Buffer tank problems

Hi guys,

I’m trying to set up a buffer tank for my 4gpm belt-drive. Supply around here is just too borderline. I’m ordering a 55 gal upright tank for my van, but I have to wait 8 weeks for it. (that’s another story)

Anyway, in the meantime I’m trying to make do with a small 27 gallon tote I’ve fitted out. Better than nothing. But when testing today, some questions came up.

  1. How do you clear air from the hoses when your inlet is connected to a buffer tank, which has no pressure behind it except for gravity? I had to purge the lines first with the garden hose connected to the house supply, then disconnect the inlet and connect it back to the tank. How do you do it?

  2. Is there a limit to the amount of hose you can have from tank outlet to PW inlet? For example, can I expect a 4gpm belt to be able to suck water out of a tank through, say, 50’ of garden hose? That didn’t work for me, by the way. I could only get it to work when I had a 15’ remnant connecting between tank and PW, running downhill about a foot to the pump.

Any gems of wisdom would be much appreciated.

#1. I do just like you did. But after a while you don’t have to purge or even think about it.

#2. Think high school. Look for a fattie. Short but big around. You want at least one inch diameter not over ten feet or so. Poly braid hose or similar is required. Regular water hose is fine for 4gpm when under pressure but Fails as a sucker supply.

Your 27 gallon is a fine start for a buffer. Unless of course, you have room to strap a 55 in and add a bulkhead to it.

I have a tee right at the pump (11/2") and a ball valve to purge air and drain tank, flush eyes, etc. ill get a pic up soon. Keep your line at least 1" to the pump. I have about 8ft of line from tank to pump. I also ordered one of those tanks and ended up keeping the tote for the pump and using the 55 for roofs since it has gal markings on it. Hope this helps.

Your a little quicker than me. :wink:

Hey Tim! Thanks for the response. So why do you not have to purge it after a while?

BTW, where could I source such parts locally?

Thanks Mike for the input! That is helpful. I am interested to see what you’re doing with that big tee at the pump, so if you do have a photo, I’d love to see it.

Lowes. Polybraid. Tractor supply has some 1" poly hose with ends already on it.

As long as there is water in the pump and you have a fat supply line, the (belt drive) pump should prime itself. Plus water pressure is +/- 1 psi per column foot so a 55 full would give about three psi to help the purge.

The tee does sound like a good idea if you don’t have a manifold at the float tank. An extra source of instant clean water “just in case” is always highly recommended. Plus, with a short hose on it, you’d have a handy source to mix that next batch of simple cherry.

Thank you Tim. Very helpful as always.

Keep in mind I got a new pump and had to reroute everything so it doesn’t discharge out the back yet. But when I need to purge air I just open the ball valve and let the air out. I kind of have the valve tilted up for this reason.

That’s a clever idea. Thanks Mike for posting those pics!