FAQs

Q?

I live in Florida. My well is a piece of pipe 1 ½” in diameter protruding from the ground with a Jet pump and pressure tank connected to it. I have a 4-bathroom house with a landscape irrigation system. Over the years my water pressure has gone from good to poor to terrible. Changing the pump didn’t help much. Will a Herculan ConstaBoost Static Storage System help? As long as I’m asking, is there anything that can be done with the terrible smelling water? Everyone around here has that problem.

A.

It sounds like you have an older driven well. Essentially these are a length of pipe with a special end (drive point) driven into the ground. Some of these are only 20 feet deep others are deeper. Twenty to thirty years ago the water level in Florida was so high that it was very near the surface. Your great weather has attracted a lot of people since then so there are a lot more wells than there were and it’s a little further down to the water now.

 

Pumps have a finite amount of energy (horsepower) with which to accomplish their task. The more energy that goes into lifting the water, the less is available with which to build pressure. Most shallow well jet pumps run out of lift entirely when the water table falls to 22’. At that depth they can no longer deliver water at all. Each year, as the water table receded, your pump has had to spend more energy lifting the water from deeper in the ground and has had less left with which to build pressure. The result is that your plumbing performance has gotten worse and worse with time.

 

There are three possible solutions to your pressure problem:

  1. Drill a new 4” or 6” diameter well and install a submersible well pump. This type of pump can deliver water from very deep wells.
  2. Install a HCB Static Storage System after your existing pressure tank and lower the cut in and cut out settings on your pressure switch. With the system functioning at lower pressures the pump will be able to lift the water further. It will require much less pressure to fill an atmospheric storage tank than a pressure tank serving the plumbing system and the pump in the HCB tank will supply great pressure to the house. If the water table drops lower, you can convert the HCB into a Well Manager® which can operate on 3-5 PSI pressure because it won’t need your pressure tank at all.
  3. Install a Well Manager® and do away with the pressure tank now if you think you may eventually be forced to do that anyway.

 

The odor problem:

 

If you drill a new well you will need to buy a separate system to take care of the odor problem. Since both the Herculan and Well Manager systems include an atmospheric (non pressurized) storage tank, you can adapt the tank fill to a spray boom and gas off the odors, so this is an additional benefit with very little cost. With the proper pump in the Tank, you will be able to run the irrigation system, your plumbing will perform better than it did when your well was new, you will get consistent pressure and odors will be nearly, if not completely, eliminated.

Q?

My water pressure on the cold-water side is pretty good but on the hot side it is terrible. I can’t turn on any other hot water faucet in the house when I’m in the shower. Can I put a wall mounted Herculan Booster on the hot water only?

A.

This sounds like a problem in the plumbing to me. Rather than install a Booster, you need to find the source of the problem. Check to see that all of the valves in the hot water line are all the way open – including the slotted screw driver stop that may be behind the trim plate of your shower valve. If your hot water comes from a tank type water heater there may be a problem with the dip tube. Some of these are designed with a closed end and slots in the side to distribute the cold water. If you have this type, they can become clogged with sand, well grit, manganese or calcium deposits.

 

If your hot water comes from a heat exchange coil in your heating boiler, these are also susceptible to clogging caused by minerals in the water. Also, keep in mind that these coils have a design flow rate. In other words, they are designed to heat the water “instantaneously” as it flows through the coil. Up to the design flow rate the coil will produce hot water. If you try to push water through it faster to improve pressure at the shower you will exceed the design flow rate and water will come out cooler and cooler the faster you push it through.

 

Flow rates for coils found in home heating boilers range from 3 ½ to 5 gallons per minute. The flow rate can often be found stamped in the face of the coil mounting plate. If you have a coil, check to see that water is going through at the designed flow rate. If you have a 5 gpm coil and are getting a lot less flow, your coil probably needs to be cleaned.

 

If you are getting design flow rate through the coil and are not happy with the plumbing performance, you need to look into another way to make hot water. Call your local plumbing professional and discuss the matter with them.

Q?

