Well problem really fine sand and clay clogging filters

Users who are viewing this thread

Olddude

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Richmond Va.
I built my house in 1992 and although everybody tried to get me to install the new style septic system and a deep well. I'm kinda old school and went with the standard gravel/ drain tile septic system and the old shallow type well. That's what we used to call them anyway. Basically a hole is bored and is lined with the 3' concrete well curbs. At 55' the driller hit a large vain of water that you could hear coming into the hole all the way to the top of the ground. The well guy told me then that I would never have a water problem with this well. He continued on with 20 more feet of curbing and left 4 sticking out of the ground when he left for the day. The next day those 4 had settled and he had to add 3 more to get even with the ground and he added 1 more to get it above ground.

He ordered concrete and they poured a whole load of grout around the outside of the curbing's. He told me that normally 1 load would seal off the curbs to the top but this time was the exception and he ordered another load and it took almost that whole load to flush it off to the ground level. The next day my plumber showed up and installed the water line and pump and run the lines under the house.

I never had any problems for 15 or more years other than the first tank got waterlogged after around 11 years and I really don't know how long it was like that before I replaced it. I was out of town a lot and it was probably like that for some time. When I got off the road and was home more I noticed the pump running a lot and checked it out to find it had gone bad and I replaced it. I'm thinking it was like this for several years at the very least.

I always had plenty of water to water the lawn and keep my Koi pond filters clean and the pond full. Some time later I was filling the pond and watering the lawn all in the same day and while I was filling the pond I came back and the pond water was white with sand. I also noticed that there was very little flow coming out the hose also. I shut off the hydrant on the side of the house and went over to the well and pulled the cover and nothing looked unusual. I didn't have time to go further into it that day but the next day my wife was complaining about the washing machine that made her work close dirtier than they were before she washed them. At that point I had never installed any kind if filter into the system so I figured it was about time. I went to Lowes and picked up a whole house filter pack along with a few replacement filters. I also changed the pressure switch and check valve when I installed the filter. That made her happy for like a week til one morning she got up and was getting ready for work and there was no water at all. The breaker had tripped so I figured the pump had failed so I went up to Furgersons and picked up a new one to the tune of about $400.00

Once back I went out to pull the old pump and that puppy would not budge. I jerked and yanked on that thing for 30 minutes with no results. I went next door and got my neighbors son to come over thinking that both of us to pull it free. Still no good and I decided that I would have to get some kind of lift to pull it free. I dragged my 3 ton motor hoist up to the well head and hooked it up to the pull rope and jacked on it until the rope got so tight I knew it would surely break. I let it sit there for a little while and every 5 mins or so would jack it a little more and after a half hour or so it finally broke free. That thing was buried under 6 feet of sand and mud how it worked at all I still can't figure out. When I got it up I tried it again and the dang thing started and ran so I dropped it back down into the well and dropped it under the water a couple feet and started it back up and the thing ran like it did when it was new. I went up to the house and got one of my old cat fish fishing rods and a black magic marker to see what was going on. The well had filled in almost 20'. The water level was still at around 30' but rather than the 45' of water I had to begin with I was around 27'. I didn't have the money to dig a new well of get this one cleaned out so I raised the pump up around 5' off the bottom and that's how it's been for the past few years. I still had plenty of water for everyday needs an I would change the the filters about every 5 or 6 months. and everything was good until I was adding water to the fish pond and I got distracted and forgot the water was running and when the light bulb came on I found a white fish pond again. I shut it off and let it sit for a couple hours and when I turned it back on no water came out the hose.

Turns out the water line I was using was completely stopped up with sand and I had to replace every piece of CPVC pipe under the house. The filter element had somehow got twisted and was letting all that stuff through. Keep in mind that that old pump is still in the well......that thing just won't die.

I had been wanting to convert my crawl space to a conditioned space so I figured this would be a good time to do it all. So replacing the piping wasn't that big a deal being I had to pull all that old insulation out anyway. At that time I added a sand screen with a clear bowl before the tank and replaced the old whole house filter also. I've been getting by by being very careful not to run the water more that about 20 minutes at a time. That seems to be the sweet spot and the water stays fairly clean with filter changes every couple months. I haven't checked to see where the water level in the well is but I plan on doing that again this week just to see where I'm at.

The well man wants $2500.00 to clean it out with no warranty how long it will last, which is out of the question right now. I have to make do with this well for at least another year are there any options you guys could offer.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
36,027
Reaction score
3,777
Points
113
Location
IL
How big diameter is the hole? Maybe you could get a liner with very fine slots with very fine gravel around that.

You could clean yourself. If your static level is high enough, you could lift with an air lift pump and maybe an 8 CFM compressor. That could take days. Otherwise, an engine-driven compressor, maybe 275 cfm, fed with 1 inch pipe into the well sediment should be able to create a geyser of debris. I am not a pro.
 

Olddude

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Richmond Va.
How big diameter is the hole? Maybe you could get a liner with very fine slots with very fine gravel around that.

