Well pit plumbing advice

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Hueaster

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Hey guys. I'm wondering what could be done to improve the plumbing in my well pit. My issue I'm trying to resolve is I get about 2 GPM of flow to the house (red arrow in the picture is the 60-70' copper feed line to the house) and closer to 15GPM at the hydrant by the well pit (green arrow in picture). I need to pull all the heat tape and other garbage off to get a better look at what I'm dealing with but it looks to me like the line between the pump and the well tank is undersized. If anyone has any other ideas I'm more than happy to listen at this point.

Regardless of if this is my issue, what would you do if you had to overhaul this plumbing job? What type and size of fittings and pipe would you use?

Also unrelated to the flow issue, I've read that having the pressure switch hooked directly to the pump is not best practice. How should I plumb this in properly?

1AeTISL.jpg
 

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Hey guys. I'm wondering what could be done to improve the plumbing in my well pit. My issue I'm trying to resolve is I get about 2 GPM of flow to the house (red arrow in the picture is the 60-70' copper feed line to the house) and closer to 15GPM at the hydrant by the well pit (green arrow in picture). I need to pull all the heat tape and other garbage off to get a better look at what I'm dealing with but it looks to me like the line between the pump and the well tank is undersized. If anyone has any other ideas I'm more than happy to listen at this point.

Regardless of if this is my issue, what would you do if you had to overhaul this plumbing job? What type and size of fittings and pipe would you use?

Also unrelated to the flow issue, I've read that having the pressure switch hooked directly to the pump is not best practice. How should I plumb this in properly?

1AeTISL.jpg
If you are getting 15 GPM at the tank but only 2 GPM at the house, the pipe to the house maybe corroded up and restriction the flow. Replacing the pipe and/or getting a pump that can build more pressure maybe your only options for more pressure at the house. However, just maintaining a strong constant 45 PSI from a Cycle Stop Valve instead of letting the pump cycle on and between 30 and 50 will make a big difference in how much you can push through corroded pipe. Replacing all that stuff with a PK1A kit would give you stronger constant pressure as it has a smaller tank. It would look something like this.

Jet pump and PK1A.jpeg
 

Reach4

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I would check where the pipe appears in the house. Make sure there is not a filter in line.

If you track the problem to being in that long copper path (is that 5/8 OD or 7/8 OD?) you could try running an electrical snake through it to either detect a kink or to push out a blockage.

If you continue to use the pit, consider putting a sump pump in there to pump out the seepage so that contaminated water does not enter your well.

Green arrow does not point to a hydrant.
 

Hueaster

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I would check where the pipe appears in the house. Make sure there is not a filter in line.

If you track the problem to being in that long copper path (is that 5/8 OD or 7/8 OD?) you could try running an electrical snake through it to either detect a kink or to push out a blockage.

If you continue to use the pit, consider putting a sump pump in there to pump out the seepage so that contaminated water does not enter your well.

Green arrow does not point to a hydrant.

Sorry, I meant to say the green arrow points to another copper line which feeds a hydrant next to the well pit that produces around 15GPM. Not that the line itself is a hydrant. Copper is 7/8" OD

No filters inside the house. The same line T's off in the yard somewhere before the house and feeds a couple yard hydrants which also produce about 2GPM. If any of my outdoor hydrants are running, there is zero water flow in the house and you can actually hear water siphoning backwards if you open a faucet in the house.

Fish tape down the line seems like a good idea. I wonder if there's some corrosion where the installed the T fitting in the yard or something of the like.

I have worried about what would happen if the pit filled with water due to leaks/seepage ever since I bought the place. A sump pump sounds like a fairly inexpensive solution.
 

Hueaster

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If you are getting 15 GPM at the tank but only 2 GPM at the house, the pipe to the house maybe corroded up and restriction the flow. Replacing the pipe and/or getting a pump that can build more pressure maybe your only options for more pressure at the house. However, just maintaining a strong constant 45 PSI from a Cycle Stop Valve instead of letting the pump cycle on and between 30 and 50 will make a big difference in how much you can push through corroded pipe. Replacing all that stuff with a PK1A kit would give you stronger constant pressure as it has a smaller tank. It would look something like this.

View attachment 83419
Cary, I've seen your CSV recommendations everywhere on these forums and read quite a bit on your website. I'm very intrigued. The pressure in the house is fairly bearable while the PSI is in that 40-50 range but becomes barely usable in the 30 range especially with more than one fixture running. I also notice that when I first turn on my faucet, the water takes a second to get to full momentum.

Would the CSV function as intended even with the corrosion in the line?

Are there any special precautions to take since the CSV causes backpressure between the pump and the CSV? What does the PSI rating of the line have to be between the pump and the CSV? Do I have to be concerned about the strength of the drop pipe in the casing due to this?

Can I change to a 40/60 switch at the same time or would that depend on my pump's ability?

Thanks!
 

