Busted bladder in water tank???

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by tuccisal, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. tuccisal

    tuccisal New Member

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    1
    Hello - I have a Wellmate water tank (with a bladder) that seems to not be working correctly. I was advised to check the pressure of the tank via the nozzle at the top of the tank. I was also told that if you press on that nozzle and both water and air comes out, then the bladder is busted.

    Low and behold, there is indeed a lot of water coming out of the nozzle when I checked the air pressure. I've done some research of the internet and have found conflicting information about a solution which I'm hoping someone can help clarify.

    1) Ultimately the tank will need to be replaced or at the very least the bladder if this is an option. Most people recommend replacing the tank.

    2) To immediately rectify the sitaution without incurring the expense of a new tank, someone mentioned that a tank with a broken bladder is the equivalent of the 'old' tanks that didn't contain a bladder. Therefore, my broken bladder tank is the equivalent of a 'waterlogged' bladder-less tank. They recommended I drain the tank as if it were an 'old' tank and then just pump the air pressure back in. Is this true??? and is this a viable option for a short term fix until I can get the tank replaced?? :confused:

    Any light you can shed on these two points would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sal
  2. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

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    I believe you can get away with that for a while.

    Just remember the less air that is in the tank the quicker the motor will cycle. Tanks are much cheaper than new pumps.

    bob...
  3. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

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    They're sort-of equivalent, but not quite. The bladder allows them to claim an "equivalent volume" to compare the bladder tank to an "old" tank. However, once the bladder goes, the volume becomes the actual volume of the tank, probably 1/3 to 1/2 the "equivalent" volume. Also, as the air in the tank is dissolved (is that the right word?) in the water, it will have to be replaced. "Old" tanks have a gizmo on them that does that automatically. Having said all that, you should be OK for a short time. Nobody I've talked to had anything good to say about trying to replace the bladder.
  4. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

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    515
    Some tanks are not rust protected on the air side, and even if so, nasty things grow in that sealed moist enviroment. So when the bag breaks you are drinking from the equivilent of a septic tank. I always use plain tanks now, no bladder. Both tanks need maintenance, but only one has the potential to fill your coffee maker with bacterial muck.
  5. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

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    Wouldn't you think things can grow in the galvanized or glass lined tanks as well?

    bob...
  6. Rancher

    Rancher Guest

    Of course stuff grows on the inside of a galvanized tank, but it's kind of like the old... "if a tree falls in the middle of a forest and nobody hears it, was there any sound".

    So we're better off not knowing what's growing in there... besides we sucked it out of the ground, imagine what's growing down there and on the inside of the well casing.

    Rancher
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    If you put air into a bladderless tank, or a tank with a broken bladder, when the tank is empty of water, to a pressure 2 psi less than the START pressure of the pump, then the tank will work like a bladder tank with two variations:

    1. The air will eventually become dissolved in the water and be lost, resulting in a waterlogged tank.
    2. It is possible for a flapping broken bladder to be pushed against the outlet orifice of the tank, blocking the discharge of water.
  8. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    Small point, but the tank does not need to to be empty of water, it needs to be devoid of pressure if filling with an air compressor. Lot of time to get the water out. Glasslined tank with an air compressor - thats my solution. Glasslined tank with a floating disk is really the way to go, but no one seems to make them any more.
  9. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

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    It isn't necessary that the tank be empty to set the air pressure, but the maximum drawdown is available if the tank is nearly empty of water when the pump starts.

    The easiest way to set a non-bladder tank is to know what the level and pressure should be at pump shutoff. Without going into absolute pressures and stuff like that, here are the calculated water levels for the shutoff pressure for typical pressure ranges. The numbers are:

    Operating Range, Minimum % full of water at shutoff, Recommended % full at shutoff

    20 to 40 psi, 36.6%, 40.2%
    30 to 50 psi, 30.9%, 34.0%
    40 to 60 psi, 26.8%, 29.5%

    The recommended % full corresponds to the usual recommendation to set the air pressure of a bladder tank when empty to 2 psi less than the switch start pressure.

    If the water level at shutoff exceeds the last number, then run the water down to that level, with the pump off, and add air to the tank until it reaches shutoff pressure.

    You can forget all that stuff and do it as follows:
    Put a mark on your tank at the % full level corresponding to your opeating pressure range. If the water level is ever above that mark, add air until it reaches pump shutoff pressure.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    Strange every tank manufacturer I've checked with always says their captive air precharged tank should be empty of water when setting the air pressure so the correct VOLUME of air, at the specific pressure, is present. They also say that not getting the correct volume of air and the pressure right for the pressure switch settings is the primary cause of bladder failure. Without the correct volume of air, the pressure will not be right during operation of the system.

    Many folks are told to open a faucet in the house rather than draining the tank. That leaves water in the tank, and if the tank is in a basement, and they don't leave a faucet open while adding air, they aren't going to get the correct volume of air but the pressure will be right. I say the only correct way is to drain the tank, and flush it since it is drained, which flushing once a year is good for all type pressure tanks.

    The water quality will be less than desired if you use a tank with a broken bladder. All water contains bacteria, but especially well water that has not been disinfected.
  11. speedbump

    speedbump Previous member

    Messages:
    4,540
    Location:
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    The problem with putting the 2# less air pressure in a tank with a broken bladder in the case of a Wellmate, is the bag in a Wellmate is not where the water goes, The water goes in the tank and the bag is compressed. So with a broken bag, the air is going to come out the bottom of the tank just as fast as you put it in.

    The other thing I heard was that the tank was now going to be the same as it's galvanized brother. That's true except it's going to be only 1/3 the size with much less drawdown.

    bob...
  12. Raucina

    Raucina Previous member

    Messages:
    515
    Lead pipe in Rome- bladder tanks in America

    Still a glasslined tank for me - no pockets or seperators of any sort to muck up. Having handled these bladders, and smelled the stink of the vinyl, and extracted the disintegrating pieces of a broken one, I would much rather pay for the ocassionally water logged plain tank. According to the scientists, plasticizers or the softening agents in plastics and vinyls are making our testicles shrink and dropping the sperm count to new lows in first world countries... If you have any doubt spend a weekend in Palm Springs or Palm Beach.... Pretty soon none of us will have to shave and all our babies will have to be purchased in Africa from Brad Pitts wife. [ strange but true tale: Brad Pitt worked for me as a laborer building a spa in LA about 2 years before his discovery - showed him how to use pipe primer - he rented from my brother, and I thought him the poster child for the shrinking testicle theory...] Combine your bladder tank with a variable speed pump to make your brain implode, mix in a few Muslim jihadi's, and you have the answer to the worlds population bomb.

    Important note: I'm a pro but nobody cares and it does'nt matter anyway.
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