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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I believe my well pump (submersible) is cycling too frequently, e.g., I flushed a 1.6 gallon toilet and the pump turned on and off twice by the time the toilet tank was refilled; no other taps or appliances in use.

So I thought, darn, the well tank (with diaphragm) is water-logged; I checked its pressure valve, expecting to have water come out, but air came out. (I had re-charged the tank 8 days ago to 28 PSI.)
Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated.
 

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Hi,
I believe my well pump (submersible) is cycling too frequently, e.g., I flushed a 1.6 gallon toilet and the pump turned on and off twice by the time the toilet tank was refilled; no other taps or appliances in use.

So I thought, darn, the well tank (with diaphragm) is water-logged; I checked its pressure valve, expecting to have water come out, but air came out. (I had re-charged the tank 8 days ago to 28 PSI.)
Any thoughts/suggestions appreciated.
Maybe the bladder is only partially filled with water. If it's completely filled the draw down is sometimes less than a cup. The ( draw down ) info. is sometimes on the tank label. If not, possibly on the manufacturer's web site. Don't expect the draw down to be exact only approximate with a new tank.


Also keep in mind when checking pressures the pump gauge and the tire tester normally used to set empty tank pressure are different and neither all that accurate. Don't dwell on a couple pounds differential.
 

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If we think of a pin hole in a bladder that's nearly microscopic and the length of time it may have taken the tank bladder to even partially fill , we can readily see why in some instances the bladder is nearly impossible to drain of water. Then to determine failure/no failure we sometimes have to go by the tank weight, empty vs present.
 

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So I thought, darn, the well tank (with diaphragm) is water-logged; I checked its pressure valve, expecting to have water come out, but air came out
Please describe exactly how you did that.

Did you just depress the schrader valve stem and get air or did you depress and hold the valve stem and let all the air and/or water out?
 

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You must hold the valve open open until you have let all the air out to get to any water that may or may not be there. The water being an indication of a ruptured bladder. Air being lighter that water will come out first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, so if I do that (let all the air out), I assume there are 2 possible outcomes:
1. Air and only air comes out => the bladder is still good; or
2. After air comes out, water comes out => the bladder is failed/failing.
Is that right ?
 

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Yes.

If the bladder has ruptured the air between the bladder and the tank is gradually absorbed by the water. That means you have less air to compress (you cannot compress water). The smaller amount of air you have to compress the more the pressure changes as water is added or removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok thanks.
I went back and reviewed my plumbing notes, and this tank was installed in 12/2000.
Also it had a pinhole leak in 2017 which I patched (that's another story).
So I leaning towards replacing this tank.
 

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it was a pinhole leak on the side of the steel tank.
That, to me at least, is an indication of a leaking bladder at that time.
Here is the logic,
The water is pumped into the bladder, not the tank. For a steel tank to develop a pin hole leak from rust could just occur from age. That could occur from rust from the interior or the exterior but would require moisture. Since the interior and the exterior are painted a tank should last for a very long time. Atmospheric moisture could, of course, cause exterior rust. The interior would not have been exposed to atmospheric moisture so no rust should have occurred from the interior unless you had a leaking bladder.


I know, you didn't specify how the pin hole developed, but if it occurred from the interior you must have had a leaking bladder at that time.


By now you should have bled the tank down completely (while under pressure) and confirmed or eliminated a leaking or ruptured bladder. The good news is, if you find you do indeed have a faulty bladder, you can pressurize the tank and make it function for a period of time until it is convenient to replace.

To do that remove the valve stem, turn on the pump and let the pump push out all the air and water between the bladder and the tank. Turn off the well pump, re-install the valve stem. Open a faucet and pressurize the tank to empty the bladder. Then adjust the air pressure to the desired pressure.

The tank should now function normally until such time that the air between the bladder and the tank is absorbed by the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I believe the pinhole came from rust from the exterior, as my basement is a wet one, and there were a fair number of rust spots/bubbles on the tank's exterior.
I have disconnected the old tank now, and when I got the thing upside down on the floor, quite a bit of water came out the top, where the valve stem had been.
Seems consistent with bladder failing and the pump quick-cycling only 8 days after I'd recharged the tank.
Thanks for the "faulty-bladder-interim-fix" steps you provided above.
 
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