Before you can install a new well pressure vessel, you will need to drain and dispose of your broken tank first. If the tank is full of water, first try connecting the boiler drain to a hose and draining the tank away from the home. If this does not work, it’s very likely the burst bladder is obscuring the water inlet. If this is the scenario you are presented with, you will have to drill a hole in the side of the tank to release the stored water. This can be a messy undertaking, however, a tank full of water can weigh well over 500 lbs. If you are unable to haul the tank out of your well house or garage, you will have to resort to puncturing the tank to drain it.
Replacing the vessel is then a matter of finding another tank with pressure settings and drawdown capacity suited for your household’s water demand. If your vessel was destroyed because of short-cycling, ensure your new tank has a drawdown that matches the output of your pump. The tank’s drawdown is the amount of available water between the well pump turning on and off. To find the drawdown, calculate the minimum runtime of the pump (according to the manufacturer) and the flow rate of your pump in gallons per minute. For example, if your pump’s minimum runtime is one minute, and your pump can produce 10 gallons-per-minute, your drawdown is 10 gallons (1 minute runtime x 10 GPM = 15 gallon drawdown). This is the amount of water protecting your pump from turning off and on.
If your well produces more than 1 gallon per minute, you should have a runtime of around a minute and a half. If your tank’s bladder has failed, reassess the drawdown capacity of your vessel and make sure you have a tank that can support your pressure settings and well pump. Keep in mind, the drawdown will change based on the pressure of the tank. A certain tank may give you 11 or 12 gallons of water at a 30/50 pressure setting, but only 9 if the pressure setting is changed to 40/60. You may be fine with a 30-gallon tank, however, in some cases you may need to upgrade to a 60 or 80-gallon pressure vessel.
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