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Water pressure gauge questions & answers:

Frequently-asked questions and answers about installing, using, repairing, replacing water pressure gauges on buidling water systems, pumps, tanks and other water equipment.

This article series describes the location, use, and operation water tank pressure gauges, how to read, use, repair or replace water pressure gauges.



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Water pressure gauge FAQs

Photograph of a water pressure tank air valve

Recently-posted questions & answers about water pressure gauges

These questions and replies were posted originally at WATER TANK PRESSURE GAUGE

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On 2017-02-18 23:42:18.148121 by (mod) - a running toilet does indeed consume water - see that at your water meter

Sure, Barry, as a running toilet is going to use water by periodically re-filling its flush tank.

On 2017-02-18 23:30:43.576317 by barry

the water gauge im talking about is the one that gives your reading on water compsumptions

On 2017-02-18 23:27:31.958480 by barry

if the flapper valve on toilet is lose and after flushing the toilet and it keeps running would it affect your water gadge. my water bill seemed higher then normal..?
or what would make it go so high?

On 2017-01-13 01:27:32.999302 by (mod)

Sorry Cathy I don't understand what knob, what release

. If you simply mean you're connecting a garden hose to an outdoor hose spigot (hose "bibb" in fancier talk) and then you open the spigot and no water flows, then if there is water elsewhere in the building there's probably a shutoff that's closed preventing water from moving to that outdoor spigot.

The pressure gauge "move up"? where, on what, measured how?

On 2017-01-12 19:03:20.828650 by Cathy smith

When i turn the blue knob to release water from my wellto a hose shouldnt the preasure guage move up

On 2016-12-21 20:33:12.578601 by (mod)

No indeed, Anon.

If the tank gauge has water in it the gauge is leaking. You want to replace it as soon as possible since the risk is that the gauge bursts and the leak floods the building.

On 2016-12-21 10:01:06.152408 by Anonymous

Does a pressure gauge for a bladder well tank suppose to have liquid in it

On 2016-10-28 02:33:52.210634 by (mod)

Phyllis, for some detailed diagnosis and repair advice please use the Search InspectApedia website box just above and find WATER PRESSURE COMES and GOES

On 2016-10-26 22:01:13.515546 by phyllis

Im having problems with my water. Its not at its full pressure it comes and goes. Ive changed the pressure switch and that didnt change nothing. My pressure gauge is not working either. Is my pump going bad? Im getting water but I dont know what to do

On 2016-10-20 13:40:04.498692 by (mod)

I don't know but I suspect the new gauge was either defective or more likely was damaged during installation. For example, installing a gauge by holding on to and twisting the gauge body instead of using a wrench on the gauge base can cause damage.

On 2016-10-20 06:43:17.141707 by Darren

I just had a pressure gauge replaced because the old one had filled with water. About 3 days after the new one was installed (by a plumber) it filled with water. Could you tell me what is causing this? thanks for any help.

On 2016-07-31 23:11:55.010191 by (mod)

If the tank is heavy then it probably contains water but cannot drain.

If the pump is not turning on, search InspectApedia.com for PUMP WON'T START to read diagnosis and repair suggestions. For example a simple pump protection switch could have shut off your pump.

On 2016-07-31 22:58:20.434694 by Denny

The part that is really confusing me is no water in tank or line

On 2016-07-31 22:03:54.699142 by (mod)

I'm confused. If the water pressure is at 70 psi then I'd expect to see that same pressure in the pressure tank as anywhere else. Perhaps debris has clogged one of your pressure gauges and/or the pressure switch?

On 2016-07-31 17:16:30.373454 by Denny

No water in house. Water in well got below the pump. Now it is back to normal level. However I cannot get the switch at the tank to prime or run. I have power to the switch. No water in tank. My pressure gauge is at 70 psi.

And the air pressure in the tank bladder is 30 psi. Seems like I may have more than one problem. It was working fine prior to the water level dropping. New tank, gauge 3 years ago.

