Looking for float valves in cistern that can withstand high water pressure and gas?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by trentdurango, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. trentdurango

    trentdurango New Member

    Oct 12, 2012

    My situation: Underground cistern overflowing because of continuous breaking of inlet float valve.

    I have an underground 1300 gallon plastic cistern that supplies all of our house water. Our cistern water comes from a shared well for which the two houses have their own plumbing coming of a tee. The separate plumbing is located in a well pump house for which our water supply is pushed by a pressure tank and managed by a 40 to 60 psi pressure switch. The black plastic piping to our cistern is 1" and runs more or less 200' from well pump house to our cistern. The cistern water inlet is controlled by a brass float valve. Our issue stems from the float rod eventually breaking because the valve will not fully close, for which allowing water to rise above the valve causing the rod with attached float to snap. Of course this leads to the cistern to overflow.

    Because the deep depth of the well pump, we have methane in the water. The methane does travel with the water to the cistern. I am thinking this causes the valve not to fully seat. When the cistern is full of water and before the snapping of the float rod, I can hear escaping methane from the valve not closing all the way. This of course allows water leaking into the cistern allowing the catastrophe.

    Now my question is, is water pressure to our cistern too high, or is the methane pressure causing the valve not to fully seat, or is it both? I am thinking of purchasing a more stout valve that can handle the high pressure. Possibly one of these: http://www.dultmeier.com/catalog/0.689.1011.5579

    I appreciate any advice that can provided. Please let me know if you have questions and need more information. Thanks.

    FYI, the cistern is vented and I pull the cover and allow the cistern to air out for an hour or so before I enter for repairs.

  2. justwater

    justwater Well Drilling/Service

    May 13, 2010
    I did a quick google search. I don't know about underground tanks but a lot of above ground holding tanks around here use something very similar to this. The PVC ones hold up much better than the brass here, and the rod (at least ones we have) are stainless.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
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  4. bcpumpguy

    bcpumpguy New Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Langley BC
    Little bit more expensive but much more reliable, why not use a solenoid valve with a float switch?
  5. trentdurango

    trentdurango New Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Thanks for the link. I've seen those plastic one's before and was curious about their effectiveness. Now, I am curious about the rod length and ball size for maximum seal with the issues I've been having. In the past I've used the 12" rod and 6" ball, but I keep snapping those. Would a shorter rod be better because of less bending?

    You know, I have thought about the solenoid valve/float switch option and conducted some initial research, but that's about as far as I went. I'll have to see if the valve can be in a constant wet environment.

    Thanks guys for the suggestions!
  6. craigpump

    craigpump In the Trades

    Apr 12, 2012
    Self employed water system tech
    I thought about a float switch and solenoid as well, but I'm concerned about the methane in the water, proper venting, etc

    Float switches are designed to be submerged.
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