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dolphinboy
05-19-2010, 03:24 PM
What is a 'normal' range for water pressure in a house that uses a well as opposed to a municipal water supply? We live in Montana in a brand new house and have PEX plumbing if that matters.

Our water current pressure stays around 48 PSI, even when the shower is running, which seems a little low to me, but I don't want to crank it up and risk damaging the pumbing system or fixtures...

Any thoughts Dopers?

Harmonious Discord
05-19-2010, 03:28 PM
That's actually a high pressure for something your system always supplies. It is within what a home well can be set at. You have a much wider range than city well water pressure. You can figure most city pressure to be around 30 psi.

Leaffan
05-19-2010, 03:31 PM
It depends on the rating of your pump, and the size of your air tank. You do have an air tank, right?

Typically the cut-in pressure is 40 PSI, and the cut-out pressure is 60 PSI.

dolphinboy
05-19-2010, 04:09 PM
Leaffan, so what is the difference between cut-in and cut-out pressure? There is a small blue tank in the mech room where the line comes in from the well pump...

Leaffan
05-19-2010, 04:24 PM
Leaffan, so what is the difference between cut-in and cut-out pressure? There is a small blue tank in the mech room where the line comes in from the well pump...

And there should be a pressure switch on the incoming line, with a pressure gauge. The pressure switch can be adjusted for a higher range, but you need to increase the air pressure correspondingly. The air tank should have a plate attached that gives recommended air pressures, and respective water pressure adjustments.

ETA: I think cut-in and cut-out are self explanatory, no?

SmellMyWort
05-19-2010, 04:40 PM
Is the pressure bothering you in the shower or something? If so, you might just have a shower head that doesn't feel right for you and the pressure would be better with a different head.

boytyperanma
05-19-2010, 04:50 PM
Normal setting is 40/60. It can be higher or lower depending on equipment. A standard pressure switch typically tops out at 65. Heavy duty switches can be used for higher pressures.

That said pressure usually isn't the issue when people complain about their showers. The issue is flow. Shower heads and faucets usually have water savers in them. On well water systems these are not as important. You can try taking the water saver out of your shower head. They are normally a white plastic disk with several holes in them.

Gary Robson
05-19-2010, 04:55 PM
Leaffan, so what is the difference between cut-in and cut-out pressure?When the pressure goes below the cut-in value, the pump turns on. When it reaches the cut-out pressure, the pump turns off.

What part of Montana? I'm in south-central.

dolphinboy
05-19-2010, 05:43 PM
When the pressure goes below the cut-in value, the pump turns on. When it reaches the cut-out pressure, the pump turns off.

What part of Montana? I'm in south-central.

We are located in the mountains near Kalispell in the north-west.

The issue isn't with the shower as much as the sinks. The flow in the kitchen sink just isn't very strong these days. I have checked and the faucet seems to be fine (isn't clogged). It's slowly gotten worse since we installed it a year ago.

I made a call to the company that installed the well to come out and check things out for us.

Leaffan
05-19-2010, 07:44 PM
Do you have a water softener? Hard water will slowly start to restrict the flow on some faucets over time. Have a look here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_water)

Snnipe 70E
05-19-2010, 09:05 PM
Well water pressure is what the home owner wants it to be set at.

City pressures can run from 30 psi to 120 psi, depending on the city's delievery system. If can go over 60 psi a pressure reducing valve should be installed.

On the ranch where I was born and raised the house was feed by gravity no pump.

Napier
05-19-2010, 10:06 PM
A story, FWIW. I have a well and pump, and my potable water plumbing was done with low pressure copper tubing that is only rated for hot water heating service, in which pressures are small. So I've always worried about pressure.

One day I was in the same room as the tank and switch, and heard it click on. Something there - maybe a check valve - rattles while the pump runs, so I heard that too. Curious, I watched the gage. It went up to 40, 50. Odd, I thought it was supposed to stop at 45. 60, 70, 80. Jeez, am I reading this right? I go grab a flashlight and get down on the floor where I can look at it right. 90. 100. It keeps going - there are no more marks on the dial - I look up at the water heater, now looming over me with many tons of force trying to dump 80 gallons of 120 degree water on me. Frightened, I get up, back out of the room as I see the needle come to rest against the zero peg at what would be about 120 if the gage keeps responding consistently. I kill the circuit breaker, go upstairs and run some water. I didn't remember noticing before then that the kitchen faucet rises up almost a quarter inch when water is coming out. Eventually the stream slows and I go back downstairs, and take the cover off the pump switch. Inside was a darling little mouse nest, with a sunflower seed (still in the hull) propping up the relay mechanism.

Musicat
05-19-2010, 10:15 PM
My pump is set for between 30-50psi. It's a one-story house with the water tank in the basement. Seems to be adequate, even if someone is taking a shower and the washer is running.

Khendrask
05-20-2010, 07:47 AM
We are located in the mountains near Kalispell in the north-west.

The issue isn't with the shower as much as the sinks. The flow in the kitchen sink just isn't very strong these days. I have checked and the faucet seems to be fine (isn't clogged). It's slowly gotten worse since we installed it a year ago.

I made a call to the company that installed the well to come out and check things out for us.

Wait ... So the flow in one or two faucets is sluggish? But the shower and other faucets are fine? Do look at Leaffans post above. I keep my well pump and tank at around 30/45, and when one of the faucets gets sluggish, an overnight soaking in a product like CLR (or even just vinegar) usually fixes it right up.

I have to do that every six months on the kitchen faucet, and about once a year on the shower nozzle.

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