Sediment filter recurring problem

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by transmission_doctor, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. transmission_doctor

    transmission_doctor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I have a Lancaster Pump sediment filter, it is a 10 inch by 44 inch tank.

    The filter media is Filter Ag and is on a bed of fine gravel. The timer is set to back flush every other day.

    My problem is that the filter at the bottom of the dip tube plugs up and greatly restricts the water flow. I disassembled the unit about a year ago and took the filter apart and cleaned it. I am now back in the same situation again where I have greatly reduced water flow.

    My flow problem is definitely with the sediment filter, as I can set it to bypass and I have great flow.

    What can I do to fix this recurrent problem?

    Thanks for any advice

    Jerry Martire
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,826
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Perhaps the pump does not produce the needed GPM at adequate PSI to effectively backwash the filter. I had that problem before I replaced my pump. What I would do from time to time is to put a vise grip on the pressure switch so that it wouldn't shut off, turn off the outlet valve on the tank, and let the pressure climb to 80 PSI before opening the valve during a manual backwash. When the pressure would drop, I'd close the valve and repeat.
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,052
    Location:
    Maine
    How old is the media?
  4. transmission_doctor

    transmission_doctor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Filter and media are about 3 years old. Filter and media was new when it was installed.

    I had a flow problem about a year or so ago and disassembled the filter and removed the dip tube. I found that the fine filter on the bottom of the dip tube was plugged with something like very small stones which had become wedged in the slots in the filter and could not be dislodged. I took the filter apart and cleaned it and reassembled it, I also installed filter cloth over the filter in an attempt to keep the screen from plugging up, that apparently has not worked as I am again having flow problems which are a result of poor flow through the filter. I verified this by putting the filter on bypass, when I do this my flow rate is fine, so it is restriction in the filter causing the problem.

    Thanks

    Jerry
  5. transmission_doctor

    transmission_doctor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I had a discussion with a tech at Lancaster pump yesterday and it triggered an idea as to what might be happening.

    My well unfortunately, produces a lot of sediment, some of which is very much like drill tailings. Much of the sediment is very fine stuff, but some of it is larger.

    What the tech at Lancaster mentioned is that when the filter is flushed the heavier stuff will settle to the bottom. I suspect that what is happening is that while most of the sediment is being flushed out during back wash the heavier bits of "drill tailings" settle to the bottom and then plug up the screen at the bottom of the dip tube.

    Yes, the well has been thoroughly flushed, we went for about 9 months when we moved in without any significant sediment problem, suddenly the well started producing copious amounts of stuff that looks like drill tailings. I have tried flushing it by letting it run for 24 hours, with no apparent results. BTW, the problem with the well began about 3 years ago, the solution was to install the sediment filter.

    Back to my original question, does anyone have any idea how to keep the filter at the bottom of the dip tube from plugging up, or am I going to have to take this thing apart once a year or so and clean it?

    I have been thinking along the lines of adding a fine mesh screen with a pretty good surface area over the dip tube screen.

    Thanks

    Jerry
  6. transmission_doctor

    transmission_doctor New Member

    Messages:
    7
    DUH!

    I took the filter apart and was cleaning the screen when I had the AH HAH moment.

    The fundamental problem here is that the filter is being back flushed with the cruddy water that I am trying to filter! During back flushing the sediment laden water is being fed into the back side of the screen that is at the bottom of the dip tube; the crud that is in the water is then blocking the screen.

    It appears to me that what is needed is a pre-filter, to screen out the bigger lumps before they get to the sediment filter and cause a problem, it would have to be pretty course other wise it will plug up all the time and be a real pain in the patoot.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,826
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Some folk will make an inexpensive sand trap from a hot water tank that is not connected to electricity. Just replace the cheap plastic drain cock with a good full port ballvalve and flush it out now and then.
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