How To Clean Silt Out Of The Water Lines At Your Riverside Cottage

People who have a cottage by a river will use a jet pump system to pull water from the river to use in the cottage. On the end of the water intake line for the pump is a footer valve. If the footer valve drops down to rest on top of a layer of silt underneath the water, the silt can get pulled into the pumping system and clog up the water pipes in your cottage. If all of sudden you find silt coming out of your faucets and you're not sure what to do, here is how you should flush out the intake water lines to remove the silt.

Turn Off Pump

As soon as you see silty water coming through a faucet, you should shut your jet pump down to stop it from sucking more silt off the river bed and into your cottage.

Fix Footer Valve

Many footer valves are connected to water intake lines connected to the side of a dock or the end of the intake line rests on a tripod to keep the footer valve off of the river bed. If the water line disconnects from the dock or the tripod tips over, the footer valve will drop to the bottom of the river bed and start sucking up silt. You need to reconnect the line to the dock or turn the tripod back up on its feet.

Flush Faucets with Cartridges

You can flush the water lines once the footer valve has been properly situated. Restart the jet pump so you are pulling silt-free water from the river. You need to open the faucets so you can flush out the water lines, but first, you need to check to see if the faucets have cartridges in them that have to be removed to keep the silt from clogging them up. Many single-handle faucets have cartridges in them. The cartridges are used to direct the hot and cold water into the faucet as the handle is turned from side to side. Here is how to remove a cartridge and flush the faucet:

  • Turn off the hot and cold water lines gong to the faucet.
  • Remove the cap on top of the faucet's handle.
  • Remove the screw underneath the cap (the screw actually goes into the top of the cartridge).
  • Lift off the handle from the faucet to expose the cartridge.
  • Remove the U-shaped washer holding the cartridge into the faucet's stem.
  • Take a pair of needle-nose pliers and grasp the tip of the cartridge and rotate back and forth to loosen it.
  • Pull up on the cartridge with the pliers to remove it from the faucet.
  • Place a heavy pan over the top of the opening in the handle to divert the water coming out of it into a sink or bathtub.
  • Open the cold water line to the faucet a little bit and let it run until you can't see silt coming out of it anymore. Then repeat the process for the hot water line.
  • Insert the cartridge back into the faucet and put the handle back on in the reverse order in which you took it apart.

Flushing Faucets without Cartridges

Faucets without cartridges can simply be turned on and allowed to run until all the silt in the water line is gone.

For more information, contact a company like Brown's Plumbing.