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

  1. #31
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I have a question. Where do you tap in for the outside hose bib that you use for watering? Is it raw water, iron filtered, or softened?

    I have four different hose bib outlets; raw for sprinklers away from the house, iron filtered hard water for soaker hoses, and filtered soft water (hot and cold) for washing.

    My equipment is down in my crawlspace which is height limited so cannot fit a taller tank. Both my iron filter and softener poke up through the floor under the stairs where the access hatch is to the crawlspace. No room there for a taller tank either. If I want to add more retention and/or more drawdown capacity, I need to daisy chain tanks to do it.

  2. #32
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    The injector goes between the pump and the pressure switch. It is a major enough constriction to make the pump pressure go higher than what the pressure switch sees.
    I say the injector should go after the pressure tank and be the correct model based on the pressure switch range the system is operated at.

    Installing it before the pressure tank and pressure switch causes rust build up in the water line immediately after the injector and into the switch and its nipple. That in many cases causes problems due to blockage which stops the switch from seeing pressure changes in real time causing a lag in pump operation of both starting and stopping as it should. The cure is to clean the rust out of the line and the switch nipple and the switch which is a real PIA. The frequency depends on the amount of soluble iron in the water.

    And since the injector only works based on the pressure switch range, your additional pressure should not be increasing the volume of air as you assumed.
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  3. #33
    That's all folks! Gary Slusser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowhow View Post
    Thanks Gary,

    It would be great if I could put the air injector after the pressure tank.
    You can, iMO that is the only place it should go. See my reply above.

    Another option is to go with the advice of someone that has serviced more than just his own air injection system. That would be me or LLigetfa.
    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.

  4. #34
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I fully agree that putting the injector before the switch does cause rust to eventually plug up the nipple and get under the diaphragm. I was even starting to respect your advice until you let loose the following BS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    And since the injector only works based on the pressure switch range, your additional pressure should not be increasing the volume of air as you assumed.
    The injector works by having enough of a pressure differential across it to create suction through the vortex in the venturi. It must have been lost on you that one of the original complaints the OP has is of not enough pressure, hence the desire to put in a CSV. Putting the injector after the tank will cause enough of a flow restriction to have the opposite effect of what the CSV would have provided, namely a pressure drop commensurate with flow.

    The other complaint the OP has is cycle time. The injector presently acts like a dole valve to slow the refilling of the tank, essentially extending that portion of the cycle. Moving the injector to the other side of the tank, will slow the draw and speed up the refill.

  5. #35
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Slusser View Post
    You can, iMO that is the only place it should go. See my reply above.

    Another option is to go with the advice of someone that has serviced more than just his own air injection system. That would be me or LLigetfa.
    LOL Ja, take advice from some fly-by-night guy that lives in a motorhome parked in a Walmart parking lot leaching free internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    There is very little value in knowing the pressure before the air injector. What would you do with that info?
    Well... there is value, to prove Gary wrong! Put a gauge before and after the injector and see the pressure differential while testing the air draw. Then do the same after the tank. Don't take my word for it and certainly don't take Gary's word! Test it for yourself.

  6. #36
    Residential Design and Consultant knowhow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    What Craig described there is a contact tank. Since he uses the top port for the exit, the tank will not hold air so it is just like a waterlogged tank. You would still need a bladder tank after it as he said.

    You could use a galvanized tank like he said but instead of using the top port, use the highest side port to exit. That way it still holds air so it offers drawdown capacity. The air then gives you some push for when you flush it. At the bottom of every pump cycle a little air will burp out.
    I'm considering doing the contact tank setup like Craig described.
    I've searched for galvanized tanks online and all I came up with was this one from Sears in stock at a store a couple of hours away from me
    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_08302951000P

    I'm not sure of the quality and I'm skeptical because it states that it is glass lined. Looks like the bottom drain is too far up the side of the tank to use for cleaning out the sediment easily. I can't tell from the photos if it has an opening on the top for the supply.

    My other concern with this tank is the stated drawdown, 6 gallons at 40/60 PSI. Could this affect the performance of the bladder tank located downstream?

    I'll be calling some local supply houses tomorrow to see if I can locate a galvy tank that will work.

