Questions about air in supply lines and deep well

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by jeff_bathroom, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Jeff, I can feel your pain. A good thing about forums is that you can educate yourself before calling a “professional”. When you educate yourself, you are less likely to get screwed.

    However, I don’t know how much of this is because of dishonesty, and how much is because of a lack of education on the contractor’s part. I see a lot of contractors who act like they know what they are talking about, but really don’t have a clue. They can’t learn this stuff in school and they can’t find it in any books. They either have to learn everything the hard way, by trial and error, or have a mentor that will teach them everything they have learned in their life experiences.

    Many people are retiring long before they should, and most are no longer passing on their skills to the younger generation. I have the same problem in my business. The younger generation seems to focus on their phones or “digital communication devices”, and have very little interest in learning about pumps, motors, valves, HVAC, car engines, or anything mechanical. Very few young people stay at one job long enough to actually learn anything. If they aren’t made CEO within a few months, they loose interest and move on to something else. They don’t realize it takes years to gain the experience needed to be useful.

    This also makes older persons reluctant to train the younger generation, as they feel they are wasting their time when many younger people just walk away. The few younger people who do hang around long enough to gain some knowledge will also walk away from you. As soon as they become knowledgeable, other companies will hire them out from under you, or they will start their own company and compete against you.

    There are a bunch of pump companies in my area who are owned by someone who worked a few years with me. There are countless others who have gone on to work at supply houses or manufacturers. Many of them are using what I taught them to sell products that compete against me.

    Although I think the biggest problem is that most of a contractors education comes from classes at trade shows, seminars at manufacturers, and listening to the guy behind the counter at the supply houses. State continuing education classes and classes at trade shows are nothing more than infomercials. They are taught how to install the most profitable items, which are rarely the best product for the end users. They are taught how to “replace” equipment, not to repair anything. Basically contractors are being taught how to make the most money, which conflicts with repairing or making things last longer.

    I use to believe that it took so long to gain the experience needed in the pump and well business that this was not a job for DIY. I now believe because of the Internet that many people have educated themselves more than most of the so-called “professionals”. And even if they don’t end up doing it themselves, they can at least defend themselves from contractors who try to pull the wool over their eyes.

    I also ended up installing my own heat pump when after asking the right questions, the contractor I bought it from admitted he didn’t know what he was doing. I repair my own appliances instead of getting a tech out that will always recommend a replacement instead of repair. I built most of my own house when the contractors didn’t show up like they were suppose to, or after I ripped out the stuff they did wrong.

    Sorry to rant with you but it is maddening. If people spent as much time working and trying to learn their profession as they spend trying to get out of work, the world would be a much better place. I take pride in having done the same job for 40+ years. But most of the younger generation thinks I am foolish for not having figured out how to scam the system enough to be able to retire years ago. But I sleep really well at night, and that is what is most important to me.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  2. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    It is one peculiar world these days Valveman. I don't think the young are going to get it until well after the economic collapse.
    Then many of them will likely be the ones who would kill you for a loaf of bread. Then after they've fed off of and used up all
    the responsible folks, will they understand why this country collapsed under the enormous weight of the entitled freeloaders... born,
    bred and bought for only one purpose - to provide votes for the would-be intellectual, progressive elites. Yippee, go communism.
  3. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    New AVC and gauge are installed. Water runs fine.
    However, I still have not heard the hiss nor seen bubbles when I put liquid detergent and water
    on the air outlet. The instructional that comes with the part says it's factory set to vent air at
    a tank pressure of 25 lbs per sq in. The gauge was showing 50 to 55 and I heard no hiss, just like
    the old unit. I unscrewed first a half turn, then full, then maybe two full turns and no change.
    Is this "hiss" obvious even when I have water draining out the spigot at the bottom of the tank through
    a hose about 20 feet away? What I mean is, even with the noise of that water going out the hose,
    should I heard the hiss? I certainly saw no bubbles. This is disappointing not to see this new part
    work like it is stated.
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,066
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    After you drain the tank, it could take months before enough air builds up to the point there is surplus. That was why I said that lots of folks with non-functioning AVCs just drain the tank periodically.
  5. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    Funny, I just got it. I was trying to reply with this statement about the same time.
    Please let me know if I finally got it. Ok, I feel much better. Thanks LLigetfa.

