low water pressure

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by dubbs, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. dubbs

    dubbs New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I have a 4 inch well ,my water pressure switch shut off at 50psi and at 30psi it kicks back on . when the pump kicks on I have stong pressure but as I use the water the pressure drops. there is no strong constant pressure. any help would be appreciated. Thank You .
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Your system (pressure switch setting) will give you a variation of 30 to 50 psi. You can reduce that effect by increasing the pressure settings to 40 to 60 psi. There is usually a nut in the top of the pressure switch that you can turn clockwise to increase both the cutin and cutout pressures together.

    You may have a problem with the air in the pressure tank. Most tanks are "bladder tanks" that have a rubber bladder or diaphragm that separates the air from the water. Following is the procedure for checking the tank. I suggest you do this BEFORE you adjust the switch.

    0. Open a valve until the pump starts and immediately close the valve when it starts. Measure the time (seconds) from pump-on to pump-off. If it is very short time, you need more air in the tank and may have a failed bladder
    1. Find an air valve somewhere on the tank. It should look like the valve on your tire. Get your tire gauge.
    2. Turn off the power to the pump.
    3. Open a water line and drain water until it stops coming out of the faucet. A place near the tank is easiest to work with.
    4. Close the valve when the water stops running.
    5. Measure the air pressure at the air valve in the tank. It should be around 28 psi (2 psi less than your 30 psi cutin pressure).
    6. If the pressure exceeds 28 psi, bleed air to 28 psi or increase your switch setting to start at 2 psi above the measured pressure (but not over 40 psi).
    7. If the pressure is below 28 psi, increase pressure to 28 psi. If it was much lower than 28 psi you may have a failed bladder, which we will discover later.
    8. Turn on your pump and see if it shuts off as expected. Check the time (seconds) from pump-on to pump-off.
    9. Operate your system and see if performance is acceptable. If the problem returns, repeat steps 3 to 5. If the pressure is now significantly lower than 28 psi, you probably have a failed bladder or tank. Replace the tank.

    If you want to operate the system at higher pressure, see the first paragraph.
  3. dubbs

    dubbs New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Bob thanks for the help I will check this out and get back with you .Thank You.
  4. rshackleford

    rshackleford New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Eastern Montana (The Bakken)
    if you want to go to a different system and have a well that can handle it look into a constant pressure system. if you don't find problems with your pump, tank, or switch and want to improve water pressure and flow this is the way to go. look into the franklin electric mono drive or the grudnfos sqe series (i think is is sqe). if you want to know more, just ask. it is going to cost some money though.
  5. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    MonoDrive Cycle

    "if you want to go to a different system and have a well that can handle it . . . look into the franklin electric mono drive or the grudnfos sqe series (i think is is sqe). . . . it is going to cost some money though."

    The variable frequency drives work well on municipal systems that have constant rate filters and water towers. They eliminate the losses from control valves.

    They would theoretically save power in small pressure tank systems if you are only pumping water to the desirable pressure. However, it would be useful to understand the operation in those small systems. The Franklin site didn't describe how the systems are operated or controlled. Does the pump run every time you flush a toilet? What does that do for pump life?

    If constant pressure is really important you could get it with a bit larger tank and a pressure regulator. It would take a long time to pay for the MonoDrive system with the power savings relative to a tank/regulator system.
  6. rshackleford

    rshackleford New Member

    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Eastern Montana (The Bakken)
    If you are starting with a new system, you have nothing. No pump. No pressure tank. No pressure switch. Then, the price difference is pretty minimal. The monodrive setup with small tank is $200-$300 more than a typical large tank and pressure switch system. For what you are getting it is really worth it.

    The Franklin system uses a pressure switch that sends pressure signals about a dozen times a second. The pressure is adjusted by changing spring tension on the pressure sensor. The grundfos system uses a true pressure transducer and the pressure is set with the control unit (cu-301 I believe).

    I believe this board has had the energy discussion in the past and my opinion is that energy saving from one type of system to another is negligible. A variable speed drive system on a 100 hp pump would be a different story.

    Why do people buy a Lincoln and not a ford? Why get leather in that car? It is a luxury. I feel the same way about the constant pressure pump systems. These systems will produce water at your pressure weather you are washing dishes, showering, watering the lawn, or washing clothes. The cp systems just do a really nice job.

    The small tank is good for expansion issues of valves turning on and off. It will also take care of very small leaks. The cp units themselves have logic that will shut off the pump if large leaks are occurring. The pump does run when any appreciable amount of water is used; however the pump motor starts and stops slowly which eliminates a lot of the heat caused by motor starting. I feel that this ramped start compensates for the pump starting more often. Also, the units provide motor protection and troubleshooting. This is also a benefit over traditional systems. I have worked with customers over the phone to troubleshoot fe systems.

    Is there any other info on the systems I can provide. We have installed a lot of these.
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