Excessive sediment after draining pressure tank

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Stovepipe, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Stovepipe

    Stovepipe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Vermont
    Over several years we noticed a drop in water pressure so I decided to increase the cut-in setting on the pump switch. But I first wanted to check the air pressure in the bladder pressure tank, so I drained the tank and added some air (38psi), and then set the cut-in to 40psi and cut-out to 60 (it was set at 30/50). One day later we started getting excessive amounts of sediment (sand mostly) in our filter, so much so that it was also visible in the toilets. What happened? Did I stir up accumulated sediment in the pressure tank? I usually change the filter every 2-3 months, now I need to change it every couple days. Any thoughts on what I should do? Just keep changing the filters until things settle out? This has only been going on for 4 days.

    Thanks!
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,426
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    A gradual drop in water pressure probably means a hole in the drop pipe. Increasing the pressure makes it jet out the hole stronger, stirring up the sand. If you are not getting air out the faucets occasionally, the hole is probably in a nipple between the pump and check valve.
  3. Stovepipe

    Stovepipe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Vermont
    Wouldn't I see the leak somewhere? Or is this in the well? I'm not sure where the 'drop pipe' is. Just to clarify, the drop in water pressure was very gradual and over a fairly long period of time (6-8 years perhaps). I would think if there was a leak somewhere the tank would lose pressure even if the water isn't being used. That doesn't happen.
  4. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    896
    Location:
    ct
    Have you seen an increase in your electric bill? Often when a pump starts to wear or there is a leak the pump runs longer to try to build pressure which increases power consumption.

    The drop pipe is the pipe in the well that the pump hangs on. If you have a leak there you won't see it. Turning the pressure adjustment up on the switch won't do you any good if the pump can't build pressure.

    Like most tank installations, you probably have a check valve on the tank that holds pressure in the tank even if there is a leak in the well.
  5. Stovepipe

    Stovepipe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Vermont
    Not that I've noticed.
  6. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Depending on what kind of tank you have, it is possible, but if it is really sand it should have fallen out of suspension very quickly.

    The drop pipe is the pipe in the well going down to the pump. Depending on where any check valves are installed, it might not bleed off pressure if it is leaking.
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