Bladder water tank problem...

I turned off the pump and then the water valves to house - done to clean and replace a silt filter. Absent mindedly, I opened the valves to the house, but neglected to power the pump. Used up all water in the tank to the maximum before discovering the error (hours later), where I powered the pump.
Here's the problem, since this time (and this was months ago), a shower will bring me a trickle when the tank has emptied, sucking in air to the plumping and about 30 seconds later the cut-in signals to the pump to start up, where pressure is immedietly rendered, tank refilled and life is good again.
I haven't yet tried to verify that the tank pressure (empty of water) is set at 2psi below cut-in (38) of the 40-60 cut-in/cut-out settings.
Looking for the experienced members of this group, to give me their experience on whether the fact that I completely dispelled the water in the tank may have caused my problem, or if it might be more serious in nature likely a bladder rupture. I don't have a cycle on / cycle off problem obviuosly. Just the opposite, i have a late restart.
thanks, James
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I can see no way that running the tank fully empty did any harm.
I had the "delay" before teh pump would kick in bit. Traced it down to an almost totally blocked riser pipe to the pressure switch. It would take awhile before the change in pressure reached the switch. Cleaned the pipe, problem cured.
Turn off the power, disconnect the wires to the switch (note where they go!), unscrew switch, unscrew pipe and look at it. I had to take a drill bit to ream out the crud in the pipe.
Harry K
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I would look there too but I used to clear mine with a screwdriver.
wrote:

I can see no way that running the tank fully empty did any harm.
I had the "delay" before teh pump would kick in bit. Traced it down to an almost totally blocked riser pipe to the pressure switch. It would take awhile before the change in pressure reached the switch. Cleaned the pipe, problem cured.
Turn off the power, disconnect the wires to the switch (note where they go!), unscrew switch, unscrew pipe and look at it. I had to take a drill bit to ream out the crud in the pipe.
Harry K
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My thought was that the switch wasn't performing it's function. Sooooo, when I saw your posts, it confirms my suspicion. The galvanized fitting is extremely corroded. I'm adding air to 38 by hand pump while it's empty (the guage lowered to 32 with pump off). the Tee and fittings are all corroded, I was planning on changing them for brass, however i wanted to wait until warm weather is back with us.
Question: saw some other posts mentionning that bladder type tanks designed to last 10, mine is now 17, can we confirm that these tanks won't go further?
Thanks for your quick responses!
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Fix those fittings now. Your pump will destroy itself if you keep running it tht way and fooling around with the tank ain't a gonna help anything.
Harry K
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My tank was about 20 years old when I sold the house. Frankly, I don't know whether it was a bladder tank or not but I never had to recharge it with air so I assume it was a bladder tank.
Fix the fittings and leave the tank for now.
and no water.). Bladder seems fine.

Fix those fittings now. Your pump will destroy itself if you keep running it tht way and fooling around with the tank ain't a gonna help anything.
Harry K
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Well, I want to thank you both for the clues, recommendations and suggestions. Problem is now solved. I found that in removing the pressure switch from the tee, the small double end threaded nipple had a plumbing compression ring (not sure if this is the right name for it) that was inserted between the nipple and the switch's base. This compression ring flipped 90degrees on it's side, restricting the flow of water, and when the silt got in and accumlated over the years, it blocked it out completely. after using a drill bit, and carefully cleaning out the sides without drilling through the base, I removed the silt. The ring was there, and flipped around like a gimble. Using a screwdriver I crushed this useless compression ring and using the copper ground of household wire fashioned a hook to pull it out.
Ok, you're thinking why all this work.... well the double ended threaded nipple is only one inch long, leaving no room to unscrew the other end from the switch base, without stripping the nipple. (I live 20Km from the nearest hardware store), and there's no guarantee they stock this small non-standard diameter pipe.
The tank's bladder (actually it's a diaphram as I learned yesterday in my research), and has been over stretched over the 100PSI max (Yesterday). After adding air, this pushed the pressure cut-out to over 120. I quickly releaved the air and turned on a fawcett, then fiddled to bring the tank's pressure down so that it would cut out at 97. The risk of a tank explosion made me nervous.
I've decided (next spring) to change the tank for a new one (they're expensive), but for a larger capacity so that I can benefit from lower electrical costs and fewer pump start-ups. At this time, I'll change the entire galvanized tee assembly for brass, adjust the service pipe higher so that I can raise the tank on blocks with a water tray collector below it to capture the condensation and potential future tank rupture. I'll run a pipe out to the sump pit from the water tray collector, and I'll hook in a pressure relief valve which I don't have. This will save the tank from over pressurized conditions, which would eventually occur as the silt builds up in the switch.
Again thanks for your experience and help. -James
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Just a side note: My tank has a replaceable bladder. When I priced a new bladder I found out it would cost 90% of the price of a new tank. Another good idea gone bad because of greed!
KC
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