Re: Help! Want to ensure high pressure/volume in new house.
Posted by Gary on December 28, 19100 at 02:25:50:
In response to Re: Help! Want to ensure high pressure/volume in new house.
Perhaps someone with more practical experience in residential plumbing can provide more information for you, however as an engineer and a former resident of country living, maybe I can help shed some light on the subject for you.
First, forget about the good old days of being spoiled... living with a well that provides 1.5 gallons/hour is about compromise. Simply put, your well provides you with enough water to flush your new water-conserving toilet once per hour, which consumes 1.6 gallons/flush.
Of course, you do have a nice reserve capacity of 1200 gallons (which is due to the static pressure of the water under ground rising to its level in your newly created cavity in the earth - your well). This provides a natural holding tank for you - provided it doesn't somehow "drain" into someone else's well during a dry season. You may also want to ask about the quality of your water - at over 600 ft deep (that's very deep) - it is unlikely that you will have sulfur water (which smells like rotten eggs, but is perfectly safe to drink). You're likely to have very good tasting water, but it may be very "hard water", which makes for spotty dishes� again harmless. Personally, I'd rather have hard water than soft water, which doesn't rinse off very well in the shower, leaving a slippery, soapy film. Something to consider if you are thinking about a water softener.
Anyway, let's do some math with your numbers. At 1.5 gph it will take 800 hrs to fill your 1200 gallon reserve capacity� that's over one month. This means, if you decide to throw caution to the wind, and pump your water like there's no tomorrow, you will eventually run your well dry. When that happens, your well will recover at a rate of 36 gallons/day (1.5 gph converted to days). That's enough to flush the toilets and take a few short hot showers - if your spoiled, only one hot shower. This however, will leave your well empty again. If your well is to ever fully recover, you will need to leave it unused to 33 days to regain your 1200 gallons of reserve, which is not likely. Alternatively, you could limit your consumption to 30 gallons/day, leaving 6 gallons/day for recovery, which will give you your 1200 gallons in 200 days.
Using these same numbers in the reverse scenario, if you exceed your 36 gallon/day consumption rate by 6 gallons a day, it will take you 200 days to deplete your reserve capacity (run your well dry).
Here are some other bits of info that might be of use to you:
Hydrofracting is a process where the well is pumped full of water, from the surface, and highly pressurized in an effort to expand or clear new passages for water to flow into your well. The process usually increases the fill rate, but there are no guarantees. Spending money on "better" pumps is like throwing money down a hole in the ground. Pumps and motors are matched for your well specifications. You may spend more for a higher quality pump (perhaps with self-saving features in the event your well does go dry, so that you won't have to pay to have a new one installed later). I saw a bumper sticker that said, "How can I be out of money� I still have more checks!" Similarly, you can pump your water as fast and hard as you want, but when the well goes dry, its all stops. The most important number is the fill rate (1.5 gph is low). You should ask about getting your well hydrofracted.
Water conserving showerheads are annoying, and although I have never performed any analytical experiments, my personal experiences with them (15 years ago) suggest that there are better ways to conserve water� hopefully there are better showerheads available today. Something to keep in mind is that the only way to rinse soap from yourself or an object is with an adequate volume of water so that it can be made soluble and carried away with the water flow. Showerheads that create a high velocity mist simply fail to provide adequate volume for efficient rinsing, which requires longer periods of usage. A better system would provide reasonable volume with a restrictor valve to turn off the flow when lathering, etc.
Finally, perhaps your healthy desire for water in the shower can be supplemented by a hot tub. This can give you all the hot thrusts of water you aching muscles desire, while still allowing you to be water conserving.
Good luck with your new home. I hope this information is helpful.

Replies to this post