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Water pressure tank, submersible pump (C) InspectApedia Diagnose Water Tank Problem FAQs
Q&A on how to diagnose & fix a water tank

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Water pressure tank or water storage tank diagnosis & repair questions & answers:

Frequently-asked questions (and answers) about how to troubleshoot and fix problems with the water pressure tank.

This article series describes how and why to diagnose problems right at the water tank in order to help distinguish among intermittent water pressure loss, total water pressure loss, and poor water pressure or flow in a building.



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How to Diagnose & Fix Water Pressure Tank Problems

Photograph of the prime opening on a jet pump

The questions & answers about water tank diagnosis & repair were posted originally at WATER TANK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR - topic home.

On 2017-07-13 by (mod) - how to fix drop in hot water temperature when another hot water faucet is turned on

Mark

What you describe is common in residential properties: as we open a second faucet we change the flow rate at the faucet that was already open, since the system has but one water or hot water source and but one pressure source.

However you can install a point-of-use water temperature regulator that will eliminate the temperature change problem. See

POINT of USE BUILT-IN FIXTURE ANTI-SCALD VALVES http://inspectapedia.com/plumbing/Anti_Scald_Mixing_Valve_POU.php

as an example of a solution.

On 2017-07-13 by Mark Bingham

When showering, if someone runs water elsewhere in the house, the water temperature varies depending on which faucet has been turned on. If hot is turned, you get all cold in the shower. If cold is turned on, you get all hot in the shower. What would cause this?

On 2017-07-13 by (mod) - cures for surging water pressure

Herb, a search in the InspectApedia search box above finds this help for us

WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING CAUSES because usually surging water pressure means that the water pump is cycling on and off very rapidly.

On 2017-07-13 by Herb

Water is surging

On 2017-06-29 by (mod)

Zoe,

If the noise is occurring in the water cistern or tank overhead and you are not actually causing the toilet tank to move - at least not in any obvious amount - I suspect that the mere vibration of sitting down onto the toilet may be triggering a cistern fill valve that was just about at the point of dropping enough to cause the tank to re-fill.

Often when there is a slow leak in a toilet tank or cistern (search InspectApedia for RUNNING TOILET REPAIR) the tank empties very slowly and no one notices. Left alone the fill valve will usually drop and re-fill the toilet tank before the next attempt to flush the loo.

When the toilet has been just recently-flushed and you do not observe the noise, I speculate that the cistern so recently-re-filled that it has not had enough time to leak out enough water, so in that case what I described above will not occur.

On 2017-06-29 by zoe beavis

In the last week or so.. this is going to sound strange, when I sit on the toilet, it sounds as if it moves the water tank above my head, it sounds as though it is swaying or rocking, this noise only happens when the water from the tank hasn't been used for awhile, so if I sit on it in the morning, it sounds as if the water tank is moving, but if the toilet has already recently been flushed, the noise dosent happen.. what could it be?

On 2017-06-24 by woodcutter

my shallow well pressure tank[bladder] will only take water if the air is drainded first then with no air no pressure I don't no what to do?

On 2017-06-23 by Jay

We get our water from a well. Our water filter is clean, and there is no running water in or outside the house, but we're getting a low flow from our kitchen faucet. The pressure gauge near our water tank is at 30 psi. What might the problem be?

On 2017-05-27 by (mod) how to tell if there is air in the water pressure tank,

If you are asking how to tell if there is air in the water pressure tank,

the two most basic checks are

to see that the pump is not short cycling, and

to carefully gently see if you can rock the water tank of course without breaking any Plumbing connections, just about the time that the pump is turning on.

That's the point when they would be least water in the tank. If the tank is still quite heavy then it may be water logged.

Another test you can make that just observational is to see where the condensation line is on the side of the tank.

If a tank is waterlogged than the condensation line will be near the top of the tank where is if it has a good air charge the condensation line is probably in the middle of the tank or a bit lower.

If you are asking how to tell if there is an appropriate air in the water piping system, then you will see air discharge at faucets or fixtures.

