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Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter

Boosting municipal water pressure.

Been mulling over idea to boost water pressure in my house, as it flat out sucks. Was looking around Lowes the other day for something to help and an associate had an idea (dangerous, i know).

»www.lowes.com/pd_320436-15649-PP···%20pumps

He was talking about one of these, with a 40/60 switch on it, except instead of hooking up a well head to the inlet, running the utility line in to feed it and have it act like a booster to the system. In all honesty it sounds like the wrong tool for the job being it is a well pump, but at the same time it is meant to pressure a house water system, as it is a well pump, and with the pressure tank and limit switch it would basically be acting just like it would with a well, except have a pressurized input line.

Any suggestion as to if this would work or even be a good idea. Hell, any suggestions at all on how to remedy this issue would be appreciated, as right now I'm tired of my horrible pressure.


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

1 edit

Should be fine.

It fact, I know someone who lives in an area slightly outside of town where they get municipal water but it is intentionally a low-pressure service not like what you get in the city. Every house in that area has a pump and tank setup to boost the incoming water pressure. They are the same pumps used for well water. Low pressure water main goes through a check valve and into the pump.

Having a pressurized inlet is not a problem. If the incoming water pressure returns to normal levels the pump will simply not have to run. Due to the way jet pumps operate, water can flow with minimal restriction even when the pump is not running.



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Killa200

If your water pressure is low, do you think you have enough supply for this to work?
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ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
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said by AVD:

If your water pressure is low, do you think you have enough supply for this to work?

I would start by opening a full-port valve just past the meter and seeing how long it takes to fill a 5-gallon bucket. You can convert that to GPM.

In highrises you will see "Constant Pressure Modules" which are just pumps on the domestic lines with valves and a matrix of pipes to ensure that there's enough water being delivered all the way to the top.

The downside of a CPM is that you have to make sure your existing plumbing can handle the increased pressure, because if it can't, you will have an increased mess to clean up!

I am in no way connected to this company, but you should check out what they offer and compare it to your solution and their competition. Good luck to you.
»www.wellmanager.com/municipalrel···eeds.htm
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AVD
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Premium
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Onion, NJ
kudos:1

said by ArgMeMatey:

In highrises you will see "Constant Pressure Modules" which are just pumps on the domestic lines with valves and a matrix of pipes to ensure that there's enough water being delivered all the way to the top.

that's different because the supply pressure can't reach the top floor, but the flow should be there.
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ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
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said by AVD:

said by ArgMeMatey:

In highrises you will see "Constant Pressure Modules" which are just pumps on the domestic lines with valves and a matrix of pipes to ensure that there's enough water being delivered all the way to the top.

that's different because the supply pressure can't reach the top floor, but the flow should be there.

Sloppy language on my part. I should have differentiated between pressure and volume: "... to ensure that there's enough water pressure at the top of the building".

I was simply saying that if the pipe size allows for enough volume, the cause of the pressure drop doesn't matter. Does it? Whether due to distance (friction loss) from the pumping station or the elevation of the outlet, you still have to boost the pressure.

We already know there's not enough pressure, so the OP needs to check the volume to see what he's got to work with. If there's not enough volume, a larger lateral may be needed. I think we agree on this; I just didn't state it overtly.
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Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to Killa200

I've had decent luck with these....

»ayboosters.com/

Of course, YMMV



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

said by Zach1:

I've had decent luck with these....

»ayboosters.com/

Of course, YMMV

I'm not familiar with that manufacturer but like you I was going to suggest an inline booster pump. The well pumps other people have been talking about may work but they are designed for something to put the different. The constant pressure modules certainly will work on are probably more sophisticated than you need for your home.

Here's another website that might help: »www.pressurebooster.com/

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Killa200

I have a Grundfos pump which I use for a different purpose but it is designed also for this. Grundfos manufacturers some of the best pumps worldwide. This pump is an all in one unit with built in pressure switch and pressure tank. Here is a link to one on eBay

»cgi.ebay.com/Grundfos-MQ3-35-Boo···b2cf1659



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to Killa200

My parents have one of these in their house:

»www.amtrol.com/pressuriser.html



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

I have a Grundfos pump which I use for a different purpose but it is designed also for this. Grundfos manufacturers some of the best pumps worldwide. This pump is an all in one unit with built in pressure switch and pressure tank. Here is a link to one on eBay

»cgi.ebay.com/Grundfos-MQ3-35-Boo···b2cf1659

For something like this I think you would be better off buying it from a local supplier instead of off of eBay. A local supplier would be able to work with you to ensure you purchase the right unit and would be available for ongoing support if required.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

I'm sure the OP can find a local supplier for Grundfos or another online supplier if they wish. I just linked to eBay because it happened to be faster at the time. Grundfos only makes a couple of these booster pumps so there is not much "product selection" needed. The pump works great and is designed as a residential booster pump. I haven't needed any "local support" in the five years I've had mine. Grundfos make high quality pumps (unlike what is found at Lowes, etc).



rockotman
...Blown On The Steel Breeze
Emerging Research
join:2000-08-06
DSotM
kudos:2
reply to Killa200

Does your incoming line have a pressure regulator on it?




If so, try adjusting your pressure there, first.
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Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Killa200

ArgMeMatey, I can do a test with a 5 gallon bucket, but the closest place I can test is at the outside spicket on the house, which is after the regulator in my case. not that it would really matter I guess, since regulator wouldn't even be kicking in. I do know the line that feeds the house from the meter is 3/4 inch schedule 40 though, so there should be enough pipe for the volume I'm looking in the house, it's just that the lift station at the bottom of the hill is not getting it up there with enough pressure.

