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Thread: water pressure booster pump

  1. #1

    Default water pressure booster pump

    Hi,

    I have coin-op laundromat store and sometimes I have some water related problem. On busy Sunday, water supply into my washer machines are not enough, so some machines do not working properly, it stops working and shows an error code it means certain amount of water has not been into washer within certain time period, so water level does not reach certain level(shortage of water).
    That means water is not enough when many machines are running all together at the same time. During non-busy day, like weekday, all machines work fine.

    My question is how to resolve this water shortage issue. My understanding is the more washers run, the lower water pressure, right?, so is there any water pressure booster pump to resolve my issue?
    My store uses city water, so I am wondering how the water pressure is maintained from city main and inside store, during heavy consumption period? water pressure controlled and maintained by city? if "pressure boost pump" is installed, then it can really help to provide enough water to washer machines during peak time, regardless of main water pipe size?

    Thank you,
    Last edited by steveleewonder; 03-01-2009 at 06:55 PM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I think you will find your problem is not low pressure but low flow caused by you water supply line from the city water main and meter is too small. The city main has a certain pressure and will supply only so much water through a given size pipe. A pump on your end would not increase that flow. You need to determine how many gpm you need at maximum consumption, what the city main pressure is, what size meter and supply line you have. You usage on one end and the city's pressure on the other are constant factors. You will need to increase the meter size and you supply line from the meter as they are the only variables that you can control.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you installed an atmospheric storage tank and filled it with the city water and then pumped water out of it, that would solve a low flow and pressure problem.

    Tha tassumes no blockages in washer inlet filter screen or plumbing restrictions.

    The tank would have to store enough water to supply the total gpm for all the machines and other water uses like toilets. And I'd want say 75 gallons more than that figure in case I underestimated. And the pump will have to be sized to deliver that gpm at say 50-65 psi.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  4. #4
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I agree with Gary Slusser that the storage tank and pump would solve the problem, but it seems to me that it might be more costly than a new meter and supply line. It does give you an alternative way to solve your problem. Just another way to skin the cat.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    I agree with Gary Slusser that the storage tank and pump would solve the problem, but it seems to me that it might be more costly than a new meter and supply line. It does give you an alternative way to solve your problem. Just another way to skin the cat.
    Thanks so much,
    one more question, I am living in Maryland, Montgomery county, if I want to increase city meter and main pipe size from current 2inch to 3inch, then county goverrment can do it? if they can do, then they have to dug out the ground to replace water pipe? or they just replace water meter with higher pressure?? anycase, I will have to contact city, right?
    Thanks,

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    In most jurisdictions, the city is responsible for their water main and the meter, but you will be liable for the cost of a new meter since the current one is not broken or malfunctioning. The cost of a new line from the meter is yours. I do question that your meter and your supply line is as large as you indicate, but I'm not there. If some how they are that large, there must be some other problem because a 2" line will carry a huge volume of water. If that is a fact, then you may well wabt to seriously consider the pump and storage tank idea that Gary Slusser referred to. Please understand that the pressure will not change regardless of the size of the meter and supply line. What you will gain is flow or gallons per minute.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart View Post
    In most jurisdictions, the city is responsible for their water main and the meter, but you will be liable for the cost of a new meter since the current one is not broken or malfunctioning. The cost of a new line from the meter is yours. I do question that your meter and your supply line is as large as you indicate, but I'm not there. If some how they are that large, there must be some other problem because a 2" line will carry a huge volume of water. If that is a fact, then you may well wabt to seriously consider the pump and storage tank idea that Gary Slusser referred to. Please understand that the pressure will not change regardless of the size of the meter and supply line. What you will gain is flow or gallons per minute.
    My store has 60 commercial washer machines, usually 70% of them had been used by customers, but sometimes, like very busy Sunday, so many customers come at the same time and nearly all machines are running, then this water problem occurred, I check mob-room water before and during busy time, I noticed the speed(flow) changed from fast flow to slow flow, that means smaller amount of water coming in to washers.
    I already replaced all water-in-let hose and even removed all filter screens to prevent any obstructions...
    But now I understand the main water pipe SIZE is not enough for my store.
    I know most laundromat uses 2inch main pipe and no problem, but my case 2inch is small,
    In my store, 2inch supply line from the metern comes in, then it devided into(split) two 2inch pipes, one pipe for cold water supply(2inch) and the other for hot water supply(2inch)(this hot water pipe runs through water heater)...and then each water lines in store split to 1.5inch branch line for each washer groups(4 groups), then in each group, 1.5inch split to 3/4inch sub-branch lines into behind water-in-let valve of each washers...so, my question is

