Waterlogged tank won't drain


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Old 12-30-17, 09:51 AM
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Waterlogged tank won't drain

Hello, new user here. I searched as best I could but didn't find anything to help me out so far. My water tank (82 gallon) is waterlogged (when I go to use a tire gauge to check air pressure water squirts out at me) and the gauge on my pipes is maxed out.

I cannot get this thing to drain! The house is old and so is the tank, I believe the tank was put in in the late 80s. The pressure is reading so high that my switch won't even engage for more than one or two clicks meaning I can't use our water (and being winter we really need to let it run so it doesn't freeze).

Steps I've taken: Opened the drain valve and then held the electrodes together (with a plastic tube) while my wife turns on all the faucets then goes and turns off the pump at the breaker. 24 hours later nothing had drained so we redid that step and this time hit the air valve with my compressor, I didn't hold that for more than a couple seconds at a time. Repeated these steps with the main valve to the house closed to try to "force" the water out of the drain.

In my profession looking professional is 95% of the job, we can't do laundry (or shower!) and live 30 miles from the nearest laundromat. I work odd hours so I can't do any of that at my neighbors houses either (would you want somebody starting their laundry in your house at 3am and then hopping in your shower? haha)

Obviously the tank needs to be replaced, but even as big as I am, I simply can't move an 82 gallon tank full of water and lord knows how much sediment. Oh and the room it's in is cramped and tiny, so without it being empty i would have to disconnect the hot water heater, drain it and move it, then move the washer and dryer as well just to move the tank.

I'm at a loss of what to do now.
 
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Old 12-30-17, 10:33 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Several things going on here. The gauge should read actual water pressure as set by the pressure switch. Nothing to do with the pressure tank. If your gauge is pinned it sounds like it may be waterlogged too. When the system is empty.... good time to change it.

If you have a drain below the tank..... open it and then let air in at the schrader valve.

Pictures of your system are always helpful.... How-to-insert-pictures
 
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Old 12-30-17, 11:10 AM
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The gauge moves between 100psi and maxed out.
I just realized that maybe the drain pipe is frozen so I have a hair dryer on task.
Going to try to upload pics.
 
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  #4  
Old 12-30-17, 01:46 PM
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What is that bottom picture supposed to be showing?

It's possible/probable that your gauge is toast. So any reading on the dial is useless. Your system may be bled down and have little to no pressure.

Is your pressure tank in a finished room inside the house? If the tank is in an unfinished space or somewhere water won't hurt I'd drill holes in it so it can drain. If it's water logged water has gotten on top of the bladder as well so I'd drill a hole in the bottom, one in the very top and several along the side. The holes in the side will be trial and error but you're trying to hit the bottom of the area on top of the bladder to get that water out.
 
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Old 12-30-17, 06:55 PM
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I'm thinking that's the drain line on the floor. Yes.... water should be coming out there.

Since you are replacing the tank... shut the water valve off to the house, open the tank drain and hit the schrader valve with 50psi of air.
 
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Old 12-30-17, 07:40 PM
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shut the water valve off to the house, open the tank drain and hit the schrader valve with 50psi of air.
He did that, as far as I can tell. I'm not sure what the electrodes being held was for, but the drain was open and the main house valve was closed off while he hit the schraeder with air a few seconds at a time (described in the OP, his last attempt).

I, too, was wondering about that drain valve in the pic. That hose bib is no doubt the "drain valve" that's being opened, but does that mean the rubber hose is under mains pressure at all times? 906Bushcraft, is there not another valve upstream of that one? If that gate valve has not been used in a long time, it's possible that it's broken or plugged. It doesn't look that old, but I find it hard to believe that the rubber hose would just be left in the basement under pressure to freeze or do whatever. Perhaps the previous owner put that hose bib on there to close off a leak from a failed upstream gate valve.

would you want somebody starting their laundry in your house at 3am and then hopping in your shower? haha
That all depends. I'm curious what kind of job is "95% looking professional" until 3am? Nah, not gonna ask.
 
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Old 12-30-17, 08:24 PM
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Incidentally you can install a second pressure tank and the system will resume normal behavior. Then you can drain and remove the first pressure tank and move the new tank to a better location at your leisure possibly making less of a mess.

And you can install another gauge so you can ignore the old gauge that possibly has its lead in pipe clogged.
 
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Old 12-31-17, 09:07 AM
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Bush -

It sounds like you are OK with allowing the water to drain wherever that hose bib is now. If so, and it were me, I would shut off the pump, close the valve to the house, and spin that hose bib out of the black hose to see if it would start to drain – but you might get a big rush of water out very quickly.

If it doesn’t start to drain I would start heating up that space where the tank is and then you might start to see water coming out of the drain hose as the space was being heated and the ice thawed. I would keep that pump off until you see water coming out of that drain. Seems to me you could be pumping into an ice blockage which would not be good for the pump.

I don’t see how you can be sure of the gauge being broken, the tank waterlogged, etc., if things are frozen. Seems to me you would have to make sure everything is thawed out before you were sure of anything. But maybe the other guys would disagree. I’m sure no expert.
 
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Old 12-31-17, 08:07 PM
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Oh, by the way, a waterlogged pressure tank itself will not keep the pump from sending water to the faucets although the pump will work erratically and leaving things that wayand unfixed will shorten the life of the pump.

If all the faucets are dead then you have a clog somewhere else e.g. frozen pipe. in addition to the waterlogged tank, the latter you already proved by having considerable water squirt out of the pressure tank Schrader valve.
 
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Old 01-01-18, 11:52 AM
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Sorry about not being around, New years is a busy time for us in Security. (Somebody asked, I work Security from 6pm to 2am, I don't get home until 3am though, long drive)
The bottom picture is of the lines going to the house from the tank.
The gauge may be faulty, however there IS too much pressure in the lines, which is why the switch keeps cutting off and why no water is running to anything.

The black "bib" is actually from our garden hose, which is what I attached to the drain. Unfortunately I can't get the tank to drain so....just going to have to replace it. There's very little room there so that's not going to be a fun task.

I have no idea how to "add" a second pressure tank to the system, I really don't have any idea how to replace the one we have. It's pretty much trial and error for me.
 
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Old 01-02-18, 05:29 PM
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How to add a second pressure tank.

Cut the main line water line passing under the existing pressure tank, reconnect the two ends using a T fitting, then connect a pipe from the third opening of the tee to the second pressure tank.

Details:

Ideally the connection to the second pressure tank should be in the run of pipe where the connection to the first tank is, with no main line valves or check valves between the two. However you will still get decent performance if the second tank were installed temporarily somewhat downstream including upstairs. If a pressure tank were past branches in the plumbing to faucets, hot water tank, fixtures, etc. it is possible to get some quick pressure fluctuations as the pump cycles on and off.

Preset the air pressure in the second tank as if that were the only pressure tank in the system, namely to about 2 PSI less than pump turn on pressure, prior to closing all the faucets and turning on the pump.

Of course you want to shut off the pump and drain the plumbing (not the hot water tank) before doing this project.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-02-18 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 01-02-18, 06:32 PM
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That hose doesn't have a clogged screen in it by any chance, does it?
 
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Old 03-03-18, 09:07 AM
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Sorry for the lack of an update. I replaced the tank and all is well. I ended up getting it drained by drilling a hole in it, then I replaced the tank. The one we have now is much smaller, however I plan to add a larger one to the system when I redo the piping this summer. I plan on making it MUCH easier to work on in the future.
Thank you all for your tips and advice.
 
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Old 03-03-18, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for stopping back and leaving us an update.
 
 

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