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  • Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

    Alright, so when waters heated up, it needs somewhere to expand to, and if thats the case, how come expansion tanks aren't installed on homes with wells?

    1. I've heard the well tank would be the answer to this, but sometimes the well thanks really far away from the hot water heater.

    2. What if the homes on a jet pump with no well tank?

    Also, how come in city row homes(I've noticed this only in Baltimore), there are no sum pumps?
    Proud To Be Union!!

  • #2
    Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

    You only need expansion tanks on closed supply systems meaning there's a check valve in there. Traditionally, when the water heats up, it pushes back on the cold side. No big deal but if there's a check valve there the water has nowhere to go so the PT valve will go off.

    A well tank and an expansion tank are the same thing just different in size. Well tank being bigger. A well would almost always have to have a "well tank" or some kind of holding tank or the pump would have to cycle every time the water is turn on. Not very efficent. For your sump pump question-no idea-never been to Baltimore.

    There's a book called "plumbing design and installation" by L. V. Ripka. Since you're in this for the long haul I highly encourage you to get and understand this book. Best 60 bucks you'll ever spend.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

      Most home/private wells are now using pressure systems, very few gravity systems, as most locations don't have the elevation to create good gravity flow pressure.

      The pump, pumps water into a pressure tank, the preferred is the bladder type where the air and the water are separated, first you do not have the air dissolving in to the water and the draw down is greater, (jsut like your expansion tank but usually much larger),

      If the system is a pressure system, there is some type of expansion tank some place in the line, or it is a gravity feed,(Water Tower).

      I don't like the to see the pressure tanks buried, but some to it, so you don't see the tank, I have even seen a tank with a pipe through the middle that was put in place of the top few feet of the well casing,

      There are a few variable speed well pumps that change speed in response to the flow needed, so they need less of a tank, but I don't think they can as of yet get by with out the tank all together, the only system that I know of that is tank less is a small 12 volt RV pressure pump, but even many of the RV systems use a small expansion tank.

      jet pumps need expansion tanks, or they will short cycle, kick on and off very rapidly and in a very short time burn up the motor, (that is what happens when a pressure tank water logs, looses it air charge and there is no expansion room)

      and on a well system (mine for an example I have over 100 gallons of pressure tank capacity), and unless you have a check valve the pressure that builds in the hot water heater is flowed back into the supply system of the place,

      If you have a check valve between the pressure tank and the Hot water heater you will need an expansion tank jsut as if your on city water and there is a check valve in the system,

      Sump pumps are used where you either have a high water table or some type of water infiltration or when you have a concern of flooding,

      There are times when the sewer main is above the floor of the basement
      because if the main is below the basement floor many times there is jsut a floor drain in the basement a some location. and no sump pumps used.

      If pluming is placed in the basement a sewage pump system is used that collects the sewage and then pumps it up to the main line, (similar to a sump pump but totally enclosed and vented in the plumbing system).
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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      • #4
        Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

        Gear Junkie, thanks for your response. I own several plumbing books and am always looking to enlarge my collection. I just couldn't figure out those two questions. When I have the money laying around I'll try and pick up that book.

        But... The only place I could see a check valve is on top of the well pump, which would be 300' feet below in the well casing. Plus however far away the well may be! I know some of you might say, it should be near the well tank, but with popular well pumps such as Goulds incorporating a check valve into the top of the pump there is no need for one.

        Also, where would the check valve be on a public water system? I know there's suppose to be a check valve at water main, where it branches off to a smaller water main, but again that can be several hundred or more feet away. At the pressure reducing valve, I'm assuming?

        Does anyone understand what I'm saying, I just don't see why theres not expansion tanks on homes with wells.

        BHD, thanks for that write up! All the sewer lines I've seen in Baltimore City go out the basement wall, usually 4 or more feet below grade. Also the city as most of you know, is a port city meaning on the water, and I've asked the guys I work with, no body knows the answer. Not to mention in the surrounding counties, farther away from the water, every home has a sum pump. Since Baltimore is a low income area, I'm assuming the builders just short cut the homeowners.
        Proud To Be Union!!

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        • #5
          Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

          Many of the homes in Baltimore and Baltimore County were built long ago. Things weren't done to modern code back then. As for sump pumps, many basements have or should have floor drains. Some connect into the sanitary sewer (Hope it doesn't back up). Sump pumps are for flooding issues and while I would like to see one in every basement, it gets into the $$$ factor.

          When you refer to the expansion tank for a well water system, do you mean for the hot water heater, or are you thinking of a water storage tank?

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          • #6
            Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

            woussko, thanks for your reply. Thats very smart, I didn't think of them not being built to modern code. Your question confuses me. I'm just saying, how come a water heater on a well doesn't have a expansion tank?
            Proud To Be Union!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

              Normally on a well there is a check at the bottom of the well or a foot valve, and usually there is another as it leaved the well head or enters into the area where the "pressure storage tank" is.

              The pressure tank is after the check valves, so and the pressure tank is a large expansion tank, but its normal use is for absorbing the water from the well, and to give some storage,
              The well is uslay a 20-40 or a 30-50 pressure setting on the pressure switch,

              So when the water leaves the tank and the pressure lowers to 20 pounds the well pump kicks on, and then when the pressure reaches 40 pounds it shuts off, (or the 30-50 setting). And depending on the size of the tank "X" number of gallons of water is able to be stored, when the Hot water heater kicks on and the water expands it jsut moves back into the wells pressure tank,

              the only time you would need an expansion tank on the hot water heater in a well system is if there is a check valve between the pressure tank and the hot water heater.
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

                BHD, thank you that time cleared it up. I appreciate you taking the time to explain it more than once.
                Proud To Be Union!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

                  some more info, on wells, the well pump could be a sub pump or a jet pump and the basic set up would be the same except for the pump configuration, but the pressure tank would be very simular set up.

                  http://www.deanbennett.com/4inch-ins...structions.pdf
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by BHD; 05-19-2007, 10:34 PM.
                  Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                  attributed to Samuel Johnson
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

                    Originally posted by Aaron91 View Post
                    Alright, so when waters heated up, it needs somewhere to expand to, and if thats the case, how come expansion tanks aren't installed on homes with wells?

                    1. I've heard the well tank would be the answer to this, but sometimes the well thanks really far away from the hot water heater.

                    2. What if the homes on a jet pump with no well tank?

                    Also, how come in city row homes(I've noticed this only in Baltimore), there are no sum pumps?
                    You're dealing with several different plumbing issues, which are not connected together. "Thermal Expansion", "Well Pumps", and "Sump Pumps" are not connected, they have different sets of problems. Research one at a time.
                    the dog

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                    • #11
                      Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

                      some more info on well pressure tanks, and types of tanks that one may find on well systems, also some trouble shooting tips,

                      http://www.inspect-ny.com/water/watertank.htm#AVC

                      http://www.gov.mb.ca/tgs/mwsb/pdf/no...ssuretanks.pdf
                      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                      attributed to Samuel Johnson
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Thermal Expansion...? Sum Pump...?

                        Thanks for those links.
                        Proud To Be Union!!

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