why is a pressure tank with a bladder better than plain old steel pressure tank

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by fcbclan, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. fcbclan

    fcbclan New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Forest City, Iowa
    Why is a pressure tank with a bladder, say 85 gallon with 35 gallon pump down better than plain old 85 steel air tank with no bladder pressure tank. Thanks and God Bless.
  2. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    It's not. Each has their own advantages/disadvantages, but a bladder tank is not "better".
  3. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,432
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    The air just can’t get out of the bladder, so a bladder tank is maintenance free. You have to check the air charge on a non-bladder tank regularly. If the bladder in a bladder tank burst, it is the same as if you forget to maintain the air charge in a non-bladder tank. Either will cause the tank to be waterlogged and will short cycle the pump to death quickly.

    Some areas can only use a non-bladder tank. These will mix air with the water and help eliminate things like rotten egg smell or iron buildup.
  4. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    And also some areas have naturally gassy water, like areas around here. You have to put an air release on the tank to keep excess gas out, and get a truly maintenance free well.

    Valveman I'm surprised you would say a bladder tank is maintenance free. Just like a auto tire, you have to add a few pounds every now and then to keep it fully inflated. Much less maintenance than a std. tank of course.
  5. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,432
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I have a WX203 that still has the same air in it that came from the factory in 1982. It may have lost about 3 PSI, but I believe that is from me checking it a few times. I have a WM6 that I have to add air to every couple of years. So I still think a good bladder tank is maintenance free, but for some brands of bladder tanks, maybe not.
  6. JPat

    JPat New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Johnsburg, Il
    Which one gives you "cleaner" water.
    A tank that the water and air are in contact inside of a galvanized steel tank, where the outlet is 2-3" off the bottom allowing for a build-up of sediment.
    or
    A tank that the water is held in a rubber bladder that may need some maintenance or replacement eventually, but for the most part is worry free and clean.
    bottom line
    I use both because there are applications where a non-bladder tank will operate better due to gaseous water.
  7. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If you have good water, a non-bladder system with an "airmaker" bleeder in the well work very well.

    I see systems here that have run for 10-15 years without anyone ever giving them as much as a look.
  8. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    IMO the biggest plus to a bladder type tank is it is much smaller physically than air over water type tanks.

    The biggest disadvantage to air over water, is water quality issues with air over water tanks causing oxidation of certain things plus normal sediment build up in the bottom that you can't get out. And if the glass lining breaks, you get iron in your water and rust build up inside the air over water tanks.

    You can not get rid of the gray to black sediment build up caused by oxidizing H2S gas in an air over water type tank.

    You do not have those problems with a captive air 'bladder' type tank while they usually are maintenance free for 15-20 years; unless you have an air leak or are constantly checking the air pressure. Or buy a cheap brand.
  9. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    524
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    Just curious how many glass lined tanks you have seen in your day? I have seen very, very few. About 2-3 in 20+ years. most were "Sears" type.

    If anything, air over water helps with the water quality, namely eliminating certain smells.

    The sediment on the bottom can be flushed out if you have it set up right. If anything the sediment stays on the bottom and doesn't end up in your plumbing.

  10. JPat

    JPat New Member

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Johnsburg, Il
    Yum..."If anything the sediment stays on the bottom and doesn't end up in your plumbing" That's what I want to drink, water that is passing by said sediment at the bottom of the tank.
    Bleeder systems are historically installed improperly, causing even more oxidation.
    I don't know any good reason to use an air over water/galv. tank over a bladder tank(Wel-X-Trol) other than if you have a gas or odor. Personal preferance is one thing, but clean water is superior in my opinion.
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,933
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I figure rainwater gets exposed to a lot of air so a little more air won't hurt. As for sediment, it comes from the same place the water comes from so the two are already on "biblical terms". I have no problem sleeping at night knowing my water is exposed to air and to sediment. I don't know if exposing it to rubber would be better or worse. I know when I let air out of a tire, it stinks to high heaven.
  12. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    That may be due to the rubber in tires not being made for potable water use. Not the same as material used as a 'bladder'.

    The only time I have smelled an odor from a bladder type tank is when the bladder has been broken for awhile and there is some type of bacteria in the water, like untreated rain water.
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,933
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If it comes from China, I wouldn't be so sure.
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