60% of the adult body is comprised of water. That truth is reflected in how much we surround ourselves with the element via drinking, bathing, washing, and more.
It’s probably no secret to you that water is a necessity of life. What may be less clear though is why your water isn’t flowing through your shower, faucets, and other appliances with the sort of pressure you used to enjoy.
Chances are if you’re living on a property that has a well and a pressure tank, your pressure tank is somehow related to the problem.
For the uninitiated, a pressure tank is a steel structure that helps push well water into homes. When something goes awry with a pressure tank or a conjoined structure, you’re going to have problems.
Here are some of the most common issues you may find…
1. Bladder Breaks
If your pressure tank looks every bit as good as it did 5 years ago on the outside but is performing much worse than it has historically, chances are, you have an internal problem. Of the various internal components your pressure tank may feature, its bladder is typically the most vulnerable.
A pressure tank’s bladder is a piece of rubber that well water gets pumped into. From there, pressurized air around the bladder squeezes that water through piping and into your home.
When a pressure tank’s bladder tears or becomes too stretched out, its ability to succumb to outside air pressure lessens. That weakening leads to less water pressure.
2. Pressure Switch Problems
Your pressure tank isn’t constantly pulling water from your well. To conserve its energy and your water, it only pulls water into its bladder when its internal water stores fall below a certain, pre-set level.
When that happens, a pressure switch fires off which leads to a well pump activating and pushing water into your tank. If that pressure switch does not fire off, the process doesn’t take place and you don’t get any water.
Pressure switches have been known to fail in tanks. Have yours inspected to make sure it’s reading when it needs to activate as it should. If it isn’t, get it replaced and you may solve your problem.
3. Broken Well Pump
Similar to pressure switches not firing, well pumps may not pump as they should when your tank’s water reserves are low. This can be identified when you have your pressure switch checked.
If your pressure switch is working but water is still not flowing up into your tank, your well pump is likely what needs to be aided.
4. Frame Breaks
Your pressure tank’s ability to pressurize water into your home relies on its steel structure’s integrity. That’s because holes in your pressure tank’s structure create pathways for pressurized air to leak which then lowers your tank’s internal pressure.
Lower internal pressure means less pressure put on your tank’s bladder which in turn, reduces water pressure.
The good news is that frame erosion can be avoided by keeping your structure clean and treated per its manufacturer’s directions. Furthermore, if you notice a break in your frame, if it’s small, you may be able to patch it.
5. Bad Connections to Your Home
It may be that your pressure tank itself is firing on all cylinders but objects that live downstream are causing problems for you. As an example, when your pressure tank pushes water through pipes and into your home, what do you think would happen if one of those downstream pipes leaked?
Unsurprisingly, you’d run into water pressure issues which may then lead you to falsely suspect your pressure tank of failure.
The best way to discover if your pressure tank or objects downstream are to blame for your water problem would be to call in a plumbing professional to make assessments.
6. Poor Settings
We’re hopeful that you can solve your pressure tank problems by adjusting its settings! While not always the case, we have seen homeowners complain of tank issues only to find that the PSI setting they have on their tanks is too low to service their needs.
Try playing with your tank PSI and make sure other tank settings are complying with your manufacturer’s suggested settings. If you don’t have your pressure tank manual, you can likely find a copy of it online.
7. Old Age
For those of you that are relying on tanks that are 10+ years old, it may be that your tank is suffering from too many subtle issues to salvage. At that point, your best bet may be to sell your tank for scrap, view here for more tank options, and get saddled with a new one.
A new tank, assuming your old one was the cause of your issues, will get your water back on track, fast!
Your Pressure Tank Is Worth Taking Care Of
When you have a problem with a pressure tank, there is a litany of possibilities that could be at the root of the issue. Rather than putting yourself in a position where you need to troubleshoot all of those potential snags, invest time in taking care of your well pump pressure tank so it won’t give you trouble.
Investing in routine maintenance is a great place to start to that end! Find a local well pressure tank expert and reach out to them every 6 months or so to make sure the device that brings you water is getting the attention it needs.
For more content on all things home-related, check out additional write-ups in our blog!