Air in water line after backwash

Discussion in 'Water Softener Forum, problems, installation and r' started by Mark Plumb, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Mark Plumb

    Mark Plumb handy homeowner

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maryland
    I have a hydroflo acid neutralizer unit-TNFA15 I installed last year (It's still covered by the 5-year warranty).
    I'm on well water. I haven't had any well issues.

    For over a year, the system has worked without problem. No water leaks, no air in the water line.
    About three months ago, I started getting air in all my water faucets the morning after the backwash. The air will come out in a big pulse (including toilets). After that, I'm fine until the next backwash (every six days).

    I called the local supplier I bought the unit from. They say I may have a bad control head. I can return it to them, they will ship it to the factory where it will be tested, If it's bad, the factory will give me a credit. (I can buy a new head now and get a credit for it, so I have continuous service.) The cost for the control head is as much as the whole unit. ($500-$1000)

    Before I return the unit and risk the $500, I'd like to eliminate other possible problem sources.
    I've done a physical inspection of the control head exterior, and it's perfectly clean.
    Is it possible that the well pump is bringing up air under semi-continuous use required to run the backwash?
    --A few weeks ago (I think after we started having the air in the water line problem) we had a power outage and I had to run my generator intermittently to run the well pump. (The generator is just large enough to power the pump--not much else runs when the pump does.)

    Do you have any other ideas or has anyone seen a similar problem?
    Thanks,
    Mark
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,843
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Do you have a bladder tank or one with an air volume control? The AVC on my precipitation tank needs to be cleaned periodically. Due to the high GPM flow during backwash, the pressure will drop a little lower than the pump kick-in setting which lowers the water in the tank enough to release air into the water stream.

    As a test, turn off the power to the pump and drain the tank a few PSI below the kick-in to see if air releases.
  3. Mark Plumb

    Mark Plumb handy homeowner

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maryland
    I have an air bladder tank. Installed 10+ years ago. Never had to repressurize it.
    When I had to run the pump from the generator, I had to be near the water system while it ran. I didn't notice anything unusual during that time.
  4. Akpsdvan

    Akpsdvan In the Trades

    Messages:
    1,480
    Location:
    Alaska
    It is possible that the well pump is bring up the air.
    With in the last few weeks I had a customer that had air that was getting in some place between the pump-pitless and the run into the house is getting air and messing up the softener..

    I would check the pressure tank and the rest of the system for where the air is coming in.
  5. Mark Plumb

    Mark Plumb handy homeowner

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Maryland
    100% Correct

    I didn't believe it, but you were right on target.
    I was getting ready to bring the acid neutralizer control head back to the supplier for an exchange (and it would have cost me for a new head and for 2xshipping) when I started noticing that we had very low water pressure. We called a plumber to have a look, at it turned out that we had a bad pressure tank; when we used water, the well pump was running continuously (and then turning off when it overheated). Since the pump was 13 years old, we decided to replace it as well with a constant pressure system.

    Thank you.
    Mark
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    A "bad" pressure tank can't cause the problem unless it is leaking. So you had a leak somewhere between the pump and the pressure switch that was probably fixed when they changed the pump.

    I wouldn't have gone with a constant pressure pump. A regular pump and Cycle Stop Valve would have been a much better choice and cost much less.
  7. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,078
    Location:
    Maine
    I would have saved even more money and replaced the tank and the pump with a regular pump.
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