I have a well and my water pressure is low. Can I use a wall mounted Herculan ConstaBoost™ to boost the pressure? It would be really great to have constant pressure!

A.

There are a number of reasons that pressure may be poor in a plumbing system supplied by a well.

 

If your pressure was pretty good and it is poor now there are a few possibilities. 1. The well screen is clogging. Ask your driller if your well has a well screen. 2. There is a problem with the pump: It is old and bearing or impeller wear is reducing its ability to deliver. The pump intake screen is clogged from mineral or biological build-up. 3. There is a check valve in the drop pipe or by the pressure tank that is jammed part way open. 4. Have you had any treatment equipment or filters installed? They may be undersized or clogged. 5. There may be a hole in the pipe down the well.

 

If you have a well and your water pressure has always been poor, chances are the well yield is not adequate to supply you plumbing system. Well drillers will usually put the largest pump that they feel comfortable with in the well because they know you want performance but they also know that the last thing you want is to run out of water. If your well is low yield and the well pump is too large, it will be removing water from the well faster than water is coming into the well. If an over sized pump runs for any length of time the well may be pumped empty and then you will run out of water.

 

If you install the wall mounted Herculan ConstaBoost and connect it directly to the well line it will boost the performance of your system because it will work in conjunction with your well pump to remove water from the well faster and thus provide more pressure. The result will be the same as putting too large a pump in the well – great performance for a short time and then NO WATER!

 

If the water pressure on your well system has always been poor or has become so as the result of drought, install a Well Manager® or a Herculan ConstaBoost Static Storage System and you will get the constant pressure and ample supply you’re looking for.

 

 

Q?

I have a well that works fine. But I had a sprinkler system installed and it drains the tank so fast that when it is running after about 5 minutes it will only hold at 20-25 psi until the sprinkler shuts off. What do I need to do?

A.

This is a common question. I notice that you did not say you run out of water, just that the pressure is terrible. The simple answer is that you are trying to get more water than the well pump can deliver. The pump simply hasn’t got enough power to push water fast enough to feed all of the outlets you are asking it to feed.

 

There are three possible reasons for this.

  1. There is a problem with the well pump – possibly a clogged intake screen or shaft bearings that are seriously worn.
  2. There is a problem with a stuck check valve in the pump discharge line.
  3. There is nothing wrong with the pump or a check valve. The real reason is the well is a Low Yield well.

 

A little background so you know why #3 is a real possibility: A well is simply a hole dug or drilled into the ground into which water pours, runs, leaks or dribbles, depending on local geology. The rate at which water runs into the well is its Yield. You cannot remove water from the well faster than it comes in for any length of time, without pumping it empty which will result in NO WATER coming from the sprinkler or anywhere else.

 

If you are the original homeowner or if you have lived here for several years and there has been no noticeable change (degradation) in plumbing performance then I’d bet the yield of this well is inadequate to directly supply your sprinkler system. If you are new to the home, then any one of the three are a possibility.

 

Why not just throw a bigger pump in the well? Because, if this is a low yield well, you will change the complaint from I have poor pressure TO I run out of water!

 

When a well is constructed for a home, the hope is that it will provide enough water to feed all of the plumbing and possibly a landscapeirrigation system. The well driller has done everything he can to make that happen but in the end he can only provide what nature has to offer. So what does one do when the well nature offers has a 2 gallon per minute yield but the house presents an 8 – 15 gpm need? If a pump large enough to feed the home were installed the family would run out of water and if the pump were sized for the well yield (2 gallons per minute) then you’d have a hard time taking a 3 gpm shower. The pump installer will most often choose a pump that will supply one bathroom – say a 5gpm pump – and rely on the water stored in the well to make up the difference between what you are using and what the well is producing.

 

Example: You have a two gallon per minute well and a 5 gpm pump. The pump will provide a decent shower if you don’t use more than one bathroom at a time. For every minute you shower you use 1 more gallon than the well is producing. A 6” well contains 1.5 gallons of stored water for each foot of water in it. Therefore every minute you shower the well level goes down 2/3rds of a foot. A ten minute shower might draw the well down 6.66 feet. If other plumbing is also being used then the well level will fall a little faster. You are not likely to run out of water because the pump won’t provide enough pressure to use enough plumbing outlets for that to happen – which is also why the sprinkler isn’t running the well dry.

