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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Woke up this am at 5am before going to work. I took a shower and I swear I could pee with more pressure than what was coming from the shower head. I knew my irrigation system was on but it's usually not this bad.

Before I left for work I look at the sprinklers and they are not even popped out of the ground. WTF! I take a pressure reading after I shut the system down and it was a whopping 28psi. Normally it's low (40psi) but this is bordering on the ridiculous. The city is coming out to evaluate but is there really anything they can do?

Thanks, I had to vent
J.
 

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The city may be required to provide you with a specific amount of pressure, such as 40 psi. They can give and take from one place to another. Apparently the problem is with the city, and not your place, eh?

If it is a problem with the city water, you may want to double check that you're not watering when there is a demand. Wouldn't think that a whole lot of people would be using water at 5 a.m., but you may want to bump your controller up to 4:00. Real bummer, but if everything fails, in the future you may be forced to switch over to some different heads... like the low flow MP rotators.
 

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Hopefully it's just the low pressure form the tropical storm season, and it will be ok again in October. :dizzy:

Fer real, though, that has to be a bummer. It will be interesting to see how the city intends to remedy the situation, if at all. Please keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'l keep you posted. I doubt it's from the tropical storm season though since I'm on the Michigan/Ontario border.

I don't anticipate any amazing fixes though. They'll blame something else and then be on their way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well the city came today and measured 45psi (which I've measured before) and said it was normal, not perfect, but normal for the area since according to him the mains were not designed properly when built. He was a nice guy and didn't charge me for the call.

The question now is what the hell to do about the low pressure. Sure I could drop the nozzle size down (using 5's in the PGP's) but I think I may be better off getting a booster pump and setting it at about 55-60psi. (I have 3/4 copper supply)

Thoughts?

J.
 

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Ouch, can't believe I'm saying this, but a booster pump might be your least expensive option. A 1/2 horse jet pump would probably do it and cost you around a $100 plus a bit. You may end up reversing all the changes you have made to reduce your output though. If the static pressure is that bad is boosting the whole house and buying a pressure tank an option? I can't remember from the previous posts (and I'm to lazy to night to search for the old thread) if you are working in and out of the basement or not. Either way, pump before the sprinkler connection and a pressure tank in the house. I HATE a shower w/ a water saver nozzle. :)
 

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OK, less lazy than I originally said. The recomendations from the old post are still valid. 1/2 horse pump, your choice for doing the whole house and adding the pressure tank, or just a pump start for irrigation only. FWIW, I would invest the $50 you would spend on a good pump start toward your pressure tank and help the house water out at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bic, how about this unit just after the water meter in the basement?
http://www.aquascience.net/daveypump.htm
Seems to have everything. This way I can increase the pressure of the whole house without worrying about negative pressure if I just did the sprinklers. The sprinklers are run on a pipe that goes through the house so that's my concern.

I should also mention 45 psi is measured 10 ft from the meter. I have no idea what it is at the sprinkler head after it travels through valves and 100ft of pipe...........

Thanks!
J.
 

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I would have to agree that I think you could spend less money buying the pieces seperately. The rig you link to has a control valve that seems very similar to the cycle stop valves we discussed in another thread. If the Davey pump your link goes to is your choice, I would be tempted to move up to the 1hp pump. $41 extra for 1 horse vs 1/2 horse is cheap, and with the control valve setup they are including, the possiblity of the pump cycling in your setup seems extremely remote. This setup, with only a 2gal pressure tank would have to be a lot more compact than what I would normaly expect. I would have envisioned a pressure tank of 20-40 gallons. Again, this is for the household use, not actually for the sprinkler system. The sprinkler system demand should cause continous pump operation. Also, the $75 installation kit doesn't look like to bad a deal.
 

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About pressure loss from static to your heads.........A good rule of thumb is #15. We could do all the math, but a loss of 15 will get you close.
 

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You do save space with a rig like that, compared to a separate pump and tank, and you will get a good high-pressure shower.

With the separate pump and tank, if you get conservative in your tank selection, with an eye to preventing short-cycling of the booster pump, you can wind up with quite a large tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have about 10'x10' of space if necessary but would like to keep it as compact as possible. I like the Davey option since it's all in one package that is easy to install. I'm not a plumbing expert so if anyone wants to spend the time to find the parts I need online I'd be extremely thankful. I'd be willing to put a 40 gallon take and pump system together I just don't know exactly all the parts I need. Ideally I'd like something that isn't too loud when the pump is running.

What is the purpose of a larger tank? Would the Davey system be adequate for my entire house? There is only 2 people in the house so the largest demand we have is the sprinkler.

Again, I truly appreciate everyone's input.

J.
 

