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Thread: Best well tank?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mjcotter's Avatar
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    Default Best well tank?

    Hi, I just found this board! Seems like a great site - nice job!

    I believe we're in need of a new well tank. Uneven water pressure that even slows to a trickle at its worst. I think the current tank (Berkeley steel) may be the original which would make it about 18 years old.

    We have 2 quotes from 2 different people.

    1. 50 gal. Flex-Lite fiberglass for $1200 installed.
    2. 44 gal Well-X-Trol steel for $1077 installed OR 52 gal for $1222 installed.

    I'm looking for help on which is better? Steel or fiberglass? Both gave us different info - one said steel was better and the other said fiberglass is. The steel guy said steel would last twice as long. Our current one is steel and I think is 18 years old. The tank will be kept indoors in the basement. I don't care about weight - I won't be the one lugging it in and installing it! :-)

    Are those good brands?

    Any other questions I should ask these guys?

    BTW, how do those prices sound? We're in Massachusetts.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    http://simplyplumbing.com/amtrol-wx-...hannelid=FROOG $403 including shipping - 44 gallon tank

    http://www.sprinklers4irrigation.com/en-us/dept_3356.html This seller says the Flex-con is exactly the same tank.

    Also available at: http://www.pumpsandtanks.com/Tanks/ Call for shipping

    You might want to negotiate a bit. Looks like about $600 for installation, which is one pipe connection unless there is significant replumbing.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member mjcotter's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, Bob!

    Unfortunately, doesn't look like I have time on my side anymore. It could be a coincidence, but the tank is leaking now. I woke up this morning and water was all over the basement floor. I had a company in yesterday to look it over and give an estimate and now it's leaking.

    I was up for giving it a try on my own, especially after seeing the prices in the links you posted, but I don't think I have the luxury of ordering one and waiting for it to arrive.

    It sounds like you are in the steel camp (vs. fiberglass)? I've been reading good things about Well-X-Trol, so I think I'll feel good about spending the money on one.

    I'm trying to figure out what size tank I currently have. It's a Berkeley steel tank, but I don't see anything else on it that would indicate the size. It's roughly 30-32 inches tall. The diameter is about 20 inches. Probably a formula I can find online. I will test out my Googling.

    Thanks!

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    Thanks for the Link Bob.

    The Well X Trol and Flexcon are both the best. The pricing was about twice in my opinion what it should be for those two installed.

    The bladder or diaphragm in the fiberglas is inferior to the steel tanks in most cases, so I would stay away from them. I know Flexcon offers one now, but I'm waiting for around ten years to see how they fair. Call me cautious.

    bob...

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member mjcotter's Avatar
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    Yeah, cut those prices in half and that would feel a lot better!!! After seeing Bob's links, it's going to be hard to stomach paying those prices, knowing I can get the tank for $300 to $400 shipped. Time is not on my side now with a basement floor of water.

    Do you think I need to be calling well companies specifically? That's who I've been calling. Or, would a plumber do this? Maybe the plumber wouldn't be able to get the tank as quickly?

    Know anybody reasonable in Massachusetts?

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    I sure don't know anyone in your area, but those guys sure do get paid for their time. I wish I could get away with that here. I could pay my bills on time for a change.

    In my experience Plumbers have always been higher than Well Drillers, but it wouldn't hurt to get a quote from one.

    bob...

  7. #7
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjcotter View Post
    Know anybody reasonable in Massachusetts?
    I have Mass. contacts. PM me with your phone no.

    I can also arrange for purchase from Grainger, but I don't know the source for their Dayton brand tanks. They are an industrial supply house and are typically better stuff than the big-box stores, but no brand experience that I can cite. Possible selection: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/1XHH2
    Last edited by Bob NH; 04-15-2008 at 09:11 AM.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member mjcotter's Avatar
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    Found a NH plumber who will charge me $425 for the 44gal Well-X-Trol (pretty close to the prices you linked to Bob!) and $85/hour to install. He figures about 2 hours.

    That doesn't include a new pressure gauge and pressure switch. Should those be installed new? I think the current gauge is only about a year old. No telling how old the switch is.

    I still want to check with another plumber or 2 to make sure the above isn't too good to be true. He's also going to call me later with a quote on the 34gal tank.

  9. #9
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Not too good to be true. He will make a reasonable markup on the tank, considering that the on-line guys have a markup also. That is not a bad price for labor since he as a truck and overhead to deal with. The markup on anything else he sells you will be at the top end because once he is there he is the sole source.

    You shouldn't need a new gauge if the existing one is working. Pressure switches last a long time.

    I would not consider the smaller tank unless you have only a 5 GPM 1/2 HP pump.

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    Before you committ, look into the Cycle Stop Valve. This might be something that can not only save you money, but also save your pump motor.

    bob...

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member mjcotter's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for all your help! BobNH, I tried to PM you, but it wouldn't let me.

    We got the new tank installed last Thursday. We went with the Well-X-Trol WX-250 (44 gallon). It's nice to have water again! I ended up using a local plumber. The local guy ended up being the cheapest, which was nice and unexpected b/c his quote was a bit higher. The pressure switch had to be replaced too. It was not switching off. I watched as it climbed to around 80-90 psi. Maybe that's what caused the bladder to go? He told me he could only get a 30/50 switch, but was able to set it up at 40/60 (like overclocking a PC?). Does that sound right? It's definitely kicking on at 40 and off at 60. I even had him fix a leaky valve on my boiler while he was there and I still saved $500 bucks from what the well companies were quoting me!

    Oh, one hiccup, the new WX-250 has a 1 1/4" connection while the old tank had a 1". He had to run to the local store to get a part to take care of that.

    Thanks again for your help and your time!!!!! It is much appreciated!

    Matt

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    DIY Senior Member Mr_Pike's Avatar
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    As far as the original question, which is better a fiberglass or steel tank? It would be my experience, that the rubber bladder inside fails long before the tank itsself, so the outside materials are pretty irrellevent. There are about a dozen that look brand new from the outside sitting in a pile outside the shop right now.... Too bad the rubber didn't last as long as the paint.

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    Mr Pike, would you mind sharing with us, what brands they are?

    bob...

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