1 (edited by RobT 2016-09-17 15:00:36)

Topic: Leaking Well Tank

Howdy everyone! My name's Rob, and I'm completely new to both this Forum as well as plumbing and well systems.

First let me give a tremendous thanks for this forum and the 411plumb article website (how I found you guys on Google)! I can't begin to tell you how nice and important it is for others (especially pros) to help folks in trouble learn to actually fix their own homes through diy projects. I realize of course that there certainly are times when having a pro do the entire job is necessary (as was the case when our well pump died about 4 years ago, what a glorious $1,100 surprise!), but I'm surprised at how much homeowner's can actually do themselves with just a bit of know-how...

So, here's my situation: we got home last and noticed that our linoleum floor was very wet around our well pressure tank (Shur-Dri SD-AT4, 36 gallon/82 equiv, diaphragm tank). The water's dripping pretty good from the bottom of the tank base at it's lowest point. Without seeing much inside of the base where the plumbing connects to it (why they make the connection on the underneath surrounded by a metal base with simply a hole for the pipe to go through, is beyond me), I'm guessing/hoping that it's simply a loose and/or corroded fitting.

Through reading online, I've tested & determined the following:

1 - pump switch kicks on @ 32psi, and off @ 60psi
2 - factory pre-charge is labeled @ 38psi, but was actually @ 20psi this morning with lowest faucet open and tank empty of water (first time it's been checked since buying the house in 2009, sorry - didn't know that I neede to keep an eye on it...)
3 - only air comes out of the air valve on top when depressed, no moisture (so although it may have a leak, the diaphragm hasn't burst)
4 - I recharged it back up to 30psi (2psi below the switch's on psi setting)

As you will see in the attached photo, I recently replaced an old rusted out leaking metal union (new pvc on the left of the switch), but went no farther for fear of disturbing old plumbing. Well, it seems to have only bought me a few months! I'd really like to completely replace all of the old metal stuff (except for the switch/gauge and manifold), especially what's probably leaking between the manifold and the tank.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

P.S. I've heard that it's tricky and/or unwise to mix metal and plastic (esp galvanized/pvc). Is that true, and if so why?

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Re: Leaking Well Tank

If you plan on buying another tank, don't go to a big box store.
If your tank is leaking under the skirt, it's probably rotted out somewhere and will only get worse.  That tank tee  looked like brass, so it's likely not broken.  PVC can crack under there and possibly leak, but not brass.  So it's probably the tank that's going.
The only good tanks on the market in my opinion are Well X Trol, Flexcon and Zilmet.  The rest are just something to replace frequently.  A bad tank can also take out your pump motor.

Re: Leaking Well Tank

Thanks a lot Speedbump!

Just curious - why not a big box store? I'm in Elwood IN, our big box stores are Lowes, Home Depot & Menards & they sell Utilitech and Water Worker tanks. How about Amazon?

I've seen some review sites that say that Flowtec are crap. It seems that everyone claims that Amtrol/WellXtrol is the absolute best, but with they come at a price also. We're definitely not staying here more than 5-10 more years, so I'd just as soon fix it up right but cheap to last at least that long.

I'm looking at the WellXtrol sizing chart (attached), and all the new well pump receipt that I bought 4 years ago says is a 1/2 HP Myers 115V. So, I'm not sure how to tell what I should go with. What size tank?

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Re: Leaking Well Tank

What your reading is true, they are junk.  They are made to go bad.  Planned obsolescence is a way of life with stuff like that.

With a jet pump size isn't all that important.  Just set the pressure switch where it won't allow the pump to cycle on and off when your using water.  The WX-202 is a good tank.  Yes, they are more money, but so are Cadillac's over KIA's.  Big difference in quality.

Re: Leaking Well Tank

Ok, that's good to know. I'll most definitely go with the WX-202 since it's only around $250. If I can swing a little more, I'll try to get a 24/26/32 gallon.

Thanks again for your help!