More than 43 million people in the US (over 15%) use well water. That’s a lot of wells and a lot of issues can arise with how well water is pumped into your house. While modern wells in rural and suburban areas run great for many years without problems, issues can and do arise that need fixing. Not having water access in a more secluded or hard to reach area can be a real headache, so knowing what to look for when a problem pops up will help you act fast to restore your well water system.
Even if you own a well, there may be a chance you don’t know what a well pressure tank is and therefore, don’t know what to do if it does unfortunately need to be replaced. Don’t get left high and dry, let’s learn about what you can do if your well pressure tank is in need of replacing.
What is a well pressure tank?
A well’s pressure tank maintains the water pressure in your house and protects the life of your well’s pump. It stores water down below and has compressed air up top and provides water under pressure when the pump is not running. Every time you use your washing machine, toilet, faucet or bathtub, water is needed from the well so the pressure tank holds a certain quantity of water in it to draw upon to be used before it sends a signal to the well pump to turn on. This extends the time between the pump turning on and off so if that on and off cycle is fast, every time you use water, the pump will turn on and when you are done using water, it turns off. The pressure tank, in effect, helps prolong the life of your pump.
How do I know when my tank is going bad?
Thankfully, your well pressure tank will let you know in a few different ways when it is having issues. Make sure not to ignore any of these signs as worse issues could result if you do not fix the tank. Here are some signs your tank needs replacing:
1. Pressure Switch And Pump Constantly Switch on And Off
Leaks in your home can cause the water well pump to continuously run. If not a leak, it could be due to corrosion of the water well casing, liner or screen causing holes which allow too much water to enter the well. Best to check your toilet or any backwashing systems that could malfunction for the source of the issue.
2. Well is Pumping Sand or Sediment In
If you start to suddenly see sand that your water well pumps out, this could be a sign that your well is filling with sand and silt. Your well pump is typically 10-20 feet above the bottom of the well so you definitely should not be seeing these elements pump their way into your water supply. Sand can wear out the pump values and do other damage to your pressure tank and other parts.
3. Low Water Pressure
If you aren’t getting water from the well or the flow is very weak, you could have a leaky or failing pressure tank. There are a few more issues that this could be, such as a stuck check valve or a clog in the pipe causing the switch to sense the pressure incorrectly.
Other Issues That Can Arise With A Pressure Tank:
- Visible corrosion on the tank
- Excessive air in plumbing
- Unstable water pressure
- Pumps running less than 30 seconds
- Pressure tank leaks
How often should I replace my pressure tank?
If your water is clean and you’re using the right size tank, the average life-span is estimated at around 15 years, but the brand and quality of your tank make a huge difference, just like any other major appliance. Make sure you are keeping up with maintenance and minor repairs and always be aware of any of the above issues.
How to prolong the life of your tank
If you are lucky, your water tank repair-technician may only need to replace a part instead of the whole tank. Here are a few things that can help extend the life of your well pressure tank:
- Install constant pressure valve
- Add air volume control system
- Adjust or replace pressure gauge
- Replace water filter
- Add new filtration system
Always double check with an expert before you try any home repairs when it comes to such a delicate mechanism. Faulty repairs can cause more harm than good, and ensuring that your water supply is safe and clean should always be your number one priority.
Does your pressure tank need service or replacement?
At Independent Water Service, we offer guidance in pressure tank sales as well as service of your system. Our skilled technicians also specialize in water softening, purification, filtration and drinking water. We proudly service all of Yakima and Kittitas counties.
Give us a call or visit our website and speak to one of our technicians and get a free pressure tank consultation.