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disconnected

@snet.net

"304" Stainless, or Sched 80 PVC for Well Tank Tee?

It's time to replace the plumbing that ties my well pressure tank to the rest of the plumbing.

I'm tempted to go with a Schedule 80 cross tee, but there's only one source I could find.

Other traditional plumbing houses have brass and 304 Stainless versions of this part.

I used to think stainless was 'forever' until I used a stainless bolt to repair a flapper valve in my toilet--it lasted only 3 years (compared with 43 years for the original brass bolt) and eroded to a small, pointy chunk of metal when the assembly fell apart soonafter.. so I no longer trust stainless steel in acidic well water.

My existing tank has a brass or bronze Tee, but it appears to be starting to leak, develop pinholes.

Rather than put in another brass Tee and have it develop pinholes in a few years, I am revisiting Stainless, if I can find out what the lifespan of 304 Stainless is in such an application.

The Schedule 80 Tank Tee would probably be my first choice, given it's imperviousness to acidic water. I had constant pinhole leaks in my former copper plumbing until I replaced most of it throughout the house in 1997. Not one leak from any PVC pipe since. Given the maintenance-free benefits of PVC, I find the Schedule 80 Tank Tee to be a desirable thing, as it should be the last time I ever have to replace the parts under the tank. Of course, I would like to find one with a union, making tank removal non-destructive (no cutting).
The only PVC tank Tee I could find is on fleabay.
I'm also looking at some brass and stainless 304 Tees on AmericanGranby's site:
»www.americangranby.com/Products.···RU5MOw==

So the question is, how good is the 304 Stainless? Will it pit and develope pinholes in a number of years, or will it last as well as the PVC?


public

join:2002-01-19
Santa Clara, CA

said by disconnected :

So the question is, how good is the 304 Stainless? Will it pit and develope pinholes in a number of years, or will it last as well as the PVC?
304 is not recommended for acids. Industrial fittings are commonly available in 304 or 316. If your fitting corroded, use 316 which has better corrosion resistance, especially to acids.


disconnected

@snet.net

I was thinking 316 would be better, but I can find no commercial well T tank fittings made of 316, so I'm presented with 304 or brass/bronze, or the Sch 80 PVC.
Anyone besides Fleabay sell Tank Tees in Schedule 80 PVC?
I may have to settle for brass/bronze again, which will corrode again, like my original bronze T.



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to disconnected

Why are you using Schedule 80? That seems a bit overkill. Have you checked the pressure ratings on schedule 40 CPVC? Are they higher than the relief valve on the rank?

I am not that familiar with plastic pipe and fittings but I know schedule 80 black iron is used for real heavy duty pressure applications. Schedule 40 is typical for fluids and compressed gasses under 100 PSI or so.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



disconnected

@snet.net

I've not seen any tank teen in Sch 40. The only one I found is Sch 80, and that's fine by me, because it supports a pressure gauge, relief valve and a junction with a bunch of other connections to the well and loads. I don't think I would use a Sch 40 in this application, due to the lack of physical rigidity and strength. I'm even planning on Sch 80 for the 1" main that feeds the rest of the house. The thicker pipe is also more insulative, and less prone to sweating in humid weather.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to disconnected

Pardon my ignorance because I don't know anything about well piping, but I do know a good bit about industrial piping. What is so special about this T? Why couldn't you just use a commercially available 316 stainless T? They should be available in just about any industrial plumbing supply house.



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5
reply to disconnected

You're losing pipe due to acid in your water. A softener will help to bring PH levels back in check. Copper piping should last 20-40yrs in proper conditions.

I`d use Flowguard gold CPVC on your system. Dunno if they make a 1" ips tee for a bladder tank though. Otherwise, I`d go with schedule 80 pvc. Dont use tape dope, just wipe on pipe dope, and dont overtighten.

