Bladder tank


  #1  
Old 03-02-14, 01:59 PM
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Bladder tank

I have a well system, set to 40-60psi. Just replaced the well pump a few months ago due to a lightning strike.

Anyway, when the pump got replaced I move from a 30-50psi to the 40-60psi. So I set my bladder to 38psi.

Worked fine for a couple months then I noticed a little knocking in my pipes when the well pump kicked on/off and the gauge acting kind of crazy. Drained the system and took the pressure of the bladder... it was 56psi. Thought that was odd... so I let air out to get it back to 38psi.

A couple days ago I drained the system and tested it again and it was back up to 56psi so I let air out again.

Now I am thinking my bladder is toast? Why does the pressure INCREASE in it? I am trying to wrap my head around it.
 
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Old 03-02-14, 03:15 PM
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Depressurize the system again and then set the pressure tank pressure to your 38 PSI.

From this point on the system pressure (you need a gauge somewhere on the plumbing) should match the tank pressure (you need a gauge on top of the tank, possibly manually positioned on the Schrader valve) except that the minimum tank pressure should be the 38 PSI.

If the pressure tank holds well above the 38 PSI with the rest of the system depressurized then you have a ruptured bladder that has herniated into the pressure tank outlet i.e. acting like an unwanted check valve. Water is entering the tank normally as the system pressure goes up normally when the pump cycles on. But the water can't exit the tank normally to maintain the normal gradual drop in system pressure back down to turn on pressure after the pump has cycled off and water is being used. The tank ks kaput.

If the pressure tank is holding close to pump turn off pressure, then it is for all intents and purposes waterlogged regardless of how much air is still in it. If you bleed off some of the air and the bladder has herniated then after one or a few pump cycles the tank will be back to holding turn off pressure and closer to real waterlogging.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 03-02-14 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 03-22-14, 10:41 PM
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Thanks for a very informative reply.

Pretty sure something is bad with this bladder. The air pressure keeps building up. Twice I have checked it, it's been high at like 50 psi. So I let air out down to 38 psi. Check it again the next week and it's getting high again, 45+ psi. Still only air coming out of the top, but the pressure keeps building so I can only imagine that eventually water will come out?

Also, when I drain my system at the drain attached to the cross unit, hardly any water comes out. Before, a few bucket fulls would come out. Now, barely anything.

I realize my bladder is shot, and I've ordered another but it won't get here for a couple days.

Do I basically need to drill in to the side of this thing to get the water out?
 
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Old 03-23-14, 11:04 AM
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When you check the air pressure, is the tank always empty. When the tank is full the air pressure will equal the water pressure and since the water pressure changes, so will the air. This is normal.

It is when completely empty, that the 2 psi below cut in pressure, needs to be maintained for the bladder tank.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 05:51 PM
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The problem is, I can't empty the tank.
 
  #6  
Old 03-23-14, 08:00 PM
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If you turn off the pump and turn on a cold faucet to depressure the system except you do not let air out of the pressure tank, and the tank pressure settles at the the pressure you set it to (say, pump turn on pressure minus two) then nothing is wrong

You mean to say there are no pressure tanks for sale in any stores or plumbing supply houses in a 50 mile radius from you?

If you install a second pressure tank, that will cure the problem even if the first pressure tank is not removed.

Now there are some trial and error methods involving drilling a hole in the side of a pressure tank and inserting a self tapping screw in valve assembly to let you manually drain the tank whenever enough water comes in and is trapped by a flap of bladder yet again. If you don't drill the hole in the right location (strictly a matter of luck) the flap of bladder might cover that hole also leaving you back where you started.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 03-23-14 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 03-23-14, 09:17 PM
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If you turn off the pump and turn on a cold faucet to depressure the system except you do not let air out of the pressure tank, and the tank pressure settles at the the pressure you set it to (say, pump turn on pressure minus two) then nothing is wrong
That doesn't happen. Over time, the air pressure builds. Read my example a few posts above.

Now there are some trial and error methods involving drilling a hole in the side of a pressure tank and inserting a self tapping screw in valve assembly to let you manually drain the tank whenever enough water comes in and is trapped by a flap of bladder yet again. If you don't drill the hole in the right location (strictly a matter of luck) the flap of bladder might cover that hole also leaving you back where you started.
Guess I am just going to try to start drilling holes in this thing to get the trapped water out.
 
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Old 03-24-14, 05:42 AM
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If you turn off your pump and open a tap, that is at a lower elevation level then the pressure tank, all the water should flow out. The pressure should push it out at the beginning and the laws of physics should empty it.

I have never seen a pressure tank trap water in it before, but if you have to start drilling holes, then I would call it "dead on arrival" and get a new pressure tank. I mean, it is going to be dead when you are done drilling, so why bother.
 
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Old 03-24-14, 09:02 AM
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If you turn off your pump and open a tap, that is at a lower elevation level then the pressure tank, all the water should flow out. The pressure should push it out at the beginning and the laws of physics should empty it.

I have never seen a pressure tank trap water in it before, but if you have to start drilling holes, then I would call it "dead on arrival" and get a new pressure tank. I mean, it is going to be dead when you are done drilling, so why bother.
Yeah the tank is water logged and the water is trapped in it. The research I have done, the only way to get the water our without waiting weeks is to drill holes.
 
