No shutoff valve at tank

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Rechrgd

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My home was built in 1985. When the well system was installed they simply put a tee in the line running underground to the house and ran a single pipe up to the pressure tank in the shop. The only shutoff valve for the house is in the crawl space and a pain to even get to now that I’m in my ‘70’s. If I was to put a valve at the tank, I assume closing it would drive the pressure switch crazy and burn out the pump. Changing plumbing at the tank or house would be quite involved and expensive. I could just go ahead and install a valve at the tank and shut off the power to the pump before closing it. But, it would be too easy for someone to shut the valve off and not the power when I’m not around. I have a strong electrical background. I would like to install a normally closed contactor in the circuit feeding the pump. I want to activate the contactor via a micro switch on the shutoff valve at the tank. So, if someone was to just shut the valve, the power would automatically be shut off to the pump. I’m envisioning a ball valve with the switch installed as a unit. I know that these things exist in the process control world, but are built for liquids and pressures that make them unaffordable for this application. Surely something like this must exist in the plumbing world that would be reasonably priced, but I can’t anything. I don’t really want to just rig up something. Does anybody know of a source for such a valve or should I just bite the bullet and call a plumber?
 

Reach4

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The general rule is to not have a shutoff valve between the pump and the pressure switch. But you realize that. There are lockable handle ball valves that could offer an alternative.

Another general rule is to have the pressure switch at the pressure tank. Since you are willing to run wires, moving the pressure switch be your easiest solution.

A pressure relief valve can save the pump if your other measures fail.
 

Rechrgd

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The general rule is to not have a shutoff valve between the pump and the pressure switch. But you realize that. There are lockable handle ball valves that could offer an alternative.

Another general rule is to have the pressure switch at the pressure tank. Since you are willing to run wires, moving the pressure switch be your easiest solution.

A pressure relief valve can save the pump if your other measures fail.
The pressure switch is at the tank. No other place to put it that would solve anything that I know of.
 

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If I was to put a valve at the tank, I assume closing it would drive the pressure switch crazy and burn out the pump.
I assume you meant before the tank and pressure switch. You later said the pressure switch was at the pressure tank.

What would be the purpose of such a valve? I guess to avoid dribbling when you change out a tank. You always put a valve after the tank.
 

Rechrgd

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I assume you meant before the tank and pressure switch. You later said the pressure switch was at the pressure tank.

What would be the purpose of such a valve? I guess to avoid dribbling when you change out a tank. You always put a valve after the tank.
Maybe I’m just confusing myself. I’m entirely capable of that. I’m just after the capability to shut off my water at the tank rather than dragging my old butt about 50’ under the house. The tank is currently piped with one pipe coming up through the garage slab. At floor level there is a tee. From that tee it is piped straight into the tank with a union installed. From the same tee the plumbing tees again and the pressure switch, gauge, hose bibb and pop off valve are all located there. So, there is no pipe only from the pump and another only going to the house after the tank. It’s just the one pipe 6’ under the slab that’s teed off of the line going directly to the house from the well. I wanted to put a valve in the short run from the first tee going to/from the tank. That’s where the pressure switch problem comes in. As it stands now, if I want to shut off water to the house, I just kill the power and drain the tank. I guess if I moved the pressure switch to a location just before (tank side) of the valve, that could accomplish the same thing. Space is a problem, but anything can be done. I was concerned with the remote possibility of deadheading the pump should something fail, after just moving the switch. I have a headache now.
 
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Reach4

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How about a photo that shows the pressure tank input, pressure switch, and tees that can fit into the same photo..
 

Rechrgd

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Some of the other stuff you see is just feeding an irrigation system and outdoor spigots….
 

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Reach4

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So I think the tee for irrigation is between the pressure switch and the pump. You can consider trying to put a valve on the irrigation part of the tee.

How about another picture with the camera off to the left of your photo. I think the pie from the well rises out of the floor.
 

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As you can tell, the pipe coming from the floor is both the inlet and outlet at the tank. The irrigation and other stuff there has no pathway to the house. Putting the valve in the lower horizontal pipe is the only real option IMO. whether or not I choose to do the electrical shutdown or move the pressure switch right at the tank.
 

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Reach4

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The lowest horizontal pipe in your photos is the pipe to the pressure tank. So I am thinking that if that is your proposed valve location, your concern is that you want to be able to swap out the pressure tank without spilling as much water.

You might consider adding a switch in series with the pressure switch to let you turn off the well pump without a trip to the breaker.

When you cut power to the pump, water flow stops.
 

