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Thread: Cycle stop valve questions

  1. #1
    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Default Cycle stop valve questions

    I LOVE this web page! So much great information here.

    I am a novice DIY homeowner, and first-time poster, who has been reading about the miracle of cycle stop valves. I am about to order a CSV1W, but I wanted ask four questions of the experts.

    Last summer our well pump suddenly died. It was a 3/4 HP 2W StaRite pump, installed in 1976 (!), at a depth of 63 feet on 1 inch galvanized pipe. The well depth measured 133 feet, and the static water height was 19 feet on one of the driest days of summer.

    Our new pump is a 1/2 HP Myers 3W 2300 pump, set at 60 feet on 1 inch PVC pipe, with a torque arrestor and a WellXTrol 203 tank. The pump maintains pressure between 40-60 PSI. It was professionally installed by our local vendor. The Pumptrol pressure switch appears to be original to the 1970s.

    Our Southern Wisconsin home is a two story, 2.5 bath single family residence. Our water needs are pretty typical for a family of four. We are about to replace our 25+ year old AO Smith natural gas tank water heater with a Navien 210A tankless NG unit. (I hope NOT to ignite a holy war about tankless heaters.)

    My first question is whether the CSV1W is the best choice of cycle stop valves for our home, given our well pump & pressure tank and our soon-to-be-installed Navien heater?

    Second question, reviewing the CSV1W above-ground installation instructions, I see a recommendation for "a flow inducer sleeve to be sure the motor is sufficiently cooled at low flow rates." I've read in these forums that a flow inducer sleeve isn't generally necessary with a CSV1W since the flow never actually drops low enough to cause overheating. Is that information correct for our installation?

    Third question, I see on our well pump invoice that two check valves were installed: a 1.25" x 1" brass check valve, and a 1: brass check valve. I'm not clear where those check valves were installed. I don't see a check valve in the vicinity of our pressure tank or basement water main pipe. Do I need another check valve just above the CSV1W, as per the installation diagram?

    According to this sticky thread, Wisconsin code does not allow above ground check valves. So I think I already have my answer to question #3, but I'm just making sure before I ignore CSV1W installation instructions.

    Last question: We have heavy iron sediment in our water. Our Water Boss softener removes most of the sediment, and I plan on installing a dual-stage sediment filter before our Navien heater. But these units are downstream of the CSV. I imagine heavy sediment could wreak havoc on valves and springs. What maintenance will be needed for the CSV1W?

    Thanks in advance for your help & tips.

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Because of the sediment, the CSV1W is probably the best choice. However, you switched from a 3/4 HP to a Ĺ HP, and that CSV adds a few pounds of friction loss, so donít expect the maximum flow available to be as much as before.

    One check valve on the pump is all you need.

    I always recommend a shroud if it will fit. The CSV will make sure you have a minimum of 1 GPM to keep the pump/motor cool. However, this 1 GPM has to go past the motor to cool it. That is what a shroud does, makes the flow go past the motor. Without a shroud, the flow will not go past the motor unless it is a bottom feeding well.

    Installing the CSV in a vertical position will help keep the sediment from settling on the bottom. Other than that the CSV is self flushing and no maintenance. The spring chamber is dry and never sees the sediment.

  3. #3
    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for the great info. I'm still amazed that a little CSV can triple the life of our well pump and give us more consistent flow. I wish I would have known that before our 3/4 HP StaRite burned out -- but I guess 32 years isn't bad! Unfortunately, as we bought our home in 2000 the previous owner got most of those years.

    Regarding the shroud, does it require pump removal? It's probably beyond my strength and skill level to pull the pump myself. I hope to avoid expensive pump removal if possible. I think our well pipe is 6" diameter, if that matters, and the pump is at a depth of 60 feet with a static water height of 19 feet in mid-summer. Our water table is higher at all other times of the year; we're basically water logged without our sump pump. I am not sure if ours is a bottom feeding well.

    How much risk is there for a typical family like ours if we skip the shroud? The only times we run water for more than a couple of minutes is when we shower or water lawns. In either case the amount of water flowing should be enough to keep the pump cool. If I understand correctly, it's the constant low flow of a dribbling faucet or drip garden hose that endangers CSV regulated pumps. We don't have any drips or leaks, but I suppose it's always possible a leak could develop while we're away on vacation.

