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Messages - JEG in Raleigh

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Cary, you helped me a lot last year with my well and I installed a cycle stop valve and cycle sensor and they both have been working great.  We are finally doing some landscaping around our house and I want to put in a small vegetable garden.  I want to use drip irrigation for the landscaping and vegetable garden.  At most, I will have 200' of irrigation lines with emitters, and from what I have read online, each 100' consumes only 0.5 gpm.  This is a homeowner system and I just want to run it off a hose bib, as I have done in a previous house that we had.  Rather than running a supply line to a hose bib on the side of the house, I want to use the hose bib (hydrant) that is mounted to the tee on the top of the well seal. I'm in a warm climate and don't have a pitless adapter and there is a tee on top of the well seal that supplies the house and the hydrant (sorry, can't figure out how to get a photo attached to my post). 

When I turn on the hydrant on the well, there is no switch of any kind connected to the flow coming out of the hydrant to turn on the well pump, and water comes out of the hydrant weakly… 1 gpm….so I’m guessing that water is flowing backwards, out of the pressure tank, through the bypass of the CSV and back down towards the well, where it comes out the hydrant… that correct?  And then, when the pressure tank drains enough, the pressure switch at the pressure tank turns on the well pump, and water starts gushing out of the hydrant.

But, when I’m using my proposed drip irrigation system, it will only consume about 1 gpm. 

QUESTION: So when the well pump is not running and the drip irrigation is being fed by the pressure tank only, is that going to be enough pressure to push water through the restrictions of the flow emitters of the drip irrigation system?

QUESTION:  When the pressure tank finally drains and the pressure switch turns on the well pump, will the well pump gradually fill the pressure tank again, while the 1 gpm flow is going to the irrigation system? 

QUESTION:  Is the CSV functioning when only the well hydrant is being used in this manner?

QUESTION:  Would I be hurting my well pump with this system?

I have a 1 hp Grundfos submersible pump supplying my house.  I have a CSV installed and just recently installed a Cycle Sensor.  Everything works great.  When my well pump kicks on, The Cycle Sensor shows it drawing approximately 9 amps and that gradually drops down to between 5.5 and 6 amps over then next 30 seconds.  I also have a Generac Centurion 16kw whole house backup generator that was installed last year.  Our house is very energy efficient....built to Passivhaus standards.  It's 1-story, 2400 square feet and has a 2-ton seer 17 two-stage heat pump.  It also has an electric water heater.  The stove is gas, but the dryer is electric.  So the big electric draws are the heat pump, water heater, well pump and periodically, the dryer. 

The generator has an automatic whole-house transfer switch that engages when utility power is lost.  This switch has HVAC load-shedding capabilities built into it, and you can add up to 8 more load-shed modules to it if you need to manage loads from other appliances/equipment.  Our generator installation is a little unusual in that our meter and service disconnect are remote and about 100' away from the house, and the generator is right next to that remote pedestal.  As a result, wiring the HVAC load-shed module requires trenching about 100' from the generator over to the outdoor unit of the HVAC, and I have not done that yet.  So at this point, the HVAC load-shed feature is not yet up and running.  I knew going in that this generator was not going to be able to handle starting the HVAC if the well pump or water heater were running, and likewise, I could not use the water heater or well pump if the HVAC was running.  I will be setting up the load-shed feature for the HVAC and will add a load-shed module for the water heater.  Until then, if we lose power, I need to switch off the HVAC breaker manually before running the well pump or the water heater, and if I need to run the heat pump, I need to flip the breakers for the pump and water heater.

So....we lost power for the first time since the generator install, for about 5 hours, last week.  I immediately turned off the water heater breaker and the HVAC breaker.  The only other electricity draws in the house at that point were the 2 refrigerators, 1 small chest freezer, and a half dozen LED lights.  Reminder, the generator is 16kw.  Also, the locked rotor amps of the HVAC system is 52, and the rated load of the combined HVAC outdoor unit, air handler, and ERV is 18 amps.  The locked rotor amps of the well pump is 48, and the rated load is 9.8 amps. With the HVAC system and water heater off, the only significant electrical draw on the system was the well pump, with a worst-case starting amperage of 48 amps.  The refrigerators, if running at the time, drew a maximum of 13 amps.  The lights, maybe 4 amps.  So the total draw on the generator before the pump kicked on was 17 amps at 120 volts = 2040 watts.  When the pump kicked on, if it drew all 48 LRA, that would be 48 amps x 240 volts = 11,520 watts.  So the total draw on the generator, in the worst case, would have been 13,560.  Sorry for the need for all the background info. 

