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reworking all the bottom end, questions.

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  • reworking all the bottom end, questions.

    I own a 100 year old home in a small rural town. Don't say galvanized as I have already replaced ALL the pipes with PEX. I am on a well, and septic system. I also have a water cistern. Right now I have to manually switch the pumps (I have 2, 1 flowjunk, and an old piston pump as a back up) between the well and cistern.

    heres the rework.

    I am going to re-plumb the flowjunk (it's a 3/4 HP flowtec) to pump water from the well into the cistern. I will use a float switch to maintain the cistern at 1/2 full, that way I have lots of water even if the well runs dry, and I have a large buffer to hold rain water. (the cistern is huge, about 10' X 8' X 5')

    I would like to install float switches and/or level gauges (like a fule gauge) as well, so any suggestions/link would be appreciated.

    I relation to flow and water pressure. (I understand a fair bit about this due to calculating pressure requirements for flow on fire equipment) I want to have good water flow so I can fill a large tub fast, and spray lots of water with an outside hose. I also want to be able have the shower running, and if some one flushes a toilet, not loose all the water pressure.

    What are the best ways to accomplish this?

    My thoughts are to simply use larger pipe, eg. 3/4 PEX. This will allow better flow.

    The second half is to have more pressure. Right now the pumps run to about 50-52 psi, and kick in when the pressure drops to about 35-40 psi.

    I would think that pumping up to more like 70 psi, and the pumps kicking in around 45 psi would be better. The problem is all the well pumps I have seen max out around 60 psi. And it's painful for them to get their.

    In fire pumps (the pump trucks) you can configure (some) them to run 2 centrifugal pumps in parallel to up the volume of water, or run them in series to up the pressure. Can you do this with centrifugal jet pumps? (like a flowtec) or would this be a waste of time?

    I was thinking I could keep my pressure tanks up to 70-85 psi, and then run a high flow regulator down to say 60 psi to the rest of the house. as long as my pumps can keep the tanks above 60 psi flow pressure, I should have really good steady water pressure. All depending on the pipes and regulator's ability to provide GPH.

    All in all, I can think of about 3 different ways of doing this, I just don't know if one is better then the other, or maybe I am thinking I need way more pressure and flow then I really do.

    Sorry for the long post, I have been thinking about this for over a year now, and no one locally has been able to help. I also do allot of online shopping to get the right products for the job. So if 1 pump will solve all my problems, I am all for it, just give me the link!

    Thanks a ton for your time,

  • #2
    Re: reworking all the bottom end, questions.

    my opinion,

    first you need to know your "maximum flow desired, you said a garden hose, shower, toilet, and a few other items, open flow on a garden hose, what 5 to 10 gallons a min, your shower if it doesn't have restricting heads, could easily be 5 gallons a min, and your toilet, 1 may be 3 depending on some things and if you have the washing machine and dishwasher filling you could be taking another X number of gallons,

    I have seen this on rural systems (well systems especially if there are more than one family living on the place), they run out to the well house to screw up the pressure as the the "Others" are taking all the water, some how thinking it will solve there problem, with the water pressure, the problem is not the pressure but the volume of water able in the first place, they have a 5 GPM or a 10 GPM pump and can not under stand that if the garden sprinklers are going and the washer is going and cattle are drinking and, and, and, that there is no way it can have pressure as there is not the flow of water needed to satisfy the need, with out the volume you can not keep the pressure,

    for short bursts, the pressure tanks can make up the difference for a short time, say the toilet flush, or some one turning on the faucet, to get some water,

    but if you wanting to run garden hoses, and shower and use ever other heavy water user at the same time you will need the volume,

    yes I suppose on could rig up multiple jet pumps with check valves in the out let side that could be pressure regulated on steps, say the first 60/45 the second 43/30, and once the pressure drooped to below 45 the second would kick in and supply volume,

