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Water pressure gauge and storage and water tank

Pressure Tank Problems and What to Do About Them

You may not realize just how vital your water pressure tank is until it stops functioning properly. Although pressure tanks are built to last at least ten years, even a newer model can malfunction from time to time. However, if you ignore water pressure tank problems, you may be replacing your well pump much sooner than you planned. If you suspect you have a pressure tank problem, don’t panic. There are many ways you can assess the situation before bringing in the pros. 

How Does a Water Pressure Tank Work? 

Before you can figure out what’s wrong with your water pressure tank, you first need to understand how it works. The purpose of a water pressure tank is to take the brunt of the workload away from your well pump. Your pressure tank is home to a pressurized supply of water used for your home’s faucets and appliances. With the assistance of a pressure tank, your well pump won’t need to turn on and off as often, which allows your well pump to work more efficiently, lengthening its life. 

Water pressure tanks work by keeping the water they store in a constant state of pressure. When water leaves the tank, the pressure level drops. When the pressure reaches a pre-set threshold, the well pump activates and replaces the water in the tank. As the water replenishes, the pressure then rises. Essentially, your well pump and water pressure tank work as partners; if there’s a problem with one, there will most definitely be a problem with the other. Both need to be working efficiently for the partnership to work. 

Related Topic: How Does a Well Pump Work? 

Bad Pressure Tank Symptoms 

Fortunately, there will be noticeable signs if you’re beginning to have a problem with your water pressure tank. It’s important to recognize these bad pressure tank symptoms, so you can address the problem right away. Here are some common signs that you may have a problem with your pressure tank: 

  • No water in the pressure tank. If no water is coming from your faucets, your tank is likely empty. Low water pressure could indicate a failing well pump, a stuck check valve, or a water pressure tank leak. All these potential issues will need to be investigated further by a professional plumber. 

  • A change in water quality. If the water coming from your faucets suddenly looks, feels, or tastes different, this could indicate a problem in your well, your pump, or the pressure tank. When you notice sand in your water, odors, or color changes, this is most likely a sign that your well water is tainted. Call in the pros and stop using your water until the problem is addressed.  

  • A waterlogged tank. A properly functioning water pressure tank should contain a clear separation of water and compressed air. When your pressure tank is waterlogged, the entire tank is full of water. This could be caused by a broken diaphragm or bladder which causes the air to dissolve in the water. To test if this is indeed the issue, do the following: remove the air inlet valve cap at the top of the tank. Bleed off air from the tank by pushing the piston. If water rushes out instead of air, you’ll know that your pressure tank is waterlogged. You’ll need to call a plumber to repair or replace it. 

  • Uneven pressure. Depending on which well pump model you have, you may not hear it come on and off at all. However, if you do have a pump that’s audible, you’ll be able to hear if the pressure becomes jumpy or uneven. This is usually caused by a faulty pressure gauge. 

Related Topic: How to Test a Well Pressure Switch 

Find a Local Plumber for Water Pressure Tank Problems 

When you discover a problem with your water pressure tank, don’t ignore it! A faulty water pressure tank usually means there are other problems in your well system that need to be addressed right away. To avoid costly water pressure tank problems, contact your local Mr. Rooter. We can diagnose and treat your water pressure tank problems, so you can get back to enjoying your home! Give us a call at (855) 982-2028 or request an estimate online today.