Sand in filter

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by sidey, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. sidey

    sidey New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario
    Hi, new here so please be gentle
    We had a submersible pump put into our drilled well almost 3 years ago and have had in install a filter because of fine sand coming in and plugging the washing machine screen. We've had a failry dry summer but thought that with the sumbersible pump (we had a 2 line jet pump system before) this would not be a problem.
    We're now getting so much sand that the filter plugs almost instantly - is this due to low water or could I have a cave/slump in the well?
    Help - thanks
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,826
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It sounds like you may have a low production mud well. Despite it working well before on your old pump, it could simply mean that it was never properly developed to draw water at the rate your current pump does. If water is drawn slowly from the well, the well can recover and there is not the flow rate nor the differential pressure from the water level being drawn down to stir up the mud/sand.

    Tell us more about the well, the depth, the casing size, the soil conditions, the recovery rate, the static level, etc. What GPM is the pump? What size is the pressure tank?

    I have a very similar circumstance. When I had my well drilled before I built the house, the driller only pumped it at 5 GPM to satisfy the mortgage company requirement. After I built the house I put in a 10 GPM pump and it sucked up enough sand to not just plug the filter but it also jammed up the pump impeller. I shortened the drop pipe, but the mud rose up higher and jammed the impeller again. I had to get the driller back to flush out the well but by then the pump was damaged and no longer producing the GPM it should.

    Fast forward 12 years... I finally had it with the old pump and decided I would try to develop the well to increase the recovery. I used the old pump to out pump the well recovery rate and washed out a lot of the mud. I managed to increase the recovery rate to what the old pump was capable of but did not want to subject my new pump to the abuse of the sand. I then dropped in my new pump and buttoned it up. The new pump is flow rate limited by the micronizer and so stirs up only small amounts of sand that the filter traps.

    Back to your issue... You need to pull the pump and measure the depth of the well and the height of the water table. From that point you may have one or two choices. If there is enough water table, you may consider shortening up the drop pipe and then rate limiting the pump, but probably you will need to get someone in to flush out the well. Some drillers will use a large pump to push down thousands of gallons essentially pushing back some of the mud and flushing the rest out the top. Then you might consider putting down a small amount of stone to hold back the mud. Lastly, you need to develop the well by over-pumping until it runs clear.
  3. sidey

    sidey New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario
    Thanks - knew I should have paid more attention when they put the submersible in - I'm sure they said the well was 115 or so deep and the pump was left 20' from the bottom so I was surprised that we were still getting sediment. It's a 6" drilled well with a 20 gallon pressure tank with Franklin Electric 'Sandhandler' pump.
    We're going to call the drillers on Tuesday - great way to spend the holiday weekend...
  4. sidey

    sidey New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario
    Found the pump model - rated for 5GPM - it's a 4" with following ad.
    SandHandler Tri-Seal
    The Standard J-Class SandHandler 4" submersible pump features the new TRI-SEAL floating stage system. This new stage system improves efficiency and protects against wear when pumping abrasives (sand
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,826
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    You provided some good info. 5 GPM draw on a 6" casing should not stir up the mud too much but it obviously does so it must be a very fine clay silt. The clay forms a slurry which then makes the sand "float" up through it. My guess is that you lost that 20 feet below the pump to sand/clay.

    When you are emptying out the filter, do you drain the pressure tank? If so, the 5 GPM pump may be drawing more than 5 GPM while trying to refill the tank. The resultant in-surge stirs up the mud. I have a Banjo 100 mesh filter and put a long nipple and ballvalve in place of the drain plug so that I can flush it out while the pump is running without draining my tank.
  6. sidey

    sidey New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario
    I've never messed with the tank - it seems to have healed itself at least temporarily but we'll still call the well drillers on Tuesday.
    Thanks for the help
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