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1. If I have low water pressure in my well, can I use Herculan Constaboost™ to boost the pressure?
Question: I have a well and my water pressure is low. Can I use a wall mounted Herculan ConstaBoost™ to boost the pressure? It would be really great to have constant pressure!
Answer: There are a number of reasons that pressure may be poor in a plumbing system supplied by a well. If your pressure was pretty good and it is poor now, then there are a few possibilities:
- The well screen is clogging: ask your driller if your well has a well screen.
- There is a problem with the pump: it is old and bearing or impeller wear is reducing its ability to deliver.
- The pump intake screen is clogged from mineral or biological build-up.
- There is a check valve in the drop pipe or by the pressure tank that is jammed part way open.
- Newly installed treatment equipment or filters may be undersized or clogged.
- There may be a hole in the pipe down the well.
If you have a well and your water pressure has always been poor, the chances are that the well yield is not adequate to supply your plumbing system. Well drillers will usually put the largest pump that they feel comfortable within the well because they know you value performance, and that the last thing you want is to run out of water. If your well has a low yield and the well pump is too large, it will remove water from the well faster than water is coming into the well. If an over-sized pump runs for any length of time, the well may be pumped empty and you will run out of water.
If you install the wall mounted Herculan ConstaBoost™ and connect it directly to the well line, it will boost the performance of your system because it will work in conjunction with your well pump to remove water from the well faster (and provide more pressure). The result will be the same as putting too large a pump in the well: high performance for a short time, and then NO WATER.
If the water pressure on your well system has always been poor or has become so as the result of drought, install a Well Manager® or a Herculan ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System and you will get the constant pressure and ample supply you’re looking for.
2. When the temperature is hot my water pressure is low, but when it is cold the pressure is okay. Can I set the Herculan ConstaBoost™ on a hot-water-only setting?
Question: My water pressure on the cold-water side is pretty good but on the hot side it is terrible. I can’t turn on any other hot water faucet in the house when I’m in the shower. Can I put a wall mounted Herculan ConstaBoost™ on the hot water only?
Answer: This sounds like a problem in the plumbing. Rather than install a booster, you need to find the source of the problem. Check to see that all of the valves in the hot water line are all the way open, including the slotted screwdriver stop that may be behind the trim plate of your shower valve. If your hot water comes from a tank type water heater there may be a problem with the dip tube. Some of these are designed with a closed end and slots in the side to distribute the cold water. If you have this type, they can become clogged with sand, well grit, manganese or calcium deposits.
If your hot water comes from a heat exchange coil in your heating boiler, it is also susceptible to clogging caused by minerals in the water. Keep in mind that these coils have a design flow rate, which means that they are intended to heat the water “instantaneously” as it flows through the coil. Up to the design flow rate, the coil will produce hot water. If you try to push water through it faster to improve pressure at the shower, then you will exceed the design flow rate and water will come out cooler and cooler the faster you push it through.
Flow rates for coils found in home heating boilers range from 3 ½ to 5 gallons per minute. The flow rate can often be found stamped on the face of the coil mounting plate. If you have a coil, check to see that water is going through at the designed flow rate. If you have a 5 gpm coil and are getting a lot less flow, then your coil probably needs to be cleaned. If you are getting design flow rate through the coil and are not happy with the plumbing performance, you need to look into another way to make hot water. Call your local plumbing professional and discuss the matter with them.
3. Is there anything I can do to boost the pressure in a single home that runs on a community well?
Question: Is there anything I can do to boost the pressure in one home on a community well? Let me explain; I am on a community well that feeds ten houses. My house is the last house on the system. If I use water any time after about 9:00 AM, I get pretty good pressure but between 5:30 AM and 7:30 or 8:00 AM my pressure is terrible. Our homeowners association is responsible for upkeep of the common areas including the water system. I have complained at several meetings but no one else seems to want to spend the money to correct the problem. There is a pump house at the other side of the development that has several blue pressure tanks in it. The well pump feeds the tanks and then leaves the building through a single pipe. There is a Tee in the pipe in front of each house where the water for that house connects. We have consulted several contractors. Some want to increase the size of the well pump and one of the contractors we contacted is suggesting that the water main is undersized for the length of the run and number of users. I am tired of putting up with this. Is there anything I can do to inside my house that will fix my problem?
Answer: Yes, a Herculan ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System can deal with this situation.