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



disconnected

@snet.net

Click for full size
Click for full size
This T has all the inlets and outlets for pressure gauge, relief valve, tank drain valve, tank, input and output. It's a standard part. I just wish there were more sources for the PVC version.

Actually, I like the water the way it is. Adding a softener would add another mainenance item that can go really bad if left alone too long and it ruins the taste of the water and the cleaning ability. Drinking PH negative water is more healthful, too, as there are proven benefits to maintaining a slightly acidic system for consumption and bathing.

So I am combatting the pipe corrosion by replacing all the pipes with stuff that won't corrode. 20-40 years is a blink of an eye. I have been replacing pipes every 35 years in this house and finally got tired of the damage, floods and leaks and went all PVC for the main house. All that's left to convert is this tank. I'm hoping to avoid any more metallic piping.
The only thing about PVC is you can't tighten too much, or sometimes the joint will crack at a later time and a massive flood will result. This iron pipe was replaced 12 years ago and it is rusting badly again due to condensation on the outside. I can only imagine what is going on on the inside of it.


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to disconnected

My experience with pressure tanks and tank "T"s is that the bladder in the pressure tank will fail in about 10 years and the tank will need to be replaced. I would assume that even under harsh conditions the bronze tank T would last that long.

So to make things easier why not replace the tank T when you replace the tank?

BTW ---- Are you sure the T that is in service is actually showing pinholes and not just condensation?
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.


scooper

join:2000-07-11
Youngsville, NC
kudos:2
reply to disconnected

My house is also on a well, and my well pH is about 6.7 - very slightly acidic. Brass fittings should last practically forever in this use.

The only water treatment I do is filter for sediment after the pressure tank.

My tank was last replaced around '96 - '97 with an A.O. Smith, and it's been fine. When the tank was replaced, the plumber just used the same brass Tee from the old, too small tank. About 99% of the plumbing is PEX, with brass crimp on fittings, a few compression plastic. What's left of the original PB tubing is in places that is difficult to replace, and can be isolated if necessary. There are places I have PVC (mostly from the well to the pressure tank).

If/when I replace the tank - I want a real monster - I want to up the pressure on the system from 30/50 to 40/60 and I need a bigger tank to do it and still maintain the 1 minute minimum run time for the well pump.



disconnected

@snet.net
reply to pende_tim

I was going to replace the tank, but then I looked at prices and that stopped me cold dead. I thought the bladder was shot after all these years.. this tank was installed in the early 90s.. however, I didn't drain all the water out properly when I attempted to precharge it last week and the pump was still running for only 6 seconds. I let some air out of the tank to see if I would get water mixed in, or a mist. The air was completely dry, so apparently no bladder problems.
So what I did to correct the poor drawdown to was open the outdoor garden spigot, drain the tank, and then start up the air compressor and add air to the tank to force the remaining water out. Not surprising was that more water came out. Surprising was that the remaining water in the tank filled two garbage cans--more than 50 gallons left in the tank! This time, I ran the compressor until the water was completely drained. Then I set the precharge and turned on the pump. The drawdown is MUCH improved and the tank seems to be working perfectly now.
This whole thing started with a sudden flood last Friday. In the morning the floor had water on it. By late afternoon, it was drying up. But when I first investigated, the Tee was leaking, right next to one of the outlets for the pressure gauge. That leak apparently stopped. The area is nearly dried up now, but I don't trust that Tee, given it's over 40 years old.
I have a hunch that the flood may have been caused by the loss of precharge in the tank, thus reaching a low enough point where the surge in pressure at pump turn on was enough to trip the relief valve for a brief instant. That would have created a nice flood that would later dry up. And I have a vague recollection of something like this happening about 20 years ago with this system.
Regardless of the precise cause, all that under tank piping is a time bomb and I'd prefer to replace it all with sched 80 PVC so I don't have to worry about it anymore.
Previous tanks have had the water in the metal tank and air precharge in the bladder. I've had those fail every 8-10 years.. finally in the early 90s I got the type where the water is in the bladder and the air is in contact only with the metal. Water doesn't taste as good with this type of tank, but reliability sure improved.
I'm looking for a better sediment filter too. I used to have one, but it would clog up and reduce water pressure every 3-4 weeks. Finally, I removed it completely. Need a high capacity system.. preferably before the tank. Although, since I put in a new check valve in '98 and greased the joint at the pitless adapter when I replaced my pump in '08, I haven't seen any sediment in my water since then. I think most of the sediment problems were during a period when I had a crack in the underground feed line from the well, which I repaired in '08.
Currently running a 40/60 pressure switch, adjusted to 50/70.
Longer, less frequent pump starts should reduce electric consumption. Since we got this larger pump, I noticed higher electric bills. Considering the LRA is 106A on this pump, frequent startups mean a lot of peak current events, which is probably costing us more than it should. I'm also trying to prolong the life of the pump. The Sears pump that preceded it only lasted 23 years before its shaft dissolved and snapped in two.



