Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,092 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been lurking and watching various comments over the last few months regarding pumps and water tanks and hadn't found the EXACT subject that covered "my situation". I'm ashamed to admit that I let this go on for as long as I have.......guess there were just other things around the place that seemed more important and most of the time, we had water, but a few times when we would turn on the outside faucet.......NOTHING. Anyway the main problem started about 7 or 8 months ago, when we noticed (and heard) the rapid cycling of the pump coming on and off and at times the loss of water pressure for several minutes. We have a deep well submersible pump and at first I was concerned that possibly it was sucking air.......but scratched that idea quickly and proceeded to think that it had something to do with the water tank which has/had a diaphram bladder inside. This is a relatively small tank; probably about 15 gallon size and while it was brand new in the box when purchased at a garage sale, was already probably OVER 20 yrs old by the time I bought it!!! The "new house" that we put it into has 3 full bathrooms; though only 2 are used regularly.......but my main concern when having it installed, was that there wouldn't be much storage capacity; that the pump would have to work harder and that perhaps a larger 80 gallon size would be better suited. My plumber friend who installed it, obviously didn't want to wait around and said that the one I had was fine, but then he also used heat around the area going up to the tank fitting (despite a warning label stating NOT to) when soldering the joints and that was less than 2 yrs ago. So my "bargain" only lasted about a year and a half before causing problems.

Anyway, was reading several threads on here recently and getting up enough nerve to also ask my own questions, when I found one that seemed to cover the area that I suspected was related to mine.......that the bladder had "given up the ghost" and the tank was probably water-logged. Checked the schrader valve and sure enough, water spit out when depressed. I also remembered that we had an old galvanized water tank that we had salvaged almost 28 yrs ago from the farmhouse after it burnt down and had placed it into our rental property and it didn't have a bladder. We "charged" it with 40 lbs of air and it has worked pretty steady ever since and it got me to thinking that essentially a tank is still a tank, whether it has a new-fangled bladder in it or not and as long as they hold air, that if I could get the water out and the proper amount of air pressure in......my problems might be solved. So last night, I stopped by the folks and borrowed their portable air compressor and took it home, and after shutting off the main ball valve to the water tank, I began bleeding off A LOT of water thru the schrader valve and checking the air pressure with a tire gauge. I finally got the pressure up to 38 psi and reopened the ball valve. The wife then flushed the downstairs toilet and instead of the usual machinegun sound we'd both grown to know so well.......that of on again off again of the pump.......(and the resulting hammering to the pipes), there was quiet .........blessed silence.......it was WONDERFUL!!!

Okay, so now that that's out of the way, my question(s) are as follows:
I've come across a large 80 gallon upright blue water tank that appears to be in good shape, but that the previous owners claim had a rupture in the bladder, which is why they were giving it away. I've sure that I read somewhere, that tanks this large have a means of removing the bad bladder and replacing with a good one, but try as I might, no one seems to know where to obtain such or more likely......seems to be inclined to try and find out how to do so. So, if I can't replace the bladder in this large tank, would there be ANY problem with installing this tank to replace the small one that I now have? Wouldn't it be like the galvanized tank in my rental property if I charge it to around 40psi and work just as well? Would it provide me with a greater capacity before the pump has to cycle on to replenish/refill? Are there any other problems that I'm likely to face in the near/far future should I choose this road and what are alternative suggestions/ideas that would be helpful to know/consider? Funds are presently tight, (and likely to remain so) which is why I'm taking the option of use what I've got for as long as I can; otherwise I'd go out and buy a NEW tank.......

Thanks for allowing me to "let it all hang out"......if others can learn from all of this......that's just great. And if I can learn something from it..... well......that's even better!!!
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
WellMate is the only brand of tank that I am aware that can have the bladder replaced. The negative side of that is that the bladder costs about as much as a new tank. Your 80 gallon tank can function like the old galvanized tank but the wall is thin and it will rust through relatively quick. From time to time you will have to add air as the captive air is absorbed into the water to prevent the water logging. This rapid on/off situation is detrimental to your pump and the power bill. Always install the largest tank your budget can support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
I have gathered together several credit hours experience in using bladder tanks and the old fashioned galvanized ones. We have a small bladder type tank in the rent house we are in these days and the pressure irregularities are annoying, At the farm I have a shallow well jet pump and a 42 gallon tank that I use in the summer after the spring dries up. I HAVE NEVER HAD TO ADD AIR to this tank. as it fills it pressurizes the air in the tank. perfect uniform pressure too. The tank probably cost less than $ 200 and will last for 25+ years. The bladder type tanks cost more, require filddling with to get adjusted, you have to dink around with the settings on the pressure switches, there is no benefit unless the tank is free.
I recently helped a neighbor develop her spring to give her good pressure in the house. Here is the situation: A healthy spring flows into a 1,000 gallon concrete tank containing a submersable pump which goes into a standard galvanized tank as a surge tank and on to 2,600 feet of 1-1/2" line up to her house, some 300 feet up to the top of the mountain. There it goes through a float switch into another 1,000 gal. tank. A small shallow well jet pump and bladder tank serves 40 psi to the house. I tried a bladder type tank at the bottom tank but the 175psi there would not work with that type tank. Replacing it with a 42 gallon galvanized tank made it work smoothly. When the float switch on the upper storage tank closes it causes enough back pressure to develop in the line to shut off the pressure switch controlling the big pump. Before the guy had used a "tank" consisting of a 24" length of 4" pipe as the surge tank and nothing at the top of the hill and sometimes it worked but not often. To try to get usable pressure with that kind of depth was expecting a lot and she burned out several pumps which the pump guys cheerfully replaced.
My point is that the precieved "problems" that bladder type tanks solve were contrived to some extent. Old technology in this case works longer. I can see that you might have to add air if the system was in use year round but how hard is it to get a portable tank of air and squirt it into your tank from time to time?
Another important detail I learned over the past 20 years is that new, good foot valves are so very cool...
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top