Replacing a Whole House Water Filter Way too Frequently


D

DarMan

This is a new well (200 feet) and a new house.

There is a whole house filter and it was installed with a 30 micron
filter.

For 6 weeks of normal water usage, there was no problem. Then, the
water would come out of the faucets/showers as if there was no water
pressure. I changed the filter (with another 30 micron), and
immediately everything was fine.

10 days later, the same thing happened. I changed the filter, and
water flow was back.

This cycle of loss of flow, replacing the filter and restoring the flow
repeated 4 days later, then 2, then 2, then 2, then 1, then 1, then it
was only after taking one shower that I had to replace the filter
again. The pump is producing plenty of water. The bladder tank is
producing enough pressure. It really seems to be the filter.

All the while, the filters don't "look" dirty (they were a light gray
color), meaning I couldn't scrape or wash away any muck or dirt. I've
tried 30, 20, and 5 micron filters, as well as the pleated paper,
"felt" material, and string types. I was told to try a 50 or 100
micron filter, but that doesn't seem to make sense (why do I want more
sediment to get through?). The water straight from the pump is clear
when coming out of a hose, but filling up a bucket shows that the water
is a bit cloudy (white/gray).

The only other tidbit of information is that around the time of the
first filter change there was a big rainstorm, and it has been pretty
wet ever since. There are a few drainage issues that the builder hs
yet to work out, so there is some standing water when it is not
raining.

Any help? Do I simply need a larger micron filter? Is this a normal
part of a new well and will it cear up in 2-, 3-, 6-months?

Thanks.
 
H

hallerb

have you tried running water backwards thru the filter with say a
garden hose?
 
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D

DarMan

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Do you mean I should take the
filter cartridge out and run water through it to see if it is indeed
clogged? Please elaborate.
 
D

DarMan

Art,

If we theorize the pipe is too far in the well (or that the problem is
something erroneous with the well installation), is there any way of
testing to see if that is true without having to physically pull up the
pipe (i.e. convince the well digging company they installed the pipe
incorrectly and to fix it)? Or is it a lot of trial and error?

Other than that, it sounds like you feel I simply have well water that
is carrying a lot of sediment and that additional filters or filtering
systems are needed, correct? I was told that it wouldn't be a health
hazard to remove the filter altogether, but that just sounds silly.

Thanks for your patience. I'm learning a lot about well water.
 
G

Guest

What hall is referring to is known as "backflushing". Basically, you
are cleaning the particles out of the filter by reversing the flow. It
is worth a try, but some filter designs are made to fall apart when you
do this, the filter makers want you to replace, not recycle.-Jitney
 
T

Toller

DarMan said:
This is a new well (200 feet) and a new house.

There is a whole house filter and it was installed with a 30 micron
filter.

For 6 weeks of normal water usage, there was no problem. Then, the
water would come out of the faucets/showers as if there was no water
pressure. I changed the filter (with another 30 micron), and
immediately everything was fine.
My filters last a few weeks. When they need to be replaced they are caked
with crud.
I don't understand why your filter look clean when they are clogged; sounds
to me like crappy filters. What kind are they?

I have a coarse "sand" filter I haven't gotten around to installing. It is
50 microns and can be cleaned by simply opening a flush valve. That might
help you out; but I still have to wonder about why your filters clog without
any build up.
 
D

DarMan

Toller,

Correct, the filters are not caked with anything--simply dirty
gray--and that is why this seems so mysterious. In the canister which
holds the filter there is usually about 2 to 3 millimeters of fine
gray sediment. The water is cloudy, and the particles do seem to remain
suspended in the water (I have a bucket which has been standing for a
couple days now and it doesn't seem to have settled).

The filters I've bought were from Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Ace
Hardware had the same types of filters, but nothing larger than 30
microns.

I have heard of the sand filter (my brother-in-law has one, but he had
a similar situation to yours with coarse sand), but I really don't
think the sediment I have is course enough for that to be effective.
 
D

DarMan

Joseph,

If ground water is getting into the well quickly, then it may be of
benefit for me to get the well water tested to see what's in it. Any
suggestions for a simple way of finding out if the well construction is
to blame, or should I just get the guy who dug it out here?

Thanks.
 
T

Toller

DarMan said:
Toller,

Correct, the filters are not caked with anything--simply dirty
gray--and that is why this seems so mysterious. In the canister which
holds the filter there is usually about 2 to 3 millimeters of fine
gray sediment. The water is cloudy, and the particles do seem to remain
suspended in the water (I have a bucket which has been standing for a
couple days now and it doesn't seem to have settled).

The filters I've bought were from Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Ace
Hardware had the same types of filters, but nothing larger than 30
microns.

I have heard of the sand filter (my brother-in-law has one, but he had
a similar situation to yours with coarse sand), but I really don't
think the sediment I have is course enough for that to be effective.
I hate to suggest this, but I would call a water treatment company; if only
to hear what they have to say about it.
My guess (and that's all it is) is that you have an enormous amount of fines
in your water and you probably need something more expensive than a hardware
store filter.
My water is clear and the coarse stuff that clogs my filter drops right out
in a bucket. (tastes like crap, but that's a whole other story...)
 
T

The Reverend Natural Light

How much water have you run out of the well? Perhaps you need to run
water out onto the ground for a few days or weeks. Unfiltered, of
course. My neighbors had a new well installed and they ran water out
onto the driveway for many days. I guess the drilling company told
them to.

-rev
 
Z

z

Art said:
Maybe the pipe is too deep in the well.

You could also consider using 2 filters. A coarse prefilter and a second
fine filter after that.

