Booster pump for home

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Akrio

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Recently moved into a new construction home and looking for some recommendations to increase the water pressure. I moved from a house that measured 80 PSI at the spigot and could fill a 5 gallon bucket in 27 seconds. Was pretty lucky and have become to used to it. My new home I'm measuring 37 PSI at the spigot and filled the same bucket in 1 minute 12 seconds.

The lack of pressure for showers, faucets and especially sprinklers when watering my lawn has been noticeable.

I've looked around online for booster pumps and wasn't sure what components I needed. If I'd just need a booster pump alone, or something else.

I reached out to a plumber who gave me a quote for a pump he can get at a local plumbing store. It's the AY McDonald Duramac 1/2HP, 120V, 35 PSI Boost Pump at $1100. According to this pump I should be able to end up with 75 PSI give or take which should get me a bit closer to my old home.

Based off of some searches online this seems to be a bit high pricing wise. Are there other brands/components I should consider?

Will these pumps just increase pressure? I'm assuming I won't see more GPM or fill my bucket outside any faster after installing a booster pump. Would it still be a welcome change just increasing the pressure in the house?
 
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VAWellDriller

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Do you have a private well? If so, you should check pressure and flow right at the pressure tank, and you can make adjustments with the well pump to help with the problem. No sense adding another pump if installing and adjusting one in the well will do the job.

If you are on city water, a booster pump should help and that doesn't seem like a bad price if it includes installation.

I hear a lot of folks with this complaint with new houses, where plumbers used pex and a lot of fittings. Those insert fittings are tiny and everything should be bumped up one size from normal in my opinion. Its a shame because if they did it right to begin with there would be no problem. Drilled a well today at $800000 house and plumber only left a 3/4 pex drop for the main...followed by a ton of 90's and tee's,.
 

Akrio

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Do you have a private well? If so, you should check pressure and flow right at the pressure tank, and you can make adjustments with the well pump to help with the problem. No sense adding another pump if installing and adjusting one in the well will do the job.

If you are on city water, a booster pump should help and that doesn't seem like a bad price if it includes installation.

I hear a lot of folks with this complaint with new houses, where plumbers used pex and a lot of fittings. Those insert fittings are tiny and everything should be bumped up one size from normal in my opinion. Its a shame because if they did it right to begin with there would be no problem. Drilled a well today at $800000 house and plumber only left a 3/4 pex drop for the main...followed by a ton of 90's and tee's,.

Whoops, so sorry I forgot to mention that. Both locations are on town water. Same town, probably 5 minutes apart although we may be connected to different sources.

I'm just taking a guess here but the incoming line to the house appears to be 1" pex. After the pressure reducing valve everything is 3/4" pex. Individual fixtures and I believe my hose bibs are 1/2" pex.

I do not think the price includes install, although he did mention he could get a few hundred $ off. I installed a softener a few months ago without any issues, I'd imagine I can install the pump as well.
 

Akrio

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turn up the pressure reducing valve

I turned it as much as I possibly could to increase pressure (the max is 75 PSI on the pressure reducing valve) and the pressure did not move off 37 PSI at the spigot.
 
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Valveman

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Do you have a private well? If so, you should check pressure and flow right at the pressure tank, and you can make adjustments with the well pump to help with the problem. No sense adding another pump if installing and adjusting one in the well will do the job.

If you are on city water, a booster pump should help and that doesn't seem like a bad price if it includes installation.

I hear a lot of folks with this complaint with new houses, where plumbers used pex and a lot of fittings. Those insert fittings are tiny and everything should be bumped up one size from normal in my opinion. Its a shame because if they did it right to begin with there would be no problem. Drilled a well today at $800000 house and plumber only left a 3/4 pex drop for the main...followed by a ton of 90's and tee's,.

Is that $800,000.00 really? Just heard of one that was 1.9 mil.
 

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Forget the duramac tankless thing unless you just want problems. Get a regular jet pump and control it with a PK1A kit. The size of the jet pump will determine how high the pressure can be. You can add the incoming pressure to what the pump can do. But I wouldn't figure 37 PSI, maybe 20 when you go to pumping on it. With a J15S jet pump you could set the PK1A for 70/90 and have a constant 80 PSI from the Cycle Stop Valve. If you want more than that you just need to use a multi-stage booster pump. I did one the other day with 140 PSI constant using a 130/150 pressure switch because the house was way up on a hill/mountain. The point is, with a booster pump system you can have as much pressure as you want. No sense in having to run around in the shower to get wet. Lol!
 

