Increase City Water PSI

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Evan K, Jul 6, 2021.

  1. Evan K

    Evan K New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2021
    Location:
    New York
    Hello All

    I've recently done a whole bathroom renovation and installed 6 body sprays. In order to get 2gpm out of each head they require 80 psi. The good people at Moen failed to mention that when i had them help me pick out the pieces for my bathroom remodel. I have about 60 psi with 12-13gpm of water flow at the point of the valve. I need to increase the psi in my house to about between 80 and 84 from around 62 at the point of entry.

    What would be the best way to do this? I am thinking I will need a whole house pump with a pressure tank, but I am not sure what brand/model or where to start my research. My buddy is a plumber but as we live in an area with good pressure typically, he doesn't have any idea what to purchase, but will help install it once i pick one out.

    TIA for your advice.
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    Do those showerheads disassemble? Can you see a restriction when you look inside?

    IMO it would be a real shame to put in a booster pump to raise water pressure from 60 to 80 psi.
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Using a pump and pressure tank will only give you a few minutes of higher pressure. Pumps and pressure tanks are designed for 40-60 PSI range. Though you can manually adjust for higher pressure but it can strain the pump and the bladder in the tank.

    What you need to look into is booster pumps but these are more complicated that you might think. One problem is you'll be placing the entire home under increased continuous pressure. Another is you may not be able to get anymore water through your meter. Booster pumps need a away to regulate the pressure, etc. Just google booster pumps and there is a wealth of information out there.

    A short term solution is close off two of the four spray heads. It might suffice what you were expecting. Unfortunately, we all think more is always better.
     
  5. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

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    Feb 27, 2020
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    kind of late but 60 psi with ample sized piping and perhaps a larger shower valve should have worked .
     
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  6. Evan K

    Evan K New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2021
    Location:
    New York
    I am not sure - I will try removing one this weekend to look but as per moen to get the full flow the Body Sprays are
    Thanks - although I'm not sure I will get the pressure i want even if i close off 2 of the sprays as the Moen spec sheet says it will do 2gpm at 80psi. That fact was hidden and not mentioned when I spoke with them. I don't use the sprays for long periods of times I am out of ideas as i do get the 6gpm through when I remove them, just when they are added it is restricted to 4gpm causing the body sprays to not have the desired pressure.
     
  7. Jeff H Young

    Jeff H Young In the Trades

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2020
    Location:
    92346
    you are getting 4 gpm but Moen said you would get 2gpm and your goal is 6 gpm? I guess you could try modifying the restrictors but if it doesn't work it might need a replacement just experimental at this point.
     
  8. Evan K

    Evan K New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2021
    Location:
    New York
    They get 2pm per spray for 6gpm for 3. However the 3 are only getting 4gpm total.

    Sorry I wasn't clear
     
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
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    New England
    What supply line size are you using, to the valve, and what size is the valve?

    If you're not supply limited, there are booster pumps, but not all may be able to achieve 80psi. FWIW, code says it should not exceed 80psi. Here's how This Old House did it.

     
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Occupation:
    Semi-Retired
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If the supply is not flow-restricted, the pump can maintain the set pressure. The maximum pressure a pump can produce depends on the design and the starting pressure. With 60 PSI starting pressure, it only needs to make up the difference, so 20 - 30 PSI. A quality cast iron pump such as a Goulds should withstand 90 PSI as would a quality pressure tank. I would suggest a CycleStopValves PSIdeKick with the 80 PSI heavy duty option.
    https://cyclestopvalves.com/products/custom-pk1a-pside-kick-kit
    @valveman can provide design drawings and testimonials.
     
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  11. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Although 12 GPM at 80 PSI might seem like overkill, this is still a free country and you can have as much pressure as you want. Pumps are not limited to 40/60 pressure. You just need the right pump and controls to increase the pressure to whatever you want. As LL says the pump only needs to make up 20 PSI as it will add the incoming 60 PSI to what the pump can do. So even a pump than can do 12 GPM at only 20 PSI should work. However, once the pump starts sucking on the incoming line, it can no longer produce 60 PSI. I would get a pump than can boost from like 20 PSI to 80 PSI at 12 GPM, just guessing at the incoming pressure after adding the pump. Something like a Goulds J15S or a 18GB07 would work. Then adding a PK1A kit to control it will give you the 80 PSI constant at 12 GPM that you need. You need the PK1A with a 10 gallon size tank, the CSV1A set for 80 PSI, and a heavy duty pressure switch set to 70/90. You will also need a good check valve on the suction side of the pump. Then you will no longer even need soap in the shower. :)

    PK1A on jet pump.jpg
     
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  12. BillTheEngineer

    BillTheEngineer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Location:
    Hauppauge, NY
    Do the shower heads not perform well at 60 psi with all the heads on? what is the water pressure at the valve with all the head on? Are you measuring pressure with the water flowing or not flowing? Measure a flow of 12-13 gpm with the valves open and measuring the pressure with the valves closed is not the same as flowing 12-13 gpm while measuring the pressure at 60 psi. If you are measure pressure w/o the water flowing you likely have significantly lower pressure when flow 12-13 gpm, probably like 30-40 psi.

    I would suspect that the spray from the heads is probably the same if the supply is 60psi or 80 psi as most heads have flow restrictors that usually just control the flow to a specific gpm over a pretty wide range of supply pressures. If there is a noticeable change in pressure and flow as you turn on more heads, it's a supply issue that the supply line can't flow enough water at that pressure. A booster pump will increase the pressure and may improve the flow, but it may also significantly drop the supply pressure or even create a vacuum on the supply side.
     
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Occupation:
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    Location:
    New England
    People mix up pressure and volume all of the time. What you're interested in in a shower is to have the head increase the velocity. It can only do that if there's a restriction, which means that the supply must be large enough to provide more water than the heads will allow to pass, otherwise, the velocity out of the head will be the same as the water running through the pipe.

    You can relate that to an open garden hose. When you put a nozzle on it, the water comes out faster, but the pressure, if you were to measure it, would be identical. Read up on the Bernoulli principle. Similar thing would be using a soaker hose versus one with a sprinkler head on it...on the soaker hose, the water dribbles out of numerous orifices...on a sprinkler, there are far fewer so the restriction causes the water to accelerate which give it more range/throw. It's the velocity that makes it feel harder, not the volume. Same effect you'd see with a rain shower head versus a typical spray...they may provide the same volume, but the water coming out of the normal spray head will be much faster.

    Increasing your static pressure will allow a bit more volume to flow through the pipes, but it may not be enough if your supply lines aren't large enough to provide the volume your heads need when they are all on at the same time. Also keep in mind that at least with copper supply lines, the maximum velocity recommended for best operation is 5-fps, and that's 8-gpm on a 3/4" line. Running it faster than that means:
    - potentially eroding the interior of the pipe
    - flow noises
    - excessive dynamic pressure losses.

    On a shower, because you have both hot and cold, depending on the supply temperatures, you can get more than that 8-gpm with 3/4" supplies, but that will depend on the actual valve, the WH temperature, and the cold temp, so that the mixed temp is where you want it...less in the winter as you'd be using less cold.
     
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