I am on a farm and I have the old galvanized pressure tank. It's in a
pit to keep it from freezing (not the well, just the tank). The well
has a submersible pump. I dont know what the gallon rating is of this
tank, but it's about 5 feet tall and 18 inches diameter. Compared to
a water heater, I'd guess it's about a 40 gallon tank.
Anyhow, this tank constantly gets waterlogged, and then the pump kicks
on an off continually when I use water. I have to fight my way into
the pit (not easy), and drain the tank. Then everything is ok for
Since this type of tank has been used for ages, was this just
something that everyone had to do regularly (to drain it)?
I have been looking into a way to connect a long rod to the drain
valve so I can open it without going into the pit. (the pit is 15
feet deep). Does anyone know of a valve that has a way to hook a
shaft onto it?
My other question. I checked into one of those Well-X-Trol bladder
type tanks (blue tank). I was going to install one of them to
eliminate this problem, but found out that those tanks only have ONE
pipe on the bottom. My galvanized tank has TWO inlets/outlets. In
other words, the pump goes into one side of the tank (inlet), and the
water to the buildings comes out the other side of the tank (outlet).
I dont see how they can work with only one pipe, unless both the inlet
and outlet can be TEE'd together.
Since you to not mention pressurizing the tank, I wonder if you are
neglecting to do that. Once it is empty, attach an air compressor and
initially pump it up with air to 5 psi lower than pump-on pressure setting.
Avoid using water during power failure to avoid losing the air charge.
If you simply drain the tank and do not charge it with air, the water
compresses the air to almost nothing, and you are only utilizing a small
fraction of the tank's capacity.
Either permanently connect an air compressor that you can run periodically
(with check valve to keep from getting water in it), or run an air line
topside with a Schroeder valve so you can connect an air supply from
outside. You get the best operation if the tank is approximately 2/3rds
air and 1/3rd water. Some people are under the misconception that more
water is better, but not if there is no pocket of air pressure to push it
out. If there is no sight glass, you may be able to see condensation where
the cold water is.
You really need only a tee with single pipe to the pressure tank. When the
pump is off, you draw out of the tank. When the pump is on, any surplus
above what you are using goes into the pressure tank.
Domestic pumps here seem to have a 'snifter valve' which AUI sucks in a
little bit of air everytime the system runs to replenish/keep the amount of
air in the pressure tank at a suitable level, the ones I've seen look like
Schrader style tyre valve mounted somewhere on the pump. Yours have one or
is it corroded/defective? Despite that I have 'occasionally' maybe after a
few months, had to drain down our system when it got 'waterlogged'.
Suggestion anyway. Terry.
For the OP. The only sensible solution is to:
a: Good: replace the tank with a modern bladder type.
b: Best: -Move the tank- replacing it with a bladder type.
Why people install the air tank next to the well is beyond me. These
things need periodic service and they can be installed anywhere in the
system from the well to the end point (within reason). Mine is in the
basement, others have been installed in utility rooms. They don't
take up a lot of room. The biggist idiocy I have seen was my
neighbor. Had a new well drilled, shed next to it. In spite of
advising against it, he just -had- to install the tank in the shed.
Then to keep it from freezing in the winter he had to insulate the
hell out of the room and run a light bulb all winter. Dumb to the max
but then that is him.
AS for your installation, assuming the pressure switch is also in the
pit all you need to do is remove the tank, reconnect the pipe(s), then
do some electical work to move the pressure switch. It could be that
the switch could even be left in the pit but I wouldn't do it.
Newer tanks have a bladder inside charged with air so the air cannot get
absorbed into the water. Also buy as big a tank as you can get (space
allowed is a limit of course) so the pump cycles less..... although there
was a guy that posted here that said don't go too big for some reason....
don't remember why. The fewer times the pump turns on and off the better.
No, from an ex-farmer and family. I suggest you probably
have a pinhole in the bladder of that tank. You don't give
a measurable timetable, but the "charge"of air in the tank
should last for many years. It's also possible that, since
you seem to have to drain it often, that the bladder is
completely shot and all you do when you drain it is let in a
little air, which lets it work "for awhile" but eventually
the air is exhausted from the constant water exchanges,
until it's all gone.
pit is 15
Sounds like you're looking for the kind of things they use
in cities for the water utility shut-offs. The utility
entrance out on the street is just a pipe with a long bar
coming up to ground level so it can be turned off.
Sometimes it's nothing - the rod is sort of like a key and
is put down into the pipe until it contacts the fitting, in
order to shut off the water but isn't left there.
I've never seen them for sale that I've noticed. No idea
what to do about getting one.
only have ONE
I'm not familiar with that type of tank (many kinds are
blue) but I can see where it might work. All I can say
about that is to check with the selling place and ask for
some paperwork on how it works.
Most hardware stores sell the kind of tank you have,
which is pretty much as you describe it. The tank itself
actually holds maybe 20 - 30 gallons of water in your case,
and part of the tank is sealed off with a bladder, where the
air chamber is located. The air and water never touch each
other - thus, the bladder.
\ As someone else mentioned, these are often "precharged"
with air, too. The pressure depends on the tank's specs.
