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FReepers, help me out (low [well] water pressure)

Posted on 10/10/2006 1:09:01 AM PDT by Miztiki

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Can you help me? Maybe point me to a site called "well water for dummies" that can help me determine if the problem is major (like need a new well) or minor (like push the reset button).

I have no idea how old or deep the well is. The pressure is low throughout the house. I went outside and looked at the thing but I don't know what I'm looking at. There's a red button and I pushed it and water squirted out of it and hit me in the face. I don't know if I should have pushed that button or not.

I have no clue about these things. Can anybody help me out or point me to a site that can? Please??

1 posted on 10/10/2006 1:09:03 AM PDT by Miztiki
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To: Miztiki

It has been a while for me, but if you know the pump to otherwise be in good shape, you may have an air bubble in the system. This could manifest itself within one of the filter housings, so you should be able to see this. Get the air out via similar buttons if possible.

However, it is possible you have sand that has filled in around your intake. This would be likely if you've known your husband to have to dig it out in the past.


2 posted on 10/10/2006 1:13:43 AM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: Miztiki

I'm not sure Miztiki, but I can tell you that:

1. At the end of the summer, some wells tend to have to work harder (less water).

2. Your pressure tank may need cleaning/draining (CALL A PROFESSIONAL) or may be going on the blink.


3 posted on 10/10/2006 1:17:27 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: Miztiki

Some insights:

Popular Mechanics:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/how_your_house_works/1275136.html?page=3

Another source:

http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/pumprepair.htm


4 posted on 10/10/2006 1:19:47 AM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: Miztiki

Here you go.

Click on this link and see if this is helpful:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=well+%2B+low+water+pressure&btnG=Google+Search


5 posted on 10/10/2006 1:20:09 AM PDT by Cindy
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To: All

I will look at those links, thanks!

If anyone has any more info for me then please do share. I hope it's nothing serious or costly.


6 posted on 10/10/2006 1:30:01 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki

Another possibility is that you have a leak in a line. You might want to check for any unusual dampness around where your lines run.


7 posted on 10/10/2006 1:31:59 AM PDT by snowsislander
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To: Miztiki
I would bet that you have problem with your preasure switch (near the bottom of the big tank) It is either filled with sediment or is dying of old age. Have a plumber (or your friendly neighbor) check it out for you.

If it is defective it would shut the pump at the bottom of the well off before full pressure is achieved.

Been there...done it!
8 posted on 10/10/2006 1:37:19 AM PDT by Chief Engineer
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To: Chief Engineer
I would bet that you have problem with your preasure switch (near the bottom of the big tank) It is either filled with sediment or is dying of old age. Have a plumber (or your friendly neighbor) check it out for you. If it is defective it would shut the pump at the bottom of the well off before full pressure is achieved. Been there...done it!

My first thought as well! Over the years I have had to replace my pressure switches far more often than any part of well systems. They are a very inexpensive item, available at Home Depot/Lowe's, etc. and are very easy to replace with simple tools (just make sure you kill the electric power first since you are dealing with 220+ volt wiring!)...

9 posted on 10/10/2006 1:42:08 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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I can't even figure out which parts are which.

There's a tall tank-like thing with a dial near the top, there's a "water filtration" thing, there's a box with a sticker that warns of high voltage, and then there's a cylinder shaped plain thing going into the ground.

I'm guessing the latter is the pump?

I'll go back out and look for a pressure switch at the bottom of the tank but I think it was just a plain tank sitting on the ground.


10 posted on 10/10/2006 1:46:34 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki

Do you have a holding tank?
Call for water to be hauled in untill hubby gets home.

Call the local well pump guy and ask for references.

Do you have a filtration system, may just need to change the filter I have my pump guy come out every 4 months to change mine and it works out to be just about the time the pressure drops.

Did you check the water pressure gauge? If that drops to zero you are not getting water for what ever reason.