Search InspectApedia for AIR DISCHARGE AT FAUCETS for details.

On 2017-05-27 by Todd

How to tell if there is air in th system

On 2017-04-28 by (mod) re: signs of a waterlogged pressure tank

Lance

that sounds to me as if the tank is waterlogged - has lost its air charge. Search InspectApedia (use the box just above) to find our article on WATER TANK AIR, HOW TO ADD

On 2017-04-28 12:13:45.864201 by Lance

My pressure tank is very noisy and it always pumps even if you only used a glass of water

On 2017-04-21 by (mod) re: signs of a leak in the well pipe

Sounds to me as if you have a burst or leaky well pipe between house and well

On 2017-04-21 by Anonymous

Water pump is going off and on yard is filled with water but no water in holding tank but have running water in house

On 2017-04-19 by (mod) possible water tank bladder stuck to itself - irrigation system problems

Typically in this case the tank bladder has become stuck on itself, or are they in the next to the tank has otherwise become blocked. Search inspect a pedia.com for

WATER TANK BLADDER REPLACEMENT

for details

On 2017-04-18 by Eddie Davis

Irrigation had no pressure so I replace the pressure switch. Now the pressure switch kicks in and out continuously. Irrigation works but constantly surges. It appears the tank is not taking on any water. Any ideas on the problem

On 2017-04-08 by (mod)

Dave:

Does the pressure drop STOP once the gauge says 45 psi? Could the gauge be debris clogged?

Air or pressure gauges used on water pressure tanks are standard and easily replaced. Any plumbing supplier has them.

Air valves - used for adding air to a tank, use a standard internal valve stem or core, but the valve itself may be customized to fit the tank depending on the tank type and model. A steel bladderless pressure tank may use a conventional air valve (Schrader valve) that's available at any plumbing supplier.

A water pressure tank using an internal bladder may use a special rubber-based air valve that is supplied by the tank manufacturer and that might be replaceable.

On 2017-04-08 14:42:08.856899 by Dave

My system pumps up to 50psi and then bleeds down to 45psi in a matter of half an hour. I looked for leaks and only found that the air valve on the storage tank show a small leak using soapy water.

Any clues? Where can I find a new air valve for my tank?

The storage tank should be empty when checking the charge. The charge should be 28psi.

On 2017-04-07 03:07:19.553586 by (mod)

Sounds to me like a pump motor problem, perhaps lack of water and overheating motor.

On 2017-04-07 02:47:37.455834 by Adam

It started around the same time it started raining???

On 2017-04-07 02:45:16.604060 by Adam

My holding tank is only running around 20lbs of pressure...If I turn the 30amp breaker off for a while and then back on it will rise to around 50 and slowly drop back down to 20. What is the problem?

On 2017-03-26 19:22:11.287125 by (mod)

How fast is "rapid cycling" or pump short cycling? good question.

IT depends on tank size, and more, on the water outflow or usage rate, and also the pump's pumping rate capacity in gpm for the whole system including total vertical lift, piping restrictions & distances.

If a pump, tank, piping, well are in perfect condition and the pump is cycling on and off for a moderate water flow usage rate such as someone running a bathroom sink faucet, then if the pump is turning on and off more often than every 30 seconds I'd want a larger pressure tank. The pump manufacturers, are, however the final authority on this so you'll want to check with the company who makes your tank.

Certainly if a pump under any circumstances is turning on and off every few seconds or less, something's seriously wrong and the pump or its controls are likely to be damaged or to have a short life.

For pressure boosting pumps that do not use any pressure tank (the control that turns the pump on and off is built into the pump), the pump turns on as soon as a plumbing fixture is opened to run water and runs all the time water is being run.

Watch out: with tankless booster pumps: any small leak such as a running toilet or pinhole leak in a pipe may cause the pressure booster pump to cycle on and off more frequently than the manufacturer intends - risking damage to the pump.

On 2017-03-26 by Anonymous

I have a small pressure tank and expect that the pump will have to turn on and off, but when is it cycling too fast? How many seconds should it run before kicking off and then restarting?

