Challenger vs. Amtrol pressure tank opinion ?

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sams63

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Glad I finally tripped into your helpful forum. Hours of wasted time on "product info" click bait. My simple 30 sec question is, how do Challenger series pressure tanks compare to Amtroll Well X troll tanks ? Our tank capacity 62 gals. After 2 months of runaround from well company we have been customers with over 40 yrs. who put in a replacement 20 gal tank (WRONG size, I find out too late), we called a different company. He installed a 60 Gal Challenger tank... tank price $1600.00 plus install. Comparable Well X retails at $899.00.... Those seem to be most common brand. Did we overpay for a "cheaper" quality tank ? Cannot find ANY dealer info on Challenger, whereas one can find Amtrol everywhere. Our previous Amtrol lasted 16 yrs., decent lifetime, good rated brand. Thanks for the helpful knowledge everyone. Us PAYING customers need factual info.
 

Reach4

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Flexcon Challenger is a very good tank.

You paid for for the tank plus convenience of not ordering, handling, connecting, supplying misc fittings to make it work.

The installation fee is often lower than warranted and markup makes up for that. It's like ordering something with free shipping. The markup partly covers the shipping. But in this case it is more.

Had you ordered the tank yourself, unboxed it, positioned it, you would probably paid more for the installation part than you did.
 

Valveman

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Even the 62 gallon size tank only holds about 15 gallons of water. You cannot put in a large enough pressure tank to stop the pump cycling. Pumps cycling on and off for every 15 gallons used (62 gal tank) causes the bladder in the tank to fail as well as the pump and everything else in the system. You could have replaced that tank with an even smaller 4.5 gallon size tank like comes in the PK1A kit. This kit uses a Cycle Stop Valve to stop the cycling which solves all the problems that come with pump cycling, while delivering strong constant pressure to the house as a beneficial side effect. The PK1A kit is a little over 500 bucks and would work much better than a room full of huge pressure tanks.

Of course the pump guys are not going to tell you about a Cycle Stop Valve because they like selling those $500 tanks for 1600 bucks and getting to come replace it every once in a while, which is more often than it should be.


 

sams63

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Flexcon Challenger is a very good tank.

You paid for for the tank plus convenience of not ordering, handling, connecting, supplying misc fittings to make it work.

The installation fee is often lower than warranted and markup makes up for that. It's like ordering something with free shipping. The markup partly covers the shipping. But in this case it is more.

Had you ordered the tank yourself, unboxed it, positioned it, you would probably paid more for the installation part than you did.
Thanks, so glad I ran across this forum. All those "review/ comparison" sites are only marketing/ referral sites. My knowledge very limited on well systems. We had 16 yrs of life from our Amtrol Well X, which is commonly used in our area. Our new pump service installs the Challenger. So relieved to hear it's quality. How does it compare to the Well X ? New service company quotes $ 1600.00 plus 1 hr of install, does this sound like a decent price for Midwest ? All of you are so helpful, thanks.
 

sams63

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Even the 62 gallon size tank only holds about 15 gallons of water. You cannot put in a large enough pressure tank to stop the pump cycling. Pumps cycling on and off for every 15 gallons used (62 gal tank) causes the bladder in the tank to fail as well as the pump and everything else in the system. You could have replaced that tank with an even smaller 4.5 gallon size tank like comes in the PK1A kit. This kit uses a Cycle Stop Valve to stop the cycling which solves all the problems that come with pump cycling, while delivering strong constant pressure to the house as a beneficial side effect. The PK1A kit is a little over 500 bucks and would work much better than a room full of huge pressure tanks.

Of course the pump guys are not going to tell you about a Cycle Stop Valve because they like selling those $500 tanks for 1600 bucks and getting to come replace it every once in a while, which is more often than it should be.


