How to automatically fill up storage tank

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Rockwind1

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I have a slightly complicated system for my ranch (20 acres) . I have a decent well on the flat part with a well house and 1000 gallon storage tank with a jet pump/jockey pump and 25-ish gallon pressure pod. That jet pump sends water to the barn and horse facilities, which are down on the flat part,,,, but also sends water up to another 1250 gallon tank up on the 60 ft hill where the house is (nice view). That upper tank feeds a similar set up, a jet pump and a pressure tank which supplies the house. It takes like 3 days to fill up the 1250 upper big tank because by the time the 55 psi gets up there, it is just dribbling.

The problem is,, is that where as the lower 1000 gallon tank controls the main well pump (submersible) with a system of high and low water level switches inside the tank,,, the upper tank is manual, I keep the water running from the jet pump at the lower well house until the upper tank fills up and is over flowing, then I shut off the valve. Since the jet pump is far down the hill, I don't have any control wires going to it and I wouldn't want it to be controlled by the upper tank level anyway. So how can I shut off the water flowing to the upper tank when it reaches a certain fullness level and also come one when it reaches a certain minimum level with this configuration? Bear in mind, I need to keep the lower jet pump on to supply barn. I hope this doesn't sound too complicated.

I FOUND some pictures, sorry about the double

HOUSE ON HILL.jpg
HOUSE ON HILL.jpg
INSIDE LOWER WELL HOUSE.jpg
papa talk upper well tank with drawing.jpg
LOWER WELL HOUSE .jpg
 
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LLigetfa

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If the lower jet pump is controlled by a pressure switch, you can use a float controlled fill valve on the higher reservoir to control the lower jet pump.

There is a .43 PSI per foot drop in pressure due to elevation, so over the 60 foot rise, you would lose around 26 PSI. The cut-in pressure on the lower jet pump should be higher than that, say 30 PSI. You don't say what the pipe length or diameter is so I cannot calculate friction loss. Perhaps a 40/60 setting on the jet pump might work better.
 

Rockwind1

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If the lower jet pump is controlled by a pressure switch, you can use a float controlled fill valve on the higher reservoir to control the lower jet pump.

There is a .43 PSI per foot drop in pressure due to elevation, so over the 60 foot rise, you would lose around 26 PSI. The cut-in pressure on the lower jet pump should be higher than that, say 30 PSI. You don't say what the pipe length or diameter is so I cannot calculate friction loss. Perhaps a 40/60 setting on the jet pump might work better.

Excellent advice, and thanks for your input,, I did in fact mess around with the pressure switch to increase pressure, it didn't help that much,,

The flow isn't really my main issue now, I think that filling in 3 days isn't too bad but let me ask you a question,, when you say a float control fill valve, what do you mean,, the tank is like 7 feet tall,,,metal, and there is no communication with the lower jet pump, which is 100 ish yards away down the hill. I thought a float controlled valve was something that operated on it's own to shut water on and off using a float mechanism. As opposed to sending signals to a jet pump.
 

Reach4

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You could put a non-modulating float valve in the upper tank. I think some of those can have wide levels between on and off, but you can search that out. Have a pressure switch and small pressure tank at the lower tank. Now how to get those valves inexpensively? There are livestock watering float valves. But do they have much deadband/hysterisis? I doubt it. So if you used a float valve without a lot of deadband, you would want a bigger pressure tank to prevent the pump short-cycling a lot.

If you put a submersible into the lower tank horizontally, you could get better flow up top with the same or less power draw.
 

Rockwind1

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You could put a non-modulating float valve in the upper tank. I think some of those can have wide levels between on and off, but you can search that out. Have a pressure switch and small pressure tank at the lower tank. Now how to get those valves inexpensively? There are livestock watering float valves. But do they have much deadband/hysterisis? I doubt it. So if you used a float valve without a lot of deadband, you would want a bigger pressure tank to prevent the pump short-cycling a lot.

If you put a submersible into the lower tank horizontally, you could get better flow up top with the same or less power draw.

