What to do About Low Pressure in Pressure Tank
Has your submersible pump started to cycle on and off more often lately? Are you having a hard time getting water out of your taps? If so, there’s a chance you’re having trouble with your tank’s pressure charge. This is more than an inconvenience. Low pressure in your tank can damage or even burn out your submersible pump. It can also lead to your house experiencing low water pressure, making it hard to drink or keep clean. It can even make your tank fail well before its life expectancy. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to do some diagnostic work.
The First Step of Dealing with Low Pressure in Pressure Tank
Once you notice one of these problems, it’s time to shut off power to your submersible pump. It’s important to do this because the next step is to drain your pressure tank. If you don’t do this step, the pump will continue to cycle, and your tank won’t be able to drain. You have to drain the tank before you check its pressure. If you don’t drain it, all you see is the water pressure – Not the tank’s actual pressure.
Find the boiler drain and connect a garden hose to the tank to drain your tank. Turn on the drain and let the water drain outside. If there’s nowhere to attach a hose, run a faucet in the home until there is no pressure left in the tank. This will be indicated by the pressure switch reading of 0.
Measure the Tank’s Pressure
You can now measure the tank’s pressure with a pressure gauge or tire gauge. Pressure gauges all work basically the same way, so you can often use the same one for your car. Every tank or tire has what is known as a Schrader valve. On a majority of tanks, this valve will be found near the tank’s base. The valve will have a cap on it (and if it doesn’t, buy a replacement cap!) which you should unscrew. Press the pressure gauge down on the valve.
The tank’s PSI should be 2 PSI below the cut-in point. For example, if your pressure switch is set to 40/60, your tank should be 38 PSI. If the pressure is lower, you’ll need to pressurize the tank with an air compressor. Do this carefully. If you over-pressurize the tank, it won’t be able to hold as much water. Even worse, it won’t trigger the pump correctly.
Why Is Water Coming Out of the Air Valve?
It shouldn’t be. A tank is built with a bladder containing water separate from the pressurized air. If water is coming out of the Schrader valve, your tank has ruptured. There is no way to fix this. You can’t patch or seal a ruptured tank. It’s time to install a new one and consider upgrading. The more your tank fills and deflates, the more worn the bladder becomes. This is a normal part of operating a well.
In many cases, your tank has just lost pressure. Don’t hesitate to call a professional for anything more serious, like a rupture. You can visit our website for more information about pressure tanks or give us a call.