Why do I need a pump?


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Old 05-21-10, 04:18 PM
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Why do I need a pump?

I bought a foreclosure residence. The house is about 200' from the road where I connect to "city" water.
The home has a huge, plastic water tank and a pressure pump system. Realtor said this was needed because of low pressure.
The house is about 2 or 3 feet above the road with a gentle grade.
The mystery is that neither of my neighbors have such a system, no pressure problem and one is higher up the grade and further from road than my place. As I recall there is about 90lbs of pressure at the meter.
The home was built in 69 but it has a new (3 yrs) pool.
My wife and I are thinking the pool company may have suckered the previous owner into thinking they needed this pump/storage system.
Since my neighbors have no pressure problems could it be that our main line is simply corroded, maybe galvanized, pipe with a restricted diameter? If we turn off the pump system we get a trickle.
We're thinking we could replace the main and do away with the huge, ugly green, tank and pump and save money on the electricity bill. (and the water taste better <G>)
We're pretty broke after buying the place.
I would greatly appreciate any advice from the pros here.

Thank you,
Gus and Erin
Valley Center, CA
 
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Old 05-21-10, 04:49 PM
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Are you sure you have city water? If so start by calling the water company. If they say you should have adequate pressure I'd look for a valve between the meter and the pump and check pressure there. What kind of pipe is on the input side of the pump? If plastic or copper follow it back toward the meter and see if the material changes to galvanized.

Where I live the meter is connected to the city valve with a union. I would turn off the city valve, loosen the union and turn the city valve on for a few seconds. If I got good flow I'd know I had good flow to the meter. Again turning off the city valve I'd loosen the union on the customer side and turn the valve on for a second to see if I had good flow. I'm not advising you to do this because I don't know what your water company permits you to do around the meter. Just saying what I would do.
 

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Old 05-21-10, 05:36 PM
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Is the big tank you refer to a holding tank? If so, what gallons is it? If you do not know, tell me the measurements (diameter by height). Could it all have been done simply so someone can recharge the swimming pool faster? Do your neighbors you speak of have swimming pools?
 
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Old 05-22-10, 01:49 PM
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If you read 95lbs. at the meter and you only get a trickle in the house with your inside pump turned off, you have a problem with the line comming into the house, too small or a corroded line.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 02:51 PM
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Post deleted.

..............
 

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Old 05-22-10, 03:34 PM
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He(OP) did say 90 at the meter.

But we do not know enough about how the system is set up. For all we might not know, he has 90 at meter, going into a storage tank, then out to a pressure tank - and if the pressure tank pump does not come on (for various reasons, including faulty pressure switch), then gravity feed out of large storage tank could occur and cause a trickle - for example. Hopefully the one post becomes at least 2?.
 
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Old 05-22-10, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by prv8eye View Post
The mystery is that neither of my neighbors have such a system, no pressure problem and one is higher up the grade and further from road than my place. As I recall there is about 90lbs of pressure at the meter.
I'm not sure where this reading is coming from, as 90psi is pretty high for residential, unless there's a pressure reducing valve after the meter and gauge.

I'm wondering how that was measured, and if the pressure gauge is accurate?
 
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Old 05-22-10, 10:07 PM
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Why do I need a pump?

Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Is the big tank you refer to a holding tank? If so, what gallons is it? If you do not know, tell me the measurements (diameter by height). Could it all have been done simply so someone can recharge the swimming pool faster? Do your neighbors you speak of have swimming pools?
The tank is 2200 gallons.
I suppose it could have been installed to recharge the pool faster but the house water slows to a trickle if I turn it off.
Can't find anyway to divert around the pump system to check.
I can't imagine anyone would be in that much of a hurry to fill the pool that they would spend so much for a system just for that. After all, how often do you recharge a swimming pool?
The pump system is "Aquavar". The pipe in the meter box is steel. To see if the main is galvanized I would have to dig up the driveway and the yard to find it.
The neighbors don't have a pool but one is much higher up the grade than we are and they have no pressure problem.
I guess my question is, with 90lbs of pressure at the meter is a pump system normally necessary for a house about 200 feet away and about three feet above the meter?
I wouldn't think the distance from the meter alone would affect pressure but I'm no plumber. (I can barely hook up a garden hose)<G>
If the problem is a corroded main it seems to me replacing the main would have been much more cost effective than installing this huge tank and pump system.
I suppose the smartest thing for us to do is just pay a professional plumber to come out and take a look at it.
This is our first house. We were trailer trash before but we were double wide trailer trash <G>.
 
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Old 05-23-10, 08:06 AM
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"I guess my question is, with 90lbs of pressure at the meter is a pump system normally necessary for a house about 200 feet away and about three feet above the meter?"

No.
It may have been set up years ago when the City provided much less pressure or volume to the main and thus to your house. Last year the city finally replaced a main on my street as they re-plumbed the whole neighborhood.

The old one was 2" for 8 houses and the nearest fire hydrant was 1,000 feet away on a larger street which had a bigger main. The new one for my street is 6" and a new hydrant is across the street.

Pressure did not go up much, but volume increased dramatically. My neighbor's rotating sprinkers had to be cut back and he gets a real curtain now where he used to get a stream and now more than one house can be sprinkling at the same time.
 
 

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