Booster Pump

nvysealnvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
I live in a residential area at the top of the street. The house was built in the 70's using galvanized piping. Since im the last house on the street, I get what is left over from the municipal water line. My 3 neighbors and I have a common problem, we have really low water pressure. One of my neighbors had their house re-piped, but it didn't help much. We all have called the water company out, they do a pressure test it reads 60psi. on a completely closed system, but on an open system ie. sprinklers on and i open the tap for the garden hose, i can actually put my thumb over the hose and stop the flow. It's impossible to wash clothes and water the lawn at the same time let alone take a shower and have someone flush the toilet at the same time. I was thinking about putting a booster pump on the house to bring the pressure up to a constant 60psi. Has anyone had any luck with this? Will is slurp water away from my neighbors?

Something like this: http://www.aquascience.net/booster-pumps/index.cfm?id=1020

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,170 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Booster Pump

    Gotta change out the old galv pipes first, can't suck water thru a clogged straw. You could try just repipe from the meter to the house where your would put the booster pump. Add a hose bib to the new pipe, and try the thumb over the hose, I think it won't stay put.
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  • nvysealnvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Booster Pump
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Gotta change out the old galv pipes first, can't suck water thru a clogged straw. You could try just repipe from the meter to the house where your would put the booster pump. Add a hose bib to the new pipe, and try the thumb over the hose, I think it won't stay put.

    That was our first guess, and my neighbor did have his house re-piped from the curb throughout the whole house. They see very little difference and we ca :thumb the hose" closed also.

    During the winter months I do have acceptable water pressure to operate 2 or 3 fixtures at a time. 3 really would be pushing it though
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Booster Pump

    I built a house once that was at the top of a mountain, but on a municipal water system. At the house, we got ~5 psi. We installed a simple jet pump and it worked perfectly. You son't "suck water from your neighbours" Mike does have a point that it is difficult to suck through a clogged straw, but if you add pressure it will certainly help.

    Tony
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Booster Pump

    Curiously enough, I had a similar problem at the new place. Last house on the community water system so the pressure would vary depending on how many other houses had their taps open. It would drop as low as 5 psi, but would also rise to 40 psi if everything was shut off.

    My solution was simple and it works well: a check valve and two pressure tanks. When the water pressure is high, the tanks pressurize. If it drops below the tank pressure the check valve keeps the system from draining off "my" pressure.

    Put a gauge on your system and watch the pressure variance. It could be possible for you to store up pressure when available and keep your taps flowing properly! :D
  • nvysealnvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Booster Pump

    Thanks Tony, Marc

    Some good ideas! and marc, thats exactly my problem. recently they built a new set of houses and opened my street up to connect with them. They have all new water lines not connected to ours and they have a boatload of pressure. I just wish our water district could tie into their pipes and share with us, as it would be only about 200 feet of pipe they would have to lay.

    BTW, im Dave glad to meet you all. Great place :)
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,628 admin
    Re: Booster Pump

    One "danger" that I could envision with a booster pump--If you draw down into negative pressure in your delivery system, you can draw contaminants into your water system (siphon lawn sprinklers next door, etc.).

    And even if you don't install a booster pump--one of your neighbors may--still subjecting your family to the potential contamination issues.

    I would be very careful to avoid that--Lots of people have gotten sick (and even died) from contaminated city water systems.

    My suggestion is to find out who the regulatory body is in charge of your water system and work with them to discover what the problem is. This potentially can be a serious health hazard.

    Otherwise, Marc's suggestion seems to be a good fix for now. Placing a water pressure gauge (or tap for the utility to monitor) would give you some amunition that it is not your piping problem (unless you sill have blocked pipes from the meter to the home). If you see low pressure when neighbors are using water and you are not--then it is almost for sure the utility's problem.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Booster Pump

    Bill makes a great point about negative pressure and back flow. (I didn't intend to cover every issue with my post). In point of fact, most houses should have back flow preventers installed as a routine if they are connected to municipal water supplies, for the reason Bill suggests.

    As with any solution to any problem, quick consultation with the appropriate professional should be included in any project. That said, every once in a while even the pros get stymied and it takes an out of the box idea to make something work.

    Tony
  • nvysealnvyseal Solar Expert Posts: 108 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Booster Pump

    Thanks for the reply bill, tony,

    I like marc's idea also, and i also was worried of "Slurping" up water from my neighbors, its gross even to think about it, but in reading the booster pump info, i guess it has a set of check valves and shuts off if you dont have enough incoming pressure.

    I dont even know where to start in contacting any authorities. I tried, but never got past the service person on the phone or the dude that came out to check the water pressure. I asked for names and got nothing.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,628 admin
    Re: Booster Pump

    Try your local city/county (they usually authorize public utility monopolies... If not there, try the State PUC and work down from them.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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