Constant pressure pump worth the cost??

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by crenduro, Feb 9, 2009.

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  1. crenduro

    crenduro New Member

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    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Indiana
    We are building a new home with 4 family members, 3 bathrooms, and 2 geothermal open loop systems, 4 ton and 2 ton, could actually go closed loop at considerably higher cost.

    Well has been drilled at 222 feet yields 20-25 gpm. Well driller reccomended franklin constant pressure pump system. Contractor thinks the extra cost is a waste and wants to just put in a standard type sytem. I would like to maintain about 70 psi or more as the shut off pressure.

    What size pump and tank should we use for a standard or cp system and is the cp system worth the added cost?? We are in central Indiana?? Pump pressure will go in basement and space is not a problem.

    Also is the box store type softener as good as culligan or other types, we have fairly hard water in this area.
     
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Active Member

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    Occupation:
    Water well and pump tech.
    Location:
    Riverview, Fl.
    Go with a standard Submersible Pump and Bladder Tank and a Cycle Stop Valve. You won't be sorry.

    No the box store units are not as good nor is a Culligan. Gary Slusser will chime in here soon. He's the one to talk to about softeners.

    bob...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2011
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  4. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

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    Retired
    Location:
    Wherever I park the motorhome.
    Big box store brands are low quality. You need to decide if you want to be dependent on a local dealer for installation and service or independent and do it yourself. If you go dependent and buy a national brand name softener, you usually have only one local dealer and he can charge you whatever he wants to because you can't get parts from anyone else.

    If you go independent, I suggest a correctly sized softener for the constant SFR gpm that your family size, number of bathrooms and type of fixtures in them requires. If the constant gpm is less than your peak demand gpm, the softener can not remove all the hardness and iron etc. in the water. You can learn more about that on my web site's sizing page.
     
  5. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

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    Consult and Teach Well Drilling Internationally
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2011
  6. PumpTech

    PumpTech Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Occupation:
    Pump Technician
    Location:
    Texas
    The constant pressure pump will save you money on electricity and you will get a 3 phase motor that will normally outlast a single phase motor. Lets not forget about the space you'll save on the smaller pressure tank.
    It is true, all drives are not created equal. I would suggest installing a true VFD from ABB or Teco Westinghouse apposed to the FE Sub Drive. They are far more reliable and more programmable.
    In my opinion, Cycle stop valves are absolutely not the way to go and will certainly, in my experience, effect your motor life. They cause all pumps to operate "out of curve" causing the pump to down thrust on every cycle leading to premature bearing failure. 005.jpg

    014.jpg
     
  7. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Hi PumpTech, Thanks for joining the forum. I see from your pictures that you are using ITT variable speeds. You need to check your facts though. Pumps running on Cycle Stop Valves have lasted longer than you have experience. Pumps running on VFD's do not last very long because of the excessive voltage spikes, resonance frequencies, and having to start every time you rinse a toothbrush. VFD's DO NOT save energy, they actually cause more energy use per gallon pumped. You can buy VFD's on the Internet now for $150.00 that are much better than the ones you mentioned. You will just have to buy a new one and a new pump about five times compared to how long a CSV system will last. If you haven't tried a CSV, I can get you one to play with. It sounds like ITT has already made you drink their Cool-Aid, so we may have to do a little de-brain washing to get you clear on a few things.

    VFD's have been around since 1968. They have band-aided a few problems while making them smaller and cheaper but, they still can't solve all the problems. CSV has been replacing VFD's for 16 years. VFD's are old technology. The new technology is how to get better results without the problems of varying the speed, or in other words CSV. Let me know if you have any questions, as I grew out of using VFD's more 16 years ago.

    Here is a picture of a better way to get constant pressure and still use a small tank, and a link to a video of the same.

    www.cyclestopvalves.com/images/psidekick-ad.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Sparro

    Sparro New Member

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    Jan 7, 2009
    I'm actually thinking of footing the extra cost and putting in a closed loop this summer to replace my open loop.
    My hydro costs are going through the roof. I am paying about $446.00 a month.
    I've gone through everything to try to figure out where all my electricity costs are going to... I can only come up with my open loop and my well pump basically running 24/7.
    Anyone with some experience have any info? How much will a constant running pump cost me?
    Its a Gundfos Constant Pressure Variable Speed Drive.
     