    "I was wondering how this AVC unit can expel air when it seems as though the inside part of it is
    beneath the water. Is that the logic I'm missing? Does the air from the snifter/bleeder need to
    accumulate over time until the water is pushed down beneath the level of this AVC before it functions
    as it is supposed to?"
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,066
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    BINGO! You got it.
  7. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks and sorry it took so long for me to see that. :D
    I guess if I wanted to know immediately whether the AVC is working or not,
    I'd have to find another way to introduce air into the tank.
    Since there's no Schrader valve, that makes it a bit more complicated I guess.
    That is another thing I don't understand though. The gauge on the AVC shows
    between 55 and 60 just before the pump shuts off. When water is turned on, it might get
    down to 40 before the pump kicks on again. Is that gauge measuring air or water
    pressure? Seems we're discussing that the AVC is beneath water at this time.
    Or is pressure, pressure regardless?
    Are you seeing what doesn't make sense to me? If more air is gradually introduced
    into the tank via the snifter/bleeders in the well lines, how is that manifested in
    the form of pressure in the tank? Will that AVC gauge show some higher value at
    the point that the air pushes the water down to the level of the AVC? What didn't make
    sense was that the gauge is supposed to be factory set to release air at 25 lb's.
    So, once the water is beneath the AVC, does that gauge start reading differently?
  8. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    This url is has another good description of the functionality of my hydro pneumatic tank system.
    http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/csvbasicinfo_19.html
    It further confuses though. Taking the 25lb per sq inch AVC setting out of the picture for the moment.
    It simply says the AVC operates like this:
    "Inside the tank on the AVC there is a float on a 12" rod that drops when the water level is low. When this float is in the low position, the AVC allows excess air out of the tank through the little brass fitting outside the tank. When the float on the AVC is up, this little brass fitting is closed so as not to allow water out of the AVC."

    Seems to me that the float has the greatest control over whether air is expelled. So, I'd like to understand how the little adjustment screw and the default 25 lbs. per sq inch come into play if anyone knows. This article also states that a snifter valve is usually in the configuration as folks have been telling me. Of course we have not found it
    above ground. So, it has been speculated that there may be too bleeders in the drop line ; one acting as a snifter. I don't understand how that would work, but I suppose it has to be something like that.
    This url talks about a micronizer that can be used as the form of air intake instead of the snifter/bleeder configuration. http://www.wellwaterproducts.com/products/Waterite-Micronizer.html
    I don't see one of these anywhere either, but I copied this url here because it's interesting that the drawing of a typical configuration is exactly how my well is set up.
    I do have lots of "orange" sediment in my system. The drawing shows a iron filter followed by a softener which is exactly what I have. We replaced the filter for the first time since I moved in, and it was really disgusting. The filter was just caked with orange gunk. The same is true of the float and inside mechanism on the AVC that I removed. It's no small wonder that it wasn't working. I have read several times though that a reason I might have an old style hydro pneumatic tank is that it was better to dissolve some of these solids in the water via the mixing of air and water since there is no bladder to separate them in the tank. Since this house was built in 2001, I wondered why someone would install an old technology instead of a bladder tank. Seems to me it was done on purpose due to the water quality here.
    Thoughts on that?
  9. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,249
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    I don't know where the 25psi would come into play here, it sounds to me like bad info-- the float valve is the only control.

    A non-bladder style tank is often used to allow iron/air contact whereas some of the iron falls to the bottom of the tank. If you were to shake your tank as to disturb the bottom sediment, you would be spending the rest of the day flushing your pipes and cleaning your aerators.

    There is no filter to change on a true iron filter. It is a chemical reaction that must backwash to clean itself. What you likely have is a disposable sediment filter.
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,437
    Location:
    IL
    Just speculating, maybe some valves have a provision to not release lower pressure air. This would seem be good to keep some precharge in place when you empty the tank of water.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  11. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    Yes, it is a disposable sediment filter. I have a box of replacement filters that were here when I bought the house.
    The instructions what came with the AVC clearly state that the screw on the front controls air release. If it were not some kind of adjustment mechanism, then I don't think the screw would be there in the first place. Seems I'll only be able to check how it works once the amount of air gets to where the float causes air discharge.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014
  12. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    As I noted earlier, when I took the old AVC out, I was amazed how much orange gunk
    had caked onto it. The float mechanism was frozen in place and had not moved probably in years.
    This got me wondering why the big disposable filter that captures such a huge amount of iron
    is on the outlet side of the tank. Why not remove the iron before it gets into the tank? That way
    the stuff is not contaminating the tank itself. Couldn't the filter be placed after the pressure and
    check valves as the last component on the inlet side of the tank? That configuration would also
    maybe make a bladder tank more viable some day. One of the arguments for this hydro pneumatic tank
    that I have is that the contact between air and water dissolves some of the solids thus reducing
    the iron and possibly rotten egg smell from the water. Stated earlier; the Well technician may have
    installed this older technology on purpose to deal with the heavy iron content in my water. So again;
    why not remove the iron before it gets to the tank?
  13. craigpump