    A slight decrease in our current water flow probably isn't problematic. But the issue I see is that our Navien 210A also causes a small flow drop, and I am thinking of plumbing a pair of 10" x 4.5" Watts W10FFPH1CBPR filters into the Navien's water intake to remove sediment using a 20 micron filter followed by a 5 micron filter. Together, the CSV1W, Water Boss softener, series of two 10" x 4.5" filters, and the Navien 210A may add significant flow loss to our hot water supply. We rarely take more than one shower at a time, using water-saver heads, say an infrequent maximum of 6-7 GPM. Do you think that's going to be a problem? I am certainly open to other suggestions regarding the sediment filters, but something needs to be done to keep the Navien burners clear of iron sludge.

    Thank you also for the vertical installation tip. That will work very nicely with our basement pipe layout.
    Last edited by WildWildMidwest; 05-11-2009 at 03:46 PM.

  4. #4
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If the softener was working right there wouldn't be any need for the filters.

    You should do iron and hardness tests on the softened water. If you find any, the softener isn't sized correctly or there is something wrong with it.
    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.

  5. #5
    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Gary, Thank you for your suggestion. I am planning to send in a water sample for microbiologic analysis. We probably have nonpathogenic iron reducing bacteria in our well, which I have heard is common in our area. For my curiosity I hope to identify the specific genera of responsible bacteria. There don't seem to be any clustered epidemiologic effects in our area (cancers, birth defects, etc.), but the bacteria do add an unpleasant sulfur odor.

    We are located seven miles inland from Lake Michigan. The sulfur smell & iron sediment issue extends at least five miles further inland to my knowledge, possibly even more, but I don't know anyone who lives beyond that distance. The semicontinental divide lies about 7-9 miles west of us. Beyond that line, well water has really serious problems like radon poisoning and critical reservoir depletion. I read about those issues often in the newspapers. It's part of the international Water Wars winding its way through Great Lakes state legislatures and Federal Court.

    Iron sediment flow is reduced at least 95% by our Water Boss, but the remaining 5% gradually accumulates. It becomes apparent how much sediment lines our pipes when I chlorine-shock our well each Spring. Black water pours out of our pipes for several minutes afterward. Shocking the well also eliminates the sulfur smell. We have the only pleasant smelling water in our neighborhood. I wish the same could be said for iron, but all our neighbors have that problem too. A local restaurant has the sulfur smell so bad that we refuse to dine there. Even their coffee reeks of it. Most local diners just get used to the odor and accept it along with the smell of cabbages growing nearby.

    Local plumbers and well installers are very familiar with the problem. They inform us we're doing everything right. I actually learned well shocking technique from our Culligan vendor, who gave me a printed handout in 2000. I confirmed with two local plumbers that annual chlorination is a good idea. We run the chlorinated water out onto our lawn for at least two hours afterward, and we don't drink well water for at least 1-2 weeks. I take our Water Boss offline for several days afterward to avoid damaging the resin beads. We postpone doing laundry until the Water Boss is back on-line.

    Municipal water sources have their problems, too, like the deadly Milwaukee Cryptosporidium outbreak of 1993. By comparison our well water probably isn't too bad. I've never heard of coliform infestation in any of the local wells.

    I've sometimes thought about getting a R-O system for our drinking water. Most drinking water passes through the activated charcoal filter in our kitchen. Even nonfiltered water in our home tastes and smells perfectly fine.

    So, to answer your question, Gary, I doubt there is any water softener big enough to solve our problem. To my knowledge it's a cosmetic issue -- except for the sediment buildup in tankless heat exchangers, which will almost certainly degrade performance.

    I am pretty sure our Water Boss is doing its job as well as can be expected. We notice cracked & itchy skin when it's offline. Laundry isn't as fresh either. I did a hardness test with a swimming pool kit several times in years past and found the hardness to be proportional to our itchy skin. I also used the test strips to determine the right number of gallons between water softener regeneration cycles. I don't recall the specific PPM number off-hand, but we were always in the "comfort zone" with our Water Boss running.

    I suppose I should send in a water specimen for quantitative testing... that's probably a good suggestion, even if it doesn't tell me exactly what to do differently. I suppose we could petition for municipal water, but our neighbors will be mad if I do that. It would raise everyone's taxes.

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You can do the tests I mentioned, you don't need a lab for them. Use your pool hardness kit.

    Repeated shocking of a well can make the problems worse. Especially bacteria problems. IRB is made up of many various families and of aerobic and anaerobic types. There is no sense in trying to identify a specific type. They all are harmless.

    And if you are concerned about health problems, look into DPBs (disinfection by products and THMs (trihalomethanes) that you may be causing by shocking the well so frequently.

    You can tell if you have IRB by looking in the toilet tank of a toilet that hasn't had the tank cleaned for some time.

    No softener should be used to "reduce iron sediment flow" unless it has a special filtering feature, which your WB may have but, still, it won't get all the sediment.

