Centrifulgal pump for shower

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Old 03-17-12, 06:06 AM
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Centrifulgal pump for shower

Ok, so my father in law put a shower outside to clean off before you go into the pool. He hooked it up to the well system and wanted to be able to turn on the pump from the shower. I suggested to just put in a pressure switch and it will come on when the water hits a lower pressure and turn off when you are done using it. I hooked up the pressure switch and tried to see if the pipe would build pressure. I got no pressure on the line at all. I am going to be installing a pressure tank this weekend, but shouldnt i be getting some kind of pressure on the line even without a tank? the pressure guage is reading about 45 when the pump is on but wont build up and when i turn it off it drops instantly to 0. Shouldnt the line be holding some type of pressure with the pump off? I need someone to let me know if this will even work with this type of pump or am i wasting money just buying stuff to make it work. I will be putting in a check valve and pressure tank this weekend and adjusting the pressure switch to 20/40, but will it even work?
 
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Old 03-17-12, 04:26 PM
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Start by describing the system as it is now.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 06:49 PM
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its a well pump hooked up to the sprinklers with a shut off valve for the sprinklers so he can manually turn those off so it wont affect it. it also has a shower and a couple hose connections on it. i believe it is a shallow well pump. I put qa check valve on today and it actually hold pressure now, but when i turn it to 20/40 it jogs on and off hen the water is being used. so i assume and hope a pressure tank will resolve this problem?
 
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Old 03-18-12, 03:57 AM
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Yes, it sounds like a pressure tank would stop the rapid on/off cycling.
 
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Old 03-18-12, 11:38 AM
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I was told by a couple well guys that it wont work properly with a centrifugal pump. They say it will kick on and off like that no matter if you have a tank or not. Any ideas?
 
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Old 03-18-12, 01:44 PM
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Ask those guys "what is a centrifugal pump?" and while you are at it ask them to explain why a centrifugal pump will not work. I may be wrong but the key is not how the pump moves water but how the water is managed via a check valve, pressure switch and pressure tank.
 
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Old 03-18-12, 04:37 PM
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that is what i was trying to ask them but they really couldnt give me a straight answer.
 
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Old 03-19-12, 06:58 AM
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Unless you use all the water the pump produces, the pump will cycle on and off no matter how large the pressure tank is. Unless you use something that stops cycling.
 
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Old 03-21-12, 02:11 PM
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What can I use to stop cycling?
 
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Old 03-21-12, 05:13 PM
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Cycling is not a problem. Cycling quickly is.

The pump will not cycle if it's output exactly matches what you are drawing (shower head or sprinklers). If you draw more water than the pump can supply the pump will run continuously, not cycling, but not develop full pressure. If the pump can supply more water than you are drawing the pressure will rise until the pressure switch turns it off. There is no easy way to set up the system to operate sprinklers or one shower head without the pump cycling. You just want to limit the cycling rate so you don't burn up the motor.
 
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Old 03-22-12, 10:01 AM
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"There is no easy way to set up the system to operate sprinklers or one shower head without the pump cycling." PD

I disagreee. Just Google it.
 
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Old 03-22-12, 12:33 PM
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Valveguy: The original poster has a simple irrigation system with a pump, pressure switch and is adding a pressure tank. If you know of a simple way for his system to accommodate the different flow demand of sprinklers versus a single shower head please say it. Just blurting out "Google it" is of no value or use to help the OP get the system to function the way he wants.
 
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Old 03-23-12, 05:31 AM
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I know this is going to sound like a dumb question, but wouldn't it be easier and a lot cheaper to hook into the house system? One can buy an awful lot of pipe for what a tank costs . . .
 
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Old 03-23-12, 06:07 AM
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It's common when the house is on city water to have a well for irrigation. Often the savings off the city water bill can pay for the cost of the well and equipment with a year or two. Since the sewage portion of a bill is often based on water usage it can be a double whammy. Some municipalities will offer a discount on the sewage portion if you irrigate but many will not.

In the county, without municipal water supply, irrigation is done on a secondary well to reduce the load on the houses well. If the irrigation system pumps it's well dry or if the pump dies you still have water for the house. I have also seen it where the second well comes about by circumstance. Several years ago we had a drought and many older, shallower wells dried up so many homes got new wells. The old wells were abandoned in place and usually still have the original submersible pump still down the hole and wiring intact. The wells recovered and many are now used for irrigation.
 