    Thanks for the advice

  7. #37
    Residential Design and Consultant knowhow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    I have a question. Where do you tap in for the outside hose bib that you use for watering? Is it raw water, iron filtered, or softened?

    I have four different hose bib outlets; raw for sprinklers away from the house, iron filtered hard water for soaker hoses, and filtered soft water (hot and cold) for washing.

    My equipment is down in my crawlspace which is height limited so cannot fit a taller tank. Both my iron filter and softener poke up through the floor under the stairs where the access hatch is to the crawlspace. No room there for a taller tank either. If I want to add more retention and/or more drawdown capacity, I need to daisy chain tanks to do it.
    I tapped in before the conditioning components. After the P tank.
    It is raw water filtered with a wound filter for each of 3 spigots (hose bib outlets)
    I also have a spigot in the garage which is softened and goes thru a shower valve so I have hot and cold for washing off my mountain bike after those muddy winter rides.

    Wow, your space restrictions are really limiting. I have much more space but height is and issue.

  8. #38
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Good luck finding a galvanized tank that is made well enough to last. I'm sure there are some out there. I've heard of some folk using cheap electric water heaters as sediment collectors/contact tanks. They just shorten the dip tube a little and replace the cheap plastic draincock with a good full port ballvalve. Not sure how long they last but they come already insulated so as not to sweat.

    There has been some reports of problems with Wellmate composite tanks but I think some of them may have to do with excess cycling. My Wellmate tank that I installed in '99 looks as good as the day it went in and had only the AVC replaced recently. I still have the original AVC as a spare which cleaned up well with a soak in Super Iron Out. I would not hesitate to buy another Wellmate.

  9. #39
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowhow View Post
    I tapped in before the conditioning components. After the P tank...
    If iron staining is not a problem with your sprinklers then maybe you could totally rethink the entire setup. I would consider a two-stage setup provided your pump is up to the task.

    Run your pump at the highest pressure (60/80?) it (and the conditioning system) is capable of into a bladder tank. The sprinklers see this higher pressure. The drawdown is less at higher pressures but the pump may be running at the edge of its curve so the GPM self-regulates somewhat. Just make sure it cannot deadhead!

    Put the injector after the tank Assuming there is enough flow most of the time for aeration. Put a pressure regulator after the conditioning equipment to give you constant (50 PSI?) pressure in the house. The pressure drop across the injector (and across the entire conditioning system) should be evened out by the regulator.

    This is all based on supposition that all components can handle the pressure and that the pump curve is suitable.

  10. #40
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    This is all based on supposition that all components can handle the pressure and that the pump curve is suitable.
    I doubt that the injector would work at those pressures. You would probably have to drop about 20 PSI to get it to work. So, 40/60 at the pump and 35/40 PSI at the regulator.

    Just curious what about the air compressor was bad enough to abandon? I've been thinking about adding a compressor to mine so I can have better pressure and more complete aeration. My dealer is trying to sell me an Excalibur system, claiming it will give higher flow with less pressure drop. It supposedly has the injector inside the unit but then it cannot have very much contact time even with the two tank model that I don't have room for. Not sure why it would work with higher pressures either so I am somewhat skeptical.

  11. #41
    Residential Design and Consultant knowhow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    Good luck finding a galvanized tank that is made well enough to last. I'm sure there are some out there. I've heard of some folk using cheap electric water heaters as sediment collectors/contact tanks. They just shorten the dip tube a little and replace the cheap plastic draincock with a good full port ballvalve. Not sure how long they last but they come already insulated so as not to sweat.

    There has been some reports of problems with Wellmate composite tanks but I think some of them may have to do with excess cycling. My Wellmate tank that I installed in '99 looks as good as the day it went in and had only the AVC replaced recently. I still have the original AVC as a spare which cleaned up well with a soak in Super Iron Out. I would not hesitate to buy another Wellmate.
    I thought of the water heater tank also, but they are not cheap anymore. The benefit of using one is that with some models you can add an additional anode and yes, I always change out the draincock. The problem is that we're back to having a waterlogged tank with no air. I did not understand why I needed that anyway, I thought I just needed a tank to precipitate the iron out prior to it getting to the bladder P tank. Why can't I just use a spin down sediment filter after the injector prior to the P tank, like this http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/spin-down-filter-strainers.html ? Is it because the iron doesn't get fully oxidized by the injector? Does the oxidized iron still need contact time to precipitate out?