I have lived with a dry well for 20 yrs as a single woman.
Had to get in the right local network of decent guys who work together on jobs as pros to have things run smoothly.


11 posted on 10/10/2006 1:47:55 AM PDT by Global2010 (Tagline walking the dogs.)
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To: ExSES

My only neighbor that I know is "too friendly". I don't want him to know that my husband is away. I'd rather pay out the nose for a repair man.


12 posted on 10/10/2006 1:49:17 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Chief Engineer

Ditto I my gauge go on the blink about every 3-4yrs. that the easy need to fix its.


13 posted on 10/10/2006 1:50:12 AM PDT by Global2010 (Tagline walking the dogs.)
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To: Global2010

Hubby won't be home for another 4 weeks.

I'm going to take a picture of it and maybe y'all can tell me what I have.

brb...


14 posted on 10/10/2006 1:50:32 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki
I'll go back out and look for a pressure switch at the bottom of the tank but I think it was just a plain tank sitting on the ground.

Pressure switches are typically a small rectangular plastic box (black or gray). They will be connected by a very thin metal pipe to the piping and will have wiring entering them. You should run your water and time the length of time that your pump is running (you'll hear a humming while it is running). That info and the size of your water tank would help in diagnosing the problem.

15 posted on 10/10/2006 1:53:26 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: Miztiki
My only neighbor that I know is "too friendly". I don't want him to know that my husband is away. I'd rather pay out the nose for a repair man.

I can appreciate that. It has been my experience that if you diagnose the problem first and ask for estimates you "May" cut down on the folks who will just sell you all kinds of additional things!

17 posted on 10/10/2006 2:06:45 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Miztiki
My only neighbor that I know is "too friendly". I don't want him to know that my husband is away. I'd rather pay out the nose for a repair man.

I can appreciate that. It has been my experience that if you diagnose the problem first and ask for estimates you "May" cut down on the folks who will just sell you all kinds of additional things!

18 posted on 10/10/2006 2:06:45 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Phatboy

LOL I concur.

And remember yellow is mellow....


19 posted on 10/10/2006 2:07:18 AM PDT by Global2010 (Tagline walking the dogs.)
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To: ExSES

Here are some pictures.

The whole thing:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/Miztiki/Sept2006044.jpg

Water filtration thing:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/Miztiki/Sept2006046.jpg

Gauge (@65) and pressure switch?:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/Miztiki/Sept2006047.jpg

Pump??:

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y181/Miztiki/Sept2006045.jpg

There's some sort of high voltage box in the bottom left of the second picture too.

Do I have the different parts right?

I'll read through your comments again and see what I can find. I really appreciate the help.


20 posted on 10/10/2006 2:16:33 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki; MotleyGirl70

Just maybe....................................The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handle.


21 posted on 10/10/2006 2:17:37 AM PDT by Cagey
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To: Miztiki

Looks like you have a submersible pump but your gauge on the tanks shows plenty of preasure. My guess is that your filter needs changing.


22 posted on 10/10/2006 2:21:48 AM PDT by eastforker (.308 SOCOM 16, hottest brand going.2350 FPS muzlim velocity)
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To: Miztiki
65 pounds pressure seems good. When has your filter been changed? Perhaps that is the problem.

Go to the store with the pictures, along with any numbers or other identification on your present filter. (the big white thing) The guy at the hardware store can tell you how to change the filter.
23 posted on 10/10/2006 2:24:37 AM PDT by Chief Engineer
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To: Miztiki
Gauge (@65) and pressure switch?

Yes, you've identified them.

If the gauge works, 65 pounds of pressure is very good and would indicate that the pump is doing its job but something is constricting the flow! Either leaks in the system (possible) or filter is clogged (probable). Typically, there will be a "raw water" faucet which is plumbed in before the filter. If you get a high stream of water pressure from the "raw water" side, you probably have a clogged filter.

