Low water pressure, and new pressure tank needed

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Bostonbull, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Bostonbull

    Bostonbull New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NH
    Posted here about a month ago (we finally moved into our new home!!) inquiring what the equipment is in the attached picture. You guys were great with helping me realize what I had!

    [​IMG]


    Had a well company come out. They will replace the tank with a "120 model" pressure tank for $850. They said the tank is leaking and needs to be replaced. It was installed in 1984, FYI. We turned off the power, ran a faucet until it was empty and it still tested 34psi in the tank. He seemed shocked. Do I roll the dice and keep this tank? Or bite the bullet and get a new one installed?

    Well pump is 275' down, and 5 years old as a side note.


    QUESTIONS
    • I need more water pressure in my house!! How can I get more? Showers dribble out, and if someone cracks a faucet while we are showering, the water pressure basically stops.
    • In terms of the RO system (you cant see in this picture), he said usually they have 3 tanks? Mine only has one.....
      • It has 2 legs coming off of it, one to the kitchen sink where the drinking water only faucet is, and one to the half bath on 1st floor.
      • Am I missing a tank or 2?
      • Where do I get a new cartridge? Home Depot?
    • On the right hand side of the above picture, next to the 2 salt slurry tanks, is a small tank. It has a skull and cross bones sticker on it.
      • What do I add to this tank?
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I cannot tell what you have from that postage stamp sized pic. My guess is that the interior of some of the piping has constricted from buildup. The constriction may have prevented adequate backwash volume and the filter media may also be clogged.

    I just got done cutting open the pipe between my precipitation tank and iron filter. The 3/4" pipe had constricted down to a 1/4". After I rodded out the pipe to its original size, I then had to run a mix of air and water to churn up the iron filter media. This is the second time in 16 years that I've had to do this.
  3. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    ct
    $850 is a fair price for that tank and with it being 30 yrs old, it's well past the time to replace it. That said, I would either replace it with at least a WX 251 which will provide longer run times and fewer cycles for the pump. Both add up to extended pump life. Valveman will suggest a Psidekick.

    You are also losing pressure through those media tanks and RO unit. Turning up the cut out on the pressure switch can help compensate for that loss.
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,469
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You want more pressure so of course I would recommend the Pside-Kick.

    With a big tank (120 gal holds 30 gallons of water) the pump is always cycling on and off while you use water. Half the time water is coming directly from the pump as the pressure increases from 40 to 60. The other half of the time the water is coming from the tank as the pressure is decreasing from 60 to 40. The pressure is always better when the water is coming from the pump as the pressure increases from 50 to 60 PSI. But at 60 PSI the pump shuts off, then you get weaker pressure as the tank empties from 60 all the way down to 40 PSI. With a little loss through filters and fittings, you might still be getting 30 PSI in the shower before the tank is empty. The larger the tank, the longer the water dribbles out at low pressure.

    The Pside-Kick only has a 4.5 gallon tank that holds only 1 gallon of water. The pump will be up and running before you get the shower temp adjusted. Then the CSV will hold a steady 50 PSI for as long as you are in the shower, even if that is for a month. Even though the Pside-Kick still uses the same 40/60 pressure switch, and is not really increasing the pressure, the CSV will hold a steady 50 PSI as long as the shower is running. This constant 50 PSI will feel much stronger than the “average 50 PSI” you get when the pump is cycling on and off with a big tank.

    The Pside-Kick with the CSV control will actually extend the life of the pump, as it will cycle much less than the big tank method when running water for long periods of time. The CSV will hold a constant 50 PSI instead of continually cycling between 40 and 60. The Pside-Kick is a fraction of the price of the big tank, and will take up only a fraction of the space and heat load. Not to mention it will eliminate water hammer and all the wear and tear on components that goes along with continually cycling a pump.

    It also takes a lot of energy to mine, manufacture, transport, install, and even to dispose of or recycle big tanks. So if you are energy conscious the small tank in the Pside-Kick saves energy, and the CSV saves energy by making the pump and all other components last longer.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If you have poor pressure while the pump is running, then no new tank big or small will make it any better.

    You need to fix whatever is causing the flow restriction.
  6. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    Messages:
    327
    Location:
    FL/GA
    run some water and start bypassing control valves 1 at a time to see which one (or any or all) is the big restrictor. depending on water quality it might be time for them to be serviced.
  7. Bostonbull

    Bostonbull New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NH
    I know zero about plumbing, zero. I am trying to learn here as I go, and hope I don't get royally screwed in the process.

    Any of you local and want to do the job for me and evaluate the system? I would rather give the $ to a board member and know its done right.


