Pressure tank union tee's problem

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SethinNE

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I have an old steel pressure tank that started leaking from the union tee. I took it apart and replaced the gasket, which fixed the leak, but since the tank was over 20 years old I picked up a new tank to install. The old tank had water sloshing around behind the membrane when I changed out the gasket, so it seems timely for a replacement. The problem is that I was unable to attach the new tank, so I put the old tank back on.

There is only one store in the city that carries a replacement union tee and it is stainless steel. The threads on the new stainless steel union don't match up with my old brass tee. When I went back to the store the salesman said those unions are not universal so they never match up. I don't really want to replace the whole tee, mostly because I don't have a heat gun so don't want to mess with taking out or possibly cracking the blue plastic pipe coming in from the well. I'd really love to just get a matching brass union tee piece, screw it onto the new tank, and install it in a few minutes to the old brass tee. I think this is an old style brass union tee that is no longer in production. Is there another alternative in finding a match? The union tees that I saw online look like they have a short male end with a rubber o ring to make mating easier, so wouldn't match up with this flat faced union tee. I feel like there has to be a simple solution and when I asked at the plumbing store they said they didn't have any available parts.

The old tank was a well-rite online wr200, which is a 62 gallon tank. The union pipe on the old tank is welded on by the manufacturer so I can't harvest it to resuse it, unless I were to cut it off and get a sharkbite fitting or equivalent attached to the cut end. But that sounds like not the best idea.

Current plan is I bought a schudle 80 pipe nipple and a schedule 80 FPT union, and hope to get lucky with the threads when I take the old tank off again. If that doesn't work, it looks like I'll have to cut the copper piper to unscrew the T. I found a 1.25" brass coupler union that I could put on between the well and the check valve, which should make the installation easier (there might not be enough space between the floor to easily twist off the tee) and future replacements easier to deal with.

Any thoughts on how to avoid changing out the whole brass tee unit? Thanks!
 

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Valveman

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Sorry for your problem. But you will need to go back with the exact same tank to make that union work. That is the main reason they make those special connectors. And I am not even sure Felxcon makes that same type connection anymore. Removing the blue poly pipe is not that hard. You can use a blow dryer as it will get hot enough to make it easier to work with. But while you are at it you should solve the cycling problem that caused the bladder to break and let water behind it in the first place. That cycling is shortening the life of your pump, check valve, pressure switch, and everything else in the water system as well. And that water that was behind the bladder had been contaminating your drinking water for a long time.

Upgrading to a Cycle Stop Valve you would only need a 4.5 or 10 gallon size tank, which could easily be mounted up on the wall, clearing the floor space used for that big tank now. The CSV would also deliver such strong constant pressure to the house that you would no longer need soap in the shower. Lol!


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SethinNE

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Sounds like I am going to have replace the tee then, which I was hoping to avoid. Thanks for confirming it. I'll make sure to plan the repair when the kids aren't home and the hardware store is open, in case I have to run out for a fitting.

Question about the cycle stop valve. If I remember correctly, my well is 30-35 ft deep (water level is at 20 ft) and the pump is 1/2 hp with 10 GPM. Will a CSV make that much difference when my maximum is only 10 GPM from the well pump? It seems if a couple people are showering and anything else is using water that I won't be able to keep up due to the maximum pump flow rate.
 
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Valveman

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A 60 gallon pressure tank only holds 15 gallons of water. All of that water is gone, used up, before the pump even comes on. Water does not come from the tank. You can't even get a little extra water from the tank. 10 GPM is the sweet spot for that pump, but it will do up to 12-14 before the pressure drops off. A shower uses 2.5 GPM. You could have 4 showers running and still flush a toilet or start the washing machine. Normally things are not used at the same time, so 10 GPM is usually enough for 2 houses.

Besides the size of pressure tank needed, the difference with a CSV is that the pressure will stay strong and constant at 50 PSI while anyone or everyone is using water. Without the CSV the pressure goes from 40 to 60 over and over for every 15 gallons used. That cycling on and off is bad for everything in a pump system and causes your pressure to fluctuate as water is being used. A strong constant 50 PSI will seem so much stronger, like I said, you will think soap is an option. :)

Oh, and BTW. The CSV1A will work with the 60 gallon tank just fine. It will also work as a tank cross, and probably cost very little more than just a tank cross. Just plumb the CSV1A where the tank cross and check valve are now, and add a flex line from the 3/4" port on the CSV to the tank inlet. Another BTW, do away with that check valve to save future headaches.
 

SethinNE

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Just a quick update. I put in the new pressure tank last week and had to change out the whole tee, as mentioned. I liked the idea of putting in a CSV valve, so I dropped a union in by the inlet so I can take everything out easily to add a CSV in the future. But, it's good enough for now to keep the house functioning while I work on other projects. First time working with stianless steel and it wasn't bad. I used tape with TFE paste over it. The water outside the membrane on the old tank was nearly black, when I drained it through the air valve. Glad to get that out of the house.
 

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