Pressure at tank is great, in house is low unless pump is running

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by greghughes, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. greghughes

    greghughes New Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Hi, I have an in-ground well and pressure tank in the garage. I don't know much about these systems, but will try to describe the setup and the issue.

    There is a faucet valve inline at the tank with a pressure gauge above it. The gauge shows that the pump kicks in at about 28 PSI and cuts off at about 50 PSI when the water is flowing. I've watched it several times. I have a reasonably high level of iron in the groundwater, and I have a 5 micron canister paper filter after the tank but before the water softener, which I change regularly, about once a month. It catches quite a bit of rust "sludge."

    If I run the water from the valve at the tank into a hose, the flow is quite high. But in the house, it is low. Even if I change the filter it tends to be low, UNLESS the pump is actually running. When it runs, the flow in the house is much better. I can even hook up a lawn sprinkler outside with a hose hooked up at the tank valve and run the faucets inside at the same time and flow is pretty darned good. If I am taking a shower, you can almost predict the time it will take before the flow picks up when the pump kicks in.

    This house is about 5 years old. The issue occurs on hot and cold water equally. I'm wondering if one of the two following things might be the cause, but I also know there are people here who will have more and better thoughts:

    1. Pipes (which are not metal except for a couple in the walls) are restricted by rust sediment buildup, or
    2. The pump pressure needs to be increased, and the pressure meter at the tank might be providing an inaccurate reading.

    I will probably ask a plumber (one familiar with pumps and wells) to take a look, but I wanted to get input here first, so I can be sure to ask the right questions and ascertain if the person I have come take a look knows his backsid... Oh, you know. :)

    Thanks in advance. I'll try to answer any questions. If any pros happen to the in the same area as me, feel free to ping me, as well. I am in the Longview, Washington/Rainier, Oregon area (on the Oregon side - Deer Island).

  2. speedbump

    speedbump New Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Water well and pump tech.
    Riverview, Fl.
    You could try turning up the pressure on the switch. Your submersible pump should be able to go much higher. I would shoot for 50/70psi. You will need to air up the bladder tank to 48 lbs when doing this.

    What brand is your pressure switch?

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  4. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Pump Controls Technician
    Lubbock, Texas
    Turning the pressure switch up will help but, you always have better pressure when the pump is running, compared to when the water is coming out of the pressure tank. Even if you can turn the pressure switch up to 50/70, you will still see the shower pressure fall to 50 before the pump comes on and brings the pressure up to 70. If you use a Cycle Stop Valve before the pressure tank, you can make the pump stay on and the pressure maintain a constant 65 PSI, as long as you are in the shower. This constant pressure will be so much stronger than what you are used to, you won't believe the difference. Even with the 30/50 setting you have now, the CSV would hold 45 PSI steady as long as the shower is on. Constant pressure is always much stronger than cycling pressure.
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