Replacing pneumatic tank with bladder tank

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by Keesa, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    Anything special I need to know when replacing pnematic tank with bladder tank? Saw a post that said remove snifter valve and bleeder orifice. Is it necessary to remove the bleeder orifice, the ground is already frozen here. What happens if I don’t?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I am not a pro, and I have no relevant experience. Here is my understanding.

    There are at least two ways that the pneumatic tank gets air. One is with a micronizer that pulls in air, and the classic is the way you describe -- have a drain back valve or just a small hole down the well to let the water drain into the well. The drain back valve should have minimal leakage when the pressure at that point is less than some amount. The hole will drain back water when there is pressure.

    If the drain back valve is working right, the main thing is to remove the check valve that is above ground, usually close to the tank. The same for the hole, except that the hole will cause more water to drain back, and the pump will need to cycle even more to replace the drained back water. Removing the innards of the check valve is the same as removing the check valve for this purpose.

    Thinking about that check valve again, maybe it would be best to leave it intact in case you have a hole rather than a properly working drain back valve. I don't know. Maybe leave it there unless you get a bang whenever the pump starts. In that case, I would still have it removed when the drain-back valve or hole is removed.

    The sniffer valve admits air. It should not come into play with the check valve out of action. You could put a tire valve cap on it, particularly if there is a little water leakage. These have a drawdown of about 25% of the nominal tank size. Normally you would want the drawdown to be such that the pump runs for at least a minute each time. Thus, if your pump pumps 10 gpm, you would want a 40 gallon tank. 44 gallons is common size. Since you will have extra water flowing back while you have your drainback valve or hole in place, you would be better off to select a bigger tank. I think for this purpose, a CSV with a small tank would not be the thing.

    You should have the down-well drain back valve or hole removed the next time that you get the pump pulled.

    While there are still tanks with actual bladders, you don't want one. The better captive air tanks use a diaphragm. Well-X-Trol originally came out with the diaphragm tanks. These are sometimes colloquially called bladder tanks.

    EDIT: after reading LLigetfa's post, I realize it is important to cap the snifter valve with a tire valve cap to block air coming in, if you leave the check valve in place. This should limit draining out of even a hole. Tire valve caps have seals, where the caps made to go on a snifter valve pass air by design. A pressure gauge would also block air from coming in.

    If I put a pressure gauge there, and kept the check valve, I would put in a gauge that measures vacuum and pressure, such as the Winters PFQ791. http://www.supplyhouse.com/sh/control/search/~SEARCH_STRING="30-0-100" gauge

    Currently I am thinking that not knowing if there is a working drain-back valve down there, I would leave the check valve intact (until the pump gets pulled in the future), unless there is a bang when the pump turns on. But I don't feel sure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    That depends on whether you remove the topside checkvalve along with the snifter and how far down it is to the static water level. It also depends on the quality of the snifter and the condition of the checkvalve in the pump.

    If there is a topside checkvalve the water column may drop if the checkvalve in the pump does not hold. The checkvalve works best when there is pressure against it to hold it closed.

    As a simple test, you could replace the snifter with a pressure gauge to see how well or if the pressure holds on the upstream side of the topside checkvalve.
     
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Cool. If you held pressure then you could remove/deactivate the topside pressure valve with confidence.

    Where to draw the line? If you kept 50% of the pressure for 20 seconds maybe?
     
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    That is a tough call and relies on experienced intuition. The piping can "stretch" a little and as such "store" a bit of pressure so the length and type of piping needs to be considered.
     
  7. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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  8. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    I’m seeing no check valve anywhere. Just the snifter valve which I would just remove completely when installing the new tank.
     
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    That thing you call a snifter could possibly have a checkvalve built into it or it might actually be a venturi that sucks air while the pump is running. Easy enough to see when it is sucking air.

    If it sucks while the pump is running then there probably is not a bleeder in the well.
     
  10. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Water comes in from the right where the yellow arrow is, right? The valve J should not be there. You should not have a valve between the pump and the pressure gauge, because if somebody closes that valve, the pump will deadhead.

    IMG_5.jpg
     
  11. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    That is correct. so I should just eliminate J and F? Then am I good to hook up to the new tank as per the instructions? What about the bleeder in the well? Thanks!
     
  12. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    That valve is not sucking air when the pump is running:(
     
  13. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    Thinking I have to pull up the well piping to get at the bleeder orifice. Any idea, can I do this by hand? Never opened up a well before. 4 inch drilled well...
     
  14. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Any idea how deep the pump is or what kind of pipe it is hanging on?
     
  15. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    Does it suck air after the pump shuts off? If so then there has to be a checkvalve between the snifter and the tank. From the pics you posted there is no other place a checkvalve can be except integrated into that snifter. Is the system even getting air replenished? Maybe is was a working venturi that has since failed.

    As I said, I would unscrew that snifter from the body and screw a pressure gauge in its place to see what it is doing.

    Also, it sounds like you have a buried wellhead. Those have been outlawed in many places and to do it up right, I would dig it up, extend the casing, and convert it to pitless.
     
  16. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    Sorry for the long delay, I have since taken the well cap off, it is not buried and is pitiless, but I cannot get the pitiless adaptor to disengage from itself when I pull upwards with the t-bar, tried tapping the t a little with a sledge, but not to hard. I know the pitiless is usually brass so I don't want to put to much force on it. Any thoughts?
     
  17. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Send a picture of the pitless down the well. Most likely it is just the weight of the pump holding it down.
     
  18. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    Sorry live in Canada:) It's about six feet down because of the frost line and I can't get a clear pic. Looks like it just slides in though. No cables for any type of locking mechanism. Maybe just seized? Any idea how bad it is just to leave the bleeder orifice until one day in the future when the pump goes and just do it all then?
     
  19. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    There are two kinds of bleeders. One is made of brass and the other one is rubber. If you have the brass one, simply removing the above ground check valve will prevent the bleeder from opening, and it will work fine. If it is the rubber bleeder, the backpresure from a CSV will pop it out of the tee. It only takes about 75 PSI to pop out a rubber bleeder. I never liked those rubber bleeders. If your pump man used brass bleeders, just removing the above ground check valve is all you need to do.
     
  20. Keesa

    Keesa Member

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    Any way of telling which though????
     
  21. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Yeah you close a valve on the line going to the tank. If the pressure drops to nothing the rubber bleeder popped out. If the pressure stays up then it is a brass bleeder. That is the only way I know to tell without looking at it or asking the pump man which kind he uses.
     
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