DIY Expansion Tank

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by coolul007, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. coolul007

    coolul007 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    I am just starting to connect a well to a cabin. What is here is a well, Franklin pump 10gal 1/2 hp. Nothing else is connected. I put electricity to the well and it pumped water. Here is my question, I have read all the pros and cons of fiberglass vs. steel expansion tanks and it seems I'm going to replace something in a few years. I was thinking that I could make my own cheaply by capping a 4" x 8' PVC pipe, feeding it at the bottom and allowing the compressed air do the job. it's very scalable by just adding pipe. I also read in the forum about air/water mixing. Is this where this low-cost tank goes awry?
    Thanx
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,980
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Bad idea. Way too small as the volume is only 5 gallons. A 10 GPM pump should have at least 30 gallons if not used with a Cycle Stop Valve.

    The air will be absorbed very quickly unless you use some method to add air frequently.

    I haven't heard any cons for a fiberglass tank. Care to share?
  3. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    A used water heater works.
  4. coolul007

    coolul007 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    The cons for fiberglass are:(I read this on various forums) The are more prone to leaks, the UV destroys them, The bladder is replaceable because it deteriorates, pricy. That's about it for the cons on fiberglass. I have no firsthand experience, this is my first DIY well project. I would like to get ir right and do it for as few dollars as possible, and have it last.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,636
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; I would like to get ir right and do it for as few dollars as possible, and have it last.

    You can get two out three choices, IF you want it done right and last. IF you do it cheaply, that is ALL you will get. Put the tank inside the building or in a well house and UV will NOT affect it. Steel tanks with a lining, which is how water storage tanks are made, have a long lifetime. YOU might replace a bladder rather than the tank, but I WOULD NOT, because my time is too valuable, and expensive, to do it. You are trying to replicate the "old" storage tanks with a bubble of air on top of the water. They ONLY worked when they had a "snifter" valve to maintain the air as needed, and your 4" pipe would NOT have any room for one.
  6. coolul007

    coolul007 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    Thank you all for your input. I think I know what I will do. A steel expansion tank (cheaper than Fiberglass), definitely put a shed around all the components, tank, control boxes. The cabin is in a place where it rarely freezes, so that is not a problem, but it rains a lot, northern California near the coast. Again thank you
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The old plain tanks with a floating disk were the best of both worlds. Low air absorbtion and no bag to bust. Have one still working.
  8. masterpumpman

    masterpumpman New Member

    Messages:
    729
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
  9. coolul007

    coolul007 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    I looked at the Pside-kick and have a question, all of the other systems seem to have a 30/50 pressure switch, Pside-kick is 40/60. I have a long run that I am planning on using PVC piping, so I am concerned about pressure.
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,980
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
  11. coolul007

    coolul007 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California
    I have another question, do I need a check valve above ground right out of the well. The well is somewhere between 50-75 feet deep. I thoroughly appreciate all the help I got here, it has given me enough confidence to be dangerous.
  12. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,466
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The only check valve you need is the one on the submersible pump itself.
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