One Spigot Pressure

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Onespigotpressure, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Onespigotpressure

    Onespigotpressure New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2020
    Location:
    South
    My subdivision recently became saturated with new houses and I noticed the plumbing pressure in my home was significantly reduced at the municipal incoming water source. This happened over time and I was the first resident in a 120 acre subdivision and relatively had decent water pressure for the last 15 of 20 years I have lived here. Then it started to diminish from original 45psi to 35psi over the last 5 years. I was told there was nothing the municipal water source could do because the subdivision plumbing had 3” pipe plumbing and it would be years before upgrading would be considered. Other neighbors complained of low water pressure as well but again no help from the water company. I personally feel this is an issue I can file a lawsuit over but you run the risk of losing a case and you spend money anyway. I have been quite unsatisfied with the water pressure but this was not the only problem and complaining to the municipal water source achieved no satisfactory results. I continuously had dirty and yellowish colored water with the smell of ammonia / chlorine and a lot of toilet bowl staining and lime corrosion on multiple fixtures. I had to replace three hot water heaters and several fixtures over this 20 years mainly due to lime build-up. Moreover, the local water company recently failed the minimal level arsenic and ecoli tests two years in a row and I was sure my water being provided was not healthy and possibly unsafe, despite preventative counter -measures by the water company to chemically treat their water to correct this problem. To make matters worse, the local municipal well was 1/2 mile away and my average ground level location was 1/2 way above the height of the municipal water tank. I can actually see the water tank from my location nearby. I was told by a municipal water employee that the water level in the tank was only maintained and pumped to the 1/2 level height of the tank.

    So, finally I took matters into my own hands and installed a new Davey pump with a smart control Tortorium 2 (flow rate operated - not pressure switch operated) along with an Aquasana elaborate water conditioner / filtration system inline after the pump. The new pump solved my immediate water pressure problem and the water filtration system has significantly cleaned up the water quality problem but now I have a new problem. The new problem is I have a water spigot located in-line after the Aquasana filtration system and when multiple use fixtures of the water source are used simultaneously, the water primarily goes out the spigot located nearest the pump first in-line with the plumbing while water pressure in other house fixtures is significantly reduced to a dribble. When no use of water from this spigot is utilized, the water pressure is sufficient for the rest of my two story house. The head pressure in the house seems to be adequate when the water spigot is not used.

    My question is how do I get the pressure to even out for all house fixtures including this water spigot other than (1) replumbing this spigot to a mid-house located connection or (2) adding a stronger booster pump? (3) I know I could add a pressure reducing valve just after the main feed and to the spigot feed but I still want to maintain good pressure at the spigot as well. My new pump appears to short cycle quite often when this spigot is opened trying to keep up with the flow rate. Normal household water pressure is now 62 psi in a closed circuit and drops to 40 psi when opened - but short cycles when this spigot is opened quite often. Otherwise, the pump can keep up with the flow rate of other simultaneous house fixture uses, with the exclusion of this spigot.

    I was thinking option (1) relocating this spigot connection feed to the plumbing in the mid-house location would likely help the situation but it also seems logically using an added sustained pressure volume system (water pressure dropping over time) like with the use of a large 86 gallon pressure tank inserted in the plumbing after the pump would be more effective in allowing the pump flow rate to recover and help keep up with exit flow rate of pressure.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.

    Thanks - one spigot pressure
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Occupation:
    Pump Controls Technician
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    A large 86 gallon pressure tank only holds 20 gallons of water, and will make the pressure worse as the pump sees the tank as an extra demand to fill. The important part is the incoming pressure for the city. If when pumping the city pressure falls to zero or close, then you are not getting enough water to work with. Since the city lines are too small to supply the amount needed, you may need a storage tank prior to the booster pump. A storage tank with a float valve can fill slowly from the city supply, then supply the pump with all the water you need for peak demands.

    Those "flow rate operated" type pump controllers are junk. You need a little pressure tank like 4.5 gallon size, just not a large tank. And you need pump controller that can work with a pressure tank using a regular pressure switch. The 20 PSI between on and off of a pressure switch is what allows water from the tank to be used. Flow rate controlled pump just cycle a lot with small use, which isn't good.

    Here is a drawing of a storage tank system. Yours will just be fed from the city supply instead of a well pump. However, if you could drill your own well it would solve all your problems.

