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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
have an issue with the well pump and air tank. Bleeds water through the air valve stem so I guess it needs to be replaced? currently is a Sur-Flo SF20 model manufactured in 2002. Well pump is 2hp, 1hp is on the tank lable...do not know if this is the challenge?

When the water is full on, the pressure goes up and down every five to eight seconds and a noticable bang where the air tank is located. Will I ruin the system upstream of this if I continue to run the water prior to the repair folks being able to get to it? (having problems getting the plumbers attention)
 

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if you have water coming out of the Schrader valve, that would mean your air tank is not working properly. Without the proper amount of air in the tank, you will get rapid fluctuations and your pump will run every time you run any water.

Fix (actually most likely: replace) the captive air tank and go from there.

it is possible to damage some things if this is banging.

it also sounds like the tank was likely undersized to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok...thanks for your confirmation. If I can ask another question not related....how do you know the cut in pressure of the pump? the well pump is a vertical unit submerged a few hundred feet down and the tag on the pump 'head' is no help.
 

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one more thing...the gauge reads 50spi at the tank? where is this pressure coming from if the bladder is bad?
if it stays at 50 psi, the port to the gage is probably plugged. If it fluctuates, you are creating pressure when the pump runs a pressure gage will read air or water pressure usually so if the schrader valve doesn't leak so much as to prevent pressure to build up, it is because there is pressure there.

to the cut in and out; depends on what you want. Your switch likely has a initial setting on it such as 20-40 or 30-50 (those are cut in and out pressures). Those settings can be altered as needed/desired. Unless you have an accurate pressure gage attached that can read the pressure, you don't know. If you have a gage you can read, when the pump turns on, that is your cut in setting and when it turns off, that is your cut out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok...specifically what happens is that at rest the gauge reads 50psi. When a tap is turned full on in the house, the gauge quickly drops to 40psi, then click, it raises to 60psi, then back to 40psi and so on....

The plumber can not get here for two days...what harm will I do do you think to the system if I run some water in the meantime?
 

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You want to get all the water out of the pressure tank. TUrn off the water pump. Open a cold water faucet as close to the pressure tank as you can. Use a manual tire pump to slowly add air to the pressure tank until water stops coming out of the faucet. Measure the pressure at the schrader valve often and don't go above 20 psi. Remove the tire pump and be sure the schrader valve is closed. Turn the water pump back on.

See if the system behaves any better. If so, you can either cancel the appointment with the plumber, or have him come anyway to calibrate the pressure tank more precisely.
 

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Turn off the pump and open a faucet first to wait for the first round of pressure to subside. Then water should not spurt out of the schrader valve.

Pump in air slowly and observe a burst of water from the faucet each time you do a pump stroke. After serveral pump strokes you should not get a burst of water and then you take the tire pump off.

Earlier, did you play with the pressure tank and schrader valve and let air out? If so you made the situation worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
no...only when attempting to remedy or calibrate as you had earlier instructed...when attempting to connect the tire pump to the valve, I guess I had it misaligned a bit and a spirt of water came out so I stopped.
 

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After you open a faucet and the water stops running, connect up the tire pump anyway. Do just a few pump strokes at a time to see if more water comes out of the faucet.

A more foolproof and probably quicker way of emptying out the pressure tank is to disconnect the piping. You will need more Teflon tape or pipe dope to put it back together without leaks and you may also spill a lot of water on the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for your assistance AllanJ.

What I did was shut off the pump, opened the closest faucet to the tank and let it run.

emptied the tank, then pressurized the tank to 10psi. It held this pressure for about 30 seconds then started to drop off...

...my guess now is the bladder is compromised in the tank....Best Regards
 

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Even if the tank lost pressure, try turning the water back on after you did the emptying procedure. See if that cured the original erratic pressure problem. If so you can use water safely until the plumber comes and replaces the pressure tank.

If the pressure tank is mounted above the pipe it is attached to, it will work without a good bladder except:
1. You will need to re-empty (recalibrate) it every few months,
2. Depending on where the hole in the bladder is, the pressure tank may still have a lot of water trapped in it* after pumping "enough" air into the tank suggests that the tank was emptied out.

* If the bladder herniates (extrudes) into the pressure tank inlet/outlet, the situation gets stalemated possibly with some water and air on the air side of the bladder and some water and air on the water side of the bladder, and further pumping of air into the schrader valve will not cause more water to come out of the open faucet.

Excessive pressurizing of the tank prior to turning the water on may cause the bladder to herniate into the tank inlet/outlet and blow a hole in the bladder.
 
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