On 2016-07-10 16:11:49.531032 by (mod)

Richard

Please search InspectApedia.com for DIAGNOSE BAD WATER PRESSURE to read diagnostic steps and repair suggestions. It sounds as if your well is running dry.

On 2016-07-08 18:51:59.825103 by richard field

concerned about my water pump. I use the shower and pump comes on and off a few times which increases the water power but after 3 minutes water flow gradually weakens while pump is on, I close the shower faucet but pump continues running for up to +20 minutes.

What and where do you think the problem is? There is 2 metres water in well but 18 months ago there was 5 metres!

On 2016-06-16 20:42:47.600885 by (mod)

It's possible that both gauge and pressure switch are debris clogged and need replacement; Check first that the pump is capable of reaching the cut-off pressure set on the switch.

On 2016-06-16 18:39:34.304384 by Bill

My Pump draws water from the lake but pressure gauge doesn't seem to be functioning and pump will not automatically turn off. not

On 2016-06-04 19:48:36.663774 by (mod)

Joann the pressure gauge needs to be replaced.

On 2016-06-04 03:01:22.552291 by joann rosen

water visible on dial of pressure gauge, does that mean it is broken, can it be repaired, the dial is not registering more than a couple of psi

On 2016-05-08 16:20:07.971675 by (mod)

Doesn't soudnd good, Mike.

I trust you turned everything off. Nothing should be coming out of the pressure gauge; if air or water is leaking out of the gauge it's broken and needs replacement. It may be that the pressure tank has become waterlogged from loss of air in the pressure tank; that in turn can cause rapid on-off cycling of a water pump that can damage the pump or that can cause it to turn off.

On 2016-05-06 19:45:47.491215 by Mike Carey

My pressure gage that goes into my water tank reads zero and air is blowing out the bottom of the gauge hardly any water pressure in house

On 2016-04-21 17:07:27.301110 by (mod)

Ray

The gauge input port may be debris clogged or the gauge is broken; I would replace it.

On 2016-04-20 20:18:15.242067 by RAY HATFIELD

MY WATER PRESSURE GAUGE DOES NOT READ AT ALL UNTIL MY PUMP KICKS OFF AT 60PSI. WHEN IT STARTS TO FALL IT GOES TO ABOUT 40LBS AND THEN DROPS TO 0 AND STAYS THERE UNTIL THE PUMP KICKS ON AGAIN. IS THE GAUGE DEFECTIVE, BECAUSE ITS DONE THAT SINCE I INSTALLED IT NEW, ORE IS MY PRESSURE SWITCH DEFECTIVE.

On 2016-02-07 21:05:42.826201 by (mod)

I suspect a failing relay.

I don't know what pressure you are asking about.

On 2016-02-07 18:31:36.478918 by Anonymous

hot water heating system is working but a buzzing noise from pump relay what does it mean and what is a safe pressure reading?

On 2016-02-07 18:30:42.644847 by Anonymous

hot water heating system with working but a buzzing noise from pump relay what does it mean and what is a safe pressure reading?

On 2016-01-29 04:34:41.933804 by darryl

When a water tank has become waterlogged,how do you correct this problem?

On 2016-01-24 01:59:11.179719 by (mod)

Randy

The problem may not be the gauge but the pump or a leak in piping or a failing check valve or foot valve. Or water running in the building such as filling toilets.

On 2016-01-19 15:07:13.465754 by Randy

Just noticed the gauge on my holding tank which is set at 40/60 seems fine until it goes on once it hits 60 it shuts off and slowly drops to 50 and holds until water is in use.So of course I'm lacking pressure whould this be a bad gauge?

On 2015-12-01 19:47:32.986602 by (mod)

Christine:

I would not touch the gauge until you are ready to replace it - though if the leak suddenly gets bad you'll have to turn off the water supply. My concern is that if you break the gauge body the leak may change from a slow drip to a fountain.

Replace the gauge as we describe above. With the new gauge ready to install ( threads taped or coated with pipe dope) turn off the water supply and remove water pressure from the system so you don't get soaked. If you keep cool you do not have to drain all water out of the system.

