# Trying to understand my well's water pressure

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#### Sarg

##### Enjoy Learning
Just a thought that rarely gets mentioned. You can't predict what "position" your system will be at when you use water .......... I have two systems both with CSVs.
In my utility well the pressure tank has a 40-60 switch. The small tank may be static at 41 psi .... so when I use it to fill a fifty gallon water wagon the system uses one gallon from the tank ... the pump is turned on and the pressure rises to 50 psi and the CSV holds at that pressure while filling the wagon.
Too many variables to make the calculations or assumptions.

#### NoFortress

##### New Member
I've watched the videos. They generally show multiple use cases stacked on top of each other with the assumption that they're all long-running. They never discuss many small uses of water like I've mentioned, and it seems to me most of a family's water usage is going to be done this way.

I'm a very data-driven person; the videos and tables presented would get torn to shreds in an academic setting. I've shown my math and am willing to be convinced I'm incorrect, but thus far the counterarguments seem to be along the lines of "just trust him" and "watch the videos" (which don't address this issue).

#### Valveman

##### Cary Austin
Staff member
Thanks guys. My new word for the day is "confirmation bias". This describes why so many people get angry with me when I tell them the big tank they just bought or the VFD they got talked into are not the best ways to control a pump. They already made up their minds, bought the big tank, and just come to the forum because they want confirmation they did the right thing. Then they blow a gasket when I tell them big pressure tanks are no longer the best way to control a pump. Lol! At least in this case you have not yet purchased the big tank. But you are still wanting confirmation that it is the best solution, and I have too much experience on the matter to agree with that.

In the past a huge pressure tank was always the best way to control a pump. There are only a few problems with using a large pressure tank, and the Cycle Stop Valve solves all of those. Space and cost are the most obvious savings for using a CSV and smaller tank. A larger pressure tank also causes the wide variance in pressure to be more prolonged. With a 50/70 pressure switch the pressure is good and strong for a short minute as the pump quickly fills the tank to 70 and is shut off. Then the pressure gradually gets worse and seems to linger at the low side of 50 PSI for a long time before the pump is restarted. The pump/motor running at full amperage and making max heat only runs for one or two minutes to fill the tank. Short run times trap heat inside the motor, which cannot be dissipated in such a short run. Then because the pump cycles on and off while you are using water, it doesn't have time to properly cool down before the next start. Starting a hot pump/motor is just as bad as trying to start a car engine immediately after it has shut down from overheating. There is also water hammer that happens when a pump fills a tank at max flow and then quickly shuts down, as the check valve slams shut from the wide open position. Drawing max flow for a minute then shutting off while the pump cycles on and off repeatedly also surges the well up and down, stirring up sediment and other contaminants.

Adding a Cycle Stop Valve to the old and fairly dependable pressure tank system solves all those problems and more. The CSV works with a smaller and less expensive pressure tank. The CSV holds the pressure strong and constant for the duration of showers and other long term uses of water. The smaller tank causes the annoying drop in pressure from 70 to 50 to be quick and basically unnoticeable. The CSV causes the motor to run cooler at lower amperage and run long enough to dissipate what heat is generated. Since the CSV does not let the pump shut off for a minute or two AFTER all water taps are closed, the pump stays off long enough to properly cool down before starting again. The CSV only fills the pressure tank at 1 GPM, which means the check valve is almost closed before the pump shuts off. This eliminates water hammer and the destruction it causes. The CSV steadily draws only as much water from the well as you are using, which prevents the water level in the well from surging up and down stirring up contaminants and sediment.

Then as I said, the CSV is a show me type of thing. The suggestion that 100 small uses of water a day would cause 100 cycles is incorrect. If the 2.5 gallons in the 10 gallon size tank is enough to supply several small uses before the pump is started. Then once the pump does start, the CSV keeps the pump running for as long as water is being used, then keeps it running for an extra minute as well. During that minute if more water is used, the pump just stays on for those uses as well, then ANOTHER minute as well. The gallon or two supplied by the small pressure tank plus the mechanical timer of filling the tank at 1 GPM turns 100 small uses a day into maybe 20 pump cycles. When any of these small uses happen at the same time as someone else in the house is taking a shower or using water, they do not add to the number of cycles.

This is all assuming you do not have any irrigation, use a sprinkler for anything, the kids don't play with the garden hose for hours, or you have a leak you don't know about. Any of those things will cycle a pump to death without a Cycle Stop Valve, but would be absolutely no problem at all for the pump if you have a Cycle Stop Valve.

It is impossible to do the math when you have no idea how people will use water during the day, nor can you plan for unintended uses of water like a hose left open or a leak. You also cannot do the math without understanding the mechanical timer thing. Basically the CSV solves all the problems associated with the old pressure tank method, cost less, saves space, and delivers much stronger constant pressure to the showers and appliances.

