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Thread: Upgrading very old pressure tank

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member sbeausol's Avatar
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    Default Upgrading very old pressure tank

    I'm one year into a new house we bought that was built in 1971. Water is served from a well that I don't have a lot of specific info on. In 2010, there was a 1/2 HP Goulds submersible pump model 5gs05 (5GPM) installed set at 300' using 1" poly. I spoke to the installer and the only extra detail they could give me was that when they shocked the well and flushed it all day, they didn't come close to running out of water. When someone is taking a shower and nothing else, the pump kicks in at what looks like 30 PSI and runs for 45sec to hit 60 PSI. During a typical shower the pump kicks in 2-3 times.

    Inside the house I have a harvard mark 10 tank that is as tall as I am ~70", and the pump installer tells me it is an 80 gallon galvanized tank, likely installed in 1971. It is in need of replacement soon. I'm told I can replace the current tank with a 20-30 gallon amtrol tank which would suitably replace the current tank. The house is a 3 bed 2 bath with two adults and a child right now. If things work out, we will hopefully have a second child in the coming years. I have plans to remodel the master bath, and the wife has mentioned the possibility of adding a few shower heads in the new bathroom. Here are my questions:

    1) Using the methods for estimating demand, it seems like my current demand would be about 9-10 GPM. Should we go with an extra shower head that load could move up to somewhere around 12-15 GPM. With my current pump, can I meet that demand moving to a 20-30 gallon Amtrol?

    2) Based on my current demand, can a CSV work for me with the recommended 4.4 Gal tank? It seems like the CSV system is limited by the output of the pump in the well, or alternatively would require a larger than 4.4 gallon tank?

  2. #2
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    A ˝ HP pumping from 300’ won’t deliver much water. It could even be a 5 GPM pump at that depth. But it doesn’t matter how deep the pump is set, what matters is the pumping water level in the well. Even though the pump is set at 300’, it is only lifting from the actual water level in the well.

    The fact that the pressure still hits 60 and shuts off the pump when a shower is running means that the pump can deliver more than you are using. But if you add extra showerheads, that may no longer be the case.

    A CSV can control the flow from the pump to match the amount being used. This would keep the pressure at a constant 50 PSI for as long as the shower is running, instead of dropping to 30 and spiking at 60 several times during a shower. 50 PSI constant will seem like much better pressure in the shower than when the pressure is bouncing between 30 and 60. However, the CSV can only do this if the pump is large enough to handle the amount of water being used. If the pumping level in the well is only like 80’ deep, then a 10 GPM, 1/2HP pump can supply a lot of water. The deeper it is to water, the less the pump can supply. I would test it out by running enough hoses to keep the pressure at about 50 PSI, then measure how many GPM you are getting in a bucket.

    If the pump can supply enough water, then the CSV with the 4.5 gallon tank is all you need. Adding a larger tank will not help, and will actually make the pressure problem worse, as the pump just sees the big tank as another demand it has to fill.

    You can’t purchase a regular size tank for what the complete Pside-Kick kit will cost, and the CSV will work better than a room full of pressure tanks.



  3. #3
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    I just saw the 5GS05 model number. That pump will deliver a mx of about 7 GPM. So don't put too many shower heads on at the same time or you will need a larger pump.

  4. #4
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    If you really want to minimize the number of times your pump cycles, install the CSV and the biggest bladder tank you can reasonably fit in the space.

    Valveman likes to sell the virtues of the tiny tank, but it will not stop the pump from turning on every time you run the water for a few minutes to wash dishes or brush your teeth. It will only stop the pump from cycling on and off while the water is running.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member sbeausol's Avatar
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    I'm confident the tank is on it's last legs...
    for those interested, this is what I'm dealing with:


    Pump control box:


    Pressure switch:

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    WOW! I haven't seen one of those in years, I thought they all had returned to Mother Earth.

    A WX 255 would be a good replacement for this tank, the physical dimensions are pretty close so it will fit in the same space. The 255 will give about 23 gallons of drawdown at 40/60'so the pump isn't cycling all the time and potentially over heating the windings.