    LOW YIELD WELL_ CENTRIFUGAL_PK1A.jpg

     
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  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    What is that spigot used for? Is that irrigation, filling water glasses, or what?
     
  5. fitter30

    fitter30 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2020
    Occupation:
    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
  6. Onespigotpressure

    Onespigotpressure New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2020
    Location:
    South
    Thanks for the response - the spigot is to an outside faucet. It is just connected to a garden hose outside that my wife uses to fill her rather large 15,000 gallon pool. She uses this faucet because the water is already filtered and doesn’t leave a lime residue that would otherwise need chemical treatment after filling the pool. We initially used the well for this purpose and ran into all sorts of problems trying to treat water because of the lime concentration. It became extremely costly about $250 a month to treat the pool water during the time the pool was actively open. For me, it’s more about trying to fix the issue of even pressure through the entire house. I guess maybe I don’t understand the mechanics of how to balance out the pressure over the entire house - other than your suggested solution but I thought that might be done by relocating the supply side to the faucet to a midpoint in the house and capping off that initially feed point or simply not opening the spigot gate valve to full capacity. That seemed like the cheapest way to go if it worked. I am pretty sure the faucet exit point (being first in-line after the municipal source - pump - aquasana filter system), is why all the water exits through this spigot before continuing to the cold water plumbing pipes to the rest of the house. Yes, restricting flow from this (not turning it on to full capacity) spigot did solve my problem but I know my wife and she will turn it on full capacity almost every time she uses the space hot / faucet.

    I do already have a well with a separate 40/60 pressure switch and a 86 gallon tank on it and the pressure is quite adequate for outside home use - washing cars, watering plants - garden, spraying off decks and walkways, or filling a separate supply tank. It has an excellent recovery rate having hit water 4 times going down 233 feet and has excellent tasting water but the water is heavily saturated with lime and would probably saturate my aquasana filtration system more quickly than the already treated water of the municipal system. The aquasana system has little maintenance and is suppose to last ten years with only having to change prefilters / post filters every six months. The tee on the tank is susceptible to freezing so I usually winterize it in the winter to avoid damage.

    But the real reason I can’t use the well is the municipal water company won’t legally allow me to connect a well water source to the municipal source because the water company’s policies will not legally allow it, claiming possible contamination, (by reverse flow of the meter). I try to adhere to policy requirements especially if I sign something requiring me to do so. But I have configured the well water so it can be connected to the house under emergency circumstances - it would not take much effort to disconnect the municipal water and reconnect the well water. And, I do have check valves in place to prevent such circumstances but I would always keep the incoming water sources separate to avoid contamination or reverse flow to the municipal water source. Obviously, I could just not use the spigot on the municipal water system and everything is fine, I have enough hose to accomplish those desired tasks. But it is the simply fact - this spigot is at a convenient location and my wife likes to use it. I am one of those people that likes to make everything work correctly.

    Back to the problem now - the pump is suppose to create an additional 30 psi which is does, based on flow rate. The initial supply municipal water source has pressure in the 35 psi range, with the pump active on, I get 60-65 psi pretty much all the time when I do not use the water from the spigot. I have pressure gauges on incoming water and outgoing to/ from the pump and it shuts off when there is no demand within that 60-65 psi range. But it does short cycle only when I use that spigot simultaneously with draws from other water fixtures . So I don’t know for sure it is a supply problem, as it only requires a flow rate of 14 gpm. The spigot that goes outside is filling up three 5 gallon buckets in just over 65 seconds so that is pretty close to the required flow rate - maybe slightly over. That makes me think the pump actively running does have the suction capacity to draw water from the municipal source as easily as it would be with a separate water supply tank.

    I really notice the drop in pressure in other house water fixtures only when this outside water spigot is open. The wife usually uses it only for a few minutes (say 10-20 minutes max). I was thinking a large pressure tank would adequately supply a short supply of water pressure - such as 20 gallons drawing off water with pressure dropping over time (the 10-20 minutes) while the flow rated gpm pump would regenerate the recovery of pumping 15 gallons or so per minute (which is now pumping out of the spigot when the pump is running). I see the point that adding to the demand of filling / replacing water from a draining pressure tank might create a further hinder the problem by just allowing more pressure to exit the spigot at a faster - higher pressure rate. It seems the logical thing to do is tell the wife to use the well and plumb a underground pipe and yard hydrant to the same area where this spigot is conveniently located. And, I forgot to mention, she rarely uses this spigot any other time except spring and summer so this is a seasonal issue for me.

