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Old 06-21-2011, 10:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can I put a whole house water filter between my well pump and my pressure tank?

I have a 400' deep well and a 2HP well pump with a 300 gallon pressure tank outside in my "well house" which is a POS landscaping timber and vinyl siding box the PO built and I plan to replace. The output of the pressure tank runs straight to the water system in the house and I'm getting ready to make some changes, most importantly I want to add a back flow preventer on the leg that feeds all of the outside spigots and sprinkler crap in the yard. I'm also considering a whole house water filter to capture any sand or sediment that may be coming up the well. I don't want to reduce my home water pressure with a filter so would it be crazy or wrong to install a large water filter on the output on my well pump before it feeds into my pressure tank? That would essentially filter all the water coming out of the ground and I'd be pushing the water through it with the pump instead of using the pressure tank to push water through the filter. I assume that would eliminate any chance of losing water pressure due to the filter right? Is there any reason why I shouldn't do this? I know I'm going to be filtering all the water that I use out in the yard but there isn't much way to get around that based on how it's plumbed, I'd have to dig up half the yard to change that.

Since the line coming from the pump to the pressure tank is 1.5" I figure I should be able to run a larger filter and housing which should allow for more flow right?

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Old 06-21-2011, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You usually don't want to filter your irrigation water. Filters get expensive.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You usually don't want to filter your irrigation water. Filters get expensive.
Yeah I know but I'm somewhat stuck, in order to split the pressure tank output before it hits the house and only filter the water going to the house I'd have to jackhammer some concrete and dig up a bunch of my yard to find the junction that's under ground somewhere.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's how ours is set up, and yes, you will still loose water pressure as the filter clogs.

The pump is what generates the pressure, the tank is only a reservoir. Yes, it has a pressurized air bladder in it, but that isn't what generates the pressure in the system. When the filter clogs, you will have good flow at first as the air bladder supplies the initial pressure, but when the pump is kicked on and can't push enough water through the filter, the pressure will continue to drop until it matches the flow through the filter.

So you're fawked either way.
It does keep sediment out of the pressure tank... but it puts more strain on the well pump.

You don't really want a restriction in the feedback loop of the pump control switch, the pressure tank, and the pump itself. It ends up making the pump work at full power for longer, just to force the water through the partially clogged filter.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you’re looking for a large filter look into the type that nurseries use…..My last employer filtered the water down to .005 microns using a filter made from plastic disks, to clean them you either backwashed the filter or took out the disks and rinsed them off. The sand and junk fell right out…
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's how ours is set up, and yes, you will still loose water pressure as the filter clogs.

The pump is what generates the pressure, the tank is only a reservoir. Yes, it has a pressurized air bladder in it, but that isn't what generates the pressure in the system. When the filter clogs, you will have good flow at first as the air bladder supplies the initial pressure, but when the pump is kicked on and can't push enough water through the filter, the pressure will continue to drop until it matches the flow through the filter.

So you're fawked either way.
It does keep sediment out of the pressure tank... but it puts more strain on the well pump.

You don't really want a restriction in the feedback loop of the pump control switch, the pressure tank, and the pump itself. It ends up making the pump work at full power for longer, just to force the water through the partially clogged filter.
So is your filter between the pump and the pressure switch or between the pressure switch and the pressure tank?

As I'm reading I see that I can get a 1.5" in/out prefilter housing specifically for sediment for pretty cheap. I've had the water tested a couple times and it's clean and tastes great, I just want to make sure we catch any sediment that may come up especially right now that we're so dry and our water table is I'm sure dropping.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If the filter is downstream of the pressure switch, but upstream of the tank, you may run into short-cycling problems with the pump as the filter clogs. If the filter is between the switch and pump, you're just going to work your pump harder as the filter clogs. Try to keep the filter downstream of the pressure tank. Sediment in the pressure tank is easier to fix than pulling a pump from 400' when shit goes wrong.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If the filter is downstream of the pressure switch, but upstream of the tank, you may run into short-cycling problems with the pump as the filter clogs. If the filter is between the switch and pump, you're just going to work your pump harder as the filter clogs. Try to keep the filter downstream of the pressure tank. Sediment in the pressure tank is easier to fix than pulling a pump from 400' when shit goes wrong.
I see what you're saying, can I just buy a larger filer/housing and throw it on the pressure tank output so that I don't screw up my water pressure in the house? Or, if it does affect my water pressure enough to bother us couldn't I adjust the pressure switch higher causing higher pressure in the tank to compensate for the loss of the filter? I'm currently set between 35 - 45psi now, I haven't really messed with it because I've been fixing electrical issues around the house first.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you are worried about your water in the house just put a filter on the mainline coming into the house. The only time the pressure will drop is when the filter is full.

