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Water Pressure Q's & A's

Sink Sprayer | Well Water | Dry Well | Rusty Water
Pressure | Faucet
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Sink Sprayer

Sprayer nozzle on sink

We bought a new house about a year ago and the sprayer attachment on the kitchen sink has never worked. When we push in the lever, the water stops flowing out of the spigot and there is merely a drip coming from the sprayer. Then when we release the lever, the water won't start up again in the spigot. We have to turn off the water and then several minutes later hear a click and the water will come through the spigot again when we turn it back on. What could be causing this? Is it more likely a defect in the sprayer itself, or is it one of the hose connections? And how can we repair it?

You could try changing the spray nozzle itself, but more likely it is the diverter located in the body of the faucet where the spout connects. If it's a name brand faucet; Delta, Moen, etc. you can replace this part. If it is a no-name faucet you can probably remove the diverter, however, water will still come out the spout at the same time it comes out the nozzle. Or you can replace the faucet if you really want to use the spray.


Kitchen Vegetable Sprayer Pressure is Gone ! 

My kitchen sink sprayer no longer has pressure.  Occasionally, it kicks in then disappears again.  Some times, the water from the kitchen faucet continues to pour, but mostly,it just has lost power. Is this a gasket/washer issue? Can I fix it? Buy new sprayer head? Additionally, our faucet stutters (cant get water flowing smoothly) when we move it to warm water.   Any ideas on either?

The diverter valve sounds like it is bad. It may be causing the stuttering too. You can get parts to rebuild it, take down the make and model if you can, and ask at a plumbing supply store or home center. Or you can just replace it. They aren't too expensive.

If that doesn't also fix the sputtering, check the cutoff valves, a loose seat or washer on the cutoff valves on the supply lines may be the cause. Sometimes you can either tighten or simply clean out debris to get these working properly.


Well Water

Plumbing-well water

We are putting a mobile home on seven acres of land till we can build a house there. Already has well, septic tank, electric pole etc. This is a very rural area. We need to know what determines water pressure, so we can ensure we have good pressure.

The pump in the bottom of your well (assuming a drilled well) determines your water pressure. It will pump into your house piping and a pneumatic pressure tank and will be set to cycle on and off to control your home's water around 35-40 psig.

Your well itself will determine how much water you have. Some wells will fill at fast rates, and some relatively slow. The depth of the well does not really affect that. Usually the driller will stop drilling when the fill rate is adequate. When using a well with an unknown refill rate be careful you don't run the pump dry watering the lawn, etc.


Here's some additional advice to help you along. First, suggest you have a well driller check the well. He will test for such items as "static level, gpm flow rate, depth of well and pumping level". With this information in hand, you are ready to select a pump. Begin by talking to either a pump installer, or a supply house. They will design a system to give you the most appropriate pressure. Most pump & well systems for residential properties have a maximum pressure of 50 psi. You could, if you so desire, ask for a "40-60" switch, which will give you an additional 10 psi of maximum pressure, but will also give you an additional 10 psi of minimum pressure, and since you will be at both ends of the spectrum during normal pump cycling, you may want to consider that.

Once you have the pump installed and working, AND BEFORE YOU DRINK EVEN ONE DROP OF WATER, I would strongly suggest you have your water fully tested. The basic test includes hardness, iron, metal content, but most importantly, bacteria. The more expensive tests include your volatile organic chemicals, etc. Even in a rural area, you can't be sure what types of chemicals were spread onto the ground before you got there.

Replacing well point

I am replacing the point on my 35 foot well for the second time in about 8 years. The well is in sand. Does anyone know of any particular type that is well suited for sand? (The well is not always in constant is at my vacation home... if that makes a difference)

I sympathize. I had the same problem in a country house (since sold). If the point is in sand, the well must be pumping sand into the water system. That's not good. It may wear out the pump, contaminate the water tank and get into all the fittings in the house. (That, at least, is what happened to me.)

The solution is to shorten the well pipe so that the point is in water only. Then, it will give you good service for years.


Dry Well

Dry well?


Need to pump water from a water supply uphill to well 50 feet up a good slope. How big of a submersial pump would I need? Tried with a 1/4 horsepower and didn't work .

I have a submersible pump that is 97 feet straight down under, the ground and it pumps great. ...3/4 horsepower pump.

Another answer:
Do it right. Don't guess.
Measure the total vertical lift needed from the source to your outlet.
Decide how many gallons per minute you want.
Then HP needed = GPM x feet head / 2178.
That simple. For example, the previous poster mentions 97-ft head and 3/4 hp... this will give almost 18 gall per minute, check it out and see if I'm wrong. Well maybe less, as it depends on the pipe size...

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Dry Well

Dry well?

Our water (cold and hot) has begun coming out tinted. We have owned the 25-year old house for a year and have not had problems before. We have not had rain for a couple of weeks. Will this self-correct with rain, or is the well running dry?

Here is hoping that it is just the lack of rainfall and that you get some soon. I believe that is your problem...


Rusty Water

Rusty water

Background: The water in my home is from a natural well and if the water isn't run for a couple days there is rust that comes out when the water is turned on. The house is forty years old and the rust will come out of every facet or toilet. The water never seems to completely clear up.

Question: Do you think the rust is from the house pipes or is the problem from the well pipe? Or is is a result of some other problem?

I would recommend getting it tested (the water I mean).  It may well be something from the ground, but if it tends to clear up when you run it a while, I would suspect the well pipe or the piping in or to your house or the pressure tank in your house.

The test may give you the clue.



