Well gpm/pressure/tanks/softner/filter/distance from house questions.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by maxfischersweet, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. maxfischersweet

    maxfischersweet New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    texas
    Hello,

    I live in the middle of nowhere, I have always done everything myself, either because no one comes out this far or I just like learning how to do something and do it myself.

    So heres the deal.

    We lived temporary in a trailer house while our house was being built. The trailer house already had its own well (private well). The well was located about 50 feet from the trailer house. It has like a 36 gallon pressure tank (not sure exactly, its short and skinny, its definitely smaller than an 86 gallon one.)

    We built our new house about 400-500 ft away from the well, as well as uphill from it. Since the trailer house will be removed from the property, we just spliced a 1 1/4" poly pipe into the 1" poly pipe that was supplying the trailer house. So basically it goes 1" pvc to 1" poly then to 1 1/4" poly. This all takes place with in about 20 feet of the well, then from then on to our new house its all 1 1/4" poly pipe.

    First of all, I am pretty positive that our pump is basically always running. For, instance, when i wake up in the morning to take a shower, the water has barely any pressure. However, like seconds later it will kick in and pick up pressure. I have been around the well and it sounds like it just comes on every time any water is being used. Even just a little.

    Should I get a bigger pressure tank. Would that help out on the pressure and pump starts. I was reading about how some people think they have a pressure problem but its really just a gpm/volume of water thats their problem. But if i get a bigger tank it will take longer for the pump to kick in, therefore i wont be getting that pressure i was getting because the pump was always on. Correct?

    Will a large tank help with all this?

    The pressure at our outside spouts and faucets and toilets are fine, but the shower is not good. Its like our hot water has a very small fraction of the cold waters pressure.

    I am looking into all this because i was wanting to install a water softener and sediment filter. Thats why i am looking into this.

    Is this always going to be a problem do to the distance from our house and being uphill from the well?

    I heard there might be something like a secondary pump to help it out? Is this true?

    Just to make it clear. The pressure tank/well/softener will be/is 400-500 feet away from house, the only thing at my house is the water heater. My house is two stories, and the water heater is on the ground floor.

    Forgive me if none of this makes since, i am at work with a million things going on and i keep getting interrupted in my thoughts.

    Thanks for any info you give. i might be able to be clearer later.
  2. nhmaster3015

    nhmaster3015 Master Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    The granite state
    You need to verify that there are no leaks in the line
    make sure the pressure in your tank is set a 2lbs lower than the pressure switch cut in
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    You need a pressure gauge in the line so you can see if the pressure is leaking down when there is no water running. It should hold pressure indefinitely.

    Assuming your pressure tank is a bladder tank, as Wally stated it needs to be drained or water and checked to see that the air pressure is set appropriately.
  4. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    Ok,

    1. What type of well pump do you have? (Is it a deep well with a submersible pump or a shallow well with a jet pump? )
    2. Where is the pressure tank? (In the house or out by the well?)
    3. How big is the hill?

    I'll assume for now its a deep well with a submersible pump and the pressure tank is by the well. Maybe your pressure switch is set for 30 psi on and 50 psi off. This is ok when you have a trailer next to the well, but its going to be worse if you have to push the water through 400 feet of pipe and up a hill to get to the house.

    Assuming your pressure tank is properly set buying a bigger pressure tank will get you.... absolutely nothing! Pumps make pressure tanks just hold a reserve to keep the pump from cycling too often. Bigger tanks give you less pump cycling but won't improve the pressure at all. Now if the pump runs all the time when water is being used in the house this is fine - water is being drawn thru the pump, the pump stays cool and life is great, nothing to worry about. What will kill the pump is if it runs continuously when no water is being used (it can't pull in new water to cool itself) or it starts and stops frequently without at least 2 minutes of off time between the on cycles (this will burn up the motor windings).

    Now the good news is the 1.25 pipe is adequate. The bad new is you will probably end up needing to buy a new pump or a booster pump to overcome the hill and distance. You can try just adjusting the pressure switch to a higher cut in/out or if you have a 30/50 switch try replacing it with a 60/40 switch but in both cases you have to be absolutely sure the pump can build enough pressure to shut itself off at the new higher pressure setting. If it can't it will burn up in under 5 minutes so be careful. Be prepared for this not to work as the switch is often matched to the pump.

    Assuming the pressure switch trick fails you have to weigh the options of a booster pump versus a new primary pump. A lot of it will probably come down to cost.

    Also your hot and cold water pressures should really not be that different. I could see the hot water being a little worse, but if its more that that you may have a plumbing issue unrelated to the well.

    -rick
    -rick
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,586
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    All good questions and advice above. Just thought I would add that no matter if pumping directly from the well or from a booster pump after water treatment, you just need a large enough pump to deliver the volume and pressure you need. I have a house that is 3600' from my well and the pressure is great. I also have customers who have a house on a hill (mountain) and the well is at the bottom. You can always make up for elevation and distance if you have the right pump. But a larger pressure tank is not the answer.
  6. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    What pipe material and ID do you use? How deep is the well?
    This extreme example is a great way for me to check my Excel calculations.
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,586
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    3600' of 1.5", SDR11 if I remember correctly. Well is 104' with a static of 47'. 1/3 HP Grundfos pump, 7S03-8.
  8. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
  9. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,586
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Something wrong there. At 4 GPM I see .06 PSI loss per 100'. Which is 2.16 PSI or 4.9' in 3600'. The line actually goes down about 20' then back up 20' in 3600'. I only see 1 PSI difference from the well head to the house.
  10. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    My Calculator shows 3.2 psi loss in 3600'. The real world gives better results.
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