24 posted on 10/10/2006 2:25:24 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: ExSES

The filter pictured is on the raw water side (before the water enters your tank). Do you have a water treatment/ filtering system (water conditioner) in the line going to your home?


25 posted on 10/10/2006 2:29:38 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: ExSES
The gage and preassure switch are past the filter. The problem lies between the tank and the rest of the house. Got any kids that may have "played" with a valve?
26 posted on 10/10/2006 2:29:58 AM PDT by Chief Engineer
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To: Chief Engineer
The gage and preassure switch are past the filter. The problem lies between the tank and the rest of the house. Got any kids that may have "played" with a valve?

That would be an item to check! If the main cut-off valve going into the house has been constricted (nearly turned off) the water pressure inside the house will be high (but only for a few seconds the drop rapidly).

27 posted on 10/10/2006 2:33:51 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Miztiki; All

Miztiki, I don't know anything about wells other than any family I have 'down south' have wells. LOL.

My comment though is...every once in a while a post on FR makes me smile. Your post made me smile, not because you're having problems, but that there is such a huge resource of information available to fellow Freepers and how so many are willing to help out.

I hope you get the well fixed.


28 posted on 10/10/2006 2:34:43 AM PDT by EBH (All great truths begin as blasphemies. GB Shaw)
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To: Chief Engineer; ExSES

There is a faucet on the back side of the tank. I just checked it and it has plenty of pressure.

We don't have a water conditioner and we don't have kids or anyone who would have messed with anything.

Hubby is overseas (just left yesterday) and I haven't been able to talk to him yet. I will ask him when he last changed the filter and if he has messed with any valves.

I miss him already. :-(

EBH, I agree. Aside from the ones on this thread who would advise me to fix my car by rotating the air in my tires, adjusting my canuter valve, and adding blinker fluid, FReepers are a great group of informative and helpful people!

Thank you very much for your help. I will replace the filter and see if that helps. If not then I guess I'll have to call someone in.

Thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it.

Next thread: How to remove and sharpen mower blades... :-)


29 posted on 10/10/2006 2:44:56 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki; MotleyGirl70; Larry Lucido; Mr. Brightside; lesser_satan

KRAMER: These showers are horrible. There's no pressure, I can't get the shampoo out of my hair.

JERRY: Me either.

KRAMER: If I don't have a good shower I am not myself. I feel weak and ineffectual. I'm not Kramer.


30 posted on 10/10/2006 2:45:20 AM PDT by Cagey
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To: Miztiki
There is a faucet on the back side of the tank. I just checked it and it has plenty of pressure.

At least that indicates that the very expensive items are working OK. If you hook up a hose to that faucet on the tank, turn fully on and time the length of time it takes the pump to run for a re-pressurizing cycle (from pump turn-off to turn-on) that would help narrow down the possible causes of the problem.

Since your filter is in the system BEFORE the tank, it will only be the problem if the pump runs for an excessive amount of time in order to reach its cut-off pressure.

Is the water pressure low ALL THE TIME in the house or is it normal at first and then diminishing and takning a very long time to build up again?

31 posted on 10/10/2006 3:02:40 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Miztiki

It`s probably only the filter.

The red button is just the bleed for when you
change the filter to let air out of the line.

Turn the pump off,find the plastic wrench to
remove the filter housing,install new filter,
turn pump back on,now push in the red button
till air is gone from filter.


32 posted on 10/10/2006 3:22:08 AM PDT by 31M20RedDevil
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To: ExSES

I sure hope you are right in your first sentence.

The pressure is fine for the first few seconds or so, then it drops off. It didn't occur to me that I should let the "raw" faucet run for a bit to see if it dropped in pressure too.

So I should connect a hose and note the length of time the pump is *off* between the times it kicks in? What would be a good or bad indicator?

I'll try the hose when the sun comes up.


33 posted on 10/10/2006 3:29:59 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki
Next thread: How to remove and sharpen mower blades...

