Possible Pressure Tank Issue

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Fitz2380

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We had to put in a new well about 3 years ago. The old well casing failed and pumped mud into the house. Fortunately we had an in-line house filter which prevented the mud for the most part filling up the pipes in the house. I provide this information as it may pertain to the issue we are seeing..

Recently we have noticed drop in pressure at the faucet and when showering notice that the water flow surges when the pump kicks in. If we flush a toilet in the house it drops the flow at the shower as well.

I suspect an issue with the pressure tank, but after reading all of the information on this forum and others am not sure if that is the issue.

So the facts:

The pressure tank (bladder) is probably 25 years or older. It is about 4 foot tall tank but I don't have information on gallon size. I have tested the pressure at the tank following the information on this forum and made sure it is at 2 psi below the 30 psi which is what is set for the pressure switch. It seems to hold the pressure just fine. The tanks feels hollow when tapping on it and can be rocked easily so it doesn't appear to be full of water or anything else for that matter.

If I turn on a faucet close by (probably 2 gpm flow), the well cycles on after about 30 seconds of running the faucet but shuts off after 10 seconds. There is definitely a surge at the faucet when the pump is running for the 10 seconds.

I am wondering if there is more troubleshooting I should or can do before determining to replace the pressure tank.
 

Reach4

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Setting and checking the air precharge pressure is done when the water pressure is zero. If the pump is not running and the water pressure is above the air precharge pressure, then the air pressure will measure about the same as the water pressure. This is a good way to compare calibration on the gauges. Try that.

The pressure switch nipple should connect near the big pipe that connects to the input of the pressure tank. You might post a photo that includes the line from the well, the input to the pressure tank, the pressure switch, and the pressure gauge.

It seems to hold the pressure just fine. The tanks feels hollow when tapping on it and can be rocked easily so it doesn't appear to be full of water or anything else for that matter.
Interesting. That eliminates most failures.

One more test: with the water pressure above 40. Watch, or take a movie of, the pressure gauge as you open that faucet, and note the pressure at which the pressure drops a lot.
 

Valveman

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A 4 foot tall tank should run a 2 GPM faucet for 4 to 10 minutes before the pump comes on. Sounds like your tank is bad, and you checked it the wrong way. 30/50 is pressure low pressure even when it is working properly. Replace the tank with a PK1A kit using a 4.5 gallon size tank and a 40/60 switch. This will stop the cycling that most likely caused your tank to fail, and will give you strong constant 50 PSI from the Cycle Stop Valve. There will be such a difference in pressure you will no longer even need soap. Lol!
pk1a-md.jpg
 

Fitz2380

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Valveman... You are correct. I have run across a couple of issues. One, my current pressure gauge is not working so I cannot tell what pressure it kicks on and off at. So that has to be remedied. I retested my pressure tank and may have had a faulty pressure tester as it now read 19 pounds. I have filled it up to the 28 pounds needed for the 30 psi and will retest again later in the day or tomorrow to see if indeed I am losing air or not. But given it was at 19 pounds I assume you are correct and it is failing.

I will look at your recommendation for a replacement. This looks like an interesting solution but what is the draw down with a tank like this? I am used to having gallons of water available after I lose power with my current setup.
 

Valveman

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A huge 86 gallon tank only holds 20 gallons of water. IF you are lucky you might have a couple gallons in the tank when the power goes off, but you cannot count on it. You need to turn it up to 40/60 if it isn't already, and put 38 air in the tank. With that setting an 80 gallon tank would have 20 gallons in it when the pressure is at 60. But if the pressure was at 42 when the power goes off, and you have no control of that, there would only by 1-2 gallons in the tank. If you want water when the power goes off, keep a couple of 5 gallon water bottles in the closet. You can connect a generator to the well pump if the power is off for very long. But a big pressure tank is not reliable for storing water. A pressure tanks only purpose is to limit the number of pump cycles, and when you have a CSV to do that for you, a big tank is a waste of space and money.
 

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Also, I did not mean to imply that a Cycle Stop Valve requires a small tank. You can use the CSV1A with any size tank, including an 86 gallon size. There are many reasons for doing so. Continuous small leaks of less than 1 GPM can use the 86 gallon size tank to deliver 0.5 GPM to a leak for 40 minutes before the pump comes on. The large tank would limit cycling to once and hour or so that way.

You can also just use a large pressure tank with a CSV, so on lucky days you might have a few gallons to flush with when the power is off. But the power is off, so it doesn't sound like a lucky day to me? Anyway, the only downsides are the cost of the big tank, and waiting for the tank to drain from 60 all the way to 40, feeling the shower pressure drop accordingly. When the pump finally comes on, the CSV1A starts delivering strong constant 57 PSI for the rest of the shower, no matter how long that is. In this way the CSV can still take over, eliminate cycling, and maintain 57 PSI constant anytime you use more than the 20 gallons of water an 86 gallon size tank contains.

Other than the cost and waiting for constant pressure, you still get the many other benefits of a Cycle Stop Valve, no matter the size of tank.
 
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