  9. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Even a 2HP pump running 24/7 shouldn't cost that much to run. What size pump or model number do you have? How deep is the well, and how deep to water if you know? How many GPM does your heat pump require? As I said earlier, a Variable Speed Pumps or so called constant pressure pumps do not save energy. However, there are several ways to cut pumping cost. Properly sizing the pump to match the demand is the best way. Once you get everything sized correctly, the electric bill should be low enough to make it hard to justify the cost if installing a closed loop system.
     
  10. Sparro

    Sparro New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Its a Gundfos 15-QSE-290, 1.5HP pump with CU-301 controller. My well is 153' deep with a static water level at about 75'. My flow is about 23 GPM.
    My Heat pump is a 8 ton unit that requires 11GPM. My house is a two story with finished basement at about 4500 square feet.
    My heat pump installer says my monthly electricity bill should be in the range from $280.00 to $320.00 Max.
     
  11. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    One way to do this would be to use a 16S07-8, 3/4 HP pump in the well, with a 20/40 pressure switch, 30 PSI Cycle Stop Valve, and a small pressure tank. This will cut your electric bill in half by feeding the heat pump at low pressure with half the horse power. Then you would need a ½ or 3/4 HP jet pump set up, teed into the line by the heat pump, to boost pressure for the house. The 3/4 HP well pump will supply enough flow for both the house and the heat pump. You will just need the jet pump to give more pressure to the house. The house uses very little water compared to the heat pump, so the jet pump will use very little power itself.

    Could even use a ½ HP to feed the heat pump if you can use a storage tank to store water for the house. This would cut the electric bill even further.

    Pumping level in the well is important. I am just guessing at a pumping level of about 100'. If it is less, we can use less horse power. If the pumping level is deeper, we need to make up for that as well.
     
  12. ClearLake

    ClearLake New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Location:
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    Hi. New member here.

    We have an approx 5000 sq ft house purchased two years ago, about 8 years old. 5 family members. Prior owner put in two open loop geothermal units, 6 ton and 4 ton for HVAC.

    We've had some issues with rusty water, and for domestic water we put in an iron filter and ozone filter.

    I am unsure of the well pump brand, but we have an 80 gallon pressure tank.

    Things worked pretty well for a year, then we started noticing water pressure fluctuating up and down. It doesn't really seem to correlate if either geothermal unit is running.

    We found a great local geothermal company that I'm having analyze if we really need 2 units. If so, then I guess the next step is to determine if we need to replace the well pump, pressure tank, or if maybe the iron filter caused some issues?

    My electric bills have been higher than I thought they would be since moving here. 3-600 bucks a month!

    Any advice above or on sizing of pump, variable speed pump vs the CSV, would be most welcome. Thank you.
     
  13. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Occupation:
    Owner of a Water Well and Pump Repair Business
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Sounds almost like your pump is running longer than it should. Are your Geo units valved so that they open an automatic valve when they need water or does the water flow then continuously. I have a customer right now with this problem. If they have a valve is the valve leaking? check the discharge line to see if it's continuously flowing water even when the hvac is not running.

    Check to see if your pump is making cut-off pressure. If the pump part is failing it will be able to hold some pressure but not reach cut-off pressure and run continuously. Then when you need water the pressure will get low.
     
  14. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Occupation:
    Owner of a Water Well and Pump Repair Business
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    BTW I know this is an old post but what happend to Porky? Don't see him on here anymore.
     
  15. ClearLake

    ClearLake New Member

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    Feb 20, 2016
    Location:
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    Definitely automatic valves and definitely shutting off water to the Geos when the thermostat temp is achieved.

    I'll have to check and see if the pump is making pressure.
     
  16. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Since it "worked pretty well for a year", then started giving pressure fluctuations, I suspect the tank bladder is busted and the tank is waterlogged. This will cause pressure fluctuations as the pump cycles rapidly, and it can also increase the electric bill considerably. An 80 gallon pressure tank only holds about 23 gallons of water. I assume your heat pump is using 10-12 GPM, which will cycle the pump every couple of minutes or so. Cycling the pump as little as possible (larger tank) and working at the lowest pressure you can live with (30/50 or 20/40 instead of 40/60) will deliver the most water for the least energy possible. You can't get any more efficient than the old pressure tank only system, because the pump is either running at it's best efficiency point, or it is off. Of course if the pump is cycled to death on a regular basis, you maybe spending more on replacing pumps, tanks, switches, etc., than you are saving in efficiency letting the pump cycle like that.

