If you’re a homeowner who uses a well for water, sooner or later you’ll experience a problem with your sediment filter clogging up. It’s important to know how to deal with this issue so that you can continue to use your well water safely and effectively.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to help clear the clog and restore water flow.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of sediment filter clogging, and we’ll provide some tips on how to clear it up.
Well Water Sediment Filter Clogging
A sediment filter is simply a water purification device that removes particles from the water, leaving you with clean, fresh, and safe drinking water. These filters are installed at or near the bottom of your well system to strain out most of the contaminants in your well water before it enters your home.
They do a good job, but they’re not perfect – over time sediment filters can get clogged just like a coffee maker or water heater. When that happens, you’ll know it right away because your pressure tank will start to fill with dirty-looking water just as the spigot begins to run dry.
Now, there are two main reasons why your sediment filter might get clogged.
The first is “primary failure,” which means there wasn’t enough water pressure in your well system from day one so the filter never had a chance to do its job properly. That’s no problem if you have an above-ground pump and pressure tank because all you need to do is upgrade them for higher performance parts (if needed).
However, if you have a submersible pump in your well, odds are it’s not powerful enough to push through the fine silt and sand that is typically found in the water. And unfortunately, there are no cheap upgrades for submersible pumps.
The second type of sediment filter clogging is “secondary failure,” which means that something has interrupted the flow of water past the filter. This can happen because of debris build-up outside the gravel pack or inside your well casing, or because of damage to the screen wire mesh.
If any of these things happen, let’s start with some tips on how to clear them up.
How to Clear Up Sediment Filter Clog
If you suspect that something caused your sediment filter to clog – like debris build-up or well casing damage – then you’ll need to check your pressure tank and make sure it’s full of water.
If the tank is already full, and you’ve noticed a change in water pressure, then check and see if there is any trapped air in the system. This is because air can cause low water pressure.
If your problem isn’t caused by lack of pressure, but rather because of a blockage inside your well casing itself, then you’re going to have to employ brute force as a strategy for getting the sediment filter clear again.
This means that you’ll have to manually remove any materials that are physically blocking the flow of water through the screen mesh on top of your sediment filter.
In some cases, you may need to clean the debris off of the mesh on top of your filter first, before attempting to remove any materials that are obstructing the bottom opening. If so, this can be done by gently tapping on the side of your filter with a hammer or stick.
How To Remove Sediment Filter Blockage
To manually remove a blockage from within your well casing, you probably have to lower yourself into the well hole itself and then rebuild part of it after you’re finished cleaning up the clog.
This means working in tight quarters with limited lighting – not everyone is cut out for this kind of work. If you have someone to help you down in the well with a flashlight and some tools though, it shouldn’t be too hard.
First, make sure that any debris blocking the hole is removed. If you find larger chunks of gravel or sand, then just pick them up and throw them off of the casing’s rim.
Next, remove as many obstructions from within your well casing as you can.
This will probably require a good bit of scrubbing with a wire brush, but don’t worry about getting things perfectly clean before finishing this job – there’s no cosmetic standard for clean water.
Then, rebuild the casing so that it seals tightly against whatever is located below ground on top of your filter. Replace all caps and vent lines again after cleaning out the casing, and make sure that you also replace the cap on top of your filter.
Then turn on the well pump after filling up your pressure tank for initial priming. Let it run like this for 24 hours to flush out any sediment left lingering in the system.
There’s not much fun involved in having to work with water power systems, but if you have a submersible pump or it’s the only option available – then there are some basic things to keep in mind for easy cleaning.
If you have a submersible pump, chances are you need to invest more money into upgrading them for higher performance parts (if needed). However, if your problem is caused by something that happened after the pressure screen filter on top of your sediment filter, then there are other ways to clear up these problems.
These include eliminating any debris build-up outside the gravel pack or inside your well casing, as well as anything blocking the flow of water through the screen mesh. If this doesn’t help resolve your pressure problems, then you may need to explore the option of priming and starting your pump
This isn’t a hard procedure, but it needs to be done cautiously according to all manufacturer’s instructions. The last thing you want is your pump getting destroyed because of an over-pressurized system