What I'm Seeing Now

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Why, It's Sedimentary, My Dear Watson

Well water is full of stuff!  STUFF is the best word.  It contains everything from mud to sand to grit to small stones to whatever.  It is full of sediment.

When houses are on wells, I recommend a whole-house filter.  When clients ask me why, I say, "Why, it's sedimentary, my dear Watson."

The filter I recommend has a clear plastic canister.

I like the clear ones because you can look inside and see when the filter needs to be replaced.

This is the filter I have on my house.  I am on public water!  That filter is only 6 weeks old.  It's about time to replace it!  Um, what's that tell you about public water?

This is a micro filter, which is not recommended on well systems.

The reason you probably would not want a micro filter for well water is that it would fill up very quickly.  The micro filters are expensive and might need replacement every week!

The filter needed for a well is a sediment filter, which looks much like a skein of yarn.

They are very cheap.

The other day my client asked me how I know he needs a whole-house filter on his well.  After all, we ran the water and it looked pretty clean.

The best way to prove it is to remove the aerator from the least-used bathroom.

This photo is the aerator in the downstairs powder room sink, likely the least used in the house.

That is some lovely sediment build up!

I asked him if he wanted to lick it to see what it tastes like. 

"Now, if the least-used sink aerator looks like this," I said to him, "what do you think the inside of the other faucets, shower heads, dishwasher, washing machine and water heater look like?  Such clogging also affects water pressure, as you see in the showers."

Message sent, message received.

My recommendation:  sometimes little things make big differences.  A whole-house filter on a well system (and even on public water!) can go a long way toward the health of your plumbing, appliances and family!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 23 commentsJay Markanich • September 09 2012 04:10AM

Comments

Jay: When you see the all the buildup close-up, the decision to buy a whole house filter becomes an easy one.  Suggested.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (Coldwell Banker Access Realty ~ 478.960.8055) about 8 years ago

  You don't have to spend a lot to great benefit..it may be preventive maintenance...or just "cleaning up your .....filter, gutter, etc".....saves a bunch in the end !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 8 years ago

Morning Jay I know the water is nasty at my home and it smells like mud.  I know I really need a filter but I can't talk the wife into letting me cut part of the sheet rock near the hot water heater so I can install one.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 8 years ago

Anita - it is always a very loud object lesson!  And the filters are easy to install.

S&D - I also have another triple filter under the kitchen sink for drinking and cooking water.  Why not?

James - then install a more micro filter under the kitchen sink.  Get at least a double filter - one for the sedimentary stuff and a carbon canister for taste and smell.  It will have its own spout over the sink.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

thanks Jay I'll start looking this afternoon. 

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay.  Our water filter on our refrigerator does have a light that changes color when it needs to be changed.  Looking at the build up in the filter is amazing to see what could have ended up in our drinking glass.  Is there a recommended way to clean the other lines (shower head, etc.) to improve water pressure?

Posted by Linda Blumenthal, NYS Licenced Real Estate Salesperson, CBR (Hampton Crossing - Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - 631-466-4087) about 8 years ago

They are at any hardware store James.

It depends on your build up Linda.  If it is mineral you can soak the aerators and shower heads in CLR.  That's a green solution which will literally melt any mineral build up.  If the build up is goop, I guess that depends also on what it is.  You might be best to replace the heads!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I helped a freind install a whole house filter on his new home with a community well. The water smelled so strongly of chlorine he decided to get the microfilter with the charcoal liner on it. It clogged in 2 weeks! That was the nastiest filter I have ever seen. People think they are getting nice clean water because they have a well, not necessarily tue! Not only that, but if you lose power... you lose water too. He ended up doing the same thing you suggested to James, using the whole house filter in the garage as a pre-filter and installing the microfilter under the sink.

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 8 years ago

I so agree with Anita's comment and I also suggested.  I guess same thing goes for the AC filter.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 8 years ago

Jay, this is a great post, and I am going to reblog it. Most homes here are on well water, private or community. Either way, a whole house filter is a fantastic idea.

PS, after having well water for the last 25 years, more or less, I have a very, very difficult time with town/city waters. I cannot take the smell of the chlorine, the taste is so different. My water is almost sweet!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 8 years ago

That will probably be the most effective Fred.  Those sediment filters load up too, and sometimes quickly, which is why I recommend the clear canister.

Debbie - thanks!  It does go for the air filter.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/1936225/duct-cleaning-and-air-filters-2-of-2-

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I can't stand the smell and taste of public water Andrea.  At church I never use the drinking fountain - it's awful!  That's why we have the second filter under the kitchen sink.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Well water seems to run the gamut here in CT. Some wells are full of stuff, others are quite clean. How do I know you ask. I perform a flow test on just about every well. I typically run about 200 -300 gallons through my flow mwter which has a screen inside before the gauges. I've had wells so bad I couldn't run the test because the gauge would plug up in minutes! Most aren't that bad, but many have some stuff present in the screen by the end of the test. A filter is good advice.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) about 8 years ago

Nothing else will clean it up Jim.  And even if the aerators, or screens, don't clog, there is still stuff in there that can get removed.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Is a plumber the best professional to install a sediment filter?  I am assuming yes but wanted to make sure.

Posted by Kathryn Maguire, Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach (GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881) about 8 years ago

yuck.. and nice touch with asking him to lick it! would be interesting to go back in a few months and check it again

Posted by Mark Loewenberg, KW 561-214-0370 (KW of the Palm Beaches) about 8 years ago

Kathryn - look at the photo of my filter.  That is plastic married with copper.  It works well if the installer knows what he is doing.  If it isn't done professionally it almost always leaks.  What's your question again?

I hear it tastes like chicken, Mark, and have yet to be told it's true...   ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

I remember the days of crud in water.  Seattle has some of the most gunk-free water on the planet I think.  About the only thing around here that plugs up aerators is aging galvanized pipes.  And of course we have no idea what a well is :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 8 years ago

Wow, Gunk-free Shadow - you guys ain't living!  Well, at least with the galvanized you are getting your minerals.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Good morning Jay. It would scare people to see what runs through their water lines. lol. We use a softener and a reverse osmosis filter then buy our water in the 5 gallon jugs for drinking. Yikes.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) about 8 years ago

Reversed osmosis is a good system Randy.  Why do you buy more water on top of that?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

Jay, you have got to be the king of the catchy blog title. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 8 years ago

Thank you Pat.  But it needs to fit!  And are you saying that if the blog fits, wear it?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 8 years ago

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