On 2015-12-01 19:36:56.080495 by Christine

My water tank pressure gauge is leaking. There is a slow drip from the gauge and humidity behind the glass. What should I do? I just ordered a new gauge. Do I need to exchange it? Can I just screw the current on e on tighter? If I remove it, will water spout out? Thank you.

On 2015-10-23 18:45:04.599917 by (mod)

YOu posted this question elsewhere; Please try just one post per question as we have trouble keeping up with the volume. Look for a problem with the well flow rate.

On 2015-10-22 14:29:53.741699 by janet scrimager

high my well pump wouldn't shut off- so we decreased the pressure switch from 20/40 to 23/10 and it's working but not enough water I'm afraid should we replace pressure switch- we treated the well and flushed it out- help.

On 2015-10-16 20:26:00.923773 by (mod)

Please see your question and our reply at

https://InspectAPedia.com/plumbing/Pump_Wont_Stop_FAQs.php

help our workload by posting in just one place if you can, thanks. Daniel

On 2015-10-16 20:06:38.293599 by kenneth

My well pump won't turn off the gauge always reads zero but we have great water pressure if I turn the pump off we continue to have good pressure for awhile until it runs out what would be my problem here . Your help is appreciated.

On 2015-09-26 16:57:11.385067 by (mod)

Typically that means that your system has pipes with a reduced diameter or clogs

. The initial force is the pressure provided by your water supply when no water is running. But when you open the faucet the pressure drops off immediately to a slower flow rate because the volume of water that can be pushed through the piping at that same initial pressure is reduced.

See CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPES, DIAGNOSIS - at https://InspectAPedia.com/water/Clogged_Water_Pipe_Diagnosis.php

On 2015-09-26 12:05:45.989466 by Anonymous

Hi: Our water comes on forcefully for a second and then reduces to a smaller stream, would this be the pressure gauge or something else. Thank you for your reply.

On 2015-06-22 12:35:27.554800 by Anonymous

My pump short cycles about every five seconds. I added air to the pressure tank to about 30 psi. The pump still short cycles every five seconds but goes about 15 seconds when the toilet is flushed. Do I need to add more air to the pressure talk or is my bladder bad in thr tank?

On 2015-05-25 19:10:27.752480 by Anonymous

My pressure guage is reading about 90 on a 30-50 setup...It drops to about 80 when water comes on

What should my guage be set on when coming on and off...I'm stumped ...I cut the power off to it because my spicket outlet was leaking and it had to be replaced...I cut power back on , .It still pumms water but I'm just worried about the guage reading so high...Thanks for any help or explanation....Dale

On 2015-05-23 22:43:54.912080 by David

My pressure switch will not cut on and pressure gauge reads zero. Put new switch on and it worked for a couple of days and now its doing the same thing again. Would a bad pressure gauge cause it not to read correctly and not kick in?

On 2015-04-27 22:30:26.534830 by (mod)

Lincoln

Normally we'd mount a replacement gauge exactly where the old one was mounted. Moving the gauge won't improve its performance.

On 2015-04-27 14:45:13.986680 by Lincoln

I need to know where to put my pressure gauge I have a new one on the tank it cut off at 60 then drops to 40 stays there until I cut the water on, it drops all the way to zero before the pump comes back on.

I may need to replace the pressure switch so while I'm at it do I need to move the gauge or add one?

Question: pressure gauge stuck at zero even if water pressure is 90 psi

(Nov 24, 2012) Ken said:

Hi i would like to ask how come my pressure gauge is stuck at 0 and the pressure switch is not turning off, the water is filling up my tank and i removed the guage water is coming out of it.. I tested my pump with a bucket, it goes up to 90 psi but when i put it in my tank it pumps water, but the pressure gauge won't move even a bit.

I remove it there is very strong air coming out of it.. i tried blowing into the pipe connecting the gauge and the tank, but its clean..

i've already closed all the valve drained my tank, and refilled it. i tried testing my tank and it does pump water, i tried changing the pressure gauge and tried it at the shop its also working. Can u guys help me out?

