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Is a 30-gallon bladder diaphragm holding tank best for me?

I have a small home with a 13 y/o 40-gallon holding pressure bladder-less tank. Recently, the pressure of the tank has caused my well pump to click on and off, on and off, and at some point the well pump will burn out. The pressure switch was replaced today $100 to no avail. So... I am thinking of replacing the 40-gallon bladderless tank with a 30-gallon bladder tank. I do not have a dishwasher or clotheswasher. I am advised that bladder tanks last longer and that a 30-gallon tank will be easier on my well pump. Is this a good idea? If there a recommendation as to which brand?

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Yes, a bladder type tank is a lot more dependable. You can install a diaphragm into your bladderless tank but it will still need to be charged with air periodically.

Posted on Feb 02, 2017


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

woobie dog
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SOURCE: Well pump not shutting off and tank never reaching full pressure

50 years old isn't bad..... but technology has changed a bit. I do have a few ideas. I'll list out several problems/solutions, and you'll have to pick and choose, depending on your particular circumstances. It will be a long read, but I would suggest that you read to the end before picking a course of action. Hopefully, others will offer advice as well.
Make sure that you have a working pressure gauge. I only say this as all of your (and my) assumptions have and will be made off of the gauge. It's critical. OK, with a working pressure gauge....Are we seeing the same pressure? If the pressure is actually higher, say, in the range that you are regulating for, or higher, the pressure switch is suspect and should be investigated/replaced.
When you shut off the pump, does the water pressure fall off? If it does, this might indicate a leak either internally (well/pump) or externally (faucet, etc.). Locate the regulator on the side of the pump. With the pump running (and a good pressure gauge), turn the regulator adjustment several flats, rembering your original position. This is best done with the pump at max pressure. Operate it in both directions, say four flats one direction, back the same to the original position, then 4 in the opposite direction, and back to the original position. Note the pressure on the gauge each time you make an adjustment. If any improvements are noted, work with it.
The most common problem with pumps not putting out enough water usually isn't the pump, but the well itself. Most wells have a foot valve and jet valve assembly. The foot valve has sealing rings on them known as leathers (although these can be made out of other materials). If the well is shallow, say 20 feet or less, the pump will normally pick up water without too much difficulty, even if it won't maintain pressure at the tank. Not knowing the depth of your well and the age of your equipment makes it a little harder to diagnose. Slippage within the pump, allowing some of the water to spill back, is a possibility, but you would expect the pump case to heat up over time, and this doesn't sound like the case. My guess is that you have some leak-by in either the jet assembly or the leathers, allowing some of the water to leak back to the well. The foot valve would keep the water pressure from dropping to zero. I'd trip the breaker to the pump motor and break the well head away from the pump (leaving the cast iron piece on the inner pipe). You should have a triangular piece around the outer well casing. Loosen the three bolts, then remove the two bolts that hold the pump to the well head. Gently separate the two, and set your pump off to the side. The aim with "gently" is to avoid tearing the gasket. (If it does tear, you can purchase gasket material and hammer one out, if replacement gaskets aren't readily available). Once the pump is removed, you can remove the inner casing to which your jet and foot valves are attached. Careful when removing it,though. You do not want the inner casing to unscrew from the well head and fall down the well. If there is a lot of sediment in the well, it will be more difficult to remove the inner casing, as the leathers press against the outer casing making the seal. I have always put several gallons of bleach down the well, although recently, a neighbor had muratic acid put down his well. This is dangerous, however, and only trained and skilled personnel should attempt. I let the bleach sit for several hours, allowing time for the bleach to soften the leathers. Once done, extract the inner casing, pulling the well head, inner casing, jet valve and foot valve as a unit. You'll have to pull it in a big arc and lay it out slowly as you go. More hands are better for this task. You may need to get creative in supporting the line it it's PVC. Once extracted, visually inspect the lower components. I recently saw one with a hole eaten in the top of the jet valve, producing similar results to your issue, but worse. Anyway, if this is where you are at, I would, at the very least, replace the leathers. And, I'd double them. Truth is, when I go to that much effort, I replace everything at the bottom of the well, foot valve, jet valve, leathers....
We havent hit on the tank yet. Older systems had an air injection system where a shot of air was injected every time the pump cycled. If no air went into the tank, the tank would become "waterlogged" over time, and would cycle constantly. This system was prone to failure. The remedy for this was to drain the tank, and start over, and to replace the air injection system. This usually called for the pump to have to be reprimed as well, at least at my house... Newer tanks have bladders in them with a pressure set on them to provide the same air cushion that the older systems provided. The air pressure on mine is set to 28# via a schraeder (bicycle tube) valve at the top of the tank. Check yours if so equipped.
Well, that's about it for now. Make your checks and please let me know what you turn up. I'll check back.
Best regards and good luck,


Posted on Jul 19, 2009

  • 1714 Answers

SOURCE: i have a 1 hp ace pump on a 30 gallon bladder tank

There are tow screw adjustments on the switch. One is the high shut off and the other is 'differential'. This is the one you need to adjust. It gives the 'window' that the system needs 'between' on and off.

