Well tank install - cheaper tanks...

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jb59

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First time installing a well tank. The one in the house now needs replacing. I saw a video about installing a well tank w/pressure switch, gauge, relief valve, boiler drain, copper ball valve). The guy in the video recommends purchasing the size and model (if possible), especially for newbies (like me). My question is, the brand in my basement is a AMTROL WellX-Trol. Which cost a substantial amount over other similar size tanks I found at Lowes. In most cases, are cheaper brands that big of a deal breaker? I'm thinking that if Lowes sells them they can't be that inferior to justify me spending over $200 more.

Thanks for any feedback.
 

RS

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I would never spend any extra for an AMTROL, I had one fail in less than 5 years, under warranty, but I had to change it myself. In my opinion, they're all about the same. Just make sure the preload is set correctly for your pressure switch.
 

jb59

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I would never spend any extra for an AMTROL, I had one fail in less than 5 years, under warranty, but I had to change it myself. In my opinion, they're all about the same. Just make sure the preload is set correctly for your pressure switch.
Thank you.
 

Valveman

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Amtrol is certainly the best. But any tank will fail because of the pump cycling on and off too much. Every time the pump cycles on and off the diaphragm in the tank goes up and down, like bending a wire until it breaks. Stop the pump from cycling and you won't break the diaphragm in any tank and you can use a much smaller and less expensive tank. With a Cycle Stop Valve you only need a 4.5 gallon size tank. The pump, tank and everything will last longer with a CSV, and you will have strong constant pressure in the house.
 

jb59

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Interesting. Thank you.
 

arctic bill

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I will be changing my AMTROL expansion tank again. they last about 5-7 years. I did not know that they were guarantee for life . this time i will be keeping my receipt. I went on their web site , they recommend a huge 62 gallon tank for a small domestic system . it will cost over $1000, No way .
 

SHEPLMBR

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I will be changing my AMTROL expansion tank again. they last about 5-7 years. I did not know that they were guarantee for life . this time i will be keeping my receipt. I went on their web site , they recommend a huge 62 gallon tank for a small domestic system . it will cost over $1000, No way .
As far as I know, they are not guaranteed for life.
 

Valveman

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I will be changing my AMTROL expansion tank again. they last about 5-7 years. I did not know that they were guarantee for life . this time i will be keeping my receipt. I went on their web site , they recommend a huge 62 gallon tank for a small domestic system . it will cost over $1000, No way .
I think Amtrol is only warranted for 7 years. And that is because 7 years is the average life built into any pump or tank. They know just how many times (with a so called properly sized tank) the pump will cycle on and off in 7 years. Engineers design pumps and tanks to last 84 months of cycling on/off. That is why pump and tank companies hate Cycle Stop Valves as stopping the cycling makes those same pumps and tanks last 30-40 years. Even the old Hydroservant valves, which where some of the first constant pressure valves have made pumps and tanks last 52 years like the one in this picture.
Hydroservant.jpg
 

Valveman

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have you seen this?
Lol! Yeah! No way that is going to last 50 years. The idea of the Amtrol pressure switch is to reduce the on/off pressure difference from the normal 20 PSI to 10 PSI. With only 10 PSI difference like on at 50 and off at 60, they claim you are getting constant pressure. Again, lol! All it does is make you buy twice as large a tank to get the same draw down volume at 10 PSI difference as you get with 20 PSI difference. Either buy twice as large a tank or the pump will cycle on/off twice as much. Sounds like something a tank company would do, right?

Actually, I thought the electronic pressure switch was a good idea, so I made my own similar to the Amtrol. We still have a bunch of them in the warehouse in our "discontinued" stock. We sell them for 35 bucks if you want one. But they are in our "discontinued" stock because they don't last long enough. I still use them on my house well, but 3-5 years is a long run for an electronic switch with a transducer. If you want something long lasting and dependable, the old mechanical switch is best.

Doesn't really matter what kind of pressure switch you use, as the cycling is still what kills pumps and tanks. Any kind of pressure switch will work with a Cycle Stop Valve, which solves the cycling problems and allows the use of a much smaller tank. See why pump and tank companies don't like me? They are making stuff like the Guardian pressure switch and variable speed pumps to try and make constant pressure like a Cycle Stop Valve without making the pump and tank last 40 years like when using a Cycle Stop Valve.

Here is a picture of one of my electronic pressure switches. Looks like they have been in our discontinued stock for about10 years.
EPS1599.jpg
 

jb59

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Amtrol is certainly the best. But any tank will fail because of the pump cycling on and off too much. Every time the pump cycles on and off the diaphragm in the tank goes up and down, like bending a wire until it breaks. Stop the pump from cycling and you won't break the diaphragm in any tank and you can use a much smaller and less expensive tank. With a Cycle Stop Valve you only need a 4.5 gallon size tank. The pump, tank and everything will last longer with a CSV, and you will have strong constant pressure in the house.
I think I need to do a little research on a Cycle Stop Valve.
 

