Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Reduced Water Volume?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Reduced Water Volume?

    We've been in the 1984 vintage house since 2002. Low water volume has been an issue since the beginning. We're on our own well. The well guys came out; plenty of water volume from the pump at the well house, but they found a significant build up of minerals at the main shut off valve. With that replaced, we had some improvement but we still can't run two showers at the same time effectively.

    Minerals are mostly manganese and a small amount of iron ... not enough to require a water softener.

    Assuming that there may be additional mineral build ups in the house pipes, the well guys discussed the possibility of "blowing out" the water pipes and then noted the risk of pipe damage. That didn't give me warm and fuzzy feelings.

    What alternatives might you fellows offer?

  • #2
    Re: Reduced Water Volume?

    Clean out the shower heads and aerators. Pull stems and cartridges and clean them. Clean the angle stops under the sinks and behind toilets.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Reduced Water Volume?

      Is it on both hot and cold or are you low on one and not the other,

      where is the pressure tank? (is the volume good at that point, and leaving it).

      what size of water pipe in the house? from well to pressure tank? from pressure tanks to the house?

      are all valves open? check valves not opening up correctly.

      and what is the well pump rated for, in gallons a min?

      does the water have minerals in it, do you have lime or mineral build up on showers and around the faucets or any place water can set?

      what type of pipe is going to the house?

      what is the pressure like? does the pressure drop or just the volume?

      filter system?

      what type of shower heads, and number of them in the shower? (in other words if running correctly how many gallons a min flows throught the shower head/heads)?

      If I am reading your post correctly you can take one shower at either location OK but not at both locations, ( how are the showers situated, back to back or opposite ends of the house?)

      is it just the showers, or is it with any water using appliance, washer clothes/shower toilet/ shower, watering some thing with a hose/shower

      when the well is running does it run for a period of time then shut off and then start back up or does it run in really short bursts on, off, on, off, in very short intervals?

      IS this a NEW problem or is it always been this way since it was built? there are a number of things that could be the problem, or a contribution to a problem.
      Last edited by BHD; 06-29-2009, 02:25 PM.
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Reduced Water Volume?

        we have a well also. house built in 1947. copper. like you we had bad pressure. i repiped (totally with cpvc and pex) it in the nighties. better but still 2 bad showers. well i know the plumber (sometimes i wished i didn't). so the nice guy that i am, i replaced the pump. i put in a 1 hp pump. it pumps right at 2 times as much water as a 3/4 hp. the guys at the supply house tryed to talk me out of it, but they didn't. at that time it was $25.00 more, i had ampacity to run it. we can take 2 showers and flush the stools without scolding or ruining someones shower.............. how big is your pump? how did the well guys measure the volume? you need a measured container and a stop watch of some kind. "5 gal buckets" don't hold 5 gal. take the "5 gal bucket" and pour 4 measured gal in. now mark the wall of bucket. time filling 5 times. throw out high and low. average middle three. that is what you pump puts out. if you want to post numbers i will figure it out for you....................1984 house, eh. ok , i have seen 6 gpm shower heads before. take your bucket in and time showers one at a time. keep a record of this. you are going to have some loss from pump to house. please don't buy anything until you figure your pump output and usage..........if you just have to buy something buy a couple water saver shower heads. install and time them. turn both showers on and see what happens..............we like alot of water. somebody who shall remain nameless drilled out both heads. lots of water and they are pulsaters also..............my uneducated guess is that the pump will not push 2 heads unless you have water savers and maybe not then..........well drillers can treat your piping to clean it sometimes it works or not. breid

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Reduced Water Volume?

