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Thread: 2 tanks/pressue switch

  1. #1

    Default 2 tanks/pressue switch

    I am hoping someone can help solve a very frustrating situation.

    Some history in a nutshell as it has been a very long and frustrating 4 months.- in the last 4 months, I had a plumber install a water treatement system. Along the way, it has been one thing after another that has gone wrong.I wont go into the details about the treatment system problems and getting that to work properly. But just when we got that solved- seemingly other unlreated problems have evolved.

    I have ended up with a brand new well-pump. He also installed a 2nd well-tank. The breaker had been tripping after installing the pump and we eventually discovered that he had a wire touching the ground wire which was causing the breaker to trip.

    Well- we solved that problem and put a new pressure switch on as well since it seemed the old one was not working. Along the way, he also took out the regular old on/off switch at the tanks and simply eliminated that switch altogether.

    Yesterday we solved the short circuit issue and put the new pressure switch on. Guess what- I woke up this morning and no pressure. I went down to the switch and pushed the levers ( Square-D Flotec) and got water pressure built up to the 65psi setting. Right this second 2 1/2 hours later pressure seems to be maintaining- but for how long.per plumber- pressure settings are roughly 45-65

    My question- with the install of the 2nd tank- basically the line comes in and branches off in a t to the two tanks( original tank has the long-cross tank fitting kit with a check valve- pressure switch etc..) the new branch to the new tank is just the pipe branching off - no check valve etc.... would not having a check valve and or pressure switch on the side of the new tank cause the water pressure to drop to zero?

    The new tank is an amtrol wx-205 old- tank is dsi ds20. pump is a myers 4" submersible.

    thanks for any insight.

    Mike

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    I'm not sure from the description what the relative locations of the pressure switch and tanks are, but here is what you MUST have.

    1. Both pressure tanks must be connected so there is no check valve that would prevent water from either or both pressure tanks from supplying the system. Both tanks must always have the same pressure because they must be connected without an interfering check valve.

    2. The pressure switch must be installed so that both tanks are connected to the pressure switch without any interfering check valve. There must be no check valve that prevents either tank from pressurizing the pressure switch.

    If conditions 1 and 2 are met the pressure switch, pressure gauge, and both tanks will be at the pressure going into the system. I saw a system with six pressure tanks connected via a manifold arrangement and they worked fine.

  3. #3

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    The line from the well comes in( originally to just the first tank. but now the line comes in and if you are looking at it from behind the line in- to the left after it branches off is the check valve and pressure switch and the original tank- the branch to the right goes to the new tank. here are some photos
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  4. #4
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    "I went down to the switch and pushed the levers ( Square-D Flotec)"

    This makes me think you have a Low pressure cut-off pressure switch with the little brass lever on the side. If this is the case you probably just have too much air in the pressure tanks. With the pressure switch set at 45/65, you should have no more than 40 PSI air pressure in the tank.

    The pressure switch also need to be located close to one of the pressure tanks. Putting the switch on the tank that has the brass tank cross would be OK. Putting the switch on a tee between the two tanks or anywhere else could cause the low pressure feature to trip out.

    I have seen systems with 20 pressure tanks in a manifold together. However, with the more modern and useful "constant pressure" systems like the Cycle Stop Valve, more than one tank is rarely needed for any reason.



    Posted before I saw the pictures which are worth a thousand words. Yes you have a low pressure cut off switch. Probably just have too much air in the pressure tanks.
    Last edited by valveman; 03-25-2008 at 11:37 AM.

  5. #5

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    How do I solve? Where is the low pressure cut-off switch?
    I knew the pictures would explain better than I ever could.
    Thanks

  6. #6
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    Get a normal pressure switch. You don't have a Check Valve there either. At least I don't see one in the picture. Don't worry though, you shouldn't have one there.

    bob...

  7. #7

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    What is a normal pressure switch ascompared to a low pressure switch? What is on there now?
    Any other thoughts.
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    The little brass lever on the side of the grey pressure switch makes that a Low-pressure cut off switch. It is a good safety device but, you need to have 5 PSI less air in the tanks than the on setting of the pressure switch. IE; 45/65 switch setting, 40 PSI air in the tanks.

