yeah people like the idea of the "replaceable bladder" in those starite fiberglass tanks. only tells me they dont have too much faith in their product. i've seen alot of premature failures with them over the years.
if i had to go fiberglass.. i'd probably first go with flex-lite, then wellmate, then starite signature. but customer gets what customer wants.. i know how that goes.
H2S is Hydrogen Sulfide. Some areas have H2S naturally in the water. It gives off a rotten egg smell. Mixing the water with air will get rid of most of the smell. So there are areas, apparently like in Texas Wellmans part of the country, where the old style air over water tanks are the only way to go. A bladder tank doesn’t let air mix with the water, and won’t get rid of the rotten egg smell. If I had H2S, I would also use a standard air over water tank system, and the larger the tank, the larger the air to water ratio.
However, most of the country does not have H2S. Where H2S is not present, I would only use a bladder tank. Back before bladder tanks existed, the everyday problems with standard air over water tanks were common knowledge. A bleeder orifice, check valve, Schrader valve, and air volume control are needed to maintain the air to water ration in a standard bladderless tank. These little parts are notorious for causing problems. The little hole in the bleeder will clog up. The above ground check valve wears out, which keeps the bleeder from opening up. The Schrader valve has to be in a fairly clean well house. Because the Schrader is where the air gets into the system, and I have seen them sucking in chicken feathers and such which isn’t good. The Schrader valve can plug up or start spurting water. If it spurts water, usually somebody will just screw a cap on the Schrader valve, which renders it inoperable. Then the Air Volume Control or AVC in the side of the tank, which lets out excess air, is always clogging up, spurting water, or the float in the tank just falls off. Regular maintenance is needed to maintain these parts and to make sure you have enough air in the tank.
The bladder tank was invented to eliminate these problems. The bladder separates the water from the air, so the air never needs recharging. This eliminates the four little moving parts that always caused problems with the old style tanks. The bladder tank basically requires no maintenance. And as Justin so eloquently put it a while back, people just won’t maintain a water system. They want to turn on a faucet when they want water, and turn off a faucet when they don’t, and nothing else. If you leave one thing for the homeowner to check or maintain, it won’t get done, the system will fail, and the pump man is responsible, because he didn’t install a maintenance free system. So I would never install a bladderless tank unless I had to deal with H2S or something similar.
A few “tens of gallons” stored in a tank would be nice for the first flush or two, but won’t last long when the power is off for three days. I would keep a generator handy, and run it once a day while everyone showers. Then I would fill some jugs for drinking water and fill a bathtub before shutting off the generator. A bathtub will hold more usable water than the largest pressure tank available. You can dip flushing and washing water from the tub for a long time.
The little pump on that station is called a “pressure maintenance” or “jockey pump”. We don’t like the word “jockey pump” as that implies the pump will jockey on and off. Which is what happens with other brands of pump stations. With a CSV, that PM pump will run steady as long as more than 2 GPM is being used, so we prefer the name “pressure maintenance” or “PM pump”. On a big system the PM pump runs 24/7. This delivers small flow rates efficiently, and takes lots of wear and tear off the larger pump(s). The PM pump handles everything from 0 flow to about 50 GPM. When more than 50 GPM is being used, the pressure drops and a larger pump comes on to supply more water. Then if even more water is needed, even more pumps come on line.
When the flow decreases and less than 50 GPM is being used, the CSV on the PM pump builds enough pressure to shut off the larger pump(s). We prefer to turn on more and larger pumps when needed, than to let a large pump cycle itself to death into a big pressure tank. For instance, you could use a 100 HP pump cycling on and off into a 15,000 gallon pressure tank. We prefer a 10 HP, 30 HP and a 60 HP pump using CSV’s and a little 80 gallon tank. Running all three pumps at the same time will give you the 100 HP volume when it is needed. But one pump by itself, or any combination of these pumps running together can efficiently supply any amount of water between zero flow and the maximum flow. And the whole thing runs on a single 80 gallon pressure tank.
The following picture will give you a better indication of just how small a pressure tank can be, when the pumps flow is controlled by a CSV. This is a 15,000 gallon pressure tank that has been replaced by a CSV and an 80 gallon bladder tank. I thought Justin would like this one, because it is in Florida. We have a lot of others working this way in different parts of the US as well as other countries.
That's what I call "Gap Action" Cary. The small one takes up the slack when the big ones aren't needed.
Never heard it called that but, that is exactly what it does.