Air bubbles in well water

Discussion in 'Pumps and Wells' started by chiraldude, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Aug 26, 2014 #1

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

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    I have a shallow well pump which draws air from time to time. Problem is that some of the air ends up in the pressure tank so I have to shut off the pump every so often with a faucet open to purge out the air.
    Is there a way to trap and vent the air automatically? I have seen air vents for boiler systems but not sure these would be appropriate for the well.
    It's not a big problem now as the water table is above average right now but during dry spells the water table drops and I end up pumping more water for sprinklers so I get lots of air and the pressure tank gets bogged with air almost daily.

    The ultimate solution would be to get a 100 gallon non-pressurized storage tank filled by the existing pump and a secondary pump that draws from that. I would like to do this because I would be able to get higher pressure and flow throughout my house but too expensive for now.
    I could also have a new well put in but the driller would be compelled to go 50+ feet and the water there would be quite hard so would also need a treatment system.
     
  2. Aug 26, 2014 #2

    speedbump

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    You should probably find out where the air is coming from and fix the leak. You can't find air leaks easily if at all, but you could re plumb the suction line with the fewest fittings possible and that might be the end of your problem.

    What kind of tank do you have? Galvanized or a bladder tank? If you have a galvanized tank, you can put one of these in the center opening and it will automatically vent the air and keep it at the right level.
     
  3. Aug 28, 2014 #3

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

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    This is a shallow well that is just a well point pounded in the ground so I have been assuming the air is coming from under ground but it could be coming from the above ground pipe. I am not ready to take anything apart at the moment because the age and condition of the existing pipe above ground makes me worried it either won't come apart or it will break while trying to take it apart. Is there anything that can be sprayed on the pipe joints to seal them?
    I have a bladder tank but I also suspect the bladder is leaking so will need to replace that soon. Maybe the best bet is just to go to galvanized air over water tank and be done with it.
    Side question, Why have we gone to using bladder tanks anyway? They last for ever and no bladder to wear out. I suspect it is because the bladder tanks are smaller for the same capacity?
     
  4. Aug 28, 2014 #4

    Valveman

    Valveman

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    That is because a bladder tank takes out all the maintenance required to keep the proper air volume in a galvanized tank. And you won't wear out the bladder in a bladder tank, which is caused by cycling, if you use something like a Cycle Stop Valve. And with a CSV you only need a small 4.5 gallon size tank.
     
  5. Aug 28, 2014 #5

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    The fact that galvanized tanks last forever isn't so true anymore. They have gone up in price and the quality has gone down a lot. I have seen them rust through in less than 7 years.
     
  6. Aug 28, 2014 #6

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

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    I like the idea of the cycle stop valve but it looks like it requires lots of back pressure from the pump to work properly. My 1/2 hp pump struggles to get to 60psi so I would need to also replace the pump with a larger one to make it work.
     
  7. Aug 28, 2014 #7

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    You don't need a constant pressure valve with a shallow well jet pump. Just adjust the pressure up a little so the pump doesn't cycle while your using water.

    I would still be looking to replumb it to get rid of the air. Or soon you may be out of water altogether.
     
  8. Aug 29, 2014 #8

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

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    Ah! I have always been setting the pressure to keep the pump from running too much but now I get it.
    It's better to have the pump stay on longer trying to keep a higher pressure. It may use a bit more electricity but pump cycling will be greatly reduced. Better spend and extra $50 a year on electricity and make the pump last longer.

    As far as the leak goes, it has been like this since I bought the house 4 years ago and hasn't changed in that time. If the threads tear apart at the top of the well pipe I would be screwed since the pipe is cast in the cement floor. Not really in a hurry to tear it apart at the moment.
     
  9. Aug 30, 2014 #9

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    When the pump is making more pressure it is pulling less amps using less electricity. The constant pressure valve does the same thing.

    When that well goes, you are looking at knocking in another 1-1/4" well in the basement or getting a brand new 5" PVC well I can give you the name of a very good driller close to your location when the time comes.
     
  10. Sep 2, 2014 #10

    Valveman

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    The problem with turning the pressure switch up on a jet pump is there is a fine line between keeping the pump running as long as you are using water, and getting the pump to shut off when you are not using water.

    As you said the pump struggles to get to 60 PSI. If 60 PSI is the shut off point and the water level in the well drops a little, the pump will not be able to shut itself off and will melt down quickly.

    If you want more pressure you may need a larger pump. But when working with a CSV you are always well below the pump deadhead pressure and wonÂ’t have the problem of the pump struggling to shut itself off.
     
  11. Sep 2, 2014 #11

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    That is my experience with Self Primers but not Jet pumps.
     
  12. Sep 2, 2014 #12

    Valveman

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    Any pump with a flat performance curve, jet pumps, self primers, and some centrifugal pumps will have that problem.
     
  13. Sep 3, 2014 #13

    chiraldude

    chiraldude

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    I have it set so that it takes about a minute to shut off after a large extended water draw. Basically a hair under 60psi. I have accepted the fact that I need to check the system every couple of weeks and tweak the on/off settings until I have time and $$ to do a full system upgrade.
     

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