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Old 06-28-2014, 07:10 AM   #1
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Accumulator tank question?

I am going to add an accumulator tank to my fresh water system. The usual place of installation is after the pump, before any T's off the water line. My water Heater T's off very close after the water pump, so not room for the accumulator tank.
Should I replumb and place accumulator tank before the water heater T or can I put in the line after the T?
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:20 AM   #2
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The accumulator provides a soft spot in the system because air is compressible. This absorbs pulsations created by the pump. These pulsations should be absorbed as soon as possible after the pump. This way the least amount of system is exposed to the pulsation shocks.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:25 AM   #3
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You will be fine if you install it after the hot water heater. It will work almost as good there.

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Old 06-28-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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Both above are right, and I had to really think about the location of mine before posting. Mine is after the hot-water heater. Since the connections to the hot-water heater are rigid anyway, it suffers less from the pressure kick of the pump. I've been in at least one boat where the tank was too far away from the pump. The whole system, shower, head, faucets, etc. really kicked after a pump run.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obthomas View Post
The accumulator provides a soft spot in the system because air is compressible. This absorbs pulsations created by the pump. These pulsations should be absorbed as soon as possible after the pump. This way the least amount of system is exposed to the pulsation shocks.
That is not exactly right but it's not exactly wrong either.

An accumulator tank (as used in water systems) is a tank with a flexible bladder or diaphragm. On one side is pressurized air, on the other side is the water. As the water pump pumps water into the plumbing system, it begins to fill the water side of the accumulator tank and in doing so, it further pressurizes the air chamber. Once the pump reaches the high set point on the pressure switch (lets say 30 PSI) it cuts off and the entire water system is pressurized to 30 PSI. As you open a faucet or other appliance and draw water, the pressurized air in the accumulator tank pushes the water through the system. Once the pressure drops to the low set point of the pump (let's say 10 PSI), it comes on and runs until the high set point is reached again and then cuts off.

The whole point of the accumulator tank is to keep the pump from having to run every time you draw water (to wash your hands, for instance). If you are drawing a large amount of water, the pump will come on and may run continuously until you stop drawing water and it builds up the pressure again.

Traditionally, the accumulator tank would be next in line after the pump or connected to a manifold along with the water heater and the cold water lines but since the pressure is the same throughout the system (when no water is flowing), it can be installed anywhere that's convenient.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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Ron, you just saved me a lot of typing. You are exactly right.

Say you hook up a high volume pump to your water system with out a pressure tank. Then you open a faucet to get a small stream of water. The pump will turn on for just a second or two before it rebuilds pressure and then turns off. Two seconds later the pressure drops and it turns back on again. Now you've got the pump turning on and off 30 times a minute. This is very hard on the pressure switch and the whole system.

If you have an accumulator tank in the system and the pump cycles on and off quickly, it indicates that your tank is water logged and needs to be re-pressurized or replaced.

Ron is correct, it doesn't matter where in the system you put the accumulator tank.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:00 PM   #7
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I doubt that hot water is good for the accumulator. Put it before the hot water tank.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:16 PM   #8
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Like a battery in an electrical system, an accumulator provides a buffered and smoother water delivery in addition to providing protection from hydraulic shock...just like a battery can provide protection from voltage spikes. The closer to the pump it's located, the more effective it will be. Any components between the pump and the accumulator will not receive the hydraulic shock protection from the accumulator.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:06 PM   #9
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Ours is after the pump. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-28-2014, 10:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Like a battery in an electrical system, an accumulator provides a buffered and smoother water delivery in addition to providing protection from hydraulic shock...just like a battery can provide protection from voltage spikes. The closer to the pump it's located, the more effective it will be. Any components between the pump and the accumulator will not receive the hydraulic shock protection from the accumulator.
Yep, I agree. the accumulator tanks do more than just even out flow. Taking shock out of the lines is an important function. In our home building we do similar things by putting risers near faucets and especially on washing machine connections. The solenoid shut off valves are hell on plumbing. We also install accumulator tanks on water heaters to serve as expansion tanks to keep pressure relief valves from losing water.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:46 PM   #11
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Pump adjacent to accumulator:

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Old 06-29-2014, 02:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Like a battery in an electrical system, an accumulator provides a buffered and smoother water delivery in addition to providing protection from hydraulic shock...just like a battery can provide protection from voltage spikes. The closer to the pump it's located, the more effective it will be. Any components between the pump and the accumulator will not receive the hydraulic shock protection from the accumulator.
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Exactly, I am not sure why you would put it after the water heater instead of at the beginning of the entire water system, cold and hot water sides.

I used one big one that T'd in and thus serviced both an AC and a DC FW pump.

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Old 06-29-2014, 07:08 AM   #13
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The accumulator tank I have looks like the one that Markpierce has shown.
At this time, I think I will go ahead and install after the water heater T and see how it works. If not acceptable, I'll just switch places and go from there.
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and ideas.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:06 AM   #14
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As long as there are no check valves past the hot water tee, there will be no problems with the location of the tank. It will still serve both purposes as detailed above. The hammer or surge limiting ability is not impaired. The water heater will not have any greater or less of a surge than if the tank was placed upstream. Water does not necessarily have to pass through the tank hence mounting on a tee. Furthermore the newer variable speed flow controlled pumps do not require a tank, I would assume that you do not have that type of a pump. The only time hammer / surge will be a factor is when the system is completely empty and air is in the lines. Air compresses water does not.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:18 AM   #15
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Air compresses water does not!
Yep ask anyone who has ever had water ingested into a motor.
I don't know why you wouldn't properly place the accumulator tank the 1st time in front of the water heater?
Otherwise use a Jabsco Diamond series electronic controlled DC water pump. No accumulator tank is needed with these pumps, although they cost a few bucks more then the standard fresh water pumps.
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #16
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You can put the tank anywhere in the cold system line. Preferably close to the pump, but put it where it fits.
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Old 06-29-2014, 12:30 PM   #17
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You can definitely mount the accumulator after the water heater. It will not make any difference.

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Old 06-29-2014, 01:11 PM   #18
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Except as the accumulator fills and empties, hot water will move in and out of water heater. No big deal, but why do it on the hot water leg?
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:32 PM   #19
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Except as the accumulator fills and empties, hot water will move in and out of water heater. No big deal, but why do it on the hot water leg?
Why would anyone do it on the hot water leg? They shouldn't install the T there.

Sure it can be mounted almost anywhere within reason, however how hard is it to install a T right after the fresh water pump and run a hose to the accumulator? It doesn't take much thinking outside of the box to have the "T" be located immediately after the fresh water pump's output and mount the accumulator within a reasonable distance from the "T"..
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:35 PM   #20
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You can definitely mount the accumulator after the water heater. It will not make any difference.

Shay
Hi Shay, how are you folks? Been awhile.

Anyway, I trust your judgement. Can you explain a bit more detail why the placement doesn't make a difference?

Thanks!
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