 

If you have lived there long enough to know that plumbing performance has always been the same, indicating the likelihood that this well is inadequate for this use, you have 3 choices. Cease using the irrigation system. Drill another well – if the odds are good that you will find a yield adequate for your sprinkler system or install a Well Manager which offers a guaranteed result. How do you decide what to do? Try this: Have you ever discussed water with your neighbors? Are there other homes in the neighborhood that have sprinkler systems? Do any of them have poor pressure? Can they run two showers at the same time or turn on the washing machine while someone is in the shower? Have they been told by someone that there isn’t enough water in their well to run a sprinkler system? Did they have difficulty finding an adequate well when their home was built? Asking around can reveal a lot of information.

 

If these answers confirm my suspicion, then we could work at this backwards. Knowing how many zones are in your system, how many heads are on each zone and the discharge rates of each head (marked on many heads as a decimal number 2.2, .75, 1.5 etc) it would be possible to calculate the amount of water required each day to operate the system, the pump size needed to properly run it, and the well yield required to directly supply it.

 

The well yield requirement along with the information you find asking around can give you an idea as to the odds of being successful drilling a new well with a yield adequate to directly supply your system.

 

The information on the irrigation system would allow us to tell you the minimum well yield required to run the system with a Well Manager and a simple well yield test will tell you whether your well is adequate. The yield required with a Well Manager® is only a fraction of that required to supply an irrigation system directly from the well so odds are that this will work. In any case, we can tell you up front whether or not we can solve your problem and exactly what performance you can expect before you pay a dime.

 

Wouldn’t it be great to run the irrigation system and shower at the same time? A Well Manager® can provide enough water to do that. There is no other solution to this kind of problem that can guarantee a result before work is started!!

Q?

We had a 700 foot deep, 3 gallon per minute well that filled up to within 20 feet of the top when we built our home ten years ago. As more houses were built around us there were times when we would run out of water if I sprinkled the lawn. Now, with the drought, it seems that the pressure in the house is getting poorer as time goes on even though I no longer water the lawn. There are times when the pressure won’t climb much above 20 pounds, but I still get some water when I open the faucet on the first floor. What does this mean?

A.

If the water level in the well has dropped considerably, as it may in a drought, the pump is working harder and will deliver less water than it used to. If the pump installer sized the pump to run out of lift before it comes out of the water you would get the symptoms you are reporting as the well level drops. The pump is still pumping water but it doesn't have enough lift once the pressure builds to 20 lbs.

To test this theory, turn the pump off for a couple of hours and then turn it back on. If the pump tank fills up and shuts off it's a pretty safe bet that we were correct.

A Well Manager® can help cure this problem because the storage tank is not pressurized so the pump has very little back pressure to work against. Therefore it can deliver water from farther down the well. This means that in a drought, the water will have to drop much lower before you run out.

Q?

My wife and I just finished building our dream house. We have been extremely fortunate and were able to afford most of the things we wanted. The house has six bedrooms, five full and two half baths, a laundry, a magnificent kitchen and a mother-in-law apartment. It is everything we hoped it would be, with one exception. The first well we drilled was under a half gallon per minute and over 450 feet deep. The second was 2 1/2 gallons per minute and 400 feet deep. It didn’t make much sense to do anything with well number 1 so we didn’t even put a pump in it and the second well just doesn’t provide enough pressure to use even two of our bathrooms at the same time. My wife gave up trying to use our master bath shower with the two heads and body sprays. Our dream isn’t much good without enough water. Is there anything we can do?

A.

From the sound of your story I'd guess that there isn't much point in  drilling another well, so you will have to do the best you can with the ones you have. If you haven't yet hydrofracted the first well, I would get a price on doing that. Hydrofracting is a process which, using water pressure, can open up existing fractures in your well and even create new ones. Often this can increase the yield of your well. For more information on Hydrofracting see: HYDROFRACTING.  If you have elaborate landscaping, you will need all the water you can get to keep it alive during a drought.
A Well Manager® will cure your problems in connection with the performance of the plumbing system in your new house. The Well Manager® system can be designed to supply the proper flow rate so that you can use all of your plumbing, including your dream shower.

