I'm replacing a pressure tank on my home's water supply that's sourced from a deep-well submersible pump. The current old tank is a 54 gallon bladder model that I've been keeping alive by periodically adding air from my shop compressor. I'm starting to see some rust in the water, so it's finally time to buy a new one.
We're a two-person household with light water usage (no irrigation). The water quality is clean with a bit of calcium hardness and our well tests out at about 15-20 GPM.
I like the looks of the fiberglass-shell-with-poly liner tanks made by Wellmate (my tank is not exposed to the weather), but am having trouble deciding on a bladder tank vs. a larger (e.g. Wellmate HP-18 80 gallon) hydropneumatic tank with similar drawdown characteristics. The cost is about the same.
The bladder tank's warantied for five years, which tells me that I shouldn't be surprised if the bladder fails in 6 years, so I'm being tempted by the hydropneumatic setup which should, theoretically last forever (maybe replacing the AVC if it fails). While the Wellmate bladder models s do have a replaceable bladder, the cost of a new bladder is almost the same as that of a new tank--and the tank has to be removed for bladder replacement anyway.
Since my well setup doesn't have a snifter valve-with-bleeder, I was thinking about adding air with a micronizer instead. Will this work?
More importantly, am I being realistic in my beliefs of the longevity of the hydropneumatic setup?
Finally, if the consensus is that a captive-air tank is plenty reliable, is there much difference in the reliability of the the bladder-type Wellmate and the diaphragm-type Flexcon? Both have fiberglass shells with poly liners and five-year warranties.
Many thanks in advance for any practical advice in this matter.
Hydro pneumatic tanks do not have a bladder to break. However, they need more maintenance to maintain the air charge. Bleeder orifice, check valve, schrader valve, and AVC must all work properly to maintain air. Or micronizer and AVC must both continue to work properly maintain air volume. These are just more parts to fail. Usually people do not realize they have a problem until the pump is fried. Then they find out that one of these little parts had failed, and the water logged tank fried their pump in just a few days.
The bladder tank does not need these extra parts. You just have to worry about the bladder busting. The bladder bust from bending back and forth like bending a wire until it breaks. If you don't let the pump cycle excessively, the bladder will last for decades. A Cycle Stop Valve will let you use a 20 gallon size tank, (WM6) and still reduce the number of pump cycles by 2/3rds. This will triple the life of a bladder, and does so without the maintenance associated with hydro pneumatic tanks.
There are areas where the water quality requires a hydro pneumatic tank for aeration but, I prefer bladder tanks everywhere else.