Low water pressure

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  #1  
Old 03-29-08, 07:35 PM
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Question Low water pressure

A few days ago my water pressure dropped significantly. I checked the guage on my pressure tank and found it staying between 10-15 pounds, and it sounds like the pump is always running. I took the cover off the pressure switch and find it is in the on position everytime I check it. I still have water flow, just low pressure. Could this simply be the tank has lost it's pressure, and if so can I use an air compressor to increase it on a tank with a bladder or will this cause damage? I'm also worried it could be the pump itself. I've never had a well before so I had it inspected before buying this home last year and was told it was in great shape, but I don't know how old it is. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 03-30-08, 04:46 AM
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You need to stop the pump from running continuously right away. It will burn the pump/motor out eventually.

Close the valve at the equipment on the supply line to the house and eliminate any ruptured lines from the equipment to the house. If your tank then builds up pressure you have a ruptured line from the equipment to the house. Most likely underground.

You may need to open the line from the well head to the pressure tank and be sure you are getting good flow. If you are not you may have a ruptured line between your pump and the surface. Listen down in the well for water spray. The absence of hearing water spray does not eliminate a ruptured line, however, as most breaks are under the water line and at a male adapter screwed into the pump at the attach point well below the water line.

Your static water level may have dropped, or your recovery rate may have been reduced enough to cause cavitation and low volume. But this is something to look at only after you eliminate pump problems.


This is most likely not a tank problem. Even with no air in a bladder of a bladder tank the pump will spike the pressure to cut off at the pressure switch. But still, check the pressure in the bladder. With the pump trying to pump water into the tank you will have a minimum of 20 pounds. Since it takes so little effort to check and reset the pressure in the bladder you may as well just do it. You may get lucky and that is all it is. Do you know how? There are multiple posts all over the forum with detailed procedures.
 
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Old 03-30-08, 09:59 PM
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Thanks for the response, it was very helpful. I understand everything you said, my problem is that my well isn't set up like any Ive seen in the past. The tank isn't in a well house away from the house, it's in my garage. The copper supply pipe goes into the cement slab foundation behind the tank, and I have no idea where it comes out. Out put to the house goes right into the plumbing in the walls, so I'm sure if there was a break on that end it would be obvious somewhere in the house.I have walked the entire property and found no sign of a well head. I'm planning on asking my neigbor since his is probably the same, but cant catch him. Bottom line is this hit me at the worst possible time financially. Does anyone have any suggestions that might allow me to keep my water running for a while without burning up that pump? Thank you!
 
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Old 03-30-08, 10:03 PM
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By the way, the tank valve is still at 12lbs. I checked it at the valve stem on top and got 20lbs. Not sure how much water was in the tank at the time.
 
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Old 03-31-08, 12:57 AM
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I lived n a house with the tank in the house for several years. I prefer it that way. On my house there were valves inside and outside so that the tank could be drained and the segments to the pipe could be isolated.

You may not see the leak, so will need to isolate the segments before and after the tank to test each side. If there are no valves, you may to install them.

You better only run that pump when you need water and it is time to go on emergency rations until you fix it. Fill buckets and the bathtub to flush the toilets. Wash clothes elsewhere. If you keep running tthat pump, you are turning a $300 repair into a $1,000+ one.
 
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Old 03-31-08, 09:14 PM
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What is an appropriate pressure to have on the gauge, or does it depend on the pump and system? I too am having low pressure problems, but my gauge reads 35psi.

Thanks,

Steve
 
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Old 03-31-08, 09:38 PM
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Wink

The copper supply pipe goes into the cement slab foundation behind the tank, and I have no idea where it comes out.
Anytime copper pipes run in cement it will eat it . Then you can have leaks in the copper pipe. Most well switches come set like 20/40 30/50 and 40/60. You can set them for what you want. If you have a bladder tank . with the pump off and no psi and no water . Then the psi at the schrader valve on the bladder tank should be 2 lb light of what the cut in psi on the switch is.
 
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Old 04-01-08, 05:31 AM
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-->Anytime copper pipes run in cement it will eat it .--

I live in a neighborhood now where all the copper pipe is (or was) in the slabs. The houses are 40-60 years old. Most are/were being replumbed with CPVC at 50 years.
 
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Old 04-02-08, 08:41 PM
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If i may hijack the thread. My house is less than a year old, but my well is quite a bit old. We built the house adjacent to the mobile home that was on the property and now it has to pump nearly twice the distance that it had to before, although it is a bit downhill. The builder, plumber and inspector seemed to be OK with it. I'm thinking my pump may not be strong enough for the distance that it has to push the water. The water stream is very strong at the well, but out of the kitchen sink, it isn't good at all.

Here are some pics of what i have. The pressure on the tank read 43psi.









 
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Old 04-02-08, 08:52 PM
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Man, I hope you have replaced that switch.
It looks bad?
 
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Old 04-02-08, 08:59 PM
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Turbo steve

First thing I would do is replace that switch, about 20 bucks.
Than check your cut in pressure at tank, and set it like the previous response suggests.
How far are you going?
I have 1 inch pvc that goes around 500 feet.
 
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Old 04-03-08, 05:38 AM
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I want to say the PVC is at least one inch, if not larger. I think the run is about 200 feet. Can i get that switch at Home Depot or Lowes or do i have to find a well supply place?
 
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Old 04-03-08, 06:13 AM
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Have you cleaned out or removed the aerator in the kitchen sink faucet yet?

If you are getting decent pressure at the well, then something is wrong on the house side of the equation. Pumps push a lot better than they pull and 200 feet is not that much.
 
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Old 04-03-08, 09:25 AM
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I haven't checked the aerator, i guess because i didn't think it could get that clogged up in such a short amount of time. I'll check it when i get home tonight though.

Did the pressures at the well seem OK?
 
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Old 04-03-08, 07:19 PM
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You can get a pressure switch from most any hardware store, Ace has em for about 20 bucks. If you want more pressure you could go with a 40/60 switch
 
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Old 04-03-08, 07:23 PM
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If your pressure guage is correct, 35 psi should give you good pressure.
Pump should come on at 20 and shut off at 40, if this is a 20/40 switch
 
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Old 04-09-08, 09:53 PM
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I think the aerator might be the issue, as water pressure seems to be strong in both bathrooms. The kitchen sink faucet is one of those extension sprayer types. It spray mode it moves some water, but in normal mode it is pitiful. I need to figure out how it comes apart.
 
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Old 04-09-08, 11:40 PM
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The aerator is usually right there at the outlet. Strong fingers or cloth wrapped plier jaws (don't scratch the finish) usually will persuade the aerator to unscrew.

http://www.rayshousehelp.com/repair-...aucet-aerator/
 
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Old 04-10-08, 04:53 PM
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It took me a bi of time to figure it out because it's one of those hand-held spray deals, but i think i figured out the problem. I know we have some hard water here out of the well, but i didn't think it would get this bad in less than a year's time. I think i may still look into changing the switch at the well, since it seems so crusty.

 
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Old 04-10-08, 05:07 PM
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Most of the houses I have lived in didn't have aerators. They were just removed and not put back on. You should go ahead and clean all of them out or remove them. Also clean out the coffee maker and soak the showerhead(s) in CLR (or some other type of acid). You can get it at the grocery store or hardware store.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/produ...id=prod1765587
 
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Old 04-10-08, 09:20 PM
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We use CLR everywhere else in the house. Oddly enough it didn't occur for us to use it in the place we use the most. Probably because the staining is evident like it is elsewhere.
Thanks for the help folks.

Steve
 
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