Water tank noise & sound diagnostic FAQs:
This article provides answers to frequently-asked questions about how to diagnose noise problems with the water storage tank or water pressure tank including hissing, gurgling, bubbling, or clangs, bangs and clashes at or near the water tank.
This article series gives diagnosis & repair advice for well or water pumps, controls, tanks, water pressure, water flow, water quantity.
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(Nov 18, 2014) Paul Loudenslager said:
My water tank is approx. 30 in. diameter by 70 in. tall. It's rated at 75 psi. The well company recommended this size if I intended to install an irrigation system for the lawn; never did.
For the first approx. five years when this tank was receiving water from the well, a loud boom was heard. This sound is no longer heard, but sometimes a clang is heard. What caused the boom and now the clang?
Is something amiss that needs attention? What are the ratings for this tank; that is, how much water does it hold, etc.? The cut-in pressure is roughly 40 psi and the cut-off pressure is roughly 60 psi. Any info you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Paul I'm a bit baffled myself but I suspect you're hearing a type of water hammer.
(Jan 11, 2015) Howard said:
We have well water. We had a problem with the water heater t&p valve discharging suddenly and violently. we called the heater manufacturer who advised new valve, 2 new valves later and cold water in the water heater valve keeps bursting before water is even heated. Went under the house to check the well pressure tank Well-X-Trol WX-203 -- pressure gauge is 0 psi. We have plenty of water in the house. Tank sounds the same when tap on it, tried to empty pressure tank (not sure if did properly) -- very little water trickled out.
First check the water heater temperature settings; if the heater is over-heating the TP valve was doing its job.
you can see how to make an independent measure of water pressure - I'd start there. If water pressure is abnormally high then that may explain the TP valve discharge.
Water hammer can also damage TP valves - see
Have a well with a pressure tank and a 20/40 switch The switch stuck on, not sure how long, the gauge read about 80-90 when I turned pump off.. I've replaced the faulty switch.
1st problem - the water now has an oily or sulfur odor, seemed clear but if it sits it becomes clouded. Ran about 50 gallons of water and that seemed to help..The well is only used on weekends.. The smell & some of the cloudiness returns after sitting over night or all week..
2nd problem - the pressure tank now has a high pitched noise just before it cycles off.
I think the air pressure is at 30 lbs. Can check pressure again this weekend - Wally 7/25/11
It sounds as if your pump was damaged by overwork. I'm not sure where else in a water system you'd get oil into the water supply (except for a leak into the water well itself).
A lurking sulphur odor may have been disclosed in the actual water supply when the system ran for a long time, perhaps dropping the water table beyond normal, though if the pump was running but water in the building was OFF, that doesn't apply.
Anyway, if there are contaminants in the water pressure tank, running water dilutes what's in the tank but it could take many pump cycles to clean it out.
A better procedure would be to drain the water tank. Turn off the pump, (preserve water if needed for priming the pump), drain the water tank, then repressurize it and flush out the pipes one last time.
Follow-up from Wally:
Thanks, this weekend I did drain the pressure tank & flushed it. After draining, rechecking air pressure & adding more air, it stopped the squeal when the pump stopped .
Flushing the system for a good 10 minutes, changed a sediment filter and flushed it again for 10 minutes. Water tasted & smelled much better even after sitting over night..
Now this Labor Day weekend will check the system again, see what it's like after sitting all week..Thanks again! - Wally 8/29/11
(July 6, 2012) James said:
Hello, I live in a 3-story, 6-unit condo building in Chicago. We have a large Well-X-Trol pressurized bladder tank. Recently, my neighbors and I have noticed extreme increases in water pressure. So much so that the lines to my washing machine start shaking when I do a load of laundry, and that it seems to be close to overwhelming my shower drain. We have also noticed the noise of the tank running to be loud and frequent. It seems to be running at least 30 minutes out of an hour.
The tank is 5 years old and we never noticed this before. In the meantime, we have closed off the valves to the tank and have been running just on city pressure - which is actually fine, I'm not even sure why we need a booster. We had someone come out to look at the tank, and said that it seemed to be working properly it is set at 40/60. But if it is currently working "properly" - why is it running so much and why is the pressure so extreme? It seems to be very hard to find someone who really knows about these issues, so I appreciate any help!
Check the actual water pressures at different times using a gauge. Check for varying municipal pressure. And check for a sticking pressure control switch at the pressure booster pump and tank. The tank itself won't cause high water pressures.
WATCH OUT: if the water pressure tank lacks a pressure relief valve your system is unsafe.
(July 6, 2014) Joe said:
I have a question, 2 years ago I changed from a pressure tank to a bladder tank. The two systems were just swapped. 1 year ago I noticed a small leak coming from the well cap and hissing noise.
Now it seems to have gotten a bit worse were you can see the water coming out and hear the hissing noise louder. Was their something that needed to be adjusted at the well cap when switching over? What do you believe the problem is? Thanks
Often an older non-bladder water pressure tank, IF in use with a submersible pump, included a snifter valve in the well and an air vent near the tank that needed to be removed when you converted to an internal bladder type tank.
See SNIFTER & DRAIN BACK VALVES - what are the drain back valve & snifter valve used on a well water system and how do they work? Hidden & antique air volume control valves can explain well pump rapid cycling or air discharge problems.
(Oct 25, 2014) Kris Tuttle said:
I've got a terrible groaning noise coming from mine. It's been installed a long time and often groaned when you turned off the water or flushed the toilet but just for about 30 seconds. Now it's groaning loudly all the time *unless* I turn the water on.
It stops after a couple seconds. But then when you turn the water off it starts up again. Our place is small and the noise is too much.
Often we hear a "groaning" noise at a water tank when there is an obstruction at the bladder or tank inlet causing vibration of pipes or bladder when water is entering the tank.
Is it true that Preasure pumps fitted in a house with one floor only spoils the washing machine,water heater etc and presure pumps should not be used for such one floored house. - K Sriram
14 Feb 2015 Doug said:
When checking or adding pressure to bladder style tank should the pressure be set a few pounds below the set on pressure (40-60) switch (38) or should it be set at the higher level around (58) ?
Seems to be a water hammer effect as pump shuts off at (58)
I cannot undertand any reason why a well water pump would damage plumbing in a one story house in some way related to the house height. The pressure operating range - 20-40 psi or 30-50 psi is within the normal operating range of plumbing fixtures and appliances. In other words, No not in any way I can see. Maybe there is some condition someone knows about that we've never come across??
Watch out: other water pressure variations such as that caused by water hammer can indeed damage appliances, piping, controls, valves, etc. Details are at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
Doug, in addition to looking into and addressing the water hammer noise, you want to see
WATER TANK BLADDER PRESSURE ADJUSTMENT
Continue reading at WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE to diagnose clanging banging water pipe noises traced to well pump turning on or off, or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.
Or see WATER PRESSURE SWITCH NOISES
Or see WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING - home
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