I do need something with like 4 or 5 feet of deadband. i can't seem to locate anything, where is a good place to look for such things like a float valve with a long vertical throw and 4 or 5ft deadband

Putting a submersible in lower big tank seems like big fix for this particular problem so far, I don't need a lot of gpm to get it up there,, not a lot of water use going on right now up there
 

Reach4

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This sketch is not quite for you, but has some elements.
Upper float switch controls well pump.
Lower float switch inhibits the pressure pump in the tank, if the tank runs low, and would be in series with the pressure switch.

Flow inducer sleeve is simple plastic pipe that routes water past the motor for ideal cooling.

Seal can be good wide tape, or can be the pipe with slots, squished by a worm gear clamp.


index.php

Upper float switch controls well pump.
Lower float switch inhibits the pressure pump in the tank, if the tank runs low.

Flow inducer sleeve is simple plastic pipe that routes water past the motor for ideal cooling.

Seal can be good wide tape, or can be the pipe with slots, squished by a worm gear clamp.

I don't find the valve I was hoping to. https://www.koiphen.com/forums/show...rge-tank-reservoirs-a-great-water-quality-aid including post #9 is interestin.
 
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wwhitney

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So what you want at the upper tank is a valve that will close when the upper tank is full, and then open when the upper tank drops down to, say, half full? If you have power at the upper tank, seems like you could rig something up with two level sensors, a solenoid valve, and a fairly simple control circuit. No idea if there's an easier off-the-shelf solution.

Cheers, Wayne
 

LLigetfa

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I thought a float controlled valve was something that operated on it's own to shut water on and off using a float mechanism. As opposed to sending signals to a jet pump.
Yes it operates on its own with no electrical connection to the pump. Think of it like the float controlled valve that refills your toilet tank... same principal. The "signal" sent to the pump, is the drop in pressure, just like with the toilet.
 

VAWellDriller

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I'm not sure what the benefit would be to having a 5 ft deadband? I would want a short throw float that would keep the upper tank most of the way full all the time. I would think that a mechanical water trough float would be perfect in this situation. I have used

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GRPX13B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

That is very cheap and I have found to be extremely reliable to fill a 2500 gallon tank at my house for years.
 

Rockwind1

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I'm not sure what the benefit would be to having a 5 ft deadband? I would want a short throw float that would keep the upper tank most of the way full all the time. I would think that a mechanical water trough float would be perfect in this situation. I have used

That is very cheap and I have found to be extremely reliable to fill a 2500 gallon tank at my house for years.

And it very well might be the only easy solution,, although it is only the jet pump, I was thinking longer deadband just to keep the jetpump from cycling on and off as much as it might. This might very be what I do,,, I do have an access problem though as it is a cylindrical big water tank with a diameter of about 8 feet probably and about 7 or 8 feet tall ( I am not 100% sure but pretty close) it is steel and on the top of it,, the water supply actually comes up the side of the tank, inside of a little wooden ductwork type of thing, which is insulated from the cold and then it makes a u-turn at the top of the tank and goes into a 2" threaded pipe/inlet which is on top of the tank, a few inches from the side,,, I can actually walk on the top of the tank, it is very solid steel,,, so clearly everyone sees the problem,, this or even any float valve would have to be installed from inside the tank if it were to work properly. Across the diameter of the tank from where the 2" inlet is a small access metal hinged circular door, just to look down inside the tank,, I seriously doubt, even if I wanted to, I could get down inside the tank thru it. I wish I had some pictures, actually the bottom picture here is the upper tank,, where I sort of drew the blue/red lines is where the water line goes into it,, it just dumps straight in and there is an over flow on the other side that you can't see. Where I wrote access is like a at the most 24" circle flip lid,, it may not even be 24". I think the only feasible way is to extend the line from where it goes into the tank now and run it across the top to the access hole and put a float valve there

The first picture is clearly the house up on the hill, behind it is the upper tank (which is in the bottom picture)

The second picture is the bottom tank and well house,, where the actually submersible well pump keeps that black tank full with an automatic type of system inside the tank with electrodes

The third picture is an old picture of the inside of the bottom well pump house with the electrical and pressure pod/tank,, you can't see the jet pump it is behind the pressure pod. It had the typical springloaded pressure switch on it,, seems to hover around 50 psi,, I had tightened up one of the springs a while back which seemed to help

And fourth picture is as previously mentioned the, the upper tank which the water just pours into the top with no way to shut it off except manually,,,takes a few days to fill up the tank.