zen1

@optonline.net
reply to disconnected

the answer is epoxy lining. »www.nuflowtech.com/Products/EPOXYLINING.aspx btw, the LRA, is only a factor for 1 second or less, usually .5 second to bring the motor up to speed. not really a factor..



disconnected

@snet.net

That's an interesting product/service, one that I have often had a wish for in protecting difficult to replace pipes, like those inside my shower wall, which is totally inaccessible without demolition of sink vanity and adjacent wall. However, I question the practicality of this for a homeowner, and how this can be applied without also clogging valves at faucets.

The LRA seems short in duration, but if your pump is kicking on and off 40X more frequently than it should due to tank problems, that could add up. Not to mention the stress on the pumps bearings as it thrusts water up the drop pipe.



rawgerz
The hell was that?
Premium
join:2004-10-03
Grove City, PA
reply to disconnected

Probably not Sch 80 »www.amazon.com/Merit-Brass-K606-···03GSL1II
Guessing the size you need is 3/4"..

I have acidic water like you also. Have had thinner copper pipes spring pin holes and leak after 6-8 yrs. Good news is thicker wall copper has lasted many times over. Only problem with that is it leaves an awful bitter taste in the water from corrosion.
But all of that is solved with CPVC, or likely SS also. I realize you want sch 80 for it's thickness, but I really don't think you'll have to worry with 316. If it does anything it's going to rust, and rust would likely take a long time to eat through the fitting. And if you want to be rid of condensation on your piping, use a dehumidifier in your basement.
--

You can't make all the people happy all of the time. But it should be common sense to shoot for the majority.



disconnected

@snet.net

That is an ordinary Tee, not a Tank Tee, which has special outlets for pressure relief 3/4", drain valve 3/4", pressure gauge 1/4", pressure switch 1/4", tank 1", feed from well 1" and feed to plumbing 1".
There's a sched 80 Tee on fleabay.. this is what it looks like:

»cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi···MEWAX:IT

If I could find it from another source, that would be preferred.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to disconnected

said by disconnected :

Currently running a 40/60 pressure switch, adjusted to 50/70.
Longer, less frequent pump starts should reduce electric consumption. Since we got this larger pump, I noticed higher electric bills. Considering the LRA is 106A on this pump, frequent startups mean a lot of peak current events, which is probably costing us more than it should. I'm also trying to prolong the life of the pump.
I'm not sure that increasing both of the pressure settings reduces pump starts. By putting a larger pump on your well you increased pump starts as a larger pump pumps faster. The larger pump also uses more electricity.

The normal way to decrease pump starts is to first size the pump for the amount of water used a peak demand and no larger that. Without changing the pump, the standard way is to increase the size of the pressure tank or add a second one. The third way is what I have done -- go to a two pump system with a large non-pressurized storage tank. I have a 2500 gallon storage tank with a second pressure pump and typically run my well pump for for or five hours at a time once or twice a week.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
reply to disconnected

said by disconnected :

Of course, I would like to find one with a union, making tank removal non-destructive (no cutting).
I added a union the last time I got a new tank. The bladder failed after 3 years and the union coupling was jammed. Luckily PVC is easy to work with so I just cut the pipe.

