How Does a Well Pressure Tank Work?

It’s essential for private well owners to know how their system functions. If something goes wrong, you can use this knowledge to identify the problem and speak to water specialists about it. Better yet, you’ll be able to detect issues before they develop into larger and more expensive complications.

What is a Well Pressure Tank?

A well pressure tank is one of three main components of a well system, the other two being the pressure switch and the pump. This device not only stores water, but also sends it into your home and helps regulate water pressure. The purpose of the pressure tank is to pre4vent the well pump from turning on and off every time you open a faucet.  This boosts the longevity of your system and helps it operate more efficiently.

How Does a Well Pressure Tank Work?

All well pressure tanks are designed to hold water and compressed air. When someone turns on a faucet in your home, the air pressure in the tank causes water to be sent to the faucet until the pressure drops to an appropriate level. This signals the pump to turn on. Then, when the faucet is shut off, the tank refills and pressure increases inside the tank.  Sizing of the tanks varies, and depends on the pump’s ability to produce water.  The should be large enough to store a volume of water equal to the pumps ability to run for 1 minute.  This allows the pump to cool itself with fresh water and prevents the pump from cycling on and off too frequently.  If your pressure switch is cycling more frequently than 1 minute, you may need a larger sized tank.

Types of Well Pressure Tanks

Three main types of well pressure tanks are commonly used for residential wells. These are as follows:

  • Diaphragm Tanks. In this type of tank, a vinyl or rubber diaphragm is used to split water from air. When water passes into the tank, the diaphragm extends and compresses the air.
  • Air-Over-Water Tanks. With air-over-water tanks, there is no barricade separating water from air. Unfortunately, the air will eventually dissolve into water as a result. Frequent maintenance and increased observation may be necessary with this type of tank.
  • Bladder Tanks. In bladder tanks, water is held inside a bladder-like device that grows as water enters the tank. This, in turn, compresses the air.

Pressure Tank Issues that Can Occur

Well pressure tanks maintain water pressure, pressure can be lost when bladder or diaphragms rupture or when air valves leak.   When these failure occurs it  causes short cycling of the well pump which can cause the pump to loose capacity or fail.

While well pressure tanks are designed to be sturdy and long-lasting, complications can arise at any time. Regular preventative maintenance and inspections can help to avoid potential issues. However, pressure tanks can suffer from a number of problems, including the following:

  • Leaks due to corrosion inside the tank or your pipes
  • Air bladder or Schrader valve (air valve) failure
  • Pressure switch failure
  • Faulty wiring
  • Motor issues
  • Short cycling (when your pump turns on and off continuously, which can lead to pump failure)

While these problems aren’t common, they can happen. Therefore, we recommend keeping a close eye on your pressure tank and other well components.

How Hague Quality Water of Maryland Can Help

If you’ve observed any problems with your well water pressure, our experienced specialists can help. Some signs that you may need your pressure tank serviced include:

  • A sudden drop in water pressure
  • A surge in water pressure
  • Water pressure fluctuations
  • Repeated clicking sound from pressure switch
  • Any leaking near your well pressure tank

Have you noticed any of these problems recently? If so, the experts at Hague Quality Water can assist you. Call us to speak with a representative and we will help you determine if a repair is necessary. We make it our mission to provide first-rate water solutions at a reasonable price. Our experts can visit your home to inspect your water system, perform a water test and identify any problems with your supply. Get in touch with us today to receive more information about testing, treatment solutions and more. We understand how important access to healthy water is for your family; our team would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. For additional assistance regarding well pressure tanks, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 204-5247.

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