Poor water pressure

We recently bought a 75 year old two story house in town with poor water pressure. The hot water pressure is especially bad. The pipes are galvanized and presumably the original pipes. The gas hot water heater is located in the basement at the opposite corner from where all the water usage is, because it vents into the furnace chimney. Can old pipes cause low water pressure? If so, is there any cheap and easy way to increase the pressure without replacing pipe? Finally, would it do any good to replace about half the pipe (that's the amount not buried in the walls)?

We have some galvanized too. It does, over the years, tend to decrease water pressure. Some of our neighbors that are in houses as old as ours have replaced the line that runs from the main on the street to the house, and it has worked really well. It's expensive, though. I don't know of any alternative to replacement. If there is one I'd like to try it. We have poor water pressure too. If you ever look inside of an old segment of galv. pipe, two things occur to you. First, you'll understand why you have no pressure and second, you'll never want to drink your water again. The buildup is amazing.


Water Pressure from our well

We recently had a home built that has a well which is 350' deep. Our water pump is 3/4 HP. The piping is cpcv and appears to be appropriate size. Our water pressure is minimal at best. Any suggestions???

First of all, contact the installer!! If the home was recently built, you should not be running into these problems.

The size of the pump seems appropriate, but without knowing the static level of the well, the GPM of the well & pump, the distance the pump is set in the well (is it submersible or jet (above ground)), and the distance from the well to the house. Also, how many stories is the house?

Most new homes have to meet certain guidelines with regards to pressure and flow. Piping should be 3/4" minimum, until the point where it splits off to the fixture (when 1/2" is acceptable). All homes must have a 3/4" valve just after the holding tank. Tell me, is the pressure steadily bad, or does it start off fine, and then quickly turn to bad? Also, is it on both the hot and cold water, or just the hot? If just the hot, how do you heat your hot water? Do you have a water softener or other type of treatment system?

The suggestion regarding the pressure switch is a good idea. Most new installations come with a 30/50 pressure switch, which means the pump turns on when the pressure in the tank reaches 30 psi, and turns off when the pressure reaches 50. You could take the cover off the switch, and using a 3/8 wrench tighten down on the large nut (which compresses the spring) until the pump reaches a 40/60 on/off ratio (as seen by the pressure gauge). DO NOT SET IT ANY HIGHER THAN THAT!! If you continue to have a problem, then you should probably contact the pump installer of plumber who did the work in the house, and have them recheck the installation.


Well pressure tank

I am having a problem with the water pressure in my well. The cut off pressure is 22psi , the tank pressure is 20 psi. The water pumps to about 50psi and quickly drop to 22psi and the pump starts on again. Is this normal? Is the tank holding water? Is there a way to adjust the pressure higher?

Your pressure tank is probably "water logged". The bladder may be ruptured. Try shutting off pump switch, draining out water in tank, then refilling. This should recharge tank with air enough to temporarily fix the problem, proving your existing tanks bladder is ruptured. There has to be air in the tank for it to work properly, or else it will short cycle.

New well-old pressure

About a year ago we had a new four inch well drilled. It seems to be working fine. That is, the pressure switch is doing its thing and all appears to be as it should be. I trust the guy who put it in as well. The problem is that we simply are not getting enough water and it's not the size of the pump or the well itself. Both are fine. For instance, the problem is worst when the washer is filling. During that process you can't extract a drop of water from the kitchen sink. The problem is less severe in the shower or the bathroom sink but still noticeable. I understand we're not going to have the pressure and supply of city water but this is discouraging after spending the money on a new well. The well guy says my water softener might be clogging things up. Is this likely? He said i could isolate the softener then try it but I can't figure out how to do that. When I turn off the supply valves to the softener I get no water anywhere in the house.

In regard to your water softener, you are usually able to isolate it without shutting off the water supply to your house. Yours may not be set up that way - but take a look at your softener shut off valve. If it has a "bypass" position, try that. With a 4" casing, I assume that you have a deep well. Also, I assume that you have a pressure/water tank. Is it of the bladder type? If so, you might want to check the pressure. Usually, the pressure is adjusted to 2 pounds less than your pump start pressure. So, if you have a 30 - 50# pressure switch on your pump, you should adjust your tank pressure to 28#. Look on your water tank for a air valve like you might find on a car tire. Shut off the power to the pump. Drain the water tank completely. Locate a small air compressor (you can use a bike pump but be prepared to sweat). You also need a tire pressure gauge. Put air into tank until you reach the point that is 2 pounds less than your pump start pressure. Once that is done, you can restart the pump. This should help maintain more consistent pressure. Good luck!

Water pressure in new house too low

I have just moved into a new house with well water. The well pump is set to come on at 30 psi and off at 50 psi. When the system is down at the 30-psi end, the kitchen faucet barely runs. (Yes, I have cleaned out the aerator regularly). My question is, can I safely bump up the pressures to be 40 psi and 60 psi?

I just recently did the same thing...(about a month ago) pressure. Found out the submersible pump was blown and I had to have a new one put in at 97 feet below the ground....also, do you have bladder type holding tanks...if so, are the bladders in ok shape. Have you had them checked?


No water from Kitchen faucet

I recently replaced my kitchen faucet but every now and then, the water stops flowing. If I use the spray hose for a moment to get the water flowing again, everything's fine. What can I check?

Maybe you have a loose seal/washer/spring floating in your faucet somewhere. If you have a single lever faucet this especially can happen. Take apart the faucet and examine it too make sure.
Everything is in place. If you think there might be something stuck, get someone to help you do the following Cut a large pop bottle making a large hole on one side. Have the second person hold it over the stripped down faucet so that that the spray will be directed into the sink (and not in his face!). Ensure that your sink is plugged with a strainer to collect the expelled part. You can then open the valves below and blow the supply tubes out.

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