If you are in love with the lusciousness of your beautiful garden and want to keep it ever-green, then installing a pressure tank is the way to go. A quick answer about whether or not a pressure tank is necessary for a sprinkler pump would be- Yes, a 100-times yes (if you have the budget). It simplifies the task of watering to such a degree that nobody would want to miss it.
However, there are quite a few things that you need to know before you buy one.
- What is a pressure tank?
- How does it work?
- What is pressure drawdown?
- Benefits of getting one!
- How to size a pressure tank?
In the article, we will discuss if and why your sprinkler pump needs a pressure tank in detail. We are also going to break down the benefits you can reap by having it by your side.
Table of Contents
What is a Well Pressure Tank?
You can think of the pressure tanks as an added support to your irrigation system. Most of the models have a diaphragm, which is also called a bladder. It stores water that the pump draws from the underground. Later, it uses compressed air to eject water out through the sprinklers.
How Does Pressure Tank Work?
It is equipped with a pressure switch. The switch monitors the pressure inside the tank. When the water level inside the tank rises, the pressure of the inside increases. Vise-versa, when the water level drops, the pressure decreases as well. So, what the switch does is that it detects the rise and fall of pressure and signals the irrigation pump to switch on.
What Is Pressure Drawdown?
Every sprinkler pump operates on an on-and-off cycle. The drawdown protects the pump from wear and tear. It refers to the amount of water that remains inside the pressure tank.
For example, if you are using a tank with a 30/50 pressure switch. When the pump turns on, the pressure is at its highest, which is at 50psi. When the water gets dispersed, the pressure keeps dropping until it hits 30psi. The drop then triggers the switch to activate and turn on the pump. Then, the pump keeps drawing in water until the pressure inside the tank is restored back to 50psi.
In short, the drawdown can also be thought of as the amount of extended time that the pump gets between switching on-and-off cycle.
Benefits of Pressure Tank
There are many perks to getting a pressure tank for your sprinkler pump. So, before you invest your hard-earned money on a fairly expensive gadget such as this, you have the right to know what sort of advantages are there to this device. Hence, here they are-
· Maintains System Pressure
When the water stays in the sprinkler system for too long, it does not always have the necessary amount of pressure needed to water your lawn. In other words, when your sprinkler sets off, the water will simply trickle down and form a puddle. As a result, you will end up having a miniature pool in your yard.
What the pressure tank does is that it collects the water, stores it in a pressurized state inside the bladder, and releases it at your beck and call. The tank ensures that the system pressure stays within the required range.
· Reduces Wear and Tear
In the absence of a pressure tank, the pump gets switched on and off every time during the sprinkler cycle. This will cause your pump to burn out a lot quicker.
So, to prevent this from happening, it’s able to store a significant amount of water that can be easily supplied on demand. This way, the pump gets activated only when the pressure inside the tank goes down below the standard limit. Thus, extending the on-and-off cycle and thereby making your pump more durable.
· Energy Saver
With the tank at hand, the water system is not always reliant on the pump to do the work. This intermittent use reduces the consumption of electricity, saving you a stack of bills.
· Water Reserve
As you know, every tank has the ability to store water but, the volume of water that it can store depends on the size of the tank. To be noted, a larger size can be of use, especially in the case of a power outage or if the pump breaks down.
How Do I Size A Well Pressure Tank?
Now, there are certain key aspects of the well-pressure tank that you would need to bear in mind. Knowing them will help you in choosing the one that’s perfect for you.
· Flow Rate
First of all, you need to keep a lookout for the number of gallons your pump can produce every minute.
Next, when you multiply the pump flow rate along with the runtime, you get the drawdown capacity.
For example, any pump that has the capacity to withdraw 10 gallons of water per minute should have the ability to produce at least one gallon of water every minute during runtime.
And, any pump above that capacity should be able to produce 1.5 gallons per minute of the runtime. However, you may need additional tanks if your flow rate exceeds 20 gallons.
· Switch Setting
Lastly, the pressure switch of the tank, as we know by now, signals the pump to activate when the pressure inside the bladder is below the threshold level. But similarly, it also triggers the pump to shut down when the pressure is back to the intended level.
Normally, you will have about three different settings to choose from 20/40, 30/50, and 40/60. Here, the first number indicates the lower setting the pump turns on and the second is the higher setting where the pump turns off.
Types of Pressure Tanks
There are usually three types:
- One compartment pressure tank: This is an older model. In this type, there is no bladder. The casing is made out of stainless steel, where water and compressed air are stored together. This, however, causes waterlogging where the air eventually mixes in with water.
- Bladder tank: It is one of the later models which resolve the waterlogging issue of its predecessor. The rubber bladder stores the water, and it rises and falls along with the pressure of the tank.
- Diaphragm tank: The built is similar to that of the bladder tank except that it has a rubber layer instead of a bladder.
Pump It Up!
In short, having a pressure tank for your sprinkler pump is not simply suggested; it is essential for your irrigation systems to survive for a longer period. It takes the load off your pump and makes it easier for you to keep control over the entire system. So, take the pressure off your chest, and let the pressure tanks take over, ciao.
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Hey there bud,
James A. Porter here, a veteran plumber, coming to you from New Orleans, Louisiana.
As I grew up in one of the most rain-infested areas of the USA, I had to pick up a thing or two about plumbing. While most people stop after picking up a few plumbing tricks, I began my career in plumbing.
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