Reach4

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No filters inside the house. The same line T's off in the yard somewhere before the house and feeds a couple yard hydrants which also produce about 2GPM. If any of my outdoor hydrants are running, there is zero water flow in the house and you can actually hear water siphoning backwards if you open a faucet in the house.
A clogged or kinked pipe could not explain that symptom. If you observation is correct, the only thing I could imagine is there is a really big continuous plumbing leak at the house. And if that were the case, the pump would run continually, even with no known water consumption being noted. But you did not say that. If you cannot tell when the pump is running otherwise, put a clamp-around ammeter around one of the hot leads to the pump.

How big is your well casing? 4.5 inches OD or 2.5 inches OD?
 
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Hueaster

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A clogged or kinked pipe could not explain that symptom. If you observation is correct, the only thing I could imagine is there is a really big continuous plumbing leak at the house. And if that were the case, the pump would run continually, even with no known water consumption being noted. But you did not say that. If you cannot tell when the pump is running otherwise, put a clamp-around ammeter around one of the hot leads to the pump.

How big is your well casing? 4.5 inches OD or 2.5 inches OD?
This is the oddest symptom of the whole system and it has thrown me for a loop since I discovered it.

I can hear the pump running quite easily from the surface when it kicks on. It only runs when a fixture draws the tank down to cut-in pressure. All fixtures off = no running pump.

I've never taken a tape measure to the casing so I'll have to get back to you on that. I'll take a look when I get home.

Here's a little map of my property to give you a visual on what I'm talking about.. I'm not 100% sure on the path the water line to the south hydrants is correct.

7OX1nF7.png
 

Hueaster

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A clogged or kinked pipe could not explain that symptom. If you observation is correct, the only thing I could imagine is there is a really big continuous plumbing leak at the house. And if that were the case, the pump would run continually, even with no known water consumption being noted. But you did not say that. If you cannot tell when the pump is running otherwise, put a clamp-around ammeter around one of the hot leads to the pump.

How big is your well casing? 4.5 inches OD or 2.5 inches OD?
Well casing is 4.5” OD.
 

Reach4

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So barn has good pressure. House mostly does not. How about the hose spigots on the house. Are they able to put out plenty of water, or are they starved too? I know it sounds like it might not be worth trying, but try at least one anyway.

With a 4 inch steel casing, you could switch to a 3-inch Grundfos SQ submersible pump. That would give more pressure and gpm for a given amount of power. No hurry. But plan ahead in case the current pump fails.
 

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Cary, I've seen your CSV recommendations everywhere on these forums and read quite a bit on your website. I'm very intrigued. The pressure in the house is fairly bearable while the PSI is in that 40-50 range but becomes barely usable in the 30 range especially with more than one fixture running. I also notice that when I first turn on my faucet, the water takes a second to get to full momentum.

Would the CSV function as intended even with the corrosion in the line?

Are there any special precautions to take since the CSV causes backpressure between the pump and the CSV? What does the PSI rating of the line have to be between the pump and the CSV? Do I have to be concerned about the strength of the drop pipe in the casing due to this?

Can I change to a 40/60 switch at the same time or would that depend on my pump's ability?

Thanks!
Jet pumps don't make much pressure. Max pressure on that pump is probably about 70 PSI. Check the model number of the pump? If it will build 70 PSI max, then 70 PSI is the max back pressure on the pipe before the CSV. Also, if it will build 70 PSI max, you can turn the pressure switch up to 40/60 and have 50 PSI constant from the CSV1A.

The 50 PSI constant from the CSV will push much more water through the corroded pipe than when just using a 30/50 or even a 40/60 pressure switch.
 

Bannerman

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Your property layout drawing does not specify if the line highlighted with the 'green arrow' in the earlier photo, is the same line supplying the barn and chicken coop. If so, the property layout is not accurate.

There are a few issues noticable within your pit photo.

Galvanized steel fittings should not be utilized with copper. Galvanic corrosion as a result of the contact of two dissimilar metals, will often result in the steel fitting to corrode internally at an accelerated pace. While the elbow located at the bottom beside the pressure tank is clearly brass, the elbow above and the Tee where the pump supply, house feed and pressure tank supply merge, appear to be galvanized steel. It's not clear if each of those fittings are in contact with copper, but all steel fittings need to be removed and replaced with more appropriate materials

If there is corrosion within either fitting resulting in a partial restriction of water from the pump, then water will not enter/exit the pressure tank as rapidly as it should be. If the restriction is within the Tee, the flow rate to the house line will be reduced, which is often reported as low pressure.

Although there are multiple ball valves observed, they may not be all "Full Port" valves. Suggest replacing any standard/ reduced port valves with full port versions.
full-bore-va-reduce-bore.jpg


As you mentioned, the pressure switch should not be sensing the pressure directly from the pump, but is to be rightly sensing the pressure from the pressure tank. The existing pressure switch maybe physically relocated to the pressure tank connection, or the pressure switch may remain where it is presently located if the sensing tube is extended. The connection at the tank is usually performed using a Tank Tee as shown below.
81XS5W0rHSL._AC_SX679_.jpg



Because the location if the restriction is somewhere after the 'green arrow' Tee, water use through the 'green arrow' line is likely resulting in the pressure at the pressure switch to rapidly drop to the pressure switch cut-in pressure, thereby causing the pump to become activated so as to supply the 'green arrow' line at the pump's full flow rate.
 

