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Thread: How do I clean sediment out of bladder style pressure tank?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mikeandteri's Avatar
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    Default How do I clean sediment out of bladder style pressure tank?

    I know that I have sediment in my well water. I have a filter after the pressure tank to stop it from going through the house. Recently, I noticed a drop in water pressure, especially just before pump cuts in. I have a spigot just after the switch and pressure tank. How do I clean out the sediment in the bladder tank? Can I turn off pump, open spigot and let water out, then just turn pump back on for 5-10 minutes? Will the water travel through the pressure tank before exiting the spigot? Thank you for your assistance.

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    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    Usually anything that goes into a bladder tank, comes right back out. I think it would be unusual to have sediment build up in a bladder tank. The inlet/outlet is right on the bottom, and sediment should be the first thing expelled when you draw water from the tank.

    The only way to clean it would be to turn off power to the pump and drain all water from the system with a valve or faucet. The faster you let the water out, the more velocity there will be to take sediment with it. Then refill the tank with clean water and repeat until clean.

    It is more likely that your bladder is busted. Then a lot of crap settles to the bottom of the tank and you start noticing stuff in the water and low pressure at start up. But you will find this out when you drain the tank as described as above. Just check the air charge while the tank is empty of water.

  3. #3
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeandteri View Post
    Recently, I noticed a drop in water pressure, especially just before pump cuts in...
    That generally suggests that you have too much air precharge on the bladder so the tank is completely empty when the pump comes on. Very often folks don't realize that their air pressure gauge is not reading the same os their water pressure gauge. They need to be calibrated.

    The other possibility is that sediment has built up under the diaphragm of the pressure switch so it is not kicking on soon enough.

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    DIY Junior Member mikeandteri's Avatar
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    Thank you for the assistance. Bladder not broken as reading is 38 (used tire gauge) after all water removed from system. I close valve after pressure tank, turn off pump and open spigot by pressure tank. Clean water comes out first - then sediment comes out just before pressure gauge reaches 0. I close all and recharge water and repeat. More sediment near the end of the draining. Really only notice water pressure drop on 2nd floor and when another facet open. I do have minerals in water - rings around toilet water level. Really trying to figure out how to eliminate the drop in water pressure on 2nd floor when 1) water pressure is near cut in value and 2) when another facet is open.

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    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Before the information posted below, I might have consider adding a sediment filter in line before the pressure tank. I was mistaken thinking that might have been a good idea.

    For more pressure on the second floor, consider having the pump turn on and off at a higher pressure. If the tap is 12 ft higher than the pressure gauge, the tap pressure will be 5.2 PSI less at that tap when the water is not flowing.
    Last edited by Reach4; 11-06-2013 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Better info was posted.

  6. #6
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    It is generally frowned upon to put a filter between the pump and the pressure switch and the switch usually is placed on the tank Tee.

    In cases where there is a lot of sediment, some folk will put a galvanized tank before the bladder tank. The inlet to use is a middle port and the outlet the top port. The bottom port then becomes your blowdown drain.

    Some folk even use a small electric HWT without the element. The inlet would be where the element was.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    Never put a filter before the tank!

    The best way to prevent sediment is with a Lakos seperator installed over the pump. The seperator prevents the sediment from getting into the house, but more importantly it prevents the sediment from eating up the inside of your expensive pump.

  8. #8
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    If you cannot put a Lakos in the well, this model can go before your pressure tank.

    http://www.lakos.com/gwi-products/sandmaster-smp

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