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Thread: Advice on Water pressure improvements

  1. #16
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    If your pressure problems are volume problems caused my undersized piping, restrictive valves and the restriction through your softener a CSV will do next to nothing. The cure is to recipe the house properly.
    That is not true. Pipe friction loss, filters, and other restrictions can be overcome by increasing the pressure. Re-plumbing the house is rarely a feasible option.

    If the losses to the house add up to 20 PSI, then with a 45/65 pressure switch you are getting as little as 25 PSI in the house at the low end of the cycle. Using a Cycle Stop Valve to maintain 60 PSI constant means that you have a minimum of 40 PSI in the house. 40 PSI constant is almost double the 25 PSI from the old 45/65 pressure switch system. That will make a big difference in the shower pressure.

    I have done systems with as much as 100 PSI friction loss. If you need 40 PSI at the end of the pipe, you just supply 140 PSI constant from the pump system. If you have enough pump, you can overcome any friction and pressure losses.

    And again “pushing” the pressure from the pump and holding it constant using a CSV is always stronger than when “drawing” water from a pressure tank.

    You can always figure out a way to make it work without the benefits of a CSV. But that is kind of like doing all your work on an old fashioned typewriter because you just don’t like the idea of those new fangled computers.

    You are NOT “screwed” and you do not need to “re-plumb the house”. I will give you a money back guarantee that constant pressure from a CSV will solve your low-pressure problem. The CSV solves most pump system problems, which unfortunately is WHY many people in the business try to talk you out of it.

  2. #17
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    You are not "drawing" water from the pressure tank. Its pressurized. It's "Pushing" water through the pipes.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #18
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    If you had an air compressor pumping air in the pressure tank it would be pushing water out. Since the air/water pressure decreases when you open a tap, you are “drawing” water from the tank.

    Either way water pressure in the house is much stronger when being “pushed” out by the pump at a constant or increasing pressure as compared to being “drawn” from the tank as the pressure decreases. This is why people say the pressure gets much stronger after the pump starts. Even though the pressure maybe the same, you can tell the shower is stronger when being pushed by the pump as compared to when being drawn from the tank.

    Water is not compressible. So water from the pump pushing on other water in the pipe is much stronger than when water is being “pushed” by air from a tank, which is compressible. It is like the difference between pushing a car with a 10’ long 2X4 as compared to pushing a car with a 10’ long piece of foam rubber. You can still push the car with the same amount of force, but the 2X4 won’t compress and be spongy when you need it to push hard.

  4. #19
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Ahhhhhhhh.....no. Physics is physics. The tank is pressurized. Pressure pushes water through the pipes. There is no such thing as drawing water. Its an archaic term that is often misused. At any rate though, I guarantee that any difference in his pressure using a CSV is only because he will have spent the money and wants to believe. If his tank is large enough and the tank air pressure is properly set and the pressure switch is set and operating properly a CSV will do nothing other than lighten his wallet. The problem is his piping and no amount of dicking around with add on stuff is going to alleviate that condition.

    And here's the big issue though. He said only his two showers are an issue. In the zeal to sell equipment nobody bothered to ask him what the shower valves were and how they were piped. So I guess when in doubt, slap a CSV on and hope for the best LOL

    The OP said most of the house pressure is fine, its the two showers that are the issue. Did anyone bother to find out anything about the shower valves or the piping too them?
    Last edited by Tom Sawyer; 09-11-2013 at 08:48 AM.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  5. #20
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    Ahhhhhhhh.....no. Physics is physics. The tank is pressurized. Pressure pushes water through the pipes. There is no such thing as drawing water. Its an archaic term that is often misused.
    Ahhhhhh…..yes, physics is physics. Do you know anything about transient pressure waves? These waves are the cause of water hammer when they hit a closed valve or a dead end line. Transient pressure waves are started when the pump abruptly starts “pushing” water, or when valves are closed too rapidly. They travel down pipelines at 3,000 to 8,000 feet per second, which is several times the speed of a rifle bullet. The stronger and thicker the pipe wall, the faster these waves travel. Think Tsunami caged in a closed tube. Most people have heard this water hammer “thump” when the solenoid valve on the washing machine closes.

    This Tsunami pulse wave cannot be created by “pushing” water with air. It takes positive displacement as when being pushed by water instead of air to cause this pulse. Think about hydraulic pressure being stronger than pneumatic pressure. So when the system is drawing from the tank it is “sort of” being fed by pneumatic pressure. When the pump comes on the system is being fed by hydraulic pressure, which is why it feels much stronger.

    The only way air can “push” water out of the tank is after you open a faucet and draw water out of the pipe system. Opening a tap causes a cascading effect of water molecules that flows from the tap to the water source. This is kind of like pulling the slack out of a chain. The water in the tank is the car being towed. When the tap opens the “slack” is being pulled out of the waterline. Only when all the “slack” has been pulled out of the water line and the pressure lessens at the tank discharge will water start flowing from the tank. This is similar to pulling all the slack out of a chain before the car will start being towed forward. You can’t stretch water molecules much easier than you can compress them, so this cascading effect happens very quickly. But you are still drawing water from the tank. The air is only expanding with decreasing pressure to take up the space after the water leaves the tank.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    At any rate though, I guarantee that any difference in his pressure using a CSV is only because he will have spent the money and wants to believe. If his tank is large enough and the tank air pressure is properly set and the pressure switch is set and operating properly a CSV will do nothing other than lighten his wallet. The problem is his piping and no amount of dicking around with add on stuff is going to alleviate that condition.
    In this case the problem is with the piping. But you can compensate for pressure loss in the pipe by increasing the pressure you put into it. Using a CSV to hold the pressure constantly high is going to compensate for losses much better than when the pressure is continually bobbing up and down by 20 PSI. And there is no way to use a pressure tank only type system without the pressure bobbing up and down constantly.