    I have no experience with a CSV, so I can't say if it would be an advantage or not.

    I know Amtrol tanks have seven year warranties when installed by a licensed installer but I'm not sure if the 7 yr warranty holds if installed by the homeowner.

  7. #7
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    If you really want to minimize the number of times your pump cycles, install the CSV and the biggest bladder tank you can reasonably fit in the space.

    Valveman likes to sell the virtues of the tiny tank, but it will not stop the pump from turning on every time you run the water for a few minutes to wash dishes or brush your teeth. It will only stop the pump from cycling on and off while the water is running.
    No argument there CC. Best of both worlds as they say. However, some people use garden hoses, irrigation zones, a heat pump, drip systems, pool fill, or other things that requires water being used for a few hours at a time. In these cases, the CSV takes out so many cycles for these long-term uses, that adding a back a cycle every time a toilet is flushed, doesn’t add up to much. And if the pool is filling or a sprinkler is running while a toilet is flushed, the CSV just gives a little more water for the toilet, but there is no extra cycle.

    Also, I have learned that seldom is a toilet flushed by itself. Usually within a minute after flushing, the shower or a sink will be turned on. Many times there will be two or three flushes within a minute of each other, then the shower or sink. And that is just one persons use. People in a house use water at the same time a lot. Someone in the kitchen runs the sink or the dishwasher. Maybe the cloths washer has been on the entire time all this other stuff was happening.

    Or you could have 3.5 bathrooms all working at the same time. Showers, flushing, sinks, one right after the other, or all at the same time do not cause extra cycles with a CSV and a small tank. In situations like these, the CSV makes the pump just stay on (no cycling) and delivers constant pressure until the last sink faucet is off, and the kids are out the door.

    Even if you flushed a single toilet every two minutes, by the time the toilet tank then the pressure tank refilled, the pump would still be running for the second flush. Now if you flush a single toilet every three minutes, then the CSV with the small tank would make the pump cycle every three minutes. But then again, isn’t a minimum of a two-minute cycle what the pump manufacturers say they prefer over a one-minute cycle? Also remember that when using a CSV, the amps are reduced and the motor runs cooler, so you really don’t even need the “required one minute run time” as with a fully loaded motor.

    I have been doing CSV systems now for 20 years. I tried big tanks and small tanks on all kinds of systems. It really doesn’t seem to shorten the pump life or increase the electric bill to use the small tank with the CSV. With the small tank you actually get constant pressure sooner than when waiting on a big tank to empty. The pressure is also decreasing the entire time a big tank is draining.

    It was other installers using the small tanks for years that finally convinced me. I was 15 years coming to this decision. Now I am not only sure a large pressure tank is just a waste of money, space, and additional heat, but is also nuisance when waiting for that strong constant pressure from a CSV that you will learn to expect.

  8. #8
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    I see you posting this same thing on other forums. I don’t help out on some forums for a reason!! You know you are getting a lot of advice from “lay persons” when they think a pressure tank holds half of its capacity in water.

    An 80 gallon tank only holds about 25 gallons of water. A 20 gallon tank holds 5 gallons and a 30 gallon tank holds 8 gallons of water.

    “I've read about those CSV's but am not excited to jump on that waggon. It sounds like a good idea, but I'm all about long term proven tech (and keeping it simple).”

    The CSV has been solving these problems since 1993. 20 years is a “long term proven tech”, and you can’t get any simpler than a CSV. I had rather not help on a forum where I have to argue with people who “think” they know how pump systems work, but really don’t have a clue. Don’t let the babbling about what they “think” keep you from really solving your problem.

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member sbeausol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valveman View Post
    I see you posting this same thing on other forums. I don’t help out on some forums for a reason!! You know you are getting a lot of advice from “lay persons” when they think a pressure tank holds half of its capacity in water.

    An 80 gallon tank only holds about 25 gallons of water. A 20 gallon tank holds 5 gallons and a 30 gallon tank holds 8 gallons of water.