The tank before that lasted 12 years. It was fiberglass and split open like a walnut, ejecting the bladder. The bladder looked like one of those exercise balls but about 4x the size of the tank it came from.


zen1

@optonline.net
reply to disconnected

said by disconnected :

That's an interesting product/service, one that I have often had a wish for in protecting difficult to replace pipes, like those inside my shower wall, which is totally inaccessible without demolition of sink vanity and adjacent wall. However, I question the practicality of this for a homeowner, and how this can be applied without also clogging valves at faucets.

The LRA seems short in duration, but if your pump is kicking on and off 40X more frequently than it should due to tank problems, that could add up. Not to mention the stress on the pumps bearings as it thrusts water up the drop pipe.
they say it's 1/2 the price of replacing the pipes.. btw, you could have just the tee epoxied, if that is done, it don't matter what it's made of. 99.9% of people would just use a neutralizer and water softener, so they avoid these problems..


pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

The piece he wants to upgrade is on the pressure tank, directly from the well.

All whole house treatments, for like pH and hardness, are installed between the tank and the house therefor that would not help this problem. It would help pipes after the treatment however.

Tim
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.



rawgerz
The hell was that?
Premium
join:2004-10-03
Grove City, PA
reply to disconnected

said by disconnected :

That is an ordinary Tee, not a Tank Tee
I understand that, but I don't think you're going to find one in SS. The beauty of plumbing is you can install all those fixtures most anywhere in the immediate area, unless available space is a concern. Plus having these attachments near eye level is much more desirable.
--

You can't make all the people happy all of the time. But it should be common sense to shoot for the majority.


disconnected

@snet.net

I did in fact find a 304 stainless tank tee, which was the impetus for this thread.
Having thought it over, I may just put in a brass tank tee and expect another 40 years out of it.
Oh, definately, raising the pump pressure will increase electric consumption. But I made that adjustment years ago. What I expect is that reducing the frequency of pump cycling may slightly reduce consumption of power because the statistical ratio of startups where for a brief instant, the pump is at zero efficiency (locked rotor startup) is shifted toward longer durations of pump work time and less startup locked rotor time. I know it's small, but every little bit adds up.
I wonder if that company would coat the part for me if I sent it in?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

I agree that you want to minimize pump cycling, but the main reason is to extend pump life. It should also reduce electrical usage but pump life is probably the most important reason. My question relates to the steps you have taken to achieve this.



disconnected

@snet.net

When my electricity was costing $100/mo, I wasn't so concerned about nitpicking every inefficiency, but now with it hovering around $500 every month (over $600 in August), any little reduction in use is worth chasing after.

Back in 98, I replaced a 3/4" feed pipe (1-1/4" black PVC from the well was reduced to copper where it entered the foundation) with 1" sch 40, to replace the copper which failed after 35+ years.. upgraded the size to reduce the restriction. In 2008, I installed a new pump and upgraded the wiring to #10awg. Original well contractor had installed #14 wire. I also went from 3 wire to 4 wire.

Properly precharging the pressure tank corrected the short running problem. It was so bad last month that flushing the toilet would cause 3 cycles of pump operation.



rawgerz
The hell was that?
Premium
join:2004-10-03
Grove City, PA

Even if your pump ran 24 hours a day (1/2HP) that would only amount to $10 a month (@ $0.10 KWH). You likely have something heating/cooling related causing the $$$.

Also, unless you recently messed with your tank's pressure or it's new, you should never have issues with it. If the pump suddenly started running longer and more often, the bladder has broken or you may have an issue with the pressure switch/check valve/slow leak/ect.
--

You can't make all the people happy all of the time. But it should be common sense to shoot for the majority.