Water pressure gauge shows 5 lbs pressure

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-03-18, 07:42 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Water pressure gauge shows 5 lbs pressure

I looked at the oil filled pressure gauge on the water pipe coming in the house. It showed 0 lbs so I thought it was broken even though we had it replaced recently. I looked at it again this evening when the pump was running and it showed about 5 lbs when the pump cut off. When it was installed it read the normal 60 lbs when the press tanks were full. We seem to have enough water pressure at the faucets in the house. Is the low gauge reading something to look into (need direction if so) or be concerned about?
thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-03-18, 08:28 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,787
A working and accurate gauge is pretty important to have in a well system.
You can pick up a test gauge and see what is says for pressure.

Pressure test gauge
 
  #3  
Old 12-03-18, 08:40 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Ok. Iíll get one and see what it says. Seems funny that things would go sideways 6 or 7 months after the new gauge was installed
 
  #4  
Old 12-03-18, 08:44 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,643
yeah especially an oil filled on. I had one on my well in NJ. Worked the 15 years I had it..

I would say remove and clean.. probably has sediment?

Those oil gauges are like 50 bucks plus!!!!! Well the one I had anyway...
 
  #5  
Old 12-04-18, 05:47 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,304
If you have normal water pressure inside the home then there is a problem with the gauge. When buying a replacement there is no need for the expense of an oil filled gauge. Oil filling is used to dampen vibration when gauges are used on a piece of machinery that shakes and vibrates to prevent the needle from bouncing around. There is almost no vibration in a home water system so the extra expense isn't needed.
 
  #6  
Old 12-04-18, 08:42 AM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
The inside gauge was verified by an external gauge I bought I Lowes. We have about 15 lbs. of pressure after the pump cuts off.
We have 2 pressure tanks. One of them showed pressure of 40 lbs (which seems a bit high for the cut on point) the 2nd tank had 0 lbs. and was heavy after the water had been drained. I was able to pump that one up. After turning the pump back on it cut off again when the gauge showed less than 10. I'm assuming that the 2nd tank probably has a leak in it and needs to be replaced. The 1st tank standoff collar is about rusted out so it might as well be replaced if the other one does. Would this explain the pump cycling more than usual recently?

What are the next steps? I'll look at the sticky notes to see if there's anything in them about steps.


"It's always something"
 

Last edited by tsnider; 12-04-18 at 10:04 AM.
  #7  
Old 12-04-18, 10:11 AM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Here's our setup. The tank with 0 lbs is on the right. The newer rusty bottom tank is on the left. There's not much room for a single large tank, are there alternatives to the current setup?
 
Attached Images  
  #8  
Old 12-04-18, 10:26 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
How do you know the tank on the right is at zero pounds?
 
  #9  
Old 12-04-18, 10:42 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,304
Where are you measuring your pressures? Are they air pressures in the pressure tank or water pressure?

First the thread started with a pressure gauge not working. Now you're telling us that the pump is cycling on/off more often than usual. Any more surprises?

The pump cycling more frequently is either a pressure tank problem or a leak. Turn off everything that uses water and make sure no toilets are running or leaking. Then watch the system. Does the pump turn on after a while? If yes then you have a leak. If no then it's likely a water logged pressure tank or a tank that needs the air pressure adjusted.
 
  #10  
Old 12-04-18, 11:24 AM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Apologizes for the inattention to detail, no more surprises (for now (probably))

1. The gauge on the water pipe is about 15 lbs when the pump has cycled. I put a test gauge on an outside hose bib and it also read about 15 lbs. So the inside gauge works.

2. I cut power to the pump and drained the water from the pipes. The taller pressure tank on the left has 40 lbs. It was fairly light, as I assumed it would be, and seems to be ok except for the rusty bottom.

3. The shorter tank on the right had 0 lbs and seemed to be heavier than I thought it should be. I added air to this tank. It seemed to hold for a few minutes. I'll drain the system later this afternoon and see if it still has pressure.

After putting air in the right tank I thought there would be more pressure in the system (showing on the water pipe gauge) once the pump cut off but there wasn't.
 
  #11  
Old 12-04-18, 11:40 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
I think you are talking about air pressure and water pressure, those are two different things. I think you mean you are measuring 40 and 0 with a tire gauge on the tanks, but the 15 is the water pressure you are reading with the round gauge on the pipe.

