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Thread: sizing new pressure tank and CSV for use with Clack air injector prior to softner

  1. #1
    Residential Design and Consultant knowhow's Avatar
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    Default sizing new pressure tank and CSV for use with Clack air injector prior to softner

    Hello Gary Slusser and others,

    My pressure tank seems to have bit the (iron) dust, so I am trying to decide which size tank to replace it with and whether or not to use a CSV (Cycle Stop Valve) with it.

    My existing system : 1/3hp? or 1/2hp? submersible well pump, 1" pvc into basement, 1" Clack air injector (I added), 1" check valve, 44 gallon well-x-trol WX-250 pressure tank, square D 40/60 control, 8" x 48" precipitation? tank, 9" x 54" pHneutralizer with Fleck 5600, 24,000 grain softener with Fleck 7000.

    I get aprox. 6 gpm out of the drain valve at the pressure tank which is located after the Clack air injector.

    My exterior spigots are isolated from the conditioned water, they exit after the wel-x-trol and have inline wound filters to trap iron and sediment.

    The reason I would like to add a CSV (besides it's benefits to the well pump etc.) is because I use standard impulse type sprinklers to water my lawn and when the pressure drops down to 40 psi they don't work properly, so I would like constant pressure.

    I called a well guy, I know, who suggested upgrading my existing pressure tank to the 62 gallon WX-251 or the 81 gallon WX-255 and using a 50/70 control setting. He didn't know anything about the CSV.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I have no experience with the Clack air injector but if it works on the venturi principle it probably will not work with the CSV.

    You should be tuning your sprinkler zones so that the pump runs constantly at a high enough pressure.

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    LLigetfa, thanks for the reply,

    Yeah, I think the Clack is a venturi type injector. I didn't think it would work well with a CSV.

    I don't have a tuneable sprinkler system. Just 2 hoses with 2 impulse type sprinklers and when the psi drops they don't rotate until the system re-pressurizes.

    I forgot to add in my initial thread, that I am considering using the Wel-x-trol digital pressure switch which lets you do a 10 psi variable versus the standard 20 psi, like 50/60 or 60/70. But, I am concerned because it is a digital product and I'm not sure if it would last like a standard pressure switch.

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    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    There are few things you need to determine before forging ahead. First, you need to know what range of pressure the Clack air injector works over. Depending on what the pump produces, it might not suck air through the entire range of pressure.

    Then you need to plot out what the GPM curves are. At higher pressure, you will have fewer GPM.

    Lastly, you need to know how many GPM the sprinklers use.

    Again, the goal is to use exactly as much GPM as the pump can produce at the desired pressure so that the pump never shuts off while using the sprinklers. If the pump cannot produce enough resulting in a pressure drop, then you are snookered. If the pump produces more than the sprinklers use, the pressure will raise enough to shut off which is to be avoided. In that case, add a third sprinkler or increase the pressure to put the pump onto a lower GPM part of the curve. If your air injector draws air at the higher pressures, you could simply increase both the start and the shut-off pressure settings.

    You didn't say what model Clack air injector you use and if it is adjustable. You may be able to tune it to adjust the GPM to match what the sprinklers use.
    http://www.ddwaterservices.com/water...02Injector.pdf

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    Residential Design and Consultant knowhow's Avatar
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    LLigetfa, thank you for your input,

    I think I understand what you are saying. This is getting complicated, but I may be up for the task. I'll just need to learn how to plot GPM curves. Then I'll need to try to figure out the GPM of the cheapo Orbit impact sprinklers. I understand the goal. If I have 6 GPM at 50 psi and two sprinklers which function well at 3 GPM each then the pump should stay on and hopefully the Clack works properly at this 50 psi also.

    thank you for the link with the Clack info. I like the idea of a strainer (as long as it does not further restrict flow, and is self cleaning) and pressure gauge and would add unions for easy dis-assembly and cleaning of these components.

    I think I have the U1020 but there is a schraeder valve on mine instead of the threaded white piece (mine may be an older model) but it is adjustable. The Ohio Pure Water site shows it to require a minimum 1.5 gpm & maximum 15 gpm flow rate. I'm not sure I understand, I guess I'd have to call Clack to ask what range of pressure it works with.

    My last raw water test showed Iron at 0.19 mg/L when tested at the pressure tank drain valve. I don't know if it is ferric or ferrous. I assume it is ferrous because that is why I would have added the aerator. I will need to test it again to confirm. This seems to me to be a low amount of Iron compared to what I remember having had in the past. I wonder if I could get away without the air injector? My concern would be whether the amount of iron in my water could change significantly and whether the current Iron form and/or content could contaminate my pH neutralizer media or softener media.

