Sediment Filters

From city girl to country girl …

For a little while now, my countertop Brita water filter has looked a little reddish on the bottom. I thought it odd but figured I’d change the filter and things would take care of themselves. They didn’t.

The problem was not the Brita which worked beautifully. No — our problem was a sediment filter.

Vu-Flow Sediment Filter

The water from the well goes through this filter and the filter removes any sediment like sand or rocks before it then travels to the water softener. But the sediment filter is not supposed to look like this. It’s supposed to be clear.

When we bought the house, the filter looked exactly like this. We were told that all we had to do was use the red lever at the bottom of the filter and flush it out every now and then. We have been faithful in doing that.

One day, I went to use the water. Just a trickle came through. As the day went on the water supply lessened. I was in a panic. What?!!! No water in the well? Impossible!

My husband had shown me that there is a way to bypass the filter. Of course, sediment might come through then. Aha! I thought to myself. I will try bypassing the filter and see if it helps. Voila! We had water. The filter was clogged pretty badly.

I called the company, Vu-Flow, to see what needed to be done. They suggested we clean the filter. A simple thing, I was told. Turn the water to the filter off (already done) and unscrew the plastic tubing. Then, remove the filter and clean it.

(By the way, the red you see is iron that has built up in the filter.)

I waited until my husband got home so we could try cleaning the filter. I had visions of me standing foot deep in water if I tried it alone.

We had no luck. The plastic tube would not budge.

I called our Home Warranty people. Not being “sediment-speaking” savvy, I explained we had a problem with red coloring in our water and the filter couldn’t be removed. The representative, through no fault of her own, explained that it was probably the water softener. She scheduled someone out.

Later that day, I decided to do some sleuthing. (I like sleuthing — it makes me feel like Nancy Drew, a storybook detective whose books I read voraciously when I was younger.)

I called three or so plumbers. They all gave me the same advice. They could come out and remove the filter and clean it but they felt we could do it. One plumber explained step by step how to do it. I needed to get a device from Home Depot to turn the plastic tubing.

(Notice that if I don’t know the name of something, I call it a device. It’s safer that way and sounds much better than a thingamajig.)

I called the installer who was scheduled to come out through the Home Warranty company and told him that we were going to try doing it ourselves. We have a $100 deductible and I later learned that if it was not covered, he would charge us $25 every 15 minutes. Ouch! That’s expensive. I canceled his visit.

The other three plumbers were very reasonable. One charged nothing for coming out and the other two charged $125 plus parts no matter how long it took.

Back to the sediment filter …

We bought the device and the plastic tubing came right out. One of the plumbers had also suggested I try Iron Out to clean the filter and plastic tubing so I had come prepared to do that.

I put the Iron Out in a pail per the instructions then put the filter and plastic tubing inside. The next morning — voila! again!

Vu-Flow Filter

This is what it’s supposed to look like.

It’s amazing to me that the three plumbers I had personally contacted all instructed me over the phone on what I should do. By the time I spoke with the third plumber I thought I was an expert at what needed to be done. But, he was the most patient and explained in a lot more detail what this city girl needed to do.

Amazing! I have found that “Minnesota nice” is practiced over and over again in Minnesota.

Our sediment filter flows quite well now. I haven’t noticed the redness at the bottom of our Brita either.

“They” say that if your brain challenges itself that you won’t get Alzheimer’s. Well, at this rate, with all the learning I’m doing, I should be just fine.

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