On 2017-03-20 by (mod) - signs of a waterlogged pressure tank

The tank is probably waterlogged, or it's at zero pressure.

You might want to use the search box just above to search InspectApedia for WATER TANK AIR PRESSURE SETTING to find a helpful diagnose and repair sequence

On 2017-03-20 by John

I checked my air pressure of my pressure tank and no air came out , what is the problem.

On 2017-02-18 by (mod) - sudden loss of water pressure

Search InspectApedia for NO WATER PRESSURE to see some helpful diagnostic and repair steps, Jan

On 2017-02-17 by Jan

suddenly have no water. have a inground concrete tank with pressure tank in it . have a control box on the wall of this tank. intermittent beeping sound can be heard. any ideas where to start?

On 2017-02-02 by Darl Mills

I just had my well pump, pressure switch and tank replaced, but even with good water pressure and flow at the faucets, the tank has no water in it. What's wrong and what can I do to fix it?

On 2016-12-28 by (mod) hammering sound when pump cycles off

Kim

Please search InspectApedia.com for WATER HAMMER to read about the causes and cures for this problem. Let me know if after that you need more help.

On 2016-12-28 by Kim

We have well water that sometimes when the pump cycles it hammers at shut off.

Plus i did shake the pressure tank like some articles say to do it caused brown water to all the fixtures in the house which I had to clean out to get any flow. So why dose it hammer?

On 2016-12-05 by WellWell pump short cyclingAnonymous

Well pump short cycoling

On 2016-12-28 by (mod) water tank keeps getting over-pressurized

Mike:

Look for an air volume control system that's not working properly. For example the Snifter valve system on older bladderless pressure tanks and used with submersible well

pumps uses an in-well air admittance valve and an aboveground excess air bleeder valve - either of which could be present and malfunctioning or even not needed if a new bladder type pressure tank was installed.

Use the search box on this page to find our article on SNIFTER VALVES to read details.

A leak in the internal bladder of a pressure tank that uses bladders can also result in increasing pressure in the system.

On 2016-11-29 by mike

well tank keeps getting over pressurized with air

On 2016-11-16 by dhayaB

Why is my hyundaibakkie)h100 water tank boils and bubbles an it also loses wateri

On 2016-11-14 by Frausto

Had a well water pump installed about 8 years ago. I have no water coming into the home and want to know what is standard warranty on a newly installed water pump

On 2016-10-20 by (mod) - unstable pressure make our electric pump start stop in short period

Please search InspectApedia.com for WELL PUMP SHORT CYCLING to read a detailed description of the problem you described, Mahendra, There you'll find diagnostic and repair suggestions.

On 2016-10-20 by mahendra

We have a problem with pressure tank, unstable pressure make our electric pump start stop in short period
What is the problem ? how can we solve the problem ?

On 2016-10-17 by Anonymous

How to solve when water from outlet connection the water enters bank in tank

On 2016-09-19 by (mod) "pulsating" water pressure.

Bill, please search InspectApedia.com (use the search box just above or at page top) for WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING to read the probable cause(s) and repair for pulsating water pressure. Keep me posted on how that goes.

Daniel

On 2016-09-19 by Bill

Lately we've noticed "pulsating" water pressure. What could be the cause?

On 2016-09-03 by mod - dirt into our home from the drilled well

Mike

Yes there are dirt filters of various types and capacity that you can install to filter out dirt ahead of the pressure tank. The filter selection needed depends in part on the type of soil. For example fine clay will require a small particle filter and probably a large capacity so you're not changing the filter every few days.

See if a local well or plumber expert has a camera that allows inspection of the well bore: check for casing cracks, holes, damage that might be sending extra soil into the well.

Search InspectApedia for WATER FILTERS to read more about that solution.

On 2016-08-30 by Mike

I'm getting dirt into our home from the drilled well. The well is 75' deep, the well pump was raise 10' a few years ago because the dirt was coming into the home. When they drilled the well there was only a ten foot plastic casing pipe pushed down into the well hole. Is there anything that can be installed to filter out the dirt out before the pressure tank?