          Thanks for your willingness to help! I tried to answer your questions below:

          Is it on both hot and cold or are you low on one and not the other, It is a problem for both hot and cold.

          where is the pressure tank? (is the volume good at that point, and leaving it). The pressure tank is out in the well house. The well specialists verified that it was operating properly and maintaining pressure.

          what size of water pipe in the house? from well to pressure tank? from pressure tanks to the house? The pipe is all copper; 7/8" O.D.. Thats the supply from the well into the house and within the house.

          are all valves open? check valves not opening up correctly. Yep ... all are open.

          and what is the well pump rated for, in gallons a min? I don't recall, but the well guys measured the amps and the output and said it was suitable for a two bath house and that we ought to be able to run three main water users at a time.

          does the water have minerals in it, do you have lime or mineral build up on showers and around the faucets or any place water can set? Tests showed some manganese and a small amount of iron. We get a little black ring in the toilet bowls and some build up on shower heads. But the tests didn't suggest amounts that would indicate the need for a water softener.

          what type of pipe is going to the house? Copper.

          what is the pressure like? does the pressure drop or just the volume? When I first described the problem to the well guy, I said "pressure" and he suggested volume. When I thought about the characteristics, I think volume is the issue. The well guys also found a significant mineral blockage at the main shut off valve out at the well house. Hence my suspicion that one or more other points of restriction may have built up in the system.

          filter system? None.

          what type of shower heads, and number of them in the shower? (in other words if running correctly how many gallons a min flows through the shower head/heads)? I replaced these when we bought the house in 2002. They are just standard heads; not the huge ones.

          If I am reading your post correctly you can take one shower at either location OK but not at both locations, ( how are the showers situated, back to back or opposite ends of the house?) The house is a ranch; water enters at one end and runs the length. Any major water consuming activity (washing machine, dish washer, shower, outside watering, etc.) will significantly reduce water flow at any other outlet.

          is it just the showers, or is it with any water using appliance, washer clothes/shower toilet/ shower, watering some thing with a hose/shower. (See above)

          when the well is running does it run for a period of time then shut off and then start back up or does it run in really short bursts on, off, on, off, in very short intervals? The pump runs pretty normally; longer intervals ... not the rapid off and on that indicates a pump motor problem.

          IS this a NEW problem or is it always been this way since it was built? there are a number of things that could be the problem, or a contribution to a problem. We bought the house in 2002, but it was built in 1884. We've experienced the problems since moving in. We had the well guys out last year and they did all their testing and found the major constriction in the main shut off valve (which reduced the inside diameter by probably 1/2 to 2/3rds.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Reduced Water Volume?

            I would guess a restriction some where as well,
            the pipe should be able to support the water needs of the two showers, if there not huge heads, just normal,
            but like Breid said it would not hurt to check the water out put on them,
            minimal wells are usually rated with a 5 gallon a min pump
            better with a 10 gallon some up to 15, (there are of course larger units but some locations the codes do not allow it),

            the pump is not short cycling, (if the pressure tank is water logged or damaged the pump will short cycle), doubt that is the problem here from your statement,

            if you have any trees or if your supply pipe is close to the surface of the ground, (I have seen this on lawn irrigation pipe, a root can expand and squeeze it off), pipe like poly pipe is more prone to this than other, but soft copper would not fair much better,
            if it is not very deep and under a drive way the line may be crushed or smashed.

            since it is on both the hot and cold I would not suspect a Hot water heater issue, have seen some times the drop tube come apart and plug or enter the out line,

            mineral can build up on the inside of pipe and I have seen it just choose one just one fitting and built up on only that, (re piped my mothers house on the hot water side, was galvanized and had a volume problem on the hot (copper coming off the hot water heater for about 3 feet, so I replaced all the galvanized pipe and it was not any better, the Die electric coupling had built up with minerals and nearly shut off the line took it out and repaired and had great flow.
            so one may need to just go on a scavenger hunt and start to check the valves and any other different metals or materials in the line for mineral build up,

            (since you reasonable sure your OK from the well house to the house, I (even if it meant cutting into the line and putting a tee and valve) at the well house and check the volume per min, and then do it as or near where it enters the house, and check again and it should be very close, to the same, (yes you will get a little friction loss in the pipe but it should not be only a few percent), if there is a major difference there you probably have a problem with the line coming to the house. and there one would have to dig and replace or see if one can find the bad spot and replace that section,

            if volume is good in the house, and your piping is 3/4 pipe on all major runs (if it drops down to 1/2 your going to be hard pressed to have a full flow if you have much usage, in my experience, unless you have real water saver heads.

