Shared well woes

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joe lesperance

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Hi to all ,
I have purchased a house with a shared well. Drill well depth is 168' , 131' for static water level . Pump is 1 hp motor @ 7 gpm ( according to a receipt I have when pump was replaced in 2015) . I have the control side of the system and running a Redlion RL33-S pressure tank with 40/60 pressure switch. the neighbor has a tank as well , and I believe a 30/50 switch . Here is my dilemma . The well is meant for residential use , and my neighbor has a huge indoor dome garden and a 25'x50' outdoor garden .
So that being said , my pressure switch is going off and on continuously . I have bought a 40/60 switch for his system to try to equalize the system pressure , but he seems to think he doesn't need to cooperate. ( that's my problem to deal with) My question is , what can I do about the constant cycling of the pressure switch ? Also it seems my water softener is going through salt like crazy. We have been dealing with an extreme heatwave here and breaking heat records. He seems to think we are never going to run out of water. Is there a way to limit or reduce his consumption ? I could really use some input. I thought about putting in a one way valve , but of course he would get no feed. Then I thought about putting one in after the pressure tank , but then worried about water hammer in my system and will still have continuous cycling. Help please!!!
 

Reach4

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Review the legal agreement. What options do you have under that?

One way to minimize the cycling is to use a cycle stop valve. The pump would run more, but there would be little cycling.

If you have the ability to throttle his usage under your agreement, I expect there is a technical way. You could limit his gpm or his hours of operation. Maybe you could limit his gallons per day, but that would be harder. You could put a water meter on his line.

I don't see how his water use would affect your salt usage, unless you are sending him softened water. That seems very unlikely.

There is the possibility that your softener is seeing phantom flow at its meter. That would be mainly tied to your hot water usage. The cure for that is a check valve out of the softener and a thermal expansion tank at the WH.

What is your hardness, how many people using the softener output, and how much salt do you go through?

I did not understand the bit about the one-way valve.
 

joe lesperance

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Hi ,
The valve I meant was a check valve after my pressure tank. (sorry about that) My hot water tank is new and seems to be working correctly. I will check the water softener as it is a older system. Only my wife and myself in the house . My agreement is equal and average water use. Not agricultural . When they are watering it constantly drains my pressure tank , and kicks in the pump at 40 psi in my basement as it should. I guess I'm also a little confused why they have a pressure switch if it doesn't activate the pump in the well.
 

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The cycling on and off is your biggest problem. The pump is made to run continuously. I have one that hasn't shut off in 19 years so far. Whoever is paying for the electricity is the one with the pressure switch that counts. The other pressure switch isn't doing anything, and could even be dangerous if it is connecting two different power sources.

Equal water use is one thing, but average water use depends on lots of things. You should meter both lines and split the electric bill and maintenance accordingly.
 

joe lesperance

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I concur , we both have the same members in our households . Neighbor almost seems to have bullied previous owners. That won't work here with me. I'm trying to be cordial , I don't want to be that ( ass neighbor ) but we are in high fire season , with a out of control blaze 90km away . Last thing I need is to run out of water. I think I will look for a CSV .
 

Reach4

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I guess I'm also a little confused why they have a pressure switch if it doesn't activate the pump in the well.
I also don't know why they would have a pressure switch. Are you confident there is a pressure switch on the other property?
 

Bannerman

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Your water softener should not be supplying the neighbour. Your water softener is to be for your use. If the neighbour wants a softener, he should be required to obtain his own.

A separate pressure tank is not required or wanted for each home. A pressure tank's purpose is to maintain pressure within the system while the pump is not operating, and to reduce pump cycling while water is being used.

If a Cycle Stop Valve is added between the pump and where the feed Tees off to each home, water use by either family will cause the pressure tank in your home to fall to 40 psi, causing the pump to become activated. Once activated, the pump through the CSV will supply 50 psi constant pressure to both homes. As the pump will be supplying only the exact GPM being used at the time, the pump will not cycle for as long as water continues to be used. Once no further water is needed, the pressure tank will fill @ 1 GPM until the 60 psi cut out pressure is acheived, causing the pressure switch to shut down the pump.
 
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joe lesperance

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Again , I agree. This is the layout . I have well feed into my home . It feeds my pressure tank and switch . out of the pressure tank to my filtration system and out to my water softener , out of water softener to the house and hot water tank. When the neighbor waters the garden my tank switch constantly cycles. From what I understand , they have sent me a photo of a pressure tank and a gage . but are being very vague about anything else. Our contract states I'm to have access 24/7 to the well head , but that is easier said than done . It is on the fence line but 2 dogs run the property. The well contract was done before they purchased the property and my home was completed before them . I think they have always figured they own the well and our home just supplies power. This is not the case , any way that's a whole other issue . Can I put a CSV between my well feed and my pressure tank ? Also best place to purchase?
 