Posted on Sep 01, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Cabin pump, primed fine only goes to28psi and keeps running

Sounds like the injector nozzle is plugged. This nozzle is directly inside the influent line on single line jets and down in the well on two-line jets. I'm assuming you have it primed correctly. If this happened suddenly the it'd definitely the injector nozzle. It it was a gradual process over time then I would say it's either a badly worn nozzle or worn impeller.

Posted on Sep 08, 2009

  • 523 Answers

SOURCE: gould 1/2hp submergible well pump cycles on and

My first thought was that of a water logged tank which causes short cycling, from your notes the tank is good (the tank may be partially water logged though) If the tank is ok and your getting short cycling (and the switch is good) I would guess your check valve down the well has failed. As the pump creates pressure then shuts off the water may be going right back down the well causing the pump to cycle again. This could also account for the poor water pressure as the check valve may be stuck slightly open allowing the system to loose pressure but only allowing a small amount of flow by when running. There could be a leak within the pumps drop-pipe and your loosing pressure through this leak. I expect you'll have to have the pump pulled.
I hope this may have helped,

Posted on Oct 12, 2009

  • 60 Answers

SOURCE: Problem with Convertible Jet Pump 3/4HP RedLion -

If I understand you correctly this is what you have:

- A pump that draws water from a lake 300 feet from lake to your cabin (I assume the pump is at the cabin)

- The pump kicks on to maintain pressure in a tank that distributes water to faucets in the cabin. The pump only turns on to pressurize the tank when water is being used (I am assuming).

- When you turn on tap, pressure in the pressure tank drops to 30 psi, then you hear water sucking from the tank to tap and flow stops at tap. Then the pump finally kicks back on and pressures tank to 23 psi.

- The pump is not used regularly.

If water flow stops when the pressure tank is reading 25 psi, then likely the real pressure is 0 psi and pressure gauge is reading wrong. If this gauge is tied into a switch that starts and stops the pump, then this is probably your problem. You may have partial blockage in your pressure gauge/switch that is causing gauge to move too slowly to keep up with the actual pressure changes when water is being used. Ore the pressure gauge/switch may be broken. Pressure gauges are notorious for reading pressure when there is none. If you can unplug the pump and disconnect the pressure gauge/switch and check for blockage in the ports you should start there. You mentioned that this worked good for the last two summers, if if sits unused for long periods, it could promote bio-growth, rust and/or sediment in the connection to the pressure gauge. If you find blockage, remove it and flush it out. Reinstall the pressure gauge/switch and try it again.

One other possibility is clogged strainer(s) / filter(s) in the water lines. It would not hurt to pull and check/clean any strainers / filters in the system including before the pump. I would even check at the lake for a strainer where the water enters the suction line to the cabin.

I would not assume that the pump is the problem yet.

Hope this helps.

Posted on May 01, 2010

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1 Answer

My tank is filled with water up into the air valve recess, the pump will not shut off, cannot be inflated, is it the bladder malfunction

That sounds like the most logical explanation. If the bladder was intact you'd be unable to get water through the air valve. Is the tank new or old? If it's a new well/pump/tank there could be something wrong with the pressure switch or it could be out of adjustment.

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You should change filters and membrane and then proceed. Replace both filters not one. You mat to buy new RO unit that you can find filters on line ie store (less than you are going to pay for Culligan) PROCEDURE FOR RECHARGING REVERSE OSMOSIS BLADDER TANK WITH AIR
When you turn on the faucet you notice low water pressure from the storage tank and only a quick burst of water come out of the system, and it dies down to trickles. Is the tank defective, i.e., bladder has hole and not functioning properly? Perhaps.

If you have the above problem and the tank is heavy (full), then try to relief the pressure from the air valve on the tank side. Is water coming out? If the answer is yes, then the bladder has hole and is defective, and tank replacement is due. If air comes out then it is possible that the air needs to be recharged.

