Booster pump for backwash cycle of whole-house filter


My brother in Vermont bought this nice Crystal Quest CQE-WH-01202 whole-house filter (iron/sulfur/manganese, see link below) but we're not sure about whether he has enough water pressure for the backwash cycle and what to do about it. I'd like to solve this before I fly down there next week to help him hook up the plumbing connections.
The product page says proper backwash needs at least 14gpm. I had him do a bucket test and he gets only 3gpm when measured from a higher floor bath.
Is there some typically some adjustment on his existing pump for the water pressure (I'm not familiar with well systems) and if so, why would it not be turned to max already? Can we just install one of those water pressure booster pumps that have the little attached tanks that sell for around $500? Or would we also need to install a much larger water tank to go with the booster pump? Did we get into a complex job or is this just a matter of getting a couple more straightforward parts to complete the system?
He really wants the CQE-WH-01202 filter that he had shipped to his house. He doesn't want a lesser capable unit even if it needs less backwash pressure. So we'll try to get this one working..
http://crystalquest.com/Manganese,%20Iron,%20and%20Hydrogen%20Sulfide%20water%20filter.htm
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http://crystalquest.com/Manganese,%20Iron,%20and%20Hydrogen%20Sulfide%20water%20filter.htm
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Why is he measuring the flow rate in a higher floor bath? Presumably, the unit is going somewhere lower, much closer to the well, fed by a much larger diameter pipe. Also, many bath fixtures have aerators, etc that restrict flow. Before considering alternatives, I'd find out what the real flow rate is.

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I'll have him check the adjustment on the existing pressure tank and see if he can measure the flow from a valve somewhere in the basement. Do you think that with such adjustments and different faucet location it would even be possible that we could see an increase from 3gpm to 14gpm? Would there be any risk of running the well dry if we change the pressure setting?
After searching the web I found some info that people like to recommend the Gould Aquaboost II or WellManager systems along with an atmospheric storage tank. The pump is supposed to intelligently know about the water demand and regular its power pumping from this tank according to water demand. If it turns out we have to install something like that, I wonder if it is feasible I could grab one from a supplier during my week-long trip to Vermont and be able to install it as a DIY project. Or if this would turn out to be one of those complex things that a well company has to do along with engineering analysis of the well yield etc...?
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Increasing the GPM is only possible if you have the volume of water behind the pump to sustain the desired volume.
14gpm is quite a flow rate in any residential installation on a municipal water system let alone on a well.
And how long is the backwash? You'd need to sustain 14gpm for the entire time the filter is backwashing.
Increasing well output from 3gpm to 14gpm is quite a lofty goal that may never be achieved.
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I wonder if there is some way to temporarily boost the flow rate (using existing standard well equipment pressure tank) that only happens during the backwash. I'm imagining, if the filter unit is smart enough with some electrical signal output, it could trigger some booster pump or pressure setting in the pressure tank to temporarily increase flow rate. hmmm
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Say what? 14 GPM is a very typical flow rate for a residential well. I have a 50 ft well here in NJ yielding 15GPM. Nothing special, just a 4" casing. Had we gone to 110ft, there is much more water and could have easily had 20GPM+ flow rate. And 14GPM would obviously be a joke for any municipal well.

We don't even know what the flow rate of the well is. Measuring 3 GPM at an upstairs faucet says nothing about the actual max flow rate capability of the well.
It amazes me when the truly clueless chime in.
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Yes, it's possible. How old is the house? If he has old galvanized pipe, it's not unusual for the pipes to be corroded and constricted so instead of a 1" line, you have 1/4" line. Measure on the 2nd story using that, you could get 3GPM. Open a 1" line direct from the well you could have 5X.
It's more common to find a residential well yielding 15GPM than 3 GPM.
>Would there

It's the flow rate that is going to run the well dry, not the pressure. The flow rate is determined by the well, pump, and piping.
Here's another simple test. With the faucet constantly drawing 3GPM, how much is the well pump actually running? If it is running 100%, then clearly 3GPM is the max you can get with the well, pump, and piping from the well to the house. If it is cycling on and off and runs only 20% of the time, then clearly the settup is actually pulling a lot more than 3GPM.

Adding a booster pump would not be my focus. Any reasonable well pumping installation can surely support far more than 3GPM, so it's very likely you have the pumping capacity.
I'd start by measuring the flow rate from a large valve or fitting close to where the water softener will be connected. And obviously it depends on the well yield, because if the well truly yields only 3GPM, no matter how much you boost the pressure, that's all the water you can pull continuosly. To get a higher rate, you'd be limited by the tank capacity. Whether that would be sufficient for the water softener depends on how long the softener needs that 14GPM flow rate to backwash and the tank size. If it needs it for 1 min, it's practical. If it needs it for 10, that's another story.
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An upper floor bathroom is the wrong place to measure the flow rate. You are going to lose about three PSI of pressure just from being on the second floor. I would check it first at the well. If you don't have it there you want have it anywhere. Then check it at the filter. If you don't have it at the filter,assuming you had it at the pump, you will probably have to use larger pipe between the pump and filter or move the filter closer to the pump.
Jimmie
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BTW you will want to google well flow rate to find out how to do it right. It is more complicated than it may seem because you also have to determine how fast your pump can replace the water not just how fast you can get a gallon of water out of the pressure tank.
Jimmie
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