  9. #9

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    I suppose I need to check to make sure the switch settings are as my plumber indicated. I guess it is pretty obvious the high is 64 or 65psi as that is what the gauge reads at it's highest. To read the low I suppose I just run water until pressure drops to the point where the pump kicks on?

    Based on that low # I am guessing it will be probably between 45-50- I then would check the pressure in both tanks? How do I do that? And how would I release pressure if needed and how would I add pressure back in if needed?

    So if for example- pressure settings are 45-65 (also do they have to be exactly 20psi apart?) do both tanks need to be exactly 5 psi lower than the low setting or at least but possibly more than 5 psi lower than the low setting?

    I am learning quite a bit about water supply and am amazaed at what it takes to get water out of the ground and into a drinking cup or shower head.

    Thanks to everyone for all your advice. keep it coming.

  10. #10
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    No, it does not have to be exactly 20 PSI difference between on and off.
    Yes, both tanks need to have (about) 5 PSI less air than the pump starts.
    Yes, just watch the gauge as the pump starts to find that number.

    You add air or take it out the same way you would a car or bicycle tire.

    The pump has to be off and a faucet open until the tank is empty of water, before you can check the air in the tank with a tire gauge. (leave the faucet open while checking the air pressure)
    Last edited by valveman; 03-25-2008 at 05:01 PM.

  11. #11

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    I was watching the pressure gauge as my kids were taking a shower and it dropped to 40 then 30 then went all the way down to zero. I tried to pull up the brass lever a few times, eventually after a few minutes it went up to 40 and then all the way back up to 65psi which is where it is now.

    So is it everyones best educated guess without actually being here that one or both tanks probably have too much pressure in them and need to be set 5psi less than the 'pump on' setting for the switch.

    I will let my plumber know what advice i have been given unless this is something you think can accomplish on my own. I just don't want to screw things up worse than they already are.
    Thanks

  12. #12
    DIY Senior Member thassler's Avatar
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    Not a pro, but I have to do this usually once a year to my system. If you own a well it's probably one of the first things us 'well owners' need to learn. Sometimes while I'm running water, the water will just stop for a second then continue to run normally. That's a clue to me it's time to check the pressure in my tank. What's happening to me is that the tank is running out of water before the pressure switch tells the pump to kick on. The air pressure in the empty tank is still higher than the pressure switch cut-in setting. I don't have a low-pressure switch like you do so my water pressure returns after a brief pause. Your's doesn't come back on because the low-pressure switch trips and stays off until you reset it (As it should). So - here's what I do (Pro's correct me where needed)

    Tools needed:
    -Decent tire gauge
    -(maybe) Air compressor/bicycle pump

    Procedure
    The objective is to get the pressure in your tanks 3 to 5lbs less than your pump cut-in. You mentioned pump cut-in is supposed to be at 45 and cut-out at 65

    1. Cut power to the pump so it will not come on. Either via breaker or lever on pressure switch.

    2. Open a faucet until water no longer runs. (Tanks are empty)

    3. There should be a valve on top of each of your pressure tanks (just like you car's tire valve). Use the tire gauge and measure the pressure in each tank. (It's probably over 45lbs in at least one of them)

    4. Either add or let out air so each tank has 40lbs of pressure.

    5. Close all faucets and power up the pump and let the tanks fill.

    6. The pump should now be off and you should have ~65lbs of pressure.

    7. Slowly open a faucet and watch your gauge, note at what pressure the pump kicks on at. If it kicks on at 45lbs then your good to go. If it kicks on at 41lbs or the low-pressure switch trips, then you will want to repeat the procedure until you get the pressure in your (empty of water) tanks 3 to 5lbs less than the pump cut-in pressure.


    **Not a Pro**

  13. #13

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    Thank you.

    I will try tomorrow and keep my fingers crossed.

    Someone earlier had mentioned doing away with the low pressure switch and getting a normal pressure switch. Would that solve the problem or just delay having to adjust the pressue in the tanks?

  14. #14
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    What is that Myers Protector hanging out of the pressure switch doing to the power to the pump? I can't find it when I Google it.

    That could be a time delay that is preventing the pump from starting after a low pressure event. It could be that it, together with the low-pressure cutoff switch, is causing the problem.

    It may be a business proposition that the pump installer put in to ensure service calls. If you don't know why it is there and what it does, then the installer failed you.

  15. #15

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    It is a lightning/surge arrester. Came with the warranty.

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