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 This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: apex_predetor (NY)



When it says that the tank "PRECHARGE" is 38psi, that is to say that the tank comes pressurized from the factory with 38psi in the vessel? That is to say that there is already 38psi of pneumatic force pusing down on the bladder in the tank with ZERO hydraulic force being applied due to filling the bladder?

So can somebody clarify "Cut-in" pressure for me? I think I may have been using those terms incorrectly?



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: North Carolina Plumber (NC)

Yes, theres 38 PSI of air in the tank already. It is set up for use with a 40-60 pressure switch. Cut in refers to the pressure that the pump turns on at. Cut out is when the pump turns off. So in the example I mentioned, cut in is 40 cut out is 60. You want at least a 2 PSI difference in the air charge in the tank and the cut in pressure. If you have a 30- 50 switch you'd want 28 PSI of air in the tank.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: apex_predetor (NY)

IF the tank is rated much higher (says max of 125), why woud I only operate it at half it's maximum capacity? I understand that my pump may not be able to generate that much head (pressure) but why stay down in the 60 psi, why not juice it up to 80 psi.

Thank again for the info. I really appreciate it.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: hj (AZ)

If you put even 65 psi in the tank and your pump was set for 40-60, HOW could 60 psi push any water into the tank if there were 65 psi keeping it out. In most cases, if there is no water pressure in the tank the "bladder" is pushed DOWN so it fills the tank. It takes water pressure GREATER than the air pressure to push it back so water can enter the tank. When the pump turns off and you open a faucet, the air pressure in the tank pushes the water out, until the tank is empty of water, or the pump starts, whichever happens first. IF you have the air pressure highet than the cut-in setting, which is when the pump starts, such as 10 psi higher, when the pressure in your system reaches that point, the bladder will have filled the tank and there is NO MORE water in it. Then you will have to rely on the pressure stored in the water, which for all practical purposes is ZERO, for you water flow until the pump starts, which means for that "instant" you will not have ANY water flow, which will be manifested by an apparent drop in pressure.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: apex_predetor (NY)

I understand that, but I was assuming that my pump can operate over a range of pressures and heads to accomodate a higher pressure rating in the bladder tank. I don't have the pump curve in front of me, but im assuming it can operate over 60psi? I doubt it is operating close to it's dead head pressure just to fill the tank at 30psi, but I don't know the pump model right now.

Assuming I have a pump that can generate the head/pressure of, say 70psi while operating on a good spot on it's curve, could I increase the pressure in the bladder tank via the bleeder/intake valve, thus increasing the pressure in my water lines (but decreasing the yield in the tank a bit)??

Does anybody foresee a this scenario creating problems in ym system? Is there a typical range that a residential water system operates?

thanks again.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: SMSPlumbing (PA)

The air in the tank is always set to 2 psi lower than the cut on. If you put more pressure in the tank than the cut on then the pressure switch will sense that pressure from the tank, and never come on.

You really do not need more than a 40-60 pressure switch in a house. YOu are not trying to power wash anything with your house pressure. Yes a pump may be able to create more pressure, but why put that much strain on it.

You can install a larger pressure tank to create more time between pump cycles.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: hj (AZ)

You are completely confused. The air pressure in the tank has NOTHING to do with the pressure in the system. It just establishes the MINIMUM pressure you would receive IF the pump did not operate. IF you want more pressure leave the air pressure ALONE, and readjusst the pump switch. Also, if the pressure in the tank is 40 psi, then that is also about the pressure at the pump, (except for head due to the height of the water column above the pump's water level), and that is independent of the size of the tank.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

With all due respect to you, my friend. I think you are getting in over your head with a well pump's capability, a storage tank's operation and pressure switches. 30/50 or 40/60 pressure switchs, which are most common are designed to work in harmony with the other components of a water producing systems. If you attempt to over-ride or alter the capability of any component without qualifications, experience or knowledge of a well to spout, you are only looking for problems.
For this reason, we have licensed plumbers in each state that are trained, bonded and certified to perform these kinds of things to prevent excessive pressures in the water systems.