Bannerman

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Can I put a CSV between my well feed and my pressure tank ?
A CSV controls the flow from the pump. A CSV would need to be located before the supply line Tees off to each home.

The description in your latest post did not state the neighbour's home is supplied soft water from your softener, nor did it state their supply connection is located at your home. Because the well is located at the property line between both homes, it is likely the supply line is Teed directly at the well head with a separate pipe running to each home. If so, the CSV would need to be installed at the well head between the pump and Tee.

As previously stated, the pressure tank is to maintain pressure in the system while the pump is not operating. When water is used in either home, the pressure in the system including the pressure tank, will become lower until the pressure switch cut-in pressure is achieved whereby the pump will be activated.

A pressure tank should be located only where the pressure switch is located. Since it seems the pressure switch is located in your home, that is where the pressure tank is to be located.

Placing a second pressure tank in the neighbour's house can mess-up how the pressure switch will control the pump due to flow restriction occuring through the long length of pipe between the 2nd pressure tank in their home, and the pressure switch & tank in your home. If a second pressure tank is needed to increase capacity to reduce cycling, the 2nd tank should also be located in your home, directly next to the 1st tank.

By installing a CSV, a large pressure tank will be no longer needed. While only one of the exsisting tanks may continue to be used, in actuality, a 10 gallon pressure tank will be likely sufficient for both homes while still preventing the pump from cycling.

Valveman is the developer and manufacturer of CSVs. His website showing Canadian dollars is linked directly to the order desk in Texas.

https://cyclestopvalves.com/
 
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LLigetfa

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I don't see how his water use would affect your salt usage, unless you are sending him softened water. That seems very unlikely.
If your softener is metered, the frequent rise/fall in pressure can generate phantom readings. You house plumbing has some elasticity and as the pressure goes up and down, soft water goes back and forth across the meter. You would need to isolate your house plumbing with a check valve and then make sure to have an expansion tank for the water heater.
 

Reach4

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If your softener is metered, the frequent rise/fall in pressure can generate phantom readings. You house plumbing has some elasticity and as the pressure goes up and down, soft water goes back and forth across the meter. You would need to isolate your house plumbing with a check valve and then make sure to have an expansion tank for the water heater.
Interesting point on the elasticity of plumbing.

To prevent the phantom readings from your own water heating, the check valve would best be directly in line with the softener. Since this is a shared well, to the prevent elasticity of the plumbing, including the softener tank, causing phantom readings due to pump cycling, the check valve would be before the softener.

The air precharge on the thermal expansion tank at the WH would be set to the peak pressure out of the pressure tank, or even a tad higher.

A thermal expansion tank with the air precharge lower than the peak, in the absence of a check valve, would increase phantom flow.
 

LLigetfa

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Also I should mention that if there is enough elasticity and the water heater is close to the softener, hot water can backflow into the softener and damage it.

Reverse flow through a softener or media filter can also unseat the media pack with negative consequences.
 

Reach4

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Also I should mention that if there is enough elasticity and the water heater is close to the softener, hot water can backflow into the softener and damage it.

Reverse flow through a softener or media filter can also unseat the media pack with negative consequences.
Hot water backflow through short pipe, yes.

With WH thermal expansion alone, the flow is so slow that doubt that the unpacking thing can happen. If the flow is out of an under-precharged WH expansion tank due to sudden water draw lacking a check valve, that could be plausible-- but even then seems unlikely to me. My thinking is that the expansion tank is so much smaller than the pressure tank that any sudden loads will probably not generate enough flow for such lift.
 

LLigetfa

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...doubt that the unpacking thing can happen.
It can and has happened to me. At one time, I had one outside hose bib plumbed before my iron filter so I could have high flow. It would unpack the iron filter media if I drew heavily from it.

My old softener had cam-wheel valves that would slam shut and the subsequent water hammer disturbed the iron filter media pack. The new softener uses servo-motor valves that are slow-close.

There are anecdotal reports of solenoid valves on sprinkler systems unseating the media pack.
 

Reach4

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My old softener had cam-wheel valves that would slam shut and the subsequent water hammer disturbed the iron filter media pack. The new softener uses servo-motor valves that are slow-close.
Interesting. My 5600sxt piston opens slower, and I suspect closes slower, than my 5810sxt. If the 5810 started a backwash when I was near it, it would startle me. I guess the early 5810s were faster still. I don't remember the sounds at the end of backwash.
 
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