Well pressure of a tank is the most important and necessary component of a home-based well system. As name defines, the tank is there to boost up the pressure of the water of the well and ensures that water flows out from your fixtures with a good degree of force. Without adequate amount of pressure, water will come out from your taps and showers slowly and drop after drop.
The pressure of the well in a tank can develop certain problems as the time passes. Regular maintenance can help in minimizing such problems but some of the problems still occur. If you face a problem with the pressure of the well in your tank then it is important to sort out what the problem actually is? So that you would come up with solutions. This article discusses how to troubleshoot the well pressure of a tank.
Pressure tanks are made up of a steel frame. Inside their frame, there is flexible membrane that is known as the bladder. This flexible membrane holds water. The air that is pressurized occupies the remaining space in the tank. This pressurized air compresses water in the membrane or bladder, which ensures that the water flows out at the desired pressure.
As the time passes the bladder begins to get weak and after some years it starts leaking. The water starts escaping into the space that is reserved for the pressurized air. This will cause short-cycling. A PSI Cycle test is performed in order to test a ruptured bladder. In this test, the water is drained until the low PSI threshold is achieved.
Then, the time is measured for how long the pressure reaches back into upper threshold. This process takes more than a minute. If the pressure gauge of the tank takes less than one minute to reach maximum pressure than the problem surely is with the ruptured bladder.
A ruptured bladder can also be detected by opening pressure relief valve. If the bladder is not ruptured then the air will hiss out from the relief valve but if the bladder is ruptured then water will squirt out.
The Pressure switch
A pressure switch is placed inside the gray box near the pressure tank. There is also a silver bar alongside the switch. The pressure switch is attached to the delivery system of water. Confirms that this switch has shut down the system or not? Because if drawn is too much then the pressure switch will get shut down and you will not get enough pressure in your tank.
When the switch is tripped, the bar sets parallel toward the ground. And when the switch is operational then the bar is at 30-degree angle to 45. In order to reset this, close all of the water valves that are leading toward the delivery system. Lift up the handle gently until it gets engages. All the tank to fill and then reopen the valves slowly.
Clogging in a pipe can affect the well pressure in a tank. A pipe can be clogged if it gets stuck with scale, sediment or sludge. To identify this you might need a professional. But if you want to identify this problem by yourself then take out a pipe’s section and look inside.
If you see sediments, scale, or orange sludge then it means the pressure cut back due to this and you will need a professional to clean these sediments inside the pipe.
Clogged gate valves
Ball valves and gate valves are turn off and on periodically. Most of the times the gate valves stuck and they cannot get open or close. This happens when gate valves have not been used for a long period of time.
If these gate valves get stuck then the pressure of the well affect directly. In order to fix this problem, you might need to replace these valves. However, if the valves are partially sludge then you can clean it but good idea is to replace it.
Clogged aerators and faucets
Sometimes sediments are left in the aerator or faucets which disrupts the well pressure in a tank. For detecting this problem, remove the end of the faucet. Then examine aerator. Check if there are any buildups or debris inside.
If there is any sediment inside this then clean the aerator. Soak the aerator in a vinegar water solution. But it is better to replace it because they are not expensive. Turn on the water before replacing the aerator and see if the pressure is restored or not.
Low Flow from the well pump
The flow rate is measured as gallons per minute that flow from the pipe. Sometimes the problem is not with the pressure of the water but with the flow of the water. If the pump is placed too much closer to the water level then the flow of the water will be reduced and you may think that the problem is with the pressure of the well. Hire a professional to detect this problem.
A bad or clogged pressure regulator
There is a pressure regulator on the main pipe that is coming to your home. This regulator can be fouled with rust or sediments. This can affect the well pressure in your tank. So, check the regulator and if you find any rust or sediments then it is recommended to replace the regulator. This will fix the problem of the well pressure.
Malfunctioning due to water softeners or filter cartridges
If your water filter is clogged then the pump cycles rapidly turn on and off. This reduces the pressure of the water. A clogged filter block the flow of the water between water tank and the pump. Check your filter cartridges and see water softeners and backwashing filters.
If there is any clogged inside them then remove it and clean it. However, it is better to replace the cartridge of the filter. Check the pressure after cleaning and see if the problem is fixed or not.