    @valveman.....if you ave an installed in my area, send me their contact info so I can speak to them. Everyone around here I have mentioned it to laughs in my face and then tells me to stick to what works.
  8. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Location:
    IL
    Was there a sticker with a phone number on any of the black tanks or controllers when you moved in?

    If the well company person who came out covered that up with his own sticker, try to peel that off.
  9. Bostonbull

    Bostonbull New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NH
    Sticker yes, install people less than helpful on the phone though. maybe the tech or sales person they send out will be better. Ill call again in am.

    I trust you folks here more than some local company......
  10. Bostonbull

    Bostonbull New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NH
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Location:
    IL
    pix3.jpg
    This filter... I am guessing it goes to a faucet in the kitchen and your icemaker. I presume it comes from your RO unit. I suspect it is a carbon filter of some sort. To get a new element, try searching for the model number of that filter. Your other photo of the label is still not close enough to read. I wonder why the black tape is on there.

    Regarding your pressure problem when water is being used, I think you want to figure out where the pressure is being lost. You could put each of your water conditioning pieces in bypass to see if the pressure problem still occurs when you are in bypass. If it does not, then you could bypass each unit separately to see what was slowing your flow.

    A pressure gauge that screws on to a garden hose thread may be useful. Some have a "lazy hand" AKY tattletale that tells you how high the pressure has gotten. On some of those you can wind the hand around to show the minimum pressure that has been seen. You could try such a gauge at your water heater drain, and laundry spigots to see if the problem exists there. This could help figure out where in the path the problem exists.

    Does the pressure drop in cold as well as the hot?
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,469
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If you don't have a restriction, the CSV will deliver much stronger pressure to the house than the old pressure tank method. The CSV IS what works, and has been working on hundreds of thousands of systems for over 22 years now. You can get a few references from my web page, I have thousands more. I no longer have to prove the CSV is the best choice, I just have to prove the guys you are talking to don't have a clue, which is easy. Those same guys who say "stick with what works" will also try to sell you a VFD type system, so they don't know what works.

    If they really don't know the CSV is the best choice, find a pump man that knows what he is talking about or you will have to live with the consequences.
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Location:
    IL
    Unless I have missed it, we have no indication that the pressure at the pressure tank is inadequate. I think his problem is due to a constriction somewhere after the pressure gauge at his pressure switch.

    Regarding the pressure tank, he needs to do the test that LLigetfa has suggested a couple of times. Here is how I would do it.

    Get a container, such as a bucket, and calibrate it for somewhere between 1 and 5 gallons. Run enough water to get the pump running, and turn off the water faucet while the pump is running. After the pump stops, turn off the switch, which I think is #4 in a picture I posted on the other thread. From the bathtub, measure out containers and dump the water. Don't lose count. How much water do you get before the water runs out? That will tell what the condition of the pressure tank is.
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Most times a drawdown test involves measuring how many gallons you can draw down the tank before the pump kicks back on. It is all related to the pressure switch settings and the amount of precharge. If the precharge is wrong, it will affect the results.

    Step 1 is to turn off the water to the house so that there is no other use to skew the test.
    Step 2 is to open the drain until the pump kicks on and then close it.
    Step 3 is wait for the pump to stop.
    Step 4 is drain the tank into a container and measure how many gallons it takes to turn the pump back on.
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Also, if you time how long it takes to fill the container at the tank drain, you will get some idea of whether the equipment after the pressure tank is limiting the flow. Keep in mind that the draincock itself most likely is not a full bore valve and so will limit the GPM of draw. Many hose bibs limit flow to around 5 GPM.
  16. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,991
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Also, the reason I mentioned flow while the pump is running versus when it's not, is that tells you something about the condition of the tank. Often with a busted bladder, the in/out port of the tank gets blocked by a piece of rubber. The other thing that can happen is the port gets constricted from iron or mineral buildup.
  17. Bostonbull

    Bostonbull New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NH
    Holy smokes, information overload!!

    Thanks guys, now I need to find a plumber in my area who I trust and can help me make decisions on replace tank, or if I have dirty pipes.
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Location:
    IL
    Nashua?

    Does that drawdown capacity test seem difficult?
  19. Bostonbull

    Bostonbull New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NH
    Nashua is super close, do you have a lead over there of a trust worthy person?
  20. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,270
    Location:
    IL
    Click Inbox -> Start a Conversation, and put jadnashua into the Participants box. Describe what you are looking for. Then watch the Inbox area for a response. He is not a plumber, but he has called a plumber or two.
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