Air Accumulating in Well Tank

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by rhino300z, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. rhino300z

    rhino300z New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    S.C.
    I have the old style bladderless galvanized air tank and submersible pump system. Somehow air and water are being pumped into the tank and eventually (~2 weeks) I have to drain the air out so that I can get water. This started happening after I replaced the check valve in between the well head and the tank. This fixed my short cycling problem but now I have this other problem. Do you think the check valve directly above the pump is not holding the water column? Any suggestions or comments would be great. Thanks
  2. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Did that check valve have a schrader valve on it and did you replace that? Do you have a air volume control on the side of the tank? Do a search online and look carefully at the mechanical needs of a bladderless tank. You are looking for a drain down valve [probably in the well] a surface check valve with a tire type valve on or near it, and a air release valve on the side of the tank. I would start by changing the 25$ air volume control valve [air release valve] on the tank side, or removing and cleaning it out. Prone to failure in many ways.

    After that, think about the pump check valve.
  3. rhino300z

    rhino300z New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    S.C.
    The original external check valve that was leaking by had a schrader valve on the inlet side which didn't make sense to me. I replaced it with a check valve with out a schrader valve and then added one to the piping on the outlet side to add air to the tank. Did I do something wrong here? I haven't seen any type of release valve on the side of the tank, the only nozzles are the inlet, pressure switch, outlet, plug in the top. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks
  4. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,485
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The schrader valve in the old check valve is how air is suppose to get into the system. Removing the schrader valve should have made your tank waterlog, not air log. I am guessing you have a couple of holes in your drop pipe in the well, and that is where the air is coming from. Either way you must have an Air Volume Control about 1/2 way up the tank to let out any excess air.
  5. Markgc

    Markgc New Member

    Messages:
    16
    This is what my Air Volume Control looks like

    [​IMG]

    It is an Ametek type WJ
  6. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    So here is how i see it. He does not have the volume control - air release. I dont use them anymore, and try to design the "air inlet loop" to let in just a small gulp of air each cycle. If its too much you simply get a burp in the upstairs toilet every now and then. It worked before for him, so his air intake system probably roughly matched the air absorbtion of the water in his tank. So the question we must ask is what did he do besides fixing the bad check valve with the schrader valve on the WELL side? He put in a normal check valve and tee'd in a schrader valve on the pressure - house - side of the check valve.

    I calculate a guess that by moving his schrader valve to the tank side of the check valve, he created a venturi or "micronizer" type valve that simply sucks air in continually on each run cycle.... causing air overload. I think that valveman might agree that he must replace the schrader valve on [or to] the well side of the check valve before seeking leaks in the drop pipe.

    So to answer the question "did I do something wrong here?" it is a big yes. Its like that little thing that that guy did at Chernobyl that "seemed" right, but was just a bit wrong. Put it back like it was [you can buy the check valve tapped for the schrader or tee it in on the well side of the check valve] THEN think about the drop pipe if you get too much air.

    Wanna do a quick test? put a big wad of chewing gum on that schrader valve, get your tank empty of air, and run some cycles. I think your tank will stay waterlogged, and the pump will short cycle.

    When the schrader valve is on the well side of the check valve it only operates [opens] when the pump is off and the drain down fitting or valve [hidden to him] is open. If the schrader valve is on the tank side of the check valve it may or will open under suction, which is what it "see's" when the pump runs. If he could control that suction, he could actually leave it in its location [micronizer type valve] and adjust the air intake to not overload the tank. Intriguing bit of plumbing error!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  7. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,485
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I missed the schrader valve being placed after the new check valve but, I don't think it will act like a venturi and draw in air. I still say holes in the drop pipe because when he replaced the check valve, it sounds like all the water is draining out of the drop pipe, which causes lots of air.
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    That is ceratainly possible but he did not have "extra" air until he moved the schrader to the wrong side of the new check valve. It could have short cycled because the defective check valve let water constantly run out the bleed down valve, and therefore when the pump started there was no air column moving into the tank. Now he either gets air from drop leaks or a sort of unwitting air inlet at the misplaced Schrader.

    I hope the guy comes back after closing off the schrader for a week to see if the tank stops filling with air. Actually if he has drop leaks, he should hear a bunch of air coming in on pump start... that would solve it quick.
  9. rhino300z

    rhino300z New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    S.C.
    Thanks for all of the responses. My bets are on holes in the drop pipe but I will let you know after I pull it out. I do hear some strange noises when the pump turns on prior to water entering the tank. I don't understand the schrader valve theory, I think the valve sees substantial internal pressure at all times.
  10. rhino300z

    rhino300z New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    S.C.
    My neighbor and I pulled the pump out today, hooked my neighbors hose to the drop pipe and water was flowing out of the pump and there wasn't any other leaks. The check valve directly above the pump was at fault. I think I also found the air controller also, it was a couple feet down in the well, a housing with a weep hole to let some air in? I don't hear the odd noise anymore when the pump kicks on, so far no problems.
  11. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Put the Schrader valve back where it was!
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,485
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You could not have been getting that much air in the system, after moving the schrader valve, unless you had two holes in the drop pipe. The bleeder orifice that was a few feet down was the first leak, and the check valve at the pump was the second. The same thing happens when you have two holes in the drop pipe. The bottom hole lets water out, while the top hole lets air in.
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I suppose if he had an air control or release valve on his tank, he might not have learned of the problem [?] The amount of air pushed in the tank was that from the bleeder valve to the standing water level in the well - might not have been that much.

    Seems like this scenario makes a good case for bladder tanks without any above ground check valve.
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