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Question DetailsAsked on 4/9/2017

clorox smell in pump water coming to house

new pump and pipe in well. water smells like clorax

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1 Answer


Talk to the pump/well contractor who installed it - could be he failed to leave instructions for you. Normally a replaced piping like that has to be treated with hypochlorate or similar disinfectant to make it safe for drinking water use, which is supposed to sit for a period of time (typically 12-48 hours depending on whether disinfecting or "shocking" the well to kill iron algae or bacteria in the well) before water is used. Then if the well was shocked has to be run (not so fast it drains the well down) for typically an hour or two to get rid of the bulk of the chlorinated water (typically 5-10 times the well water volume minimum), then normal use in the house for about a day or few before you cook or drink with that water.

Other possibility - if your system has a chlorinator - is that it is malfunctioning or maladjusted.

Basically, if you can smell or taste the chlorine, you should not be drinking it or cooking with it, and dishes/clothes washed in it may smell/taste of it after washing - and if really strong may bleach your clothes. Not going to be a problem with dishes/clothes with residual chlorine once the system has been flushed, but possibly could be if the well was "shocked" with chlorine and you are using that treated water and have not flushed out the well/piping yet.

Usually running the water about 1-4 hours at the "ends" of the plumbing branches to clear the main pipes, then about an additional 15 minutes at ALL other faucets to clear their side runs of the strong bleach solution in their pipes will get rid of the taste and smell.

You can also get test strips at well and pool supply places - 1 ppm (parts per million) is normal opearating residual/chlorinator treatment concentration for private chlorination systems and public water supplies, more than 4 ppm is considered unsafe or at least not known to be safe - and 1 ppm top 4 ppm is about where most people find the taste/odor to be objectionable. (Swimming pools are usually aimed at about 2-3 ppm free chlorine, which to most people is "strong" chlorine taste and smell and wouldnot be considered drinkable). When a system is treated with chlorine, typically it is dosed at 50-500 ppm free chlorine, so it takes a fair amount of flushing it out to get it down to the 1 ppm range.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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