Valveman

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How many times have you rebuilt it ?
🤠
Wasn't touched in 52 years. One new pressure tank many decades ago. That is how long a constant pressure valve can make a pump system last, and is exactly why you don't see pump companies recommending a Cycle Stop Valve. The Hydorservant was made by Red Jacket pump company, which I think was bought out by Goulds. The Aquagenie was made by Jacuzzi Pump company, which was bought out by Franklin. Both the Aguagenie and Hydroservant have a lower minimum flow and a different kind of bypass than a Cycle Stop Valve, which is not as reliable or good for the pump as the bypass in the Cycle Stop Valve. So, the Cycle Stop Valve systems should last even longer than the others.

Both Goulds and Franklin stopped making constant pressure valves because they are a disruptive product and would greatly reduce the number of pumps and tanks that could be sold. All pump manufacturers now PUSH variable speed pumps or VFD's on people. A VFD will give you constant pressure and work with a small tank like a CSV. But where the CSV makes the pump system last a long time and cuts the costs of purchasing and maintaining your pump system to about $4K over 30 years, a VFD will increase costs to over $12K. You can see why pump manufacturers spend so much marketing VFD's and simply despise Cycle Stop Valves.

Most of the test cases for Cycle Stop Valves are still working since they were installed in 1991 or so. Many of the homeowners got old and passed away before the CSV stopped working. We were expecting to see some feedback from those first test cases within a few years but that never happened. Here it is 30 years latter and those first CSV systems are still working. I know of a couple motors that got hit by lightning and one well caved in, but all the rest are still working. It is hard to get a test of how long a CSV will make a pump system last when many of the participants don't live long enough to find out. Being in my sixties now, my son or granddaughter may have to post the results of how long some of those CSV systems Pop Pop put in lasted. :)
 

jb59

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Amtrol is certainly the best. But any tank will fail because of the pump cycling on and off too much. Every time the pump cycles on and off the diaphragm in the tank goes up and down, like bending a wire until it breaks. Stop the pump from cycling and you won't break the diaphragm in any tank and you can use a much smaller and less expensive tank. With a Cycle Stop Valve you only need a 4.5 gallon size tank. The pump, tank and everything will last longer with a CSV, and you will have strong constant pressure in the house.
I come back to these posts and learn a lot from you guys that know a lot about this stuff. Out of curiosity, if these cycle stop valves work so good, why don't more people use them/get them?
 

jb59

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Amtrol is certainly the best. But any tank will fail because of the pump cycling on and off too much. Every time the pump cycles on and off the diaphragm in the tank goes up and down, like bending a wire until it breaks. Stop the pump from cycling and you won't break the diaphragm in any tank and you can use a much smaller and less expensive tank. With a Cycle Stop Valve you only need a 4.5 gallon size tank. The pump, tank and everything will last longer with a CSV, and you will have strong constant pressure in the house.

Also, if I got a Cycle Stop Valve, how would that effect water pressure? We live out in the country. Our house is about 1500 sq feet and we use outside hoses a lot (pressure washing, washing cars, etc). As well as we do a lot of washing clothes. A decent water pressure is necessary out here.
 

Valveman

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I come back to these posts and learn a lot from you guys that know a lot about this stuff. Out of curiosity, if these cycle stop valves work so good, why don't more people use them/get them?
I always thought if you built a better mousetrap, people would beat a path to your door. I found out marketing is more important than efficiency. If you make a mouse trap so well that it can make mice extinct, the mousetrap industry will try to discredit you and do everything in their power to put you out of business. There is a lot of money in mouse traps, but there is even more in pump systems.

When I approached the pump manufacturers in 1994 with the CSV, claiming it made pumps last longer, which it does, they gave me all kinds of excuses. First it was lead in the valve. Next month I called them and said all CSV's are now low or no lead. Still more excuses. Then just kept procrastinating and saying they were still studying it. Four years later, one of the head engineers retired and called asking to be set up as a rep for the CSV. Said since he no longer worked there, he could now tell me why they would never work with me. Seems I had been blacklisted. A company meeting showed me testing valves in their facility with their engineers. Said test showed this valve would make pumps last longer and use smaller tanks. So, anyone who mentioned a CSV would be fired immediately.

