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Pressurized water tank bad?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Ratherbfishin, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Ratherbfishin

    Ratherbfishin Member

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    My water pump is "short cycling" from what I have read, the bladder usually goes bad rather to add air. Would you agree? I have no experience with these so I am wondering is it worth it to drain the tank and add air or just get a new tank. I have no idea how old it is as it was here when we bought the house. Showering is a PITA because one second you have pressure and the next you don't.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Steve

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  2. DWW68

    DWW68 New Member

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    sounds like your tank is bad. It will need to be replaced.
  3. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    How long has it been since you checked the pressure in your tank?

    I have to add a few pounds to mine every 6 - 8 months. If you've been a while you just might have a very slow leak.

    I have to drain mine then fill it to 27 lbs air. I can't tell you the water settings that mandated that, but that's what I go to because of how my pressure switch is set. (sorry, it's been a while)

    pen
  4. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    If the bladder is bad, you need a new tank, period. Otherwise, you haven't provided much information. Is there a gauge by the tank allowing you to see what the cut-in and cut-out pressures are? You may have a pressure switch adjustment issue, or you may just need to adjust the charge in the tank. Could also be a leak in the system.

    Short cycling isn't just an annoyance, but will reduce the pump's longevity if it isn't taken care of.

    More information please.
  5. Dr.Faustus

    Dr.Faustus Burning Hunk

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    its worth it to try, esp if you dont know if the bladder has ruptured. does water come out of the tire valve? if it does, replace the tank.

    if not and its only air, figure out what your cut in pressure is. it'll be the pressure reading of the water right when your pump comes on. then shut off the well pump and drain the system. leave a valve openen while you refill the tank. fill it with air to 2 lbs less than what your cut in pressure is.

    close your water valve and turn on the well pump. if that didnt fix your problem, come back and post.
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    +1

    I've had to do this twice in 10 years.
  7. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    You can add air to a bladder tank and save yourself some time, and save the wear on the pump until you can replace it. That's if the pressure is low. If you don't have an air fitting, under a cover that you're not "supposed" to tamper with, then the tank might not have a bladder and it's just waterlogged.
  8. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    +1. My holding tank has a leaky bladder & I've charged it 3X in the past year with no ill effects.
    I have to drain the sediment from the lines afterward, because the charging stirs up crap at the bottom.
    Each charge has lasted about 4 months...
  9. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    I have not touched my tank for 5+ years... mmmm
  10. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    ratherbfishin where are you at in the southerntier?? I am in franklinville.........
  11. Ratherbfishin

    Ratherbfishin Member

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    Thanks for the advise guys, I have not had a chance too work on it yet...Just cleared a plugged up bathtub drain...man never ends does it? Anyhow I did look at the cut in pressure and it is about 20. Shoots up to 40ish when pump is on and then repeats. So to simply add air I have to drain the tank? It does have a air valve on top. No water comes out of it.

    Steve
  12. Dr.Faustus

    Dr.Faustus Burning Hunk

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    holy cow, 20? thats some seriously low water pressure.

    if you're happy with that then great, i'd be pretty annoyed trying to shower with 20 psi.

    if you are not happy with it, first diagnose and or fix your pressure tank issues, then try to raise the psi. you can raise it by turning a nut on the pressure switch. turn off the power to the pump first. the nut turns clockwise for higher cut in pressure. the cut out pressure is automatically 20 psi above whatever the cut in pressure is on most switches. theres also a diagram under the dust cover of most switches explaining how to do this. it takes at least 5 turns of the nut to notice anything different.

    remember to keep your tank 2 psi below whatever you make your cut in pressure. and test your settings multiple times by using the water. you want to make sure your pump can supply enough water and pressure to actually achieve the cut out setting, otherwise the pump would run forever trying. i keep mine on 50/70 and i've been able to hit 70/90 reliably but i didnt like it, the shower head wanted to fly away.
  13. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    Here's how you are "supposed" to do it.

    Note the exact cut in pressure of your system. It sounds like you are running 20/40, which is one of the more or less standard settings.

    Turn everything off and bleed all the water out of the system by opening a bunch of faucets.

    Using an air pressure gauge and a compressor or bicycle tire pump, set the tank pressure to 2 PSI less than your cut in pressure.

    Turn everything back on a check operation.

    You may have noted there is a flaw in these directions. How do you know the water pressure gauge and the air pressure gauge are both calibrated the same? 2 PSI is a small margin of error. So, if you follow the procedure and still have problems, try letting a little bit of air out of the tank.