 
The single 2 1/2 GPM well will supply up to 3,600 gallons per day. Because Well Manager® systems are available for one or two wells, you may want to consider combining your wells to get 4,320 gallons per day or more if the hydrofracting were successful.

Q?

When we built our house, the well we drilled was really inadequate. We have been living with it since then because we just didn’t have the money to do anything about it. Now that our financial situation is changed we are wondering if we should drill a new well or consider installing a Well Manager® on our existing well.

A.

If it is uncommon where you live for a well to be this poor, then I would consult a well driller and get his input. If, on the other hand, poor wells are common in your area it may pay to think about a Well Manager® instead. The first step in making the decision should be a test to see how much water your well is producing. If it is making 3/4 of a gallon per minute you have over a thousand gallons of water per day. If the well is producing less than that, the choice depends on the odds of a new well being better. It is possible to live with a one quart per minute well, if you have a Well Manager®. A 1/2 gallon per minute well can be fairly comfortable if you do not expect to water shrubs, etc

Q?

I have heard that sometimes well drillers build a system consisting of a 500 gallon atmospheric storage tank from which they then pump water to the house using a second pump. How is this different from a Well Manager®?

A.

Once in a while we see one of these custom made systems you are describing. Well Storage TankThey consist of a large unpressurized storage tank, usually 500 gallons or larger, which receives water from the well. The tank is equipped with two sensors, one for high water and one for low water. The high water sensor would be set near the top of the tank, say at 450 gallons, and the low water sensor would be set at a reasonable low water level - possibly 300 gallons.
Once the low water float turns the pump on it runs until the high water sensor turns it off. The difference between the high and low switch settings is determined by the amount of water that you could reasonably expect to pump without emptying the well and endangering the pump.

There are several differences between this type of system and a Well Manager®.

  1. Because of time based pumping, a Well Manager® uses a much smaller tank so the entire system will fit in the corner of an average basement, utility room or even a crawl space. The job site built system requires a lot of space.

 

  1. The large tank system cannot automatically compensate for a drought as a Well Manager® can. With the jobsite built units, if there isn't enough water in the well to replace the 150 gallons needed to turn off the pump, damage can result. If, on the other hand, a Well Manager® is not pumping water during an on cycle, it turns off immediately and tries again later.

 

  1. A Well Manager® pump controller has status lights that tell you what is going on. They indicate when the power is on, when the well pump should be running, when the pressure pump should be on, when there is flow from the well, when the tank is full, and when the tank is too low. The job site built system usually has none of those things.

 

  1. The job site system will be built with whatever parts are available at the time but a Well Manager® control panel is built with the same readily available parts and is Underwriters Laboratory listed. This is an important feature when you need a certificate of occupancy and are trying to get the wiring approved by the local electrical inspector.

 

  1. A Well Manager® is a packaged and tested system that can be installed in one day.

Q?

Is 1 1/2 gallons per minute enough water to supply our home?

A.

Yes it is. A 1 1/2 gallon per minute well can provide 2,160 gallons per day. With a Well Manager® this is plenty of water to supply even the most elaborate home if irrigation is not a consideration. This may not be the only consideration, though. Some municipalities have an ordinance which says you must have a certain minimum gallon per minute yield for a two, three, four or more bedroom home. In order to get approval for a four bedroom home you may have to go to the local Board of Health and ask for an exception for the use of an engineered system to meet the peak demand requirement.

Q?

I have been researching the web trying to decide what to do about my low yield well. What is the difference between a Well Manager® and a PumpTec Control?

A.

