Pressure tank re-pressurized, now I have sediment

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by grose, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. grose

    grose New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Newmarket Canada
    I was having trouble with my water pressure (surging pressure, pump kicking on and off rapidly) so I determined that my pressure tank needed to be drained and recharged. To make a long story short, this process was successful and I now have good pressure and the pump is no longer kicking in every time I run the water.
    The problem I have now is that I have little black flecks of sediment in my water. They seem to sink to the bottom of a glass quite quickly but I don't really want to drink/cook with the water until i can get rid of them. Could these flecks be a result of me draining the pressure tank (it is an older non-bladder model) and stiring up the gunk in the bottom of the tank? Any suggestions on how I can rid myself of this stuff? Do I need a new pressure tank which is 'clean' on the inside?
    I am fairly confident that it is not coming from the well, so I think we can rule that out.
  2. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Usually the things found in water that can harm you, you can't see smell or taste them. So probably using more water will clear it up but, can you drink out of a glass without drinking all of the water including the black specs? ;)
  3. grose

    grose New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Newmarket Canada
    While I may have the skill to drink without getting all the little black specks, I'm not so sure my wife will allow this as an acceptable practice. I'm hoping that running the water will speed things up, but no luck yet.
  4. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Do you have a sample tap at your tank? If you do put a hose on it and pump it all day.
  5. grose

    grose New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Newmarket Canada
    Yup I have a tap (it's how I emptied it the other day) I suppose I could just run it until all the gunk left the system....I was just worried about my pump keeping up with demand. Is this a problem?
  6. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    If everything is work right it will be fine. I run my new wells three days from the tap.
  7. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I fully understand the irrational women syndrome, I guess I was assuming a nonfeminized American male though. LOL

    Seriously, these black specs may not be coming from the tank or your working on it. They may be coming from loose scale in the pipes from having the system depressurized or any SS braided rubber hose connecting to the sinks etc.. And how is it that she allows drinking water from the tap instead of requiring bottled water? Man she's a keeper because that's special (and saves you a lot of money). ;)
  8. grose

    grose New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Newmarket Canada
    I ran the outsde tap for about two hours last night (no time to set up a hose to the tank directly and drag it through the house) and the sediment has decreased but there is still a little there. I am going to try to attach a hose when I get back from work tonight and run it for a couple more hours and see if it solves my problem.
  9. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Try to run the hose from the sample tap on the tank. Running it outside is good but, you want the system to be stressed. It will get more out faster. I promise.
  10. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,272
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    specks

    IF the specks are coming from the tank, you can run the pump FOREVER and it will do nothing to get rid of them. You have to empty the water from the tank to flush them out. However, with your open storage tank, I would install a Shraeder valve on the top somewhere and then "pressurize" the tank whenever it appeared to start being waterlogged.
  11. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    OK, no more humor, we'll get real serious now.

    Running a well for days on end is not a good thing IMO. It can cause as many problems as it cures, and as we see, it isn't curing this problem after running the water for hours multiple times already.

    What you are attempting to do is develop the well. The well driller should have developed the well when it was drilled instead of having their customer do it with the their well pump and a garden hose volume of flow...

    Especially when you think the black specs aren't coming in from the well, which I agree with or you would have had them when the pump was short cycling, probably for months until you redid the air pressure.

    The specs are not harmful, so use water as you usually do and the black specs should quit because they are probably 'sediment' coming loose from inside the water lines due to the increased flow/pressure you have now due to getting the air pressure right in the tank. AND, the specks show up at the fixtures, and all this water you are running is not going through the fixtures, it is going out an outside faucet and or the boiler drain on the pressure tank; meaning you aren't flushing the lines to the fixtures where the specks are showing up. And if you think I'm wrong and the specks are from the tank, drain and then flush the tank 2-3 times and watch the water for the specs.
  12. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    I disagree. Using a properly installed well is good for it. Especially if it has a screen. But, it has to be run from the sample tap. I want the well to surge, build up and surge again. ANY well I put in can be run forever and it will not hurt the well.
  13. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Well we don't know if this is a fully cased and screened sand and gravel well or a rock bore well.

    And running X gpm constantly for 3 days etc. through a 1/2" or at best 3/4" boiler drain valve and through a 1/2" or 5/8" garden hose isn't going to surge a well. Because of the recovery rate gpm versus the gpm out the hose, it probably won't get the water level down to the pumping level of the well let alone surge it.

    To me surging means to lift water out of the well with a bailer or air etc. and allowing the surge water to dump back down the well. How do you describe "surge"?
  14. Allen Meyers

    Allen Meyers Previous member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Monroe, LA
    Pumping it hard over a length of time. At least in this case. I guess the OP will have to decide for himself. The intake of the well on this is not important. He is trying to clean the tank.

    To be honest I would put in a new tank but, that is just me.
  15. grose

    grose New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Newmarket Canada
    Thanks for all the advice so far, to clairfy a few points:
    1- I am using water as usual (just not drinking or cooking with it) but running all taps, showers etc hoping this will help clear the lines. Also, I am hoping that as one shows signs of clearing so will the others
    2- I put the hose on the sample tap today and ran it for a few hours, the pump occasionally cycled on, pressure was good at all times.
    3- Today there are less specks, they are clearly dropping in number but not all gone.
    4- The pressure tank is 24 years old, no bladder etc.
    5- The pump was only short cycling for about 5 days or so. I am always in the basement pump room and it was quite noticeable when I was down there. I am confident I caught this early.
    6- I have a water furnace, so it kicks in an draws about 6GPM and has probably flushed a good deal of the crud out of the system.

    I suspect it is just crud that has sat in the bottom of the pressure tank for years (the previous owner said it was last drained in 2000!) and I stirred it up when I drained and repressurized the system. It could be as Gary said that it is in the lines and the improved pressure is shaking stuff lose. I am certain it is not the well. There is nothing logical pointing to the well as a problem, it is 25 years old but it was inspected, pressure tested, and run by a reputable well guy only three months ago. I have decided to give it a few more days and then I will reassess. The ultimate answer may be as Allan suggests and it may be time to bite the bullet and get a new tank.
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