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Topics - 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.

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?


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)?


I'm not dealing with irrigation well issues....just the well for my house.  I have an 800' deep well (water level 30' below the top of the casing) and had been having problems with the 4-year old 3/4 hp well pump, 8 gph, supplying my domestic water.  It had been set at 300' and never provided enough volume if more than one valve was open.  The check valve wasn't working either. I have a Well-X Trol 44 gallon pressure tank.  I told the pump installer that I wanted more volume and pressure, and a high quality pump.  They put in a 1.5 hp Gurundfos producing 10 ghp, and set it at 500'.  Well, I'm an idiot, and did not look at what gauge wire was feeding the old pump, and it was only 14/2 (well is 120' from my breaker panel).  So, when they installed the new well pump, they ran 8/2 wire down the well and connected that to the 14/2 wire coming out of the panel.  The day after the installation, I was running an outdoor hose for 20-25 minutes and I suddenly lose water pressure.  I fumbled around flipping the breaker (that didn't work) and was scratching my head for 5 minutes, when the pump came back on.  The manual said the pump had a thermal overload safety and at that point I checked the breaker size and wire size against what the manual said and discovered the undersized wire and breaker.  So, I'm having an electrician run a subpanel out to the well with 8/2 wire and I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to extend the life of the pump. 

That brings me to the CSV.  So now with the more powerful pump being 200' deeper in the well, with 470' of head, someone on another forum suggested I might have a worry with upthrust, and suggested I might need a larger pressure tank, I'm guessing because the more powerful pump will now cycle on and quickly fill the pressure tank, then cycle off too quickly.  So, I am trying to figure out the best way to minimize the potential issue with upthrust and reduce the cycling on and off of the pump.  I don't have room for a larger pressure tank, but I can add a second pressure tank in the closet behind my utility room where the current pressure tank is. 

1.  I'm not clear about this.....can I use the CSV with a pressure tank? 
2.  Will the pressure tank fill up when the CSV is managing a minimal flow, like a single sink valve running or must the CSV not be restricting flow for the pressure tank to fill?
3.  If I turn on a bathtub valve to fill a bathtub, and that drains my pressure tank after a number of minutes, and the CSV kicks in and regulates the flow and then I turn off the tub valve and stop all water flow, will the pressure tank fill up again?
4.  Will a CSV have any positive effect on minimizing upthrust?

I'm a total rookie here, so answers and explanations like you'd give to a 2nd grader would be helpful.  Thanks.

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