Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a cheap pump from the local hardware store and a TW Variable speed system?
A TW Variable speed system is equipped with an industrial grade centrifugal pump which is regulated by a Variable Frequency Drive. The drive controls the pump operation in such a way that the pump only operates when there is demand and has a soft start and stop which significantly reduces energy consumption and water hammer effects. The Drive converts the single phase power to three phase power.
Contrast this with a constant speed pump that always operates at the same speed. It's either ON or OFF, no matter what the water demand is, so the energy efficiency is very poor. These pumps are usually very cheap, which means little insulation and lots of noise.
The most important difference would be our Engineering [before sales - design] and Technical support [after sales - troubleshooting]. At Towle Whitney, you will have access to our team of expert booster system designers, engineers and technicians to resolve your low water pressure problem.
Can I install a TW booster system on my own?
Yes, as long as you have plumbing and electrical skills. It's just like a water heater - Plumb it, wire it and turn it ON. Like a water heater, all local building, electrical and plumbing codes need to be followed.
Is my TW booster system tested?
Yes, prior to leaving the factory, the VF Drive is programmed, the desired pressure is set and the entire system tested in order to ensure proper operation.
How do I set the expansion tank pressure?
The expansion tank is factory preset at 10 PSI below the system set pressure. For example, if the system is set at 65 PSI then the expansion tank should be set at 55 PSI. In order to change the pressure in the expansion tank -> turn off power to the system -> drain all the pressure from the system by opening a faucet -> When the pressure gauge reads zero, fill or blow out air from the tank as needed -> Turn the system back on.
Can I set the expansion tank pressure while the pump is running?
No, the pump needs to be turned off and the water pressure needs to be lowered to zero.
Why is the pressure lower on my second floor?
Hydraulics. For every 10 ft of elevation, water will lose 4.3 PSI of pressure. If the difference in elevation between the pump in the basement and the second floor is 20ft, you will see 8.6 PSI pressure drop.
What do you mean by "The pump cannot make water"?
The TW pump system will only raise [boost] the pressure of the water. In some homes, there isn't enough water volume to fulfill the demand. For instance, if your well only supplies 8 Gallons per minute, and you are tyring to use 12 Gallons per minute, you will actually run out of water. In this situation a water storage tank is needed.
Why is galvanized pipe an issue?
Some older homes have galvanized pipe which has a tendency to build up rust and scales on the inside reducing the waterways of a 1" pipe to 1/2". A storage tank is needed in this situation.
What happens to the pump if water runs out?
A TW pump system has low water cut off which puts the pump on standby mode and prevents it from burning out. The pump will turn back ON once the water supply is restored. The low water issue will need to be addressed IMMEDIATELY.
Why do you need to know about water softeners?
There is approximately a 5 PSI drop in pressure through water softener which needs to be accounted for when designing the pump system. Another thing worth noting is that softeners are rated for a certain number of gallons per minute and we can only pass that much volume through it.
What is a dual purpose pump?
Used typically for plumbing and irrigation or plumbing and fire protection, the benefit of this pump is that one pump can supply to both uses when sized appropriately.
What is flooded suction?
A centrifugal pump [such as ones used in TW booster systems] can not lift water out of a well or cistern. The pump needs to be supplied water to the suction. So if drawing water from a cistern/storage tank - the fitting should be at the bottom of the tank which is higher than the pump suction level.
Can I change the system pressure setting after it is installed?
Yes, but only after calling the factory for instructions. The controller contains numerous parameters (PLC program, voltage, frequency etc). If changes are made to some of the parameters, the system will stop operating. Hence, care must be taken while changing drive parameters.
What is the best pressure to set my pump?
Unless specified otherwise, your TW pump will be factory set at 65 PSI. But it is recommended that this should be discussed with one of our booster system experts who will recommend the optimum pressure setting for your system based on your particular situation.
For my bypass, do I really need a check valve?
No, but this will mean the bypass ball valve will need to be shut. In the event of a power outage, somebody will need to open this ball valve, and close it when the power comes back on.
Can the TW Pump be used in an older building?
ANY piping system can be affected by age! If the integrity of a plumbing system is in question, a professional survey by a plumber or home inspector should be done. Electrolysis can affect metal piping, galvanized pipe can become corroded and plugged, plastic piping can be affected by UV rays, and even copper piping can be corroded by water Ph. If in doubt, inspect.
Is the TW Pump a recirculation pump?
No. The TW is a booster pump, and the water only passes through the pump once. A recirculation pump is primarily used in heating systems and commercial hot water systems, and continually pushes the water around in a loop. Sometimes recirculation pumps cause excessive wear to the piping.
Is a 2nd expansion tank required?
No, the TW pump is supplied with a dedicated tank. But if a well pump is used, then a separate (large) expansion tank is needed. The well pump and booster pump are two separate systems, and the components cannot be shared.