Submersible pump results is more sediment?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Paul, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Paul

    Paul New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Is it possible that the water provided by a submersible pump could have more sediment than the water provided by an in-house pump in the same well?
    Background:
    My water pump recently lost its prime. A company came to reprime the pump but told me that there was a leak somewhere in my water system and they recommended revamping my system with a submersible pump. I had been told this before and the water pump used to run almost constantly so I agreed to let them do the work. It's been about a week since they did the work, but the water has not cleared up to the point it was when I had the original pump in my house. They had me connect a hose to a faucet just below the water tank so that I could run water out of the house for 5-10 minutes every hour for the first 3 days after they installed the submersible pump. The guys that did the work said to have the water come out slowly, but after a couple of days. it was still not too clear, so someone else from the company told me to turn the water on full force. The water kept getting clearer, but never was what it was when I had the original pump in my house. After a few hours of turning the water on full force for 5 minutes every hour, there was one instance when the water came out real brown. I called the company and they told me to limit my use of water for a day or so. I did this and the water seemed to clear up again, but still not to what I was used to. I have a sediment filter and was told that I could use the water in my house for flushing toilets but not for drinking. One thing the company told me is that raising the pump 5 feet might help (it is currently at 75 feet). I am wondering if the submersible pump is not right for my well. Any suggestions on how to proceed would be appreciated.
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    What kind of pump did you have before? Shallow well or deep well jet? What is your depth to water level in the well?

    It is likely that your original pump had less capacity and was drawing water from a higher point in the well. The lower flow let the sand sink to the bottom and not get in the pump.

    How many GPM with the new pump? How many GPM with the old pump. What depth to the foot valve with the old pump, compared to the 75 ft to your new pump?

    When you have the above information, you will probably see the reason for the problem. Post it and see if it is confirmed here.

    My guess is that the new pump is farther down in the well and pumps more water. That greater flow is producing higher velocity in the nearby aquifer, sucking out sediment that your old pump would not move.

    Before they put in the new pump they should have dropped in a big pump with higher flow than your new pump, and pumped until the water was clear. Then they should have put in your new pump.
  3. Paul

    Paul New Member

    Messages:
    3
    My original pump was a Tait model 7TA 3/4 HP. The well is 105 feet deep and the new submersible pump is set at 75 feet. The model number of the new pump is a 5GS05. I don't know the manufacturer and I think it is 1/2 HP. They first tried a different pump at 80 feet but it got clogged with sediment so then they put in the 5GS05 saying that it could handle sediment better. They didn't drop in a strong pump to pump till the water was clear as BoB NH suggested.
  4. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    The big question is: Did they run it full blast out at the well after installing the new pump? If not, that is a lot of the problem.

    I can't believe they would put in a brand new pump, plug it up with anything and install another one. That makes for a big loss on their part and also says you have a serious problem with your well.

    There is a big difference between sand and sediment. Sediment is from mineral build up on the pipes over the years. If they didn't pump the well off and if you didn't run the faucets in the house full blast with the aerators removed, you need to do so. And I mean full blast for an hour if need be.

    Since you had a Tait pump, I know about how old your system is, since they stopped making Tait pumps many years ago.

    bob...
  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The 5GS05 is a 1/2 HP Goulds submersible. Rated flow is 1.2 to 7.5 GPM. In your well it will deliver more than 100 psi at low flow.
  6. Paul

    Paul New Member

    Messages:
    3
    It turns out the company did run a pump for a while to clear out the well. After about two weeks, the water seems to look good. I had someone from the company come look at it last week and they tested it for iron and said it was OK. I'm going to bring a sample to another company to test in a couple of days and if that turns out OK, I think I'm all set. I just didn't think it would take so long for the water to clear up. Many thanks for your help.
  7. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    sediment in 64' deep well

    Greetings.

