Replacing pressure tank and have a few [stupid] questions

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog. Water is life.' started by APK, Jun 17, 2020.

  1. APK

    APK New Member

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    Jun 17, 2020
    Location:
    Washington State
    I apologize if this information i already available. I made a cursory attempt to find it but wasn't successful.

    I am replacing my well pressure tank as per advice of a professional driller/well guy. He says I'm probably on borrowed time with my pump too but suggested I just borrow it as long as I can. He also recommended that, if I felt comfortable, I would save money by doing it myself. I'm taking him up on it. He gave some advice but of course, now that I'm actually about to do it, I have questions.

    First. I don't know when lead laws came into play and am considering replacing all the hardware at the tank, along with the pressure switch when I install the new one (an 86 gallon Amtrol Well X-Trol) since it seems like these may be old enough to have high lead content.

    Unless I completely misunderstood what he said, the well guy told me that the line coming up from the ground on the left in the photo is coming from the well (which is about 60 feet from the tank). Is there a way to confirm this? In all the photos and youtubes I've looked at, the hose bibs are on the house side and the pressure switch and check valves are on the side of the line coming from the well.

    The guy also recommended I get a 7 gpm Dole valve. He said that I should put it in line on the poly pipe on the right side of the photo which, if that is the line to the house, I guess means, the arrow should be pointing to the right?

    I think that is everything at the moment. I wish I had just coughed up the money since I've spent way more time on this than the equivalent in dollars.

    Thanks in advance for any help. I can post the image full size if it makes a difference.

    pressure tank.jpg
     
  2. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    Lubbock, Texas
    You have an old air over water style tank. But it doesn't look like it has an air maker system. You can just air it up from that Schrader valve (car tire fill valve) on the inlet to the tank. There is really nothing in those tanks to go bad unless they rust a hole through, they just need air added on a regular basis. If there are no holes in the tank you can just keep airing it up and it will last forever.

    However, the diaphragm style tanks do not need air added regularly. The air is trapped on top of the diaphragm. If you want to update this system you can use a diaphragm style tank as long as there is no bleeder orifice about 5' down the well. But if you have a bleeder down the well and the rest of the air maker system was just not installed or removed, the bleeder will need to be removed and the 3/4 hole plugged before switching to a diaphragm style tank.

    If you do away with the bleeder and switch to a diaphragm style tank, there are much better ways now than just an 80 gallon tank that only holds 20 gallons of water. You should read a few of the reviews on the Cycle Stop Valve.

     
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  4. APK

    APK New Member

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    Thanks for your response.

    I did read about the CSVs but only after I purchased the new diaphragm tank and Dole valve so that is going to be the direction I go (the tank in the photo is rusting through at the base). There was no mention of a bleeder orifice down the well (and he did take the cap off) so I'm hoping he would've been aware of this and told me.

    So now I'm just left wanting to make sure I understand which one of my lines is from the well and which is to the house and where exactly the Dole valve should be placed.
     
  5. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    The pipe from the well should be the one on the right as there normally is not any valves between the pump and the pressure switch.

    It would likely be better to return your new diaphragm tank and instead use a CSV with a 4.5 gallon tank. The Dole valve may be used with a CSV to limit the pump's max flow rate if needed, and the CSV will likeky extend the life of the pump.
     
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  6. APK

    APK New Member

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    Is that not a check valve between the pressure switch and the poly pipe on the right? It looks odd to just be coupler between the T and barbed fitting for the poly pipe.
     
  7. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    A Check-Valve to prevent water in the pressure tank from being pushed back down the well while the pump is not running.

    A check-valve is not usually located at that location as the CV is normally located at the pump. Perhaps the check-valve at the pump has failed so instead of pulling up the pump, someone then installed the one at the tank.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  8. APK

    APK New Member

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    Thanks.

    I'm obviously no expert and in my limited research I have seen that CVs go at the pump but there's also no shortage of instances where they are installed at the tank as well.
     
  9. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Check valve, I think.
    1. Is there a plug or snifter (like Schrader) valve on the side away from the camera?
    2. Is there some gadget (AVC) on the side of the big tank?
     
  10. APK

    APK New Member

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    Thank you.

    1. I think that's a Schrader valve just to the right of the pressure gauge in the image (between the gauge and switch). It looks like it's in line with the gauge but it's actually behind it on the T leading into the tank.

    2. No gadget on the side of the tank. That blue tote is just temporarily covering the wiring between the well and the mains.
     
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I was just wondering if there was another. The one after the check valve would not help with an automatic system but can let you manually add air as Valveman said. You will need a compressor rated in CFM or SCFM -- not just psi. And don't overdo it, because you don't want air blasts coming out of your faucets.

    I doubt that old tank would be adding lead to your water now.