    You should give that restaurant my name and tell them to call me.

    You doubt there is any softener large enough for your problem.... Man I have softeners that you and your wife and me and my wife could square dance in but, what you need is my inline chlorine pellet chlorinator and mixing tank followed by a special carbon filter. Then your WB doesn't have to deal with the iron or sediment (rust) and will be more efficient while it lasts much longer. That would give you pristine, clear iron and odor free water.

    You'll spend much less money fixing your well water than going on the county water system, and when they get around to insisting you do away with your well and go on their system, y'all should riot.
    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.

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    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Thanks, Gary, for all the information. I seem to have blathered about our town's IRB issues quite a while. In reality, it doesn't bother us much. Yes, some dark brownish sediment settles in our toilet tanks. I know the same sediment lines our pipes, but it doesn't seem to do any harm -- nor does it cause a negative taste or odor, at least none that our visitors complain about. That restaurant's situation is far more serious since it's affecting their bottom line. I'll certainly suggest they call you ASAP. It's been a long time since we dined there and I now have a reason to do so.

    The main issue with sediments in our home is degradation of the Navien's performance, so I want to remove as much of it as I can before any enters the water heater. The same would be true for a standard tank heater, though perhaps to a lesser degree. I don't necessarily need to treat all our cold water that ends up in toilets, showers, or watering the garden. A simple two stage 10" x 4.5" filter should protect our Navien heater enough that I won't have to purge it monthly. I can try different filter porosities to arrive at the right combination. They even make compound filters, which would allow three or four stage filtering if necessary.

    As for shocking the well yearly, I may have mis-written. I did shock yearly for the first four years, but for the past four years I've only shocked when a sulfur smell becomes noticeable at our taps. I didn't keep records of how often that occurs, but it's probably closer to every second year. I take your point about the potential risks of well chlorination. I'll do some reading on DPBs and trihalomethanes. I am aware of published literature on chlorine / chloramine hazards. I don't know anything about DPBs; trihalomethanes sound vaguely familiar from college chemistry, and I don't remember anything pleasant being said about them.

    As far as rioting, I think I'll save that for the next taxpayer Tea Party. Those bankster bailouts really have me steamed!
    Last edited by WildWildMidwest; 05-12-2009 at 01:01 PM.

  8. #8
    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Valveman,

    I am still curious about the necessity of adding a shroud to our well pump. Absolutely necessary? Highly suggested? Take it or leave it?

    If absolutely necessary or highly suggested, I'll have to call our well installer tomorrow and get an estimate.

  9. #9
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    32 years is amazing. You won't get that much with a new pump. They are not made like they use to be. Anyway you either have a shroud or a bottom feeding well or you would not have gotten 32 years. Franklin says you don't need a shroud on 2 HP or smaller but, they like to sell motors. However, I don't think you have to worry about a shroud.

  10. #10
    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Thanks so much! I'm off to order my CSV1W.

    I plan on doing a few other preparations for my Navien install at the same time as I plumb in my CSV1W. I'll have my plumber do the finishing work & gas hookup. We still have a working 40 gallon AO Smith tank heater, so no rush on the Navien. I'll keep our AO Smith installed as a backup for the first 6 months or so, since that seems to be the time frame for most Navien failures. I'll just drain it down and shut off the gas to the AO Smith. Eventually I plan on stripping the insulation off the AO Smith and using it as a pre-warmer to the Navien... free BTUs, and less residential junk for the landfill.

    So many great ideas in these forums. Very excited about my plumbing projects & cheaper than a Jamaica vacation!

    Regards, WWM.

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    Be sure to tell the Plumber the CSV goes between the pump and tank/pressure switch. I had a customer call yesterday. He had a Plumber install his CSV and couldn't figure out why the pressure switch was hammering on and off. He put it between the pump and CSV. Big NO NO.

    bob...

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    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    I'll do my own CSV installation. I feel very comfortable wielding a blow torch on copper pipes. At this point I probably know more about CSV valves than most of our local plumbers. Our well installer really didn't know anything about them when I called.

    The reason for hiring a plumber to do our natural gas lines is I've never done NG, and it's probably just not worth taking a chance on it. I want to have everything inspected by the town so we don't void our homeowner's insurance policy or Navien's warranty. Also, by the time I purchase 1" and 3/4" black pipe threading dies and handle, I would be well on my way toward paying the plumber. I can certainly build a 2x4 bracket to hang the Navien, install the power switch and do all the PVC and copper plumbing. Those projects are definitely within my skill set.

    Navien recommends an inlet gas pressure between 3.0" and 10.5" WC. I'll have our gas company come and adjust the regulator before the plumber arrives.