When the pressure starts to drop that is a convenient reminder to change the filter.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you are worried about your water in the house just put a filter on the mainline coming into the house. The only time the pressure will drop is when the filter is full.

When the pressure starts to drop that is a convenient reminder to change the filter.
That would mean cutting and threading galvanized pipe, I'm trying to keep the filter housing inside the well house where I can keep it from freezing in the winter and where the pipe and fittings are all PVC and easy to work with. I'm just going to do the digging and split the output so I'm not filtering my lawn water, I was just being lazy.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Honestly, unless you have serious sediment issues you're not going to plug up a large filter element very quickly. When I moved into my house, I had shitty, and I mean really shitty water. It was as red as NC clay. I installed a large filter between the pump (including the press switch) and the pressure tank. I had the short cycling issue within 2 weeks of changing the filter. Yep, the water was that dirty. I could see that this kind of setup was eventually going to damage the pump. I did some "stuff" to mostly fix the dirty water and put the filter between the tank and house. Ok, the moral of the story is that even with my sediment issues, and the filter in it's current configuration, I never really notice a pressure drop in the house. I change the filter every 8 weeks and can't tell that I did it.

Cliffs: Unless your water is super dirty, it's gonna take a while to plug a filter. I'd put it after the pressure tank but downstream of a screened sediment bowl to catch the larger stuff. Second one down the page. http://budgetwater.com/sediment_filters.htm

Also, not all of the 10" filter casings are created equal. Avoid the clear ones at Lowe's and the like. Go with a blue one like pictured on that site. They hold up better.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The only reason I'm doing this is because we have really sandy soil, my back yard is a beach right now with all the rain we've been lacking. I know the sand does good things to filter the water, our water is visually perfect and tastes better than any bottled water I've tried but when we recently filled our 16K gallon pool I noticed that there was some sediment at the bottom... not enough to really worry about but I have all new appliances and I don't want to deal with shit getting into my new dish washer, laundry machines or fridge ice maker. I wasn't planning on doing any real filter, just a sediment filter of some sort.

Thanks for the info, I'll start gathering my parts I guess.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That would mean cutting and threading galvanized pipe, I'm trying to keep the filter housing inside the well house where I can keep it from freezing in the winter and where the pipe and fittings are all PVC and easy to work with. I'm just going to do the digging and split the output so I'm not filtering my lawn water, I was just being lazy.
Didn't say you had to put the filter on the outside of the house.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm in the exact same situation as you (irrigation is tapped into an outside faucet after it runs through the house).

I have a sediment trap right as the main line enters the house, so yeah it's after the pressure tank. Others already stated my first thought of what you wanted to do - you'll wear out your pump quicker than need be. Especially if you don't keep an eagle eye on the "filter" and change it the moment you start seeing large differential pressure.

Which brings me to my next quesiton: Are you looking at an actual filter, or more of a sediment trap. They're different and operate differently. As I mentioned, I have a "sediment trap" on the line into the house. What's nice about it is when it does get clogged, it's just a matter of opening the pitcock at the bottom for a second and it flushes all the sediment that has been trapped. The one issue I do run into is on occasion someone will leave like a hose on outside at a pretty good flow rate and after a few hours (say over night) the mesh on the trap gets plugged to where we have zero flow into the house. Reason is because there's a dynamic differential pressure and flow across it and the sediment isn't allowed to settle to the bottom of the trap. So I first have to go around and find what tap / faucet was left on.

I have pretty damned good water as well (it's just slightly on the acidic side), and even my dissolved solids are pretty damned low, but I still get noticeable sediment. My well is 300'. Had to replace the pump about a year and a half ago. I don't care to repeat that experience for as long as I can help it. As such, I do everything I can to avoid unnecessary wear and tare on it.