From the Franklin web site, the stated purpose is:
PUMPTEC PROTECTS A 4” FRANKLIN ELECTRIC SINGLE PHASE MOTOR AGAINST:

 

  • Low yield wells
  • Low Voltage
  • Rapid Cycling
  • Air or gas locked pump
  • Drop in water level
  • Clogged well screen
  • Broken shaft or coupling
  • Worn pump parts

 

PumpTec is a motor protector that shuts the pump motor off for a selectable period of time if the well is pumped all the way down or when one of the other listed hazards occurs. Well Manager® is a time based tool designed to maximize the output of your well, manage the delivery system, protect the well and delivery pumps against certain occurrences and protect the well against damage caused by over pumping.

 

When used on a low yield well, a PumpTec turns the well pump off to protect the motor if the well has been pumped all the way down and it will not allow the pump to come back on until a user selectable time interval has expired. If there is not enough water in the well to satisfy demand when that time expires, the pump will remove all of the water from the well again and again until eventually it has been able to fill the tank or raise the pressure in the connected system to the cut off point. In order to protect the pump in a low yield well situation, the well needs to be pumped empty. PumpTec can be used on systems that store water in pressure or atmospheric tanks.

 

Operating a well like this is called over pumping and can damage the well over time. SEE: Well Manager® and the Environment for an explanation of this.

 

Well Manager®, rather than pump the well down, strives to keep it as full as possible and collects only the production or a portion of it to keep the well producing. Well Manager® is designed for use with atmospheric storage systems and can be set to collect the entire production of a well or limit the amount to be withdrawn.

 

PumpTec is a protective device and Well Manager® is a management tool. Each is good at what it does but they do different things. If you have a low yield well it is a good thing that the pump doesn’t burn up but what you need is more water. A Well Manager gets more water without burning up the pump!

Q?

I have seen other tank systems advertised on the web for less money. I do not understand what is so different about Well Manager or why they cost more?

A.

This is a great question and one I am sure is on the mind of many who visit our website.  But let me ask you a question. Why do you think there are so many personal testimonials on our website when on most of the other’s sites you see only the vendor’s recounting of past accomplishments with few if any personal customer testimonials?
The simple answer is that Well Manager® customers are so excited about the change in their lives and happy with what they got for their money that they want to tell everyone else about it. If you read the testimonials, you find that they are not written by new Well Manager owners only, but some have waited two, three or more years before they got around to putting their feelings on paper and they are still very happy with the system. To read just one from a customer who struggled with the decision to buy click the following link and click the back arrow when done to return here Hugh Humes, Onion Creek, Washington

 

When considering what to do about your low yield well please be aware that there is nothing new about atmospheric tank water storage systems. This type of system dates back to the Romans and is still in wide use throughout the world today. These systems have a pretty poor reputation in the United States because of so many problems with contaminated water.  For an explanation of why this is so, click the following link and when done click the back arrow to return herehttp://www.wellmanager.com/wellmanager_applications_abovegroundtanks.htm .

 

If Well Manager is just another tank system, then ask yourself how we convinced the United States and Canadian Governments to issue patents for something that some people would have you believe can be had elsewhere for half the price? The reality is that a Well Manager is protected by two patents in the USA and one in Canada because it is different and is so effective that it can replace a tank system that has 8-10 times more storage and provide a more reliable water supply using a poorer source. In fact, many of our customers had one of those other tank or cistern systems before they purchased their Well Manager®. Read what Ron Keissler of Weston Colorado had to say and then click the back arrow to return here.

 

A Well Manager® costs more because you get more. When you contact us you will soon realize that our goal is to get you the water you need. Most of the time all that is needed is a properly sized, installed and set up Well Manager® or even our less expensive Herculan ConstaBoost™ but sometimes we will tell you that your well pump or piping needs repair or drilling a well or some other option or combination of options makes more sense in your particular case.

 

We will help interpret your well records, review the symptoms and history you report, examine the equipment installed in your home using customer supplied digital pictures if you desire to provide them and make a frank recommendation at no charge. If you buy a system you will get a 50 page manual with pictures explaining what each part is and does, drawings, start up and troubleshooting information. You will notice that the entire manual is in plain English; it is not that thick because there are 4 copies in various languages or because it is so complicated that no one can understand it.

