Pressure tank problems. : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hello to all,I have a problem with my pressure tank (Well Water)I noticed the pump keeps kicking on and off and then back on a couple minutes later.I went down to watch the pressur gauge and it pumps up to 50 psi and then starts to drop,it takes about 3- 5 min and the pressure drops to 25 psi in which the pump kicks back on and pressures it right back up to 50 psi quickly.I have changed out a pressure tank before in my old house which was the verticaly standing type with the bladder in side,this one is a horizontal tank in which the guy at the hardware store told me was proably just a pressure tank without a baffle but couldnt be sure.So I am holding off on buying a new one thinking that if this one has no baffle or bag in it to leak what would the problem be,I looked all over the tank to try to find a air fitting to pump it up but dont see one,also what is the difference between the two different types does the baffle type work better than just a pressure tank. Thanks Dave Smith- north central WI

-- Dave Smith (, October 22, 2001


Dave, what you might have is what we, in the trade, call a leak. Turn off the water to your house as near to the tank as possible, if this straightens out the problem then go looking for seeping water, usually the toilet flapper valve and forgive my dry humor.

-- mitch hearn (, October 22, 2001.

see if there is a nozzle/fitting on it to put air into it, I bet the tank needs air pressure added,, and its "flooded". My first tank did that,, had to pressure it once a week.

-- stan (, October 22, 2001.

I think Mitch has it. Even if the tank is water loged it would hold pressure unless the water was getting away some where. It may be time to get out the spade. OH my back!!!

-- Mel Kelly (, October 22, 2001.

Dave try turning the electricity off . then drain all the water from the tank. Then turn the electricity back on. this should put air back in the tank . If after you do this the pump keeps cycling you may have a faulty foot valve or a leak in the line going down in your well. Hope this helps. Big George

-- George Wilson (, October 22, 2001.

I'm with Stan on this one. It sounds like the tank is waterlogged. I've never seen a horizontal tank that had a bladder but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Whether it has a bladder or not the first thing I'd look for is a schrader valve(think "tire" valve) near the top. If it does, open a water valve and apply air to the schrader valve. This will drain the tank. When the tank is empty and air is coming out of the water valve, close the water valve and put about twenty pounds of air pressure into the tank and turn the pump back on. It should start up, pump to the high cut off then shut off like normal.

Sometimes the bladder tanks will have a shrader valve too.

Since you don't see an air valve you can install one between the water shut-off valve on the discharge side of the tank and the pump providing you have either a shut off valve at the discharge of the pump or a check valve on the suction line of the pump. You didn't say if you have a submersible pump or an "in-the-basement" shallow well type. If you don't wanna replace the tank do the smae process described above. It worked for me and saved me $100 or so. Feel free to e-mail me if you want.

-- john (, October 22, 2001.

I've gone through the torn bladder and burned out well pump just recently. This doesn't sound like a pressure tank problem. I'm with Mitch. With the pressure dropping so rapidly it must be a leak somewhere. If the leak is in the house, it should be easy to find. If it is between the house and well, all that water should start surfacing soon unless you have very sandy soil.

-- Skip in Western WA (, October 22, 2001.

I too agree with Stan I have had the same problem before and it needed air in the tank if you have the valve core on the top hook up the air chuck, if not then turn off the pump and drain all the water out of the tank then using a valve core out of a car tire open the water outlet and press the tire valve core and fill it with air. Then there will probably be another rush of water let it drain again and repeat the process and then when you have 25-50 lbs of air turn on the pump and your problem sould be fixed. dale

-- dale (, October 23, 2001.

First of all Thank You all for the help.I went the easy rought first on the pressure tank and found that the tank was completely full,I sucked the water up with my shop vac as it drained out the bottom plug in the tank,I sucked up atleast 30 galsof water with a 18 gal shop vac,I had to take the plastic pipe off from the pump to tank so it would drain(vacum)that piece of hose was leaking anyway so I replaced it and also added a air inlet so I could put air in the tank if needed.I put it all back together turned the pump back on and everything seems to be back to normal good pressure and it takes quite some time before it kicks back on.Thanks again to all,I appreciate it. Dave .S

-- Dave Smith (, October 23, 2001.

I had the same problem with my tanks. Mine are galvinized and are upright. I believe they are called "Captive Air" tanks. Or what I call air over water. It's easier to compress a gas then it is a liquid. So by pumping water in the bottom of the tank it compresses the air in the top. When the pump shuts off, and the check valve holds, the air compressed in the top of the tank can expand to deliver water pressure. When the water in the tank becomes saturated with air it needs recharging. I have a quick air connection on top of my tank that I pump compressed air into. Make sure the electricity is shut off. And try not to exceed about 40 or 50 psi on your gauge. Good luck

-- Dave Wright (, October 26, 2001.

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