    I wonder how badly the Clack U1020 restricts flow? I did a search but no answers. Anyone know?

    So, once I get the range of pressure info from Clack I'll post it and move forward.

  6. #6
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Plotting the GPM curve is easy peasy. Open a test spigot while watching the pressure stay constant and time how long it takes to fill a 5 gallon bucket. Start with it wide open and then repeat with it dialed back. Do this at 5 or 10 PSI increments and you have your plot.

    To determine if the Clack U1020 is sucking in air at the various pressures, slightly touch your finger to the end of the air valve and feel for suction while listening for a change in sound.

  7. #7
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Using any pressure switch with a 10 PSI differential instead of a 20 PSI differential will decrease the tank draw down by half. So you actually need twice the size of presure tank.

    If that air injector will really work at 1.5 GPM, then it will work fine with a CSV.

  8. #8
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    If that air injector will really work at 1.5 GPM, then it will work fine with a CSV.
    That is a big IF. The PDF I linked makes no such claim. They say 3 GPM for the U1020. I have the U1031 which claims 4 GPM at 60 but with my 1/2 HP pump and 15 feet static water level, it cannot make air at 50 PSI, let alone the 60 PSI mentioned in the PDF.

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    Residential Design and Consultant knowhow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    Using any pressure switch with a 10 PSI differential instead of a 20 PSI differential will decrease the tank draw down by half. So you actually need twice the size of presure tank.


    If that air injector will really work at 1.5 GPM, then it will work fine with a CSV.
    Gottcha, and I assume it would cycle the well pump twice as much. I was just trying to figure out a way to make my system work better.
    I was told by the well guy that came over to assess my situation that it would be best to get a larger pressure tank and crank it up to 50/70. While I was looking at the well-x-trol products online I saw they were offering the new Well-X1 which uses their digital pressure switch. From what I've read it is best to stay away from these and stick with the Square-D. I'll need to determine whether to purchase a 40/60 or 50/70 switch.


    I still need to contact Clack to ask them. I suppose it will end up being a trial and error type of game for me.
    I think it will be necessary to add a pressure gauge prior to the air injector to help determine the psi prior to the injector and well tank, but how does one determine the GPM at this point? Do I add a flow gauge. http://www.professionalequipment.com/water-pressure-gauge-water-flow-rate-meter-995-01sku397-654/water-pressure-gauges/

  10. #10
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowhow View Post
    ...but how does one determine the GPM at this point?
    Perhaps you misunderstood me as I explained it. All you need to do is to draw off water at the same rate the pump is making water. Essentially with the valve opened "just so" the pressure will hold, neither rising, nor falling. Catch it into a 5 gallon bucket and do the math.

    There is very little value in knowing the pressure before the air injector. What would you do with that info?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Perhaps you misunderstood me as I explained it. All you need to do is to draw off water at the same rate the pump is making water. Essentially with the valve opened "just so" the pressure will hold, neither rising, nor falling. Catch it into a 5 gallon bucket and do the math.

    There is very little value in knowing the pressure before the air injector. What would you do with that info?
    LLigetfa, Thank you for following up.

    I thought it would help if I knew the PSI and GPM so that I knew how much the air injector was restricting the flow and pressure.

    I know what you are saying about finding out what the GPM is at that certain pressure window.
    I just don't know if I can do that as my system stands now (explained below), but I will try.

    I just finished draining the pressure tank down to test it and check the pre-charge, as per valveman's directions.
    BTW, I have another thread going here at the Pumps and Tanks Well forum titled "Testing Pressure Tank".
    I am still unsure as to whether my pressure tank is bad or not. I will copy and paste what I've written below, to the other thread I have going here.

    I ran water until the pump turned on at the 40 psi cut-in, filled the tank hit 60 psi and shut off, then I shut the power off, isolated the tank, and drained it down.
    I only got 5 gallons of water out. With the tank empty I used a tire gauge to test the pressure at the schrader valve on top. It read 38 PSI.
    Then I closed the valve turned the power back on (tank still isolated) and the pressure switch just made a click-click, click-click sound so I shut the power off.
    I opened the drain to see if any more water would come out but only about a quart more came out. I turned the power back on and it made the same click-click sound a few times so I shut it off again. Then I opened the isolation valve (no water running anywhere), turned on the power, and the pump came on, pumped up to 60 shut off dropped to 40 came on 5 seconds, pumped up to 60, 5 seconds, dropped to 40. It did this short cycling 5 times and then stopped, psi remained at 50 +/-.