    “I've read about those CSV's but am not excited to jump on that waggon. It sounds like a good idea, but I'm all about long term proven tech (and keeping it simple).”

    The CSV has been solving these problems since 1993. 20 years is a “long term proven tech”, and you can’t get any simpler than a CSV. I had rather not help on a forum where I have to argue with people who “think” they know how pump systems work, but really don’t have a clue. Don’t let the babbling about what they “think” keep you from really solving your problem.
    Yes my goal is to try to get a broad view on the problem I hope to solve, so I've cross posted in a few areas. In my experience, different sites seem to harbor different biases. Since my pump may not meet my longterm needs, I would prefer to buy a system that can scale with those needs. I'm currently not satisfied with the pressure swings in my system right now, but I don't want to pursue a solution in which I end up replacing my well pump and the tank again...

  10. #10
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Your smart to do the research. I just don’t like sites that won’t let you mention the solution to problems just because that solution is an actual product. Kind of like if you wrote in and said your car won’t start, and the only thing you think might be a problem is a gauge on the dash that reads E. But they won’t let me tell you to put gas in your car, because gas is a product and they won’t let anyone promote products on their site.

    If you don’t sell gas and don’t really know what it is, they will let you talk about it. But if you own a gas station and know what you are talking about, they won’t let you reply. It makes a lot of sense to only except advice from people who don’t know what they are talking about, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, if you want to expand the use of water, you will need a larger pump. A 5 GPM pump can only produce about 7 GPM max. If you use more water than that, only a larger pump will help, not a larger tank.

    But if what bothers you now is the pressure swings between 30 and 60, then your pump is still producing more than you are using. If the pump where too small for the load, the pressure would just be low, and would never get to 60 and shut off the pump. The CSV and a small tank would hold the pressure at a constant 50 PSI, even if you are in the shower for a month. And that same CSV would work with a pump than can deliver up to 25 GPM, which is what you will need if you ever need to “scale” up to more GPM.

  11. #11
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    Valveman, I find it ironic that you are complaining about being censured on other forums.

  12. #12
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Wellman View Post
    Valveman, I find it ironic that you are complaining about being censured on other forums.
    Oh I have been censored on lots of forums. Many forums have an agenda. Engineering forums want everyone to pay a professional engineer to “solve” their problems. There is a Geo heat pump forum that charges a lot to be a member, and if you pay them, you can control the information so that posters only see what you want them to see. Other forums try so hard not to promote anyone’s product, that even if you came up with a cure for cancer, they wouldn’t let you mention it.

    I know there is no law that says information on the Internet has to be truthful. Trying to clear up the abundance of mis-information about pump systems on the Internet is what got me posting on forums to start with. I know pumps are confusing or magical to some people, but I can’t believe some of the stuff people try to pass off on others.

    So anywhere I can help straighten out some of the “mis-conceptions” about pump systems, I try to help. Basically, if you don’t see me posting on a forum about pump systems, it is because that forum doesn’t want you to find an easy answer to your problem.

    It is way more profitable for engineers to design a complicated system so they can make money “mitigating” all the problems. It is much more profitable for Geo/Drillers to drill you $30,000 worth of wells for a closed loop, than for you to find out you can use an open loop from your existing water well to run a Geo system more efficiently. There are even forums that promote products they know were copied or stolen from someone else, and I won’t be associated with them.

    The product I sell is disruptive to the industry. It makes pumps last longer, use smaller pressure tanks, eliminates high profit items like VFD’s, even simplifies or eliminates the need for “engineering”. So yes I have been censored from any place that doesn’t want you to find out and easy and inexpensive solution to your pump system problems. However, disruptive products are good for the consumer. Consumers just need to realize the answers they really need are the hardest to find on the Internet. Companies who make the most profitable items pay the most to have them pop up on the top of the search lists. It pays to look down a page or two and find something that really works, and doesn’t just transfer a ton of your money to the manufacturer.

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