In this case, I would consider a licensed plumber. Make sure that you are covered by insurance for any adjustment you make beyond any manufacturer's recommendation.

I wish you well
Best Wishes

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: apex_predetor (NY)

Thanks for teh concern, but I'm in a different situation than most?

I am an engineer, and I deal with pumps and hydraulic calculations, and systems everyday, just not this residential types. Def. a licensed plumber will have nore specific knowledge of how a residential system operates, codes, and typical applications. I think I am just overthinking this a bit.

I really don't know much about residential well pumps. I was thinking that they might be adjustable, or have the abilit to operate over a wider range?

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: apex_predetor (NY)

How does the pressure in the tank have nothing to do with the system pressure (at the tank discharge anyway, I know there will be friction losses after that point)?

Isn't the pressure tank there to supply pressure to the system without having to use the pump to do so?

LEt me run this by you, if Iam wrong, please correct me.

1) Tank is prepressurized.
2) Pump fills tank and the bladder fills up, creating an increased pressure in the void space betweeen the bladder and the tank sidewalls due to the increased volume of the bladder, and the relatively constant tank volume.
3) Pump shuts off at 40-60psi (whatever the switch tells it is shut off at)
4) Water being forced out the nozzle of the tank is now at 40-60 psi, until a valve is opened and the water begins to vacate the bladder. This is what provides the system pressure, no?
5) If the water is kept on long enough to drop below the predetermined pump "cut-in" pressure, the pump turns on to try and refill the tank. If left on long enough to completely drain the tank, the pump will be providing the pressure to the system alone?

IS this about right, or am i missing something.

Thanks

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; How does the pressure in the tank have nothing to do with the system pressure

Assume you have 40 psi of AIR in the tank. If you do not turn on the pump, there will be NO pressure in the system. IF you do turn on the pump, but it can only produce 39 psi, there will still be NO water the tank and you will only get whatever water the pump is producing. If your pump produces 41 psi, then you will be able to use ONE psi of water before the tank is empty, whether the pump starts or not. NONE of this, as it relates to the air pressure in the tank, has ANYTHING to do with the system pressure. Your pump switch controls the system pressure, and it would do it even if you did NOT have a storage tank. But, without a tank, the pump would be turning on and off every time you opened a faucet, since the tank is just a "buffer" to minimize the frequency of operation.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; I was thinking that they might be adjustable, or have the abilit to operate over a wider range?

Of course they are. With the proper pressure switch, the system can be adjusted for almost any pressure up to the pump's cutoff point. BUT, it has NOTHING to do with the tank's precharged air pressure setting, (other than that the setting should be compatible with the pump's cut in point, and THAT has a wide range as long as it is less than the cut in pressure).

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: SwimRunPlumb (MI)

OK, hj, your gonna have to dumb it down a little bit more for some of us and explain a little better.

I am also confused, as I have zero experience with wells since I almost never venture outside of the city and city water lines.

Here is the question, and hopefully I speak for the original poster as well: If he pressured his tank up to 58 psi and made the cut on/off at 60/80, why would his house pressure NOT be higher? Wouldn't his house pressure be running between 60/80 psi now as opposed to 40/60 psi?

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: North Carolina Plumber (NC)

Of course his house pressure would be greater. The original poster was just talking about raising the air charge only, and leaving the switch as is.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: hj (AZ)

Yes, but it would have NOTHING to do with the air pressure in the tank. The pressure could be 20 psi in the tank and the system would still have whatever pressure the switch was set for. In fact, if he started with 20 psi of air, (or actually almost anything above ZERO and less than two psi below than the cutin pressre), when the pump shut off, the air pressure WOULD indicate whatever that water pressure was, but the air "volume" in the tank would be smaller than if he had started with 58 psi. We have to differentiate whether we are talking about water system pressure or the tank's air precharge BEFORE any water is pumped into it, sicne they are two completely different things. Another consideration is that besides the cut OUT pressure on the pump, you have to add in the 'head pressure" between the water level in the well when the pump shuts off and the storage tank. IF that dimension is 200' then you have to add at least 90 psi to the cut off pressure. So, at 80 psi "off" the pump would have to develop about 170 psi at the pump, and that would just get water up to the tank, but might not be enough to put any water INTO the tank, assuming the pump can deliver that pressure in the first place.



