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Well Problem

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by magellan900, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. magellan900

    magellan900 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the collective wisdom out there here. I know I need a well guy, but I really want to understand my issue. Renovating my house while living elsewhere. Water has been idle for nine months just after flooding from Irene in Schoharie (I wasn't flooded, but the house is there) when I started the rehab. Had the pressure tank and all plumbing replaced. Running the pump for the first time results in super output, but it's loaded with fine sand. The first ten minutes were nice and clear. It's been as dry as a bone obviously, so I assume the water table is affected. I just want to understand what the deal is. Not sure how deep it is. I'm inclined to just flush it onto the lawn to try to clear the sand, but I did that sporadically yesterday, but I got discouraged so I stopped. Does anyone have any thoughts they'd like to share.

    Thanks.

    Duane
    Schoharie NY

    PS-Santa Fe owner

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  2. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,508
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    It may be silted in and need bailed out. Thus the sand.
  3. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,389
    Loc:
    SW Virginia
    I've seen some drillers inject compressed air via hose at the bottom of the well. This forces solids in the well out the top.
  4. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    Welcome Duane, I can't help you, but I can suggest someone if you need an expert pm me.
  5. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    963
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    Since you're in Schoharie, I'm going to assume that you have a well completed in limestone. The bottom of the well has probably become full of sediments or fines that have washed in with the recharge water over time. This is where knowing how deep the well is, where your pump is set, and the depth to water might come in handy. If you can't deal with having the well surged right now (cleaning it out with compressed air) you could try setting the pump a little higher, but I'd be careful.. you don't want it too high up and running the risk of not getting water.

    Or, it could be that the recharge water just has a lot of fines in it, but because your output is "loaded" with fine sand, its probably coming from the bottom of the well. The dry year we've been having doesn't help this problem.

    I have friends over in Esperance who are having a similar problem, but for them it happens sporadically.
  6. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    Esperance is famous for lack of water. (Except when it floods)
  7. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    963
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    So are a lot of places around here largely because of the limestone. There's water, but you have to hit the right zone.
  8. Sisu

    Sisu Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    466
    Loc:
    Ontario
    There could be a number of factors that contributed to sand during the well pump start up. If it hasn't been run in a while, it could be just the natural settling/build up of sand (especially if there was a change in groundwater flow depht/velocity) that normally would have been removed during regular use.

    Other factors could be that the intial pump start-up flow rate setting might be too high, the well pump is placed to low in the well casing, and/or the well screen slot size is not fine enough. However, start simple first. Flush the line and see if the problem reoccurs with regular use. If so, then try seeing if changes in the other factors resolve the problem.
  9. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,161
    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    How about an inline sediment filter?
  10. magellan900

    magellan900 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks everyone. It was fine before I shut it down last year. My carpenter showed the water/sand to his well-guy friend and is confident I can flush it out, or at least I should try that before I spend a lot of money. It's worth a try.
  11. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    538
    Loc:
    Santa Rosa, California
    This site is always a source of great information! People out here are always told they need to drill a new well as soon as sand starts comming through the system. My well is only 5 years old and I won't have to worry about this for many years but now I know I can just have it blown out. Great, inexpensive (relatively) solution.

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