Can the well be re drilled and push down more casing into the well. Problem is I have aerator tank that's installed before the pressure tank, and the head is getting dirt in it. I also can tell dirts coming because I have a whole house water filter that has little dirt that's left after the filter system backwash's every four days.

On 2016-08-27 by (mod) changing a pressure tank will not increase the water pressure in a home.

Ron

Unfortunately changing a pressure tank will not increase the water pressure in a home. At most it might give a longer draw-down before the pump has to turn-on. It's the pump's capacity that, along with the pressure switch setting, delivers water pressure. That's why the new switch gave you better in-house water pressure.

Now to the air: either the pump is exceeding the flow rate of the well OR there is a leak somewhere in the piping OR the well uses an old snifter valve (search InspectApedia for that term) that should have been removed.

On 2016-08-25 by ron

I recently replacde an old pressure tank with a pressurized new one. All was well but we wanted more pressure in the house. I had a 30/50 pressure switch so I replaced it with a 40/60. We got a nice increase in pressure, however, now we get a major amount of air in the lines that is not getting better.
any suggestions

On 2016-08-12 by (mod) rapid cut-out of Davey water pump

Rapid cut-in-cut-out is a problem for which we have lots of diagnostic and repair information. See the article index above or search InspectApedia.com for WELL PUPMP SHORT CYCLING to see details.

On 2016-08-12 by Mick love

I have a Davey set up it has for last 6 months or more started to get real noisey and I counted over ten times it cut in and out for misses to shower

On 2016-07-30 by (mod) - why adding air to the pressure tank may be needed

Anon it depends on how long it takes for the tank to lose its air charge, and how much water is being used in that interval.

If your system has a tank that uses an internal bladder you should never need to add air - so that'd be a bad tank;

If your water tank does not use an internal bladder it may need a replacement Air Volume Control or AVC device.

On 2016-07-30 by Anonymous

I add air to the pressure tank but it looses the air after a while is the tank bad

On 2016-07-28 by (mod)

Thanks SO much for the feed-back Johnny. Taking the time to follow-up will certainly help other readers.

On 2016-07-28 11:36:05.665499 by johnny - bad check valve by the water pump was causing loss of water pressure

Thanks. Turns out it was the check valve right by the water pump. It was torn to shreds inside. Water was being flown back into the well because of this and that's why I was losing pressure. The tank is bladerless.

Key Water Tank Diagnostic Articles

If you have no water pressure at all, see NO WATER PRESSURE

If your water pressure is intermittent, starts and stops, or varies in pressure, see WATER PRESSURE INTERMITTENT LOSS

Is there some water pressure but the pressure and/or flow are poor?

  1. Water supply piping problem? 
    See Bad water pressure Clogged Pipes
    and
    WATER PIPE CLOG REPAIR

    The following articles pertain if you have a private well, pump, and tank system for your building
  2. Water Tank Problems? 
    See WATER PRESSURE TANK REPAIRS
  3. Water pump problems? 
    See
    1. WATER PUMP PRESSURE CONTROL ADJUSTMENT
    2. WATER PUMPS & TANKS & WELLS
    3. WATER PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES
  4. Bad water pressure regulator? 
    See WATER PRESSURE REDUCER / REGULATOR (not usually installed on private well and pump systems, often present on municipal water supply systems that use an in-building local water pump and pressure tank to boost pressure)

...


Continue reading at WATER TANK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR - home, or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES - how to fix problems with the water pressure tank

Or see WATER TANK DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - for all types of water tanks

Or see WATER TANK BLADDER DIAGNOSTIC FAQs - for tanks that use an internal bladder

Or see WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS TABLE

Or see WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING

Or see WATER PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES - home

Or see WATER TANK AIR VOLUME CONTROLS - home

Or see WATER TANK vs WATER PRESSURE

Suggested citation for this web page

WATER TANK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR FAQs at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to WATER SUPPLY, PUMPS TANKS WELLS

Or use the SEARCH BOX found below to Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia


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