Reply:

Ken

Check for debris clogging at the pressure switch bottom sensor port as well as at the gauge. Replace the gauge.

Question: what is the function of the float in a water pressure tank

5/26/14 robert said:

What does the float do in a water pressure tank

Reply:

Robert

The "float" in a water pressure tank is probably referring to the small float that actuates an air volume control on a water tank that does not use an internal bladder.

For details see

AIR VOLUME CONTROLS, WATER TANK

where we discuss the US Gauge & Similar Type 310WJ, Type 300SL, or Type 6 Rectangular Air Volume Controls = Excess Air Vents

Separately at GRAVITY OPERATED WATER TANKS & Open Water Tanks Indoors we describe open water tanks that also use an internal float. The tanks in this group include rooftop water storage tanks and indoor gravity-operated water tanks - these are not pressurized vessels.

Question: water in the pressure gauge

(June 25, 2014) Jerry said:
The pressure gauge has water inside. There is dripping from a spout. What's wrong?

(July 18, 2014) Chuck said:
There is water and condensation sitting inside my pond pump's pressure gauge. Is this a problem?

(Dec 24, 2014) Rick Ciotti said:
Recently our plumber installed a new Well Rite tank, pressure switch and dial pressure gauge.Today I checked the water pressure and noticed that the dial face appears to be almost filled with water. I contacted the company that installed this system and they said this is oil in the gauge and is normal.The gauge appears to be reading correctly. Is this BS?

Reply:

Sounds like two different problems.

When there is water or "condensation" inside the pressure gauge, the pressure gauge needs to be replaced as it's got an internal leak.

Dripping from a spout (meaning faucet at a plumbing fixture) is fixed by repairing a bad faucet valve washer or replacing the valve. On occasion abnormally high building pressure - say over 70 psi - can also contribute to frequent faucet leaks.

Chuck,

I would replace the gauge because the leak not only affects its accuracy but because corrosion could cause it to burst, flooding the area.

Rick the gauge is defective and should be replaced. The risk, besides improper pressure readings is a burst gauge and leaks.

Question: clogged pressure gauge sensor port

9 Aug 2014 Andrew said:

Hi I recently replaced our submersible water pump (DAB Pulsar 40/50 M), because of a faulty electrical component in the pump. I looked around to see if I could get it repaired but the cost was excessive compared the a new one. (It was over 10 years old).

There is a float switch attached to the pump which works in conjunction with a pressure switch and gauge mounted on top of the pressurized cold water cylinder. The system is set to a max pressure of 3 bar. When the pressure drops to about 1.5 bar the pump automatically recharges the water cylinder.

After I replaced the pump everything was working fine again, until recently.

I started getting erratic re-filling of the tank. The pressure would drop and the pump wouldn't cut in to recharge the cylinder. 5 minutes later the system would recharge. There is plenty of water in the well, so naturally I thought it was the switch or gauge.

I've just replaced both.
The problem now is that when the pump is switched on the system recharges but the gauge is not registering any pressure and the switch doesn't turn the pump off. If I let it run I'm sure it would explode.

Reply:

Andrew

If your water supply contains silt, iron, debris or the like, I suspect that the gauge pressure port is clogged and possibly there is similar clogging of the pressure sensing port of the pressure control switch. Try replacing the gauge, and cleaning or replacing any clogged small-diameter piping - same for the pressure switch. Keep us posted.

(Aug 11, 2014) Andrew said:

Hi. Thanks for your replies. Since I last posted, (see below), I'm now getting a reading of pressure gauge but it's very slow to react therefore I can only conclude that there is still some sort of debris still clogging the pressure port in the gauge or control switch. (Thanks to DanJoeFriedman & Chuck for your diagnosis).

I've checked the bladder in the tank and it's not split or burst - No water coming out of the air filler on top of the tank when pressed.

I guess I'll take everything apart again give it a dam good clean and cross my fingers. I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks once again.