    I still wanted to check the GPM, so I opened the drain valve and filled a 5 gallon bucket. It took 32 seconds. The water which was clear earlier was now pretty rusty.
    When I shut off the drain valve the pump short cycled again same as before, 5 times at 5 second intervals, then stopped. Two minutes later it short cycled one more time.
    I repeated this to confirm the GPM test and it filed the second bucket in 30 seconds. The water was less rusty but the pump still short cycled 5 times then two minutes later one last time. There was no water running anywhere else in the house.

    Fifteen minutes later, my wife used the kitchen sink and the pump came on, it seemed normal. It took its time to climb to 60 psi then stopped and settled in at 47 psi and stayed there.

    So, I am assuming that the pressure tank's bladder is bad, because only 5 gallons drained out and I should have gotten aprox. 12 gallons out of a 44 gallon Well-x-trol.
    So, I guess the bladder is waterlogged? I don't understand why the pre-charge remains good at 38 PSI. I added air a year ago to bring it up to this 38 PSI and it has remained there.

    I'm going to go down to the basement after dinner and try your suggestion about seeing where the GPM stands at that certain pressure window.

    It would be great to get some input as to whether others here think my tank is bad or not. I am concerned about killing my well pump with all the short cycling, etc.. I am shopping for a new well tank and think I will go with a Wel-x-trol WX-251 (62 Gal) or 255 (81 Gal) instead of the 250 (44 Gal) I now have.
    I have to decide on a 40/60 or a 50/70 Square-d pressure switch. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Then, later, I will try to determine if I can use a CSV with my new tank. I will plumb it in a way that I can add the CSV simply, unions etc., if it works out to be appropriate.

    Have a nice evening.

  12. #12
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    You should not be using a bladder tank with air entrained water. The iron starts to precipitate immediately upon contact with the air and it builds up between the tank and the bladder. What you should have is a hydro-pneumatic tank with an AVC to bleed off excess air.



    Then maybe follow it with a contact tank.


  13. #13
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    If you install the injector after the pressure tank and have a correctly sized retention tank with a bottom drain and water out the top, you don't need two tanks. An 8" c 48" is too small.

    http://www.apwinc.com/retention_tank.html
    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.

  14. #14
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I'm quite certain that the venturi will not draw much air if placed after the tank due to less pressure differential. The venturi relies upon the greater pressure that the pump produces for maximum air draw.

    Also, the venturi requires a high enough GPM to work. When placed between the pump and tank, the GPM is fairly constant based on pump curve. When placed after the tank, the GPM is only what is used at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    You should not be using a bladder tank with air entrained water. The iron starts to precipitate immediately upon contact with the air and it builds up between the tank and the bladder. What you should have is a hydro-pneumatic tank with an AVC to bleed off excess air.



    Then maybe follow it with a contact tank.

    Thank you for all the info and suggestions. I just don't have the space for the Wellmate HP-18 (80 gallon) tank because of the component (AVC) on the top. I am also concerned about the drawdown, if I end up not being able to use a CSV. The drawdown for the WX-255 is 27.5 gallons at 30/50 versus 17.8 with the HP-18.

    I understand the iron problems associated with using a bladder tank. But, I may just have to live with the shorter lifespan of a bladder tank, unless I can use a smaller version of the wellmate with a CSV. But even then, I would want to add a contact tank as you suggest, to replace my existing 8" x 48" tank (which I don't think does much, if anything) and all of a sudden I'm spending more than I can afford and adding in more components to maintain. I realize there is no simple inexpensive solution.

    I used to have a UT-80 as my retention tank when I had an air compressor type injection system. I still have the compressor but I gave the UT-80 away. I never liked that system because of the noise and maintenance. For some reason the amount of iron in my water has declined considerably over the years so I installed the Clack air injector instead and added a softener.

    This morning, I was wondering why I just can't relocate the air injector (aka micronizer?) (aka venturi?) after the pressure tank.
    Then I saw Gary Slusser's suggestion. Thanks Gary! And then your reply. Darn, why is water conditioning so complex?

    Wife says "I told you we should have just hooked up to city water". But I was always happy to put up with the difficulties in return for the feeling of accomplishment and independence in knowing that I could produce clean fresh water for us, especially when all our neighbors hooked up to city water and I now have an aquifer of my own.
    Now I'm not so sure I made the right decision. I'm glad I've gained some knowledge about water conditioning over the years. It helps me to assist my customers who have well water and no access to city water.

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