I am constantly seeing messages on here about the bladder tanks for
wells not working. I have had to replace far too many of them myself.
I have never opened one of them, but I assume these bladders are
similar to a inner tube for tires. Apparently the water contact with
them causes the rubber to deteriorate.
Does anyone know what the average lifespan is for the bladders?
I seem to have to replace them every 7 or 8 years, and that is getting
costly. Before I installed the bladder tank, I had a large galvanized
tank that had no bladder. That tank would need to be drained 3 or 4
times a year, but even when it waterlogged, the pump did not cycle as
often as a much smaller bladder tank.
I know my tank is probably due to be replaced soon again, and I am
considering going back to the old fashioned large non-bladder
galvanized tank, which seem to last forever. In fact I still have the
one I removed years ago, and I bet it will still work.
I'm starting to think the manufacturers of these tanks give them a
limited lifespan so they can keep selling them, and since the bladders
are not replaceable, they can sell a whole (costly) tank each and
By the way, I found the tanks with defective bladders make good air
compressor tanks, so at least they serve some purpose afterwards.
On Mar 9, 3:29 am, email@example.com wrote:
I drill wells, normally I don't deal with the bladder tanks & what
not, but I still have my two cents:
It seems to me that more often than not, the ones that have issues
show them within the first year due to assm. issues, or within 5 to 8
years due to maintenance issues. You should check to make sure you
have it setup right - some tanks can't handle being set on their
sides, some are specifically designed for it....Also, the big rule of
thumb is - you get what you pay for.
Maintenance - Shut off the power to the pump(s), drain the tank &
system completely, check the air pressure with a tire gauge, fill to 2
psi below turn on level (if your pressure switch is a 40/60 on/off,
fill to 38psi). Then turn everything back on. Never suddenly open
valves, use a nice slow smooth motion, this reduces shock loading
systems. If you have a constant pressure system installed (ask the
dealer you bought it from - usually a big control box with flashing
lights & a computer inside), then the tank pressure level is
different. Some manufacturers have said 20 psi is the max, some have
said 20 psi below the set pressure level, some have said to do it the
same way you do any other tank....mixed messages to say the least.
Check with your pump manufacturer.
The other option that I've mention on this board before is the use of
a constant pressure system, either an electric controller like the
MonoDrive from Franklin Electric, or a Cycle Stop Valve which is
mechanically based. Both of these systems allow you to use a much
smaller bladder tank (5 gallons vs 85 gallons), thereby reducing costs
of tank failures....plus, they generally protect the pump pretty well.
As for the fellow replacing his pump every 7 to 8 years....what are
you pumping?? If it's not pumping a number of solids, there's no
reason your pump should be replaced every 7 to 8 years....I'm going to
assume you're pumping water out of a drilled well for the below
I've seen submersible pumps in the ground for 50 years & still
running. Call the local _pump_ dealer, like United Pipe, Western
Hydro, or Grainger even, give them the depth of the water in the well
when it is fully charged, the amount of water the well makes, and the
depth you plan on putting the pump at. They should be able to figure
out how to get you a Flint & Walling or Gould's submersible with a
Franklin Motor - make sure it is a 3 wire with ground, 230v pump.
That pump should last you 20 years. Also, I'd check to make sure you
have proper run times set up - the pump should run for a minimum of 2
minutes from on to off. If you aren't running it that long, your
motor is going to burn up, thereby necessitating a replacement. You
can increase the amount of run time with a cycle stop valve, mono
drive, or a bigger/additional pressure tank. Also, ask the dealer to
size the pump for the middle of the curve. If your well is on the
right of the curve, the pump won't make enough pressure/flow. If it's
on the left of the pump curve, the pump will have too much power &
will eat all the thrust bearings out of itself. Also, make sure the
well & pump is properly connected to ground.
I've heard of some guys in Michigan that go around putting 2 wire 110v
pumps in every well - they figure they'll last about 7 years at most,
so they just stock the truck up with about 4 of the same pumps & plan
on doing 2 or 3 service calls a day to replace them.....Now this is
purely rumor, but if they sized the pumps correctly - they'd last for
20 years....But, then they don't get repeat business ;)
Just my two cents.
JKA Well Drilling
On Mar 9, 3:29 am, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
As others have said, the key is keeping watch on the air pressure.
When the pressure gets low more water gets in the bladder, stretching
it beyond it's intended limits. Some tanks have replaceable bladders,
with bladders available from the tank manufacturer. But in my
experience, when a bladder ruptures and the tank waterlogs, the inside
of the tank starts rusting and is subject to failure. Better to
replace the whole thing at one time than piecemeal it.
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