    I believe I have the same kind of problem. Just a week ago, our 14-year-old submersible pump began to occasionally pop the circuit breaker. Over the past week while looking around for a new pump, I have been resetting the breaker and quickly flipping it off and on a few times to get the pump to go ... and earlier today, my son-in-law and I installed a new pump. I had been suspicious that the previous pump was somehow clogged, and now we know that was the case. I have yet to look inside the pump, but its intake screen is covered with red sludge and the outlet is slightly restricted by a hard build-up of something black.

    Before installing the new pump, my son-in-law and I used a weighted string with a small rag on the end to check the depth of the well and to look for sediment. Here is what we discovered:

    The water level is 12' below the pitless adapter, and the pump is 8' below that. Then 28' below the pump is the beginning of 12' of sediment in the bottom of the well, with the lower 5' of that being the screen:

    0' - ground level
    4' - pitless adapter
    16' - water level
    24' - top of pump
    52' - top of crud
    59' - top of screen
    64' - bottom of well

    I bought the new pump from the same company that installed the well 14 years ago -- they are really a great bunch of guys! -- and when I picked it up, one of the men there said they could come out with an air compressor to clean the well if necessary. Already knowing what I get in my filters inside the house, I had told him I suspected some kind of sludge problem.

    My question is this:

    It seems to me that I need to pull my new pump back out and use some kind of muck pump to actually pull the sludge up from the bottom, then use some kind of well cleaner and pump it all out again before re-installing my new pump, correct?

    Thank you for any advice you might have,

    Joe
  8. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    This is a hijacked thread, maybe one of the moderators can move it to a new one.

    My question is: what is the rag for on the end of the string?

    If you did have 12 foot of sludge in the bottom of the well which means around four feet in the screen and 8 feet above it, you would not be pumping any water at all. The pipe may be smaller in that area from mineral deposits, it is not full of sludge if your getting water. Moving the pump up or down in a well makes no difference in water quality. It all has to come through the screen and past the pump motor.

    Just run it full blast for hours if needed outdoors until it clears.

    bob...
  9. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I apologize for the "hijack". I assumed it would be better to keep a similar problem here rather than beginning a new thread.

    The rag on the end of the string was to see what might come up from the bottom of the well. We first dropped just a weighted string to measure depth, then we pulled that up and added a small piece of rag and let the string down again. The rag went to the bottom and I "jigged" it a couple of times, then pulled it up slowly to see what might be in/on it. In the folds of the rag, there were many fine particles visible but not big enough to actually feel. Next, we let the weighted rag down again, but we were unable to get it to go back to the bottom.

    Yes, I understand. The condition I am calling "sludge" is actually just a richly-red water with very small solids ... I have just tried to upload a picture of the screen on the old pump.

    That is what I intend to do, but not with my new pump!

    Attached Files:

  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    The sludge is IRB (iron related bacteria). It forms the sludge and hard encrustations that will starve a pump for water. I've pulled pumps worse than yours and used a chisel on the screen. An iron test can not identify IRB.

    I suggest the air lift the driller suggested, and then shocking the well running highly chlorinated water through out the house to all fixtures after by-passing all water treatment equipment and then sanitizing any softener and/or backwashed or regenerated filter.

    Shocking the well will kill the bacteria but it is a temporary 'fix' and repeated shocking can cause more encrustation; especially on the well screen which reduces the production of the well.

    Then you do well cleaning/rehabilitation or drill a new well. In this case you could also use a pellet dropper on the well to constantly dose chlorine to prevent the bacteria from recolonizing the well and causing more problems later.

    After cleaning the bottom of the well of sediment, air lift purging will clean the screen if they use acid and control the pH to 2 for a few hours and then take the pH to 12 for a few hours and then adjust the pH to 7 and then shock the well. The process will clean the screen and (any) gravel pack and get back into the aquifer some. There are chemicals to do this with an the driller if knowledgeable of rehabing wells, may have his way of doing it without controlling the pH; which IMO is not as good as controlling the pH. No bacteria can survive the radical swing in pH in such a short time frame. If 180* water were used, it's even better. Also, the use of a brush for your size casing is a good idea and usually necessary. Otherwise you don't get all the encrustations and bacteria under them.

