Well Pump Trouble?


I have a well with a pump that provides 10 gal/min. The pump provides water to the house, and a network of drip irrigation emitters within 200' of the house--1/4" tubing. There's a valve for drip irrigation by the pump house, which provides water to about 8 trees. All of the lines are on timers. The pump house has a bibb, and I put a pressure gauge on it. It mostly reads 30 but I've see it all the way to 50.
The timer for the 8 trees is never on when other plants and trees are watered. I've noticed that the 8 tree timer comes on about the same time as when the pressure is 30. The timer is on for 90 minutes twice a week. It starts out very weak, but after about 30-45 minutes gets better. The pressure moves up to about 40. 50 would be better. Is there anyway of getting the pump up to close to 50 quickly when it is turned on? I do not hear the pump begin when the timer starts watering. I'm not quite sure when it finally gets on its way.
I've heard that if the demand is low on a line, then the pump can go and off often, which puts a strain on it. Why does that happen?
It seems like there's a balance between demand and time the watering takes place. That is you want the 8 tree line to get 50 gal out to all the trees, then it should take 5 minutes. However, trying to calibrate all the drip emitters seems impossible. There seems to reliable way to set them. How does one find a happy medium?
I've been finding this drip system inadequate as the trees get larger. The drip irrigation emitters at best spray maybe a 4" circle. This does not seem of much use with a tree with a larger root system. Is there an alternative set of timers and emitters that would make more sense, that is, get larger coverage when spraying? Maybe something that's used in orchards. These are not orchard trees. Maples, oaks, evergreens.
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W. eWatson

(121.015 Deg. W, 39.262 Deg. N) GMT-8 hr std. time)
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W. eWatson wrote:

gauge there. If so you can probably set a higher pressure at the tank and see if it makes any difference.
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Chris wrote:

installed it years ago, and ask.
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W. eWatson

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W. eWatson wrote:

the pump.
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It sounds like you need to adjust the pressure differential on the well pump pressure switch. Here is an article describing this on your garden variety system: http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/WaterPumpAdjust.htm

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installation, said we were told by the installers not to mess with that box. I'll call them and find out the story tomorrow.
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W. eWatson

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W. eWatson wrote:

An irrigation system can easily overwhelm a well. You need to plan your irrigation system carefully. Add up the GPM rating of each head. If it is too much for the well and/or pump then you would need to divide the system up into more zones.
Most wells have a cut-in cut-off pressure switch. My well pump is set to come on at 30 PSI and shut off at 50 PSI. Most well systems also have a bladder tank which helps keep the water pressure up when water is being used but the pump is not on yet. The bladder tanks need to be properly charged with air in order to work properly. You need to check that once or twice a year.
Your running PSI will be somewhere between the pressure switch settings but will depend on the rate of flow (demand) and the size (HP) of the pump motor. I doubt you will get 50 more like 35. There should be one or more PSI gauges already installed near the pump or tank.
You could get better results by getting a larger well pump and/or adding a large storage tank and pressure pump.
Note: Saying a well pump can pump 10GPM is not the same as saying a well system can continuously deliver 10GPM. My well pump (1.5HP) can pump 10GPM no problem for about 5 min., then it runs dry.
Kevin
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...

emitters messes up calculations, if not just the need to get water out reliably.

I'm quite sure we are asking too much from our system. It was originally designed for house and lawn usage. We certainly didn't account for a need for trees to block views from light and other sources. That plus my burgeoning interest in trees, which has finally been reigned in. However, I think the problem is solvable, but not with the garden variety or drip-irrigation we have.
I think I need to find out how people with orchards do it. It may take more timers/stations than we have and probably larger tubes to delivery the water, something like watering directly with the 5/8" (1/2"?) tubes that delivery the water to the trees now.
On a positive note, many of the trees are deodora, which really do not require water during the summer in our climate (Mediterranean). I'm experimenting carefully with that idea--cutting down on their watering. It certainly proved true on one line last year when it broke and went unnoticed. Every tree but the one deodora there wilted badly. Fortunately, the break was discovered and all trees rescued.

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