Well contractor trying to sell me constant pressure system

Users who are viewing this thread

mpage

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
0
We are building a new home with a private well in yorkville IL. The house will have 2.5 baths, with another full bath roughed in in the basement. Our well drilling contractor is suggesting an upgrade to a constant pressure well pump system.

The well is 700 feet deep. He said there is plenty of flow, i believe he said 30+gpm.

For the standard system he spec'd
5HP pump with 2- w-x255 tank and pitless adapter: I need to call him back on this, but i believe this says there will be two 81 gallon tanks. Can anyone point me to some information on how to size well tanks?

For the upgraded system, 5HM constant pressure system for an extra $1400. It's my understanding that there is only a minimum well tank, more like the size of a expansion tank.

*My main question is;*
Will i notice a benefit from the constant pressure?
Can you detect the pressure swing with a standard system (on 40 off 60 or 50/70)?

I'm leaning towards the standard system, i can image repairs and parts for the constant pressure control system will be more costly too.

Any comments, suggestions or experiences would be appreciated.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

speedbump

Active Member
Messages
4,511
Reaction score
12
Points
38
Location
Riverview, Fl.
You didn't say where the water level in this well was. That is very important for sizing a pump.

I will assume you don't have one of those 40 gallon per minute showers with 45 heads that hit you from every possible angle, so a lot of water shouldn't be needed. Ten gallons per minute is a pretty close number for maximum water needed in the average home.

If you is selling you a 5hp motor you are probably getting a three horse pump. That's one of the features with these constant pressure pump systems. Burn more electricity for less water. They have many other drawbacks not to mention the cost. Once we get the depth to water in your well, we can give you the cost of the right pump for the job. For less than $70.00 you can buy a Cycle Stop Valve that will treat you as good or better than this constant pressure pump and save you a bunch of money, not to mention last longer.

I can't comment on the tanks yet with his suggestion because we don't know the water level or the pump he is suggestion. I can tell you that a five horse motor for a residence is practically unheard of.

bob...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,076
Reaction score
882
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Variable Speed Pumps, sometimes called constant pressure pumps were made to sell and make money, not to keep a homeowner happy. The constant pressure is a good thing but, I am seeing 35 to 40% failures within the first two years on all brands except Grundfos. The 3 and 5 HP Grundfos pumps are so new that we don't yet know how long they will last but, I don't expect them to be much better.

The CSV will reduce the power required as the flow decreases, almost the same as the Variable Speed Pumps. The CSV also allows the use of the draw down in a pressure tank, which keeps the pump from having to start every time you get a glass of water. With the Variable Speed Pump, it will have to start for every glass of water because it cannot make use of a pressure tank of any size, and that is not a good thing.

I am not sure you can even use a CSV on this system. It depends on the depth to water, pump setting depth, and model of pump you use. Your pump may develop more pressure than the CSV can handle.

If the pump is set 400 to 700 feet deep, the length of wire will also cause a high voltage problem to the motor if you use the variable speed pump. This is just one of many problems associated with these type pumps.

You would love the constant pressure from a CSV in your home but, we need a few answers to make sure we can make it work with that size pump. One of the best things about the CSV, is that it increases the life of the pump system.

For a manufacturer and installer, the variable speed pump is a "fluid product". This has nothing to do with water. A "fluid product" is one that cost a lot up front, doesn't last long, is not repairable, and needs to be replaced regularly. Keeps the corporate wheels spinning and your pocket book empty.
 
Last edited:

mpage

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The initial estimate from 3 different contractors was a pump setting around 480'. All three initially specified a 3HP pump, and all three have drilled wells in this sub division. The guy i chose has now come back and suggested that i upgrade to a 5HP pump (with both the standard system and constant pressure). He said i could get by with a 3HP pump, but if i put in an irrigation system i would be happier with the 5HP. I am aware that bigger not better, i guess that's why I'm here looking for design help.

I'm waiting for a call back from my well contractor I will ask:
  • What is the water level of the well. Can they tell this before the initial pump setting?
  • What is the brand and model number of the pump he is suggesting for the 3 and 5 HP models? I would then use this information to double check the contractor by finding the pump curves and matching against my desired GMP and pump head?
  • Is he familiar with CSV? If he's not it seems like i could accept a standard system then retrofit with a CSV?
In the meantime i will work on my required GPM. Any help in that area would be appreciated. Here are my fixtures:

Master Bath
1-Whirlpool tub
1-Stand alone shower
2-Lavatories
1-Water closet

Hall bath:
1-Bath/shower combo
2-Lavatories
1-Water closet

Powder:
1-Lavatory
1-Water closet

1-Kitchen sink
1-Laundry tub
1-Washing machine

Future:
basement Bathroom
1-Shower
1-Lavatory
1-Sink

Possible irrigation system for the front yard. I don't know if i really want to factor this in though? Like in my current house i would not turn on the sprinkler when I'm showering.