    1)Do I need to increase just 2inch main supply line from the meter to 3inch?
    Or,
    2)Do I need to increase all lines one more big size lines, main supply and each branch and sub-branch lines all together? for exmaple main supply 2" to 3" and from 2inch to 2.5inch ( for cold and hot lines), 1.5" to 2" for branch lines, 3/5" to 1.5" for sub-branch?

    and do you know approximately how long it will take CITY upgrade the water meter and supply line from meter to the store?? one day work or more than that?( because store needs to be closed during this pipe replacemet) and around cost?


    Thanks,
    Last edited by steveleewonder; 03-02-2009 at 02:14 AM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    If you installed an atmospheric storage tank and filled it with the city water and then pumped water out of it, that would solve a low flow and pressure problem.

    Tha tassumes no blockages in washer inlet filter screen or plumbing restrictions.

    The tank would have to store enough water to supply the total gpm for all the machines and other water uses like toilets. And I'd want say 75 gallons more than that figure in case I underestimated. And the pump will have to be sized to deliver that gpm at say 50-65 psi.
    How big this atmospheric storage tank(20G?, 50G?, 100G?, 300G?) that I need? I think GPM for peak time is around 26GPM~30GPM, and what kind of pump required?
    Thanks,
    Last edited by steveleewonder; 03-02-2009 at 02:26 AM.

  9. #9
    Plumber Gelo30's Avatar
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    it depend, for that case I think 100G for the atmospheric storage tank.

  10. #10
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    It would be a large tank (500-1000 gals) and the pump like a 35 gpm running at say 50 psi with a CSV and small pressure tank. If you knew the gpm of your machines, then you can work out the size of the pump and if you knew the lowest flow rate gpm from the city, then you could work out the size of the storage tank. I can't do that from here.

    Going to a larger meter and line may not improve anything. It is a low pressure low flow problem from the city supply and that is up to the city but they probably won't take any responsibility for it. There may be something wrong with the meter. I'd call the city water guys out and have them check things out before you do anything else.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Make sure that any valves are fully opened.

    Many places, you pay a demand charge for the amount of water you COULD use, based on the size of the line coming in, then a separate charge for what you DO use. So, keeping a smaller line, if you can afford the space for the tank and pump might be cheaper if you keep the existing line and meter. It would depend on what the increase in demand charge would be (if they bill this way) verses the cost of the tank, pump, and electricity to run it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    It would be a large tank (500-1000 gals) and the pump like a 35 gpm running at say 50 psi with a CSV and small pressure tank. If you knew the gpm of your machines, then you can work out the size of the pump and if you knew the lowest flow rate gpm from the city, then you could work out the size of the storage tank. I can't do that from here.

    Going to a larger meter and line may not improve anything. It is a low pressure low flow problem from the city supply and that is up to the city but they probably won't take any responsibility for it. There may be something wrong with the meter. I'd call the city water guys out and have them check things out before you do anything else.

    Unfortunately, I don't have enough space to accomodate hugh water storage tank in my store, so my only chance is to fix by city gentleman.
    I called wssc this morning and he will come to my store tomorrow to check it out...
    I don't know what he actually could do it to fix my problem...
    But I talked to a friend of mine today who owns more bigger laundromat than me and he said he has same 2inch main supply pipe, so we don't think 2" supply line is the problem as long as size goes...

    so, the only item that can fix this issue would be "CITY MAIN WATER PRESSURE" as you said earlier...
    WSSC person on the phone tole me the pressure around my store is 50PSI, and generally in my county the normal range of pressure is 40~80PSI.
    And it seems like there is no "pressure reduce valve(pressure regulator valve) in the store, so maybe the two water meters which located at the entrance point of supply line could cause some bottleneck...maybe I am wrong...