    IMO your pump should be set just above the screen or more correctly, 10-15' below the pumping level of the well; wherever that is in the well. Your present pump is more than adequate for that. It is a Gould's 5 gpm 1/2 hp pump, although I wouldn't have used it. I would have suggested a 1/2 hp 10 gpm.
  11. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Well, you were correct, Bob! I rented a gas-powered 2" trash pump, removed the foot valve from the end of the suction hose and added 35' of 2" pipe to get to the bottom of the well ... and after I finally got the pump primed, I only got red-tinted water for the first couple of minutes before the discharge appeared completely clear. But, the bigger pump at least pulled that "red" out of there all at once rather than my new pump delivering it to my filters a pinch at a time, eh?!

    Yes, I knew I had the IRB, but I did not know that was the source of the buildup. Thank you!

    I have done the chlorine treatment in the past to try to get rid of the sulfur odor (both hot and cold), but it was back in only a matter of days ... although not as bad as when we first bought this house a little over two years ago after it had been empty and unused for a year. The man that drilled the well for the previous owner told me I would either have to learn to live with the IRB or go back to a shallow well. Our water presently comes from 45 to 60 feet below ground level and under 20' of clay, and I could have a shallow well in the 20' to 26' depth if I can get it far enough away from the back of the house.

    I take note of what you say here, and I will ask my well man whether he can do all of that. For the time being, I have pumped the red out as best I can (see just above) and I have pulled the suction pipe and hose so I can let some sulfamic acid tablets work overnight. In the morning, I intend to use the trash pump to again flush as much as I can before re-installing our new pump.

    Is Gould's and Marley the same? That old pump is a Marley Red Jacket, and I cannot find it anywhere on the internet. If I could, I would have it re-conditioned to keep for a spare. In any case, the new pump I have is a Myers Rustler, 1/2hp and 12 gpm.

    Please pardon the length of this post, but I also thought you guys might enjoy a look at my "rig". The ladder and a rope let me lower the suction hose while adding pipe on the way down, and the tree is presently holding all of that for me until morning ...

    Attached Files:

  12. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Nothing wrong with that rig. It works, that's all that counts.

    I don't know if you are doomed to have Iron Bacteria or not. We have very little of it here. But where I have encountered it, chlorinating the well did away with it. This leads me to believe it was introduced from the top of the well by a pump guy somehow. The one customer I am aware of hasen't had it for at least 5 years since we chlorinated his well. The previous pump guy put the pump in 6 months before we got there and the pump completly quit pumping from all the gook that got into the impellers and screen.

    bob...
  13. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Thank you for your observations and interest here, and yes, I do believe I have some kind of problem.

    The tag from the end of its shipping box says I have a 2NFL51-12 pump, and my receipt says it is 12GPM. Something is definitely not right here, and I am wondering if maybe I am back to where I started with a pump gone bad because of a plugged intake. The picture in an above post is of my old pump about four months ago.
  14. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    That's not the 5 gpm, that's a good thing. If the box and the pump match, you either have a water level problem or the screen on the pump is getting all gunked up with iron bacteria again. Because the pump does make pressure, meaning the impellers aren't nuked but it's pumping far less water than that pump is capable of. I don't know where the IRB is coming from, but it wouldn't hurt anything to hypochlorinate the well again.

    bob...
  15. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Well, my question at the moment is whether the hypochlorination treatment might address the matter of removing buildup on the new pump, but in a few minutes I will nevertheless be heading off to get some chlorine!

