Water Well and Pump Repair/Whole house water filter

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QUESTION: Hi Robert
I have to replace my  well water whole house water filter .Currently have a 20 micron  polyester filter mainly for silt. I want to know if I can replace the filter with a 5 micron charcoal filter  for better taste and silt. Will the 5 micron put more strain on the well pump and reduce its life? Will it reduce water flow? Pump is 1 yr old, 1/2 HP.
Thanks

ANSWER: If you have an in line filter like the ones sold at a big box store; in my opinion they are a joke.  They don't remove anything in water that could harm you.  Or for that matter anything that you could even see.  The only one that would make any sense would be a carbon filter to remove chlorine, but to do the job well, it would have to be much larger than a 10" cartridge.  Those filters were originally designed for one faucet.  Not an entire house.  Since retailers discovered they could get the general public to believe they were whole house filters by calling them that, the profits skyrocketed.

The filter won't put a strain on your pump unless it is before the tank and pressure switch.  It could plug up and burn up your pump.  If it were mine, I would remove the cartridge and leave it out.  Very few people on wells actually have silt.  They have minerals such as hardness (calcium and magnesium), iron, sulfur and possibly manganese.  These can all be removed with the real whole house filters which are tanks of 9" X 48" and larger.  They have built in backwash heads that maintain the media that actually removes the mineral.

What is it that you are trying to remove?  Do you have hardness, iron or sulfur?  If not, you really don't need a filter at all.

bob...

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your answer and time Robert. I have a water softener after the filter. I do notice a lot of black silt in the filter when I change it. I am just trying to prevent all that silt from entering the softener.Was just wondering if I used a finer filter like the 5 micron instead of the 20 micron to take out more silt if it would affect the pump.Thanks again

Answer
The black stuff you are seeing is probably sulfur and no filter can stop it.  Yes it can stop the flakes, but the flakes are pieces of the sulfur breaking off the pipes that has accumulated over the years.  The softener will catch those particles and backwash them out just like it does the hardness.  So the inline filter is totally useless in that regard.  Sulfur won't hurt you nor will any of the other minerals in your water.  Even though I love my water softener, it does remove calcium and magnesium completely and they are both minerals that the body can use.  Maybe that's why so many of us are taking vitamin supplements because we aren't getting them by drinking natural well water.

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Robert Tabor

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