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Water Supply in House - fptahoe - 01-19-2023

We have a well and septic system at our house.  The water from my well is pumped into the house, and goes into a water "tank" of sorts.  The tank has a bladder inside, which inflates and this is what provides water pressure and water throughout the house.  If anyone has a well in their house, or if you are a contractor you know what I am talking about.  My questions is this - I have had two guys come in here and look at the system - just the tank with the bladder inside part of the system.  The first guy said don't touch anything until it goes bad, and the second guy said since the tank is 23 years old, it should be replaced immediately.  There is currently nothing wrong with the system and it works fine.  Anyone have any comments or advice that may want to share one way or the other?  Many thanks...FPT.

RE: Water Supply in House - jamesglenn - 01-19-2023

We typically never replace them until they go bad, sometimes they last decades and others only years. I don't see why you would mess with it if everything is working.
When you lose water pressure, you basically have a good idea what happened. 

Is one trying to kick up some work?

RE: Water Supply in House - R Clark - 01-19-2023

Our house is 19 years old.  The well components are 19 years old.  That includes the expansion tank, which is that tank you describe with a bladder inside.

I've only had to mess with that expansion tank a couple of times since we moved in nearly 9 years ago.  In both instances it was to add air to reach the appropriate pressure.

This is our only experience with a well system.  The first time that we gradually lost pressure (4-5 years ago), I called the well guy and he came out and showed me the issue.  He reinflated the expansion tank and all was well.  I've had to add air to that tank once since then; that was last year, IIRC.

The well guy, who told me he was the same guy who drilled the well in 2004, told me a lot about the well.  I asked him at the time about components getting old and if there was a way to tell that something was failing.  His response was that the parts work "until they don't."  I wondered about the expansion tank and whether or not I should replace it due to age.  He wouldn't replace anything until it failed.

An expansion tank failure is only on emergency if it fails catastrophically and blows a leak.  If the bladder fails, then the faucets won't come to pressure instantly like you're accustomed to, but the system will still work.  Replacement expansion tanks are available at the local big box, so I'm going to wait until I need one.  I have considered having a spare on hand for rapid repair.

Well pumps...since I can't replace one of those DIY, I'm kind of at the mercy of the system.  Our well pump is a Grundfoss unit; it's my impression that it's a quality unit.  If it fails, then we'll be on bottled water and we'll have to haul in water to flush toilets until the well can be put back in service.

One other thing...well pressure settings.  When we moved in, I saw that the well pressure was set to 90 PSI.  I looked in the well booklet, and the recommended pressure range was 40-90 PSI.  I was a bit uncomfortable running it at 90 PSI, so I backed it off to 50 and adjusted the expansion tank pressure accordingly.  The water pressure at the faucet and in the shower is still fine, and the stress on the plumbing in the house is reduced.  I think that's very important for things like water supply hoses to sinks, toilets, dishwasher, and the refrigerator.

RE: Water Supply in House - crokett™ - 01-19-2023

You are talking about the expansion tank. If it fails and isn't leaking, you will still have water, it will just cause the pump to cycle more frequently. It isn't an emergency unless it's leaking. I would not do anything until the tank fails.

RE: Water Supply in House - Woodenfish - 01-20-2023

Alkalinity, pH of water generally begins to attack the rubber membrane dissolving it into your water supply. Over time engineers have given the equipment a service life. What you were proposed to do is a replacement of this storage tank is for your best interest.

RE: Water Supply in House - blackhat - 01-20-2023

The tank would cease to function long before the membrane or bladder broke down and entered the water supply. The plus for the OP is that these tanks generally do not fail catastrophically. They’ll get a pinhole and weep.

RE: Water Supply in House - fixtureman - 01-20-2023

I have basically the same setup but mine is 50 years old and stlll going strong.  My mom and dads was 70 years old when they got city water.

RE: Water Supply in House - fptahoe - 01-21-2023

Thank you all.  I will leave it be for now.  Appreciate the advice!  FPT

RE: Water Supply in House - Stwood_ - 01-22-2023

I ck and air mine up every couple of years. Pressure drop is slowly noticed at the kitchen faucet.

RE: Water Supply in House - fptahoe - 04-23-2023

(01-22-2023, 01:19 AM)Stwood_ Wrote: I ck and air mine up every couple of years. Pressure drop is slowly noticed at the kitchen faucet.

Hi Stwood - I just saw this after all these months.  I was not aware that air could be added in an effort to increase water pressure.  Can you expand on this a bit (although it does sound simple enough).  I don't think I will tackle it as I know nothing about the system.  Does a plumber or a well person (as in who installed the well and the rest of the system) do the job?  Many thanks in advance...FPT.