Strange water pressure issue

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calebw

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I have a strange water pressure problem. I am on a well with a pressure tank. After the pressure tank I have a sediment filter followed by a water softener, then another filter. After this filter it branches off to the water heater, then continues to the rest of the house. Side note the previous owners never put a pressure gauge. So I have no idea what the actual pressure is. Also the pressure appears to be about the same for both hot and cold.

A couple weeks ago we started having issues where it felt like there was a blockage of some sort in the water lines. Showers started to lose pressure etc. After running the water for a few minutes it was just a trickle. I would go to the basement and open the drain valve on the first sediment filter, and discovere there was a lot of pressure there. I bypassed the water softener to take that out of the equation, and changed the filters. Next day or two we had good pressure. Then again losing pressure after running the water for more than a few seconds.

I assumed there was something in the pipes, so I took out the filter after the water softener and filled the canister with vinegar and ran the water enough to get the vinegar into the pipes. Let it sit for a few hours. Flush the pipes. Everything looks good for a day or two. Then no more water pressure.

I decided the clog must be somewhere between the first filter and the branch to the water heater. So I replaced those pipes, and didn't find any clogs.

Now I'm at a loss, because there's always solid pressure at the first filter, but the rest of the house is just trickling.

I don't think it is the pressure tank, because if I open the drain valve on the first filter the pump cycles normally, not every minute or so like I would expect.

Do any plumbers out there have any ideas?
 

Valveman

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You cannot tell anything without a gauge. There also must be a pressure tank somewhere. And what do you mean by "pump cycles normally, not every minute or so"??

Find the tank and you can use a car tire gauge on the tank Schrader to see what the pressure is. But you really need a gauge. Then get a "test gauge" from one of the box stores, and you can see the pressure at any faucet. If the pressure at the tank is higher than the pressure at a faucet, there is a blockage somewhere. If the two gauges read the same, your pressure problem is caused by something else.
 

Fitter30

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Filter housing physical size and micron of element mean everything. Everytime the water goes through a filter, a standard shut off valve and water softener there is a pressure drop. Valves can be full port which there is less of a pressure drop. Like Valveman stated need a couple of gauges one at pressure switch and after the filters. Need to inspect the pump switch for its operation to pressure.
 

calebw

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I took the filters out of the housings and ran without any filters and the water softener bypassed for a couple days. That didn't have a noticeable impact.

I checked the air pressure in the tank, that was between 35 and 40 psi. Which seemed reasonable.

We have a lot of air bubbles in our water normally. Could air bubbles building up in a filter housing that would mimic a blockage?
 

Valveman

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No, air won't hinder the flow, just blow a glass out of your hand at the sink.. So, what was the tank pressure WHILE the system was on and working? That will be the same pressure as if you had a gauge on the water line. Air could be from a hole in the pipe and all your volume and pressure are leaking out before it gets to the house.
 
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