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Hi folks,

We have a couple of cabins on a lake as a family summer home. Last fall, after about fifty years, the shallow water well point (35 feet down) gave out and started pumping up sludge. After stop-gap measures with a filter and grinding down impellers on two pumps, we decided to spring for a deep water well. The timing was not convenient because we were just begining to think about winterizing or replacing one or both cabins and planning was incomplete, but we needed water.

Drilling a deep well is quite a project to watch. The driller was a maestro the way "felt" his way through different kinds of soil and how he handled 20-foot drill extensions. I thought he was going all the way to China, but he finally found enough space between hard pans for a well tip at 165 feet. So then we had a 240 VAC pump at the bottom of a nice, fat pipe that filled a pretty blue 20-gallon "bladder" pressure tank at a clearing between the two cabins. The positioning of the well was limited by the need for a large enough clearing between trees for the driller's boom to go up.

The local plumber suggested leaving in place the existing 50-gallon bladder-less pressure tanks in the each cabin -- for larger capacity and less frequent pump on/off cycles. So we trenched and ran PVC and electrical cable and hooked lines up to each cabin's plumbing -- with shut-off valves for each water line by the outside tank and in each cabin.

[Q1] Is this a good design -- having three pressure tanks, spread out? After ~3 months, we still have to drain the bladder-less tanks when they become water-logged. In the good old days when the power would go out for hours, it would have been nice to have more water available. This does not happen very often now. It did happen once when a step-down transformer on a power pole blew out. Does it increase the useful life of a pump to have fewer on-off cycles? Any other pros and cons?

[Q2] Are there some guidelines for setting the maximum and minimum pressure points at which the pump kicks off and on? I have been experimenting. When the range is too great, taking a shower means waiting through a trickle of water for the next gusher -or- re-adjusting the faucets to accommodate changes in pressure.

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