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Thread: Bladder tank air pressure keeps rising over a couple weeks

  1. #1

    Question Bladder tank air pressure keeps rising over a couple weeks

    Odd one indeed- Water pressure is set to ~30-60, air pressure in bladder tank when empty is ~28. I have reset this a couple times. First was a few weeks after a water softner service and I thought maybe the service person added air incorrectly. Not the case, it was back up to 55 (air pressure when pump power off, tank empty of H2O). Of course, short cycling was what I was chasing.

    What would cause a bladder based tank to increase air pressure? Schrader valve seems fine, pump control working well...about a 7 yr old house. No water issues at tap, just short cycling after a few weeks/month or so...

    Ideas? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Maybe there's a fitting that allows the water flow through it to suck air into the water. It would have to be on the pressure tank or back to the softener. If it was in front of the softener the resin tank would have to be full of air for any to get to the bottom of the tank and out into the plumbing.

    I can't think of anything else....

    After thinking about what I've said above, I don't think that can be the cauee.
    Last edited by Gary Slusser; 08-30-2009 at 09:03 PM.
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    DIY Senior Member Bob999's Avatar
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    I wonder if the bladder could have a (small) leak allowing water to get into the air compartment of the tank--as the water leaks in the air pressure would increase.

    If this is in fact what is going on it will become clear at some point as water displaces all air.

  4. #4
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Yep the bladder is busted. I have seen this many times.

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    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    At first I thought the same thing but when the tank is drained to check the pressure, the bladder would have to seal or the water and air above the bladder would escape.

    So drain the tank again and shake it, listen for water sloshing around.
    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.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Bad tank, common thing.

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    DIY Junior Member ptlabiss's Avatar
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    Default Same problem but different

    I have basically the same problem. A while back, I had bad contacts on my pump control electronics causing the pump relay to chatter - not good for the pump! I cleaned up and tightened all the contacts on the electronics and solved that problem. A few weeks later the pressure gauge is showing strange readings. Relay kicks out at 60 lbs but when water is sourced, the gauge drops quickly to 40. I shut off the ball valve after the tank (feed to the house) and drain the tank. Bladder pressure at 46 so I bleed it to 38 and put everything back together. Working good at this point. A few weeks later, pump is kicking on 2-3 times/toilet flush etc. Tank feels empty. Drain tank and check pressure - now it's higher than my gauge goes (50 lbs). I bleed the Schroeder valve back to 38. Working good again. Next day pressure is up to 45 or so. Seems the bladder is intact? Do I have a bad tank? It's about 7 years old. If my tank is bad, I have a whole house filter after the tank. Should I move that before the tank to keep the crud from getting into the tank?

    Thanks

    Pete

  8. #8
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    It is not "crud" getting into your tank that caused the bladder to bust. The bladder is busted from the pump cycling on and off too many times. Cycling bends the bladder like bending a wire back and forth until it breaks. 7 years is about the averge life of a pump and tank that cycles "normally". Burned points in the pressure switch, burned start cap, and busted bladder in the tank are the first indications that your pump is cycling everything to death. Next will be the pump. Using a Cycle Stop Valve eliminates 75% of pump cycing and makes everything last longer. Plus with a CSV you only need a 4.4 gallon size tank for a replacement.

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    DIY Junior Member ptlabiss's Avatar
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    This is valuable info that I will be checking out.

    Thanks
    Pete

    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    It is not "crud" getting into your tank that caused the bladder to bust. The bladder is busted from the pump cycling on and off too many times. Cycling bends the bladder like bending a wire back and forth until it breaks. 7 years is about the averge life of a pump and tank that cycles "normally". Burned points in the pressure switch, burned start cap, and busted bladder in the tank are the first indications that your pump is cycling everything to death. Next will be the pump. Using a Cycle Stop Valve eliminates 75% of pump cycing and makes everything last longer. Plus with a CSV you only need a 4.4 gallon size tank for a replacement.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member clarkewhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    Yep the bladder is busted. I have seen this many times.
    I seem to be having the same problem. The tank is maybe 3 years old. Set pressure to 18 psi. A week later it is up to 30 or so. I am a bit confused on what is going on? Is this a small leak that is causing water to enter the bladder compressing the air? If so, kinda sucks having to replace tank so soon. Probably warrantied, but who saves receipts.

  11. #11
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Ja, the rubber bladder acts like a checkvalve, letting water in but not back out. As Cary said, a very common symptom probably brought on by excessive cycling. Consider the busted bladder a cheap lesson... the pump is probably much more expensive and likely the next thing to go.

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