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I turned it as much as I possibly could to increase pressure (the max is 75 PSI on the pressure reducing valve) and the pressure did not move off 37 PSI at the spigot.
Consider cleaning the strainer on the PRV, or bypassing/removing the PRV. What model is your PRV?

Also look for any cartridge filters in the path. Normally the hose spigots water will not pass through a filter, but sometimes people make mistakes.

When you say the pressure at the hose, I suggest trying a different measure. Watch the pressure on a laundry tap or the drain valve on the water heater. You can take a movie of the gauge as you go out and operate the hose. The point is to see if the slowness is due to a restriction in the path to the hose that does not affect the rest of the house.
 

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Yep
Is that $800,000.00 really? Just heard of one that was 1.9 mil.
Yep 800 not unusual around here.... we got giant boom here...economy never really slowed, gov keep sending out checks, interest rates low. Commercial and residential work is WIDE open. We small company but got about 40 or 50 more wells to drill for new construction this year cheapest house probably 550K. Just ordered another rig to try to keep up.
 

Akrio

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Forget the duramac tankless thing unless you just want problems. Get a regular jet pump and control it with a PK1A kit. The size of the jet pump will determine how high the pressure can be. You can add the incoming pressure to what the pump can do. But I wouldn't figure 37 PSI, maybe 20 when you go to pumping on it. With a J15S jet pump you could set the PK1A for 70/90 and have a constant 80 PSI from the Cycle Stop Valve. If you want more than that you just need to use a multi-stage booster pump. I did one the other day with 140 PSI constant using a 130/150 pressure switch because the house was way up on a hill/mountain. The point is, with a booster pump system you can have as much pressure as you want. No sense in having to run around in the shower to get wet. Lol!

The sheet I have here for Duramac on the unit shows an expansion tank unless I'm wrong about that. Thanks for the recommendation and information. I'm guessing the Duramac setup is similar to the first setup explained in the video without the cycle stop valve? The PK1A kit comes with that so it can maintain constant pressure across all fixtures using water regardless of what is being turned on/off?

I know I'm going for more pressure, but do these setups have any influence on total gpm throughout a fixture or entire house? Would my 5 gallon bucket fill test for example improve? Or am I just seeing more pressure out the spigot? I get a huge drop in pressure in the shower for example when running a sprinker. I'm not sure if that's just a reduction in pressure or gpm, or both.

Cost wise though this solution seems good. Comparable to what I was originally recommended and sounds like it will perform much better.

Consider cleaning the strainer on the PRV, or bypassing/removing the PRV. What model is your PRV?

Also look for any cartridge filters in the path. Normally the hose spigots water will not pass through a filter, but sometimes people make mistakes.

When you say the pressure at the hose, I suggest trying a different measure. Watch the pressure on a laundry tap or the drain valve on the water heater. You can take a movie of the gauge as you go out and operate the hose. The point is to see if the slowness is due to a restriction in the path to the hose that does not affect the rest of the house.

My PRV is a Watts LF 25AUBZ3. This is a new construction home, it's brand new. I have the screw bottomed out right now and am still getting 37 PSI. I was skeptical at first so I tested the water pressure on a spigot on the street next to me (not a new development) and read 40 PSI on their spigot.
 

Reach4

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My PRV is a Watts LF 25AUBZ3. This is a new construction home, it's brand new. I have the screw bottomed out right now and am still getting 37 PSI. I was skeptical at first so I tested the water pressure on a spigot on the street next to me (not a new development) and read 40 PSI on their spigot.
Got it.

I had misunderstood, and had thought you measured the pressure at the end of the hose while you were filling the bucket. I now understand that your pressure measurement and then filling the bucket were not simultaneous.

I would ask the water company/city if they have plans to increase the pressure.
 
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Valveman

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Sure more pressure will push more flow through the lines. Bucket will fill many times faster at constant 80 PSI than at 40. Shouldn't even need soap in the shower. The question is if your incoming line can still maintain 20ish PSI while the pump is delivering 80 PSI? If not, the lines and/or the meter is too small and you would need a small cistern to pump from.
 

