Water pressure issues that make no sense

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by Guvner, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. Guvner

    Guvner New Member

    Messages:
    20
    My pressure switch on my pressure tank is set to 35-55psi and I have confirmed the pressure tank is set to 4psi below the pump start up so 31psi. The problem I am having that I have never had before is kind of 2 problems, first even when the pressure drops to 35-40psi there is very very low flow at the tap or when in the shower the shower head has little pressure. The 2nd issue is when the pressure is in the lower end if 2 taps or sources of water are opened the 2nd one opened will just trickle. And even when at full pressure the water flow at the tap is not like it used to be.

    The only thing that has changed in recent weeks is a new pressure switch and a new clean pressure line from the pump to the switch, but the water pressure issues started well after the new switch.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    However it could also be a faulty pressure gage that is reading higher than the actual pressure. If the pressure gage is correct then it sounds like an obstruction in the line. After the work was done were all valves opened fully? If the problem is on all faucets in the home the problem is probably at the pressure tank or close by--a location that is common to all faucets. If the problem only occurs on some faucets then you need to identify the common point(s) for those faucets.
  3. Guvner

    Guvner New Member

    Messages:
    20
    It happens at all faucets and showers, toilets too. In our newer bathroom I flushed the toilet, then turned on the faucet, the faucet had little flow. I did clean out the aerators on 2 faucets, 1 had some particulate, the other was clean. I am going to replace one older shower head with a new one I had lying around the house.

    The one thing with the jet pump was the line that comes off the pump to the pressure switch was blocked with cruddy buildup when I installed it. At the pump the line was plugged with rust so the line to the switch was only getting a trickle of water pressure. I had issues with the pump pumping away to 75-80psi without stopping so the new switch and clean pressure line fixed that so it could have been running too much pressure before and now its too low, but still even at 40psi I should not have flow issues when 2 faucets are turned on.

    The lines are all 1/2" with one bathroom sink having just 1/4" flexible copper line....house is older, 1960's.
  4. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

    Messages:
    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    The lines are all 1/2" with one bathroom sink having just 1/4" flexible copper line....house is older, 1960's.

    There's your problem
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Location:
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    I am guessing that the main shut off is probably a gate valve which broke internally when you closed and reopened it.

    It happens.
  6. Guvner

    Guvner New Member

    Messages:
    20
    But prior to this there was never an issue with the size of the piping and water pressure.

    I'm thinking there must be something broken as cacher chick mentioned blocking it enough that the piping size is now making a difference.

    As for the main shut off my system is a cistern that feeds to the jet pump, and pressure tank, from there its a 1/2" copper line that forks off in a "rats nest" of lines, all 1/2". From the pressure tank its just a normal garden hose type tap which shuts off the water to the house.
  7. Bob999

    Bob999 In the Trades

    Messages:
    448
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    If your main supply line is 1/2" that is your restriction and cause of low flow now that you have reduced the pressure. The problem could be aggravated by iron build up in the line.
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    Knowing that the problem didn't exist before, the system will need to be opened to determine where the restriction is. The main valve is my first suspect. Make sure your gauges are accurate too as you might not have the pressure you think you do.
  9. Guvner

    Guvner New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Wouldn't the gauge and pressure switch be independant of each other? i mean the pressure switch works on its own with the water line from the pump and its factory set at 20-50pi which the pressure gauge accurately showed, the gauge is just the gauge.

    As for tearing apart for inspection where would I start?
  10. Guvner

    Guvner New Member

    Messages:
    20
    I found the problem after a whole afternoon troubleshooting this and that, and it turned out to be a filter. I replaced the cartridge filter 2 months ago with a 5 micron charcoal filter and it seems that it was plugged up already. I ran it without the filter and the water was cloudy which is not surprising since I doubt the cistern has been cleaned out in years and with the previous owners running the gutters into it I know its way overdue for a cleaning, that will certainly not be fun.
  11. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I missed your previous post. Glad to see you figured it out.
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