You pressurinze them via a valve almost like on your car
tire. It is seldom necessary to recharge them though,
unless you have to take the plumbing apart for repairs or
something. They just don't lose air unless they're worn
My galvanized tank has TWO inlets/outlets. In
(inlet), and the
both the inlet
Yes, you could, but like I said, go back to the store and
get some paperwork on the tank. I can see where it would be
a viable solution and could work well - maybe someone else
here will be familiar with them.
Most any hardware or plumbing supply will have replacement
tanks similar to the one you have operationally, anyway.
Agway should know all about them too if there's one nearby
that does more than feeds. It sounds like you need a
shallow well or deep well water tank, so look/ask around.
Dumb question: Why can't the tank be relocated to a
basement, cellar, barn, wherever it won't freeze? Does it
really have to be in the pit? Especially with a submersible
pump, the tank doesn't need to be close to the well casing
at all. Besides, it's better, really, if the tank/s are
located near the place where the water is used as opposed to
OR, is this a setup that services more than one premises
or household, with multiple exits to different places from
the one pit? If so, ignore everything I've said. Those are
much more complex systems and I have no experience with
them. I'm just trying to reationalize why the tank would be
in a pit as opposed to in the house/barn/whatever. Ours was
always in the basement.
Maybe I'm off-base here, but isn't it likely that the old
galvanized tank he describes is bladderless and relying
on sheer size to produce effect? If so, I don't know how
such a tank could get "waterlogged." I've had one for
40 years and never experienced that. Weird.
On Sun, 02 May 2004 14:41:12 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@SPAMFREE.com wrote:
You are correct. This tank is bladderless, all those older galvanized
tanks were. It's old, but it dont leak. I have often wondered if it
waterlogs because it is lower than the pipe from the well. The well
is about 8 feet away from the pit, but the pipe coming from the well
is 6 of 7 feet deep. This pit is 15 feet deep. It used to be an old
cistern. I have even thought about building a platform out of treated
wood to raise the tank above the pipe level, but that's a lot of work
to build something down there, since it's hard to get into. I'd only
do it if I knew for sure it would be beneficial to go thru the trouble
Someone mentioned adding air. There is no (tire type valve stem).
However, there are several pipe plugs on the tank (if they come out).
Where should the air go in? The top of the tank, or the bottom, or
dont it matter? It would be easiest to install one on the piping, but
the pipes enter the tank about 8" from the bottom. However, with this
being a bladderless tank, is adding air still necessary?
I thought only the bladder type tanks needed air pumped in, but maybe
that is my problem and I need to add some.
I also know what is meant by the air valve. I believe they are called
air volume controls (AVC). I know about them because I used to live
at another farm, but that place had a shallow well, and jet pump in
the basement. That had a AVC, which had a small tube that went to the
pump. But I now have a submersible pump in a deep well. There is no
way to connect one of these to the pump (that I know of).
On Sun, 02 May 2004 23:58:42 GMT, frank1492
does the tank have a pressure gauge? is it reading normally?
perhaps the pressure switch is faulty.
Considering your hassle, I'd go out and buy an Extrol, though I do
like your kind of tank because they are normally so hassle=free. OR
you can wait for a sharpie to diagnose this. Something is being
On Sun, 02 May 2004 22:25:55 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@SPAMFREE.com wrote:
I have what must be the same tank in my basement, and I have to
drain it once every 9 months or so, when I get tired of hearing the
pump cycle. The water absorbs air, is all; and soon the air is gone.
Having it run with water always in the tank is an advantage in
long power failures, so it's not clear cut that you want to precharge
it; just drain it more often to make up for it when the smaller supply
of air runs out quicker. So you always have water you can obtain
in a long power failure if you want it, by draining some out.
I've taken to sucking the water out rather than draining it, just to
speed it up. I don't want to remove the probably frozen plugs on the
tank if I can avoid it. (Pump water out with drill pump until it
stops, and then let air rush back in to replace it; repeat. Faster than
dripping and glugging.)
It's -possible- it's a bladderless tank - they were in use
for many years, and were pretty reliable (so I've heard).
They still worked, however, with an air "load" but they may
or may not have had a valve to add air to them depending on
their age. I know of others who've had them "forever" too,
and had no problems with them. All I personally have heard
about them is that they corrode and get eaten away by what's
in the water faster because the air is in contact with the
galv steel (bladderless). Galv, though; NOT a fast decayer!
When there IS an air valve, all you have to do is add
some air to the tank while the pressure's low (pump on);
where there isn't one, you must empty the tank to recharge
them. The old stuff worked, no doubt in my mind. As to a
comment on the amount of charge needed, that depends too
much I think on detail not given here to recommend a psi
setting or if one is even needed in the case. Personal
If your tank truely is bladderless you are very lucky, the air control
valve of whatever type is obviously still working. It has either a
snifter valve that injects a bit of air each time the pump operates or
a float type that lets a bit of air in. I've never seen that type of
tank go that long without service.
This tank of mine is probably 80 gal. I am certain that there are only
two ports in it- one for the water, and the other for a pressure
gauge. I use that point (driven) for irrigation, and I'm not aware
that the pump ever cycles excessively.
On Sun, 02 May 2004 23:58:42 GMT, frank1492
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