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Low water pressure from well
I have 3 problems to address:

1-My husband & I live on a mountain in the Poconos. He has been in this house since 1986 & I, since 1992. We have a problem with water pressure & air in the lines. We have our own well. It usually gets worse after or during rain but lately it happens in dry weather too. It's mostly the cold water pressure. We'll turn it on & get water, air, spitting of water & air & sometimes just air. Then sometimes it will work fine for weeks.

Confused Is it possible that our pressure tank is too small? There are only the two of us living here. This even happens first thing in the morning before any water has been used. There is one bathroom. We don't have a dishwasher yet but would like to get one next year. Roll Eyes Can this system handle it? The house was built in the 1960s.

2-There is also a problem with banging & long, loud noise after a flush of the toilet. (Sounding like air in it). And a new "sediment" in the bowl in just a few days. Eeker

3-Also, the water doesn't fill the bowl more than a few inches without holding the handle halfway down. Could that be the length of the chain to the flapper in the tank? We have our own in ground septic system that we have pumped every few years. We also use Rid-X, about 4 times a year in the toilet.

If anyone has any suggestions as to the causes & solutions of any or all of these problems, PLEASE tell me. Confused


Posts: 7 | Location: Albrightsville, PA | Registered: 09 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of jackorange
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hi rusty-

i'm the other low water pressure poster and i'll offer what meager help i can..being on a well, in a mountainous area, with a storage tank inline makes yours a considerably more complex problem than mine..this board has some very knowledgable and helpful posters however, so you should get more ignorance might spur that.

anyway, air in your system is beyond me..if the water level in the aquifer you're drawing from is dropping, you could pump air, i presume..your tank could also be allowing air in, but i've no real idea how to determine the source of air..sometimes wellheads and tanks have a "sniffer valve", which allows aire in to prevent a vacuum, but won't allow air out..a sniffer malfunction could cause problems..wet weather, imo, should have no effect..your hot water is the same as cold, except it goes thru your water idea why hot has less air..if you don't know any local plumbers, go to the hardware store with the most plumbing supplies and ask for plumber recommendations.

the banging is likely a function of the same air's called water can purchase water "shock absorbers" which installed properly, may alleviate the is also possible that your internal plumbing has corroded sufficiently as to prevent an adequate supply to feed the demand..again, a plumber (or someone smarter than me)

and, finally an easy one..yes, the length of the chain is likely the reason your bowl doesn't fill sufficiently to flush properly..fwiw, though now a civil engineer, i plumbed my way through college and dealt frequently with/installed septic systems..rid-x and other yeast/microbial additives (imo and that of many others) do nothing but fatten the wallets of those selling them..there is plenty of food and fuel in a standard septic system to render most additives useless..

best wishes..the competent responses will probably now flood in.
Posts: 10 | Location: south carolina | Registered: 12 May 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi--this is pepper00. you must have clicked the wrong box? Confused
have a good one--pepp Wink
Posts: 3 | Registered: 23 July 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi I live on the other side of the state(Pa) from you and had almost the same problem when I bought this house a few months ago.It bearly passed the water test so I had the local well drilling company come out to check the pump(belive it or not the didnt charge me).The pump and well checked out fine but found excess ruct and sediment.I took the old water softener off and and the extra small presure tank the previous owner had installed I also replace a few line and added a whole house filter ( very easy to install and reasonable price at Lowes).This has mor than doubled my presure so now I am replaceing all the old copper line with PVC (I would love to use the new flex line but the expense is to high)Also I was told that for wells the copper has a tendancey to hold the sediment more so the line clog fast.I dont know if this will help you any but you might try opening a line on the out side of your presure tank and see what it looks like could but just a constipated house (please excusse the spelling errors)
Posts: 2 | Registered: 18 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is Hermitage Pa that would be the last exit on I 80 just befor Ohio and the company was Parker bros from over here. I think if you find some one to test your presure you should have a better ideal of what to fix and it may be alot less expensive then you think.Hope it works out for you
Posts: 2 | Registered: 18 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the information. It's a lot to think about. I guess we will have to call a plumber if we don't get any answers from the hardware store. I'll check with Home Depot to see if they have any ideas too.
I do find it strange that it is only the cold water that does it. When it's happening, I can move over to hot & it stops & if I move back to cold, it starts again. I also find if very strange that it's worse in the rain. This has been happening since my husband bought the house 20 years ago but it's worse now. You would expect rain to add water to the water table for the wells.
The toilet hasn't been as long & much less frequent in the past. Now it's about every 3 or 4 flushes. We also never used to get that thick residue in the bowl. We had the septic tank pumped in early spring this year.
I'm just baffled... It's more annoying than anything but I'm afraid it will bet worse to the point of an expensive repair if we don't take care of it now.
Thanks again for your ideas. I'll let you know if we get it figured out & fixed. I only got one other reply so far. Let me know what you think of his ideas, if you would. I'll try anything at this point but just ran into financial difficulties so $ is a problem.

Posts: 7 | Location: Albrightsville, PA | Registered: 09 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow! That IS the other side of the state! It's like the other side of the world to me!
I'll look into getting someone to check it out. It has us baffled. We can't do any expensive repairs right now or replace pipes. It just isn't in the budget at all. I need a cheap but affective fix.
Thanks again for the ideas to check out.

Posts: 7 | Location: Albrightsville, PA | Registered: 09 August 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Quote by Rusty:
We have a problem with water pressure & air in the lines.

My first question is do you have a backflow preventer (check valve) between the pump discharge at the well head and the tank? There should be one at the pump itself but it's always good practice to have another at the tank to prevent backflow from the house back to the pump. Conceivably you could be getting reverse flow during the night and that's why you get air first thing in the morning. The air is introduced through leaky seals at your faucets and so on. Otherwise any air in the system should eventually be purged through normal water usage.

Is your tank too small? That question is answered by the frequency that the pump cycles during normal water usage. Frequent cycling is a pump killer. I don't have any data on what the optimum cycle frequency is but I'm sure you could find that on a pump manufacturer's web site. You want your pump to come on and stay on fore some finite amount of time, then rest while the tank is being discharged. Short periods of on/off, on/off is not indicative of a properly sized tank. The tank is generally sized by the output of the pump; for example if your pump is sized for 10 gallons a minute then a 30 - 50 gallon tank may be appropriate to have that increased pump turn on and turn off time. And there's nothing wrong with oversizing the tank a bit especially if you incur power outages as this could provide enough storage to wein you through the outage.

Next question is in reference to pressure; When is the last time that you checked and adjusted the pre-charge pressure on the tank? Probably has been a while hasn't it? That could be a culpret but obviously there's enough pressure for the pressure switch to cycle the pump. The tank has an air bladder that the pump has to push against to get water into the tank. The precharge pressure should be a a pound or two less than the cut-on pressure as dictated by the pressure switch.

How old is the tank? Air bladders do fail after 15 years or so of service and possibly sooner.

The very first thing I would do, and this is a fairly easy DIY exercise, is purge the tank and check the pre-charge pressure. If it is low then put enough air back in through the valve stem to get it back to its original setting (1 or 2 psi less than the pressure switch cut on). Wait a bit and check it. Make sure that you have a valve (faucet) on somewhere downstream while doing this. If it appears that it's losing pressure, then it's time for a new tank. If it holds pressure then before cutting the pump back on, go into the house and cut every faucet on (except hot water faucets). Turn the pump back on and allow all the air to bleed out thoughout the house and one by one cut off the faucets. See if that doesn't improve your situation.

Good luck,

Mike C.
Posts: 33 | Location: Ashe Co., NC | Registered: 26 June 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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