If you are going to sharpen it then it doesn't have to be removed.
I'd get a new one (at Lowe's or Home Depot). Put a block of wood under the blade and just remove the bolt. Spray on some WD40 and clean the area and put the new blade on, securing it tightly into place.

If the bolt is stubborn you might have to call on your "too friendly" neighbor for assistance. You live in Texas so I'm assuming there are firearms in the house. You could stand aside holding one, explaining to Mr. Toofriendly that you are just keeping an eye out for 'predators'.

Hope you get your water back soon.

On a lighter note, I just sowed Texas bluebonnets in my yard, (the blue flower and the maroon variety - Alamo fire). Far as I know they haven't been grown in Virginia. When I get them going I'll suggest they plant some at Monticello.

34 posted on 10/10/2006 3:31:26 AM PDT by jla
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To: Miztiki
You may need to adjust the pressure switch. It probably looks like this:

You'll need a screwdriver and maybe a pair of pliers- when you take the plastic cover off, there should be a nut or a set screw right on top, which controls the tension of the spring under it. Watch out, there's live electricity at the contacts right next to it. Use tools with insulated handles. Tightening or loosening it will produce more or less pressure. Count how many times you turn the nut, in case you need to set it back to the original position.

35 posted on 10/10/2006 3:39:53 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (We gotta watch out for the Hellbazoo and the Hamas...)
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I just heard from my husband and I asked him about it.

He said he changed the filter before he left Sunday. He said he put in a high quality, refined (sand?) filter and maybe it's somehow restricting the flow. He said maybe try a regular, paper filter and see if that helps.

What do you think? He's new to wells also so he could be way off.


36 posted on 10/10/2006 3:54:49 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki

Nevermind, I just read the thread. Doesn't seem to be the pressure switch. looks like you're narrowing it down.


37 posted on 10/10/2006 4:00:31 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (We gotta watch out for the Hellbazoo and the Hamas...)
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To: Miztiki
He said he changed the filter before he left Sunday. He said he put in a high quality, refined (sand?) filter and maybe it's somehow restricting the flow. He said maybe try a regular, paper filter and see if that helps. What do you think? He's new to wells also so he could be way off.

That certainly narrows it down! It would appear to be either a defective filter or..., improperly installed filter.

38 posted on 10/10/2006 4:05:03 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: Miztiki
The pressure is fine for the first few seconds or so, then it drops off. It didn't occur to me that I should let the "raw" faucet run for a bit to see if it dropped in pressure too. So I should connect a hose and note the length of time the pump is *off* between the times it kicks in? What would be a good or bad indicator?

The less time the pump has to run and the longer the interval between run cycles..., the better!

If the pump "run cycle" is fairly short while testing with the faucet at the tank, the problem is in the line going into the house.

Let us know what the time tests by running the tank faucet turn out to be.

39 posted on 10/10/2006 4:14:24 AM PDT by ExSES (the "bottom-line")
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To: ExSES

Improperly installed? My husband? Dear lord, can you hear me laughing from way over here?

I'll learn how to install the thing and see if it's in there right. Oh gosh, this is funny!

Thanks for you help tonight! I'll be sure to tell hubby that the filter is defective. ;-)


40 posted on 10/10/2006 4:17:56 AM PDT by Miztiki (Pearland, TX)
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To: Miztiki

There must be a well company in your area. Ask a neighbor for a reference or go to the local hardware store and ask them.


41 posted on 10/10/2006 4:39:48 AM PDT by OldFriend (Should we wait for them to come and kill us again? President Karzai 9/26/06)
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To: Phatboy
Go back to sleep and in the morning look over the posts, call your deacon and the fire department and the mayor.

Really now. If she had a "mayor," then she'd have city water.

SD

42 posted on 10/10/2006 4:42:11 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Cagey; Miztiki; MotleyGirl70; Larry Lucido; Mr. Brightside
Kramer: Oh, Elaine. Yeah. Elaine: Kramer, you look terrible. Kramer: Look, I need the keys to your apartment, I gotta take a shower.

