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Old 07-16-2019, 07:02 PM   #1
missmybid
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Default Island Home Water Pressure

Hi - I have an island home and the water pressure is not great. It's especially bad if more than one plumbing fixture is being used at one time. Any tips or tricks to increase pressure? We backwash regularly. Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by missmybid View Post
Hi - I have an island home and the water pressure is not great. It's especially bad if more than one plumbing fixture is being used at one time. Any tips or tricks to increase pressure? We backwash regularly. Thanks!
I'm not a plumber (I just act like one), but I think you can attach a pressure tank which will assist in increasing your pressure.

Maybe a true plumber will provide a more detailed response and a better answer.
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:40 PM   #3
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Your shallow well pump motor, a 1/2 or 3/4-hp electric pump should have a pressure guage that is easy to see, and it should cycle from 50 down to 30-psi ..... when the needle gets down to 30-psi ..... the pump turns on and runs until the needle gets back up to 50-psi .... and then shuts off.

About half of all pressure problems are solved by replacing the foot valve at the bottom of the black pvc line, in the lake. The old valve grows a weak spring, and a new foot valve, made of pvc, for about $20 at Lowe's solves the problem. And, the foot valve should be elevated up off the lake bottom with a concrete landscape block and some yellow poly line, to help prevent sand or sediment from getting sucked into the system.

If that all doesn't do the trick ....then start thinking about replacing the old 30 or 40-gal water storage tank ..... they should last for like 20-years .... but not forever.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:18 PM   #4
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foot valve has nothing to do with the pressure in the system rather it prevents the line into the pump from losing it's prime.

This all comes down to what HP your pump has, line diameter, rise of the line from the pump head to the house, where the pressure tank is located, capacity, correct charge and finally how the pressure switch is adjusted. All these factors vary from application to application.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:48 PM   #5
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You might try a different pressure switch. You can get them as a 20/40, 30/50 or 40/60. Another thought is to clear the relay. I found that my pump wasn’t working correctly due to spider webs covering the relay.
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Old 07-16-2019, 08:50 PM   #6
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What type of filter system do you have? My most common culprit for pressure issues.
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:28 AM   #7
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So Maxum and Sundancers have the most informative posts so far. each system is unique, and it hard to help, with out specifics.....

Beyond the pump and other related components, start by making sure all facet filters are clean.... especially if you don't have a filter. Every facet has one, and so does your shower head. They get block pretty easily when drawing lake water, especially if you don't have a filter.

Also look and make sure all control valves are wide open. Some times when you winterize or open the camp these valves don't get fully opened or closed as the case may be.

Last someone mentioned tanks... there are types of tanks... Not all are the same. On an older system you might not have a blader tank... Or you may have a blader tank, with no blader any more because it has been comprimised. Bladder tanks are very important in keeping pressure up.

No despite something that was said, a foot valve can have an effect on things....While its main job is to keep the system primed, what can happen over time, is that it become plugged, and gunked up. What this means is that it is operation, and does it jobs, but there is restricted flow into the system. I actually use a foot valve, that is for the next size line, to ensure flow is always good through the valve. This as some gunk etc. builds up, it doesn't caause much of a problem. Also is the foot valve siting on the lake bottom? if so that can cause problems as well for a variety of reasons... I use a float to help keep mine about a foot off the bottom.....

I help my neighbor all the time with there system.... and enjoy meeting people.... so don't be afraid for help, especially if we where to find out we where in close proximity on the lake.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:25 AM   #8
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If you check everything and don't find a problem you might consider a higher horsepower pump. Many homes have a 1/2 HP shallow well pump. You can upgrade to a 1 HP or even a 1.5 HP. The 1.5 would require 230 volts, however you would easily be able to use more than one fixture at a time.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:30 AM   #9
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Default Is this new?

Is this a new problem, or have you always had low pressure? A lot of the system components described, e.g. pump HP, pressure switch etc all work together, but if one thing was changed it affects all. For example if everything "used to work" and the 3/4 hp pump was replaced with a 1/2 hp pump, that might bring the symptoms you describe. If this has "always" been the standard, maybe the system is undersized for your current level of use? How old is the system/camp? Older systems with iron pipes instead of plastic fill up with rust. How long have you lived there? If you're newer, talk to your neighbors. Almost all islanders learn some plumbing/electrical/carpentry skills.
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Old 07-17-2019, 09:30 AM   #10
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Pentak polypropylene bag filter, supposedly sold at Home Depot, for under $10 seems like a good idea. It goes over the foot valve and keeps silt and small debris from getting sucked up through the foot valve.

Have never used one but could be a good move. Anyone here use one of these Pentak bag filters? Cleaning it on a monthly basis would be nice, which is difficult to do in the winter what with the ice?
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Old 07-17-2019, 10:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missmybid View Post
Hi - I have an island home and the water pressure is not great. It's especially bad if more than one plumbing fixture is being used at one time. Any tips or tricks to increase pressure? We backwash regularly. Thanks!
Is this a recent problem? We've had a lot of rain recently, which has raised the level of the lake significantly.

Over the sunny weekend, heavy boat wakes had churned the newly-raised lake level against sediments washed from driveways and other elevations up-slope.

Presently, lake water is showing marked turbidity near shore, which could be clogging your filter. (And, even after back-flushing, may need periodic replacement anyway).
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