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Well Storage Tank replacement

Posted by mrmichaeljmoore (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 11, 09 at 12:36

I am going to have my well storage tank replaced.
My current tank is non-diaphragm tank that is about 16 years old.

So I am doing a bit of preventative maintenance by replacing now before I have any problems.

I contacted three reputable plumbers/water compaines in my area (Fairfield, CT).

All recommended the Amtrol WX-203 as a replacement tank. All were around the same price...

Before I choose a plumber, what do I need to know about as far as replacing this unit? Are there any things specific to this I should ask of the plumber?
What should I look for in a good installation?

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

The Amtrol are good tanks. Warranty is 5 years. Just to get more ideas, check out the WellMate brand on the web. Since you are being proactive, you have time to look at some options. These used to be under the brand name "Duracell". I have seen several that are over 30 years old and have changed the bladder in one. It was a very fast process, without having to change the whole tank. Tank replacement is quite easy and if you are slightly mechanically inclined, you could do it yourself. If you prefer to have a plumber do it, then select a reputable one and there should be nothing you need to look for as a concern for a good installation.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

maryland --

Other than the tank, are there any other parts of the well/tank system that should be replaced when a tank is replaced?

thanks.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

What we know from your previous thread is that you need to install a pressure relief valve.

This is a good time to take a look at the pressure gauge, pressure switch and shutoff valve also.

If they are all good, just reuse them.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

if you are going from a bladderless tank to one with a bladder, they will need to remove the air admittance valve.

i knwo this from personal experience as i did not and now my well burps a good bit of air periodically(roughly every 2-3 cycles of teh pump) and it gets irritating to say the least. my valve is down the well, it sucks it thru teh conduit the wiring uses to enter the wellhead. so in my case i have to pull a couple hundred feet of pipe to remove mine. hopefully yours is different. and the reason i am just living with it right now is that my well supplies only teh garden/horse pasture/a couple of outdoor spigots. if it supplied my house i would have had it fixed a couple years ago!


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Good point about the air admittance valve. However, it's my hunch that this system doesn't have one. Doesn't the existence of an AAV also require air level regulating "stuff" on the tank to keep it from getting too much air built up? I didn't see that on the photos in the original thread.

The idea behind an AAV is that each pump cycle the AAV would introduce a small amount of air that would then go into the pressure tank. The pressure tank would have a regulating valve (a float, I think) that would bleed off the excess air - otherwise the tank would eventually fill with air and then it would show up at the faucet. (man, it's been a while... I'm having to reach back past vinyl records and bell bottoms for this).

I will bet that this system doesn't have an AAV and it was intended to be charged with air every six months. The tank we had like that even had a floating separator to keep the air from being absorbed into the water as quickly.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

mine did not. what happens is the water absorbs teh air. you actually have to drain non bladder tanks periodically because they become water logged and when there is no air pocket you lose water pressure. so you drain them down, introduce air, then fill them again and are good to go for months/years if you are lucky.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

I finally found the company that drilled my well.

I contacted them about replacing the tank.
They also suggested the WX-203, based on what I have currently.
But they also said that if I had the room (for about $100) more I could do the WX-250. Which I guess is a bigger tank, which would then require the pump to cycle less often.
WX-203 is a 32 gallon tank.
WX-250 is a 44 gallon tank.

FYI....The pump is a submersible pump. Goulds 1/2HP. The model number on the switch in the basement is tough to read....but it looks like: 75H05
Installed October 1993.
According to my well completion report:
Well Depth: 245 feet
At 245 feet: 5 gallons per minute

So, if I understand correctly, I can put in a bigger tank, as long as I have the space.....
that seems like a good idea, since we have plans to add a full bath to our house in the future. Currently, only have one bathroom in our ranch.

By the way, the quotes from my well driller were:
WX-203 -- $700 +tax ~ $742
WX-250 -- $800 +tax ~ $848
includes all parts (tank, pressure switch, pressure relief valve, gauges)

Sound right? Should I go with the bigger tank?

thanks.
mike


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

The Amtrol web site recommends the WX-202 (20 gal) for your size pump and flow rates and a 40/60 pressure switch setting.

The Water Systems Council website also recommends a 20 gal tank.

That seems like an easy decision to me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tank sizing


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

I just spoke to Amtrol.
I spoke to a customer service rep to get some assistance in sizing my tank.