Thanks for all the fast responses. I've been researching the constant pressure systems, and was leary of the extra cost of the control systems and repairs. Thanks for sharing the CSV information with me. I have started researching that and can see the benefits.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,076
Reaction score
882
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Even with 3 showers going at the same time, about 8 GPM should be a lot just for the house. A 2 HP pump could do this easily. If you want irrigation, you should add the sprinkler amount to the 8 GPM for the house. A 3 HP would let you run a couple of sprinklers at the same time as three showers are going, or run about 6 sprinklers when no water is being used in the house.

It is always difficult to exactly match the irrigation to the pump. Even when you do, you have to run the sprinklers during off peak time, or you don't have enough to water to take a shower when the sprinklers are running.

This is where the CSV comes in handy. It will let you run 1 to 6 sprinklers as needed to match the yard, not the pump. Run no more than 4 sprinklers at a time and the house will still have plenty of pressure. Without the CSV, the pump would cycle like crazy if you did this. Also with the CSV, you really only need about a 20 gallon size tank that only holds about 5 gallons of water, instead of a couple of big and expensive pressure tanks. Takes up less space and cost much less. Then you also have "constant pressure" in the shower instead of the pressure going up and down from 40 to 60 continuously. This way you never have to worry about the amount of water you are using. Just use water however you see fit.
 

speedbump

Active Member
Messages
4,511
Reaction score
12
Points
38
Location
Riverview, Fl.
I am really questioning the reasoning of these Drillers. I can get you 11 gallons per minute at 50 psi with a two horse pump with a 500 foot pumping level. Since they are setting the pump at 480 I used 500 feet to be safe.

The only way I can see the higher horse powers is with the Variable Speed pumps, because they require more horsepower than a standard pump.

bob...
 

Wet_Boots

Sprinkler Guy
Messages
799
Reaction score
2
Points
16
Location
Metro NYC
Factoring in irrigation requires knowing the acreage being irrigated. If the needed irrigation water can be used overnight, then you don't have to share with household usage. If the 480-foot setting is anywhere near the drawdown level, then I could see using a 3 HP pump, if the well has the capacity to supply it.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,076
Reaction score
882
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Except for the extra pressure switch attached to the irrigation controller, that adds even more complications to this already complicated system, that is the way pump guys used to design systems 20 years ago. As I said earlier, it is almost impossible to match the irrigation to the pump. Even if you can, you are still unable to leave a garden hose running in the flower bed or filling up the kids swimming pool without the pump cycling excessively.

The "extra energy" used by the CSV has been documented as worst case of ½ a kilowatt per day or about a dollar per month. How many months will it take to save enough to pay for the extra big tanks. Those tanks will cost you $300 or $400 each, and the 20 gallon tank with CSV will cost about $200 or $300 total. Lets see, spend $500 extra on tanks to save a dollar per month on the electric bill. That would only take 41 years to save enough to pay off those tanks.

With the CSV you don't have to worry if anything matches the pump. You just set up the irrigation to match the yard, no worries. You will also love the constant pressure in the showers, and the dish and cloths washing machines will fill faster. It takes all the worry out of the system, you just use water anyway you want.

I designed systems for 30 years before the CSV gave me a much better option. A dollar extra a month to have good "constant pressure", $500 less tanks to install and keep warm, never have to worry about how much or how little water you are using, while increasing the life of you pump considerably, and not having a system that takes two pages to explain and maintain, sounds like a no-brainer to me.
 
Last edited:

Wet_Boots

Sprinkler Guy
Messages
799
Reaction score
2
Points
16
Location
Metro NYC
As I said earlier, it is almost impossible to match the irrigation to the pump.
Well, it isn't really rocket science to match a system to a supply, now that we have interchangeable nozzles on rotor heads. That being said, there are plenty of lawn sprinkler systems I've seen that look like they were designed by guys who couldn't give a bag of hammers a run for its money.

Is it fair to expect a 2 or 3 HP pump at about 480 feet will be set on galvanized? That would seem to make any backpressure from the CSV a non-issue. Prior to CSV-type products, the recommendation I would give would be to spec the pump for irrigation, and the tank for household use, that is to say, large enough to prevent short-cycling. Even with a CSV, that's still a good way to go.
 

mpage

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Wow, you guys are great, i really appreciate all the input. I haven't heard back from my well contractor yet, but I've been doing quite of bit of learning so i think I'll have the right questions for him when we do meet up.

