Water hammering booster pump system

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Richard Day

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Hello all, first-time poster, renegade amateur JOAT. This issue started over a year ago but I'm finally getting around to worrying about it. I read through JohnnyAirtime's thread first; my issue has some differences so here goes.

I live in the mountains at 9000'. House is new construction only four years old. Our well sits 600' below us in a canyon and I'm told is around 75' deep. The well is timer-activated and pumps water up the mountain about 675' to a 3000-gallon holding tank, after which water flows by gravity to the three using households. All three houses have booster pumps in the basement to supply better pressure; without them the neighbor closest to the tank gets around 15 psi by gravity feed, I'm next with about 25 psi, and the neighbor below me gets close to 35 psi due to the distance and drop from the tank.

In addition to this setup, we each have storage tanks in our basements for contingency purposes; mine is 1650 gallons and can be fed from the well but also collects rainwater and snow melt. It sits on my concrete floor and only has the weight of the water in it to push it to the booster pump.

My pump is a 1/2 HP Pentair Sta-Rite Projet unit, the bladder tank is 30" high by 24" in diameter, also by Pentair. I have it set in a 45-65 psi operating range. The water service from the holding tank comes out of the slab three or four feet from the pump inlet, and there is a metal SOV in the line. The basement tank is plumbed in between the normal service and the pump inlet and also has a metal SOV. Immediately before the pump inlet is a brass y-pattern swing check valve. The bladder tank is tee'd in a few inches after the pump outlet and has a 38 psi air charge. Pressurized water then goes through a softener and thence to the house.

The water softener was installed last April but the hammering had already been going on for about two months. I asked the plumber about it but he said there wasn't anything wrong with it doing that. I need to get this sorted. I've got the same people coming next week because it's hard to get anyone to come due to our remote location and iffy roads. They are mainly city residential plumbers and don't have much experience with this setup. The guy the builder used is also questionable as nobody else seems to ask for this booster system to be done in their houses.

I'm thinking the plumber replaced the check valve at my request when he installed the softener but I don't remember for sure. One last thing: the hammering only happens when using water from the remote tank, not the basement tank. I reckon it's at least 800' from the house and drops maybe 30' vertically.

Thanks in advance, great site.
 

Valveman

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Still don't know what the problem is. Remote tank? Basement tank? aren't they both feeding the booster pump? Only thing I got out of all your explanations is a "swing check" which by itself could be the problem. You need a spring loaded check instead. But does the hammer happen on pump start, pump stop, or in between?
 

Richard Day

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No worries, new me is trying to give everyone the benefit. I've been snarky and a bit more for years now.

I'm on several bike forums and we all hate the "my stuff don't work and I'm too lazy to search, fix it for me" posters. That's why I tried to front-load as much info as possible. Great site, be well.
 
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