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Steven Mactan

Questions About Pressure Tank

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SkyMan

If doing any water PVC I recommend either the Emerald or Atlanta brands.  That is for pipe and fittings.  Most of the local HW stores sell off brands that aren't as thick.  The cost difference is minimal.  Locals would save a peso now to spend hundreds later.

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lopburi3

At least they (or at least most) are not using the plastic electric conduit that a home owner provided for US Embassy housing in Conakry when I was there - that is really thin skin - total washout on first pump start.

 

Things are better in the Philippines. :)

Edited by lopburi3
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Steven Mactan

They attach to a hole in the pressure tank to allow new air into the tank when required -  but your tank may not allow so I would not try to DIY.  Just re-prime every few weeks if you do not want to buy a new tank.  Should work fine; as it has in the past.  Pumps are quite good at turning off when overheated so not much damage done when you forget.

 

Plastic pipe should be able to take a lot higher pressure - but some workers cut short a corners and hope for the glue to hold together rather than having a tight fit so can be a problem - not hard to re-do if pipes are on outside as have done in my house here in Bangkok.  Normal pressure runs from low of 35 to 60 PSI without issues.  But as long as you have enough pressure no reason for more - we like the higher pressure for showers.

Believe it or not, I actually had a few of my PVC pipe unions come a part because they could not take the 35 - 40 PSI that the tank was originally set at when I got it.  The glued sections didn't come apart, the two threaded halves of the union couldn't take the pressure, and they failed.  I did all the fittings my self, and I have some experience with joining pipes due to previously owning two houses.  Well, I've got another spot on my pressure tank where I could easily add an air volume control regulator, but I'm curious where they sell  these things so I can take a close look at one?

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lopburi3

Photo is from Ebay and they are available on-line.  But if situation like here in Thailand you should be able to hire someone to make sure it is correctly done at any shophouse type place selling pumps/tanks.  Should not cost much to have someone do and they would have knowledge of exactly what you need it you provide a photo of your tank.  

 

http://www.ebay.com/bhp/air-volume-control

Edited by lopburi3
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livinglife007

I have a Stainless steel pressure tank andI shut it off at nights or if Im not using it for a few hrs. It turns on tt often wIth no one using it.Is this harder on the presure pump , I get ene.ugh gravety so I only need it for the shower or washing machine. ?

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lopburi3

Not sure what you mean by turning it off unless you bypass it and use water directly from source?  Unless there is a leak (toilet tank is often the cause) a pressure tank should hold pressure if not being used so pump would not be starting often.  But that would require no leaks or feedback to water supply (check valve working properly if used).  It pump starting every few minutes probably not too good for it - but there will always be an occasional start when pressure was at the edge when turned off and a drop or two have been lost. 

 

If you are doing this due to pump starting without water usage you should check for leaks - if you can turn sections of house off that will make it easier.  Also inputs to toilet and sinks will often have a turn off value on wall to help.  Look for water level in toilet being at top of overflow pipe (runs out into bowl and opens supply float valve a bit).  

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trthebees

Not sure what you mean by turning it off unless you bypass it and use water directly from source?  Unless there is a leak (toilet tank is often the cause) a pressure tank should hold pressure if not being used so pump would not be starting often.  But that would require no leaks or feedback to water supply (check valve working properly if used).  It pump starting every few minutes probably not too good for it - but there will always be an occasional start when pressure was at the edge when turned off and a drop or two have been lost. 

 

If you are doing this due to pump starting without water usage you should check for leaks - if you can turn sections of house off that will make it easier.  Also inputs to toilet and sinks will often have a turn off value on wall to help.  Look for water level in toilet being at top of overflow pipe (runs out into bowl and opens supply float valve a bit).  

Covers most points I'd suggest . Do you have a check valve between the pump and the pressure tank? A centrifugal pump needs one as it will bleed back even when new. A diaphragm pump will seal. 

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Steven Mactan

Thanks for the info everybody. It was a real eyeopener learning that my pressure tank is supposed to have some air inside it for normal operation!  I guess I'll just continue to keep an eye on it, and if I notice it cycling on and off, quicker than it normally does, I'll jump on it right away and refill it.  Seems like the cheapest easiest thing to do until I have buy a new tank, some time down the road.  

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Steven Mactan

Covers most points I'd suggest . Do you have a check valve between the pump and the pressure tank? A centrifugal pump needs one as it will bleed back even when new. A diaphragm pump will seal. 

Have a check valve, and no leaks inside house. Earlier I had a problem with my toilet constantly running, but I pen pointed that right away.

