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Thread: Tank from 1948 replace ?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Snoozo's Avatar
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    Default Tank from 1948 replace ?

    New guy here. Bought my house bout 5 years ago and have been adding air as needed. Last week the start cap blew in the control box and started me investigating the system. I realize I have no info on the pump or the well. I think I have 12 Gpm but that's all I know.

    New relay and cap installed and all is good again,but now I'm starting to think I might want to replace with a diaphragm tank.
    What do you think?

    Have you guys ever seen a tank fail catastrophic and flood a basement for 8 hours? Could this happen?
    I think this tank is from 48 when house was built,ever seen a tank with the glass tube on the side?

    I am one for keeping older better quality stuff alive cuz I realize what we have today fails in comparison tremendously. But 1948? Water tank?

    Been thinking about a cycle valve and small tank but have no idea what condition my pump and motor are in so I'm very hesitant and probly would put in a 44 gal tank and call it a day.
    No way I'm pulling the pump anytime soon

    Also have read that air over tanks are good for iron rich wells which I assume I must have due to the iron curtain installed.

    Amp draw is around 5.25 run winding and 12gpm is this a 3/4 hp. Can you tell?

    One other thing I have considered is leaving this tank in place but putting a pressure tank next to it.
    My question is if I pipe them together and let the original water tank go waterlogged would that increase my drawdown of the pressure tank and whole system in turn?
    Then I wouldn't have to worry about charging the original tank all the time as I think there is no bleeder in the well,no air control provision on the tank and the check valve that is at the well head in the pit does not appear to have any way to suck air. It's just a solid brass check.

    Any opinions welcome
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    Last edited by Snoozo; 01-20-2014 at 09:29 PM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    If it ain't broke, don't mess with it.
    [B]No, plumbing ain't rocket science. Unlike rocket science, plumbing requires a license[B]

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    Galvanized tanks corrode from the inside out so that relic is probably paper thin in places and just waiting for an opportune time to start leaking, most likely Super Bowl Sunday, high school graduation, 4th of July......

    My advise is to replace it yesterday.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Snoozo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigpump View Post
    Galvanized tanks corrode from the inside out so that relic is probably paper thin in places and just waiting for an opportune time to start leaking, most likely Super Bowl Sunday, high school graduation, 4th of July......

    My advise is to replace it yesterday.
    My gut says I should replace it but when I look at how it's constructed and the gauge of the Steel ,I wonder. It has super thick walls and the welding around top,bottom and pipe openings is really quality and big.

    So I wonder could I add valves to inlet and outlet of old tank with a bypass added so that when it fails I can drain it and open bypass to pressure tank never losing water pressure to the house.
    I have floor drains in the basement and plenty of room for tank.
    Basement is not finished so no real worry about damage.

    Can I pipe it in series and let it waterlog is my only question,will it increase my drawdown or does it have to be pressurized?

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    By the time you chase for the materials, drain the tank and plumb up a bypass, you could have replaced the tank and not had to worry about it.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    I disagree. If it hasn't failed yet and the water quality stays the same it will probably last "forever".

    PS...people who switch from galv. tanks to bladder tanks often complain that the water now has an odor or taste that it didn't before. Just FYI.

    Galvanized tanks corrode from the inside out so that relic is probably paper thin in places and just waiting for an opportune time to start leaking, most likely Super Bowl Sunday, high school graduation, 4th of July......

    My advise is to replace it yesterday.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member craigpump's Avatar
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    Texas,
    Almost every galv tank I have replaced has failed from the inside out.

    He could install an FLS series fiber wound tank and have the best of both worlds, standard air over water configuration and a tank that won't corrode.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Do these galvanized tanks have anode rods like water heaters?

  9. #9
    In the Trades Texas Wellman's Avatar
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    If the water quality is OK it could conceivably last indefinitely. If it was going to fail it probably would have done so already. Even with today's low-quality galv. tanks they either fail within the first 20 years or never. You very rarely see a tank that is over 20 years old rust out.

    PS...we are about 90% galv. tanks in my part of the country. Almost every well I service has a galv. tank. I see dozens every week.

    Quote Originally Posted by craigpump View Post
    Texas,
    Almost every galv tank I have replaced has failed from the inside out.

    He could install an FLS series fiber wound tank and have the best of both worlds, standard air over water configuration and a tank that won't corrode.

  10. #10
    DIYer, not in the trades LLigetfa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snoozo View Post
    Can I pipe it in series and let it waterlog is my only question,will it increase my drawdown or does it have to be pressurized?
    No. Air gives you the drawdown. Less air = less drawdown.

  11. #11
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    I would speculate that it would be much like a water heater failure, where they can leak a little for for some time, but hardly ever will there be a catastrophic failure.

    The tank is made better than anything you can buy today. It's in an unfinished basement where nothing would be harmed it it does start leaking.

    Shut off your well pump when you go on vacation and enjoy life.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member Snoozo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    Do these galvanized tanks have anode rods like water heaters?
    No anodes that I can find. I have replaced a few anodes in my time for water heaters.

    At work we have some large commercial tanks in parallel and when we replace, the new ones come with aluminum rods as opposed to magnesium.
    We have Lake Michigan water around here that is treated and the ph is fairly high. Rods broke down very fast,sending small blue particles every where. (At least this was my best guess at what happened)

    Replaced with mag and no problems for couple years now.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member Snoozo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLigetfa View Post
    No. Air gives you the drawdown. Less air = less drawdown.
    I see. I was under the impression that both tanks might draw down equal if in series. Effectively doubling the draw down of the pressure tank,but not giving you the full capacity of the larger volume un pressurized tank.

    I should have gone to college for physics

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Two tanks will add their draw-downs. They don't have to be the same size or type.

    I would say that these tanks are in parallel, but I don't think there is a way to go wrong.

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member Snoozo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cacher_chick View Post
    I would speculate that it would be much like a water heater failure, where they can leak a little for for some time, but hardly ever will there be a catastrophic failure.

    The tank is made better than anything you can buy today. It's in an unfinished basement where nothing would be harmed it it does start leaking.

    Shut off your well pump when you go on vacation and enjoy life.
    Vacation what's that ?

    Ya the more I look at it I don't think there is much chance of catastrophic failure. This thing is "built like a tank"

    Got one seam that runs from top to bottom that's like 1/2 inch welding bead that's just perfect old school welding the whole way. I'm crazy for old American quality stuff.
    Feels like I'm going backwards to put in a modern bladder. But then the bladder is the convenience I'm looking for.

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