    I think if it was me, I would consider a different pump than a jet pump, and use some thing like a 15 to 20 GPM submersible pump and then about 100 gallons of captive air pressure tanks, you would have a volume of (depending on your choice, 15 gallons or 20 gallons a min of water flow from the pump, (do to the turbine design and multiple stages you can have high pressure, (I think they make a out of the water horizontal style pump using the turbine, type of pump, normally called a booster pump, it would need a flow of water to it most likely can not pull a vacuum like a jet), (some are desigend for pressure and some are for volume).

    the jet pump do to the type of pump it is usually tops out at 60 psi and in the process the volume drops rapidly as it nears it peak pressures,

    the submersible type of pump depending on what one wants, can pump great pressures, as some are capable of pumping from up to a 1000 feed deep which just to get to the surface they would have pumped about 400 psi at that point and then if you have a 60/40 pressure switch and a pressure tank the pump would have had to pump about 470 psi to meet that need, (not saying yo want a pump that can pump 500 psi but if you want a high volume and pressure, a submersible pump will allow you to meet that requirement were a jet pump will probably not,
    (website is for information only, not a endorsement or a recommendation,)

    but if it was me I would keep the pressure in the 50/30 range, the higher static pressure s is just hard on things, IMO,

    the another idea is to set up two water systems one for out side watering and one for the buildings,

    I would be less concerned about upping your pressure and increase your volume,
    and if your going to run new lines run a 1" main line (a garden hose is 5/8 inside diameter), the larger line will carry more water and less resistance as well),
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    • #3
      Re: reworking all the bottom end, questions.

      I follow what you are saying about pump designs. I do not have multiple watered outbuildings. So 1 water system will be fine.

      The cistern, which is going to be the primary source for water, is at the same level as the tanks and pumps, (6 foot basement) so the only head pressure is going to be up to the second level, but we are only talking 10-15 psi drop total.

      As far as PSI goes, 60/40 is enough? Most of my taps, etc. are flow restricting as to save water. But like you said, garden hose, cloths/dish washer, and toilets are high demand, but short period. The problem is when the shower is running, the tanks have been "depleted" and you are running on pump pressure.

      As far as GPH demand in the house goes, I have a softener and UV light setup so I can not exceed the UV lights GPH with out risking "the bad stuff" in the water. I will double check what that is and then shoot for that.

      I guess what I am looking for is a pump or setup that will give me a flow pressure of about 50 PSI at X GPH. Or is 50 PSI to much?

      I agree that static pressure is hard on things.

      Thanks for your input.


      • #4
        Re: reworking all the bottom end, questions.

        I am away from the house right now, and all I can find on the web is it is between 8 to 32 gpm. (the UV light) I think I remember it being either 10, 15, or 20 GPM. I am hoping for 20 GPM.

        I think what my question should be is, what is a good flow pressure? and static pressure?


        • #5
          Re: reworking all the bottom end, questions.

          i think you are way over engineering this. i have a 60' well with a myers 1 hp shallow pump. 2" i think. i'm not digging it up to find out. myers is what my supply house sells. we can take two showers with pulsating heads at once. that is with well. you are pumping out of cistern. you will have very little head. you need to do as bhd says. measure water flow at each port. use a bucket for 60 sec. i use a "5 gal bucket" that i have premarked. most aren't 5 gal. make a written list. total. if it was me i would put in a 1 hp shallow well pump. hook it all up and try it. if you come up short add a 2 nd pump and split system. if you are pumping well dry a sub pump will not help. in fact you will burn it right up. you will not able to use a sub pump in a cistern. not for long. you have about 1200 gal of water in cistern. if you usage is more you will need to raise water level. do your math first. breid..........


          • #6
            Re: reworking all the bottom end, questions.

            Breid, I will do the test to check water flow. As far as the raising the water level. I will also have my well feeding into the cistern, it is a dug well and about 9' deep and about 5' diameter, it feeds pretty good, but does dry up the odd time. By keeping the cistern always at least half full (or more) I will have water in the reserve so to speak.

            I have never run the cistern dry in less then a week, so good there.

            It is just that I am re-doing this now, and I would like to do it once. The hacked together setup now (how it was when I bought) has needed attention more then a few times.