    While I'm usually a total DIY guy, this is a compromise I can live with. I hope to maximize safety while keeping our Navien installation costs reasonable. There's no reason why a master plumber needs to be doing our carpentry or simple pipe soldering.

    Regarding natural gas , I'll hijack my own thread with a gas pipe side question: One plumber I called wanted to run a separate 1" pipe all the way back to the regulator for $3,500 plus tax, including purchase of the tankless unit. That sounds pretty expensive. Reading Navien Installation Manual makes me believe it's probably overkill to run parallel 1" pipes. I believe we can get that price down significantly by doing much of the labor ourselves, and by sharing part of the 1" pipe run with our furnace.

    Navien offers a nice pipe sizing chart for NG at 0.60 specific density and 0.5" WC pressure drop. A 70 foot run of 1" pipe yields a maximum NG delivery of 239 cubic feet/hour, or approximately 239,000 BTU/h.

    A friend of mine who was an engineer at the gas company for twenty years believe it's unnecessary for us to run a second 1" pipe given our home's very limited demands. Aside from our water heater, our only other gas appliance is a Bryant condensing furnace which draws a maximum of 105,000 BTU/h, and which typically burns 72,500 BTU/h. The Navien CC-201A maximum is 175,000 BTU/h. That's a combined maximum draw of 280,000 BTU. But in reality, our furnace never actually runs except when we're away on vacation or in the middle of a very cold night. We heat our home almost exclusively with wood, so the furnace rarely runs. When the furnace does run, we're either asleep or away from home -- not showering or doing laundry.

    I know that in the worst case scenario of the furnace and Navien tankless heater both starting up at the same time at maximum draw (280,000 BTU), we could see more than a 0.5" WC pressure drop momentarily. My understanding is that our furnace's computerized controller shuts down the burn cycle when NG pressure becomes low, so the Navien would get 100% of the gas while the furnace idles. Alternatively, both devices may be able to operate at full power with a slightly >0.5" WC pressure drop if the gas flow is high enough through the regulator.

    Our current, professionally-installed black steel gas pipe run to the furnace is 70 feet at 1" diameter, with 6 right angles and one 45 degree bend. There's another 5 feet of 3/4" pipe with one 90 degree turn leading to the furnace. The old AO Smith tank water heater sits beside the furnace, connected via a 1/2" black steel pipe. We've never had any gas flow problems, but we never had a tankless water heater.

    I plan on installing our Navien 20 feet upstream from the furnace using a 1" black steel T connector and 10 feet of 1" steel pipe with a 90 degree downward bend near the water heater. The final run to the Navien would be a 3/4" flexible gas pipe. That would be a total pipe run of 62 feet of 1" black steel pipe (including the 50 feet of shared 1" pipe with the furnace) and perhaps 3 feet of flexible 3/4" gas pipe, with a total of seven 90 degree angles and one 45 degree angle -- all in 1" diameter pipe. I want two gas shut offs at the 1" T so I can troubleshoot future problems. I don't imagine installing 12 feet of pipe, a steel T and two shut-offs would cost anywhere near $3,500.

    Does anybody think sharing 50 feet of 1" gas pipe for the Navien tankless heater and the furnace is a bad idea? It would save us a complicated and expensive installation.

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    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Back on topic, I ordered my CSV1W from PumpsAndTanks.com today. I'll write back with our impressions once it's installed.

    Thanks, everyone, for pointing me in the right direction.

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    Now there is a wise shopper!

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    DIY Member WildWildMidwest's Avatar
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    Thank you, SpeedBump. I prefer to make my mistakes on paper before I start drilling holes and cutting stock. Less frustration that way.

    Looking again at Navien's gas pipe sizing table, I think I misquoted the number I should be using. The length of shared 1" pipe is 50 feet, so the 70 foot BTU delivery number isn't what's critical. According to the table, A 50 foot run of 1" pipe yields a maximum NG delivery of 286 cubic feet/hour, or approximately 286,000 BTU/h. That should be sufficient for my maximum BTU load scenario at a 0.5" WC drop. I'm not sure how much loss there is from six shared 90 degree angles or one shared 45 degree angle. My instinct tells me it's going to be OK for real world performance if the furnace (rarely) misses a few minutes burn.

    My town's plumbing inspector says it's a question for the gas company, so they're my next call. He's OK with whatever they decide. Our local ordinance allows homeowners to do all the work themselves, but I'll hire out the gas pipe hookup for the reasons I stated yesterday... provided I can find a plumber who won't rip me off. $3,500 isn't reasonable.

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