Edited 4 times.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

You are correct. But you must assume or designate an operational range to obtain a function pressure or variable compatibly to start with.The answer to your real question is the largest tank or use of multiple tanks, checked or aligned .Would for service verified,You decide!!Simply how many gallons a minute will the need to be supplied be true.the rate the well can provide next in text.if the space for tanks or the supply is under sized, we can change either to fix both where it is known it should be specified.How much water at what high pressure can your pump provide?it then can be held at the highest point in how much room.The larger the better.at price slip limits.Where it could be divided and checked and mid level pressures through the supplied system held correct.[@#$%&[img132.imageshack.us]][/URL]

Uploaded with [@#$%&[imageshack.us]]ImageShack.us[/URL].just like salad how it is tossed is the way it works for you.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: apex_predetor (NY)

Ok, I believe that I may not be conveying my question quite right here. I keep getting told that the tank does not provide pressure to the system. I understand tha the pump is a necessity to fill the tank, and that it has to operate a few psi above the tank precharge, but if the tank it doesn't provide any system pressure (when the pump is OFF), Why have a bladder in it, and why have it precharged. IT may only provide pressure to the system after it is filled with water by the pump, and that input pressure is regulated by the switch, but the tank has to provide pressure to the system until a certain point when the water in the tank is lowered (pressure is also lowered due to increased volume in interstitial space in tank).. right?

Thanks for all the help folks. I appreciate the time and effort.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: hj (AZ)

The tank does not NEED the bladder, but without it, the air in the tank would either have to be continually renewed using a "snifter valve", or the water would eventually absorb all the air and become "water logged" at which time it would function like a bladder tank with ZERO air pressure, OR one with the air pressure ABOVE the pump's shut off pressure. Meaning every time you opened a faucet the pump would cycle on and off very rapidly to provide water flow at the faucet. The "bladder" separates the water and air so absorbtion does not occur.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: LemonPlumber (FL)

The bladder tank should deliver water when the pump is off.It will evacuate all the water held until the pressure of the bladder and the held water are equal.In the twenty gallon ballast tank.let it run to its cut off pressure.now open a hose bib to fill a bucket.it will deliver twenty gallons of water .Although as the held pressure drops so will the flow rate.If you had two of these tanks tied together .they would deliver twice as much water .Idea is to get the least work from the/ power using pump\ and the most from the /free ballast pressure\.the pumps best pressure /flow.to the largest held water delivery is the cost less key.Some operate wells with tanks so small the only reason for their use is to keep the pump from short cycling.Where room for more ballast is available it will pay for the tank many times over.

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 Re: This is my bladder/pressure tank...few questions..
Author: jresq (CT)

Just saw this thread, and it relates to a problem I have. We're buying a house with a well, and the engineer who inspected the house said that the pressure tank, currently set at 40 psi, should be increased to 65 psi, and that we needed an "aqua booster," whatever that may be. In reading the preceding comments, it appears that what we really need is to adjust the pump pressure (maybe to 60/80?), and leave the tank pressure alone? Also, the existing pressure tank is pretty small, although there is room for a larger one. Is it better to have 2 smaller tanks in series as suggested above, or one larger tank? And, what is a "aqua booster," and will it help our low pressure problem? Thanks!

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 Water pressure question (well tank)
Author: alanharrison (Non-US)

HI, I have a 20 gallon Challenger Well Tank model #PC66R in my basement. I currently have very low water pressure in the bathroom on the 2nd floor. Pressure does not seem to be an issue in the bathroom in the basement or on the 1sr floor. Could this be caused by low pressure in the tank? Pressure on the tank is around 50 psi when there is no water activity in the house. When faucets are turned on it goes down to 40 psi before kicking in and shoots back up to about 52 psi. My understanding of this system is very rudimentary....so any input you may have would be much appreciated.
Thanks

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 Re: Water pressure question (well tank)
Author: Humanparody (MD)

Okay, wells 101.