I do like the concept of the CSV, but the standard type system with a pressure switch on the irrigation sounds like a good plan for me also.

As far as pump sizing goes If i look at the aermoter s series pumps as an example. (I chose this one because a different contractor had specified this series on their bid)

http://www.aermotor.com/pdf/A5863WS_S_Series.pdf

For a 2HP pump at 50psi and 500' i would be expecting 7.6gpm. speedbump mentioned that you could get 11gpm, is there that big a discrepancy with higher quality pumps?

For a 3HP I'd be looking at about 10.8
For a 5HP I'd be looking at about 19.5

Am i reading those charts correctly?

Unfortunately i have entered into a contract with this well driller already. So if i did decide to go the CSV route and he doesn't work with that kind of system it would have to be a retrofit, and i would have probably wasted money on a larger tank or tanks than i need. Again thanks for all the information.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,076
Reaction score
882
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
If you are only going with a 7.6 GPM pump, the CSV is not going to make a lot of difference. If you use the 19 GPM pump it will make a lot of difference. Ask the well driller about it. Maybe he will go for the 5 HP with a CSV and a small tank for roughly the same price as a smaller pump with 2 big tanks. With the CSV you can have as big a pump as you want and could use once in a while, and still use it like a small pump without hurting anything. The bigger the pump, the higher the electric bill but, just for house use it probably won't make $5.00 a month difference.
 

Wet_Boots

Sprinkler Guy
Messages
799
Reaction score
2
Points
16
Location
Metro NYC
What acreage is being irrigated? - the answer to this question is what will point to the pump you need. It takes so many gallons to water so many square feet of lawn (about 27,000 gallons a week to put an inch of water on an acre of lawn) - There are very few lawns that are going to get water-logged with 7 gpm, so I'd recommend a pump that can deliver at least 10 gpm. The additional water will make the sprinkler guys seem a lot smarter.

A CSV can always be retrofitted, and the indoor plumbing can be set up to allow for this.
 

masterpumpman

New Member
Messages
729
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Location
Virginia Beach, VA
Website
www.dci-inc.us
Keep it simple (KISS)

I've been reading the recommendations from Valveman and Speedbump!

Now I'll put in my thoughts!

Listen to Valveman and Speedbump, keep it simple and install a CSV. I promise you're wife. . . and you will love it.

Just for fun, ask your driller if he knows "Porky"? I'll bet he does!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

byndq

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Illinois
Geothermal well

I am also building in northern Illinois. I am going with geothermal heat. I was thinking of going with a open system rather than a closed loop. The open system would be using my well at a max flow of 11 gpm during heating or cooling demand plus my normal household use for a three bath house with no plan for irrigation. My well driller uses this setup on his own house. He is also recommending the Grundfos constant pressure pump. I am concerned about the parasitic pumping cost involved with the open system. A closed system uses a small 1/8 hp pump, if I remember correctly, to circulate a fluid loop into the ground. The closed loop will cost around $6000 more than the open system using my well.
With the volume and flow of water I will need what would be the best (longest life, most economical to run) pumping system for me?
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,076
Reaction score
882
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
The Grundfos SQE is probably the best of the variable speed pumps available. However, it has only been in existence for about 8 years now. During those 8 years there have been several changes made to that system. So the ones going out now have a very short track record. A few of these pumps that were installed under perfect conditions, have lasted 8 years. Many of these systems also had to be replaced in 1 or 2 years. That means that experience shows the average life span to be less than 5 years.

The Cycle Stop Valve gives the same "constant pressure" performance as a variable speed pump. The CSV uses a standard, well proven, 3450 RPM not 10,700 RPM, long lasting pump system. The CSV has only been around, basically unchanged for 15 years now. Almost all of the pump systems installed with a CSV 15 years ago are still running today, and the expected life of these pump systems is predicted to be more than 20 years.

I have a open loop heat pump system myself. I can tell you, as I have also heard from many other people, that saving a few bucks a month on the electric bill with the heat pump, is far outweighed by the replacement cost of having to purchase a new pump system every 5 years or so. The two most important energy saving parts of a heat pump, is the actual cost of the pump system, and making the pump system last a long time.

A good pump using a CSV will reduce energy consumption for pumping, the same as a variable speed pump. A CSV pumping system should cost $500 to $1000 less than a variable speed pump. It takes a long time for the heat pump to save enough energy to make up for the difference in purchase cost. If that pump system last less than 5 years, you will never save enough energy to make up for the cost of the pumping equipment.

