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
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
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.