Air volume for a bladderless tank? 60 PSI too high?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by metrix, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. metrix

    metrix New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Amarillo, TX
    I bought my house a year ago with this huge pressure tank in the garage:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    A friend stopped by who told me I need to put air in the tank from time to time, so he showed me how to add a little air to the system. We ran the water at my kitchen sink for 10 minutes before the pump kicked on, which is when he noticed the pump turned on at 50 and shutoff somewhere over 60 (my guage only goes to 60). Stunned he told me this was too high and immediatly adjusted the pressure to shutoff around 55. After the pressure adjustment and adding air to the tank, it takes a little under a minute for my pump to add about 18 pounds of pressure to the tank.

    My questions are:
    What pressure should my system turn on and shutoff at? is a cutoff over 60 to high?
    Should I add air to my tank, and if so how do I know when it has the correct amount of air?

    Brandon
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,579
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    As long as air doesn’t blow a glass out of you hand when you open a faucet, you really can’t have too much air in a tank. The Air Volume Control that you have the pressure switch screwed into is suppose to let out any excess air. I doubt that it works however, because you have it all taped up and there is a ¼” valve closed below it. I also do not see but one pipe going into the tank. So it must not be set up to work with an automatic air charge system like a bleeder orifice. The fact that it took 10 minutes for the pump to come on, and that it took a minute for the pump to refill the tank, means that you did have some air in the tank, which is good. If you hear it come on in a few seconds or the pump refills the tank in a few seconds, then you need more air. More than a minute filling or draining the tank means you probably have plenty of air. Air does go out with the water, so you do need to add air if you don’t have a working bleeder orifice system. 40/60 or something close is not too much pressure. Although I see some rusty spots in the bottom of that tank, which means it may start leaking at any pressure. Start thinking about a new tank before that one springs a leak and causes more damage. I would switch to a bladder tank so you don’t have to worry about air charge. The only reason to stay with a galv type tank is if you have something smelly in the water.
  3. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,273
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    It looks like someone has rigged this up as there is a quick-connect fitting for an air hose on the nipple below the pressure switch.

    Ideally the tank should be about 1/2 air and 1/2 water. Depending on the water and air temperatures, I can often place my hand on the tank and feel the temperature difference when judging where the water level is. A non-contact thermometer works good for this too.
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    40 to 60 is pretty normal. Its set up for you to add air with a compressor. You can drain the tank about half way and pump it up to +/- 35 psi, you should get double or triple your drawdown, at least for awhile.

    Shut off the outlet valve before pumping it up.

    Another simpler method to add air is to shut off the pump when the pressure is just above cut-in. Then pump it up to cut out pressure with air.

    Best to use an oilless type compressor.

    If you keep it "precharged" it can have drawdown the same as a bladder or diaphragm tank.

    If you do a "precharge, you would have to close, remove, or defeat the operation of the air release valve, though they often do it themselves after a few years. But I am not seeing one on the photo.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  5. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    That tank looks like it's right in the way of that door/opening.
  6. metrix

    metrix New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Amarillo, TX
    Thank you for the information on how to add pressure to the tank, and all the replies. I have taken a closer look and do not see anything that would allow air out of the tank, and I don't hear air going in to the tank when the pump turns on.

    I would like to replace the tank with a bladder system sometime, and as Texas Wellman noted, the tank is in the way of the door into the house. If I went with a bladderless tank, could I get by with a smaller tank, or place the tank outside and leave all the electronics in doors?

    Brandon
  7. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    553
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Yes, a bladder tank would be much smaller. I would find one you like and see what kind of footprint it has compared to the old one, it's possible that the new tank wouldn't interfere with the door like the one you have now. I recommend Flex-con. Post up some pics when you complete the job. I would try and leave the tank indoors so you can avoid having to deal with freeze protection. Not a big deal here but I would imagine it would be a consideration in Amarillo.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  8. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,459
    Location:
    MD
    Talking to two water companies, 20 PSI to 80 PSI are the limits and 40 PSI is desirable.
  9. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    My glasslined tank has a 100 psi working rating.

    I have a well that must make air naturally, as the tank never waterlogs with no air addition.
  10. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,579
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You can use a tank as small as the one in the picture to the left. It is a 4.4 gallon size tank. Amarillo? If you visit Lubbock, come see me. I will show you how it works.
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