A pump tank's sole function is to keep a volume of water under pressure for household use.
It is partially filled with air, and part water. Air can be compressed, while water for the most part, can not. As previously stated, this is so the pump does not need to kick on every time a sink is opened. The minimum size of the tank should correspond with the amount of water the pump can supply, as too small a tank will fill too fast and cause the pump to short cycle(turn on to fill and shut off too soon).

You can put a larger tank, or many smaller tanks...as many as you want, and it will not affect the performance of your pump. In fact, the pump may last longer with a bigger storage tank(s). Starting the pump wears out a pump much more than the pump simply running.

The purpose of prepressurizing the tank to 2 pounds less than your cut-in pressure(the minimum pressure of water before the pump switch sends power to the pump to replenish the tank) is to keep the bladder in the tank from stretching too far. If you had 0 pounds of air in the tank, the volume of air would be squeezed to maybe 1/4 it's original size so the bladded would be stretched to fill 3/4 of the tank(filled with water), an eventually rupturing. By prepressurizing, you increase the volume of air that takes up space in the tank once it is filled partially with water. The bladder only expands from roughly 1/3 of the tank to 2/3 the tank volume.

Some tanks have no bladders, but again are prepressurized to ensure the volume of air in the tank when it is full of water does not only fill the top 1/4 of the tank. Ideally you would want 1/3 the tank full of water at the cut-in pressure and 2/3 or more full of water at the cut-out(high)pressure. Bladder-less tanks do lose air to infusion with the water over time and need to be recharged periodically. Tanks with bladders also slowly lose air, much as a car tire loses air over time. It is much slower though with the bladder.

A well will function and supply water with or without a tank but with no tank, it will kick on any time even a slight amount of water is used, and shut off as soon as the demand has stopped. This will destroy a pump quickly. One exception to this is newer(for residential use at least) constant pressure pumps. These use what is called a variable frequency motor that can be throttled to put out more or less water depending on the demand. They use very small expansion tanks to prevent water hammer as well as for a small buffer for spin-up time of the motor. Normal well pumps are "ON" or "OFF".

As far as pressure settings. A typical residential well switch is set from 40-60 meaning it will turn the motor on when the pressure in the tank is at 40, and shut off at 60.
Some are 30-50, some less some more. Typically the differential(the spread between cut-in and cut-out) is 20 lbs. This again is to ensure the bladder in the tank does not stretch too far. While some bladders "can" stretch to accommodate large changes in the volume of water in a tank, they will wear out faster. Better to keep it safe.

In instances where more pressure is wanted than the pressure switch is currently set to, one simply need re-adjust the pressure switch and add air to the precharge of the tank to 2 pounds less than the new cut-in pressure.

*BUT* care must be taken when adjusting the pressure, and should only be done if you have a complete grasp of the following information.

A well pump can only produce a finite amount of water depending on a few variables.
1:the depth of the water in the ground(how high must the pump push the water up to get to your well tank)
2:horse power of the pump in relation to the depth of the water. A larger or more efficient pump can produce more volume and/or pressure than a smaller, older, or less efficient pump.

Every pump is different, and each has a pump curve chart that shows what the pump can produce as far as volume of water at certain feet of head. Feet of head is basically pressure. If your water table is for instance 200' down in the ground, your pump must be able to produce 86 pounds of pressure just to get the water to the surface. Now on top of that you want to charge a well tank to 60psi. That's like adding another 138ft. to the height the pump has to push the water up. Also, pumps have a "happy range" that they perform most efficiently in. Installers take into account many variables when selecting the pump for use in your well to make sure everything runs efficiently. Typically changes to settings like pressure will wear parts out faster, and if not done correctly, can destroy pumps, tanks, switches, pipes, fixtures....you get the idea...so proceed with the utmost caution.

The main thing you need to make sure of when you increase the pressure switch is that you do not ask the pump to try to pressurize the tank more than it can actually produce. If you set your pressure to, say, 80psi cut-out, but your pump can only produce enough to get to 70, then your pump will never shut off and will burn up. If you set it to 80 and your pump
CAN get there, but just barely, then at the end of the cycle at the higher pressure, your pump will run longer than it needs to, pushing less and less water(which translates into extra heat with less water to cool it) and burn up.