You could clean yourself. If your static level is high enough, you could lift with an air lift pump and maybe an 8 CFM compressor. That could take days. Otherwise, an engine-driven compressor, maybe 275 cfm, fed with 1 inch pipe into the well sediment should be able to create a geyser of debris. I am not a pro.

It lined with sections of 3' concrete well curb. The sections are basically 3' around and 3' tall, they are toung and groove and they fit together and added as the well is dug deeper. The pump is a 4", 1/2 hp submersible pump plumed with 1" black polly pipe.

We had a pretty good earthquake here and it was after this that I noticed this problem. That may not have had anything to do with it, at least the well guy didn't seem to think so. I have been looking all over for options on cleaning the silt out but everything I seem to find is info on deep wells cased with 6" or 8" PVC or steel liners. This would be a massive amount of material to remove if it was cleaned down to the original depth. I'm thinking probably something 6 to 8 cubic yards of material. But I'm thinking if I could just get it back down to where that big stream of water came in to the hole around 55' then put a couple feet of some sort of gravel above that to hopefully help seal off the sand, I could maybe get by with that.

I'm thinking I would only have to remove about 10' to do that and that would only be 2 or 3 cu yards of material that would have to be removed. I've been thinking about making a bailer out of a piece of 6" PVC about 6' long and attaching some kind of flapper on the bottom to keep the mud in and haul it out that way. Not sure how much luck I would have with something like that but it's worth a try I guess.
 
Last edited:

Greenmonster123

Active Member
Messages
182
Reaction score
31
Points
28
Location
Sag Harbor, New York
What is well curb? What are it’s dimentions? How are sections joined?

Without me really knowing what this casing is or how it’s put together it sounds like some of the sections have separated.
 

Olddude

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Richmond Va.
What is well curb? What are it’s dimentions? How are sections joined?

Without me really knowing what this casing is or how it’s put together it sounds like some of the sections have separated.
Im not sure if that is the technical name of this liner but that is what everyone around he has called it for years. It's concrete pipe almost like concrete drive way culvert only it's in shorter sections. It's around 3' around and the sections are like 3' long. It fits together one on top of another by a 3" toung and groove connection. Concrete grout is then poured around the outside of the liner down as far as the grout will go. probably 30/40' to seal off surface water.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
36,027
Reaction score
3,777
Points
113
Location
IL
It lined with sections of 3' concrete well curb. The sections are basically 3' around and 3' tall, they are toung and groove and they fit together and added as the well is dug deeper.
What ID? Three feet ID?? 2.5 ft ID? Blowing air is not going to produce a geyser in that case. I was thinking maybe 5 or 6 inches. It seems to me that you could drop a pump in there, such as an effluent pump with enough head pressure capability, and pump the accumulated solids out. Maybe you would need to repeat that every 10 years if the solids there now simply built up to the pump level over time. I am not a pro.

If the water is within about 20 ft of the surface or less, you could even use a trash pump or a semi-trash pump. Because these are suction pumps, rather than submersible pumps, the water level has to stay pretty high.
 
Last edited:

Olddude

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Richmond Va.
What ID? Three feet ID?? 2.5 ft ID? Blowing air is not going to produce a geyser in that case. I was thinking maybe 5 or 6 inches. It seems to me that you could drop a pump in there, such as an effluent pump with enough head pressure capability, and pump the accumulated solids out. Maybe you would need to repeat that every 10 years if the solids there now simply built up to the pump level over time. I am not a pro.

If the water is within about 20 ft of the surface or less, you could even use a trash pump or a semi-trash pump. Because these are suction pumps, rather than submersible pumps, the water level has to stay pretty high.

3' ID
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
36,027
Reaction score
3,777
Points
113
Location
IL
So a submersible pump that can pump solids makes sense to me. You would lower the pump with a rope to the bottom. In selecting one, you would want to identify what level your water surface gets down to, with respect to how high the exit-hose will be at its highest.

Also, how far would you like to pump the sediment to... a ditch, maybe.

If sticking an effluent pump into a well, I would want to let it churn on some bleach+vinegar+water in a big bucket for a while to sanitize the pump and the power line.

I would still sanitize the well and plumbing after.
 
Last edited:

Olddude

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Richmond Va.
I think I can come up with something to get some of the sand and mud out of the hole using the pvc pipe with a flapper. I know this is a touchy topic around here but I was hoping someone would have commented on adding a cycle stop valve to maybe help in the future. I've read so many views on those things both positive and negative that it's about a 50/50 shot in the dark. But I'm willing to try it, the logic seems sound that if you can reduce the flow of water out of the well that the flow in shouldn't be as high thus not pulling in as much sediment. Views.........
 