People are so gullible. Like me, no one believes something like that would happen. They don't really have the cure for pump cancer and are just not telling anyone about it, would they? Not only did they not tell anyone, they threatened termination to anyone who did. They also started a dis-information campaign to make people think restricting a pump with a valve is a bad thing. It is so counter intuitive that they don't have to say much to make some people go crazy over it. People fall for their little statements saying it is like "driving a car with one foot on the brake and one the gas", or like "dragging a ball and chain". But you won't find a single written statement or video from any pump manufacturer saying anything negative about Cycle Stop Valves. It is all hearsay. They pump up their installers at hot dog days and on trips they sponsor and get them to do the dirty work. Like this from a driller or installer which is something we hear everyday.
 
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Valveman

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Also, if I got a Cycle Stop Valve, how would that effect water pressure? We live out in the country. Our house is about 1500 sq feet and we use outside hoses a lot (pressure washing, washing cars, etc). As well as we do a lot of washing clothes. A decent water pressure is necessary out here.
Not only does the Cycle Stop Valve make pumps last longer and use smaller tanks, but it makes for much better water pressure. Some like to call it "city like" constant pressure. I say it is your own water system and you can have much better than any city water pressure if you want. A city generally gives about 50 PSI of fairly steady pressure. Most pump systems run on a 40/60 pressure switch, giving an average of 50 PSI as the pump is cycling it self to death between 40 and 60. Just adding a Cycle Stop Valve set to deliver a strong constant 50 PSI will make the pressure much stronger than on at 40 and off at 60 over and over. But you can turn the switch up to 50/70 or higher, and set the CSV to deliver a constant 60, 70, or even more if needed. But 50 or 60 constant is enough that people tell me they no longer need soap in the shower. And 70 or 80 would clean the grout on the back wall if you step out of the way. Lol! Also, constant pressure makes every size sprinkler zone hit exactly the right spot, all the way out to the corners, every time around. Not to mention, no matter what you do with the water, the pump is not cycling on/off repeatedly, which is what normally destroys all pumps.
 

Valveman

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if these cycle stop valves work so good, why don't more people use them/get them?
I have been answering that question and fighting the good fight for 30 years now. It has made me pessimistic about everything. I no longer believe anything I hear. Settled science is an oxymoron. The bigger the advertisement, the less I trust the product. The more our government subsides something, the less value I think it has. The more adamant someone on youtube is that a product does or doesn't work, the more likely I am to test it out for myself to make sure.

I don't like being that way. I want everyone to tell the truth, do what is best, and not take advantage of other people. But that is not how it works in the business world. It is dog eat dog. Strangle, takeover, or shut down any good competition, so they can make products with even less quality, designed to fail in an even shorter time, so they can sell another one.

I say all of this just to warn people. I am amazed at how many people think a big company wouldn't say or do things to take advantage of them, or that the government is here to help. Many of these big corporations have big government in their pocket, paying incentives and giving tax breaks to help them promote their most profitable and shortest lasting products. Most times on the pretense of "saving energy" or being "green". When in reality the product that only cost $4K over 30 years is always more efficient or more "green" than the one that cost $12K over the same time period and was sold on false promises to save energy

Seems these days everything is backwards. What's right is wrong, and wrong is right. There are a lot of "opinions" about how pumps work. But that is one thing that is settled science. Every pump has a published pump curve that shows exactly what that pump can/will do. Yet there are people who think they are smarter and know more than everyone else that will tell you that is wrong, even though the pump curve in front of them shows that pump will drop from 1HP and 9 amps to a 1/2HP load of 5 amps when flow is reduced. You don't have to reduce the RPM of a pump to get the horsepower or amps to drop. As a matter of fact, variable speed drives or VFD's are just trying to trick a pump into doing something it already does naturally without reducing its speed.

Instead of making something more complicated and expensive, the Cycle Stop Valve has just reduced everything down to the simplest form that will solve all pump system problems. The data on the pump specification or curve is the absolute truth and shows how the pump works. Thirty years of flawless operations from close to a million Cycle Stop Valves still in operation without a single pump failure is further proof in the pudding. I can see why pump companies hate me. But I don't understand how some people, who claim to be engineers, can't or won't understand how pumps really work. They get angry when I try to explain it to them. This is the kind of things I hear from them.
"I understand everything Cary. I am a very educated engineer with degrees in math, physics and computer science, and you are trying to fool me. Good luck with that!"

I don't understand why they can't just look at a simple pump curve and figure out they are wrong. Some even double or triple down on their lack of understanding instead of ever admitting they are wrong. If you want to see how far they take it and how much I have to put up with, you should watch what one crazy guy is doing on youtube. He was so insulted that I tried to "teach" him something that he has made hours of videos calling me a liar, Snake oil salesman, disreputable, and all kinds of things. Even with 30 years of proof and showing him the pump curve he still calls me a liar. Just goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished, what is wrong is right, and there is nothing we can do about it but to educate ourselves and try to weed through to get to the facts.

 
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