I told him what I currently had: Amtrol RT42T (42 gallon rentention tank)

He said that he would go with the WX-205 or the WX-250.

I asked him about making sure I replace it with the correct size tank. He said the main thing is to not undersize the tank. He said you cant oversize it....

Then I asked him if he needed to know about my current well situation (that is, 245 foot well, 5 gallons per minute at 245 feet, Gould 1/2 HP submersible pump).
He said based on what I told him, to go with the WX-250.

alrighty then......


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

If you have a mechanical low water protection switch, you might consider replacing it with a new electronic version that monitors the pump motor not the water pressure.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

mrmichaeljmoore

The websites are pretty clear - I didn't make that info up.
Based on 5 gpm, 40psi cut in, and 1/2hp pump the answer is wx-202 (20 gal). If you opt for the longer run time, you get the wx-205 which is the 34 gal tank.

Did I mis-apply the information and come up with the wrong answer?

Your original question was "do you need to spend the extra $100 for the larger tank?" My answer is no, the wx-203 is a 34 gal tank and is built with additional capacity already.

The tanks that have a diaphragm and are properly charged provide the draw down of a much larger standard tank.

If it were me, I'd go with the 34 gal tank and call it good.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Jake --

I know you didn't make up your suggestion for the WX-202.
I saw that too on the Amtrol website...that's why I called Amtrol....I was confused...cause my current tank is larger than the WX-202.
When I said "alrighty then", I was trying to point out my confusion.

So, the only reason why I was figuring on going with the larger WX-250 is because we are planning on adding a full bathroom to the basement eventually. Our ranch only has 1 bathroom right now. Plus, we are planning on having another child eventually, which would give us 4 people in the house.
So, based on what the well company said (and Amtrol), going with the larger tank would help with the life of my pump because it would have to run less.
But with that rationale in mind, I wonder why I just wouldn't go with the WX-251 which is a 62 gallon tank? It would fit in my basement where the current tank is.

thanks again for your help.
mike


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Mike,

It's the stopping and starting that's hard on a pump. Once you go beyond a certain point, I don't think you get much real benefit from the larger tank regarding reducing the number of stops and starts.

The only rational that I can think of for a WX-250 or larger is to temporarily meet excess demand beyond the 5 gpm that your pump will supply. In other words, a family could exceed 5 gpm by filling up a tub and running a faucet, for example. Two showers would also exceed 5 gpm. A larger tank would act as a reservoir to supply the extra demand - up to a point. It's not going to buffer sustained demand that exceeds 5gpm - such as watering the lawn.

Again, you don't want to use your existing tank size as a one-one guide. Tanks with a bladder will provide much more draw-down than your old tank at the same size.

If you are concerned about buffering excess demand, then go with the WX-250 or larger... but know that your pump is a little on the small side for sustained demand.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Jake --

I guess I mis-spoke a bit when I said I figured a larger tank would "run less."
I realize it's the starts and stops that kill a pump....so i figured a larger tank would hold more water and as a result have to start and, therefore, stop less.
But I see your point about the point of diminishing returns on that issue....

I emailed Amtrol to get a tank size suggestion. Just curious if I get the same answer as I got on the phone the other day. I'll let you know what they say.

Sorry to be pain, but could you explain buffered demand vs suatained demand....i think I know what you mean, but I am not 100% sure.

Thnks for the help.
mike


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Here's the deal on buffering demand:

You have a pump that can pump 5 gal per minute sustained.

A tub faucet is 5gpm, a shower is generally 3gpm, a kitchen faucet is 2gpm (I believe), bathroom sink is 1 gpm, Washing machine 4gpm...

Anyway, the point is that you could put together some scenarios where you are using more than the 5 gpm that the pump is capable of providing. The tank draw-down has the ability to supply that deficit up to a point. So, for example, suppose you were using 4 gpm and then someone flushed the toilet -- putting your total use at 6 gpm. The tank would provide the additional 1 gpm and would have enough capacity to provide that until the toilet shut off - bringing your use back down to 4gpm and the tank would refill.

If you had two showers going (6gpm) a tank will be able to supply that for a while (how long depends on tank size) until the tank draw down is exhausted. At that point, the flow rate will drop to the amount the pump can provide - 5 gpm. If the tank is large enough, someone will finish their shower first.

If you are watering your lawn and are using 6 gpm sustained draw, it will eventually empty the tank and there will be no cushion... you will turn on the kitchen faucet and not a lot of water will come out.