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Thalcoozyo

We have a stainless steel pressure tank, no bladder.    Set at 20psi for on, 40psi for off.

 

Our pump starts 'cycling' every few minutes after a year or so of use... just as the OP describes. 

 

The cure is simple... open the tank at one of the fittings on top to allow air in, then open the drain valve at the bottom, and let the tank empty itself. Surprisingly, the tank does not empty rapidly... it will take a couple of hours. Am not sure why.

 

The problem - for us, anyway - is that to open the tank to air (at one of the fittings) means that we have to take off the pressure valve/switch.  It's a pain; takes 2 pipe wrenches and a roll of teflon tape afterwards to properly seal the fittings. I just plan on an afternoon to do it.  Once drained, and the fittings replaced, we turn the pump back on and - voila! - all is well. 

 

This is assuming that there are no leaks in the system... running toilets and dripping faucets lose a lot more water than most people realize, and will cause frequent pump activations.

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Steven Mactan

We have a stainless steel pressure tank, no bladder.    Set at 20psi for on, 40psi for off.

 

Our pump starts 'cycling' every few minutes after a year or so of use... just as the OP describes. 

 

The cure is simple... open the tank at one of the fittings on top to allow air in, then open the drain valve at the bottom, and let the tank empty itself. Surprisingly, the tank does not empty rapidly... it will take a couple of hours. Am not sure why.

 

The problem - for us, anyway - is that to open the tank to air (at one of the fittings) means that we have to take off the pressure valve/switch.  It's a pain; takes 2 pipe wrenches and a roll of teflon tape afterwards to properly seal the fittings. I just plan on an afternoon to do it.  Once drained, and the fittings replaced, we turn the pump back on and - voila! - all is well. 

 

This is assuming that there are no leaks in the system... running toilets and dripping faucets lose a lot more water than most people realize, and will cause frequent pump activations.

I agree with everything you've said above, especially the part about it being a pain to open certain pipe fittings to drain the tank. That's why I installed a ball valve at the bottom of my tank, and another one at the top, above the impeller housing.  Before that I was removing two different pipe plugs to drain the darned thing, and sometimes I wouldn't always get a good seal when I put it back together.  Also, I figured that the female pipe threads would eventually get damaged if I kept removing the plug and reinstalling, so that's another reason why I wanted to simplify things by adding these two valves.  

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Thalcoozyo

 

 

That's why I installed a ball valve at the bottom of my tank, and another one at the top, above the impeller housing.

 

Mine came with a ball valve at the very bottom. Am not sure what you mean "above the impeller housing."  Am interested... can you tell me more? Either here, or in a PM?

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Steven Mactan

Mine came with a ball valve at the very bottom. Am not sure what you mean "above the impeller housing."  Am interested... can you tell me more? Either here, or in a PM?

(Sorry for late reply) It's possible I don't have the terminology quite right, so I included a picture below.  I installed this valve because at first I was planning on using it to prime the pump (didn't know purpose of smaller plug) and also I found that if I open it up while draining, that the tank empties much faster. 

post-16808-0-22184900-1425468145_thumb.jpg

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Steven Mactan

Not sure what you mean by turning it off unless you bypass it and use water directly from source?  Unless there is a leak (toilet tank is often the cause) a pressure tank should hold pressure if not being used so pump would not be starting often.  But that would require no leaks or feedback to water supply (check valve working properly if used).  It pump starting every few minutes probably not too good for it - but there will always be an occasional start when pressure was at the edge when turned off and a drop or two have been lost. 

 

If you are doing this due to pump starting without water usage you should check for leaks - if you can turn sections of house off that will make it easier.  Also inputs to toilet and sinks will often have a turn off value on wall to help.  Look for water level in toilet being at top of overflow pipe (runs out into bowl and opens supply float valve a bit).  

Sorry, I must have missed this earlier.  The pump is only turning on when we have a tap open. It isn't turning on when we are not using water.  My wife was using the clothes washer when I noticed it last week. 

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Thalcoozyo

 

 

I installed this valve because at first I was planning on using it to prime the pump (didn't know purpose of smaller plug) and also I found that if I open it up while draining, that the tank empties much faster.

 

Appreciate the picture.  But am a bit confused.  Seems the ballvalve is still part of a closed system.

 

When you open the valve, is it allowing air into the system somehow?

 

When you open the ballvalve, where does your water come out... the bottom of your tank?

 

Help me understand the cycle of the-air-enters-here-so-the-water-flows-out-there.

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