            your last statement is probably your answer in that you have had one build up of (guessing minerals) in a valve, I would look at the same location and at others,

            I would say one is going to have to start to disassemble some pipe and see what the inside looks like, and checking flow rates at various locations to see where the restriction is, (IF THE PUMP IS CAPABLE OF SUPPLYING THE NEEDED WATER IN THE FIRST PLACE).

            many times people complain about pressure on well systems, and pressure if not really the issue it is that the well can not provide the volume of water desired,

            one of my relatives live on a well system and the other party that lived in the same farm yard had a large garden and she was alway griping about the water pressure, so she went in the the well house and turned up the pressure switch, yes static pressure was some thing like 60+ pounds but when the others turned on the hose to the garden, she would still lose pressure (it was the well pump could not support the volume of water that was desired),

            I would do some more checks (as breid suggested), and measure the flow, if the flow at the well house is X amount per gallon,

            just a estimate guess, but if you have say two 3 gallon a min, shower heads you would need 8 to 12 gallons a min, to not see any major reduction and even then you may see some reduction, for example if you only had 6 gallons a min that would only supply the heads at 0 pressure (there would be some pressure but not much), to build up pressure one needs restriction, so the excess water is pushing against the restriction,

            that just made me think of some thing else,

            if you have hose bibs or adapt to a 3/8 line so one can hook it on some shut off valves, take a pressure gage and check where the pressure,
            when running the showers are running, at the well house, near where it enters the house, and if possible at other locations, if you have Higher pressure at the well house and then near where it enters the house and then lose it closer to the shower then I would guess your restriction is some where between the higher and the lower pressure area when the water is running.


            I know I am repeating my self,
            1. I would make sure the well can support the volume desired,
            2. I would check the main line to the house and valves etc for damage or mineral build up etc,

            saying the well guys are correct you have good volume at the well and pressure tank but by the time you get to the house your fighting for volume, it would lead me to suspect between the well house and the house, or just entering the house,
            out side watering will tax the water supply of a well fairly good as most can flow nearly 10 gallons a min on a open hydrant, or nearly the capacity of many of the normal pumps,

            but if the supply lines in the house have dropped down to 1/2 pipe your going to fight for volume between major water users any way,

            I think your just going to have play detective,
            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
            attributed to Samuel Johnson
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Reduced Water Volume?

              by the way i forgot to say that if you have bad pressure on both sides hot and cold, check volume at cold inlet to water heater against well. if it's a cold only problem, why dink with the hot side until you need to? by doing that you isolate out a lot. think twice cut once. be a detective like bhd says.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Reduced Water Volume?

                Thanks again, guys!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Reduced Water Volume?

                  Originally posted by BHD View Post
                  Is it on both hot and cold or are you low on one and not the other,

                  where is the pressure tank? (is the volume good at that point, and leaving it).

                  what size of water pipe in the house? from well to pressure tank? from pressure tanks to the house?

                  are all valves open? check valves not opening up correctly.

                  and what is the well pump rated for, in gallons a min?

                  does the water have minerals in it, do you have lime or mineral build up on showers and around the faucets or any place water can set?

                  what type of pipe is going to the house?

                  what is the pressure like? does the pressure drop or just the volume?

                  filter system?

                  what type of shower heads, and number of them in the shower? (in other words if running correctly how many gallons a min flows throught the shower head/heads)?

                  If I am reading your post correctly you can take one shower at either location OK but not at both locations, ( how are the showers situated, back to back or opposite ends of the house?)

                  is it just the showers, or is it with any water using appliance, washer clothes/shower toilet/ shower, watering some thing with a hose/shower

                  when the well is running does it run for a period of time then shut off and then start back up or does it run in really short bursts on, off, on, off, in very short intervals?

                  IS this a NEW problem or is it always been this way since it was built? there are a number of things that could be the problem, or a contribution to a problem.
                  The question I like most here is ( dose the pressure or the Volume drop ) checking this first can save a lot of time

                  Comment

                  Working...
                  X