Broken bladder pressure tank

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by pa_ron, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Apr 6, 2009 #1

    pa_ron

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    Hi Guys, will a well water storage pressure tank continue to work with a broken bladder? Thanks, Ron
     
  2. Apr 6, 2009 #2

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    I'm no expert on this subject, but my understanding is that the bladder is there to protect the pump motor from starting every time you draw a glass of water from your tap. The whole idea is that the bladder provides the pressure necessary to keep water flowing in your house's water supply piping for about a minute so that your well's water pump doesn't have to keep going on and off every time there's a small demand for water. That's cuz pumps like this will draw a high current as they're starting, and that high current heats up the motor windings very quickly. Frequent starting of the pump motor can endanger the pump if it doesn't have a minute to cool down between starts, and that'll burn the motor out prematurely.

    If you just pump air into the top of your bladder tank, you really have no assurance that the air is going to stay in there to provide the necessary protection. The air can dissolve in the water and you could have spurts of air coming out of the faucets in your house, and each one means there's less air in the tank to protect your pump motor.

    The bottom line is that replacing the tank (if necessary) is gonna be a lot cheaper than replacing the pump in your well. I'd play it safe and replace the bladder tank BEFORE you wreck your pump. It's something that needs to get fixed, and by not fixing it you're running the risk of having to replace BOTH the tank and the pump.

    Some bladder tanks allow the bladder to be replaced. Look on the tank to see if there's any way to take it apart. If not, just spring for a new tank.

    Again, I'm not expert, but I'd play it safe here and replace the tank (if you can't just replace the bladder).

    (I'd also like to hear what the experts in here think because I'm also wondering whether pressuring up the tank with air wouldn't make it work just like the old cushion tanks on boilers which never had a bladder.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  3. Apr 6, 2009 #3

    kok328

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    "will a well water storage pressure tank continue to work with a broken bladder? "

    No.
     
  4. Apr 6, 2009 #4

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    OK, but why wouldn't just pumping some air into the top of that tank allow it to continue working without a bladder? That's not the ideal situation, but shouldn't he do that now to protect the pump UNTIL he changes the tank?
     
  5. Apr 6, 2009 #5

    kok328

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    because without the bladder, the air will eventually bleed out of the tank when he uses the water.
     
  6. Apr 7, 2009 #6

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    OK, but why wouldn't Pa-ron keep pumping some air into that tank to help protect the pump as much as possible UNTIL that tank is replaced?

    He's hearing me say I'm not an expert, but that pumping some air into the tank makes some kinda horse sense to me, and he's also hearing an "expert" saying NOT to do that because that "air will eventually bleed out of the tank".

    You can understand his confusion.
     
  7. Apr 7, 2009 #7

    kok328

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    No confusion here. Ron asked a simple question and got a simple answer.
    A pressure storage tank will not work with a bad bladder, regardless of what you do to it short of r&r. See no confusion.
    The only way to remedy the situation is to repair or replace the bad bladder/tank.
    Still no confusion. I think the confusion came in with your reply which was so long that I didn't bother to read it all the way through.
    But heck, who am I to ruin the party, pump away but, eventually you have to repair or replace the tank/bladder and if not soon, the pump too.
     
  8. Apr 7, 2009 #8

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    I compensate for quality with quantity. And, I've never let my not knowing anything about a subject stand in the way of my speaking, often at considerable length, about it.

    Hopefully everyone I meet in this forum will be as pleasant and welcoming as you, Kok.
     
  9. Apr 7, 2009 #9

    inspectorD

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    (I'd also like to hear what the experts in here think because I'm also wondering whether pressuring up the tank with air wouldn't make it work just like the old cushion tanks on boilers which never had a bladder.)[/QUOTE]

    Boilers are closed loop systems...the water does not escape from a faucet or shower head.
    Bottom line, change the tank. Or buy a new tank and pump in a week.

    I always though spring made folks happier, hope this answered his question.:)
     
  10. Apr 7, 2009 #10

    Blue Jay

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    It would work for a bit, we used to use tanks without a bladder but they had an air volume control to keep an air charge in it. When the control went bad and the air would depleat the pump would run whenever water was drawn we would then use an air pump to recharge the tank, this would last for about 2 months if we forgot to get a new control. Also in between these and the bladder tank they had one with a floating disc inside the tank to reduce the surface area of the water to air. So in answer to the question it would work for a while but you should thnk about replacing the tank in the future.
     
  11. Apr 8, 2009 #11

    Nestor_Kelebay

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    That's good to know, Blue Jay. Thanks.
     
  12. Apr 12, 2009 #12

    pa_ron

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    I'm sorry that I didn't respond sooner but I have a job on the road. Thank you all for all your input. I was hoping to get by with this tank for a month or so while I build an enclosed insulated room for the new tank. I think that I’m going to put in a new tank and then make the enclosure then move it before winter. Thanks again for all your help with this. Ron
     
  13. Apr 14, 2009 #13

    Redwood

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    The thing with continuing to use a pressure tank is that once the pressure tank is comprimised air pressure is quickly lost and the pump will short cycle and quickly burn out. In addition once water gets between the tank and the broken bladder it quickly stagnates and many funky things start growing leading to contamination of your water system.:eek:

    Change it ASAP!
     
  14. Mar 1, 2010 #14

    sikkensuser

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    contending with space constraints, would it be possible to install a pressure tank sideways ie. placed lengthwise against the floor?, or would this compromise the seal between the bladder and the top of the tank.
     
  15. Mar 1, 2010 #15

    Speedbump

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    A bladder tank doesn't care what position it's in with respect to it's paint job etc.

    Once a bladder tears, ruptures, splits or just breaks, the water/air separation is gone. The well water is deficient of oxygen so each cycle it steals a little more air from the tank until it becomes waterlogged. Another thing that happens with a broken bladder. The water starts getting on top of the rubber. The rubber gets across the outlet/inlet and prevents the water from leaving the tank. Each cycle the tank fills up a little more while the air is taken out and pretty soon you have a tank full of water with no air left cycling it's heart out. Not to mention the nasties already mentioned. Remember, the inside of the tank is not painted or treated in any way. It's just bare metal.

    The tanks with replaceable bladders were made that way because the bladders were junk in the first place. I changed one bladder in a Con-Aire tank many years ago. I will never do it again. What a mess.

    I think you see that the general consensus here is to change the tank. I recommend either Flexcon or Well X Trol. The only two tanks on the market as far as I'm concerned.
     
  16. Mar 1, 2010 #16

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