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Thread: Seeking advice on low flow situation

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member TJM70's Avatar
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    Default Seeking advice on low flow situation

    Hi,

    Our cottage has a 7 gallon Water Ace jet pump as a pressure booster for a rural municipal water supply with low pressure. I just bought the place from an estate sale, so some of the info I have is incomplete. But, I have good reason to believe it has has newly installed (within the past 3 or 4 years) water line from the street to the house.

    Even with the pump, I find that it's not able to maintain decent pressure / flow for more than a few minutes.

    I have a similar setup at my house but it is not the jet pump style - it's a much larger tank.

    I wanted to find out if it is possible for me to install a holding tank of 20 - 40 gallons after the pump so it's a pressurized reserve of water to provide greater volume for a longer amount of time.

    If not, what possible solutions are there to help overcome a low pressure and low flow situation?

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    A 20 gallon pressurized holding tank would only give you about 5 gallons of storage and only a small portion of that would be at the higher pressure. You need several hundreds of gallons of storage and ideally it should be non pressurized storage so that all of it is available as draw.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member TJM70's Avatar
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    So a cistern or underground tank would be the answer...?

    Municipal line into tank, tank outflow into house / pump?

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Yes. Consider using a submersible pump in the storage tank and a CycleStopValve for constant pressure. Sleeve the pump so it can draw down the tank further and to maintain cooling flow past the motor.

  5. #5
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    If the city line can't supply enough volume, then the cistern tank is the way to go. Usually the city can supply the volume, just not enough pressure. In that case the booster the way you have it should work. You will need a pressure guage on the city line before the booster pump. If this guage drops to zero or lower when the pump is running, you need a cistern or bigger city line. If the gauge still has some pressure, you just need more boost.

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    DIY Junior Member TJM70's Avatar
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    It's very strange. Our house is very close to this new property and we have low pressure but enough volume that the booster pump works great for us. Never any volume problems. When I run the water at the other house with the pump off, after a couple minutes, the volume drops to a trickle. As I mentioned, the underground line is new from the main supply line under the street to the house. I can't imagine where it is blocked other than at the meter - and a new one will be coming from the water company - if it is blocked at all. The neighbor next door said his water is about the same.

    I want to fix it right. But before I go throwing money & time at it I am the type who needs to understand what is going on. I think the gauge before the pump would be a very good place to start. Any other suggestions on how I can troubleshoot this?

    When the water company comes out I was planning on having them turn off & on again the valve in the yard...in the odd chance there's debris in there? I'm at a loss. It could just be low volume?

  7. #7
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJM70 View Post
    It's very strange. Our house is very close to this new property...
    Are they both at the same elevation?

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member TJM70's Avatar
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    Within 20 feet or so (our house is higher). However, our poor pressure in general stems from a too close proximity to the municipal reservoir and old borough water lines.

    Not being a plumber, but being the kind of guy who has tackled tough problems and big projects in the past, any simple diagnostic items I am not thinking of? All ideas appreciated.

  9. #9
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Another possibility is that the new line was not properly backfilled and is damaged.
    One could estimate the loss for friction and elevation and compare what should be to what is .

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    DIY Junior Member TJM70's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'll start trying to systematically determine where the problem is. A real challenge.

  11. #11
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Pressure gauge is your friend.

  12. #12
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    Pressure gauge is your friend.
    Gauges (plural) on each side of the booster pump.

    Given that this property is 20 feet lower than your home, elevation is not the culprit. I don't however get the inference of being "too close to the reservoir". Is the elevation of the reservoir making the pressure or is there a water tower somewhere?

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member TJM70's Avatar
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    I was told by a municipal authroity that our water systems' pressure is gravity fed and our closeness to the source, coupled with the water going down hill first and then back up hill to our streets, results in some lowering of pressure.

    At least that's what I believed. Maybe it's not true. In any event, our pressure is low.

  14. #14
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    The reservoir might gravity feed to the treatment plant but then most likely there will be a water tower that gravity feeds to you. It then would not be the proximity to the reservoir but rather the distance from the water tower that affects your flow. The pressure should be relatively static provided the neighbors don't hog all the flow. If your pressure varies when you are not using any water, blame the neighbors. If it only varies when you use water, blame the feed from the street.

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