Water does not come from the pressure tank, it comes from the well and pump. A pressure tanks only purpose is to limit the on/off cycling of the pump, and when you have a CSV to do that, you don't need much of a tank.

But if you had rather spend a few hundred bucks extra, a big tank will take up more space in the house, have varying pressure at the showers, cause water hammer, surge the well, and shorten the life of the pump and system. I would never say "just trust me". I have done the math everyway it can be done, and have experience from over 50 years and hundreds of thousands of pump systems installed. With over 30 years of selling Cycle Stop Valves I have thousands of references, or reviews they call them now, from customers who prove I got the math right and know what I am talking about when I say the Cycle Stop Valve is superior to any other pump control on the market. I have even further proof of this from being blacklisted by all the pump manufacturers back in 1994 because, and I quote, "The CSV is a disruptive product making pumps last longer and using smaller tanks. Any employee who mentions a Cycle Stop Valve will be terminated immediately".

You maybe "data-driven", but unless you really understand pumps, which very few people do, you just do not understand the data that you have been given. The CSV is only a \$89-\$200 valve. I have gone to a lot of work to explain the data to you. You don't have to get a CSV now. You can add one later when the wife starts complaining about low pressure in the shower, the water hammer is driving her crazy, or the kids left a garden hose running and cycled the pump to death. \$200 worth of prevention could be prevent thousands of dollars spent on a cure. But using "confirmation bias" you can convince yourself that a big tank is the best solution.

#### Sarg

##### Enjoy Learning
Time to hit "unwatch" and recognize sometimes it's not worth the effort.

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#### NoFortress

##### New Member
Like I said, I'm willing to be convinced, but I'm concerned the goal posts may be moving here. Previous comments and videos I've been referred to haven't made mention of heat dissipation from cycle duration. This is something I haven't heard before and admittedly know little about; if you have independent literature on this I would be happy to read it. Virtually everything I read about pump life ties it directly to on/off cycles, including all of your previous posts on this thread.

I agree my math excludes irrigation systems (which I don't have and do not intend to have in the future) or water leaks. I have monitoring on my well pump circuit so I can see when it clicks on and off; water leaks should be easy to spot here. I agree with everything you said on pressure fluctuation with the CSV, but I'm concerned it will result in more on/off cycles and gave evidence to this point.

I do not have any confirmation bias. I came here asking for help and am currently asking for evidence on why the CSV will reduce the number of on/off cycles. You claim you "have done the math everyway it can be done" and I would like to see this, because none of your tables or videos show your work. If you consider asking for help and data bias, then we obviously do not see eye-to-eye.

#### Valveman

##### Cary Austin
Staff member
Like I said, I'm willing to be convinced, but I'm concerned the goal posts may be moving here. Previous comments and videos I've been referred to haven't made mention of heat dissipation from cycle duration. This is something I haven't heard before and admittedly know little about; if you have independent literature on this I would be happy to read it. Virtually everything I read about pump life ties it directly to on/off cycles, including all of your previous posts on this thread.

I agree my math excludes irrigation systems (which I don't have and do not intend to have in the future) or water leaks. I have monitoring on my well pump circuit so I can see when it clicks on and off; water leaks should be easy to spot here. I agree with everything you said on pressure fluctuation with the CSV, but I'm concerned it will result in more on/off cycles and gave evidence to this point.

I do not have any confirmation bias. I came here asking for help and am currently asking for evidence on why the CSV will reduce the number of on/off cycles. You claim you "have done the math everyway it can be done" and I would like to see this, because none of your tables or videos show your work. If you consider asking for help and data bias, then we obviously do not see eye-to-eye.
I mean no disrespect. But you had to be convinced your tank was waterlogged and I have been studying pumps exclusively for 56 years so far. A list of credentials would be bragging, as is having to say I have a list. Lol!

The chart I posted in post #13 was made by a customer with the same questions a decade ago. He set up and tested all the tank sizes mentioned, with and without a CSV. If you notice the 20 gallon tank caused 35 cycles per day without the CSV and 18 per day with the CSV. That means the CSV will reduce the cycles per day working with any size tank you want to use. If using an 86 gallon size tank will only cause 5 cycles per day, adding a CSV will reduce the cycles to 2 or 3 per day. So, if for no other reason "pump life ties directly to on/off cycles", and I don't disagree, a CSV is advantageous.

But the CSV has many other benefits. I mentioned a few like longer run times for heat dissipation. But I haven't mentioned a lot of other things and how they are affected by adding a CSV. These and many other things are taught at pump schools, which I have been to many of. We had real textbooks back then. I don't know where you could read about that stuff today except for where someone like me mentions it on the Internet.

Pumps are a very technical topic. Having talked to many other pump engineers, I am ashamed to say very few of them understand pumps very well, and the ones who claim they know it all, understand the least. So, I certainly understand the misunderstandings lay people have about pumps.

I apologize if I offended you in any way, and hope even with all I have said, that you will go with the 86 gallon tank.

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Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

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