rusty gunk build-up on well pump piping

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jonk, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. jonk

    jonk New Member

    Messages:
    5
    when cleaning out a clogged pressure switch input line (2" nipple), it seemed full of a rusty, maroon colored gunk. :( a bit gritty in nature as well.

    some more info:

    • we are on well water
    • the water tasted bad like iron, so we got a drinking water purifier
    • we do have an acid neutralizer and water softener
    • when we first moved in (14 years ago) and before the softener and stuff was installed, i remember there was an inline filter. the simple kind, paper filter in a see-through, ~quart-sized container. it used to get thoroughly filled with orange sludge.
    • i can't remember what else i was working on within the past year in our basement plumbing zone, but i have seen this gunk before.

    what should i do to either diagnose it further, and to possibly cure it?

    -- jon
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2005
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    What are you trying to do Jon?

    I definately don't recommend the filters you mentioned.

    Why do you have an acid neutralizer? Is your PH low?

    Do you know the specs on your water, hardness, PH, Iron, etc?

    bob...
  3. jonk

    jonk New Member

    Messages:
    5
    some answers:
    • we no longer have that inline filter, by the way.
    • yes, we had acidic water
    • i have not tested it in years for current numbers

    what am i trying to do?

    essentially, learn more from the experts about what you would do if your well water had similar such gunk coming out of it.

    i'm sure many of our pipes are similarly lined with the maroon-colored sludge that i found in the nipple leading to the pressure switch.
  4. jonk

    jonk New Member

    Messages:
    5
    some test results

    bob,
    all i have for testing is two pool water test kits
    • water pik test kit (for pools)
      • Tot. Alk. = 110
      • pH < 6.8 (min. reading possible)
    • Premium Pool Check Test Strips
      • Tot. Alk. ~80
      • pH ~6.0 (min. reading possible)
      • Tot. Hardness ~120

    Okay, so the low pH is a bit shocking. (note: living in eastern PA, we are probably sitting on top of a mountain of limestone?)

    Maybe the neutralizer is empty... just checked it, and found it to be only a quarter full, maybe.

    any help in ensuring my system is working properly, is greatly appreciated.
  5. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    I would first get a real test. I don't know that the tests you did are going to be that accurate.

    The gunk your describing is probably just an accumulation of years of build up, which is normal.

    bob...
  6. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I take it that the pH is after your neutralizing filter. And you need mineral and problably mixed bed mineral, not just calcite or georgia marble. If you haven't been adding mineral every few months to a year plus, then the AN filter hasn't been working and any metal in the plumbing will have been damaged; and the metals added to your water. I'm in PA and we have wide spread problems with acidic water and I've treated a lot of well water just like yours; all over the US. Other parts of the US do too.

    Before you run out to buy new mineral, you need to provide more info. Like how many people in the house? What size AN filter tank do you have? Is the filter backwashed or upflow only? How many gpm do you need to treat?

    Check your toilet tanks for an oily film on the water and the nflush and wipe the palm of a hand on the side from the water line down. You're looking for a slimy, snotty, jelly like substance of any color from clear to black. If you fnd any of this, you have IRB (iron reducing bacteria). A nonharmful group of bacteria. It has to be killed to solve your problem but, UV won't do the job and ca ncause another problem.

    Have you ever had a sulfur, rotten egg odor?

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
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