(and yeah, I'd have to jackhammer the sidewalk and driveway into the house to re-plumb my irrigation as well)
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I guess I'm looking for more of a sediment trap instead of a "filter" unless I install the trap and realize that I have a lot more junk in the water than I realize but I don't see that happening. We just bought the house in Jan and it came with a 2 year, no questions asked warranty on the water well, pump and tank. From the documentation I've found the well pump was replaced about 7 or 8 years ago but if it's going to die I sure would like it to happen in the next 18 months.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:11 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The sediment traps are cheap and easy to clean, start there. Out of curiousity, how many GMP and what's your static water level? We normally don't have to go anywhere near 400' around here.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I got mine at Lowes. Was in the same section with the well pumps and pressure tanks and all that. NOTE: Your Lowes may differ. I've noticed that in the 3 Lowes that are within 15 miles of me, only 1 has the well equipment section. Just depends on if there's demand for it in the area.

Anyway, for what it does, it doesn't look like anything special. It's only like about a foot tall. Has a clear body on it so you can see how much sediment buildup you have and if you need to flush it. Came with a couple adapters to make it fit various sizes of PVC. My main line is 1" into the house and it handles that capacity just fine. There was one already on the house when we bought it 8 years ago, I just replaced it recently because I was doing some replumbing right there to make some things more "serviceable". Did a quick search on Lowes page to give you a link, but it looks a little harder to isolate via their search.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The sediment traps are cheap and easy to clean, start there. Out of curiousity, how many GMP and what's your static water level? We normally don't have to go anywhere near 400' around here.
We've had this discussion before. Totally depends on what region of the country you're in. I seem to recall someone in like TN or OK was floored at the concept that I have a 300' well, and that's average, and am doing good to get like 7 GPM. One of my neighbors recently has theirs punched further than it already was, down to something like 600' and they get a whopping 1.5 gpm. Just barely the min of what the county will allow for a usable well.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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The sediment traps are cheap and easy to clean, start there. Out of curiousity, how many GMP and what's your static water level? We normally don't have to go anywhere near 400' around here.
Yeah, I have no clue. I do know that the PO ran a small plant farm here at one point and they owned a lot more land than the 2 acres I own so they were using a lot of water I assume. I need to find the paperwork on the well, I really don't know. All I remember is it's a 6" 400' well with a 2HP pump because that was on the water testing report we had done which was done by the company that replaced the pump a number of years ago.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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We've had this discussion before. Totally depends on what region of the country you're in. I seem to recall someone in like TN or OK was floored at the concept that I have a 300' well, and that's average, and am doing good to get like 7 GPM. One of my neighbors recently has theirs punched further than it already was, down to something like 600' and they get a whopping 1.5 gpm. Just barely the min of what the county will allow for a usable well.
Damn, 600'? I was talking to some relatives over the weekend in South Louisiana who were really the only people I knew growing up who had well water. Their well is 100' and my uncle was joking around, he said that 25' would be plenty but you would still taste the sugar cane that they grow on the land next to the house.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Damn, 600'? I was talking to some relatives over the weekend in South Louisiana who were really the only people I knew growing up who had well water. Their well is 100' and my uncle was joking around, he said that 25' would be plenty but you would still taste the sugar cane that they grow on the land next to the house.
Yep. I also have a buddy that built a house about 10 miles from me. Funny thing is he's probably like 1/2 mile from a lake. doesn't really sit up on a hill above the lake to speak of. Yet, he had to punch an 800' well. Blew his entire budget that he had set aside for septic, drilling well, and the hardware and labor to get the water plumbed to his house. All spent on just drilling the friggin hole. And even after that he's only getting like 2 gpm.
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Old 06-22-2011, 12:31 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Totally depends on what region of the country you're in.
Absolutely it does. I've read of wells that are punched to 600' and have less than 5 gpm. Can't remember what part of the country they're in, but I remember it being a more mountainous region. It was just a curiousity thing.

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Old 06-22-2011, 12:33 AM   #23 (permalink)
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And even after that he's only getting like 2 gpm.
Wow. That really sucks. I guess I'll take my 125', 25gpm well and slink away quietly now.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:15 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I would find a way to put the filter between the tank and the house, not between the tank and the pump. If/when the filter starts to restrict flow, you're going to have to worry about short cycling the pump and burning it up, or causing so much back pressure that the pressure relief valve on your well head pops.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:32 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I would find a way to put the filter between the tank and the house, not between the tank and the pump. If/when the filter starts to restrict flow, you're going to have to worry about short cycling the pump and burning it up, or causing so much back pressure that the pressure relief valve on your well head pops.
Do you guys run filters on your wells over there? I know you spent some one on one time with a well a few days ago, what psi do you guys run your water systems at?
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