Every thing is now back together and working 100%. There was a small piece of rust residue in the neck of the water cylinder. I made sure that this inside if the pipe was completely clean, reinstalled the pressure switch and gauge and recharged the system. Job done..... Thanks for your advice. Great website ;-)

Reply:

Thanks for the follow-up Andrew - we'll keep this blocked line / gauge report around as it will assist other readers. DF

Question: pump relay clicks but nothing happens

(Aug 18, 2014) Tom said:
When my pressure gauge reaches 30 psi I can hear the click to indicate my pump in the well has kicked on but nothing happens. Only after the pressure continues to fall or I turn the water on and off a few times does the pressure begin to climb back to 50 psi. Any ideas?

Reply:

Tom

If the pressure switch "clicks" to turn on the pump that should be turning on the pump motor.

If your pump is a submersible one that uses a separate pump relay operated by the pressure switch, the problem could be there - like a bad relay, bad start capacitor, bad wiring connection to the pump, or unfortunately possibly the pump itself could have failed.

(Aug 23, 2014) Andrew said:

Tom - I had a similar problem with our submersible pump. After more than 10 years of reliable use the system didn't recharge when the pressure dropped below the set psi. I discovered, after speaking to DAB that the problem was likely to be an electrical capacitor within the pump that basically kick starts the motor and gets it turning.

I investigated the cost of replacing this part. The price of the part was only 20 Euros but the labour to strip down the pump was well over 200 Euros and the specialist wouldn't guarantee the repair. The best option was to buy new. There must be a scrap value in the old pump. It's all stainless steel.

Reply:

Andrew

It may be time to scrap the pump, but first here's something to check.

Depending on where your pump is located (e.g. if it's above ground you've got a chance),

Take a look at the hard-start capacitor kit discussion, including wiring details, found at

inspectapedia.com/electric/Starting_Capacitors.php

You'll see that in some cases you can leave an old defunct capacitor in place and simply add the new one to the circuit.

Whether or not that will work for you is questionable as your pump is a submersible unit, but I'd give the pump company to call to ask about that option. Often when a pump motor is failing it's seizing and a new capacitor won't fix the problem.

But if the problem were really the pump motor's own capacitor of if the motor has some life left in it, the add-on cap trick might work for a time.

(Aug 25, 2014) Andrew said:

Thanks for the comment Dan. The pump is submersible DAB Pulsar 40/50M and is a sealed unit. I tried to take a look inside but it was just impossible to take it apart without some sort of serious puller.

It's a shame because I'm sure it still has some life left in it. I contacted a registered agent to obtain a price to replace the capacitor but I decided it was more cost effective to purchase a new unit.

A case of built in obsolescence.... I hadn't thought about installing an external capacitor. Interesting idea. Thanks.

Reply:

Andrew if you can spin the pump motor it may not be seized. At InspectApedia (How to test electric motors) we give some diagnostics that can help figure out what's wrong: motor vs. mechanical parts.

In general if we think a motor might run, an external start capacitor is a cheap fix to try. But in this case I'm doubtful we can attach an external start cap to a submersible pump - though it'd be interesting to look for one intended for that application.

Before going to a lot of trouble I'd try an above-ground test.

Question: water pressure tank installed on its side can be a problem

(Nov 19, 2014) Michelle said:
October 2012 tank sprung a leak and was replaced with a Well X Trol - although there was room to install upright in crawlspace the guy installed on its side.

May 2013 tank starts short cycling every 10 minutes. Well guy comes out and assumes tank is fine because it's new so he pulls well up to check for leaks.

No leaks found. He then checks tank and finds that the bladder is shot. Tank was replaced with another Well X Trol and this one was installed upright. It took a few weeks to get consistently clear water in the house.

The toilet tanks got rusty and contained sediment and the water faucets would sporadically spit out rust colored water.

A few months later my water softener quit, when we replaced it we found the filter screen where water is drawn in was caked w/sediment.

Soon after my washing machine quit filling so I checked the filter/screen and found it too was caked with sediment. I then checked all the filter/screens on faucets and found they had a lot of debris.

