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Country Discussion Topics
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Pressure tank sediment
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zoomer    Posted 02-22-2001 at 11:01:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The farm we just bought has an 80' drilled auxilliary well for crop & livestock use only. Water tests OK except for iron. Pump is a fairly new 1 HP jet going into a large galvanized (150 gallon or so) pressure tank. The bottom of the tank has a layer of rusty sediment that gets stirred up when the pump cycles and clogs sprinkler heads. Is it possible to flush this crud out of the tank, and can I install some kind of filter on the inlet side of the tank to prevent problems in the future?


IHank    Posted 02-22-2001 at 11:20:43       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Zoomer- Should be no problem! Check out your local farm supply stores and/or building suppy stores.

A long list of different water filters are available for a long list of water problems.

A slick trick is to have the water go in and out thru a fitting on the bottom of the tank. That way "stuff" don't build up and accumulate in the tank.

While you're looking over the filters also look over the modern pressure storage tanks, the ones with the air bladder inside and coated to resisit rusting and corrosion of the pressure vessel. Install and set 'em up it per the directions and they work great. Do it otherwise and you can expect endless water system problems.

Hope this helps, IHank


Zoomer    Posted 02-22-2001 at 14:16:44       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks, IHank.

Can you give me an idea how plumb your slick trick to have the water go in and out thru a fitting on the bottom of the tank?

Since this only used to water a big garden during the worst of summer, I don't want to spend a fortune on a new pressure tank unless absolutely necessary. The galvanized tank is in great shape except for the sediment (and I'm trying to save a buck or two), so I'd rather flush it and keep it if possible; I just don't know how.


IHank    Posted 02-22-2001 at 17:28:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Zoomer- It was about 15 years ago when I last did the following, so I'm telling from an old memory.

Best thing you can do as to getting an idea about how to plumb the system is to go snoop out a store that sells the modern pressure tanks. Just look one over. Notice it is rounded on the bottom, with the water in/out fitting on the botton. Notice it has the support legs on the same end as the in/out fitting. Notice teh support legs provide ample space for piping to be installed under the tank and off the floor. Notice it has a tire inflator valve on the top.

Next, politely have a store clerk let you read the installer instruction sheet for one of 'em. The only difference is in size and cost. The technical principles involved are the same.

What you can't see, unless you peek into the in/out bung hole, is a heavy plastic, or rubber, or ???, bladder blocking the hole. Above the bladder the chamber is pressurized by air. The bladder keeps the air from dissolving into the water, requiring frequent replenishments of the air over the water.

It is very important to adjust the bladder inflation pressure to what the instructions say. The air pressure is adjusted with the pump off, no pressure in the system, and the tank empty of water- this is a critical condition.

The pump control pressure switch also must be adjusted as part of a unified system set up activity. Again, you gotta follow the directions to the letter! That means having an accurate water pressure guage and an accurate tire pressure guage.

Two important features of the system- Everything that goes into the tank, water & "stuff", gets sent back out and nothing accumulates in the tank. Modern tanks are coated and don't form internal corrosion. If all piping and fittings in the system are plastic you'll have little to no corrosion problems.

A "plan B" is to just install the appropriate water filter on the line going out to your sprinklers and not let all the above cause you un-necessary work.

Hope that helps, IHank


oldfrmr    Posted 02-22-2001 at 17:12:37       [Reply]  [No Email]


Can you just drain the sediment out? it maybe a buildup of several years, I'd just drain it and take water out the top, if it plugs up sprinklers, Drain the sediment occasionally, like a water heater


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