 

Well Manager Controls are UL® Listed so you will have no problems with the electrical inspector when you install our system in a new home or on any job that requires a permit. Some other controls lead you to believe that they too are UL Listed but if you read closely you will realize that it is only the power cord or some component that is UL Listed. An electrical inspector will not be fooled. The following is a quote from another web site describing their product: “comes completely assembled with a UL listed 115 volt standard house plug in connection on it.”

 

We provide phone help for technical questions or to set up the timing for your well and we will teach you how to interpret the information your Well Manager is providing about your well water levels and the aquifer to which it is connected so that you can detect changes due to drought or any other cause and adjust to them.  If there are problems with equipment, help is as close as your phone or computer during and after the warranty period even on weekends. The Well Manager control panel is designed so that we can tell you what is wrong over the phone and in most cases get the water back on quickly.

 

If you purchase a Well Manager you will get a completed ready to run system with everything installed in it or on it not a kit that requires you to build the system following their direction manual. There is no pump or float switch to buy or install. The Well Manager Manual teaches you about your well, well pump and the components of the Well Manager System. It teaches you what you must know to be successful with an aquifer that has thus far failed to supply you adequately using conventional systems. You will learn that it is not the size of the tank but how you operate the well that determines how much water is available for your family. In most cases timing is set up at installation and requires no further adjustment but in very low yield situations you may speak with us a couple of times per week for two or three weeks to help you make minor timing adjustments before we arrive at exactly the right settings for your well.

 

Though we speak a great deal about timing, you will soon find out that a Well Manager is much more than a simple well timer. It combines a number of measurable parameters like flow, pressure, and time in a way that puts you in control of a seemingly uncontrollable situation while protecting your pump in the event that your timing set up becomes inappropriate no matter what the reason. You can read more about this here: How a Well Manager Works

 

Well Manager Controls are made to last forever. There is no printed circuit board that can fail and make the system inoperative until it is replaced. Our controls are hard wired, relay logic, with readily available digital components that plug in and everything in the control can be replaced.  In most component failures there is a way to make the system function while you wait for parts – our technicians can help you with that and parts are in stock for immediate shipment. If need be, replacement parts can be found in the marketplace locally or on the internet.

 

In short, a Well Manager is a patented, readily serviceable appliance with UL Listed Control that you set in place, connect to the well and water pipes, make a few wire connections and automatically manages your well and protects your pumps so that you have the water you need. Thousands of people across North America and elsewhere are happy with their Well Manager Systems and you will be too!

Q?

What is Well Yield and what is a Low Yield well?

A.

Well yield, simply defined, is the rate at which water flows into your well from the surrounding aquifer. Yield is expressed in gallons per minute so you may be told you have a 2 or 3 or 10 gallon per minute well. Whether or not your well will be adequate to operate you home, farm church or other use depends on the gallon per minute requirement of that use.

 

Many people will try to define “Good Well”, “Moderate Well” or “Low Yield Well” by the amount of water the well produces and say a good well is 7-10 gallons per minute and a Low Yield Well is any well that produces less than 3 or 2 gallons per minute but this is not the correct way to look at wells.

 

A Low Yield Well is any well that is not adequate to keep up with the connected use without overpumping . Overpumping is defined as withdrawing water from the well faster than it is coming in and is the number one reason for premature well failure. With this in mind you can see that low yield is a relative term that depends on the relationship between well production and the amount of water required for the use. A 5 gallon per minute well is probably adequate for a 2 ½ bath ranch house with standard plumbing but would be Low Yield for an 8,000 square foot house with 8 bathrooms and a 20 gpm master bath shower.

This does not mean that the well you have will not supply what you hope to build, it just means that it will not do the job using a standard well system. Well Manager Systems can easily operate a very large house with an irrigation system using a 5 gallon per minute well or a very large home without irrigation on a well with a yield of only 1 gpm. The 2 ½ bath ranch house with 4 occupants would not be sufficiently supplied by a quart per minute well using a standard well system but could provide good service using a Well Manager System operating the same well.

 

Find more on our patented Well Manager Systems