    A VFD or a CSV will increase the energy cost per gallon produced somewhat. The CSV is inexpensive and should make the pump and equipment last long enough to overcome the efficiency issue.

    A VFD will be expensive, will probably not last or let the pump last any longer than just letting the pump be cycled to death with the old pressure tank type system. And the frequent pump and VFD replacements will cost even more, ON TOP of the loss of efficiency from the VFD.
     
  17. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Porky just turned 80 a few days ago. Last time I talked to him he was helping his son or sons with some drilling projects, which is what he really likes to do. I hope he is doing whatever he enjoys everyday.
     
  18. ClearLake

    ClearLake New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Location:
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    Thank you Texas and Valveman. Much appreciated input.

    After review, looks like my well tank is 119 gallon. Is that the largest residential tank available, or would you recommend larger? Any brands favored over others?

    Our local well company, which is reputable via neighbors, seems to think that the VFD from Grundfos has been more reliable than other brands. Overall, they seem to favor this and a small pressure tank over just replacing the larger tank. They are not pushy about it from a sales perspective. They thought a CSV would place some "backpressure" on the standard pump and limit its lifespan. Thoughts/rebuttal?
     
  19. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    119 pressure tank only holds about 30 gallons of water and is the largest tank you can get. If the bladder in the tank is already busted, the tank has been cycling the pump a lot, and adding an additional 119 gallon tank would cut the cycling in half. Well-X-Trol model WX350 is as good as you can get.

    I agree the Grundfos SQE is one of the better VFD systems. But it is like having a barrel full of rotten apples, and digging around in the barrel until you find the least rotted apple. Pump manufacturers push those VFD systems because they are more profitable for them, which is the opposite of being the least expensive to maintain for the homeowner.

    The "new style Franklin floating impeller" pumps are the only ones I know of that back pressure will harm. Even then it is not the CSV, it is a badly designed and cheaply built pump that causes the problem. Back pressure is actually good for all other brands of pumps. It makes the motor draw lower amps, run cooler, and eliminates the cycling on/off, which is what causes the majority of pump/motor failures. The local well company maybe "reputable", but not very "knowledgeable" about pumps if they do not know this.

    If the tank is bad as I suspect, I would replace it with a Pside-Kick kit, which includes a CSV1A and a 4.5 gallon size tank. It will be much less expensive than the large tank, will do a better job of eliminating pump cycles, make the pump last longer, and you won't have to change out the pump to the SQ or a 3 phase motor to get it to work as you would with a VFD. It would be nice to have some info on the pump you have, but I am sure it will work fine with a CSV.
     
  20. ClearLake

    ClearLake New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Location:
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    Thanks valveman.

    So I just had the well company out.

    The 119 gallon pressure tank is bad. Bladder burst or leaked badly. The pump seems to be working fine.

    The options they are suggesting are:

    1) replace 119 gallon pressure tank. $1300 installed.
    2) replace smaller tank and Grundfos VFD pump: $3500 installed.
    3) replace with 20 or 30 gallon tank and install CSV in the well. $1100

    The last option was only suggested after I mentioned my reading online and in this forum. They thought a CSV valve in the house would be prohibitively loud, hence installing inside the well. Agree?

    Interestingly they mentioned the Franklin VFD pumps generate many return trip calls for their company but the Grundfos minimal.

    Finally, they thought that my pump would be a 1 hp pump. I'm unsure on that.

    I'd be interested in the forums thoughts, and I'm having a geothermal company come look at my setup soon as well.

    Thanks again.
     
  21. ClearLake

    ClearLake New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Location:
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    Just found records for my well pump.

    Installed 1992.

    Franklin Electric
    3/4 hp
    Continuous Duty E79319
    3450 RPM

    56 ft well
    Static water level 16 feet below land surface
    Pumping level 56 ft after 2 hrs at 40 gpm
     
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