Keeping air pressure up on a remote conventional tank system.

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by MMSQ, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. MMSQ

    MMSQ New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Utah
    So we are trying to set up a holding/pressure tank. It is going to be a conventional tank without a bladder, it is about 5,500 gallons. We want to install the tank on the uphill side of our property away from the pump and well. This will allow us flow and pressure in case of power/pump failure.

    Originally, we were going to set this up as a dedicated gravity system, but we don't have enough elevation drop for desired pressures. So now we want to pressurized the system and are trying to plan for anticipated problems.

    One problem is that the air in the tank will absorb into the water and we will lose the air pressure and volume in the tank to maintain pressure. Adding a compressor or air line to the tank are options, but not ones we want to have to go to since the tank will be installed a long way from power.

    I was wondering if I can install a bleeder and snifter valve allowing air to be injected into the tank when the pump cycles. In theory it would work, but our problem with this option is that we have only one line into and out of the tank. Tank is plummed for two, but because this was to be a gravity pressured system, my dad only planned on and burried one line- so it is the supply and discharge line depending on if the pump is running or not.

    What I need is a 3 port, dual direction check valve of some sort that would alow us to tee off and isolate a portion of pipe that would have the snifter and bleeder installed on it. It would allow flow to the tank from the pump past the bleeder and snifter when the pump is running. It would then close the supply side of the snifter/bleeder line and allow discharge out of the tank to supply the system until the pressure/water level dropped enough for the pump to cut in. If there was something that was controlled by flow of the outlet side of the valve, that would be ideal.

    If I forgot to explain something, I am sorry. Just ask me and I will try to clarify.

    Thanks for the help!

    MMSQ
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,141
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    A snifter and bleeder normally goes between a submersible in the well and the house, with the bleeder in the well and the snifter in the house. Where does the pump reside and how does it tie in?
  3. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    550
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    You can put the snifter directly at the well if it's accessable. I don't know if you have a pitless adapter but if not it should be pretty simple.

    Getting the bleeder installed might be a tad bit tricky though.
  4. MMSQ1

    MMSQ1 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    Having a hard time logging on with the same account, so I created a new one: MMSQ1:cool:

    Yes, I understand where the snifter and bleeder normally go. And that would be optimal under normal circumstances.

    The pump is about 1/3 of a mile away from where we are installing the tank. The problem is that there is only one line (Dad was initially planning on using gravity flow for pressure) going up to the tank from the pump, and it is the same line that supply lines are "T"ed off from. The "T"s are between the tank and pump. If I were to install the snifter/bleeder at the pump, I would be injecting air pockets into the supply line to the homes on our system as well as the tank.

    Thanks,
    mmsq
  5. MMSQ1

    MMSQ1 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    I am needing to put something in near our remote tank we are installing (remote from the pump).

    mmsq
  6. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Is the 5500 gallon tank made for pressure? You know a 5500 gallon pressure tank only holds a bout 500 to 800 gallons of usuable water? Not much if you are counting on it for storage. With one line going into the tank, I think a compressor with a probe is your best option. Try White Water compressors.
  7. MMSQ1

    MMSQ1 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    We would rather not run a power line out to the tank, but it could be done. I was hoping there was a way to isolate a separate section of pipe on the supply side of the tank, and then discharge back through another line.

    So how are you figuring 5-800 gallons of usable water? what is usable? Are we talking drawdown before the pump cuts in?

    And as of now our tank is not a pressure tank. My dad wants to encase it in concrete to reinforce it. We are not looking for a high pressure system (ie.. probably 40-50 psi). Maybe I don't understand what is really going on with ratios in a pressure tank, but it seems that the less pressure you are trying to achieve, the more room there will be for water. But I will readily admit that wrapping my mind around all of this isn't as easy as it would first appear.

    MMSQ
  8. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Add a down line, just use the tanks 5500 gal cap. and put in a small booster pump and tank at the bottom near power. Fill the tank with a low voltage valve and float switch.

    Probably wont use much more power than the air compressor.

    I understand what you mean about the check valve system at the tanks one inlet. I have sketched one out many times, but have some doubts if it would work correctly. I think I concluded that electric valves would be needed in a sequencing method.
  9. MMSQ1

    MMSQ1 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
    Yeah the tank is plumbed for an outlet and an inlet, but we only have one line buried to the tank right now. So I was hoping to plumb two lines into the tank and to use check valves for each line to keep the directions of flow correct, the problem is that something has to isolate the line I wanted to put a snifter/bleeder section on so it will not be under pressure and can drain/air up. So I was hoping for some kind of 2 position, 3 way valve that would activate by directional water flow. If such a valve exists, then when the pump was pumping, water would go through the supply line and charge the tank with air via the snifter/bleeder setup, then after the pump shut off, supply demand would close the supply side, allowing it to drain and still supply our system.

    Thanks for the idea of booster pumps. I will explore that option as well.

    mmsq
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,141
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    No need to. Keep the compressor close to the source of power and just run the air line out.
  11. MMSQ1

    MMSQ1 New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Utah
  12. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,141
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I agree with ballvalve's suggestion to keep the tank as non-pressurized and to use a booster pump. I think though that you should be able to rig it up to not need any powered valve at the tank. The min and max float need only turn the well pump on and off.
  13. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,549
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    If it is not a real pressure tank, don’t pressurize it. Sounds like you making concrete shrapnel to me. If you live through a pressure tank explosion you will never forget it.

    The booster at the bottom of the hill is a good idea. Yeah as a pressure tank it would only hold 500 to 800 gallons of draw down. But as a storage tank it holds 5500 gallons so you shouldn’t need to fill it very often. Just put a timer on the well and set it according to how low the tank is. If it is half full you might set the timer for 3 hours, if it is empty set it for 6 hours.
  14. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    You pump guys should know about these Australian tank valves that do a huge draw down, adjustable, without any electric source. I was designing the damn thing for years, when I found the solution on the market.

    They sell them locally, but I have not tried one. Fantastic innovation - JOBE is the company name, lots of float solutions.

    http://www.irrigationwarehouse.com.au/category52_1.htm

    We still don't kow if this is a PRESSURE tank? It must weigh a few tons, if so. If yes, you need to torch a hole in the top.
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,141
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    It isn't! The OP wants to pour a bunch of concrete around it to redneck it into a pressure tank.

    I'm still trying to picture how this valve would work. Would it be like a toilet fill valve that stops the flow when full, in this case deadheading the pump so it trips the high pressure cutoff?
  16. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Yes it has a toilet type diaphragm valve, and it raises the pressure to the pump, where one must have a pressure switch to shut it off. I have one with a small tank near the submersible, and one without - they both work ok. But I am using the electric float. This valve is truly a piece of ingenuity. I would guess the shut off is slow, so the tank is likely not needed.

    Cement around a steel static tank? Thats called a pipe bomb with no fuse to know when its going off.
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