If you live in the city, there's no need to think about your water supply. However, a constant pressure well system is a must-have for those living with a private well system. It provides a constant supply and adequate water pressure without the air spitting out of your faucets.
While constant pressure systems make your life easier, they are complicated. They're an advanced plumbing system that significantly improves water supply and reduces operating costs.
Many people who install these systems don't understand how they work, leading to issues that will call for repairs. Sometimes people set the relief valve too high, causing it to blow off. Also, with time, your well systems might deteriorate.
We will discuss a case where the relief valve leaks and the main shutoff valve needs replacement. We will also provide some of the key considerations that you must keep in mind during pump repair scenarios. This will help avoid mistakes.
Note that every individual case could have a different problem that is more or less serious. We will require adequate diagnostic information to be clear and see what we can do to fix it.
Before starting work, we check for small issues that could cause problems soon and list them down. For instance, one common replacement we come across during repair calls is the main shut-off valve. The main shutoff valve fitted to a constant pressure system well is sometimes made of cheap plastic and gets damaged quickly. They're often very tough to turn, usually because of improper installation. So we replace that.
Next, we check the air pressure in the tank. We first drain the system down to zero and cut the electronic box off. Constant pressure systems call for the air pressure to be set to 70 percent of the set point. This generally stands at around 49 psi.
Suppose if 70 psi is being delivered to the house, you might have the pressure gauge zeroed out, which leads to damage in the long term. In such cases, we will cut the system back off for a second, and when we put the gauge on, you'll see it will have no pressure at all. So there's no pressure now while it should be at 49.
This means that the air went astray. Now we must check the relief valve. It might constantly drip if it’s damaged. It may also go bad if the tank is not operating correctly.
Here, we will need to check if the tank can still hold pressure after the leakage has been mitigated. Most tanks that require such repairs are old. In such cases, we generally recommend a replacement. However, we also see if it holds air and then leave it up to the customer whether they'd like to replace it or not. There is a substantial price difference between just recharging it and replacing it. Nonetheless, it’s advised that you replace them when one of these tanks loses air. It's supposed to be a sealed system that should not lose air.
To check the tank’s capability of holding pressure, we will adjust the pressure to zero and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will let us know if it could hold the charge and build pressure up to 49 PSI. This should always be measured with the tank's initial reading at zero.
Let’s say that the tank does hold pressure, but the homeowner wants a well pump replacement with a proactive approach. Often, you know these systems work back and forth so much that the tank might be leaking only during certain intervals of the bladder cycle.
You might not get it to leak while you're sitting right there because the bladder is fully extended to the bottom of the well. It’s always better to replace the tank and the relief valve, and the main shutoff valve if you experience such leaks.
We start this process by draining the system and replacing the main shutoff valve. We always maintain a time margin in terms of glue cure time by doing it first. Then we will go ahead and put on our shutoff valve. For this, we use a brass valve with stainless steel adapters made for CPVC.
Next, we take out the old relief valve. Relief valves are known to fail after a subsequent pressure tank failure. We will also check the inside of the valve for minerals to discover if there’s any kind of buildup.
After that, we take the pressure gauge off. For this, we use a one-inch brass threaded ball valve with two one-inch male adapters in it.
Once all these are tightened up, we move on to the pressure gauge. A hundred-pound air gauge will generally cost you around ten dollars. It is important to know that anytime you shut down the system and lose air, you must go ahead and replace that gauge. It’s likely going to be more accurate than the old one. However, you wouldn’t have to replace it if this had been a liquid gauge. They typically last longer without any problems and cost around the $20 range.
Finally, we take the old tank and install the new one. Once fitted, we work on getting it pressurized to the mandated pressure reading of 49 PSI.
Finally, we get the new tank pressurized to 49 pounds with a new pressure gauge. Again you must replace this gauge anytime you shut down the system. Doing so will make it easier when you require further repairs or replace that tank package.
Once we’re finished setting up the whole constant pressure system back up and running, we still have to start it up and re-check everything. We check out the water filter, do a quick water test, and acceptable results let us wind up the repair session.
Also, we ensure that every module is stickered up so that the next person who comes to work on it will have an easier time understanding past repairs and replacements.