First, let’s talk about the problems this type of community system can pose. This is a closed system, meaning that it is a pump-pressurized system that is not open to the atmosphere. Open systems are those that depend on water towers to produce system pressure. Water towers are not pressurized but elevated atmospheric storage tanks which rely on gravity to generate system pressure.
In your closed system, it is the well pump that supplies pressure. If you connect a WS model Herculan ConstaBoost™ directly to your water service it will create suction on the water service and associated main when it is running. This would take care of your problem but could have the effect of lowering the pressure in the main, thus reducing the pressure in some (or all) of the other homes connected to it.
You need one of the SSPB Herculan ConstaBoost™ systems. This will turn the closed system into an open system at your house only.
The SSPB Herculan ConstaBoost™ works like this:
- There is an atmospheric water storage tank, like those used with Well Manager®. The tank has a fill solenoid valve controlled by an electric float in the tank; it is a means to control the rate at which the tank fills and serves as a water meter to adjust the fill rate and monitor water use. The water service connects to the tank fill and water flows into the tank until the electric float shuts off the solenoid valve as water rises to the full mark.
- There is little pressure required to fill the tank, and since there is now no backpressure on the water service, there is an increase in the rate at which water flows into your house. Regulating the fill rate prevents your system from taking too much water from the community system at any one time, and collecting water whenever your tank is not full will produce more water over the course of the day. The storage tank has a PumpChamber™ that includes a pump (which has been sized to get the performance you want) and a Constant Pressure Module to deliver service that would rival any city water system. The result, is: you get more water, better pressure, and the community system is relieved of the strain you were adding at peak demand time.
- There is one benefit no one else on the system will have: if there are equipment problems in the main system you will have enough water in your home to go about your business for many hours while everyone else is out of water.
4. Will a Herculan ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System help to improve my water pressure, even after changing the pump?
Question: I live in Florida. My well is a piece of pipe 1 ½” in diameter protruding from the ground with a Jet pump and pressure tank connected to it. I have a 4-bathroom house with a landscape irrigation system. Over the years my water pressure has gone from good to poor to terrible. Changing the pump didn’t help much. Will a Herculan ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System help? As long as I’m asking, is there anything that can be done with the terrible smelling water? Everyone around here has that problem.
Answer: It sounds like you have an older driven well. Essentially these are a length of pipe with a unique end (drive point) driven into the ground. Some of these are only 20 feet deep, while others are much deeper. Twenty to thirty years ago the water level in Florida was so high that it was very near the surface. The great weather has attracted a lot of people since then, so there are a lot more wells than there were and it’s a little further down to the water now.
Pumps have a finite amount of energy (horsepower) with which to accomplish their task. The more energy that goes into lifting the water, the less energy is available with which to build pressure. Most shallow-well jet pumps run out of lift entirely when the water table falls to 22’. At that depth they can no longer deliver water at all. Each year, as the water table receded, your pump has had to spend more energy lifting the water from deeper in the ground and has had less left with which to build pressure. The result is that your plumbing performance has gotten worse and worse with time.
There are three possible solutions to your pressure problem:
- Drill a new 4” or 6” diameter well and install a submersible well pump. This type of pump can deliver water from very deep wells.
- Install a Herculan ConstaBoost™ Static Storage System after your existing pressure tank, and lower the cut-in and cut-out settings on your pressure switch. With the system functioning at lower pressures the pump will be able to lift the water further. It will require much less pressure to fill an atmospheric storage tank than a pressure tank serving the plumbing system. The pump in the Herculan ConstaBoost™ tank will supply great pressure to the house. If the water table drops lower, you can convert the Herculan ConstaBoost™ into a Well Manager® system which can operate on 3-5 PSI pressure (because it won’t need your pressure tank at all).
- Install a Well Manager® and do away with the pressure tank now if you think you may eventually be forced to do that anyway.
To address the odor problem: If you drill a new well you will need to buy a separate system to take care of the odor problem. Since both the Herculan ConstaBoost™and Well Manager® systems include an atmospheric (non-pressurized) storage tank, you can adapt the tank fill to a spray boom and gas off the odors (which is an additional benefit with very minimal cost). With the proper pump in the tank, you will be able to run the irrigation system, your plumbing will perform better than it did when your well was new, you will get consistent pressure, and odors will be nearly (if not completely) eliminated.