    Any symptoms?
     
  12. APK

    APK New Member

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    "Any symptoms?"

    None that I didn't start out with...

    I'm going to replace the tank because it's about to completely rust away underneath so I don't need to add air to it.

    Does it stand to reason that if I turn the round-handled shut off valve (hose bib) that is on the left side of the photo and the water stops coming out of any faucets, that it indicates the left pipe as the one going to the house? It seems almost too obvious or it would've been suggested already.
     
  13. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    I would guess that was short cycling.

    Yes, that test is good.

    We did not know you still had doubts. Of course, if there is a doubt, you would never want to close a valve, from a pump, before the pressure switch without first turning off the power to the pump.

    Get rid of galvanized steel pipe and fittings.

    You would usually want to remove or gut the check valve if there is not a drain back valve or hole in the down pipe.
     
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  14. APK

    APK New Member

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    That's funny. I thought you were making a joke about whether I had "any symptoms" related to lead poisoning. So I joked (or maybe not) about not having any symptoms I could discern from "normal" ;)

    I still have doubts. And so not only do I not know that, I don't know where to put the Dole valve.

    If I understand you correctly, you're saying that if I turn off the power to the pump, then turn the valve on the left side of the photo off and get no water from any tap or hydrant that means (for sure?) that the line on the left of the photo is going from the tank and the line on the right of the photo is coming from the pump and into the tank? Is that correct?

    Ok

    I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand this. A quick search makes me think that this is for an air over water tank, like the one in the picture I attached? I am replacing that with a bladder tank so, would I still need to add this drain back valve?
     
  15. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Dole valve would be in the line somewhere between the pump and the pressure tank+switch.

    Its more common purpose would be if you have a pump capable of pulling water from below a water surface that was way down, but the static level of the water is expected to be high much of the time. It avoids upthrust in the pump. It can also be used if the pump churns up sediment too much when allowed to pump at a high rate.

    Presuming there is pressurized air at the top of your pressure tank, yes. You won't do this experiment until you do have pressure in the tank as indicate by your pressure gauge being near the upper end of its normal range. If there is pressure, and the water does not make it to your faucets, then you know the valve is blocking the path.

    We are hoping that you don't have a drainback valve or hole. Ideally a drain back valve would leak hardly at all if there was maybe 20 psi or more at that valve. With a diaphragm tank you would like to have the piping pressurized all of the time. Not having a topside check valve avoids water hammer or a delay when the pump turns on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
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  16. valveman

    valveman Cary Austin Staff Member

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    That just means there is no shortage of people doing it wrong. You do not want a check valve anywhere except the one down on the pump. However, having a check valve on the right means the pump or water is coming from the right and going left. You can still add a CSV1A to the inlet side of the pressure tank as long as there are no tees or hydrant before that. The CSV1A works fine with an 86 gallon tank. The big tank is just a waste of money and space. You will just have to use the 20 gallons out of the tank before you see the strong constant pressure form the CSV. An 80 gallon tank only holds 20 gallons of water BTW.
     
  17. APK

    APK New Member

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    Washington State
    Thanks for the info

    No doubt you are correct about that. With regard to the trades and a lot of other places for that matter, it's been my experience that the "right" way is often just the way the person you're speaking with does it.

    If I understand this thread correctly, it looks like there are instances where a check valve between the pump and tank isn't necessarily out of place. As long as it's a system with an air over water tank, which is what my soon-to-be retired tank, is. So if that is a check valve in the photo, I assume it's more evidence towards that being the line coming from the well?

    So it seems the Dole valve would go in-line there on the right hand (in photo) poly pipe before the barbed fitting, with the arrow on the valve pointing to the left?

    It may occur but I don't notice any lag in pressure. We have consistently good pressure.

    Yes, I do know.
     
  18. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
     
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  19. APK

    APK New Member

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    Thanks Reach4

    Back to the check valve...is there any chance that the pump doesn't have one and that is why there is one up by the tank? I'm guessing they've been putting them on all pumps for decades, at least?

    If I don't put a check valve into the new tank set-up, how would I know if there is a working one at the pump?

    With regard to this, it doesn't seem clear whether I should be expecting to have a bleeder orifice or not. If I do, is it something that will be obvious to recognize as well as something that I can deal with myself?
     
  20. Brian94

    Brian94 Member

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    Agree 100% on that statement. I'd rather have constant water pressure and space saved! 20200519_141615.jpg
     
  21. Bannerman

    Bannerman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The check-valve located at the tank would be appropriate if there is a bleeder orifice installed, but as Valveman said, the other parts to a BO system do not appear to be present.

    If a BO is present, it would be typically located about 5' down in the drop pipe so to remove it would require pulling the pump up part way to access the BO above the well casing.
     
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