Elaine: What's wrong with your shower?

Kramer: There's no water pressure.

Elaine: Why don't you just go see Jerry?

Kramer: Jerry's got nothing. Newman's got nothing. You're the only one I know who's got the good stuff, and I need it bad, baby, cause I feel like I got bugs crawling up my skin. Now you gotta help me out.

Peterman (busting in): Not on my watch! (Grabs Kramer by the collar) I won't have you turning my office into a den of iniquity! Get your fix somewhere else!

43 posted on 10/10/2006 5:39:12 AM PDT by lesser_satan (EKTHELTHIOR!!!)
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To: Miztiki

Sounds like a problem with the pressure tank. Does the flow increase occasionally, as if the pump is running?

The wells that have gone bad around me (NM mountains) usually have spotty and low flow for a bit first, with longer periods of being "dry".


44 posted on 10/10/2006 5:45:03 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim (Dancing through life like a street mime with tourettes syndrome.)
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To: Miztiki
here are a few ideas
1. the blue air tank next to the pump should have a gage on it and it should read about 20lbs, if is doesn't have a guage you can use a tire gage to check it....Now if it is low say 15lbs or less you need to add air to it, you can use a tire air pump the kind you plug into your cig lighter of your car, or even a bicylce pump.
2. Next if the low presser seems to be the hot water mostly, then more than likely the connection to the faucets need to be opened up and cleaned of debris mostly iron deposits.
45 posted on 10/10/2006 5:49:31 AM PDT by Gone_Postal (There's plenty of room for all God's creatures..right next to the mashed potatoes)
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To: Miztiki

looking at your pictures I would thing your filter should be changed. You have pressure comming from the pump but can't get pass the cloged filter


46 posted on 10/10/2006 5:55:10 AM PDT by Gone_Postal (There's plenty of room for all God's creatures..right next to the mashed potatoes)
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To: Miztiki; Chief Engineer; ExSES

Hi all!
I dropped in here coz my wife told me she posted a query about this well business.
I changed the well filter a couple of weeks ago and I used a carbon sediment filter instead of a paper sediment filter. I think the carbon filter has a greater resistance. We had the same problem some months ago and it was 'sorta' solved when I replaced carbon filter with a paper type. I think the paper type is more appropriate, even though the carbon type is of much higher quality.
However, I think the system is underpressure anyway. Not sure why. May be the pressure gauge is not functioning properly. I noticed that when I open the valve by the tank (in order to replace the filter) only a limited amount of water comes out. Its as if the tank is not full.
The rest of the system is relatively new. The submersible pump was installed by the previous owner few years ago. The well is very deep (around 400 feet). The control box was installed by myself a year ago as the old box suddenly died.
Thanks for your input. I asked my wife to get a plumber to change the filter for now with a paper type until I get back.


47 posted on 10/10/2006 6:17:05 AM PDT by Mr_Tiki
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To: Mr_Tiki

I haven't seem mention of the pressure tank being the problem. They can get waterlogged and this could cause problems. Shut off the power to the pump and open whatever drain valves you have around the pressure tank until it is completely empty. Close the valves and start up the pump again and see if things improve. It also helps if you can pressurize the tank or at least check the pressure as mentioned further up this thread. For this you'll need an air pump.


48 posted on 10/10/2006 6:40:51 AM PDT by Vermonter
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To: Vermonter; Mr_Tiki; Miztiki
They can get waterlogged and this could cause problems

I think this may be the correct answer.
Google "waterlogged tank" & you lots of good info.

Good Luck.
JR

49 posted on 10/10/2006 7:17:45 AM PDT by jrushing (Democrats=National Socialist Workers Party)
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To: Miztiki

Well.....


50 posted on 10/10/2006 8:09:07 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Tagline wanted...inquire within)
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