Low water pressure on well system

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Old 01-17-17, 06:09 PM
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Low water pressure on well system

Recently bought a house and trying to troubleshoot some water problems. It's a well system, and I've been on a well at other houses so I have a decent understanding about how they work. I feel something is up with this system.

The water pressure on the upstairs floor gets pretty weak. If your taking a shower and someone flushes the toilet, you definitely feel it. If the washer machine is running your shower is going to suck. Stuff like that. You have to be careful about running more than one water appliance or the pressure gets really low. Sometimes down to a trickle. It's a 3500 sq ft house.

The pressure tank is a lot smaller than other systems I've seen, I thought it was odd when I saw it (26 gallons). I thought maybe it was shot, but it's fairly new (less than 2 years old).

In monitoring the cut-in and cut-out, the pump engages at about 40 psi and cuts out at 70 psi. Is it perhaps the cut-in needs to be raised?

I'm not sure about the pump other than the attached picture which maybe leads me to believe it's 3/4hp?

I know there is a lot more to it (flow rate, etc.) but can someone point me in the right direction? A plumber who was over for something else said something to the effect of "get a larger tank and you won't have these water pressure issues upstairs".

Thanks
 
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Old 01-17-17, 06:43 PM
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Tanks size primarily affects how often the pump runs and for how long. A smallish tank doesn't really affect flow rate or pressure unless you have a low volume well or a pump that's too small.

If you run the water just until the pump turns on and then stop running the water, how long does the pump run to get the pressure back to 70? If you watch the pressure gauge when someone is showering, say, does the pressure ever drop below 40?

40-70 PSI pressure range should give you plenty of pressure; many systems run at 30-50.

It sounds more like you have a flow restriction. Are there any filters or water treatment systems, like a softener? What size are the pipes from the pressure tank to the house? Are you sure the main valve(s) are fully open?

Do a flow rate test as described here: Measuring Well Flow Capacity – Pure Water Products, LLC
 
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Old 01-18-17, 08:30 AM
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The well at my house cuts in a 40 psi and out at 60 and I have none of the problems you mention. I agree with Carbide Tipped that you probably have a flow problem. How old is your house? What is the piping material? It is common for steel pipes to corrode shut over time.

Do you have a sillcock on your well head (common only with most newer homes)? If so put a short hose on it and time how long it takes to fill a bucket. Then go to a sillcock on the side of your house or the closest to the pressure tank and fill the same bucket. Then try other fixtures inside the home. Comparing the time to fill the bucket will give you an idea where the problem lies.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 08:45 AM
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I know this was a few months ago but got another chance to dig in to the problem. Thank you both for replying.

It sounds more like you have a flow restriction. Are there any filters or water treatment systems, like a softener? What size are the pipes from the pressure tank to the house? Are you sure the main valve(s) are fully open?
I think you might be right. I started troubleshooting the system. My water softener has a bypass valve on it. When I bypassed the water softener, water pressure was much improved. So perhaps I found my culprit.

It's a Fleck 5600SE valve. I took apart the valve looking for any sediment that might be slowing things down. There was some iron build up, but not much (there is an iron remover system prior to the water softener). However I soaked the valve in iron out to remove all the iron and didn't notice any other debris that impede flow.

Now that I know the valve is essentially good, I am guessing it might be the resin? Also I don't think it was regenerating enough. It was set to 2300 which I think is 2300 gallons before regeneration. The max days was off. I set the max days to 1, I will regenerate it every night to try to improve the resins.

I also moved the cut-on/cut-off to 50-70psi. (the top end was 70, moved the bottom end up). Why not do 50-70? I know a lot of residential systems are 40-60, what is the limiting factor to moving up to 50-70? I know it's not the fixtures of your house... is it your well's ability to keep up?

Thanks for any tips.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 11:57 AM
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what is the limiting factor to moving up to 50-70? I know it's not the fixtures of your house... is it your well's ability to keep up?
There are several limiting factors....
1) depth of well.... how low the pump is below ground.
2) size of pump.... your 3/4 hp unit could be considered on the smallish size.
3) water regeneration into the well does play a part too.

I don't think you'll need to regenerate every night.
That would be a waste of water and an additional strain on the well.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 12:02 PM
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I don't think you'll need to regenerate every night.
That would be a waste of water and an additional strain on the well.
I'm trying to do it to improve the resins but maybe I will go to every other day? I'm not sure of the depth of the well, have to find some records on that.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 01:59 PM
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Did someone already suggest checking whether there's still 38 PSI in that tank when it's at rest ?

If not, it may simply need to be re-charged.
 
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Old 04-21-17, 02:50 PM
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Yes when I adjusted the cut in pressure to 50 psi, I charged the tank to 48psi
 
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