LLigetfa

DIYer, not in the trades
Messages
7,100
Reaction score
457
Points
83
Location
NW Ontario, Canada
If you want to make a bailer, then PVC is the wrong material. It needs to be considerably heavier so I would use a heavy-wall iron pipe. I suspect however that you will just create a void and the lower well rings will just separate from the ones above it. Maybe if you got some 2 foot well rings and dropped them down inside the 3 foot rings, even if the 3 foot rings separate, the 2 foot rings might stay together. Or put down some slotted casing and fill the annular space with coarse sand/stone that is larger than the slot size.
https://www.certainteed.com/resources/slottedpvcwellcasing403733f.pdf

What you call curbing, we call concrete well rings. I grew up with a well made with those except 4 feet around and tall. When we tried to dig it deeper we got into some very unstable ground that would just flow back in as fast as we could bail it out. The bottom ring started to go crooked on us and the ones above it would not drop down to keep the joint closed.

Decades later I had another property with well rings. The top ring would get jacked up by frost every spring and surface water would run in through the gap. I day-lighted the first two rings and wrapped it with poly, a layer of insulation, and more poly. That stopped the frost jacking.

Depending on the size of tank and the settings, a CSV can reduce the well draw to more closely match the usage. Another way is to use a dole valve.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,446
Reaction score
973
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
I was hoping someone would have commented on adding a cycle stop valve to maybe help in the future. I've read so many views on those things both positive and negative that it's about a 50/50 shot in the dark. But I'm willing to try it, the logic seems sound that if you can reduce the flow of water out of the well that the flow in shouldn't be as high thus not pulling in as much sediment. Views.........

You won't find anyone who has a CSV saying anything negative about them. Those who think they know how pumps work but really don't have a clue make themselves look pretty foolish saying negative stuff about the CSV. There are three kinds of pump installers. One is just an idiot that thinks restricting a pump with a valve makes the pump work harder. People who understand pumps know restricting the flow with a valve makes the pump work easier, not harder, and eliminating the cycling will make pumps last much longer. Another kind knows using a CSV to eliminate the destructive cycling will make your pump last many times longer than normal, which cuts into their profits and is why they say negative things about the CSV. The third kind is a rare breed. They understand all the benefits of installing a CSV and are trying to give the customer the best pressure at the lowest cost while making the pump last as long as possible.

Reviews are wonderful. Reviews with pictures are exceptional. This way you get to see what people who have a CSV think about it. I don't think you will find anything but 5 star reviews for the CSV.

https://cyclestopvalves.com/pages/reviews

Doesn't sound like the people who actually have CSV's can find anything negative to say. LOL!
 

Olddude

New Member
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Richmond Va.
If you want to make a bailer, then PVC is the wrong material. It needs to be considerably heavier so I would use a heavy-wall iron pipe. I suspect however that you will just create a void and the lower well rings will just separate from the ones above it. Maybe if you got some 2 foot well rings and dropped them down inside the 3 foot rings, even if the 3 foot rings separate, the 2 foot rings might stay together. Or put down some slotted casing and fill the annular space with coarse sand/stone that is larger than the slot size.
https://www.certainteed.com/resources/slottedpvcwellcasing403733f.pdf

What you call curbing, we call concrete well rings. I grew up with a well made with those except 4 feet around and tall. When we tried to dig it deeper we got into some very unstable ground that would just flow back in as fast as we could bail it out. The bottom ring started to go crooked on us and the ones above it would not drop down to keep the joint closed.

Decades later I had another property with well rings. The top ring would get jacked up by frost every spring and surface water would run in through the gap. I day-lighted the first two rings and wrapped it with poly, a layer of insulation, and more poly. That stopped the frost jacking.

Depending on the size of tank and the settings, a CSV can reduce the well draw to more closely match the usage. Another way is to use a dole valve.

I'm not saying that the well rings could not have somehow separated but it seems unlikely to me. The bottom ring is sitting on rock and the top ring has not moved up or down since the well was dug. I did have to go down into the well a couple years later when the water table was high due to a lot of rain and seal the rings with hydraulic cement from about 15' down to about 30' or so. That stopped all the surface water problem. I'm thinking that if I could slow down the amount of flow out then the flow of the water coming in will not pull in as much sand as it is replenishes the water level.
 

LLigetfa

DIYer, not in the trades
Messages
7,100
Reaction score
457
Points
83
Location
NW Ontario, Canada
One possible option that does not involve cleaning out the well would be to add a settling tank in-line. While a horizontal or round-bottom tank is best to be able to purge out what settles, any galvanized tank would do. Use a high side port for inlet and the top port for outlet. The lowest side port would be where you purge.
http://www.johnwood.com/storage-tanks/

I have also read where folks use an electric hot water tank with the elements removed and the side port used for inlet.
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
36,027
Reaction score
3,777
Points
113
Location
IL
I have also read where folks use an electric hot water tank with the elements removed and the side port used for inlet.
Why not feed into the dip tube? I guess the swirl action would be counter productive. Maybe cut the dip tube shorter.
Why not an old gas unit with a failed control?
 

Reach4

Well-Known Member
Messages
36,027
Reaction score
3,777
Points
113
Location
IL
Electric water heaters are cheaper than gas. The high side port is better for an inlet.
I was thinking of recycling one headed for the scrap heap due to a non-leaking failure.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks