New house, almost no water

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by zenn68, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. zenn68

    zenn68 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    I have been reading trough alot of these posts here. Trying to get a handle on the low water pressure in my house. I just moved from the city to a 40 yr old house upstate. Has private well water and septic, so this is all new to me.

    Big question: what can I do to increase water pressure troughout the house?

    Background: House has been vacant for over year. Currently one bathroom, adding a second soon. As far as I can see, 1/4 in copper troughout. At just about every faucet or spiggot when first turn on the water, it comes out dark rusty colored for a few seconds. Also at every faucet i get very little water pressure, its almost a trickle in the bathtub, even took out the fixtures, and just running water from the shut off valves. Takes almost 5 minutes to fill the toilet, 1.6gal.
    Well pump in basement feeds into a pressure tank. With entire system drained pressure tank reads zero. but when filled with water cut in out is steady at 30/50 and operated fine. I don't see a valve on tank to add air.
    Would replacing the tank increase water pressure trough out the house, or do I maybe need a new well pump.
    BTW.
    I connected a hose directly to the drain valve under the tank, opened it up and ran the well pump, water pressure there is excellent.
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    It's the 1/4" copper that is the problem. You have 30/50 pressure at the tank. A new tank willnot help. Depending on the pump, you may be able to turn it up to 40/60, which would help a little. The hose at the tank works good because it is bigger. Run a hose to the sinks and toilets and they will have good pressure as well. Not a long term solution though, gonna need bigger pipe.
  3. zenn68

    zenn68 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    That should have read 1/2in not 1/4.
    Also, by ripping out all the plumbing and putting 3/4 copper. would that help or would I just be increasing the size without noticeable increase in pressure.
    One more?? what about using PEX instead of copper? what are your toughts on it.
    The house is still vacant, I'm not living in it yet, gonna be gutting out most of the house soon, so now is the time for the major upgrades of all the systems.
    Any recommendations.
  4. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Read up on PEX on the Plumbing Forum, I just ran about 60' to bypass a broken copper pipe, I didn't use the PEX fittings so I may regret it down the road.

    Rancher
  5. wondering

    wondering New Member

    Messages:
    105
    Does your tank have any air in it?

    If your tank is old I would think the rust is coming out of it. It isnt a bladder tank is it.?
  6. zenn68

    zenn68 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    With the gauge at zero when drained of water, i thinks no air.
    I didnt consider the tank as a source of rust, will check that.
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,239
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    tank

    You need to determine if your tank is bladder-type or not.

    With a non-bladder tank and no working air control valve, turn off the pump and drain the system from a low point- there should be a drain valve below the level of the tank outlet. Leave a faucet open to act as a vent, allowing air into the system. The water in the tank will be replaced with air. When the tank is empty, close the drain and turn the pump back on. The top "half" of the tank will hold the air, which will be compressed by the water pumping in from below. This is a temporary solution as over time the air will permeate into the water and the process will have to be done again. For this reason new installations use a bladder style tank, which uses the bladder to keep the air and water separate. The air side then allows air to be added with an air pump.

    As for the rust, note if the rust seems to be a hot water issue or cold too. If more so hot, water heater is primary suspect for hot water rust. Pressure tank is also likely potential cause for rust.

    Our house sat for 9 months and it didn't really clear up until after a couple of months of regular use.

    1/2" copper is good for tub. Most other fixtures use 3/8. Main runs from tank to water heater are normally 3/4".
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    With no water in the assuming 'bladder' type captive air pressure tank, there must be 1-2 psi less air pressure than the cut-in setting of the pressure switch. 30/50 gets 29-28 psi. The air is compressed when the pump fills the tank and checking air pressure only shows water pressure, not air pressure. The air provides the power to move water when the pump is off.

    The low flow problem... Check all shut off valves to be fully open; all gate valves should be replaced with ball valves. Remove all sediment filter cartridges. By pass all water treatment equipment like a softener or iron filter. If the flow is still low, you still have something partially blocking the flow past the pressure tank. Any galvanized can be blocked all but shut with rust.

    Get a water analysis for iron, hardness, TDS, pH, manganese if possible and Coliform bacteria.
  9. wondering

    wondering New Member

    Messages:
    105
    Also check your aerators on your faucets. They may be full of junk and be stopping your flow. Let us know what you find on the air in tank.
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