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Thread: DIY Expansion Tank

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member coolul007's Avatar
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    Default DIY Expansion Tank

    I am just starting to connect a well to a cabin. What is here is a well, Franklin pump 10gal 1/2 hp. Nothing else is connected. I put electricity to the well and it pumped water. Here is my question, I have read all the pros and cons of fiberglass vs. steel expansion tanks and it seems I'm going to replace something in a few years. I was thinking that I could make my own cheaply by capping a 4" x 8' PVC pipe, feeding it at the bottom and allowing the compressed air do the job. it's very scalable by just adding pipe. I also read in the forum about air/water mixing. Is this where this low-cost tank goes awry?
    Thanx

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Bad idea. Way too small as the volume is only 5 gallons. A 10 GPM pump should have at least 30 gallons if not used with a Cycle Stop Valve.

    The air will be absorbed very quickly unless you use some method to add air frequently.

    I haven't heard any cons for a fiberglass tank. Care to share?

  3. #3
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    A used water heater works.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member coolul007's Avatar
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    The cons for fiberglass areI read this on various forums) The are more prone to leaks, the UV destroys them, The bladder is replaceable because it deteriorates, pricy. That's about it for the cons on fiberglass. I have no firsthand experience, this is my first DIY well project. I would like to get ir right and do it for as few dollars as possible, and have it last.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; I would like to get ir right and do it for as few dollars as possible, and have it last.

    You can get two out three choices, IF you want it done right and last. IF you do it cheaply, that is ALL you will get. Put the tank inside the building or in a well house and UV will NOT affect it. Steel tanks with a lining, which is how water storage tanks are made, have a long lifetime. YOU might replace a bladder rather than the tank, but I WOULD NOT, because my time is too valuable, and expensive, to do it. You are trying to replicate the "old" storage tanks with a bubble of air on top of the water. They ONLY worked when they had a "snifter" valve to maintain the air as needed, and your 4" pipe would NOT have any room for one.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member coolul007's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your input. I think I know what I will do. A steel expansion tank (cheaper than Fiberglass), definitely put a shed around all the components, tank, control boxes. The cabin is in a place where it rarely freezes, so that is not a problem, but it rains a lot, northern California near the coast. Again thank you

  7. #7
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The old plain tanks with a floating disk were the best of both worlds. Low air absorbtion and no bag to bust. Have one still working.

  8. #8
    Porky Cutter,MGWC Porky's Avatar
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    I recommend that you look into a Pside-Kick http://www.cyclestopvalves.com/pdf/p...k-brochure.pdf. It includes everything you need, it's simple to install and takes up very little space. It can be installed under a cabinet or in a closet.
    Porky Cutter, MGWC
    (Master Ground Water Consultant)

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member coolul007's Avatar
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    I looked at the Pside-kick and have a question, all of the other systems seem to have a 30/50 pressure switch, Pside-kick is 40/60. I have a long run that I am planning on using PVC piping, so I am concerned about pressure.

  10. #10
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Sched 40 PVC is rated way above that so would not be a concern.

    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pv...res-d_796.html

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member coolul007's Avatar
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    I have another question, do I need a check valve above ground right out of the well. The well is somewhere between 50-75 feet deep. I thoroughly appreciate all the help I got here, it has given me enough confidence to be dangerous.

  12. #12
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    The only check valve you need is the one on the submersible pump itself.

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