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Yep

Yep 800 not unusual around here.... we got giant boom here...economy never really slowed, gov keep sending out checks, interest rates low. Commercial and residential work is WIDE open. We small company but got about 40 or 50 more wells to drill for new construction this year cheapest house probably 550K. Just ordered another rig to try to keep up.

5" PVC set at 200' right? Lol!
 

Akrio

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Got it.

I had misunderstood, and had thought you measured the pressure at the end of the hose while you were filling the bucket. I now understand that your pressure measurement and then filling the bucket were not simultaneous.

I would ask the water company/city if they have plans to increase the pressure.

Oh yeah sorry. I put a pressure gauge on my house, my parent's place (they have 80 PSI) and the street next to me (40 PSI). Then after that at my house and my parent's I did a 5 gallon bucket test straight out of the spigot with no hose on.

It's funny every time I call the town about the water they seem to have no idea what pressure I should be expecting, etc. They just told me someone confirmed it's fine lol. I don't believe they have any plans to increase it unfortunately.

Sure more pressure will push more flow through the lines. Bucket will fill many times faster at constant 80 PSI than at 40. Shouldn't even need soap in the shower. The question is if your incoming line can still maintain 20ish PSI while the pump is delivering 80 PSI? If not, the lines and/or the meter is too small and you would need a small cistern to pump from.

That's great news! I'm sure it will perform great overall and be a big improvement. I trust you guys all know your stuff on here. That's one thing I don't understand much if the pump is supplying 80 PSI to the house and I'm using multiple fixtures, at what point can the incoming water from the town not keep up and performance could decrease? Hopefully I won't hit that threshold much or it won't be noticeable.
 

jadnashua

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If you notice a big change when multiple items are run at the same time, you do have a volume issue. In a well-designed distribution system, the pressure should remain fairly constant when you run multiple items. Pressure increase will help somewhat, but may not overcome all of your issues. Raising the pressure will increase the velocity of the water in the pipes/tubing. There's a practical limit with any piping, but pex can handle more velocity without issues than copper.

1/2" pex is closer to 3/8" copper, and won't flow as much, especially if the run is long and they used lots of fittings.

If your inlet pressure is 37-psi, why have a PRV in the first place? Is it required by code?

On a newer home, you may have some crud that has accumulated in things. As was mentioned, you really should check the inlet screen in the PRV...you might find it partly clogged.

The utility needs to maintain a certain minimum supply pressure, but I think you'll find it's even lower than what you're seeing. Also note that using the same supply, the elevation will make a potentially noticeable change in the available pressure...it will vary about 0.43-psi for each foot of elevation change. So, if you're up on a hill, fed by the same supply, your pressure would be lower than someone down at the bottom of that hill.
 

Akrio

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If you notice a big change when multiple items are run at the same time, you do have a volume issue. In a well-designed distribution system, the pressure should remain fairly constant when you run multiple items. Pressure increase will help somewhat, but may not overcome all of your issues. Raising the pressure will increase the velocity of the water in the pipes/tubing. There's a practical limit with any piping, but pex can handle more velocity without issues than copper.

1/2" pex is closer to 3/8" copper, and won't flow as much, especially if the run is long and they used lots of fittings.

If your inlet pressure is 37-psi, why have a PRV in the first place? Is it required by code?

On a newer home, you may have some crud that has accumulated in things. As was mentioned, you really should check the inlet screen in the PRV...you might find it partly clogged.

The utility needs to maintain a certain minimum supply pressure, but I think you'll find it's even lower than what you're seeing. Also note that using the same supply, the elevation will make a potentially noticeable change in the available pressure...it will vary about 0.43-psi for each foot of elevation change. So, if you're up on a hill, fed by the same supply, your pressure would be lower than someone down at the bottom of that hill.

I'm guessing it might be code which is why they installed it. I'll take a look at the inlet screen.

Unless I'm running a sprinkler or two, I don't notice much of a difference in pressure when using things like the dishwasher, a few faucets, laundry, shower, etc. When sprinklers are running the shower has a pretty noticeable drop.

I'm not high up on a hill either. Not sure where the water is coming from but there's no extreme changes in elevation by me. My house is level with the main road and if anything the end of my street drops another 20-30 feet.
 

Fitter30

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I would want to know what's the pressure before the prv. New construction could have debris at meter, shut off valve in house are prv. Lines might not have been flushed properly.
 
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