For the past several months I've heard the water tank cut in at strange times. There are 2 people in the household so not much water is used. I will hear tank cut in and then an hour or so later it will cut in again. We've been gone for an entire weekend (no one in the house at all for 3 days) and come back to hear it running.

I sat by the tank for 10 minutes the other morning and watched the gauge very slowly drop from 45 to 30 and then cut in and jump to 60 and then ever so slowly drop again all the while no water is being run.

Strangely, I am NOT noticing an actual water pressure issue, showers and water faucets run consistent pressure. Any thoughts on where we should start?

Reply:

Ok Michelle. no worries.

But watch out, many pressure tanks are not designed to work installed on their side.

(Nov 21, 2014) Michelle said:

Thank you for the comment, Dan! You are correct, the one that was installed on it's side started short cycling 6 months post-installation and the well guy (a different one than the one that installed it) found the bladder was shot.

The replacement tank was installed upright and there's been no issues.

As for my current short cycling problem, I called a company who checked things out and isolated the issue to a leak between the house and the well. Fortunately it was at the base of the well. They fixed the leak and replaced my pitless adapter with a pitless unit. Everything is running great.

hanks again! I've been learning a lot reading through your website.

Reply:

Thanks for the feedback Michelle, it will surely help other readers. I'm glad our data was useful. We welcome questions, comments, suggestions, criticism.

Question: how to replace the pressure gauge

(Jan 5, 2015) Justin R. said:
Hi, My BII pressure gauge indicator on my home well pressure tank looks like it went bad. Everything else looks to be OK at the moment. Right now, I am looking to replace the gauge indicator. I was reading the "how to guide" above and had some concerns about what to do to fix this without calling a professional.

I will be buying the exact replacement part but the order of how to fix it confuses me.

1. I will turn off the power to the well.

2. drain the water from the tank out the bottom.

3. prep the new gauge for install with teflon tape.

4. remove the old gauge.

5. replace with the new one. 6. turn power back on and refill the tank with water.

Is there anything I am missing or anything that I should be aware of or avoid. I don't want to screw the system up. Will I be allowing air into the system by doing this and if so what do I do?

Reply:

Justin,

Just how much trouble you need to go to depends on just where the pressure gauge is mounted.

Basically you need to turn off the pump, remove water pressure from the system, and if you don't want to get wet, drain water from the system or from the pressure tank to allow removal of the old gauge and installation of the new one.

Your 6 steps are just what I'd do. IF you're not going to mind a little splashing or water leakage, you can do this repair just removing pressure from the system but without having to drain all of the water out. Just don't panic when you remove the old gauge and install the new one when some water squirts out of the mounting tapping.

It helps to have an assistant to stand by to hand you the new prepped gauge.

I would take some care to avoid getting electrical components wet - protect them as needed. And mop up any spills so as not to be standing in water when turning the system back on.

And don't panic about squirting water such that you screw the new gauge in crookedly - if you cross-thread the receiving tapping you'll have created a bigger repair.

Take some photos of your procedure and send them along to me if you can - use the email at our CONACT link found at page top or bottom.

Good luck - let us know how you did.

Question: My pressure gauge seems to be acting irradical

26 Feb 2015 Larry said:
My pressure gauge seems to be acting irradical; it will slowly and steadily go down to 30; kick the pump on but here is the weird thing.

It only takes a couple seconds to get it back to 50 where it cuts the pump off? I know it usually takes nearly 30 to 45 seconds to fill the tank and get to the 50 shut off point. Am I wrong in thinking the pressure gauge is bad or is there a leak somewhere. When I shut the water line off to the house the gauge normalizes and stays pretty static at 49ish.

Reply:

Larry

Often a debris clogged opening on the pressure gauge blocks its ability to consistently sense water pressure. Try replacing the gauge.

...


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Or see WATER PRESSURE GAUGE ACCURACY

Or see WATER PRESSURE GAUGE INSTALLATION

Or see WATER PRESSURE MEASUREMENT to buy or make your own portable water pressure measurement gauge

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