home water pressure

Hi all, I just bought a home, it is about 15 years old.All pluming system looks good. I have water well and septic. Just recently my family start complaining about water pressure. When somebody takes a shower, and open another valve, like in the kitchen, water flow become very small and hot or cold.I checked water pressure - around 50. Any suggestions - should I check water pump at the well, or ?
Ed.
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Ed wrote:

Pressure is one thing, flow rate is another. Watch pressure when water is being used. Static pressure does not count. Tony
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Ed wrote:

Does the pressure gauge reading go up and down? If not, it may be frozen in time.
If the gauge really *is* working, then the pump is not at fault. It could be a valve partly closed or a fitting corroded closed. Is there a water softener or, possibly, a whole-house filter?
Jim
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Ck the filter first
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If you have a filter it probably needs to be replaced.
I had a similar problem and found all the show heads and aerators were clogged with tiny stones. God only knows how they got past two filters, but now that they are cleaned out, my pressure is great.
So, it could be lots of things; but the filter is the first thing to try.
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Ed: We've had two homes that used well and pressure pumps. You mention 50 lbs/sq.inch pressure but low water flow. The standard here is usually to have a domestic pump cut in at 20 lbs and cut out at 40. So 50 sounds fine? (maybe a bit high?). At what pressure does your pump 'cut in'? (Start). Our showering, dish and clothes washers all worked fine at those settings for some 20-25 years. But it sounds like you may have a 'flow' problem not a pressure problem at all! That 50 pounds when everything is at rest and water is not flowing possibly means nothing at all. Maybe there are blockages in the system and or shower heads, such as gravel, sand, deteriorated valves etc. Has your system ever been drained down and/or flushed out? For example take the aerator nozzle off the kitchen faucet and see if their is gravel in there? Drain down the hot water tank, if there is one, and see what that tells you about deposits, scale or residues in the water. Another idea, been in this house 34 years and there several shut off valves that now need their 'innards' replaced! Some stem leak slightly and/or won't fully close or open if/when operated. At least one of ours now slightly impedes water flow. (We are now on municipal supply with constant pressure.) One occasion the washer and internal screw of one of our shut off valves had disappeared into the piping; we eventually found pieces of the washer several years ago while replacing our hot water tank, fortunately it apparently hadn't lodge anywhere it impeded the water flow. Suggestions anyway. Good luck..
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There is usually a pressure tank associated with a well system. In older homes this was a straight tank partially filled with water. Over time the air in the other part would disolve into the water and the tank would fill up. At this point, you would wind up with a "short cycling" pump - the pressure would be say 50, open a tap and it'd drop to 20 and the pump would turn on. This is very bad for the pump.
The cure is to drain the water out of the tank and to pump it up with a compressor or tire pump. With the tank half full of air, the water pressure starts at 50 and gradually drops back to where the pump starts.
That's how it used to be - but a fifteen year old home probably has a bladder tank (Amtrol for example). This is a tank with a "baloon" in it to keep the air from diffusing into the water. If the bladder breaks then you wind up with a situation like the old fashioned tank. You can see if this is the problem by having someone turn on a tap and watching the pressure gauge. If it drops like a rock, you have a "water bound" pressure tank.
Otherwise, you have a blockage between the tank and the shower, probably a plugged filter.
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