Basically you need to make sure your pump can easily achieve what you are asking of it with plenty of head room so to speak. The instructions to set a pump switch can be found on the underside of the protective cover of the well switch most of the time, or
can be found on the Internet so I won't go into which nuts to turn.
But basically, the safe way to make sure you don't destroy anything is follow some basic steps.

First, make sure you are not going to exceed the pressure rating of anything in your plumbing system from the tank, switch, piping, fixtures, WATER SOFTENERS, etc.

Next, once you know how to set your switch, I would not recommend exceeding 70psi cut-off. There is no need to ever have more than this amount of pressure in a home, even if it's four stories. If you can't get enough flow at this pressure, you probably have some other restriction in flow that is the culprit. Dirty filters are the first place to look. Next would be clogged aerators on your sink faucet or mineral deposits in your shower head nozzles.

TO INCREASE WELL PRESSURE:

Determine current cut-in/out pressures.
If the differential is more than 5lbs away from 20, get a well company to do this work for you. Assuming your differential is 20lbs, time to increase the pressure.
You will want to run a few sources of water to speed the process up(tubs, outdoor spigots, etc.)
Locate your pump power shut-off switch/breaker. If you are lucky, there will
be a switch located close to your tank.
Run the water until the pressure hits the cut-in pressure and you will hear the switch "click" as the pump is turned on to fill the tank. While the tank is recharging, shut off the water from your spigots/tubs, or if there is one there, just shut off the main valve to the house AFTER tank. This will bring the pressure in the tank to the high side and shut off the pump with another "click". At this point you will need to kill the power to your pump. CHECK WITH A METER!! If you don't know how to do this...call a professional to do this work.

Power is now off, right? Next open a faucet or something to draw down the water pressure slowly. When the pressure falls to what you want your new cut-in pressure to be, shut off the water flow to hold that pressure in the tank. At this point....power is off, right?...screw the proper nut clockwise until you hear that same "click". At this point, your new pump cut-in pressure is what you see on the gauge. The cut-out will be this pressure plus whatever the differential was when you started.

Turn the power back on to the pump and be ready to turn it back off instantly just in case. You should already know at what pressure the switch should cut off(roughly 20 lbs higher than the cut-in). If you see that you are exceeding your expected cut out by 5 lbs, kill the power)
Also, if you see that your pressure increase slows from the steady increase to half it's normal speed or less, kill the power. Your pump can't get you the pressure you want,put the settings back.

If your pump did not cut off at the expected high side, and you have cut the power to the pump, open a faucet to lower the pressure back to the desired cut-out pressure. Then, turn the nut counter-clockwise until you hear the click. This sets the high side cut-out.
Sometimes if you increase the high/low switch, the differential also increases.
If, once you drain more water out the tank to the cut-in pressure, and you find your differential is now 25lbs or more, call a well company, you need a new switch.


Assuming that your pressure was a steady increase all the way from your cut-in to cut-out, you are now set. Typically I would run water and cycle the tank a few times just to verify it is cutting on and off at the correct pressure.

Also, important to check your tank pre-charge. This should be 2 lbs. less than the new cut in pressure.

To do this, first make note of your cut-in pressure. Then, turn off the power to the pump.
Drain the tank down to completely empty. Sometimes once the pressure gets to a low point, it will drop to 0 instantly with a thud. This means there was an accumulation of air in the water side of the tank. No biggy. At this point you will need a pressure gauge and air pump. Anything that can fill a car/bicycle tire will work.
Somewhere on the pump(typically the top) is an air valve. First check the current pressure. If it is too high, push the little pin in the center of the valve to let some air out, and re-check until you are at the correct pressure.

If too low, air air with your air pump
and check frequently to make sure you don't over-pressurize.

Once you have the right precharge, turn the pump
back on and again cycle a few times to make sure everything is working as expected.

