How much water should be in a bladder tank?


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Old 09-09-13, 07:30 AM
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How much water should be in a bladder tank?

Just recently replaced my bladder tank with a new WaterWorks (H232B) tank. It's approximately 4 feet high, assuming the "32" in the model # would be the capacity...? It's one year old (July 2012.)

Also just replaced my 245' deep submersible on the worst possible day of the year in January 2013 in Vermont, with 40 mph winds and ambient temps. around -20*F that Saturday. Not fun, but I did it anyway.

Today (9-9-13) I just replaced the one-way check valve. The reason: For the past week or so, we've been getting a LOT of air out of the faucets...to me seemed like the pressure tank was starving for water.

The air pressure in bladder tank was low for sure, so I drained it, (shut the system down,) and changed the check valve assuming it was restricting incoming flow to tank. Before the tank is a whole house filter that I went to first and changed the element, but nothing changed.

I put 28 lbs. of air in tank, which is 2 lbs. lower than cut-in/low pressure. I have a 30/50 switch...

I seem to have solved the air issue...but to me, there's hardly any water in the tank, as it seems awful light when I tilt it. Am I wrong in assuming that the tank should have a reserve of around the 32 gallons I think it should have in it when the pressure switch reaches 50 lbs...?
 
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Old 09-09-13, 08:04 AM
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The gallonage of the pressure tank generally is for the volume of the entire unit. The tidal volume, the useful amount of water that it can store, it considerably less than the unit's overall volume.

I could not find a Water Works brand but I checked the capacity of a Flotec 42 gallon pressure tank. It's rated water capacity is 19 gallons when completely full. So, depending on how full the tank is when you check it could have somewhere between zero and 19 gallons of water. Rather light considering it's size.
 
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Old 09-09-13, 06:01 PM
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Tommy-

I read of a case where the configuration was:

[well pump-->pressure switch/gauge-->filter-->pressure tank-->house]

and a somewhat obstructed pipe(s) at the filter caused the pressure switch to read a higher pressure than the pressure tank. Just throwing that out in case your configuration is the same.

If your tank holds anywhere from 0-19 gals I think it should be somewhere about 160 lbs when its pressurized to 50 psi. Pretty sure thatís the case since water weighs about 8.3 lbs/gal. My tank is about the same size and thatís what I came up with. Mine seems pretty heavy when itís full, but I am a weakling. lol

When your pressure tank is pumped up to 50 and your pressure switch shuts the pump off, couldnít you just start emptying the pressure tank via the drain at the tank and count the number of gallons drained before the pump turns on again? Seems like that would work if you have a shutoff valve for the house past the pressure tank. Just a thought.
 

Last edited by zoesdad; 09-09-13 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 09-10-13, 05:52 AM
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Sorry, I didn't explain the configuration right I don't think. I have: 1) well pump, 2)whole house filter,3) pressure switch/gauge, and then the tank. I might have the filter in the wrong place maybe...before the pressure switch/gauge??? If so, I'm a dummy I admit, LOL.

I will admit, the filter canister seems to have a little leak at the element canister housing O ring, but having a crushed stone floor, and an interior perimeter drain that goes to daylight, and a very damp 130 yr. old basement...I never seemed to worry about a little bit of a drip. But now I'm thinking about things a little different. Yesterday I replaced the check valve (after whole house filter, but before the pressure switch/gauge,) and properly aired up the tank to 2 lbs. under the cut-in which is 30 lbs..., and it seemed to solve things. This morning though...right back to square one.

You guys think that the whole house filter, having the leak may be sucking air possibly? I've never had a problem with air in the system until recently...but I've changed the element in the whole house filter a couple times in the last 6 months due to heavy iron sediment clogging the element...I may have gotten the O ring flattened enough now to where it's not sealing good and sucking air.

I don't think I'm getting anywheres near 19 gallons of water in that tank either by the way...Something's strange with that alone.

And THANK YOU for all your help BTW gentlemen...
 
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Old 09-10-13, 07:36 AM
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What type of well pump do you have? submersible (down in the well) or a shallow well or deep well pump above ground
 
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Old 09-10-13, 10:04 AM
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I have a submersible, 245 feet down, new in January 2013.

Just was down in basement again. There's simply no water going into that tank at all. I'm thinking I should take the line apart after pressure switch (plastic "T" manifold) that goes into bottom of the tank and check for a restriction maybe? I watched the whole house filter as the pump was activated, the clear plastic canister has a lot of "swirling motion" going on inside it...but that may be a normal function as the water makes it's way through the element....not sure how that is supposed to go personally. But I've determined I have no water going into the pressure tank, and still maintains 26 PSI...that's the critical issue at the moment. When there's a demand for water upstairs, it seems the small amount of water is pushed out of pressure tank, then we're running off the pump from that point. I open the drain valve off the tank, and get a blast of airy water, and not even a gallon out of it.
What the heck's going on???
 
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Old 09-10-13, 10:47 AM
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I open the drain valve off the tank, and get a blast of airy water, and not even a gallon out of it.
And after you do that is there still 28 psi in the tank ?
 
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Old 09-12-13, 03:23 AM
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How much water should be in bladder tank...?

I believe I solved the issue now men...It seemed that the whole house filter housing was the culprit. The O ring was crushed enough to cause a leak when the pump was on, and it was leaking pretty good so I changed it and it seems to be working fine now, been a couple days since the big air issue was happening.

I have the filter after the pump, before the pressure switch. Reason for my madness there was because we have such a high iron sediment problem here, I have to change that element every 60-90 days max. or it clogs solid with red iron mud. I figured by putting the filter before the switch, it would prevent it from ruining the switch and gauge by clogging the orfices all the time with red muddy iron gook.

Hey, as long as we have plenty of water, plenty of pressure...why not leave it be, right?

I appreciate all of your advice and ideas...I'll keep in touch, as I'm a certified, bonafied DIY'er...
 
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Old 09-12-13, 09:08 AM
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Good news is good!!!!!lol
 
 

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