazed the pump didn't go out, because it had been going on for some time, but the change in pressure was so gradual we really didn't notice at first.

Just a possibility....

Wiscbldr 11-23-2011 01:26 PM

we have water.. so how long till discoloration is gone?
Ok, the well people left a short time ago. Turns out there was a coupling on the well water piping that had cracked. So evidently it started as a crack, then slowly got progressively worse. The water was running inside the piping, shooting around the debris, which would then drop to the bottom, and recirculate all over again. Eventually the crack was big enough that the water would no longer make its way to the top and into our house piping, which meant no water.

They replaced that coupling, actually all couplings and the check valves as well since it was all out, and the water returned. We also replaced our pressure tank as well since it was already about 12 yrs old and a bit smaller then recommeneded for this size house and well, etc.

Now my question long before the water quality and clearness returns? Its slowly been getting better. They flushed it out onto the yard for quite a while, but eventually it was clear enough that it was put back to the house.But is there any problem with letting it run outside the spigot for a few h piping. So... how long till its completely cleaned out?

Also, is the discoloration inside the house because of past sediment, meaning, should we be leaving our internal faucets running to clear things out, or, should we leave the outside water spigot run to clean things out. (In other words, is the problem still within the well, or, is it the house pipes that need to be flushed out for a period of time?) And how long is considered normal to return to pure clear and better tasting.. hrs, days?..


DexterII 11-23-2011 02:11 PM

Strictly and uneducated opinion, but, outdoors, I would connect a hose, in order to get the water away from the house, and let one of the faucets run for about 4 hours or so. Indoors, I would remove the cover from one of the toilet tanks, flush, and see what the water looks like. The tank does not have an aerator to conceal evidence, and the water flows in gently enough that you can get a better visual. If you decide it necessary at that point, I would let one of the indoor faucets, preferrably a utility sink if you have one, run for a couple of hours. I would also run the softener manually for the next couple of days, just to run as much stuff through as possible before it has much of a chance to settle, and, within the next couple of days, allowing for whatever stuff will to pass through the system, I would remove and clean or replace the aerators on all of the bathroom and kitchen sinks.

Wiscbldr 11-25-2011 06:51 PM

We left the outside water on for about 4-5 hrs the day we fixed the well, and we also cleaned all the aerators and let the inside water drain from each faucet and toilet many, many times. Its now two days later and the water quality has greatly improved. Theres only a very slight taste difference, and in talking with the water people, over the next week or so things should be back to normal.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend....!

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