Rocketman, I do have a regulator, but im not even getting enough pressure for it to do anything besides sit there and look pretty. Adjusting it hasn't done anything though just to make sure that was it. neighbors on both sides of me have the same complaints as well.



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

1 recommendation

Before you drop any dough, you need to know the facts.

Check the pressure with a hose mount gauge, 50psi is typically the minimum for city water. Then run cold water somewhere else in the house. If you have more than a 25-30 psi drop, you have an issue with the main, possibly crushed.

If you have 50 or less psi, the regulator should be removed. I`d be bitchin at the water company.. for sure.

You can also remove the flow restrictors from your faucets and showerheads. this will improve flow.

can you take a pic of your water service?

-j
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The E
Please allow me to retort
Premium
join:2002-05-26
Burnaby, BC
reply to rockotman

deleted (redundant)



Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to tp0d

said by tp0d:

Before you drop any dough, you need to know the facts.

Check the pressure with a hose mount gauge, 50psi is typically the minimum for city water. Then run cold water somewhere else in the house. If you have more than a 25-30 psi drop, you have an issue with the main, possibly crushed.

If you have 50 or less psi, the regulator should be removed. I`d be bitchin at the water company.. for sure.

You can also remove the flow restrictors from your faucets and showerheads. this will improve flow.

can you take a pic of your water service?

-j

I do have one of gauges actually, and had been watching the house pressure due to this issue. Generally pressure sits around 40 psi, and drops to around 20 - 25 psi with a fixture on in the house. So it sounds like it truly is running low. Bitching at water company hasn't done any good thus far, so I figured I'd take it into my own hands.

Will grab some pictures when I get home for ya.

scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to Killa200

Jeese - even my well doesn't get that low - 30-50 PSI.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
reply to Killa200

Sure sounds like a restriction in the line.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to scooper

said by scooper:

Jeese - even my well doesn't get that low - 30-50 PSI.

I set my pump at 35 on 50 off.

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to SparkChaser

said by SparkChaser:

Sure sounds like a restriction in the line.

+1

To OP:

Many regulators have inlet screens. Have you removed the regulator and checked for obstructions? Enough dirt/debris (water-main break?) could explain why you and several neighbors are having problems.


Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Killa200

said by Zach1:

said by SparkChaser:

Sure sounds like a restriction in the line.

+1

To OP:

Many regulators have inlet screens. Have you removed the regulator and checked for obstructions? Enough dirt/debris (water-main break?) could explain why you and several neighbors are having problems.

Hmm, now that hadn't I hadn't thought about. Main breaks haven't really been an issue from what I have been told, BUT cut ins for new meters have been, as there has been a history of the water being shut off for the cut. Probably just as bad to stir up crap. Will have to pull the regulator today and see... Hell can't hurt and if that fixes it, cost is my time lol.


Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Killa200

Click for full size
Click for full size
Finally got home. Checked the flow from the outside faucet on the house, got 5gpm. Just for fun I increased the regulator's allowable pressure by one full turn and tested the flow again, and got the exact same results. Haven't looked at the pressure today as I left my gauge at my parents house from where I was comparing pressure between here and there. Pictures posted as promised.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1

I doubt this will do any good but it has to be looked at simply because it's there: Open up the check valve on the meter outlet and make sure it's not jammed partially closed and working freely.
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ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to Killa200

said by Killa200:

Bitching at water company hasn't done any good thus far, so I figured I'd take it into my own hands.

Just curious ... what do they say? Do they have any kind of standard (their own or PSC requirement) for minimum GPM at a given pressure, however that is quantified?


Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to Killa200

Only standard they offer is the minimum required levels of cleaning of the water and mineral / toxin levels that the state requires them to maintain. No offers or guarantees about minimum pressure or gpm. Im basically getting a "well thats just the way it has been and is" type answer from anyone that listens.



AVD
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Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

ask the water company to do a valve check. Might be they forgot to open something up.
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Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to Killa200

said by Killa200:

Only standard they offer is the minimum required levels of cleaning of the water and mineral / toxin levels that the state requires them to maintain. No offers or guarantees about minimum pressure or gpm. Im basically getting a "well thats just the way it has been and is" type answer from anyone that listens.

I'd check your state regulations and/or AWWA Waterworks Standards. There is a minimum PSI in the WS, at least.

In California, CCR, Title 22, there is a minimum PSI.

quote:
§64602. Minimum Pressure.
(a) Each distribution system shall be operated in a manner to assure that the minimum operating pressure in the water main at the user service line connection throughout the distribution system is not less than 20 pounds per square inch at all times.

(b) Each new distribution system that expands the existing system service connections by more than 20 percent or that may otherwise adversely affect the distribution system pressure shall be designed to provide a minimum operating pressure throughout the new distribution system of not less than 40 pounds per square inch at all times excluding fire flow.
Also: »www.awwa.org/files/Partnership/D···view.pdf

Are you on true city water or on a mutual small water system?
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Killa200
Premium
join:2005-12-02
Southeast TN
Reviews:
·Charter

said by Gbcue:

Are you on true city water or on a mutual small water system?

True city water, provided by and paid to the city that i am just outside the city limits of. They elected to put in a pump station within city limits at the foot of the hill and pump water up to our subdivision.


Gbcue
Premium
join:2001-09-30
Santa Rosa, CA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Oh, so you're at the top of a hill. Note, if you do put a booster pump, the city will require you to put a backflow prevention device on your line to their main and have it tested annually.
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