    craigpump Member

    Messages:
    977
    Location:
    ct
    Because if the iron filter ever plugged, the pump would continue to run deadheaded which can lead to premature pump failure, burst piping and in some cases a pump that can melt off the end off the pipe.
  14. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    Seems like there should be some other kind of pressure switch that would act as a stop valve that could be in place to keep all those bad things from happening.
    Maybe some kind of filter that has a passthru when or if it got gunked up and not changed. It just seems like there are enough advantages to cleaning the water
    before it gets to the tank that some bright engineer would have found a solution to this problem.
  15. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    “When there is an excess of air and the water level is low, the float opens the main valve of the control, permitting air to be vented to a chamber within the control. This chamber contains an adjustable pressure relief valve, which exhausts the excess air to the atmosphere, providing the pressure in the tank is higher than the relief valve setting.”

    I think you need to mix air with the water to precipitate the iron out of solution before it goes through a filter. This is why your filter is after the pressure tank.

    The only way I know to mix air with the water before it goes to the pressure tank would be to use something like the Sulfur Eliminator that injects aerated water back down the well. This way the air mixing happens in the well and therefore you could use a bladder tank instead of a standard hydro tank.
  16. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    “When there is an excess of air and the water level is low, the float opens the main valve of the control, permitting air to be vented to a chamber within the control. This chamber contains an adjustable pressure relief valve, which exhausts the excess air to the atmosphere, providing the pressure in the tank is higher than the relief valve setting.â€

    I think you need to mix air with the water to precipitate the iron out of solution before it goes through a filter. This is why your filter is after the pressure tank.

    The only way I know to mix air with the water before it goes to the pressure tank would be to use something like the Sulfur Eliminator that injects aerated water back down the well. This way the air mixing happens in the well and therefore you could use a bladder tank instead of a standard hydro tank.
  17. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    I was reading up on the Birm filters which are the air injector type on the inlet side of the tank (injector only) that you're talking about. The filter is still on the outlet side as you've stated. I'm not sure what is causing the orange buildup; whether that is bacteria or iron particles coming out of solution. I guess the question is whether the iron that is in solution causes that orange stuff. Our actual water is good once it reaches the tap. The big filter that captures that orange stuff followed up by the softener system appear to do a very good job. The water doesn't stink; it doesn't leave orange rings and it tastes good. We do run it through a Britta for drinking though. Our water was also tested and we have no bacteria. So, I guess the real drawback is indeed just that we have to learn how long before changing that big filter and I'll have to see how long the AVC lasts before it locks up again. Maybe next time I can just remove it and put it in some white vinegar for awhile and see if it works after cleaning it up.
    In fact, if the garbage hasn't gone out already, maybe I'll try that with the old unit I removed.
  18. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,495
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
  19. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    It seems similar to this - http://www.qualitywatertreatment.com/PDF/Terminator-Lit_rev3.pdf but
    the video is hard to see and it implies I should have a spigot right at the well head. I don't, so I don't know how
    they'd expect that I could hook it right up. It's hard to understand why a company trying to sell a product
    puts out such a bad video too.
    In any case, they don't say that they fix problems with iron. Know if it does?
  20. jeff_bathroom

    jeff_bathroom Member

    Messages:
    191
    Location:
    Florida
    Looks like the deluxe model is supposed to handle iron
    http://www.wellwaterstinks.com/Sulfur-Eliminator-Deluxe.html - $600
    Even though it looks like about $30 worth of hose and parts, I wouldn't mind paying
    for an idea that worked well. At that price though, I'd be worried that the patented filters would also cost a fortune.
    I'll have to see what those prices are.
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