Location of Well Pressure Tank


I have always seen the pressure tanks for wells located where the pipes enter the house from the well/pump. Or, on farms there is often a pump house located real close to the well, and the pipes go from there to the house and barns.
I have a rather unusual setup. When I bought my farm, the pipes went to an old barn that was falling down. That barn was near the well, and the pipes came into the lowest level of that barn, where the tank was located. I could see they had used heat tape and heat lamps on the pipes and tank. That barn was not salvagable and had to be demolished. I had considered building a small shed where the pipes and tank were located, after that barn was removed, but the seller, and old farmer, showed me an old cistern, which is 16 feet deep, and is only 5 feet from the 500ft. deep drilled well. He showed me a capped pipe in there and said that at one time, he had a valve on that pipe, and would pump that cistern full, in case there was a power outage. He suggested that unless I wanted to fill the cistern with water, I could just place my tank in the cistern and connect it to that pipe.
Upon inspection, I found that cistern to be extremely solid, well built, and almost waterproof. I ended up doing as he said. The tank sits in the bottom of that cistern, on a few cement blocks (because there is a little seepage), and I keep a sump pump in there so any water that does seep in. gets pumped out. This all has worked quite good for several years, and it never freezes in there, which saves electricity for heat tape and heat lamps.
However, I have had one problem, being the tank tends to waterlog quite often. This is an old galvanized non-bladder type tank, which I an guessing is around 40 gallons. Now I know these type of tanks tend to waterlog over time, and I have to drain it. For this setup, that is not always the easiest. Getting into that 20" manhole with a ladder to get to the bottom of that deep cistern is a challenge, and in winter, the cover can freeze shut and I am not able to drain the tank till spring. I have considered an electrical solenoid operated valve, and that still could happen.
But my first question is this: My tank is located BELOW the level of the pipe from the well. In other words, the pitless adaptor on the well itself, is HIGHER than the top of the tank. Could a setup like this cause the tank to waterlog faster, than if the tank was higher? I know I could build a platform out of treated lumber and raise the tank, but is this worth the trouble?
My second question is this: I have always seen pressure tanks nearest to the well entrance pipes, but what if the tank was placed somewhere else in the system? In my case , I have one new barn near the well. The house is in the middle, and the pipes continue to another barn which is where the line ends. Would it be appropriate and workable to put the tank in the house? The house is about 150 feet from the well. It would be much easier to drain it, and particularly access it in cold weather. Would this work, or must the pump be as close to the well as possible?
And lastly, what if I had TWO TANKS? In other words, keep the one in the cistern, and put another in the house? I know that the larger the tank, the better, especially on a farm, so would two (example) 40 gallon tanks actually be equivalant to an 80 gallon tank? I dont see it real feasible to remove that tank from the cistern. It was tough getting it in there. So, I could just add another tank in the house and leave that cistern tank intact. Can two tanks be used? And what if they are the bladder type tanks? Can two of them be used in the same system?
Sorry for all the questions, I am just trying to learn all I can about this so I can set this up in the most efficient and easy to maintain manner as possible.
Thanks
Paul
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On Mar 11, 6:13 am, paulking@__none__.com wrote:

Does it matter where the tank is located? No. The static pressure throughout the system is identical.
Is the different height of the tank/pitless causing a problem? No. Pressure in the system is far higher than the minor pressure difference (.46 psi/ft).
Can you use two tanks? - Yes and nothing needs done to the system to coordinate them. They will operate in unison. Of course the system can only have one pressure switch. In your case though, since the tank in the cistern waterlogs, it wouldn't be long before it would just be a tank sitting there and, in effect, you would only have the second tank doing anything.
Some danger of the water in the cistern tank becoming stagnant as nothing would be forcing water out of it (after it waterlogged).
Put the tank in the new barn or in the house? Put it where it is most accessible for service and won't need frost protection. I would take the old tank out of service (leaving it in place). Replace it with one large tank.
Harry K
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On Sun, 11 Mar 2007 07:13:45 -0600, paulking@__none__.com wrote:

I was under the impression that for a bladerless tank, you were supposed to have a pump that pumps air into the tank at the same time as it pumps water into it. That, of course, only works with a surface-mounted pump.
Was it me, and this was a working farm, I'd be tempted to take out the existing pressure tank, put a new bladder-tank in the house, and restore the cistern to use as a cistern, for irrigation and fire-suppression.
--Goedjn
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I had heard that too, but for a submercible pump I dont believe this is possible. That bladderless tank is the same tank that was on this system in the old barn. They are tall tanks, so all I can assume is that they develop an air cushion in the top, until they waterlog. I did some inquiring about an AVC (air volume control), but again, they dont seem to be used on submercible pumps, and being a 500ft deep well, I cant use a shallow well pump. It seems they used these non-bladder tanks for many years.

I was thinking the same, except I never planned to fill the cistern again. The problem I see is that if I remove the pipes in the cistern, I would have to run wires underground all the way to the house for the pressure switch, and thats a long way to dig at 150 feet or so. I *think* I could remove the tank in the cistern, and just hook the pressure switch to the pipes down there.
The more I think about it, it seems the easiest and cheapest route would be to just get some sort of solenoid operated valve to put on the bottom of the tank so I dont have to climb down there to drain the tank, and so I can drain it in winter when the cover is frozen down. That's the biggest problem. For the last month I have not been able to get down there because of a frozen cover and the pump was cycling constantly when I turned on water. I could easily run some waterproof cable to the cistern to connect to that solenoid valve, and put a switch in my nearby garage. Then all I have to do is shut off the pump and switch on the valve till it drains which I know takes about 10 minutes. So I'd leave it drain for a half hour (since I cant see it), and my sump pump would remove the water from the cistern.
Now, where do I get such a valve? A low voltage 12 or 24 volt would be preferable, but a 110v would be ok too.
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On Mar 12, 9:49 pm, paulking@__none__.com wrote:
<snip>

There are two types of AVC, a 'snifter valve' that injects a bit of air every time the pump starts and a float valve that installs in the side of the tank. Can't say as I understand the operation of either one. I can see no reason that the float type at least wouldn't work. Our community well had both and we still had problems maintaining an air cushion.
<snilp>

<snip>
The pressure switch does not have to be co-located with the pressure tank. Having 150 ft from the tank _might_ cause a small lag in turning the pump off when it reaches the cut-off but that would not be a problem.
Harry K
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