    So, my best hope is "city" can possibly increase water supply pressure from 50 to 80 something, but I am not sure they can do this only for me...??
    I also found out that 2" supply line comes into my store and then it splits into two 2" lines, one for other tenants in the same building, and the other flows to my store mahcines...
    So, looks like no need to enlarge the supply line's size but I am not sure how to fix my problem once and for good...

    Thanks,
    Last edited by steveleewonder; 03-02-2009 at 01:26 PM.

  13. #13
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    So if the line splits after it comes into the building, are you paying for the neighbors water as well? With a 2" line and meter you should be able to boost the pressure and flow with a booster pump, especially if you are right about only needing 30 GPM. We do this all the time for laundries and car washes. A booster pump will work fine as long as it doesn't pull the city pressure down to 0. I would turn on all machines and check the GPM and pressure. Then consider that when you up the pressure, the flow will also increase. Using a CSV on the booster pump will allow you to install as large a booster pump as might be needed, and still be able to use smaller amounts of water as required.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    So if the line splits after it comes into the building, are you paying for the neighbors water as well? With a 2" line and meter you should be able to boost the pressure and flow with a booster pump, especially if you are right about only needing 30 GPM. We do this all the time for laundries and car washes. A booster pump will work fine as long as it doesn't pull the city pressure down to 0. I would turn on all machines and check the GPM and pressure. Then consider that when you up the pressure, the flow will also increase. Using a CSV on the booster pump will allow you to install as large a booster pump as might be needed, and still be able to use smaller amounts of water as required.
    I am a little bit confused...
    ok, Mr. Slusser said size doesn't matter, just put tank+pump,
    Mr. Swart said, size matters and either increease supply line size or put "tank+pump".
    Mr. Valveman said just boost pump can resolve my problem.

    Ok, here is another method(?) that I heard today, it's "Pressure Tank" without pump mothod, he said he had similiar water low flow issue in his laundry store, so he put 5 of 80G pressure tank without any pump, then his water shortage problem was resolved. Could this be true? This tank is not just normal storage tank, he said it's pressured tank. If it works, then maybe this is one of the way to go...
    Or if Mr. Valveman's solution works, then just adding "pressure booster pump with CSV" would be more easy solution...

    What do you think which way should I go??

    By the way, I met city water guy and he said he could do nothing for this, he said he can't increase city main water pressure and he can't replace supply pipe...so I just asked him to replace meter, so he did.
    I have two meters, one installed by city and the other installed by building owner, so the 2" split line for "OTHERS" is between these two meters, so I pay only my usage of water based on second meter, and OTHERS pay based on the subtraction of "main - my-meter".

    Thanks
    OH! one more thing, I tested that runned all washer machines at the same time and record the meter# before and after:
    before: 23464.3 ==> after 23470.5
    it's 6.2x100, I think it's 6200G and the washers water fill-in time period during one cycle time is around 5~6min, so 6200G/(5~6min)=1240~1033GPM.

    one more thing: how about below booster pump, do you think this pump without tank can resolve my issue?
    ================================================== ==============================
    Walrus AquaXStream 5 HP Constant Pressure Booster Pump 230V, 3 Phase
    The TQ series pumps are designed for water supply and pressure boosting in residential, commercial and light industrial applications where low or inadequate water pressure exists. It is suitable for boosting pressure from underground or surface water supplies.

    Model # TQ3700-230
    Motor Horsepower 5 HP
    Phase 3 Phase
    Voltage 230 V
    Amps 12
    Max. Flow Rate 71.3 GPM
    Max. pump boost pressure on existing pressure 72 PSI
    Connection 2"
    Your Price: $879.00
    Quantity:

    In Stock
    * Shipping Included!


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    Last edited by steveleewonder; 03-08-2009 at 08:23 AM.

  15. #15
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    This may be a dumb question, but are the meters 2" in and out?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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