    The best CSV for the job will “lighten his wallet” by about $63. This is way less expensive than any other “dicking around” you could do. The CSV is only an “add on” if the original installer wasn’t educated enough to know it is the most important part of any pump system. Stronger pressure in the house isn’t something you can just “believe in” strongly enough to make it happen. Either the shower is strong enough to sting your skin or it isn’t. I guarantee that with strong enough constant pressure, the shower will sting your skin, even if the pipe is undersized.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Sawyer View Post
    And here's the big issue though. He said only his two showers are an issue. In the zeal to sell equipment nobody bothered to ask him what the shower valves were and how they were piped. So I guess when in doubt, slap a CSV on and hope for the best LOL The OP said most of the house pressure is fine, its the two showers that are the issue. Did anyone bother to find out anything about the shower valves or the piping too them?
    There is always an upstairs shower or one place in particular where you notice low pressure in the house. I guarantee after you get the strong constant pressure from a CSV to solve the low-pressure problem in that one shower, everything else in the house will also start working like you never knew it should. Toilets and washing machines will be filling faster. Sprinklers in the yard will be shooting further. Showers in other parts of the house you thought were fine will now be amazing.

    I don’t mean to hit every post with “a Cycle Stop Valve will solve that problem”, but it usually will. Cycling is the cause of most pump system failures. Everything from the wire chaffing in the well, to check valves failing, bladders in tanks breaking, or stirring up sediment in the well can all be caused by cycling. I haven’t even mentioned the things most people already know are caused by cycling like short lived capacitors, relays, switches, shafts, couplings, motors, etc, etc.

    Man has been looking for a cure to the problems caused by pump cycling for as long as pressure switches have been in existence. Many people in the pump business know the CSV is the answer, know how much solving these problems could decrease their business, so they do everything in their power to discredit Cycle Stop Valves. Others in the pump business just can’t believe solving all these problems could be as easy as a simple Cycle Stop Valve. Still others think it is a sign of failure that they did not get the math right if they have to use a CSV, even though they know the math never works in real life.

    Sorry for the long posts. But after 20 years of using CSV’s to solve problems, I see it as a disservice when someone tries to talk others out of such an obvious, easy, and inexpensive answer.
    Last edited by valveman; 09-11-2013 at 11:24 AM.

  6. #21
    DIY Junior Member adellicson's Avatar
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    Wow. I gave this post a day hoping to bring out some good solutions and it gets a bit heated. I thank you all for your advice and I have to agree that the CSV makes the most sense if it does what it says it will do. And I'm not saying that only because it sounds like the easiest or cheapest route. I'm saying that because it makes sense. I agree with valveman about pressure. You can overcome low pressure if you have the capacity to raise the pump pressure high enough to meet your desires in the areas of low pressure. When I raised the cut-in/cut-off pressure I did see gains in water pressure at the showers. Now if the CSV will keep the pressure on the high end of the 48/68 I have it set at then I should enjoy the higher pressure only instead of the full swing of pressure. If that is the purpose of the CSV then I'm not sure what there is to argue about. I presented this post because I was looking for an easy solution without re-plumbing my house. I thought about relocating my water softener but it really isn't an option unless I want to put it in my crawl or in the bedroom above which happens to be our new nursery for our baby that's coming in 2 months. Having a water softener go through cycles at 2AM with a sleeping baby isn't an option nor is going down into my crawl to load the softener with salt. The basics of fluid dynamics haven't changed, but that isn't to say that there isn't more then one way to skin a cat. I work in the machine automation industry. If you can't develop products to solve problems then you aren't going to last very long so to me the CSV sounds like a product that was developed to keep pressure more consistent. My problems with the showers is cyclic. You only get so much time with decent pressure depending if you started the shower on the low end or high end of the pressure swing. If I could easily T off where the water comes in the house I would, but that is just really a difficult option. The major problem I see is that the water closet that feeds the 2nd and 3rd showers and toilets gets the cold water before it gets to the other closet that holds my water heater which is the only place I could put the softener and then I would have a softener in a closet off my bedroom. Running pipe from the water closet to the 2nd utility closet would be difficult being that it is on slab. I'm sure this was done before the floor was put down. The CSV sounds like a viable option. I have to say I still don't really understand how it works though. It makes the system work like a VFD pump but with a constant speed pump.

  7. #22
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adellicson View Post
    The CSV sounds like a viable option. I have to say I still don't really understand how it works though. It makes the system work like a VFD pump but with a constant speed pump.
    We were installing and having problems with VFD’s more than 25 years ago. The CSV was designed to mimic the constant pressure function of a VFD without all the complications, electronics, expense, and lack of dependability. We have been replacing VFD’s with CSV’s everyday for 20+ years. Once you realize that a pumps amps decrease when the flow is restricted with a simple valve, the same way they decrease when using a VFD to slow the RPM, the CSV makes a lot of sense.

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