Kinda makes sense... new service company said the "replacement" 20 gal tank the other company installed only holds 5 gals of water because of bladder. We had a Well X 62 gal before, previous company said "the new ones are smaller, works the same"... Yea, I know, DUM customer. The problem was, when we turned on our outside water spigot, it totally shut down ALL water to the house ! being 700 miles away, my Wife was stuck with this, so she got a referral. New company installed a Flexcon Challenger 62 gal. Is that an upgrade from our previous Amtrol Well X ? We got 16 yrs from the CORRECT 62 gal Well X before it got waterlogged.
I like your idea on the Cycle Stop... would save water, electric, pump life. Can this be installed adjacent to the already installed tank ? Our pressure tank, switch, gage are safe & accessible in the basement. Will check with the new service guy to see if he's installed them before. I am pretty handy around regular house plumbing, but know little about well systems. Have to get the "expert".
 

Taylorjm

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Just remember, when a company is selling a certain brand of product, they will find a way to convince you that it's the best and all the others are junk. Unfortunately, things have become very cut throat in the past 10 years or so. It used to be a company would give you options, now their main focus seems to be talking bad about any other options, and only pushing their products.
 

Valveman

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Yep. The CSV1A is all you need and it will work fine with the 62 gallon tank. Just really didn't need the big tank. Would love to be a fly on the wall when you mention a CSV to your service guy. Lol. I can just hear it now. :)
 

Reach4

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Just remember, when a company is selling a certain brand of product, they will find a way to convince you that it's the best and all the others are junk. Unfortunately, things have become very cut throat in the past 10 years or so. It used to be a company would give you options, now their main focus seems to be talking bad about any other options, and only pushing their products.
Flexcon makes it harder to do comparisons by trying to not sell to people who sell online.

I have a I have Flexcon Challenger PC144R pressure tank. 44 gallons.. I think it is about 20 years old. Butyl diaphragm, but as does the Well-X-Trol. If I were to replace the Challenger because it failed, I would use the Well-X-Trol, largely because it is available to me directly.

You understand there is a big markup for pressure tanks by well service people. That is where they make money. Markups tend to be around 100%.
 

sams63

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Thanks. Yes it is almost impossible to find out objective info on Flexcon. Cannot find any pricing anywhere on Flexcon. AmTrol has excellent customer accessible tech support, they were ones who confirmed that our replacement tank was too small. I understand "markup"... have experienced that for years dealing w/ auto repair shops. Service folk get parts/ well tanks at wholesale, sell to customer retail, no problem here. Never hearing of Flexcon, was worried if it was a cheaper quality off brand to give service company a higher % markup. Depending on who I have heard from, Flexcon Challenger is comparable quality, or even better than Amtrol. Aside from your "accessibility" convenience, which makes sense to me during my "search", what is your comparison opinion between the two ? Amrol is more customer accessible, like you point out.
Our new service company is quoting $1600 for Flexcon 62 gal tank, plus $150 labor. Located in our dry basement, easy to get in/ out. Will take him 20 mins, so $150 probably a "minimum". Thanks for all the great info from everyone
 

sams63

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Yep. The CSV1A is all you need and it will work fine with the 62 gallon tank. Just really didn't need the big tank. Would love to be a fly on the wall when you mention a CSV to your service guy. Lol. I can just hear it now. :)
Thanks Cary. When I claw out of this money hole, I will check into it. Since my Wife was stuck with this hassle w/ me 700 miles away, she had to go ahead. I will add this to our system, it seems like it will also help w/ our electric, pump life with it cycling on/off as much. From your site pics, it looks like basic plumbing. I guess the well guy better is to do this than a regular plumber ? Would pressure switch, points still stay the same ?
 

Reach4

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Our new service company is quoting $1600 for Flexcon 62 gal tank, plus $150 labor. Located in our dry basement, easy to get in/ out. Will take him 20 mins, so $150 probably a "minimum". Thanks for all the great info from everyone
What if you order the Well-X-Trol. Will the well company install for $450 instead of $150? You will probably need to handle the box and get rid of the box yourself. And if it fails soon (unlikely), expect the well company to charge for the change-out. And who deals with the warrantee claim?

One feature I like in Well-X-Trol is the "multi-dome construction". That helps protect the diaphragm if you remiss in checking your air precharge every 5 years (which is way beyond the normally recommended interval).
 
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