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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Water tank life, water tank replacement.
This article explains how long a water tank is expected to last (it varies) and we describe how to decide when a water tank needs to be replaced - advice about what to do when things go wrong, such as finding air and water leaks and the process of deciding to replace a water pressure or water storage tank.
We also discuss where to put the water tank in relation to the pump and pump control switch.
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How Long Does a Water Tank Last?
The life expectancy of a water storage tank or water pressure tank depends on at least these variables:
When an older type (non-captive-air) tank needs replacement (for example because it has rusted through and has perforations leaking water or air, or if adding air frequently becomes a hassle, you'll want the newer type of "captive air" or "bladder" tank.
If your tank looks like it has leprosy, if you see water streaming down its side from a "pinhole" leak, it may be possible to make a temporary emergency repair using a rubber washer and screw.
Your hardware store sells special screws for this purpose. This is only a stopgap measure. You need a new tank.
Various types of tanks uses in and around buildings are identified and explained below, including water pressure tanks, water storage tanks, range boilers for hot water, indirect fired hot water tanks, expansion tanks in attics, basements, and on heating boilers, oil storage tanks, rooftop tanks, cisterns, water pressure booster systems. We also discuss when to replace water tanks.
[in process, suggestions welcome]
Watch out: don't poke at rust like this on a water tank - you are likely to change a slow seep or drip into an immediate catastrophe - the steel around the site of rust perforation is usually quite thin. You still need to replace the water tank but this approach can stop or slow a leak while you wait for the new tank to be installed.
If the rust perforation on a steel, bladderless water pressure tank is very tiny, 1/8" or so, temporary repair can sometimes be made using a special short lag-type threaded screw with a neoprene washer. Leak repair screws are sold for this use.
Details of this rusted leaky water tank leak repair procedure are at WATER TANK PERFORATION LEAK REPAIR
Locate the pressure tank as close as practical to the pump pressure control switch. If the water pressure tank located too far from the pressure control switch, or at a different elevation from the pressure switch, the pressure switch control may not operate properly.
Amtrol™ is quite clear about the proper water pressure tank location:
Water pressure tanks will work rather well if placed located almost anywhere on the piping system on the same level as the pressure control switch.
Water Pressure Control Switch Contact Bounce & Short Cycling Water Pumps
But it's best to follow the Amtrol advice - keep the water tank and pressure switch close together. Incorrect water pressure tank location, too far from the pressure control switch for example, can cause improper pressure control operation or pressure control switch contact "bouncing" turning the water pump on and off too rapidly.
If you have a problem such as the pump pressure control switch bouncing (the switch turning the pump on and off rapidly at the start or end of a pumping cycle) you can relocate the pressure switch to the new larger tank and run a longer wire to the pump or pump control relay.
Other causes of pressure switch bounce and well pump short cycling are explained at SHORT CYCLING CAUSES.
Our photo (above) shows a water tank located correctly in that the pressure control switch (that gray box between the blue water tank and the green treatment tank) is close to the water tank.
The owners located this water pressure tank in a closet and insulated the closet walls with fiberglass. The result was condensation that soaked the fiberglass, leading to a local mold contamination problem.
Our photo at above left is another illustration of a leaky water pressure tank that is beyond repair.
Continue reading at WATER TANK SAFETY or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the typical life of a water pressure tank or water storage tank, and about when & how to replace a water tank
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