I wanted to see what happened when the well pump kicked on.  I opened a tap and ran the water until the pressure switch turned the pump on.  At the instant the pump turned on, I watched the amperage indicator on the Cycle Sensor, and it was around 9.5.  To this day, I have never seen that spike above about 9.5....certainly never near 48, but maybe that spike happens so quickly that it doesn't register on the Cycle Sensor.  Anyway, as soon as the pressure switch engaged, all the power in the house, that now was being supplied by the generator, went out for about 10 seconds. The generator stopped running.   The pump did not kick on, and the Cycle Sensor LED's went out.  Then, after about 10 seconds, I heard the generator running again and the power came back on and the Cycle Sensor lit up at 9 amps, and the pump started running, and everything was working again. 

QUESTION:  Do you have any idea what happened?  I'm concerned about that happening each time the pump comes on under generator power.  Would the Cycle Sensor have anything to do with what I experienced?  I have not yet talked to Generac.  I wanted to rule out the Cycle Sensor having anything to do with it.  Thanks for any insights anyone can provide on this.

When the pump starts, the pressure gauge in front of the CSV does not swing to 150 immediately.  It does indeed take probably 30 seconds or so to slowly climb to 150 and the pressure gauge on the tank is climbing to 55 psi during that time also and then holds at 55 while the shower is running.  So then the tank is filling up until it hits 55 psi while the shower is running, is that correct....and at that point the CSV is working and the volume of water is cut back by the CSV to the amount being demanded by the shower, so the tank is not filling further, is that correct?

Before I had the CSV and my old new pump was in the process of burning up 2 weeks after it was installed, how was the system operating?  I thought that the pump would fill up the tank then shut off, and the shower would draw down the tank, then the pump would turn on and fill it up again, then the shower would drain it, and so on.  So the short duration of on off on off was frying the motor. I know the actual flow rate coming into the house is not the 10 gpm rating of the pump, but to keep the math easy,  In that scenario....without the CSV..... is the 10 gpm flow rate of the pump simultaneously feeding the shower and filling the tank?  So 2 gpm would go to the shower and 8 gpm would go to the tank?


Cary, Sorry, more questions.  Please read through this stuff before you answer me.  I have some direct questions, but I also am asking you to confirm that my understanding of how the system works is correct,  or if I'm mistaken, please explain the mechanics of what I am misunderstanding. 

So here is what I did yesterday before I sent the questions yesterday.  I looked at the pressure gauge on my pressure tank.  It was near 40 psi, so the pressure switch was close to being ready to turn on the next time i used a faucet.  I turned on a faucet, and in about 15 seconds, the pressure dropped to the 40 psi kick-on point of the pressure switch.  The switch contacts engaged and the pump turned on.  I turned off the faucet, so now no water was being used in the house.  I also have a pressure gauge installed in between the pump and the CSV, immediately before the CSV.  When the pump tuns on, the pressure gauge before the CSV swings from 40 psi (the turn-on point for the pressure switch and pump) to approximately 150 psi, where it remains while the pump is running.  When the pump shuts off, at 60 psi, the gauge before the CSV drops down to 60 psi, which matches the pressure gauge on the pressure tank. 

So, when the pressure in the pressure tank drops to 40 lbs.....the turn-on point of the pressure switch.....isn't the storage area of the tank pretty much 10-12 gallons has been used to drop the pressure down to 40 psi?  In your reply to me this morning, you said that with a 40/60 switch and the CSV set at 55 PSI the tank is 3/4 full before the CSV starts to work.  Well, when the pressure switch kicks the pump on at 40 psi, I see the second pressure gauge that I have installed in front of the CSV immediately swing up to 150 psi, and I was thinking that this back pressure indicates that the CSV is actively doing something at that that not correct?    I don't have any water running in the house at this point, because I turned off the faucet as soon as the pump came on,  so am I'm guessing that what the pump is doing is filling the pressure tank, and nothing else at this point, is that correct?   So, if the tank was essentially empty when the pressure hit 40 psi, how did it become 3/4 full before the CSV started to work?  As I said yesterday, I timed the run-time on the pump when it came on at 40 psi, and that was 200 seconds.  What you said about the tank being 3/4 full before the CSV started to work, and with the 1 gpm bypass working, the 200 seconds of pump run time makes sense, if the tank was 3/4 full.   But I don't understand how the tank became 3/4 full.  The entire run time of the pump was 200 seconds.....from a reading of 40 psi on the pressure tank. So.....not understanding how the tank is 3/4 full at the 40 psi seems to me that 11-12 gallons is being pumped into the tank in 200 seconds, despite a 1 gpm restriction on the flow rate because of the bypass. 

