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Thread: Float in water tank

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member DryCalifornian's Avatar
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    Default Float in water tank

    I have a 5,000 water tank (no city water, just a well), removeable metal cap on top, bladder, submersible pump, incoming @ 4gpm. My question is: How does the float work in the tank? How is it attached to the tank? How does it trigger the motor to start pumping water into the tank? Thank you for your help.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default float

    Good question, and if we knew more about your float we could answer it better. It is probably a float operated electric switch that turns the pump on when the water level drops and off when the tank is full.

  3. #3
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    And it doesn't have to be attached to the tank, it could be attached to the pipe coming in from the well or something else.

    Or you could have a float valve instead of a flow switch, it shuts off the flow into the tank, which then causes the pressure to rise and a pressure switch eventually shuts off the submersible well pump.

    Why do you ask?
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
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    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    DIY Junior Member DryCalifornian's Avatar
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    OK, Gary, are you talking about pressure in the holding tank? If so, then a float valve is probably not what I have as it's not a sealed tank, but one with a removeable cap on the top that I often remove to check the level of water. The float is attacked to the pipe (I finally looked). So what I have is a float operated electric switch? I'm such a rookie at this.

    The reason I'm asking is (and you have to understand we haven't had rain for many months, it's really dry here) three months ago I wasn't paying attention to how a helper was using the irrigation and the holding tank went dry! Cost a lot to fill quickly. I don't want to make that mistake again (helper is gone). So I've been climbing the ladder and checking the water level (several times daily, after each irrigation). I learned that if I tapped the float, sometimes that would trigger the motor to start input of water. I became dependent on tapping. I also turned the motor on and off, and that would usually start incoming water. At one point I couldn't reach the float, but when I could, I tied it with a plastic string to the incoming pipe above it so I could always reach it. Now I understand that I was tying it in an off position, from your explanation, so I've cut off the string, but it's been a day and no water is coming in. The well must be getting dry.

    New question: have I damaged (or could I have damaged) the motor by turning it on and off so often and tapping the float? I don't overwater anything, just trying to keep the trees, etc., barely alive until we get a good rain. Thank you for your help.

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    My biggest concert would be letting the well pump run if the well were in fact dry.

    bob...

  6. #6
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    You aren't describing your system very clearly.....

    Describe it from a well to a house or something.

    Do you have a well?

    Or are you buying delivered water for the cistern?

    I think you have this cistern with a submersible pump in it controlled by either a float switch or a float valve like in a toilet tank. Probably a float switch.

    To use a submersible pump you have to have a pressure switch and pressure tank somewhere unless the output gpm of the pump is all used for irrigation.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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    DIY Junior Member DryCalifornian's Avatar
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    Bob, yes, I have the same concern.

    Gary, yes, I do have a well drilled down about 700 feet with a submersible pump with 4 gpm coming into the tank. There is a bladder tank and a motor above ground and an electrical box. There are five irrigation plumbing systems hooked up with manual on/off valves (no timers), and of course, plumbing to the house. I water everything else by hand with six hoses.

    The only reason I bought water to fill the tank was because I wasn't paying attention and used too much in a short period of time and tank went dry. I panicked and instead of waiting for the tank to fill up again (and lose trees and plants from lack of water even for one or two days), I paid someone to fill it again quickly.

    Would the "bladder" be considered the "pressure tank"?

    Have I damaged (or could I have damaged) the motor by turning it on and off so often by tapping the float? It's still working and water is filling the tank, albeit slowly.

    Also, how would I know if the float is operating properly? Could a float go bad or be damaged somehow? Thank you for your help.

  8. #8
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Let's try this again. You have a submersible pump in the well and it pumps from the well into this 5K gal tank, but does the water go through this pressure tank you mention and then into the cistern or is the pressure tank on the other side of the cistern? And if it is, what pump do you have to repressurize the system; is it the "motor" you mention?

    List each part of the system in the proper order from the pump in the well to the garden hoses. Yes the bladder is the pressure tank.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 11-09-2008 at 07:41 PM.
    Gary Slusser Retired (= out of business)
    Click Here to learn how to correctly size or program a water softener.
    CAUTION, as of Nov 12 2013 all YouTube videos showing how to rebuild a Clack valve have an error in them that can cause damage.

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