    Here is the latest:

    Within the past hour, I used two cold-water spigots as throttles -- one was an open tub faucet and the other was a service spigot with a hose going into my sump so I could watch for bubbles -- inside the house to relieve enough pressure so the pump would run at a constant 40 psi while I *also* had a garden hose running wide open in the back yard. My net pressure at the last guage ahead of the garden hose was 30 psi, and I got about 10 gpm at the end of that hose with the other spigots still open and the pump running as just stated. So, and overall, I am sure I am getting at least 12 gpm, and that is with the pump maintaining 40 psi at my first guage.

    However, and here is the most-recent troubling discovery: The breaker for the pump circuit was already tripped when I first arrived in the basement to run the above flow test. My previous pump had also begun tripping the breaker just before I installed the new pump -- the old pump would start and run after I had flipped the breaker on-off-on a few times to get it going, but it would not start as it should after a following period of rest.

    Maybe a chlorine treatment will loosen the gunk and clear this newer pump before that same fate becomes it own ...
  16. mariner

    mariner New Member

    Messages:
    38
    Location:
    Hixon, BC
    Just a thought - is it possible that your breaker needs to be replaced too?
    I would change out that breaker for a new one just in case you end up chasing ghosts.

    When I bought my place a couple of years ago, just as the old people moved out the wife mentioned that when they tried to use a counter outlet for their microwave it tripped the breaker so they use ne in an adjoining room. I trid and sure enough the breaker tripped. Tired the appliance outlet on the stove and had no problems. Purchased new breaker and went to install it and found the wire connection loose!!!! This had caused current overload and the breaker to trip. I installed a new breaker and have not had a problem since. As a precaution I went through both breaker boxes checking the wiring connections and found several a bit loose.

    Because of what I found, I would hate to think you have bought a new pump when the breaker was faulty.

    HTH

    mariner
  17. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I was definitely open to that possibility, but my previous problem with that particular breaker tripping ultimately proved related to a hard-starting motor. Nevertheless, yes, I will certainly be watching that breaker.

    One of the old pros at a locally-owned hardware store with a pump shop also suggested that possibility just a few hours ago. He said one of my submerged connections could be bad and causing (only once, though) the breaker to trip ... and again, I will be watching to see whether that happens again. At the moment, however, I believe I have at least temporarily solved a problem that has yet to be identified ...
  18. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I need to go back through this thread and look again at what suggestions were made a few months ago, but my new pump is now working like it first did, and that is *much* differently than just a few hours ago.

    Along with what I have reported over in the CSV thread -- I have no explanation here -- my pump will now achieve 50 psi and stop and wait and restart for its next cycle while the kitchen, lavatory, tub and shower (a total of 4) faucets are all running wide open, both cold and hot ... and the only significantly-related thing I have done since yesterday is a chlorine-shock treatment. Something seems to have been restricting my flow or somehow holding my pump back, and I do not know any reason a chlorine treatment would fix that.

    I have two other things to mention here, but I do not know whether either is related:

    1) I have clear hoses connecting my pressure-accumulation tanks, and those hoses had been quite black on the inside until after today's treatment;

    2) I have removed the anode(?) rod from my water heater, and it was just about the nastiest-looking thing I have ever seen. This picture does not show this very well, but the rod had globs of something soft and nearly clear all over it ... kind of like globs of uncured silicone or something. What is that?!

    In any case, I need to do something about my well, but I have no idea what to do.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 17, 2007
  19. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Is there a difference between "repeated shocking" and "constantly dose chlorine" in relation to "can cause more encrustation"? I have just done another "shock" and purged the entire system, and now I am leaning toward some kind of "constant dose" system. However, I would first like to know what I might have to deal with later as far as caused-encrustation is concerned.
  20. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    My question here is about that black scale. Some had built up inside the outlet of my old pump as well as inside my tank connection. Then, the insides of my vinyl hoses now connecting my tanks were also black until after yesterday's chlorine shock. So then, would a constant-dose chlorinator keep that black scale from building again, or am I possibly dealing with two kinds of black substances/sources here?
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