You must drain the tanks to read and set the air pressure in the tanks. I donít see a drain but maybe itís out of the picture. The air pressure (with the tanks drained of water and the round water pressure gauge reading zero) should be 2 pounds under the pressure switch cut-in pressure. If the pressure switch is a 40-60 pressure switch then the tank(s) air pressure should be set to 38.
 
  #12  
Old 12-04-18, 11:52 AM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
I assumed that turning on the faucets with the pump off drained the water from the tanks as well as the pipes. If it doesn't then you're correct there's no drain on the tanks, so how is that accomplished?
 
  #13  
Old 12-04-18, 12:18 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
I think if you open the closest faucet to the tank you should see the round water gauge go to zero. I think you should then be able to get a good air reading on the two tanks. I don't think the tanks would at that point be totally drained but I think if the round water gauge reads zero you would be OK to check the air.
 
  #14  
Old 12-04-18, 12:29 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Ok -- that's what I did when I measured originally. What's the next step?
If the tank(s) need to be replaced is it urgent since we have pressure in the house?
 
  #15  
Old 12-04-18, 12:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
If the right tank is waterlogged I guess it’s like it’s not there and you are operating just off the left tank. I think that’s correct. How often your pump comes ON depends on the drawdown of the tank. The drawdown would be how much water your tank holds between the cut-in cut-out pressures. The bigger the drawdown the better.

In other words, when water fills the tank and pushes the pressure up to 60 the pump shuts off. When you drawdown water the pump will come on when the pressure drops to 40. The number of gallons between those 2 pressures is the drawdown. You can see how the drawdown affects how long the pump will run when it’s turned ON. Pump manufacturers want the pump to run for at least one minute when it comes on, because it’s the starts that wear out the pump.

So in other words, if your pump outputs 10 gallons/minute, your drawdown should be at least 10 gallons. Now that you’ve lost the drawdown of one tank, your drawdown is only coming from the left tank. If that drawdown is too small your pump will come on/off too much and that is bad for the pump.

I would let water run somewhere and stand by that round gauge. You should be able to tell when the pump comes ON/OFF and time it. You should see the pump continuously cycle and watch the round gauge go up and down between 2 pressures.

(btw - those red/black/yellow pump wires going through the air like that are a code violation. something to think about)
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 12-04-18 at 01:26 PM. Reason: added "btw -
  #16  
Old 12-04-18, 01:55 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
The pump runs about 1 min when it cuts on. The water pressure gauge stays at approx. 8 lbs when the pump cuts off. It never gets to 40 or 60 lbs like it should. There is enough water pressure at the faucets. Whatís next to try and get the pressure back up yo where itís supposed to be?

Code, code? We donít need no stinkin code. the house was in the county when this was installed. Not much attention to code.
 
  #17  
Old 12-04-18, 01:59 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,304
The pressure tank does not make water or water pressure and it doesn't pump water. All it does is provide accumulation/storage for water. It minimizes how often your pump needs to turn on and off which increases the pump's life. And, it smooths out the system's pressure fluctuations as the pump turns off and on. Your water system will work without any pressure tank but every time you use water the pump will turn on and you may notice a surge or change in the water pressure.

It sounds like one of your pressure tanks has a ruptured diaphragm. When your system is pressurized and full of water you can add air to it and it will work for some time. Over time though the air will gradually be absorbed into the water so you would periodically have to top it off with more air. When you drain the water from your system the air is no longer trapped by the water and leaks out which is why you see zero pressure.

Your other tank has an intact diaphragm which separates the air and water like a balloon. Since the bladder is intact the air doesn't magically disappear into the water requiring periodic refilling and when you drain the water out of your system the diaphragm keeps the pressurized air in the tank which is why it shows air pressure when you check.
 
  #18  
Old 12-04-18, 02:03 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
So Pilot Dane are you saying may have a pump or other outside problem with the pressure never getting to the expected values as well as the tank needing to be replaced?
 
  #19  
Old 12-04-18, 02:10 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
Code, code? We donít need no stinkin code
LOL !!!

Well maybe PD can figure this out, but if you read 8lbs on the round gauge then I donít see how you wouldnít notice that at a faucet. Whatís the highest the gauge reads?
 