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Old 03-24-14, 09:22 AM
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Well I know very little about that. Certainly if you have to drill holes the tank is not operating the way it should. It wouldn't take weeks for me. I would have a new tank installed in 2 hours, which would include the trip to hardware store to buy the tank.
 
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Old 03-24-14, 10:55 AM
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Old 03-25-14, 05:49 AM
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A non-bladder tank (or tanks) of any description and (totalling) at least ten gallons in size, even a secondhand water heater not connected to gas or electricity, installed temporarily anywhere in the cold side of the plumbing with no valve between it and the pump, will alleviate the rapid well pump cycling and erratic pressure until you get your new bladder tank delivered and installed.

It is not necessary to remove the existing bad pressure tank.

Do not use a live water heater for this purpose; it will self destruct if it kicks on after you pressurized it with air.

A non-bladder tank usually needs to have air added periodically to replace that absorbed by the water over time, but if you add air too frequently no harm is done; excess air will come out of the faucets during normal water usage.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 09:07 AM
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You don't have to drill the holes. Is there a drain valve lower then the tank? If so, isolate the tank from the house, open the drain valve and remove the schreader valve. Air will enter the top of the tank and release the water that's above the bladder. It will be a slow drain, maybe overnight, but it will come out through the rupture in the bladder.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 11:55 AM
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You don't have to drill the holes. Is there a drain valve lower then the tank? If so, isolate the tank from the house, open the drain valve and remove the schreader valve. Air will enter the top of the tank and release the water that's above the bladder. It will be a slow drain, maybe overnight, but it will come out through the rupture in the bladder.
I will give it a shot. The only thing is, the tank got water logged over the course of several months, so I am guessing the hole is very small. I have a feeling it might take a while to drain it if the hole is indeed that small?
 
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Old 03-25-14, 12:40 PM
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I am sorry but I have to ask. Why do you want to continue to use a tank that has a hole in the bladder? It will require a lot of maintenance or your pump will start to short cycle.
 
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Old 03-30-14, 10:51 AM
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Thanks everyone for the help. Replaced the water logged bladder and wanted to report back here to maybe help someone else someday.

The piping was fine. One guy replied that the pipe coming out of the bladder was steel, but it was copper. I couldn't take the pipe off the bottom of the old bladder. It was rusted on really tight. So I had to get new piping. I thought I would have to sweat copper pipe stuff together to "build" the pipe, but found out that this pipe is something standard, and comes with the pressure tank "T". So I got a new one of those (even though I only needed the pipe).

Drained what I could, which was hardly anything anymore. Maybe a couple gallons. Then drilled in to the side of the tank. Water came spraying out, wasn't really ready for it. Was pretty high pressure, I drilled the hole so that the water would hit the wall and drain in to my sump where the sump pump would get it out. Anyway, have some buckets ready to deflect the water spray to try to contain the mess.

In all I drilled 5 holes, going lower and lower, until I got most of the water out. Then me and a buddy were able to lift it out of place and turn it on it's side to get the rest out. The water was really rusty in there. Wonder what the inside of the tank looked like!

Putting the new tank in was pretty easy, with the right piping. The new pressure tank "T" (not sure exactly what it is called) was pretty easy, everything threaded no sweating of copper needed.

Thought I would post a follow up in case someone happens upon this thread. Drilling a waterlogged pressure tank isn't hard, but be ready for the amount of water that is going to come spraying out!
 
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Old 04-24-14, 09:49 PM
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When you install the new bladder, I have the pipe running from the bottom of the bladder to the water line (See picture of old setup).

But since the pipe needs to sit in the 12'oclock position, it can't be tightened all the way. I tried twice with pipe tape, but still getting a drip. What should I use for the threads?
 
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Old 04-25-14, 05:18 AM
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I would say that you should undo the pipe, remove all residues of the previous Teflon tape, then try the Teflon tape again but use more of it. Then you should get the pipe twisted to face the right way and not have leakage.

When wrapping the tape around the pipe end, the threads should show through significantly but not cut through the tape.

Or maybe you should use less Teflon tape, although I think that wrapping around three times is the minimum. You should get the pipe to crank around at least 3 full revolutions after it first catches.
.
 
  #19  
Old 04-25-14, 08:44 AM
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hi michiganman-

I checked and found that many plumbers recommend pipe dope on top of the Teflon tape. (I thought that was a joke Ė but itís the truth). So I now use RectorSeal #5 on top of the Teflon tape after I wrap it a few times. Seems to work great, no more leaks. Iíve used it on 1Ē and ĺĒ so far.

But I also now make sure I really tighten it up good, using a lot of muscle. I believe Iíve heard thatís a mistake many people make Ė afraid of really tightening.

I donít know if this a real big deal, but I believe it is recommended that the pressure tank be sitting on some blocks off the floor. I believe it allows air flow under the tank to prevent rust and corrosion. I like the look of it sitting on the floor better, but I bit the bullet and put mine up on a few blocks. How important that really is Ė I really donít know.
 
 

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