Does that make sense?


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Got a response from Amtrol:

"Based on the info you gave me the WX-202 20 gallon tank would be the min size tank for your system. You cannot over size a well tank and if you are expanding I would use a WX-205 34 gallon tank or a WX-250 44 gallon tank."

I think I am gonna go with the WX-250.
Will let you know how it turns out.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Let us know how it turns out.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement (PICS)

Got the replacement tank installed today.
When they removed the old tank, there was quite a bit of rust/pitting on the bottom.
Glad I had it replaced before it leaked!

Amtrol WX-255 tank

How does the install look?? Rather standard, I assume...

Pictures below.

DSCF3808

DSCF3809

DSCF3816


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Looks good to me.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Is the pressure relief valve the brass circle just to the left of the green gate valve?


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Yes.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Great job and it will serve you well!!! Thank's for taking the time to get back to us with the pictures and the feedback!!! I hope the little puddle is because you took the pictures right after it was done.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Wanted to follow-up again to make sure the new tank and old pump were operating properly.

The pump kicks on at about 43-44 psi.
When the pressure switch clicks, the needle in the gauge shudders/bounces around violently.
The tank begins to fill and the pressure switch clicks again at about 67-68psi and the pump stops running.

It took approximately 2 minutes and 19 seconds to fill the tank.

So, a couple of questions:
1. Is the gauge needle supposed to shudder when the pressure switch kicks the pump on?
2. Does 2 min 20 sec sound right?

Thanks.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

The behavior of the gauge is pretty common. You can get a more expensive oil-filled gauge that will reduce that if you want, but it doesn't really matter.

They should have set the air charge in the tank to be just below the cut-in pressure.

The thing that seems a little odd is that the tank should have a 24 gal draw-down - and your pump is rated at 5 gpm. At that rate, you are filling the tank about 12 gal... I'm sure it's okay, it's just that something doesn't add up. My guess is that you are getting more than 5 gpm from your pump.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

Somebody on another message board said I should get rid of the check valve......they said I only need a check valve in the pump.
they said the check valve in the house could mask other problems and could contaminate the drinking water...

any thoughts on this?

thanks.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

There is a check valve at the head of the pump - so the check valve at the tank is somewhat redundant... If the valve at the pump head were to leak, the check valve at the tank would prevent the water from draining out of the tank. Other than that, I don't see any issue at all. Certainly don't see how it would cause any of the problems that you described.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

It's like wearing a belt and suspenders. You have a great setup there and should not worry or be concerned about it one bit.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement

some people would like a little more support than 3 bricks at the base but that's minor.
You could find out if you have the proper charge in your tank. Turn the breaker or disconnect off to the pump. Run some water in the house. The gauge will slowly fall to maybe 35-40. Then it will drop suddenly to zero. I believe most would recommend the tank pressure to be about 5 psi below the cut in pressure.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement - dissimilar size tanks

I am installing a 2500 gallon plus a 1550 gallon water storage tank for a 3 family well system. The dissimilar sizes are needed because it is the maximum storage we can do because of footprint and height restrictions. I am having trouble trying to conceive the plumbing configuration where we can utilize all the water in the larger tank. The best I can come up with is a float level switch on the larger tank that controls the filling of the larger tank with a float valve on the smaller tank while drawing from the smaller tank with a pressure pump to 2, 119 gallon pressure vessels. The problem is that with this system we will not be able to utilize all the water in the larger tank - as soon as the level in the larger tank drops below the float valve (in small tank) the water will no longer be filling the small tank leaving 1/2 or more of the water in the large tank unavailable.


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RE: Well Storage Tank replacement - dissimilar size tanks

I am installing a 2500 gallon plus a 1550 gallon water storage tank for a 3 family well system. The dissimilar sizes are needed because it is the maximum storage we can do because of footprint and height restrictions. I am having trouble trying to conceive the plumbing configuration where we can utilize all the water in the larger tank. The best I can come up with is a float level switch on the larger tank that controls the filling of the larger tank with a float valve on the smaller tank while drawing from the smaller tank with a pressure pump to 2, 119 gallon pressure vessels. The problem is that with this system we will not be able to utilize all the water in the larger tank - as soon as the level in the larger tank drops below the float valve (in small tank) the water will no longer be filling the small tank leaving 1/2 or more of the water in the large tank unavailable.


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