Notes on bladder tank, please continue reading:

RO Tank useful life is 5-7 years. If the tank has been serving you for that long it is possible that the bladder had a hole and that tank replacement is due. If the tank is not that old, it is worth it to evaluate it for air pressure. In an empty tank, air pressure should be 7-10 psi. In a full/heavy tank, air pressure should be 30-40 psi. To be accurate, air pressure should be 2/3 of incoming water pressure. When the tank is full, and if feed water pressure to the RO system is 60 psi, then a full tank should have 40 psi. The RO tank has a bladder inside, and this bladder separates air from water. On the lower side of the tank is the air valve which is connected to the compressed air chamber. The top water inlet/outlet port (where the tank valve is mounted) is connected to the pure water chamber. So, when you turn on the faucet, the compressed air would squeeze or compress the bladder to force the water out of the tank.

You do not want to believe the tank is useless and want to do extra testing? If your answer is yes, please continue reading.


1. An air compressor or air pump (like a bicycle tire air pump)

2. An air pressure gauge that is able to read less than 10 psi, and

3. Adjustable wrench.


1. Shut off the water supply to the RO system

2. Turn on the faucet to allow water to run until it stops.

3. Check to see if there is still water in the storage tank by lifting the tank. If the tank feels heavy, that means you need to recharge the tank and continue the following steps. If the tank feels light, that means you don't need to charge your storage tank at this moment.

4. Locate the air valve on the side of the tank. It looks like the air valve on tires.

5. Use air compressor or air pump to pump air into the tank. Keep the faucet on while pumping air, so that all water inside the tank can be purged out.

6. After all water has been drained from the tank, use an air pressure gauge to check the tank pressure.

7. The tank should have 7 psi of pressure when it's empty. Add or purge air if necessary.

8. Turn the feed water valve back on, and turn off the faucet to allow refilling of the tank.

9. finished.

What if the tank does not hold pressure and you see the same problem again? Bladder is out and you need to replace the tank.

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1 Answer

How does one increase the pressure in the holding tank

If by "Holding Tank" you are referring to the bladder tank for your RO, then you need to turn the water off to the RO system, drain the RO tank of any water, check the pressure with a tire gauge at the air valve (just like there is on a car tire). A 3 gallon tank should have about 7psi of air.

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There can be many reasons for no water in tank.
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2. Faulty membrane (all the water going to drain)
3. Bad capillary tube (all the water going to drain)
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5. Faulty water feed valve (piercing valve)
6. Fines from post carbon filter have plugged up the manifold (head) of RO unit.
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Is this in a camper? You can either increase the flow to match that of the pump, or install a "bladder" tank in your plumbing system. A small air bladder tank is not too expensive. You charge it with a min of air pressure. When the pump comes on, it will pump the water, and this will compress the bladder raising the pressure in the bladder. When you begin to use the water, the bladder tank will begin to supply the water, when the pressure drops sufficently enough for the pump to come on the cycle will repeat, allowing the pump to start and stop with a delay in between instead of off-on-off-on etc.

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Our R-04 under sink water holding tank, for our culligan water filtration system got drained, and the pressure is now gone and it won't fill up on it's own. We had a leak, fixed it, but now need help...

The RO tank will still fill up even without any pressure it just won't push any water out. If the RO tank lost pressure and it is a sealed tank, it should be replaced. The bladder is bad.
A 3 gallon tank should have 7psi pre-charge pressure, 10 gallon 10psi. There must not be any water in tank to set the pre-charge pressure.
If the RO tank is not filling up then there is another problem.

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I have a 1 hp ace pump on a 30 gallon bladder tank the pressure switch keeps clicking off and on until the switch burns up have replaced 4 times in 2 months have adjusted switch until pressure is very low...

There are tow screw adjustments on the switch. One is the high shut off and the other is 'differential'. This is the one you need to adjust. It gives the 'window' that the system needs 'between' on and off.

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Flotec 42 gallon water tank - short cycling and changing water I need a new tank or could it be another problem?

These holding tanks are pre charged with air which in turn pressurizes the water. The tank has a bladder and an air valve on top. The pre charge ,over time, loses pressure, and the tank has to be pressurized again.
  • The well pump needs to be turned off.
  • The water has to be drained from the tank
  • Air is put into the tank from the air valve on top of the tank, and is measured with a tire air gauge.
  • The pre charge pressure is set to two psi below the pump cut in pressure.
  • In other words if your pump kicks on at 30 psi, the pre charge pressure is set at 28 psi. If the pump kicks in at 20 psi, the pre charge is set at 18psi, etc.
  • After you pressurize the tank, turn water back on.
  • If water comes out of air valve on top of tank, then the bladder is ruptured and you need a new tank.
  • Hope this helps!

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