    Thanks - onespigotpressure
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I expect you could devise a system that turns off the flow to the pool spigot when the pressure in the house drops below a threshold.

    One idea would be to adapt a pressure relief valve to say 30 psi. When the pressure in the house was 30 or more, the valve would pass water to the spigot.

    Electronically, a pressure switch could turn a solenoid valve on and off. Yes, there would be details to work out, and a pressure tank to keep the pressure from changing too quickly.

    Another possibility would be to soften the well water to the desired hardness. As I understand it, you don't want pools too soft, but there is a way to mix.

    Another idea is to fill a 119 gallon pressure tank via both a restriction and a check valve. There would be about 25 to 3o gallons on tap at a high flow whenever the tank had not been used for a while. This is close to your original idea.
     
  8. fitter30

    fitter30 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2020
    Occupation:
    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
    A yearly tested and certified rpz backflow preventer should satisfied the water company tieing into your side with your well water. The drawback that theres a 10lb pressure drop through the device.
    Water takes the path of least resistance thats why is needs a restrictor.
     
  9. Onespigotpressure

    Onespigotpressure New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2020
    Location:
    South
    Thanks again for the comments / responses. I have fixed the problem. I went by a local plumbing build site and talked with a plumber whom was finishing up with 3/4” blue pex - on his project. I told him my situation and he told me if I didn’t mind crawling under my house for an hour or so, it seemed like an easy fix I could do myself given my experience level. He gave me 35’ of pex pipe and I already had (2) 3/4” slip on pex fittings - never used this stuff before so I was a little hesitant at first but he assured me it would handle the pressure. I cut the 3/4” copper lines and replaced / inserted a couple of copper tees and short pipe - all soldered back after removing excess water residue, then used the spare pex fittings I had to make the completed connections going from copper to pex and back again, capping / terminating the feed supply of the copper pipe to the original faucet - spigot. This allowed the pump / water filtration system to feed other cold water plumbing directly for some distance without being immediately exported out the original faucet / spigot. The cuts in the copper pipe were located near the faucet / spigot and at another cold water line about 1/3rd of the way across the bottom crawl space floor of my house. I checked for leaks and all appears good so far. I’ve, checked three times now because I wasn’t sure the pex fittings were as secure as what I was told but they appear to be - no leaks and insulated them just as a precaution for freezing which I can almost certainly guarantee will never happen under there. So far, there are no leaks and everything appears to be fine. The spigot / faucet seems to have about the same original pressure - I’m sure it doesn’t, but my wife will never know the difference unless I tell her. The real difference is with simultaneous use of the same faucet / spigot and the far located shower being used on the other side of the house, there is no noticeable pressure drop. All the plumbing now functions the way I want it with adequate pressure at all fixture exit points. I took this one step further and reactivated my well to work as an additional water source and located a yard hydrant as close to this faucet / spigot as I could. Now my wife has two water sources to do what she wants 62 psi in the house and 60 psi using the well. She used the well the first time in s year and is quite pleased with pressure - we washed a driveway that is over 350’ x 14’ and the pressure remained consistent which told me the well pump was keeping up with the demand. It’s true I could use a check valve to prevent water back feeding into the municipal water system with joint use of the well but again their (water company’s) policies promote absolutely no connection of any secondary water sources to the municipal water source while their water source is connected as the primary use source - so in adherence with their policies, for now, I will leave them separate. I had a check valve fail on my well once before so I don’t want that to happen with use on the municipal water source and run their meter backwards. They check the meter frequently every month and I really don’t want to create any future problems with them and my agreed use.

    Thanks - onespigotpressure
     
  10. Onespigotpressure

    Onespigotpressure New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2020
    Location:
    South
    I would like to add one more comment and that is with all the ideas suggested, I would have probably spent a lot more money on a separate pressure tank, materials, and labor; this has worked out pretty well and I am quite pleased with my results now. I appreciate everyone that commented and allowed me to make the best choices to achieve these results. Your comments gave me insight to logic and reason with my particular situation and allowed me to make the best choice at a relative inexpensive cost to resolve the issue.

    Thanks again - onespigotpressure
     
    Reach4 likes this.
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