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 Re: Water pressure question (well tank)
Author: bergman (NY)

OK. so having made all the adjustments as described in the previous message, I still don't have as much pressure as I'd like for a really nice shower. My system looks like a shallow well system. The pump is 1/2HP. Will a larger pump deliver more water pressure? What variable do I look for when selecting a pump to deliver more pressure? I am working with a plumber, bu the is unsure of what we need. he suggested a pump with a motor that runs higher RPM's. Current is a 110V, 1/2HP and runs 3500 RPM.

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 Re: Water pressure question (well tank)
Author: Humanparody (MD)

There are too many variables to consider to really give you a good answer.

Honestly if you have your pressure set to 50-70 and you still aren't happy with your shower pressure, you have two things to consider.

50-70 is the maximum I would recommend setting your well switch. If you are in the shower and like can tell that the pressure is better(adequate) when the tank is at 70 but don't like it when it draws down to 50, you could adjust the differential with the short screw to a 10 pound spread and go with 60 cut-in/70 cut-out and see if that works for you.

My gut says you probably came from a home with a municipal water supply and decent street pressure(like 75-90).

You can't really achieve that with your current pump safely.
First thing to check would be your shower head itself to make sure it is not clogged with mineral deposits. A good soaking/scrubbing in CLR(grocery store) would help that. Also bear in mind that all shower heads have a flow restrictor built in that limits the flow to 2.5 gal/min. You might want to take it apart and see if maybe you could remove/modify it to get you more volume instead of increasing the pressure.

These are the free options.

If you try those and still are sure you want more pressure, a new well pump probably is not the answer, especially if your well is cycling still while the shower is going. If your well is to the point where if you have only a shower going and it can't recharge the tank to 70 pounds, then you should consider a new pump. I wouldn't recommend going higher than a 3/4 horse which at shallow depths would get you enough to run 10 showers(and run your well dry).

Also there are MANY different pumps of different capabilities, all at the same HP rating. You can get a 1/2 HP that puts out more water than a 3/4hp so make sure you know what you are buying.

That being said, of your pump has no problem keeping up with your shower and is cycling, and you just want more pressure, the. I'd recommend a whole house booster pump.
This would be a piggyback pump that ties in to your plumbing pretty much anywhere you want but for a whole house pressure boost you'd want to tie it in after your well tank and definitely after the check valve if your well has one at the tank as well.

A 1/3 to 1/2hp should be plenty. They are easy to install, plug into a 110 outlet, and give you a 20psi boost. They only run when they sense flow(when you use water). Some models also can be set to a certain pressure but really they aren't worth the extra money.

They are fairly quiet as well.

Only thing I can recommend is to make damn sure you don't exceed the pressure rating on whatever piping you have in the house, including the hot water rating(always lower).

There are some pipes that you may have that only have a 90psi rating. They shouldn't be in your house but you never know.

Hope this helps. I'm a "I want to FEEL my shower" kind of guy too.

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 Re: Water pressure question (well tank)
Author: jimlin1968 (MA)

Humanparody (MD)
I am aiming this response to the long detailed post by Humanparody (MD)


I just replaced the pressure switch to my well setup. The house/system is about 11 years old. The switch needed replacing as the contacts were blackened and deteriorating. Twice we "lost water" which was "solved" with a rap to the SquareD switch box. The technician who serviced it 7 yrs ago (the dope that installed the well pump used improper wiring which needed replacement) also adjust the 30-50 switch to act like a 40-60. It would dip tip to 38 psi and kick on, shutting off near 60. I therefore bought the Square D 40-60 switch, and only had to slightly tweak it to hit the same parameters.

However, I am now concerned that perhaps the tank isn't right in that by removing the old switch and nipple it was attached to, it was no longer a sealed system and air entered with the swtich removed. When the switch now clicks on at 38 psi, it rises to 60 very fast, and I wonder if there's enough water actually in the pressure tank. Is there a specific method I should follow to test this? Do I need to drain the tank again (I did this prior to removing the old switch) and test the PSI of the bladder via the stem sticking out the top of the tank? I want to make sure I didn't mess up the bladder/tank when replacing the swtich.

Thanks for any assistance!
Jim



Edited 1 times.

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