Sunday, May 31, 2009


moving into this house, one thing we have noticed is that, if you turn on more than one faucet at a time, water slows to a trickle. It still comes out, but you would be hard pressed to even wash your hands. The solution was simple, yet getting to the solution cost me 12 hours of my life and near $200 bucks.

To fully understand the situation, you have to first know that back when we had the home inspectors out to inspect the house, when we got to the well system, the home inspector pointed to a particular valve and said that "that valve controls water to your house". So since then, when I've needed to shut off water to the whole house I would close or open that worked just as he said.

After being at Betty's house, and running several faucets at once, we became envious of her water flow and pressure. We began to think that ours was lacking. So, like any good home owner, I decided "I can fix it".

So I bought a pressure guage to check our water pressure. Our static pressure was about 50psi. Perfect! Yet when you opened two faucets, the flow dropped to nothing. However, the pressure remained fairly high. I also noticed that no matter how low our water pressure got, our pump never turned on. After much googling and conversations with my dad, I decided to replace the pressure control switch and add a pressure guage at the at the switch so I wouldnt have to run outside to see what the pressure was. Idid this with no problem. The pump now turns on and off like it should. Pressure, according to my new guage, was good also. Still, when we turned on two faucets, very little flow.

I decided to check the air pressure in my bladder tank. Since the air pressure in the bladder tank should be 2 psi below the cut in pressure on the control switch. My new control swith is a 40psi-60psi switch, meaning the pump turns on when water pressure drops below 40 psi, and shuts the pump off when water pressure reaches 60 psi. My bladder air pressure was at 20psi.

So I decided to increase the pressure to 30 psi. While at Home Depot I bought a manula bycicle tire pump. My first mistake. Yes a pump like this could raise the pressure in a bycicle tire very easily, when trying to increase the pressure in a large cylinder like a bladder tank, it is virtually impossible. It is like trying to inflate a truck tire with a hand pump. Eventually I bought a nice air compressor to do it.

So, after all of this, the air pressure in my bladder tank was spot on at 38psi. And still not change in the water system. Everything checked out. Correct water pressure at the faucets, correct air pressure in the bladder tank, pump turning on and off as it should! I was getting depressed thinking it was a well/well pump problem which are very expensive to fix.

Then it all started to come together. After more reading, conversations with my dad, and remembering hydraulics class I began to think that it was a restriction somewhere in the system, though I didn't know where.

This is because restrictions cause pressure, and I never lost pressure, hence there had to be a restriction. While looking a the pictures of the piping I took to send to my dad, and talking to my dad, we realized that there was a second shut off valve!
I knew it was there! Stepped over it a hundred times today! It was only partially open. I opened it all the way and now I can ren every faucet in the house, the shower, and flush the toilet all at once with no loss of water pressure or flow!!!!

As they say, sometimes when your in the woods, you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.


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