And one other question....let's say I have water running for 5-10 minutes in the house, like a shower head.  The pressure tank drains, the pump kicks on, the CSV starts working  and my pressure rises to 55 psi, where it holds constant with the pump continuing to run, and the CSV maintains that psi pressure.  Could you please describe the mechanics and route of the water that is coming out the shower head at 55 psi?  There, of course, is a tee on the pressure tank.  The "top" leg (if looking at the letter "T", the leg that would be considered the horizontal leg), is connected on one side, in a straight line to the water line coming from the pump and the the main water line supplying the house exits out the other end of the horizontal leg.  The "vertical" leg of the tee (if looking at the letter "T", the leg that  would be considered the vertical leg) attaches to the pressure tank.  When a faucet is open and the pump is running, is the water just shooting by the intersection of the horizontal leg and vertical leg of the tee and continuing to the open faucet?  And if the open faucet is only demanding 2 gpm, does the CSV close down so that only 2 gpm is going past the valve? So,  does the tank only fill once the the water to the faucet is shut off?  If what I am describing here is indeed what happens, then I go back to my question about how does the tank become 3/4 full so that once the water faucet is shut off, only 1/4 of the tank remains to be filled?

Thank you.

Got it, thank you.

Hi Cary.  You helped me last summer with a series of problems with a new well pump and I installed a CSV at that time.  It has worked great and I have had no other problems with my system.  Around that time, I also bought a Cycle Sensor and am just now getting around to installing it.  I have read through the documentation and watched the installation video, so I think I'm ready to install it, but I do have a couple of questions about the rapid cycle setting.

In the instructions, it says that 'the "Rapid Cycle" setting needs to be slightly lower than the number of seconds it takes to fill the pressure tank to the pressure switch shut off point'. When you helped me last summer, rapid cycling was a big problem I was having and the CSV took care of that.  Prior to installing the CSV, my pressure tank was filling in 30-45 seconds, and the new 1.5 hp pump that had been installed was too large and as you predicted, it burned up in about 2 weeks.  The replacement pump is a 1 hp pump and with the CSV, it takes around 200 seconds to fill the storage space of the 44 gallon pressure tank.  So when I set the Rapid Cycle setting, should I be setting it at 0.75 X 200 seconds or should I be using the pump run time of more like 0.75 X the pump run time the system would have if it did not have a 45-60 seconds?

Another question, just for my pump is a submersible centrifugal 1 hp pump with a 10 gpm output.  If the bypass in the CSV is a 1 gpm bypass, and I have all my water valves in the house shut off, and the storage volume of my 44 gallon pressure tank is approximately 11-12 gallons, how is 12 gallons able to be pumped into the tank able in 3 minutes, 10 seconds if the bypass of the CSV only permits 1 gpm?

And my last question.....with a CSV and now, with a Cycle Sensor, what would be the symptoms of a waterlogged pressure tank with a blown bladder?


I'm sorry.....when you said the fixed setting was 50 psi and I double checked my model number.  I was wrong about the model I have.  I have the CSV1A and you set the pressure at my request to 55 psi before you shipped it to me.   Could you please answer my previous questions from the standpoint of having the CSV1A?  Does everything  you said about the CSV125 hold true for the CSV1A, including the fixed 1 gpm backwards flow from the pressure tank to the hydrant,  or is the backwards flow rate of the CSV1A another amount.....or variable?  Thanks.

Great, thank you for the help Cary.