  12. #42
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    I don't know how much iron you have to begin with nor do I know what percentage of the pump cycle your injector draws air or how much air. Most injector makers say that they need to draw air for at least half of the pump cycle. Then the water from the other half of the cycle needs to co-mingle with the aerated water in the retention tank for a period of at least 2 minutes, so the flow rate is a factor.

    My 30 gallon precipitation tank has a drawdown capacity of 6.6 gallons but the total water capacity I'm unsure of. It tops out at about half-full so that could be 15 gallons. Some day I should measure it. So, if I draw off 6.6 gallons from 15, that would be 8.4 on the low side. Worst case, 2 minutes of contact time would mean a flow rate of 4.2 GPM if my math is right.

    Gary tells me that I don't have enough contact time, that I should use a contact tank with a top exit. I have some iron bleed through my iron filter to my softener which fouls the resin. I've taken a water sample after the iron filter to my dealer for testing and he could not detect any iron so either none bled through at the time I drew the sample or his test failed to detect it. I read that some tests don't detect ferric, only ferrous iron.

    The amount of iron in my water would clog an element type filter quickly.

  13. #43
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowhow View Post
    Why can't I just use a spin down sediment filter after the injector prior to the P tank, like this http://www.cleanwaterstore.com/spin-down-filter-strainers.html ? Is it because the iron doesn't get fully oxidized by the injector?
    Sorry, I missed your first question. The precipitated iron is so sticky that it would clog and not wash off a spin-down filter. The stuff is like baby shit on a mohair blanket.

    Also, the particle size is still too small to not go through the filter. It is just because that it clumps together that it can be trapped in a media bed type filter and then too, only if you don't exceed the service flow rate. For a larger SFR, you also need a much larger backwash rate. BW rate is double the SFR.

  14. #44
    Residential Design and Consultant knowhow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    If iron staining is not a problem with your sprinklers then maybe you could totally rethink the entire setup. I would consider a two-stage setup provided your pump is up to the task.

    Run your pump at the highest pressure (60/80?) it (and the conditioning system) is capable of into a bladder tank. The sprinklers see this higher pressure. The drawdown is less at higher pressures but the pump may be running at the edge of its curve so the GPM self-regulates somewhat. Just make sure it cannot deadhead!

    Put the injector after the tank Assuming there is enough flow most of the time for aeration. Put a pressure regulator after the conditioning equipment to give you constant (50 PSI?) pressure in the house. The pressure drop across the injector (and across the entire conditioning system) should be evened out by the regulator.

    This is all based on supposition that all components can handle the pressure and that the pump curve is suitable.
    Deadhead? What does that mean?

    I'm getting overwhelmed, I really appreciate all your and others suggestions and ideas but unless someone talks me out of it, I'm just going to go out and pickup an 81 gallon WX-255 for $600 and throw on a new tee package including a 40/60? 50/70? switch for $150. Cut the 1" pvc supply, pull out the injector, clean it, add a couple of pvc unions to a section of pipe with the injector flanked by two air gauges and a new 1-1/2" spin down filter, and drop it back in-line. Now I'll be able to determine the pressure drop across the injector pre P tank. I'll also be able to pull the injector to clean it and I can take the whole assembly and throw it into a similar setup post P tank, for testing. Then all I'll have to do is buy a CSV, ask valveman where to put it, throw it in, cross my fingers and see if it works. Oh yeah and someday down the road replace my undersized contact/retention tank with something more suitable, and see how it works both pre and post P tank.

    Any opinion on whether or not to use the 1" check valve that comes with the new tee assembly? My existing tee setup has one on it. I don't know if the well pump has one, and I'm not going to pull it to find out. Is there a way to test if there is one and if it's working?

    Thanks for all your advice and for all the brainstorming. If money and space were not an issue I'd really enjoy building a primo system with testing flexibility in order to help myself, and others with similar water issues, check out different options.

  15. #45
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knowhow View Post
    Does the oxidized iron still need contact time to precipitate out?
    Dang, missed that Q as well. Think of the precipitation process kind of like making butter. It takes time for the tiny particles to glob together.

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