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Old 03-23-12, 06:07 AM
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Sorry Pilot Dane, but I have been scolded for supplying the answer to this all to common problem on this forum before. Many pump system problems can be solved by eliminating pump cycling. Cycling on and off destroys pumps, motors, pressure switches, capacitors, relays, tank bladders, and check valves. Cycling on and off causes water hammer, broken pipes or fittings, causes pressure fluctuations, and even keeps instant water heaters from working properly. I hope I don’t get in trouble again for mentioning a product that solves all these problems. But if you want an easy way to “run sprinklers or one shower head without cycling the pump”, and without needing a big, expensive tank, you need a Cycle Stop Valve.
 
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Old 03-23-12, 12:05 PM
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PD: Exactly so. But, so what? The OP has a nice, simple, pretty much foolproof irrigation system that doesn't need a tank, a pressure switch or much else other than an on/off switch.

I assume he has either city water or a house water well which is already set up for taking a shower now and again before getting in the pool. So why not take the simple route?

I understand the advantage of having a backup source of water, but I wonder if this is the time and place for that. If the OP had come in and said, "I need to convert my irrigation well so I can use it in an emergency" I could understand it, but what he said was that he needed a shower to use before entering a pool.
 
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Old 03-23-12, 05:21 PM
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I understand what you are saying, but the entire outside of the house, all the hose faucets, and irrigation are ran off the well pump. I could put the shower on the city water lines but it would probably be harder work. I would have to come inside the house and tap into the main line. That would probably cause me to cut dry wall open and i would have to break through the concrete walls from the outside as well. With all the materials I would have to buy to do it that way and repair cost for the drywall and such could become costly. This set up could make future use a lot easier witht he pump, that is why im trying to figure it out. As I said before, this is not for me. It is for my father in law.
 
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Old 03-23-12, 05:58 PM
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The plumbers where you are must be a lot more ambitious than the ones are around here. What I typically see is that the faucets on the outside of the house stay hooked up to the house system.

Then, new faucets or hydrants are added in the yard that are connected tho the second source, be it a well or a second meter. They are usually free standing and are used to fill the pool, wash the car etc.

But if you have tried all the faucets on the outside and none of them work unless the pump is running, and you can't "T" in where the city water enters the house (most times you can), then you have no other choice.

Well-x-trol has lots of info on it's website on how to hook up a tank. Amtrol
 

Last edited by Pilot Dane; 03-24-12 at 09:12 AM. Reason: I deleted this post by mistake and restored it after Vey re-posted. The posts are similar but not identical so I've left both.
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Old 03-24-12, 05:00 AM
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What you are describing is pretty unusual. Usually there are outside faucets attached to the house, maybe two or three in the front and two or three in the back. Those faucets are have a pipe that goes through the wall and are hooked into the house system.

Then, on the irrigation system, there may be more faucets, like around the pool or garden or whatnot. These rise out of the ground and can be free standing, or attached to the house, but you can usually see the pipe.

If you don't have any faucets outside that are attached to the house system and you can't "T" into where the city water comes into the house from the meter (usually you can), then I guess setting up a full blown water system from the well is your only choice.

Well-X-Trol has lots of info on their website. Amtrol
 
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Old 03-27-12, 08:32 AM
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Most of the hosues in the area do have the outside faucets hooked up to the city water, but for some reason his hosue does not. All the faucets are ran on the outside of the house (they do not go through the wall) to the well pump. I could T off the main city water line but he wants to be able to eventually hook up more to his well line in the future.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 04:08 PM
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Then get yourself a tank. The Well-X-Trol website will help you size it (and oversizing is better than undersizing) and install it. Get a Square D pressure switch from the hardware store and you are good to go. I'm a 40/60 psi kind of guy, because I like eneough pressure to get the shampoo out of my hair, but 30/50 is more common.

You should also build a little pump house for everything to keep it out of the weather. Otherwise the sun and rain will make it all go bad pretty quickly. Doesn't have to be fancy, but it does need walls to keep the driving rain out.
 
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