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Old 02-19-2009, 08:00 AM   #1
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


I have a spare 32 gallon bladder-type well water pressure tank. I read in an online how-to that the author was planning on using one that he swapped out for air.

My tank has a max pressure of 100PSI. My thought is that to use this tank for air storage I would release any air from the bladder/air side of the tank and hook up the 1" water side with a variety of fittings (reducing it to typical neumatic size) and then hook it up in series with the compressor tank. Of course I would limit the pressure.

Any thoughts / ideas / experiences? Is this a good / bad idea?

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:02 AM   #2
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i'd be concerned about accidental overpressure. the compressor won't know the limits of the tank.....
personally, i'd just go get a small tank made for storing air and be safe.

DM

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:39 AM   #3
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


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Originally Posted by Reilley View Post
I have a spare 32 gallon bladder-type well water pressure tank. I read in an online how-to that the author was planning on using one that he swapped out for air.

My tank has a max pressure of 100PSI. My thought is that to use this tank for air storage I would release any air from the bladder/air side of the tank and hook up the 1" water side with a variety of fittings (reducing it to typical neumatic size) and then hook it up in series with the compressor tank. Of course I would limit the pressure.

Any thoughts / ideas / experiences? Is this a good / bad idea?
I like it. It would keep your compressor from cycling often but it would run longer. Just install it on the regulated side of the compressor.
You just need to figure out if you can install fittings for the air hose.
The only thing is air has much more compressive energy than water so if it were to explode it could be spectacular. Keep it in a room that is unoccupied.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:57 PM   #4
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


Thanks for the replies. I have a couple questions / concerns for anyone who may have input:

1) If air has more compressive energy than water, is there a way to calculate the maximum air pressure that can safely be stored within the tank; given that the tank has a max water pressure of 100psi?

2) I believe the tank on my Campbell Hausfeld is rated at 125psi max. If I dial the compressor down to shut off at a lower pressure, and use an air pressure relief valve (set at or below the max air pressure of the well water tank) as a safety, will the maximum pressure of the system be enough to operate pneumatic tools?
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:42 AM   #5
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


Your well pressure tank doesn't know (and doesn't care) whether the pressure comes from air or water. 100 PSI is 100 PSI. Your tools will still work at 90 PSI, however what ever I have my pressure set at it never seems to be enough with some tools (impact wrench). With the thinner metal of the well tank water in the tank (rust through) is more critical, be sure and plumb a drain valve in the bottom of the system. If you stuck a ball valve in the system so you could isolate the well tank from the system, on those few times you needed extra pressure you could close off the well tank from the system and ramp up your PSI. In the mean time keep an eye out for a dead compressor at a garage sale. $5 or less should get you one and rob the tank off of that. I've got 3 good tanks (bad compressors) laying in my boneyard that I'd give away. FD.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:34 AM   #6
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


I plumbed in a old 100lb propane tank to my compressor with airchuck fittings and a ball valve. I use it sometimes as a portable tank where I may not have power. I have used my 1" impact on it and it works great.

Gary
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Old 02-20-2009, 08:00 AM   #7
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


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With the thinner metal of the well tank water in the tank (rust through) is more critical, be sure and plumb a drain valve in the bottom of the system.
i must agree with mr dean here. you can go to farm and fleet or tractor supply or similar store and buy one for under $20.00. check craigslist or ebay maybe? i worry that, even with the drain valve, one or two times forgetting to drain and dry it could result in personal injury. plus the fact you will not be able to hold the average 120 psi that most tools are happiest with. an old PROPANE tank, as mentioned above is made of much thicker steel and might be a better choice. (heck, i have one upside-down out front with a sparkly-green bowling ball PL glued to it to 'block' my mailbox from drive-by baseball bats. i imagine in 20 years, it still won't have rusted through. spray painting the box/posts/poles with black/brown/green camo colors seems to have helped too, but i think my mailman keeps missing it) if you're just looking for something to do with the spare tank, cut it in half, glue it top to bottom with PL and make a unique birdbath! stay safe

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Last edited by DangerMouse; 02-20-2009 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:10 AM   #8
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


Get most of the air out of the bladder side by putting the water side under pressure but close the bleed hole before the bladder itself tries to exude out. Still it is possible that the bladder can be damaged making the tank unsuitable for future water usage.

Is 100 psi the maximum rating or the working rating? Do not run the pressure at more than 3/4 of the tank maximum rating. Your compressor would have to use 75 psi as the upper or shutoff limit and perhaps 65 as the come on limit.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-20-2009 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:53 PM   #9
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Well Water Pressure Tank for Air?


I agree with using a 100 pound propane bottle instead. Have been there and done that and works good. I looked at those big huge water bladder tanks too and even cut one apart to get the bladder out to use for something else,,,didnt work. Put those in the scrap iron pile where they belong. As bladder tanks they dont last from noon to dinner either!!

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