If you are a homeowner who relies on a well for your water supply, it’s important to know how your pressure tank works.

A pressure tank helps regulate the water pressure in your home, and it’s an essential component of your well system. It stores water under pressure so that it can be used when needed – for example, to run a shower or washing machine.

Here’s a look at how a pressure tank works and some common problems you may encounter with it.

A pressure tank is like a balloon under pressure

A pressure tank, which is often called a bladder tank, holds water inside the tank under pressure. It contains air or water (or some other fluid) under pressure. This pressure allows the tank to deliver water without you needing a pump to push it over long distances.

A pressure tank has two chambers:

  • The air chamber and
  • the water chamber.

It contains air or water (or some other fluid) under pressure. This pressure allows the tank to deliver water without you needing a pump to push it over long distances

The air chamber is filled with compressed air, and the water chamber is filled with water from your well system. When your faucets are turned on, the change in pressure causes some of the fluid inside the tank to move into the other compartment.

As more and more fluid moves over into one side, the pressure in that side rises until it’s equalized with atmospheric pressure – at which point, no more fluid moves into the other chamber.

If you don’t have enough pressure in your home, your pump will run more frequently to compensate for atmospheric pressure. When the water level begins to drop again, the pump kicks on and refills the tank’s air chamber with compressed air.

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Is a well pressure tank supposed to hold water?

Have you ever wondered what exactly a well pressure tank does? A lot of people don’t know that it’s not actually supposed to hold water, but instead, it regulates the flow of water into your home and keeps the pressure stable.

If your tank is completely full of water, then it’s not doing its job properly. You’ll need to get it drained and cleaned out so that it can do its job effectively.

When the water from the well is transferred into a pressure tank, it compresses the air in the tank until it reaches a specific level, usually 40 to 60 pounds per square inch (psi). Some tanks can contain as little as 10 gallons, while others may hold up to 200 gallons.

As the pressure in your home rises, so does the pressure inside of the tank.

Once it reaches its maximum level, water will no longer flow into or out of the tank. As more water is used in your home, the pressure goes down – this triggers a signal that refills the tank with air from outside.

How do you know if a pressure tank is bad?

You can’t actually tell if a well pressure tank has gone bad just by looking at it. If you notice problems with low water pressure or high energy bills, then there probably is something wrong with your system.

The low water pressure might be caused by sediment buildup inside of the lines between your pump and your faucet or fixture, while high energy bills are often caused by an inefficient pump. These are both signs that you should have your system checked out by a professional who is trained to work with well systems.

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You can check your pressure tank yourself if you suspect there might be something wrong with it, though. If the air chamber is full of water, then it’s time to drain and clean out the tank. There might also be damage to the bladder inside of the tank – you’ll need to replace this part so that your pressure tank will continue working properly once it’s repaired or replaced.

How long does a pressure tank for a well last?

A well pressure tank typically lasts between 10 and 15 years before needing any kind of maintenance or repairs done on it. Bladder tanks generally only last around 10 years before you need to replace them, while the fiberglass-wrapped pressure tanks usually last for around 15.

Since most homes rely on well water, they install a pressure tank as part of the system so that it’s easier for homeowners to access their own water instead of having to pump it out.

Even if you live in an area with public utility water, there are still benefits to installing one of these systems – just make sure that your pump is doing its job properly.

How do you check a well pressure tank?

A simple way to check your well pressure tank is by using a screwdriver or Allen wrench and sticking it into the air chamber valve. If you hear hissing sounds coming from inside, then you probably do need to drain and clean out the tank.

You can make this process a little easier with a pressure tank foot valve. With these, you just attach your garden hose to one end and leave it running into a nearby pail of water until the air chamber is empty of all its contents

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This ensures that any sediment or debris will be completely gone from inside of your pressure tank so that you won’t have to worry about it coming back again in the future.

Most well systems use a standard bladder tank for their pressure tanks, but there are also fiberglass-wrapped tanks available as well. This type is far more efficient than a bladder pressurized water system because it works with both hot and cold water supply lines – not just one.

A pressure tank is a part of your well water system that allows you to store the water at atmospheric pressure so that it can be used more efficiently inside of your home.

Final Thoughts

If you have a well system in your home, then you need to make sure that your pressure tank is working properly. If it’s not, then you’ll find that there isn’t enough water pressure inside of your home and that it takes a long time to refill the tank.

It’s best to have a professional check your system out to determine exactly what’s wrong, though.

Once you know what the problem is, then you can decide whether or not it makes sense for you to replace your pressure tank.

About the author

I started working as a quality control manager with the Water Authority of Nassau County in 2005. After a few years, I moved into Water Waste Prevention, where I currently work as the production supervisor. I love my job and the people I work with, but most of all I love spending time with my family.