Replacing a Whole House Water Filter Way too Frequently

Discussion in 'Home Repair' started by DarMan, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    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.
     
    DarMan, Jan 3, 2006
    #1
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  2. DarMan

    Guest

    have you tried running water backwards thru the filter with say a
    garden hose?
     
    , Jan 3, 2006
    #2
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  3. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    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.
     
    DarMan, Jan 3, 2006
    #3
  4. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    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.
     
    DarMan, Jan 3, 2006
    #4
  5. DarMan

    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
     
    , Jan 3, 2006
    #5
  6. DarMan

    Toller Guest

    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.
     
    Toller, Jan 3, 2006
    #6
  7. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    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.
     
    DarMan, Jan 3, 2006
    #7
  8. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    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.
     
    DarMan, Jan 3, 2006
    #8
  9. DarMan

    Toller Guest

    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...)
     
    Toller, Jan 3, 2006
    #9
  10. 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
     
    The Reverend Natural Light, Jan 3, 2006
    #10
  11. DarMan

    buffalobill Guest

  12. DarMan

    z Guest

    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.
     
    z, Jan 3, 2006
    #12
  13. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    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.
     
    DarMan, Jan 3, 2006
    #13
  14. DarMan

    Guest

    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.
     
    , Jan 3, 2006
    #14
  15. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    marks542,

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

    Thanks.
     
    DarMan, Jan 3, 2006
    #15
  16. 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
     
    The Reverend Natural Light, Jan 3, 2006
    #16
  17. 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.
     
    Edwin Pawlowski, Jan 3, 2006
    #17
  18. I use 5 micron. They last for six weeks or so. 30 microns is getting the
    rocks out.
     
    Edwin Pawlowski, Jan 3, 2006
    #18
  19. DarMan

    M Q Guest

    ....
    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.
     
    M Q, Jan 3, 2006
    #19
  20. DarMan

    DarMan Guest

    Thanks for all the perspectives. I definately have several avenues to
    pursue.
     
    DarMan, Jan 4, 2006
    #20
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