    Before setting the tank pressure , make sure the pressure switch cut-in and cut-out settings are correct.
  14. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    I've lived on 20/40. It's a bit of a pain. More standard is 30/50, which I have run as 40/60. Higher than 60 gets you into pressures that are beyond what's normal for a domestic water system.
  15. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    One last thing. Pressure tanks for domestic well water systems are sized according to a number of factors including the GPM rating of the pump, the depth of the pump, the well's head, and the design pressure. Properly designed and maintained, the pump will run at least one minute every time it starts. Running less than one minute will not allow the start windings to cool properly.

    Changing any of the settings or operating with a torn bladder will likely affect pump life, and not in a good way. Raising the operating pressure without increasing the size of the tank can do the same thing.

    That's if the installed tank is large enough in the first place. Sometimes they are too small to begin with and should be replaced with a larger tank. You can also plumb one in parallel to increase the capacity.
  16. woodsman23

    woodsman23 Minister of Fire

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    You also need to be sure your pump head and tank along with the copper lines are rated above 50psi. I have a neighbor who has pvc (plastic) water lines and he has had many issues with them.
  17. Ratherbfishin

    Ratherbfishin Member

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    The 20 psi does annoy the crap out of me. I had to go get one of those water saver shower heads just to increase the pressure so you feel something hit you. Otherwise with a regular shower head the water just barely is enough to rinse off. I like to enjoy a shower so I want to get this resolved. My in-laws shower has so much pressure It is almost worth the drive to NJ just to use it!

    by the way the tank is a Duracel model DP-82 with a max operating pressure of 75 psig

    Steve
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    If you are going to be replacing the tank, you might consider a cycle stop valve and a smaller tank. THat way you can have higher constant pressure and not have the pump cycling.

    http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/index2.html
  19. Dr.Faustus

    Dr.Faustus Burning Hunk

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    theres lots you can do to remedy this. lots. first off, you can piggy back as many blue pressure tanks as you want or can afford. the benefit is steady pressure, plus my water still works for a while after the power goes out. they arent too expensive at lowes. i use 2 of them. you can increase the pipe size but that might only give you a marginal improvent.

    last but not least there is a whole house pressure boosting pump. it is kinda costly about 7-800 ish if you do it yourself, but you will easily obtain 90 psi. luckily i didnt need to go that far.

    just dont go buying pressure tanks without determining whether or not your well pump can handle them and can your well supply enough water to fill them up in a run.

    try seeing just how much pressure your pump can build with your current setup first. it might solve your issues.
  20. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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  21. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Not sure what you mean by steady... it will still vary between kick-in and kick-out, just stretch out the time factor. The ratio of the time that the pressure is high and the pressure is low, doesn't change. The agony of low pressure is just extended. A CSV on the other hand, will give you much more time at the higher end with true constant (steady) pressure and less time at the lower end. The smaller the tank, the less time you suffer through low pressure. Doesn't do squat though in a power failure.
  22. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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    LLigetfa, do you have a CSV installed? They are somewhat controversial. It doesn't help that the primary seller and others with apparent financial interests in pushing them seem to be mods in the Terry Love plumbing forum. Unbiased information is a bit difficult to come by.
  23. Dr.Faustus

    Dr.Faustus Burning Hunk

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    what i meant by that was that having multiple tanks will raise the chance that you'll stay within your cut in and off pressures for a greater period of time, even if you are using water faster than your well pump can supply it.

    of course to see a benefit, your cut in pressure must be at a level acceptable to you in the first place. at 20/40 yes mult. tanks would prolong the 20 psi range.

    if he was running 50/70 or even 40/60 all the tanks would do is cycle the pump a lot less and when it does cut in the pump would run for a longer period of time.

    before when i only had 1 tank, if i had clothes washing, dishwasher running and i decided to water my garden, that was the end of my water pressure. now i can do all those things at once. not indefinately but for a longer acceptable period of time.
  24. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    LOL
    If you frequent TerryLove.com, you might notice that I'm not very popular there. Seems like they don't really like DIYers giving advice. They only want us asking for advise and then we best not challenge old school pumpmen. Some of the controversy is the old school thinking of pumpmen versus the CSV guy called valveman. I've invited valveman to come here and post on this forum and he did.

    As for your question, I am sold on the concept and if it were not for the limitation of my micronizer, I would have one right now. Here is a thread on my woes that explain why the CSV won't work for me, even though valveman seems to think it will.
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?40296-Getting-less-than-5-GPM&p=287553&highlight;=

    Oh, as for this thread topic, here is a good explanation by valveman of the CSV.
    http://www.terrylove.com/forums/showthread.php?40558-Advice-on-Bladder-tank/page2
  25. AilleXWest

    AilleXWest New Member

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    With the tank I have from Sears you can change bladder very easly. They seam to sell the same one at Tractor Supply and they sale new bladders. You still need to ad air now and then but that is not a big deal. I think the new bladder was $80 and a new tank was $300
    Anna Maire

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