Demystifying Well Pressure Tanks: Keeping Central Washington’s Well Water Flowing

If you’re a homeowner in the Yakima area, there is a good chance you rely on a well for your water supply. While a well can provide us with fresh and clean water, it also requires some essential equipment to ensure a steady and reliable water flow. A crucial component of a well system is the well pressure tank. But how does a well pressure tank work work, and why is it essential? Let’s dive in!

The Heart of the Well System

Much like how the human heart works to serve the entire body, the well pressure tank is the central component of a larger system that ensures consistent water pressure in your faucets, showers, and appliances.

How a Well Pressure Tank Works:

  1. Water Collection: It all starts with your well, which collects water from underground aquifers. As water is drawn from the well, it flows into the pressure tank through pipes connected to the well pump.
  2. Storage and Compression: The well pressure tank serves as a reservoir that stores water. It has a bladder or diaphragm inside it, which separates the tank into two sections: one for water and one for air. The air section is pre-pressurized to a specific level (usually 30-50 psi) using an air compressor or a pump. This pre-pressurized air exerts force against the water.
  3. Maintaining Pressure: As water flows into the tank, the air in the tank compresses. This compression creates pressure in the tank, which keeps the water pressure consistent as it’s distributed to your home’s plumbing fixtures. So, when you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet, you get a steady stream of water because the tank maintains that pressure.
  4. Pump Activation: When you use water, the pressure in the tank drops. This drop in pressure signals the well pump to kick in and start pumping more water from the well to refill the tank. The pump keeps working until the tank reaches its preset pressure level.
  5. Cycle Repeats: This cycle of using water, pressure dropping, the pump activating, and the tank refilling happens repeatedly, ensuring you always have a steady and reliable water supply.

Why is a Well Pressure Tank is Important?

The majority of well water homes in the Yakima area use Well Pressure Tanks for a number of reasons. Here’s the most common:

  1. Prevents Frequent Pump Cycling Deteriorates Pump Lifespan: Without a well pressure tank, your well pump would have to turn on and off every time you used water. This frequent cycling can wear out the pump quickly. The pressure tank acts as a buffer, reducing the pump’s workload and extending its lifespan.
  2. Consistent Water Pressure for Better Comfort: Yakima experiences fluctuations in water table levels, especially in dry seasons. A pressure tank helps smooth out these variations, ensuring that you always have consistent water pressure, whether you’re watering your garden or taking a shower.
  3. Energy Efficiency: By reducing the number of pump cycles, a well pressure tank also saves energy. It’s more energy-efficient to have the pump work in longer cycles rather than starting and stopping frequently.
  4. Emergency Water Supply: In case of a power outage, your well pump won’t work. However, with a well pressure tank, you still have a reserve of water stored and pressurized, providing you with an emergency water supply until power is restored.

Don’t Forget to Plan for Maintenance

To keep your well pressure tank working optimally, it’s essential to perform regular maintenance. Here are some simple steps:

  1. Check the Air Pressure: Periodically check the air pressure in the tank using a tire pressure gauge. It should match the recommended pressure level stated on the switch.
  2. Inspect for Leaks: Regularly inspect the tank and connections for any signs of leaks or damage.

A pressure well tank can help your family enjoy consistent water pressure and peace of mind knowing that your well is working efficiently.

Need help deciding if a pressure tank is right for your home? Contact Independent Water of Yakima and we’ll guide you every step of the way.