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    Recommended water pump/tank size

    Asked Apr 6, 2008, 03:03 AM 11 Answers
    Hello,

    I own a 2 story 4 bedroom 3 bathroom home with 2 adults and 5 children (4 girls). We have a private shallow well and we are having water pressure problems. I have researched as much as I could to ensure intelligent questions here. I have a GE 1/2 hp jet style pump and Champion water tank CH6000 (26 gallon cap.) I am assuming based off the dimensions. My pressure settings are 40/60 and based off that my drawdown is 7.6 gallons. My pump seems to turn on and run for the minimum 60 sec recommended time.

    However, when I shower in my bathroom with is the furthest and highest from the pump I get 'ok' water pressure if that's the only thing on. I do get a high pitched screeching sound coming from either the pipes or the fixture for a few minutes then as long as no other water is running it will go away.

    The problem is if someone turns ANYTHING else on, my water pressure dies. If its just a toilet flush then I can still continue to shower but the screech comes back. I do get less pressure but not horrible. If someone turns on the kitchen sink my pressure just about gets cut in half. If there are 2 other items on... its practically nothing and rather annoying with the screech.

    The house is only 10 years old and does have a water softener on the house side of the water pump. I do change the filters at least every 3 months. That sometimes helps. If I bypass the water softener all together it is better, but that's not an option in my area as the well water is quite full of hydrogen sulfate and can get quite rusty.

    I have tried to find a guide to tell me if I need to boost the size of tank/pump that is currently in use. I found a table that suggested I need "peak 7min" time of 1 GPM per fixture which would total 13 GPM, and another table based off the number of bathrooms that indicates 17 GPM. I am suspicious that this 1/2 hp pump - 26 gallon tank is providing that kind of water delivery. Please advise further on recommended upgrades if any. I was thinking of going with an 86 gallon tank from WellSaver and a 1hp pump, prob the Gould J10S Thank you.

    Last edited by wolf0994; Apr 6, 2008 at 05:07 AM.
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    11 Answers
    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 10,076, Reputation: 746
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    #2

    Apr 6, 2008, 05:07 AM
    The screeching sounds most likely being made buy a loose washer or an obstruction in the pipes at a valve. Most likely a loose washer. It could be at the shower valve or any valve between the shower and the tank that the water passes through on its way to the shower, including the water heater inlet valve.

    If you have a 26 gal pressure tank you have approximately 8 or 9 gallons of usable water before pump comes on. If you have a bladder tank you have something more than that, probably 10 to 13 gallons. After that the water volume and pressure is coming directly from the pump. The pump can provide the required volume for the shower but not for anything else.
    Many years ago when I was establishing a mobile home park I was required to provide 5 gallon per minute for 15 minutes peak use (if I remember correctly) per household.

    A larger tank will extend the time which the shower will be unaffected by the use of water at some other point but will not eliminate the drop in pressure entirely. A larger pump also extend the time and will reduce the effect, which occurs after the tank has been depleted. I would say that with 4 women in the house you need a big tank and a big pump.
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    wolf0994's Avatar
    wolf0994 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Apr 6, 2008, 05:40 AM
    If the noise is from a loose washer then it is probably near the shower because that's the only room that gets the noise. Any suggestions on locating it? Also I looked at the manufacter's website for my tank and its only 7.6 gallons before the pump kicks on. I have tried to find the GPM capability of the pump with no luck. It is just some generic 1/2 hp GE pump. So I am assuming its not real stellar. Thanks for your reply.
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    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 10,076, Reputation: 746
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    #4

    Apr 6, 2008, 06:07 AM
    Is you shower valve one handle or two.

    If you want to know the volume of your system, with the tank pressure at 60lbs. And the pump off use a hose and bucket to measure the volume of water until the pump comes on. Time how long the pump take to restore the 60 lbs of pressure. This will tell you the effective gpm of your well and pump. If you want to know the maximum rate of the well and pump, empty the tank completely, with the pump running measure how long it takes to fill a 5 gal bucket.
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    wolf0994's Avatar
    wolf0994 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Apr 6, 2008, 06:22 AM
    One, rotating handle
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    hkstroud's Avatar
    hkstroud Posts: 10,076, Reputation: 746
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    #6

    Apr 6, 2008, 06:33 AM
    Then you have a cartridge with "o" rings not likely to be there but could be. Know the brand?
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    wolf0994's Avatar
    wolf0994 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #7

    Apr 6, 2008, 06:54 AM
    Not off hand, I am currently at work I will check when I get home this morning and see if it is indicated anywhere. I will test the GPM and such when I get home.
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    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,583, Reputation: 1908
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    #8

    Apr 6, 2008, 07:28 AM


    Good morning Wolf,
    The way I track vibration down is to feel where the vibration's the strongest. Your noise could be a bit if trash that got sucked up into a valve, my bet's on the shower valve, Shut the water off and remove the cartridge. Check and clean bthge inlet ports and before you button it back turn the hot and cold water back on for a moment to flush out the supplies and open valve body.
    I'm not a big pump man. I live in a urban area next to the coast with a high water table. Most of our pumps are shallow well sprinkler systems But you have a volume problem. Your filter, your water softener, they all cut down the volume delivered. It's obvious with 4 females in yoiur home taking back to back showers that you need a system with increased capacity. Both with the pump delivering more volume and a larger tank to store it in. This link may be helpful: http://www.goulds.com/pdf/ttechwp.pdf Just curious, how are you doing on hot water? Let's here back from you. Regards, Tom
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    wolf0994's Avatar
    wolf0994 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Apr 6, 2008, 09:27 AM
    Hello Tom, and by the way stroud,

    I tested my pressure tank this morning... I get 6 gallons out before the pump kicks on. The pump then runs for 1 min 20 secs. I have it set at 40/60 so I assume that means I am getting an effective 4 GPM. And my shower fixture that is screeching is a Moen. Tom, are you meaning taking the fixture off and cleaning out the valves right there at the fixture? Cuz I have one of those plastic tub/shower molded things there so I cannot get into the wall to feel the vibrations.

    I am getting plenty of hot water due to living in North Pole, Alaska and having water base board heating with a heating oil boiler for heat and a hot water heater attached to it for storage of the hot water... I basically have never ending hot water but thankfully the boiler heats both my baseboard heating and heats my hot water for house usage with a 50 gallon water heater for storage. However I have two filters and the water softener. I have a rope filter, then the softener, then a carbon filter, then the line leads to the water heater and into the house. This is a common set up for up here in Alaska as when spring comes we get quite a bit of sediment in our water.

    I will look at that link as soon as I wake up. I am quite tired as I just worked a 12 hr shift. But I wanted to test the GPM before I go to bed. Thank you. And I look forward to both of your responses when I wake up. Have a great day
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    speedball1's Avatar
    speedball1 Posts: 28,583, Reputation: 1908
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    #10

    Apr 6, 2008, 10:15 AM


    Tom, are you meaning taking the fixture off and cleaning out the valves right there at the fixture? Cuz I have one of those plastic tub/shower molded things there so I cannot get into the wall to feel the vibrations.
    You don't have to open the wall to feel if the knob vibrates. Our company installs nothing but Moen, do you need instruction on how to take the cartridge out and flush the supplies?
    I'm thinking 3/4 horse pump and a 80 gallon tank. Does that work for you? Rergards, tom
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