Thanks for the explanation.  Yes, I have the CSV125.  I have a 44 gallon pressure tank, so around 12 gallons of water in the tank when the pressure switch shuts off the pump.  If I turn on the hose bib on the top of the well, and I have no other water running, will the 1 gpm backwards flow rate out the hose bib last for approximately 12 minutes, until the pressure in the tank drops to point that the pump comes on, and then the pump will be pumping directly out the hose bib at 5-10 gpm?

Well, I installed my CSV last week, and everything seems to be working well.  I installed it immediately before my pressure tank, and I also installed a tee immediately before the CSV with a separate pressure gauge so I could monitor the back-pressure created by the CSV.  Just as you said it would, my pressure before the CSV is 155-160 psi.  I have several questions to try to fully understand how the CSV works:

1.  Until I started using my water with the CSV, I did not realize that the well pipe would only be subjected to the 155 psi when water was being used.  I had mistakenly thought that the well pipe would be continuously subjected to 155 psi.  Now I'm wondering if the 1 gallon bypass permits the equalization of the pressure of the portion of the system before the CSV that is at 155 psi and the rest of the system after the CSV that is at 55 psi, and I would think that the combining of the water behind the CSV that at 155 psi is 100 psi greater than the pressure of the 55 psi water after the CSV, would cause a lot of water to be expelled through the pressure release valve that's on the pressure tank tee during that equalization process. QUESTION; Could you explain why the entire system reverts back to the pressure tank psi once the pump shuts off and there is no water coming out of the pressure release valve? 

2.  I have a 40/60 pressure switch.  You preset the CSV at 55 psi per my request.  When I first turn on the water, the water drains out the the pressure tank until the pressure hits 40 psi, at which point the pump turns on and the CSV goes into action.  The pressure behind the CSV increases to 155 psi.  The pressure in the house's piping builds to the 55 psi at which you set the CSV.  QUESTION:  Is the pressure tank slowly filling also when the CSV is activated, up to the point that the pressure tank has 55 psi in it and is equal to the pressure being regulated by the CSV?   
QUESTION:  Once the water turns off and the CSV ceases to be active, is the pressure tank just topping up the 5 psi difference between the 55 psi setting of the CSV and the 60 psi setting of the pressure switch shut-off?

3.  Today, I turned on the hose bib on a tee (the other leg of the tee supplies the house with water) on the top of the well for the first time since installing the CSV.  Prior to installing the CSV, the water would gush out of that hose bib, probably at 5-10 gpm (the pump is a 10 gpm pump).  Today, the water comes out at about 1 gpm.  Am I correct that when the pump is not running, the water coming out of the hose bib is being pushed back down the line from the pressure tank, and the check valve in the pump prevents the water from refilling the well, and when you open  the hose bib on top of the well, the water being pushed by the pressure tank is diverted out the hose bib?  And is the 1 gpm bypass in the CSV now restricting that water being pushed by the pressure tank, thereby only allowing 1 gpm to come out of the hose bib on top of the well?  Will water ever come out of that hose bib faster (like when the pump kicks in and starts running)?


GREAT, thank you!

It’s 10 GPM set at 300’ with a static water level 30’ below the top of the well casing.

I'm sorry....I probably shouldn't have quoted that long post because I'm not sure if you saw my question. 

I called your office yesterday and spoke with Sam, and told him I wanted to buy a CSV and make sure that it would now work with my new pump.  He told me it would subject my pipe to 150 PSI, and he asked me the type of pipe I have.  The pump is now at 300' and I have 200 psi polyethylene pipe with SS barbed fittings, and the barbed ends of the fittings looked to be about 2" long when I was watching, and they used 3 beefy hose clamps on each connection and used a cordless impact driver to tighten them.  I know you would not use that pipe at that length, but that's what I'm stuck with.  Sam was concerned that the back pressure from the CSV could blow the pipe off the fittings.  That being said, for the 2-3 weeks that I had the 1.5 hp pump that failed, THAT pump was set at 500' with that same pipe and fittings, and back on July 6, you replied to me and told me that that I had 230 PSI of pressure being generated by that 1.5 hp pump at that 500' depth with the 30' static water level.  When the failed pump was pulled today, there was no sign of fitting slippage or pipe failure.  So, since the new setup, with a 1 hp pump at 300' and a CSV would generate 150 psi.....80 psi less than what I had with the 1.5 hp you think I'd be OK with the CSV? 


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