Also try to find a filter that is 2 filters high. So the filters get
stacked in a case. You will get longer life out of the filters that way.
I've never had experience with home filters, but a lot of experience
with micron filters in the lab, and they gunk up very easily before
they get the surface crud, because of the construction. But as
suggested, a regular (paper in the lab) type filter even just sitting
right on on top of them would catch all that stuff without itself
clogging, because of the difference in construction, leaving only the
bacteria etc. to get stopped by the micron filter, which would no
longer clog.
 
D

DarMan

Rev,

I have heard of what you could call "bloodletting" the well, but the
thing is we had about 6 weeks of water without changing the filter, and
the frequency of filter changes has increased seemingly exponentially.
I'm not sure if our useage of the the well for 6 weeks has caused this
problem, but I do not seem to have any problem with the volume of water
directly from the pump (before the filter).

Thanks.
 
M

marks542004

DarMan said:
This is a new well (200 feet) and a new house.

There is a whole house filter and it was installed with a 30 micron
filter.

For 6 weeks of normal water usage, there was no problem. Then, the
water would come out of the faucets/showers as if there was no water
pressure. I changed the filter (with another 30 micron), and
immediately everything was fine.

10 days later, the same thing happened. I changed the filter, and
water flow was back.

This cycle of loss of flow, replacing the filter and restoring the flow
repeated 4 days later, then 2, then 2, then 2, then 1, then 1, then it
was only after taking one shower that I had to replace the filter
again. The pump is producing plenty of water. The bladder tank is
producing enough pressure. It really seems to be the filter.

All the while, the filters don't "look" dirty (they were a light gray
color), meaning I couldn't scrape or wash away any muck or dirt. I've
tried 30, 20, and 5 micron filters, as well as the pleated paper,
"felt" material, and string types. I was told to try a 50 or 100
micron filter, but that doesn't seem to make sense (why do I want more
sediment to get through?). The water straight from the pump is clear
when coming out of a hose, but filling up a bucket shows that the water
is a bit cloudy (white/gray).

The only other tidbit of information is that around the time of the
first filter change there was a big rainstorm, and it has been pretty
wet ever since. There are a few drainage issues that the builder hs
yet to work out, so there is some standing water when it is not
raining.

Any help? Do I simply need a larger micron filter? Is this a normal
part of a new well and will it cear up in 2-, 3-, 6-months?

Thanks.
If this was a problem with a new well I would have expected the
opposite. that is filter clogging very quickly and getting better and
better as time progressed.

If there was a lot of sediment shown on the filter a courser prefilter
would be a good idea.

You seem to be indicating a lot of very fine particulate matter which
tends to stay in suspension.

I would take a water sample and get it tested. Your local health
department may be able to do it for you.

Once you identify the material causing the problem you can start
searching for the right solution. It might be practicle to filter only
your kitchen faucets and leave the others unfiltered.

The only whole house filter I have ever used was about 3 feet long and
8 inches across. Washed down every 3-6 months and changed annually.
 
D

DarMan

marks542,

That is a good synopsis/analysis of the situation, and a good course of
action to pursue.

Thanks.
 
T

The Reverend Natural Light

My own well has a problem with rust. The water was so bad that it
would clog a filter in a couple of days and I couldn't even wash cars
with it. And the more water I'd use, the worse it would get. Finally
I called a drilling company in desperation.

They sent a crew out to pull the pipe from the well (plastic,
thankfully), raise the pump a few feet, and run all the water out of
it. It ran straight out of the well pipe onto the yard at full blast
for 45 minutes. So much rust came out that it actually stained the
yard. About half way through it started to clear up and was pretty
much clear water at the end.

Now I run the garden hose for a couple hours twice a week or so, and
it's almost crystal clear all the time. Combined with 35 micron
filters (used 5 micron before), the filters last for months.

Oh, and if you haven't already installed two filters in parallel, I'd
recommend it. Two filters last much more than twice as long as a
single.


-rev
 
E

Edwin Pawlowski

or should I just get the guy who dug it out here?
That's what I would do. I know there are procedures for new well to flush
them. He should be able to help you because as it is, the well is about
useless. You should not have that much solids in it.
 
E

Edwin Pawlowski

DarMan said:
The filters I've bought were from Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Ace
Hardware had the same types of filters, but nothing larger than 30
microns.
I use 5 micron. They last for six weeks or so. 30 microns is getting the
rocks out.
 
M

M Q

DarMan said:
This is a new well (200 feet) and a new house.

There is a whole house filter and it was installed with a 30 micron
filter. ....
This cycle of loss of flow, replacing the filter and restoring the flow
repeated 4 days later, then 2, then 2, then 2, then 1, then 1, then it
was only after taking one shower that I had to replace the filter
again. The pump is producing plenty of water. The bladder tank is
producing enough pressure. It really seems to be the filter.

All the while, the filters don't "look" dirty (they were a light gray
color), meaning I couldn't scrape or wash away any muck or dirt. I've
tried 30, 20, and 5 micron filters, as well as the pleated paper,
"felt" material, and string types. I was told to try a 50 or 100
micron filter, but that doesn't seem to make sense (why do I want more
sediment to get through?). The water straight from the pump is clear
when coming out of a hose, but filling up a bucket shows that the water
is a bit cloudy (white/gray).
....
I would agree with the others that say to get the water tested.
You might hire a professional other than the driller to help you
analyze the situation. Of course it doesn't hurt to talk to
the driller.

How was the well drilled? "Air rotary"? or did he using "drilling mud"?
If the latter, there may be a lot of drilling mud (which I believe is
mostly clay) that is clogging your filter. Clay will clog filters
real fast. It could be that a higher water table after your rains
washed some mud that was previously above the water line into the well.

Again, I (like most others here) am just guessing. If you can't figure
it out yourself, hire a professional.
 
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D

DarMan

Thanks for all the perspectives. I definately have several avenues to
pursue.
 

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