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  1. #1
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    Plumbing / well experts: how to shock a well?

    Seems pretty straightforward, but every site I visit has different warnings and doses, and I don't want to end up fucking up thousands of dollars of shit by doing it wrong. So, who can tell me the straight facts on how to shock a well?

    Some sites suggest that the bleach can mess up the diaphragm in my pressure tank; others say it will trash my water softener; others say the plastic housings of my water filters are doomed. Also, I'm bound to get a little in my sewage ejector (where it might wreck the pump seals) and my septic system (spelling dooooooom).

    What's the truth? Am I overthinking this?

  2. #2
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    Good luck on finding an answer... I had the same issue when I bought a place in MO.

    I dumped close to a gal of bleach down the well, let it sit for a couple days, bypassed bladder (pressure tank) to hose and ran water for 24 hrs into the ditch. Well was 140' deep if I remember right. Never had a problem after that. I was told to by pass the water softener for a couple weeks after but it was not working anyway so it was bypassed for about 6 months until I replaced.

  3. #3
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    Thanks; but did you run the bleached water into all the house pipes before letting it sit, or just straight to a hose spigot?

  4. #4
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    I think I ran all the faucets just before I ran hose and drained can't remember though. worth the effort though

  5. #5
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    You need to run every sink, faucet, toiletetc., in the house to get it done. Not positive about dishwasher and washing machine but it stands to reason.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    You need to run every sink, faucet, toiletetc., in the house to get it done. Not positive about dishwasher and washing machine but it stands to reason.
    That's what I figured, but I want to minimize the amount of bleach that will inevitably get into my septic system. Am I worried for nothing? How much is "too much"?

  7. #7
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    Want you want to do is add clorox, bypass the bladder tank if you can and run a garden hose into your well casing. Turn on the hose and you recirculate the water (12 to 24 hrs)- then discharge the water where you think is an appropriate place. You can use the smell test or a pool kit to get the chlorine to an appropriate level for consumption.

    you should consider dechlorination if you are discharging to a sensitive area
    let your tracks be lost in the dark and snow

  8. #8
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    Makes sense gorms; but do I also need to fill all my houshold pipes with chlorinated water and let them stand while I do this? Seems to me that I should, but then I'll get some bleach down every drain, and into my septic. Is this ok?

  9. #9
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    You could just draw some of the chlorinated water through the pipes after youve dumped some. Id want it a bit diluted though- there is good chance you have some mineral deposits in your lines and a sudden blast of chlorine could realease a bunch of it.

    As for the septic- so long you as its not a ton of chlorinated water i wouldnt worry about it. Plenty of demand in there to chew up the chlorine.
    let your tracks be lost in the dark and snow

  10. #10
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    The whole point is to run chlorine through everything -- well, pumps, pressure tank, pipes, hot water tank, toilets. With all the organic debris in the septic tank it will be fine. Chlorine is consumed doing it's thing so it doesn't take much biomass to reduce it.

    Fill the system, wait an hour or two and then flush. Chlorine can damage rubber seals if you leave it for days.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  11. #11
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    I don't know shit about wells but I have mastered my hot tub. I put 4 tablespoon of chlorine in every other day and it is crystal clear. The test strips always show that I am a bit low on chlorine but I want to be on the low side to reduce the smell of chlorine and eye burn. It seems to nuke the bacteria then have a short life where it dissipates or degrades.

    A gallon in the well, then flushing your pipes and it ending up in the septic tank could only seem to improve things...

  12. #12
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    Thanks folks; similar conflicting advice to what I had seen at various sites. ;-)

    So, my plan:

    Dump a gallon of bleach into the 60' well; let it circulate through a garden hose back to the well (bypassing the pressure tank and softener), a round-trip of about 250'. Let it stand for a couple hours. This should clean out the well itself, and the line to the house. Then run the hose into the woods for a bit to get rid of the strong solution; turn off the hose, letting the diluted water fill the household lines (including pressure tank, heater, etc.), running all faucets/showers/toilets until they smell of chlorine. Let stand for an hour. Finally, drain the household lines out through the hose into the woods, minimizing bleach in septic, and refill the system form the well as normal, running everything 'till all faucets, etc. smell clean.

    Sound reasonable?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyoverland Captive View Post
    Thanks folks; similar conflicting advice to what I had seen at various sites. ;-)

    So, my plan:

    Dump a gallon of bleach into the 60' well; let it circulate through a garden hose back to the well (bypassing the pressure tank and softener), a round-trip of about 250'. Let it stand for a couple hours. This should clean out the well itself, and the line to the house. Then run the hose into the woods for a bit to get rid of the strong solution; turn off the hose, letting the diluted water fill the household lines (including pressure tank, heater, etc.), running all faucets/showers/toilets until they smell of chlorine. Let stand for an hour. Finally, drain the household lines out through the hose into the woods, minimizing bleach in septic, and refill the system form the well as normal, running everything 'till all faucets, etc. smell clean.

    Sound reasonable?
    close.... did not see work instructions for beers and/or spliffs

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    For the benefit of you non-homeowners out there, let me state step number one for ALL home-improvement/maintenance projects: open a beer, after first making sure you have enough on hand to complete the job.

  16. #16
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    Sep 2006
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    As a home owner living in a small town on city water I've always thought I wished to be on a well instead. Not after reading all of this, holy shit what a pain in the ass!

    Good luck. WTF makes you realize you need to shock your well? Never heard of anyone ever doing this.
    "Wherever beer is brewed, all is well. Whenever Beer is drunk, life is good" -- Czech proverb.

  17. #17
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    After three years of no problems, I noticed a slight "rotten eggs" smell in the water that won't go away. This usually means bacteria are in the system; so shocking kills the bugs and makes everything clean again.

  18. #18
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    The surfur smell could be sulfur, or the generic "organics", or if it's from the hot water could mean it's time to replace the anode (if your hot water tank has one). My well water changes with the seasons since the water table is going up and down and around.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  19. #19
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    Not just hot water (new heater 6 mos. ago anyway); definitely from the well. Could be natural, but after 3 years of no problems, I've suddenly had 6 weeks of gradually strengthening smell. I'm gonna shock it to see if it's bacterial.

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