Buffer tank pumbing

just got got hydrotek sc unit 5.5 gpm looking through search but can’t find a how to or pictures of how you set up a buffer tank

I don’t have any pictures but can try to talk you through it…

Not sure what size the bulkhead fitting is on the bottom of your tank is, but I’m sure you will need to reduce this down to 1". From there you will need a 1" close nipple installed, then a 1" PVC ball valve. From there install a 1" inline filter. From the filter on you can use PVC (Sch 80 IMO) pipe or 1" non-collapsible (Ribbed) hose to connect to the pump inlet.

Bypass (3/8’s" or 1/2") line will run from bypass side of unloader to top of the buffer tank. A brass hose barb fitting can be installed at the top of the buffer tank, connect your bypass line to this and you should be Gucci.


Do I need a different unloader if I switch from force fed to using a buffer tank?

Wash Authority

The unloader is not affected by the water supply. So you can keep the one you have.

When the Jose is returning from unloader to buffer tank make sure it is returning water away from outlet of tank. I mistakenly had mine returning above the outlet and what it did was put air into the water leaving the tank and sent my pump for a spin. So place the returning hose as far from the outlet of your buffer tank as possible.

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So I can feed the unloader back into the top of the tank? Above the full water level mark?

Wash Authority

Yes. We have always sent it back in the top with no problems. The returning water is not enough to have any ill effects on the float.

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We just had a few problems cause it airiated (spelling) the water as it left the tank. Bob from PressureTek told us to return the water away from the outlet to resolve the problem. We could have been a one in a million situation but better safe than sorry. Just saying.

I could see that possibly being a problem with lower water levels if right near the outlet. It can’t hurt to run it in on the opposite side.

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Only photo I have.
Out through a filter, then the hose in my hand is the return back into the top of the tank. Someone mentioned bubbles, you can also make the hose longer so it sits down to bottom of tank instead of splashing into the top.

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Can list the fittings you used for this? Or where you bought them at?!

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One inch hose is from tractor supply. Real sturdy. Filter is form pressure Tek but can get anywhere. It’s 1" in and out. I have quick connect cam lock fittings on the filter for easy cleaning. Tractor supply also. Hose clamps tractor supply.

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I make a hole to accommodate a female QC with a male thread and put that through the top of the tank and then back it with a 3/8 bass T. That shoots the water both left and right and runs down the side of the tank with no bubbles for the pump to suck up. That’s especially helpful on small tanks but I still use it on large tanks too just as a nice way to secure the QC.

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