Your well pressure tank stores pressurized air and water inside the container known as the bladder tank. It separates air and water by a rubber drum or rubber bladder in the tank. The come already filled with air when you buy a well pressure tank.The air pressure inside the bladder tank will rise or fall depending on how often the water pressure changes.
If the air pressure gets too low, you’ll need to monitor it regularly. When you notice any changes in how the tank is working, here’s what to do:
Check the air charge:
- Start by disconnecting the electrical supply to the pump.
- Open the closet tap and drain the tank.
- Use a pressure gauge; place it onto the air charging valve at top of the tank to measure the pressure.
- Check to see if the pressure falls within the 2 pounds per square inch (psi) of the regular cut-in pump pressure.
- If the pressure is more than 2psi, release the air in the tank.
Check for leaks:
Check the air charging valve to see if there are any leaks inside the tank.
- Sprinkle some soap and water mixture onto the valve.
- Get the correct pressure reading by letting the pump run normally.
- If the air pressure drops outside the normal range, there may be a tear or hole inside the bladder tank.
- Make a few knocks to the bottom and top of the tank to check if there’s water and air in the tank.
Water is at the bottom and air is at the top. If the bottom of the tank sounds weak, or the top sounds hollow, it means there’s no leak in the tank.
If there’s too much water inside the tank, it may corrode and cause your tank to break down.
Waterlogging may also cause the pump to keep cycling, and it will eventually burn out.
- Stagnant water may also build up and create bacteria from sediment, chlorine or rust inside the tank.
- Sediments and chlorine solutions inside the tank may create an odor or rust in the water.
- If your tank is on a base, or it rests on the ground, moisture or rust around the tank bottom may set in and cause the tank to get weak.
- Build-up of chemicals in the tank can harden and block the water line from filling up adequately inside the tank.
To check the bladder tank:
- Switch off the power supply.
- Only switch the breaker back on after you finish checking the tank.
- Open the tap nearest to the pressure switch on the tank and drain the water.
- Take off the valve cap on top of the tank. Signs of water around the valve may mean there’s a leak in the tank bladder.
- When you open the faucet, find out the pump’s cut-in pressure and adjust it accordingly.
Replacing the pressure tank
- Switch off the power and water supply. To be safe, completely take out the circuit breaker that leads to the pump.
- Drain all the water from the tank. You can attach a hose and draw the water into a container.
- Uncover the cap on the pressure switch. Next, disconnect the wires from the electrical lines.
- Loosen the connecting pipes on the tank with a wrench. Be sure to stabilize the tan while unscrewing the pipes.
- When you disconnect everything, roll the tank from side to side to move it out of the way.
- Set the old tank down and take out all the pipes, switches and pressure gauges.
- Put the new tank in position.
- Use some plumber’s tape and re-attach the gauge and pressure switch onto the replacement tank.
- Follow the direction of the screw and twist the tape in the same way.
- Set the new tank in place and connect all the fittings to the pump by joining them together.
- Re-attach the electrical wires and pressure switch.
After sealing the pipes, attach the switch and turn the water on. Make sure the pump is working.
When your pressure tank goes bad, it may mean there’s a leak or the bladder tank may be faulty due to tears or stretching.With a few tools, patience and basic skills you can get the job done and ensure your tank is working to its maximum.