DSCF0717.JPG
DSCN2223.JPG
DSCN2225.JPG


papa talk upper well tank with drawing.jpg
 

Rockwind1

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I don't know if you did the math but a one inch dead band on an 8 foot diameter tank would be around 31 gallons.
, I didn't but I am starting to think a float valve like those or the cheap online version would be the way to go,, just have to extend line across tank to the access hole
 

John Gayewski

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You don't have to put it inside of the tank. Water seeks its own level. You just need the float to be the same elevation as the water inside of the tank, and connected by a pipe. I'm not sure what's easiest for you do actually do. Just an idea.
 

VAWellDriller

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Another option without having to access the inside of the tank would be to use an timer to open the filling valve. With a little trial and error you easily figure out how much to program it to open the valve. Irrigation timers would be well suited. On another note, I dont know how much water you are consuming from the top tank but it seems very odd that it takes 3 days to fill it??
 

LLigetfa

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I dont know how much water you are consuming from the top tank but it seems very odd that it takes 3 days to fill it??
At 1 GPM, it should fill in about one day (1440 gallons per day) so my guess is there is water being consumed over those 3 days. As I said, over the 60 foot rise, you would lose around 26 PSI of the 55 you start with not factoring friction loss. Maybe the OP needs a better pump if at 55 PSI it is too far off the curve?
 

Rockwind1

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Another option without having to access the inside of the tank would be to use an timer to open the filling valve. With a little trial and error you easily figure out how much to program it to open the valve. Irrigation timers would be well suited. On another note, I dont know how much water you are consuming from the top tank but it seems very odd that it takes 3 days to fill it??

well,,,,when i try to water some trees with a hose, and i let it run 10 minutes per tree, i can empty that tank in about 2 or 3 hours it seems,,, but like i said the other problem is that it the jet pump down lower with pressure tank, seems to get up to like 55 psi when it shuts off but i think i loose like 5 psi every 10 feet or so for elevation loss and then the friction loss must also be factored in,, probably about 300' of 1 1/4" pvc and then it is bushed down to probably 300 ' of 3/4" pvc for the trip up the hill ( it was like this when i got the place,, i did not design this system) so by the time it gets up to the top,, it is really running out of pressure and volume as well. it just is a very small stream as it goes into the tank so it just takes a couple days at least
 

Rockwind1

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At 1 GPM, it should fill in about one day (1440 gallons per day) so my guess is there is water being consumed over those 3 days. As I said, over the 60 foot rise, you would lose around 26 PSI of the 55 you start with not factoring friction loss. Maybe the OP needs a better pump if at 55 PSI it is too far off the curve?

i can safely say that no water is hardly being used over that time, since sometimes i just leave and ask my neighbor to go check and see if the overflowing going and then ask him to shut off lower well stuff. and the 55psi is A) A guesstimate, it could be less,, and B) the upper limit of the pressure switch,, not sure how low it goes before the jet pump kicks back on and refills pressure tank
 

Rockwind1

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Another option without having to access the inside of the tank would be to use an timer to open the filling valve. With a little trial and error you easily figure out how much to program it to open the valve. Irrigation timers would be well suited. On another note, I dont know how much water you are consuming from the top tank but it seems very odd that it takes 3 days to fill it??
what kind of irragation timer would you suggest, maybe i could hook it up to some sort of float system to engage it with voltage,,, i don't think a timer will work, since i am not there weeks at a time. but the lower tank has some fairly simple electrode system, as the water goes down, it does something with an electrode which turns on main pump,, as it fills, it hits an upper electrode which shuts off the main pump. i thought i could do something similiar with an electric valve on the intake pipe of the tank and just leave the lower jet pump on all the time.
 

VAWellDriller

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My timer suggestion was so you could avoid having to mount floats in the tank. The timer is a bad idea if you are gone frrquently ot have inconsistent water usage.

You probavly have BW liquid level controls in the lower tank and they would work great in the upper tank to control a valve opening and closing in place of your manual valve.
 
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