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Old February 12th, 2013 #1
Fred
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Default A plumbing/Well question

I have no idea where to post this. Maybe this is the wrong forum.

I have a well.
A couple of days ago my water has been acting weird. There is air in the lines. When running the water, like a shower, The water will run fine then slowly stop. Then while keeping the water on, it will start producing water again.

While the water is off the pipes make a bunch of rumbling noise.

When I first turn on the water hot water will come out even in the cold setting and the water taste really salty.

Is it the bladder? Is it my water softener? Is it the pump? It it a bad valve?

Should I call a plumber or a well driller?

Can anyone help?
 
Old February 12th, 2013 #2
Simmon
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My first thought was that it's the bladder. If it was the pump, you probably wouldn't get water at all. The rumbling sound is the water running though the pipes is changing temp. It sounds to me like the bladder in the tank has a leak or the air pressure in the tank is low. Does your pump run more than usual? Sometimes run when your not using water?
 
Old February 12th, 2013 #3
Leonard Rouse
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Fred,

I have well experience. But I've never experienced this.

I do not have water softener experience. My gut reaction is that something has gone haywire with some seal or connection in that subsystem.

Can you bypass it and see if the problem clears up?
 
Old February 12th, 2013 #4
Fred
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It is hard to tell when the pump is running. It is buried in the yard. The pressure on the gauge looks good but it might be going up and down.
 
Old February 12th, 2013 #5
Fred
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I really don't know how to work on plumbing. I have never done it before. You see, I can understand how it works but not fix it myself. I am an engineer.
 
Old February 12th, 2013 #6
Leonard Rouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred View Post
It is hard to tell when the pump is running. It is buried in the yard. The pressure on the gauge looks good but it might be going up and down.
I don't think a cracked tank bladder or malfunctioning foot valve will cause the symptons you describe. I don't see this being a job for the well man. At least I hope not, if you know what I mean.
 
Old February 12th, 2013 #7
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Thanks Leonard.

It is a weird one. I have searched the internet but came out with nothing.

I will call the plumber and have to pay the big bucks. I have to have water.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #8
Jimmy Marr
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I don't understand water softeners (or wells either for that matter), but I'm a pretty good plumber.

I figure the salt has got to be coming from the softening system.

I suspect the rumbling and pipe hammer has to do with air in the lines. It sounds like the air is also getting inside the hot water heater where it expands as it's heated and creates a pressure differential and bubbles or air pockets that make noise when the move through the system via convection currents.

I'd shut off the heat source and see what happens. Isolate sections and work by process of elimination.

Nice puzzle. Enjoy it a little before you fork over any money.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #9
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If I didn't make myself clear. My central idea is that air expands as it's heated. Water does not.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #10
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Hmn. I'm fixated on this now. I suggest turning off water heater and opening hot a cold taps to drain the system of heat. Then take some time to observe the system without the heat variable. You won't have to do without water. You'll only have to do without hot water while you continue to troubleshoot.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #11
Jimmy Marr
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Sorry Fred. I can't stop thinking about this puzzle now.

I figure the softening system is on the supply side of the water heater.

Water mixed with air is coming from the well. It goes through the softener then branches into hot and cold circuits. Hot circuit delivers water with air into heating vessel. Air separates and expands creating back pressure. Pushes heated water back through softener. This is why you sometimes get hot salty water from cold tap.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #12
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That makes sense Jimmy. Air coming from the well.

Oh shit that will be expensive. It is cold and frozen here and if they have to dig up the well, I will be charged a fortune.

It seems that I may need to call the well driller and not the plumber.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred View Post
That makes sense Jimmy. Air coming from the well.

Oh shit that will be expensive. It is cold and frozen here and if they have to dig up the well, I will be charged a fortune.

It seems that I may need to call the well driller and not the plumber.
I'm never wrong in my dreams. I think its a ruptured diaphram in an expansion tank at the well head. That explain both the air and the intermitant/variable supply.

I would have had this figured last night if Leonard hadn't derailed me with a red herring.

Moral of the story: Never ask a banker about plumbing.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #14
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I'm guessing you'll find a Schrader valve on the bottom of the expansion tank for the inflation of the air bladder. I'd look for leakage at a weep hole in that area.

If no weep hole, pump air into the Schrader and listen for bubbling which would indicate ruptured diaphragm.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #15
Leonard Rouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Marr View Post
I would have had this figured last night if Leonard hadn't derailed me with a red herring.
It's a conspiracy.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Rouse View Post
It's a conspiracy.
Nope. Just WN office politics. You were hoping prevent O'Malley from cracking the case.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Marr View Post
Nope. Just WN office politics. You were hoping prevent O'Malley from cracking the case.
lol

I've never seen The Matrix, but I get the idea this would be the WN version of it.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #18
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Seriously though, Leonard, I have no experience with wells. Don't let me push you aside. Keep your two cents worth coming in.
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #19
Fred
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I put a call in to the town well driller. I will explain things to him and see if they think its their job.

One advantage for him is he drives a truck and the plumber drives a van. There is little chance a van can make it to my house until spring.

I appreciate the help and will let you guys know what the deal is.


BTW: Where is Fred O in all of this?
 
Old February 13th, 2013 #20
Leonard Rouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Marr View Post
Seriously though, Leonard, I have no experience with wells. Don't let me push you aside. Keep your two cents worth coming in.
Well, I did a google search and came up with several instances of a softening system going haywire and causing these problems, including the taste and knocking. Something to do with a ball valve sticking in the brine tank. Or it might be the (air check valve?). Gets screwed up during the (regeneration cycle?).

If this is the case, I'm guessing this may be the cause somehow of the cold line being siphoned back into the hot water tank.

That's why I was hoping Fred's system was installed with a bypass, where he could just cut-out the softening system and see if the problem suddenly corrects itself.
 
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