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The pressure tank in a system is there to provide storage so the pump doesn't start and stop or "cycle". Most fixtures in your house are going to use less than 5 gallons per minute. A 20 gallon pressure tank w/ an air bladder is going to provide around 40 gallons of equivallent storage or 8 minutes of draw down at 5gpm. So, you have some of those 8 minutes in storage when you turn the fixture on, You then have three or four minutes of storage recovery while your fixture is still open. Then the pressure switch cuts out. Now you have a full 8 minutes before the pump will kick on again. If you have something that will be running like this for an hour or two, you have a problem, but you can fill a sink/bathtub or take a shower in one or two cycles easy. If you are worried, a 40 gallon tank w/ air bladder would more than double these times.

The Davey pump setup works differently. They have included a control valve that will keep the pump running if you have more than .5gpm of water moving. They have included a 2 gal tank (no solid numbers here, but probably 5 gallons of draw down) to allow for you drawing a glass of water, the ice maker kicking on, etc. In other words short bursts from your fixtures. The link says the factory startup setting is 44psi, but the min. start setting is 17psi. If you set the pump to to a min start below your avg static pressure, the pump wouldn't even kick in unless you were running the irrigation or a high output fixture like the tub or shower. Davey is a good brand. I have no real experience with this control valve that is the key to everything working correctly. I think I would be tempted to try it if it were for me personally. If I were installing for a customer and had to stand behind it no matter what, I would be installing a pump and tank.
 

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My numbers are going to be a bit different, but I'm taking them right from the looseleaf binder I got from the manufacturer (Goulds) and I am calculating from a worst-possible situation for cycling, which is maximum flow. Since most half-horsepower pumps can push more water than the meter can supply, cycling is a distinct possibility.

The purpose of a larger tank, when combined with an ordinary jet pump with a pressure switch only, is to guarantee a minimum time between the pump starts. I would look for at least two minutes between starts. Since you can easily get 10 gpm through that water meter, you end up looking for a pressure tank with a drawdown of 20 gallons. With a standard pressure switch differential of 20 psi (say cut in at 40 psi, and cut out at 60 psi) that gives you an 85 gallon tank.

Without any cycle-stop valve in the system, you get full pump power pushing water. Also, you get to buy the pump and tank from local trusted suppliers. A local well and pump supplier may also sell an equivalent to that Davey setup.

Face it, there's more work and head-scratching to do the separate pump and tank, but it is the way that substandard pressure is dealt with in areas with too-low water pressure, when made part of the original home construction. You might also find a tank with a pump-mounting platform on top. An 85 gallon tank can be about 4 feet high and 2 feet in diameter.
 

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I don't think the pump is going to cycle in your worst case scenario. 10gpm at 40psi is going to equate to a gmp at 60psi the pump isn't going to reach. 1/2 hp pump is not going to pump much over 10gpm at pressure. Gould doesn't give booster rates, but w/ 5' of suction discharge on a 1/2hp is 10gpm at 40 psi and only 5 gpm at 50. Even if we move up to a 1hp pump at 60 psi, we drop down to less than 10gpm at the min list suction of 5'. I don't install pressure tanks on a regular basis. I do a lot of irrigation only boosters and I size the pump instead of adding a pressure tank. Most of the time, when I am dealing w/ a pressure tank, it is someone else's design and install. I see a lot of huge tanks on old systems. Most of them have a shrader valve on top to re-initiate air. Biggest problem w/ these tanks is the homeowner not re-charging the tank. I don't see many bladder tanks over 40-50 gallons. And the more I look at it, the more I like the Davey setup, IF it works.
 

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The worst case scenario might be the homeowner's rat bastard kid turning on the sprinkler system until the pump turns on, then immediately turning off the system, until the pump shuts off by way of the pressure switch. Whereupon the process is repeated. Ad nauseum. I'll never say it couldn't happen. I can select a tank that can protect the pump in such an extreme circumstance. It will then protect in all other circumstances. And if the pump is covered by my guarantee, in the whole-house pressure-boosting scenario, the tank will give it a two minute rest between starts. Minimum. No matter what.

A half horse pump can easily push more than 10 gpm, and I see a few of Goulds' that will boost a 15 gpm flow by 30 psi. If you were looking at the possibility of a negative pressure in the supply line, you could even favor the use of a one-third-horsepower pump, which actually does top out at a 10 gpm flow. I have seen half-horse booster pumps in sprinkler systems (not whole-house booster systems) that created negative pressure in the house. Open a faucet, and it's sucking air. And I don't even want to think about one-piece toilets in that house.

Personally, I'd rather try to run a system at low pressure, than to add booster pumps, unless there was no possible choice.

I think the oldest equivalent to the Davey system (that I can remember) was Jacuzzi's Aqua Genie. Same principle, but probably more pressure loss.
 
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