Hueaster

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Your property layout drawing does not specify if the line highlighted with the 'green arrow' in the earlier photo, is the same line supplying the barn and chicken coop. If so, the property layout is not accurate.

Apologies that this wasn't made clear. The green arrow line is feeding a single hydrant next to the well. The red arrow line feeds the house, the barn, and the chicken coop. The barn and the chicken coop hydrants suffer from the same flow issues as the house.

Everything you said makes sense and fits the symptoms of my issues. I have noticed when I turn the green arrow hydrant on, the pressure switch almost always immediately kicks in which would be consistent what you're saying.

I'll plan on replumbing the old potentially galvanized fittings and making sure those ball valves are full flow. I'll also either install a tank T for the pressure switch or purchase the CSV kit and remove the old tank altogether. Would poly pipe be an acceptable replacement or would you suggest something else?

Thank you for taking the time to look at my picture and give a thorough answer! Really appreciate everyone's expertise on this forum.
 

Reach4

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Poly is a pretty general term. I have even seen people use that term for polybutylene pipe. SIDR pipe is one common instance that is use for well connections. More economical than PEX and bigger ID for a given nominal size. That uses barbed fittings that are often called "insert" fittings in parts descriptions. SIDR has a standard ID for a given nominal size, so the OD will vary with wall thickness.

When laying poly pipe, do not pull tight. Snake the path in the trench to allow for thermal contraction.


Your clarified symptom would imply that the blockage is before the blue-line tee in your diagram. Maybe that could be discovered and addressed without needing to make new long pipe runs.
 

Hueaster

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Poly is a pretty general term. I have even seen people use that term for polybutylene pipe. SIDR pipe is one common instance that is use for well connections. More economical than PEX and bigger ID for a given nominal size. That uses barbed fittings that are often called "insert" fittings in parts descriptions. SIDR has a standard ID for a given nominal size, so the OD will vary with wall thickness.

When laying poly pipe, do not pull tight. Snake the path in the trench to allow for thermal contraction.


Your clarified symptom would imply that the blockage is before the blue-line tee in your diagram. Maybe that could be discovered and addressed without needing to make new long pipe runs.
Thanks Reach. I'm actually talking about just replacing up to the copper pipe that goes to the house with poly/SIDR; not the whole line to the house yet.
 

Hueaster

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Jet pumps don't make much pressure. Max pressure on that pump is probably about 70 PSI. Check the model number of the pump? If it will build 70 PSI max, then 70 PSI is the max back pressure on the pipe before the CSV. Also, if it will build 70 PSI max, you can turn the pressure switch up to 40/60 and have 50 PSI constant from the CSV1A.

The 50 PSI constant from the CSV will push much more water through the corroded pipe than when just using a 30/50 or even a 40/60 pressure switch.

What type of pipe/fittings would I use to duplicate the setup coming off the input side of the csv in this picture you shared? :

jetpump.png


Also, I have a deep well jet (jet is in the well unlike the pump in your picture). In reading my jet pump manual, it mentions a pressure control valve on the outlet side of the pump that must be set to maintain 30PSI of backpressure for the injector to operate properly and prevent losing prime/cavitation issues etc. I don't believe I even have a regulator that I can see. I've pumped at 15GPM out of the full flow hydrant for 5-10 minutes at a time without an issue before. How does this integrate with the CSV? Should I be concerned about this at all or just leave it the way it is?

I believe this is my pump manual, it's the J5 1/2HP made in 1998:
https://www.aquascience.net/downloads/dl/file/id/1000/product/533/goulds_jet_pump_installation.pdf
 

Reach4

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Thanks Reach. I'm actually talking about just replacing up to the copper pipe that goes to the house with poly/SIDR; not the whole line to the house yet.
The path to the barn is also troubled. You might try only replacing up to the tee outside of the pit.
 

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What type of pipe/fittings would I use to duplicate the setup coming off the input side of the csv in this picture you shared? :

View attachment 83456

Also, I have a deep well jet (jet is in the well unlike the pump in your picture). In reading my jet pump manual, it mentions a pressure control valve on the outlet side of the pump that must be set to maintain 30PSI of backpressure for the injector to operate properly and prevent losing prime/cavitation issues etc. I don't believe I even have a regulator that I can see. I've pumped at 15GPM out of the full flow hydrant for 5-10 minutes at a time without an issue before. How does this integrate with the CSV? Should I be concerned about this at all or just leave it the way it is?

I believe this is my pump manual, it's the J5 1/2HP made in 1998:
https://www.aquascience.net/downloads/dl/file/id/1000/product/533/goulds_jet_pump_installation.pdf
You should have a check valve on the suction side of the pump. The fitting you have circled is just a 1" nipple about 6" long, which leaves enough room to install the tank as seen.

Sometimes the J series deep well pumps do not have a back pressure valve. When they do they only use a ball valve anyway. The CSV on the discharge of the pump will add some back pressure, which will help similar to an AV15 as in the Goulds manual.
 
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