Bannerman

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It’s just the one pipe 6’ under the slab that’s teed off of the line going directly to the house from the well.
Since it seems the house feed is teed directly into the pipe leading from the pump, unless a pit is installed to locate a valve to isolate the house directly at the tee, then the appropriate location for the valve to control the supply to the house will continue to be within the basement crawl space.

An alternate possiblity is to move the pressure tank and pressure switch closer to the pump's location, prior to where the pipe tees off to the house. Perhaps a simple heated enclosure to house the pressure tank and switch could be built at the well head. A main valve plumbed directly after the pressure tank will then shut off flow to both the house and irrigation system without interfering with the operation of the pressure tank and switch.

If you decide to continue with the current setup, suggest installing an elbow and nipple to extend the pressure relief valve outlet to the floor or suitable drain. That should reduce the potential for the prv if discharged, from spraying water onto the pressure switch and other electrical components.
 

Bannerman

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Assuming the gate valve equipped with the Black handle controls flow to the irrigation system, what does the valve with the Red handle control?
 

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To add a shutoff valve in the yard, you could dig down and install a "curb stop" valve. This would not need a full pit, but a pipe to keep the dirt away. The valve is operated with a "curb key". That is a thing.

BINGO! I told you I was old! Now I feel old AND stupid. We bought this place over thirty years ago and built the shop over the area where the old shed was that housed the tank and controls. There was a 3” ABS pipe coming out of the ground fairly close to the tank. When pouring the slab I extended it up and capped it. The tank kind of hides the thing and over the decades I forgot about its existence. I used to live in a tropical climate and never even thought about underground valves. My desire for the valve was only to cut water pressure to the house, not to facilitate tank replacement. So yes, I’ve got a “curb stop valve” that will do what I’m after. Now the next question; that valve was installed 40 years ago and hasn’t been used in at least the three plus decades we’ve been here. Think it will still function smoothly?
 

Rechrgd

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Since it seems the house feed is teed directly into the pipe leading from the pump, unless a pit is installed to locate a valve to isolate the house directly at the tee, then the appropriate location for the valve to control the supply to the house will continue to be within the basement crawl space.

An alternate possiblity is to move the pressure tank and pressure switch closer to the pump's location, prior to where the pipe tees off to the house. Perhaps a simple heated enclosure to house the pressure tank and switch could be built at the well head. A main valve plumbed directly after the pressure tank will then shut off flow to both the house and irrigation system without interfering with the operation of the pressure tank and switch.

If you decide to continue with the current setup, suggest installing an elbow and nipple to extend the pressure relief valve outlet to the floor or suitable drain. That should reduce the potential for the prv if discharged, from spraying water onto the pressure switch and other electrical components.
Thanks, I will definitely pipe the prv to the outside…. The other issue is resolved….
 

Bannerman

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My desire for the valve was only to cut water pressure to the house, not to facilitate tank replacement.
Partially closing the valve will reduce the flow rate entering the house. The pressure to the home's fixtures will be lower when water demand in the house is greater than the restriction will allow to pass, but the pressure will be the same as it is currently when water use is minimal.

I don't understand why you would want lower pressure, but to achieve overall lower pressure, simply recalibrate your existing pressure switch to turn the pump On & Off at a lower pressure range.

If your PS is currently calibrated for 40/60 psi, the pressure range could be reduced to 30/50 or even 20/40 or anywhere in between. When reducing the pressure switch range setting, the pressure tank air precharge pressure will also need to be reduced accordingly.
 

Reach4

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To reduce pressure to the house, but keep higher pressure for irrigation, add a PRV (pressure reducing valve) where the water enters the house. If you modulate the flow with a partially closed valve, the pressure will fluctuate in the house. So if the dishwasher fills, the flow to the shower goes down. Somebody flushes a toilet, and the pressure is reduced for a while in the house. If the clothes washer is doing its thing, the pressure will pulse thru the house.
 

Rechrgd

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Partially closing the valve will reduce the flow rate entering the house. The pressure to the home's fixtures will be lower when water demand in the house is greater than the restriction will allow to pass, but the pressure will be the same as it is currently when water use is minimal.

I don't understand why you would want lower pressure, but to achieve overall lower pressure, simply recalibrate your existing pressure switch to turn the pump On & Off at a lower pressure range.

If your PS is currently calibrated for 40/60 psi, the pressure range could be reduced to 30/50 or even 20/40 or anywhere in between. When reducing the pressure switch range setting, the pressure tank air precharge pressure will also need to be reduced accordingly.
I need to watch how I phrase things here. By “cutting pressure“ I just meant to turn it off. Thanks for the info though…
 
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