  #20  
Old 12-04-18, 02:28 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
The water pressure gauge reads 8 lbs max
 
  #21  
Old 12-04-18, 03:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
You mean it doesn't move at all? Is there any chance you are reading the wrong scale?
 
  #22  
Old 12-04-18, 04:34 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Nope - there's a single scale.
 
  #23  
Old 12-04-18, 04:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
But what are the lowest and highest readings then if the gauge isn't stuck? and we are talking about that dial gauge in the picture I assume.

The scale is PSI I assume.
 
  #24  
Old 12-04-18, 04:44 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 46,787
The gauge reads much higher than 8 psi. You mean it doesn't register higher then 8 psi.
 
  #25  
Old 12-04-18, 05:00 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,304
Something is going on if you're only seeing 8 psi. If that's truly the water pressure in your system you'd be complaining. Most home well systems operate at 30-40 or 40-60 psi. Your pressure tanks will affect how often the pump turns on and off but your system's water pressure is controlled by the pump and pressure switch.
 
  #26  
Old 12-04-18, 05:13 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
8 bars would be about 116 psi, which would seem to make sense as the max reading on a gauge for a well pressure tank. Maybe the scale is in fact in bars.

well I just read post #1 again and it does say the gauge used to go to 60, so I guess what I just said can't be right.
 
  #27  
Old 12-04-18, 05:37 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Scale is psi not bars. I agree, if it were really 8 lbs my SO “speaking to me” about it. I think the pipe gauge is correct since the test gauge agrees with it. ‘Tis quite the conundrum that’s for sure.

I looked down the well and didn’t see any water leaks when the pump was going. So my latest thoughts are that the pump has a leak under water that I can’t see or there’s a leak between the well and the house. But even then I’d think the gauge would be well above 8 psi.
 

Last edited by tsnider; 12-04-18 at 07:21 PM.
  #28  
Old 12-05-18, 06:31 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,304
If you only had 8 psi I'm sure you'd know it. Your dishwasher, clothes washer and ice maker likely would not work right or would take a really long time to finish a cycle let alone the really lame shower.
 
  #29  
Old 12-05-18, 09:08 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
Are you new to this house and are not totally familiar with everything yet? Reason I am asking ,and I know this is way out, is there any way that the equipment in your picture is only servicing the outdoor hose bibs and maybe some other fixtures? Could there have been a changeover to municipal water, but someone left the well tank equipment and piping just to service hose bibs and some other things?
 
  #30  
Old 12-05-18, 03:40 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
no - very familiar with the house, we've lived her 30 years. Well water for everything in and out of the house. I'm going to get a new gauge tomorrow anyway and replace it. I shouldn't assume it's good. Should've done that 1st thing.
 
  #31  
Old 12-05-18, 03:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
But you said you already verified that the gauge is correct, since your second gauge, connected to the outside hose bib, gave the same exact reading.


Just to be clear, this is what I am talking about

1. The gauge on the water pipe is about 15 lbs when the pump has cycled. I put a test gauge on an outside hose bib and it also read about 15 lbs. So the inside gauge works.
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 12-05-18 at 04:23 PM. Reason: added "just to be ...
  #32  
Old 12-05-18, 08:22 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,643
Need to start checking voltages on the well pump. And take some ohm readings. I think you lost a leg and the pump is running 120volts only.. No 240 volts. Windings probably shot..

How deep is the well?

The capacitor box on the wall.. Take pics. How many wires?

https://www.ecmweb.com/ops-amp-maint...e-pump-systems

AIM Manual - Page 48 | Single-Phase Motors and Controls | Motor Maintenance | North America Water | Franklin Electric

Could just be a capacitor is bad..
 
  #33  
Old 12-07-18, 01:35 PM
tsnider's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 140
Well never assume. The gauge "that will last 15 years" according to the plumber, crapped out. I should've done the simple stuff first. The new gauge shows 30 & 50 cut in/out lbs. Nothing was wrong except the gauge ( and my overactive imagination ). Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.
 
  #34  
Old 12-07-18, 02:50 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,770
( and my overactive imagination )
I'll say! Apparently this never happened- in reality anyway :

1. The gauge on the water pipe is about 15 lbs when the pump has cycled. I put a test gauge on an outside hose bib and it also read about 15 lbs. So the inside gauge works.
 
  #35  
Old 12-07-18, 03:13 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 18,304
Cool. I like problems with simple solutions... even if it takes us a while to get there.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes