Water tank repair or replacement diagnostic questions & answers:
Well pump & water tank diagnosis & repair procedures - do I need a new water tank or well tank? These questions & answers help troubleshoot problems that come up when repairing a water pressure tank.
Diagnostic questions for the water tank, water storage tank, well tank, pressure tank, pressure control tank, Extrol, WellXTrol, bladder tank, bladderless water tank.
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On 2017-02-16 by (mod) - can we repair a water tank leak or not?
As long as we are talking about a steel water tank that does not use an internal bladder, a hole in a water tank might be repairable, depending on the overall condition of the tank and the extent of rust that you cannot-see: on the inside of the tank wall.
In WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES this image shown at above-left illustrates a type of tank repair screw and washer.
A screw size is selected to accommodate the diameter of the hole in the tank and is screwed in place; its washer seals the leak by pressing against the tank's outside surface.
Beware that because corrosion is on the inside of the tank the tank wall will be thinner around the point of leakage than you might think, so you might need a larger screw than you might guess. So buy several sizes so that if on installation the first screw leaks because it's too small you can try a larger one.
There are also metal expoxy sealants that can work if the tank surface is clean and dry, though I prefer a mechanical seal.
Beware that a water tank that has perforated is probably at or near the end of its life and that other leaks may appear soon.
Finally, you might want to have your water tested for corrosivity, as if it's corrosivity index is high your building plumbing is also at risk and you might want to install an appropriate water treatment system.
The corrosivity of water is discussed at CORROSIVITY or ACIDITY of WATER https://InspectAPedia.com/plumbing/Acidic_Corrosive_Water.php
On 2017-02-16 by Karen squiresCan a hole in the tank be repaired
On 2016-11-22 by (mod)
RE-posting without advertisement
Last week I got repaired one stainless steel tank in my factory ... as it was getting leak from the bottom from three to four places. They technically removed the old bottom part and fixed the new one in its place.
On 2016-09-08 by (mod) - is it the tank or the pressure switchTom:
On 2016-09-08 by (mod) what level to set the water tank air pre-charge pressureSorry I'm a bit confused by the text of your question.
On 2016-09-08 by Rob
Ok, troubleshooting low water pressure from well. I took off pressure switch. Put in two pressure gauges. Turned off water beyond gauges.
Wired direct to pump. Turned on power. Rise in pressure beyond bladder pressure on new gauge. 25 psi in bladder 30 + at gauge. Quick rise in pressure, and little entry of water to tank.
40 gallon tank. The bladder had to be pumped up a week ago from o psi. Holding very well so far. This is an upright tank with plumbing at bottom. Sup with it guys.? Clogged to tank or what?
On 2016-09-08 by TomShower pressure good for about ten minutes then pressure really drops alot?
On 2016-07-25 by Anonymoushowmuchwatershouldbeintankwhenpressureized
On 2016-05-19 by (mod) - when the pump can't reach the cutoff pressure setting
When a pump is unable to reach a pressure over 30 psi either there is a problem with the pump itself or there is a leak in well piping or there is low water flow rate into the well (combined with a pump protection feature that stops sending water up to the tank).
Your electrician will probably first check the supply voltage to the pump as low voltage can let a pump run but weakly
then she'll check the pump's current draw as high amp draw can indicate a seizing impeller or motor
Some pump controllers can even detect that the pump is running dry or in low water; else you'll need your plumber or well company to check the well's flow rate and static head.
On 2016-05-19 by Mark E
I have a 3/4 hp subm pump. It will only pump up tp 30psi using a new 30/50 pressure switch.
The pump takes close to a half hr to kick off at 30 but only takes a feww minutes to reach 30. Chked the 81 gal bladder tank at 28 psi. Wells at 127 ft.the pump is 23 years old with 7.0 iron. Thanks
On 2015-12-26 by (mod)tim if you check the ARTICLE INDEX given at the end of this article you'll see some diagnostic articles or search InspectApedia for LOST WATER PRESSURE
On 2015-12-26 by timi have been losing water pressure to not having any water pressure at all
On 2015-12-15 by (mod) - SOME bladder-type water pressure tanks are designed to permit bladder replacement.
SOME bladder-type water pressure tanks are designed to permit bladder replacement.
Those tanks will have a removable panel, usually on the tank bottom. If your water tank is one of those you'd buy a replacement bladder assembly from your local plumbing supplier or if necessary through the water tank manufacturer.
You can check with the manufacturer or in your water tank's installation and maintenance manual for the replaceable-bladder feature once you know the water tank brand and model.
On 2015-12-15 by Kevin BattsHow do you repair or replace a ruptured Bladder? And can it be purchased at a local hardware store?
On 2015-12-06 by (mod) how to prime a well pump
Search InspectApedia.com for HOW TO PRIME THE PUMP to see two approaches to solving the problem.
Typically we look at the pressure tank brand and model to determine what it is and if it's an internal bladder model.
Also on bladder-type tanks usually there is an air adjustment valve that's located at or near the top of the tank rather than on the side or on piping; also bladder models will have dispensed with a separate AIR VOLUME CONTROL (search InspectApedia to see what those look-like)
On 2015-12-06 by Denny - my horses are thirsty
I have a new shallow well pump I've installed. Pump will not prime!
Please help the horses need water!
How can I determine if I have a bladder problem in holding tank?
On 2015-11-03 by (mod) - burst bladder can trap water in the water tankYou may have trouble getting the water out of a tank with a burst bladder as the bladder may collapse and cover the tank outlet; if so just get help to take the water-heavy tank outside;
On 2015-11-03 by hodaka
2 yrs ago I had the pressure switch on my bladder tank replaces by a friend, can't remember the reason he took off the pressure switch gage but he did and now it doesn't have a gage on it. Last week the switch is banging every time water is used. I know I need to replace tank.
I checked the air pressure, there is none. Water comes out the air hole. Tank is full of water. I assume bladder broke. I have another tank to replace it. (Used) husband died 3 yrs ago or he would already have this fixed. Anyway, so I turn off breaker to pump, turn off valves in and out, have the hose already attached to drain tank.
Suppose it actually goes smoothly and I attach the other tank properly. How do I tell without a gage how much air to put in and do I add air before I turn pump back on? I have a tire gage but will that work instead of an actual gage?
(Nov 5, 2011) dan f - hughesville pa said:
Experiencing poor house pressure. no other symptoms. submersable pump is 16 years old. replaced the limit switch tuesday. no improvements. also tested the pressure coming in houseby threading a tester onto the drain valve, 28 lbs max.
Today my wife complained of real poor water flow into clothes washer. I found tiny fibers blocking the cold water inlet of the washing machine.
Found the same thing 1 year ago when the same flow reduction occurred in the washer. fibers are off white color, most of them 1/8" or less in size, a few 1/4" or longer. a few fibers were also found in the kitchen faucet. is this impeller decay?
I installed new pump in feb. problem of pump going on and off was corrected. it's may, the problem is back. what's the problem now and who should i call..plumber or well guy? -Karen
Karen: About the well pump cycling on and off:
If you mean the pump turns on and off to often when you are using or running water, see SHORT CYCLING WATER PUMP for diagnosis and repair help.
Assuming that you mean that the pump turns on and off unexpectedly when no one is running water inthe home, there are several possible causes of pump cycling on and off, including a leak in the well piping or building piping that drain off pressure even if you are not running any fixtures, or even a running toilet.
If your pump is a submersible unit - in the well - then replacing it could have also replaced a check valve that might have stopped unnecessary pump cycling. But as the problem seems to have stopped and then returned, I'd start by looking for a plumbing leak somewhere.
See our article titled: INTERMITTENT CYCLING WATER PUMPS for detailed diagnosis and repair suggestions. Or start with these simple suggestions:
Turn off water into the house at your pressure tank and
(Dec 1, 2014) Anonymous said:
How does one check to see if the seal is gone in a pressure tank for a well?
(Dec 1, 2014) (mod) said:
Anon, check for pressure drop,when the pump is off and no water is being run - if you are asking about leaks out of a pressure tank.
With no water being run in the house or if you have shut off the main water supply valve between the pressure tank and house piping, then if pressure drops there is a leak in well piping.
Can you paint the pressure tank a different color than blue?
Sure you can paint your water pressure tank any color you like.
However if the tank is located outdoors in bright sunlight you might want to stick to lighter colors so that you don't unnecessarily heat up your water (and increase tank pressure).
I get a lot of air in my water lines. What can I do to fix that problem? - Dennis
How to diagnose air discharge in water supply pipes or at plumbing fixtures:
At AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES we provide a procedure to diagnose and fix this problem.
16 June 2011 Anon asked:
How do I let the air out of our water tank?
You don't normally need to get air OUT of a water tank, you need to get water in.
If someone is putting an air charge into a BLADDERLESS water pressure tank and they put in too much, the excess air will pass out of the tank through the building water piping and fixtures when water is next run in the building.
However if you needed to vent air out of a bladderless water tank, since air will be in the top of the tank, look for either an air valve or a removable plumbing fitting at or close to the top of the tank.
That valve can be opened (press the valve pin to release air just as with an automobile tire), or that fitting can be removed (watch out: old fittings may be corroded, hard to get out and hard to re-seal) to release air.
If your water tank contains an internal bladder, there will be a Schrader air valve (like a tire valve) at the top of the tank that can be used to put air in or let air out of the tank.
Watch out: if a water pressure tank that uses an internal bladder is set with an excessive air pre-charge the system will not work properly: the water volume draw-down before the pump turns on will be too small, or the pump may not turn on at all.
Worse, at pressures above the rated pressure for the water tank you may burst the tank or a water pipe and thus could and injure someone.
If you are asking because air is coming out of your faucets or other fixtures
see AIR DISCHARGE at FAUCETS, FIXTURES
i just changed the water pump and my pressure tank, the psi is reading correctly but the pump is loud and it keeps blowing the braker, what else could be wrong when i have all new put in? - Sonni
it sounds as if your well pump is damaged and needs replacement.
I would think that you'd made a wiring error, but I'm not sure that would explain a bad pump.
If it's very noisy and is tripping the circuit breaker I suspect it's jamming and the motor is drawing high amps and thus causing the circuit breaker to trip.
Before replacing the pump, consider disassembling the impeller assembly portion of the pump (you'll have to turn off power and remove the pump to do this).
A broken impeller or debris that got sucked into the impeller could also be jamming up the water pump or making it sound horrible.
I'm told that when my irrigation system comes on my pump should run the whole time I'm watering.
My thoughts were that the well will cycle and turn on at 30-psi and turn off at 50-psi letting the pump rest while the bladder distributes the water until guage drops to 30-psi and the pump turns back on the the cycle keeps going.
Please let me know the correct answer, - Mike 6/18/11
Mike: with so little information, I can't promise that I can give the correct answer, but certainly I wouldn't give you an incorrect answer on purpose.
The irrigation pump is a separate unit from your well pump, right?
If so it will run all the time you are watering but your well pump will turn on and off as needed.
If your irrigation system and house water run off of the same water supply system, then either the irrigation system fast enough that the pump never reaches cut-off pressure (entirely possible), or your water usage rate is faster than the well inflow rate and a tailpiece in the well is limiting the flow out - leaving the pump running all the time.
errr i have no water and it sounds like the switch is trying to kick in by making like a hummimg sound and my pressure gauge says 0 so i have replaced the switch and the gauge and still nothing any thoughts in what i can do next to try to get some water? - Jenn 7/11/11
Is your pump above ground or in the well. If the humming is coming from an aboveground pump and the pump is not running it is either jammed or is having trouble starting.
Watch out: shut off the power to avoid burning up the pump motor.
If it's a motor start problem, a hard-start capacitor kit might do the trick.
My pressure tank has a very small pin hole . Can the pressure tank be welded or sealed in anyway , or will the tank need replaced completely ? - Tom A. 8/11/11
Yes, Tom. At your local hardware store you can probably purchase a special screw and washer part (less than $5.00. U.S.) intended to temporarily fix pinholes in water pressure tanks.
Watch out though: often a pinhole on the exterior wall of the tank will be found to be a bigger hole when you start messing with it
- because the tank is corroding from the inside (usually) the area of thin walled steel may be bigger than you think. Buy several repair screws of varying size and start with a small one to see if that can screw in tightly enough to stop the leak. If it won't, you'll need to use a larger screw.
Welding is technically possible but not economical, and a repair epoxy might work with good surface cleaning provided you could take the tank out of service long enough and keep it dry during the gluing process, but like the little DUtch boy with a finger in the surface of the dike, that's not the most reliable repair.
Figure a new water tank is in your future.
why is there odor..in morning on cold side..of faucet but does clear up - Timothy Hannon
Timothy your question doesn't give a lot to go on, like what the odor smells like. If I were to nevertheless GUESS, I'd guess it's a sulphur or rotten egg smell. If that's what you smell in cold water in the mornings, your water supply may contain sulphur gases.
See ODORS IN WATER for some diagnostic and remedy advice.
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
What would cause the inlet piping at the pump (from the well) to blow off.
The pvc adapter keeps blowing off the galvanized nipple at the pumps inlet. When I cut off the valve between the pump and the pressure tank, the pump quick cycles (should the valve be after the tank?). - Dennis 10/28/11
Dennis, about blowing apart well piping connections,
If your well pump is a 2-line jet pump, it is sending water down into the well, through a pick-up venturi valve, and then back up through the larger of 2 pipes into the pump assembly and onwards to the pressure tank. So if the pump is at abnormal pressure, or more often if the connection was not properly made, that connector can blow off.
When you heat black PVC well piping and shove it over a male fitting such as a pump connector, you should then use one or two stainless steel clamps to hold that connection in place.
But sometimes we disassemble and re-use that same connection several times in the course of working on a pump. If so, the end of the well piping may have become too-enlarged or othewise damaged
The fix, IF that is the problem, is to cut off the well-used, enlarged plastic pipe end and connect to a freshly cut end. If that leaves your well pipe too short to reach the pump, cut off a large enough section, say two feet, to permit splicing in a new section of plastic well piping.
1. check the pressure gauge to be sure your water pressure is 60 psi or below
2. if the water pressure is in normal range, then most likely the connections were improperly made
3. I can imagine that problems with check valves could cause a severe water hammer that could also blow apart well piping connections.
I noticed surging at my toilet, faucets, outdoor hose where I have water pressure, then a drop, then water pressure. It seems the pump is cycling, but it is too far from the house to know.
I checked my well today, the pressure tank has 0 psi and some water comes out the pressure valve stem. I noticed my in-line water pressure guage at the manifold has no water in it and is also at 0 psi.
how could this be if the pressure switch will keep it at least at 40 psi on the 40-60 rating? And does water coming out of my pressure tank air valve mean it is water logged or is there some other reason I would have water in the bladder... moisture... condensation..
I just saw a little bit of water come out each time I put the guage on it trying to measure the pressure... which after several attempts, I came up with 0 psi. - Craig 11/11/11
Craig, surging water pressure, on a private well and pump system, is usually caused by a waterlogged water pressure tank - see the article titled SHORT CYCLING WATER PUMP for advice on how to diagnose and fix this problem.
Also, your pressure gauge may be sticking at 0; or your bladder in the tank could be stuck shut;
Yes if water comes squirting out of the pressure tank air valve the tank is waterlogged - and if it's a bladder type tank, the bladder has ruptured.
This morning we had no water. We went down and checked the water pressure gauge, it was at zero.
We tapped the pressure switch, it then moved up to 40 and we then had water. Since then, we have had water, and the pressure on the gauge moves from 60 to 35. Could we have a problem with the pressure switch or the pressure tank? - Nina 2/19/12
Yep Nina, you did a great job of discovering most of the problem with the loss of water pressure.
But the root problem may not be the pressur switch contacts themselves.
Pressure switches for pump controls mount on a small diameter pipe or tube, often 1/8" or sometimes 1/4" diameter piping. If your water supply includes mud, silt, rust, iron, minerals, or any other crud, it's easy to clog up that pipe, or to clog the still smaller opening in the bottom of the pressure control switch through which water pressure is sensed.
The fix is to try replacing that pipe nipple or replace the switch and nipple at the same time.
Is it okay for the pressure tank to be on it's side? This is under the house in the crawlspace. Does it matter whether or not a horizontal or vertical tank is used? - Jason
Jason, it depends.
A bladderless water tank can often work in any position provided you can find convenient pipe connection points. But a vertical water tank that uses an internal bladder usually has to be installed upright. Or buy a tank designed to be installed horizontally. Othewise the tank and bladder or diaphragam may not work properly and the tank may be damaged.
We Have a 4.5 hourse power well pump that will continually run even after the tank fills up.
We had someone come to diagnose the problem and we were told that because we don't have an inground sprinkler system (we use oscillating sprinklers over approximately 3/4 of an acre) that the pump is going out and eventually the pump will burn up.
Could this be the cause of our problem? If so, please explain how watering our property with oscillating sprinklers can do this?
Thank you for your help! - Kathy 5/23/12
Kathy, at WATER PUMP WONT STOP RUNNING we provide the procedure for diagnosing and repairing a well pump that won't stop running.
The problem could be a bad pressure switch, a pressure switch with the cut-off pressure set higher than the pump can achieve, bad pump, bad pump impeller, a well that has lost its recovery rate, a leak in well piping, a leak in house piping, a clogged sensor on the bottom of the pressure switch (try tapping on the switch to see if the pump stops), or even low voltage that leaves the pump unable to reach the pressure control switch cutoff pressure.
(Apr 5, 2014) Anonymous said:
my stainless water pressure tank (not even used for a year)incurred corrosion and later a thread sized leak appeared recently. Will welding the source of leak solve the problem?
I'm not sure Anon - it depends on what's going on.
You could ruin an internal-bladder type water tank by trying to weld it. You could instead try an epoxy intended for that purpose, but better yet, and more safe, plan on replacing the tank. If it's fairly new I'd suggest checking on warranty coverage. If the tank was left exposed to freezing conditions perhaps that has damaged it.
(May 19, 2014) dennis said:
my pump comes on fine- water pressure drops immediatly and keeps cycling like this sometimes with no demand
Sounds like a well piping leak or a foot valve leak, Dennis. Turn off water into the building; if pressure still falls then the leak or problem is on the pump/tank/well side of the building piping.
(June 30, 2014) tbenham64 said:
Over the last 2 years we have had episodes of loss of water into home. We have a well with bladder pressure tank...which is about 7 yrs old.
The episodes are irregular. Additionally, after 2 yrs in our new home we developed a 50% loss in water pressure in the opposite side of the house where the well is on.
The water on the opposite side of the house runs thru the pressure tank. Could these problem be related?
I'd expect that all water in the building is delivered out of the pressure tank; you are probably talking about flow-rate, not actually static pressure in the system.
I'd look for a partly closed or blocked valve between the part of the home with good flow rate and the part with bad flow rate.
(Aug 2, 2014) Joe McDermott said:
Friend has air regulator (not valve) that is leaking water and makes pump run constantly, no air escaping. How to fix or replace part.
Just see AIR VOLUME CONTROLS, WATER TANK
(Aug 5, 2014) Anonymous said:
We are the first of four houses feeding off a spring with one spring box with a concrete floor.
The sides of the box appear to have some type of plastic lining. This spring box and each of our respective water tanks have served us well for over 12 years without any problems.
Now there appears to be a leak and we are looking for sources for spring box repairs and any information. We are considering pouring an outside layer of concrete with rebar.
Sure, see details about spring boxes at SPRINGS as WATER SUPPLY
(Sept 2, 2014) Lyla said:
My pump runs 2 or 3 times before it shuts off when a toilet is flushed. That's 2 times more than it should. This has happened a couple of times over the 8 years I lived at this place. I'm looking for instruction on how to remedy this problem
. I've watched a friend fix it but he went through the entire process so fast I couldn't follow all the steps. I know he turned off the water attached a hose to something and said if the bicycle pump had the basketball attachment it would be a quicker job.
The pump is a dura piston pump that is set up for the cistern in my basement.
If anyone could provide step by step instruction without being too technical that would be great. I know it's not a big job.
check for a water logged pressure tank and try adding air using the procedures in our article, found at More Reading above, and titled
where we give several easy ways to re-charge the air in the tank.
(Oct 2, 2014) pam said:
my water pressure goes up & down. Do I need a new water holding tank or work on well pump?
Not necessarily Pam
See WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING - home
(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
(Mar 28, 2015) Dennis said:
My well tank seems to be empty, I think the bladder is stuck on itself, how do I get it to start accepting water so my pressure normalizes?
Dennis you'd need to replace the bladder or the tank itself.
Watch out: A temporary repair can sometimes be made by pushing the water pressure up above normal but DO NOT under any circumstances set the water pressure at or above the pressure tank's rating. The risk is an explosion and injury.
Continue reading at WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
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