bladder in well pump : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Okay, read the archives and still not sure of the answer. Our well is designed to pull water into the house which goes into a 300 gallon water storage tank and from there goes to the other pump[bladder tank] which pumps into the house. This is in our basement. The pump keeps kicking on, the one that is hooked into the bladder tank. This is a 7 yo unit. How do we troubleshoot this? The tank has been drained but not forcivably put air into. Do we need to get a preasurazized air tank? Is the bladder shot? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

-- tracy (, March 27, 2002


a bladder tank should need air put into it,, but you have a 300 gal INSIDE your house?? wow,, big house. bladder could be ripped,, or its just sucking air. or the switch is bad

-- Stan (, March 27, 2002.

Does the pressure tank actually have a bladder in it? then it is shot, replace. Is it just pressurized with air, no rubber bladder? Then you need to empty the tank of water, add some air pressure with a tire inflator being careful not to overdo it, and all should be well again.

Note that there can be other problems - the pump is weak, the water is leaking backwards to the storage tank, the pressure switch is bad, or the small piping to the pressure switch is clogged with goo. All of this has happened around here over the years - can't tell without know more of what it is doing, but most often it is the bladder or just needs air if it is a simple tank.


-- paul (, March 27, 2002.

The water storage tank was put in when previous owners where selling this house. The well didnt pass the perk test so that was there solution. This system is only 6 yo. Do they go bad that soon? We will try draining and putting air back in. Hubby said it is not the switch. Any other thoughts? Our electric bill is skyrocketing. What pressure should this be reading if working correctly?

-- tracy (, March 28, 2002.

So, is it a simple tank, or one that has a built in bladder? That is the question! I have never actually used a bladder tank, have several simple galvinized water tanks with the air cushion & a tire valve in the side. But, you need to know what you have before just adding air. I believe the bladders are pre-charged, and if yours went bad, adding air or draining might not really help you any, needs to be replaced?

If you don't have a bladder, it is normal for it to need air added every year, if not more often. Nothing is broken at all - the air just disolves into the water over time, and needs to be replaced.

If you have poor water (dirty, hard, or etc.) that is hard on equipment, and can wear out or clog up stuff more rapidly than normal.

Stuff breaks. I would hope a bladder tank lasts longer than 6 years, but you can be the lucky person that gets the one that lasts only a couple years. :)


-- paul (, March 28, 2002.

I forgot the pressure stuff - it should tell you on the switch it's cut in & cut out pressure settings. 20-40 would be pretty low system, 40-60 would be a pretty high system in most cases. They should be working about where they are rated at, some have minimal adjustments.


-- paul (, March 28, 2002.

I had a captive air tank that lasted only 6 yrs. Your tank should say something about being a captive air tank on it. Should have a "tire valve" up top. With no water in tank a check of pressure here should read a couple psi less than low pressure setting on switch, if I remember right. Mine developed a slow leak in bladder and would require air ever so often. Soon the water outside the bag rusted a hole in the tank so went in junk pile. Changed to old fashion style and no more problems. You can expect 30 yrs or more service from the old style tanks---not 5 to 10 with the bag systems. You will never have waterlog problems if you have the proper setup with sniffter valve and drainback down inside well a few feet. This adds air each pump cycle and a volume control on tank lets out the extra. I would never have another bag tank if I can still get the older style.

-- Don (, March 28, 2002.

Tracy: You have a coupla options. I've seen bladder tanks with a schrader valve on top. A schrader valve is like a tire valve. If yours has one I'd suggest draining the tank again, then fill it with air up to 20-25 PSI.

You mentioned that you tried draining the tank before. Did it help at all?

If your tank doesn't have a schrader valve on top and you have concluded the tank bladder is indeed bad this is a stop gap measure that'll work.

Make sure the pump is off and the tank drained. There should be a shut-off valve upstream and downstream of the tank. Close both valves. At the down stream valve, between the tank and valve, install a "tee" and fit a schrader valve into the tee. Bring the tank up to 20-25 psi with air pressure, then turn the pump on and open the inlet valve to the tank. Bring it up to pressure till the pump shuts off, then slowly open the downstream valve. I say slowly because there will likely be air in the line and could cause a water hammer. That can shock weak connections and cause them to leak. You should now have an air cushion in the tank and will be good to go. Its cheaper than replacing the tank and it works fine. You will probably have to charge the tank with air occassionally.

I used to haul junk from the local hardware store and was amazed at how many bladder tanks just 5 or 6 years old were being thrown out.

-- john (, March 28, 2002.

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