Ask your pump man if he remembers the Hays Pump, the Emerald, or the CP Water system. These were the first generation of variable speed pumps, and they did not last very long at all. These were the "constant pressure" pumps that were being sold as little ago as 8 years, and basically none of them lasted even 2 years. There have been a few changes to variable speed pump systems since then but, they are still designed for the pump manufacturer to make a lot of money with, not to save you any money.

See the following quote from a very experienced pump man.

Quote;
Dear Mr. Austin,

I've met you several times at the Mountain States Groundwater Show. I have used several different VFD's instead of using your valve thinking that it would be a better system. After seeing the prices of these systems rise from 3-5% every year for the last five years I started feeling very guilty selling little 3" pumps for thousands of dollars that probably won't last any longer than what I was selling and went back to using the Cycle Stop Valve. I always thought that putting back pressure on a pump would hurt it as much as turning a motor very fast. But after reading your website I have to make a big apology. I should have been using your system all along. I've had less call backs on systems where I've used Cycle Stop Valves they are more reliable than any VFD. I'm making a lot more money than I was with the VFD's also. My customers ask me how can you beat your competitors price by $1,000.00 or more. I just laugh and have to educate them about your product versus the big manufacturers. I hope to see you in Laughlin this year and you've made a customer for life. I'm done with expensive VFDs. Cycle Stops are all I will use.

Thank You,

Matt Beeman
Beeman Brothers Drilling Inc.
Durango, CO.
 

Bill Arden

Computer Programmer
Messages
584
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
MN, USA
Website
www.billarden.com
Keep it simple, and keep it modular.

I have a well and really can't tell when the pressure changes since the hot and cold pressures change at the same time.

Unless you have things that use constant water usage (like watering the lawn) I would suggest a simple system and then add a CSV or a pressure regulator if needed.

The nice thing about both the CSV or a "pressure regulator after the main tank" is that you could bypass them if there is a problem.

I can't imagine much that would cause a CSV or a regulator to fail, but I've seen things fail in strange ways. :eek:

There is simply so much to fail on a Variable Speed Pump that it's simply not worth it on such an intermittent use like home water.

#byndq
The way to reduce the pumping cost is to find a way to reuse the water that is flowing out of the system.
What is the "Static water depth" at your place. If you can you would be a lot better off using a separate shallow water well and pump located in a pit or basement.
 

byndq

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Illinois
Help me. I am still struggling with deciding on the correct pump to install for my open loop geo system. My well driller isn’t much help either. He wants to put in a subdrive 150 with a 3 hp pump. This really sounds like overkill but this will also be for my domestic water. There will never be any irrigation and it is a 2 ½ bath house.
This is a new well at 255’ and the static water level is at 80’. He said he wants to put the pump somewhere around 120 to 140’. One thing I don’t like is that he put in a 1†line into the house. It is only about a 35’ run but I would think that a 1 ¼†would have be the way to go.
The heat pump is a 7 ton Econar Ultra hydronic unit. It is a single stage that requires a max of 11 gpm.
Any ideas?
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,076
Reaction score
882
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
At that depth and pressure, a 1.5 HP pump will deliver about 20 GPM. That is plenty for the house and heat pump at the same time. You certainly do not want to install a 3 HP which is twice the size pump you need. It will cost more up front and use too much electricity. You also do not want a variable speed pump, as the heat pump can't save you any money if the pump or controller needs replacing regularly. A good pump should last 15 to 20 years, and that one will not even get close. If he is pushing you to use a variable speed pump, you need to find a smarter pump man.

See this link;

http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=61
 
Last edited:

byndq

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
Illinois
Not being knowledgeable enough to understand the pump selection charts and friction loss, I don’t see a 1 ½ pump that will supply 20 gpm at what I assume would be close to 180’ of head. (140 plus 35’ of 1” = ?) Also is 20 gpm enough for the 11 gpm heat pump and 2 ½ baths. One of those baths with a 90 gallon whirlpool.
 

Valveman

Cary Austin
Staff member
Messages
13,076
Reaction score
882
Points
113
Location
Lubbock, Texas
Website
cyclestopvalves.com
Any pump curve I look at for a 20 or even a 25 GPM, 1HP submersible pump shows it will deliver about 25 GPM at 180' of head. And yes that should be plenty for the heat pump and the house. Even when the heat pump is using 11 GPM, that leaves you 14 GPM to fill the 90 gallon tub, which will take about 6.5 minutes.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks