Well tanks rarely cause you any worry as their installation is supposed to keep it running for decades. However, sometimes, the tanks might experience problems with their pressure charge that is harmful to the tank in the long run.
Over time, the low-pressure tank loses water pressure and ends up damaging itself. Thus, you need to drain the tank and check its settings. Here’s a list of things you need to know before diving into the settings of a Well tank.
- Well Pressure Tank Functions
- Ideal Pressure Setting
- Checking Well Pressure
- Common Problems for Low Pressure
- Change the Pressure Settings
For your Well tank to run smoothly, you need to check even the smallest of errors. It is not that hard to comply with the following steps as it will be listed in detail. So, take some time to go through. If you’re in a hurry, jump directly to the Change the Pressure Settings section for details.
Table of Contents
- Well Pressure Tank How it works?
- What Are the Common Problems for Low Water Pressure?
- How Can You Check Your Well Tank’s Pressure?
- How Do You Change the Pressure Settings?
- What Is the Ideal Pressure Setting for a Well Tank?
- Final Thoughts
Well Pressure Tank How it works?
Well tanks have a storage system that produces pressurized water by using an air chamber. The tank’s air thrusts the water through the pipes, so the water pressure remains high and consistent.
Nonetheless, as more and more water leaves the tank, the water pressure will eventually decrease from within the tank. However, if the pressure gauge senses a pressure drop, otherwise known as a cut-on point, it alerts the pressure switch.
The switch indicates the need for water and starts the pump back on, delivering water to the tank. This cycle continues until the tank senses low internal pressure.
More importantly, it is necessary to check the pressure setting of a Well tank if there’s any change in water pressure because pressure ensures you an adequate supply of water and protects the pump from short-cycling.
If you have no Well tank for your pump, then the pump will turn on and off every time there’s a low-pressure point. In turn, this fluctuation overworks and overheats the motor, shortening its life cycle, requiring premature replacement.
Therefore, you should consider preventative pressure maintenance so that your Well tank works fine and keeps your pump efficient.
What Are the Common Problems for Low Water Pressure?
· Low Water Flow:
This problem occurs when the pump is wearing out from years of use or a partly opened check valve, rusted or broken Well pipe, clogged pressure regulators or aerators, fixtures, etc. It is best to consult a professional to fix this.
· Set Too Low/Bad Pressure Switch:
To adjust it, you have to be careful because it can also decrease the amount of draw-down (usable water) in the pressure tank.
Higher pressure depends on where the pressure switch is set, so even if you adjust higher, the pressure might not be higher.
Also, you need to clean and inspect the pressure switches to ensure there are no insects inside. Since there are live wires, you should take extra precautions while cleaning or consult a professional.
· Low Pressure in the Captive Tank/Failed Pressure Tank:
The pressure tank has an air chamber or diaphragm, which carries a particular pre-charged volume of air pressure.
In order to check it, make sure to turn off the Well pump power and open a hose bib or faucet to drain out any water pressure left in the tank.
How Can You Check Your Well Tank’s Pressure?
Before you change any settings, you need to check if everything’s well in the Well pressure tank.
· Turn off the power to your pump:
Ensure that your pump is completely shut off to prevent it from starting. Also, make sure all electrical connections are turned off. Then, if you have any filtration equipment, use a bypass valve to direct the water away from the tank.
· Drain the tank:
It is necessary to drain the water before checking the pressure because if you check the pressure with water inside, you will only read the internal water pressure.
For draining, locate the boiler drain on the tank package. Then, connect a hose to the boiler drain and let the water empty itself. Another way is, open a faucet in your home and continue to run the water until your tank empties of water.
· Find the pressure gauge:
It tests and reads the tank’s internal pressure using a piston to thrust a calibrated spring when bare to pressurized air.
How Do You Change the Pressure Settings?
This setting depends on your pressure switch. If you want more pressure, you need a pressure switch that can be set to higher pressure. Now, if everything is ready, let’s change it.
· Drain the Water:
Before you change anything, make sure there’s no leftover water as this can make recalibrating the pressure of the tank harder than it seems.
· Locate the Pressure Switch:
It is a rectangular black box attached to the tank manifold situated at the tank’s base. Usually, it is placed adjoining to the round pressure gauge.
· Remove the Cover of the Pressure Switch:
Generally, it is dark gray or black, fixed to the switch’s body with a nut or screw. With an adjustable wrench, unfasten the nut and take off the cover.
Often, manufacturers involve an internal diagram that demonstrates standard settings for pressure switches such as 30/50, 20/40, or 40/60.
· Inspect the Pressure Switch:
Internally, most pressure switches contain nuts that rotate to alter the cut-on and cut-off pressure points. Usually, it uses a single nut to lift both the cut-on and cut-off pressure simultaneously.
It regulates the compulsory 20 psi differential between the two pressure point settings. It is crucial to keep the pump functioning well.
· Modify the pressure settings:
With a wrench, rotate the nut clockwise to lift the pressure and anti-clockwise to lessen the pressure.
For every complete rotation, the pressure rises 2 1/2 psi. Therefore, if you want to raise it by ten, rotate the nut three and a half times.
In case your pressure switch consists of separate nuts to alter the cut-on and cut-off pressures, you need to check the switch’s manual before changing the pressure settings.
Generally, the 1/2 nut directs the cut-on pressure, whereas the 7/16 nut manages the cut-off pressure. It would help if you remembered that the two pressures must maintain the differential of 20 psi.
· Reset the Tank’s Pressure:
After you have altered the pressure switch setting, you must change the tank’s pressure to assist the pressure settings.
Additionally, the internal pressure of the tank must be two psi lower than the cut-on pressure point. On a switch of 30/50, this is 28.
Hence, if the pressure is below, then you should use an air compressor to amplify the pressure and check it periodically with a tire pressure gauge until it reaches the necessary pressure setting.
Caution: You must not add too much pressure as the tank will not hold enough water and will empty without indicating the Well pump to start.
The pressure setting must not be above 60 psi. Even if your tank can withstand higher pressure, you should think about the safety of your home as it can destroy switches, pipes, or fittings.
Moreover, this damage leads to costly leaks and plumbing failure.
Besides, if you set the pressure at 80 psi, the pump would not reach the cut-off pressure point. Simultaneously, the cut-off setting must not be below 20 psi.
What Is the Ideal Pressure Setting for a Well Tank?
Always, the Well tank’s pressure must be two psi lower than the cut-on pressure switch point. It can change according to your tank’s pressure settings.
- Generally, most tanks are adjusted at 30/50. Therefore, the cut-on pressure point for that pump is 30 psi, which means the tank’s pressure should be 28 psi.
- However, if the tank is set at 40/60, the pressure setting must be 38 psi.
Moreover, this pressure indicates the tank’s vacancy of any water. Although if there is any water left within the tank, the pressure will rise.
As mentioned above, there must be a 20 psi difference between the cut-on and cut-off pressure points on all settings of pressure switches. A large gap between both pressure points will result in a constant pump cycle.
- At that time, even if you use less water, the pressure might drop, and the pump to kick start again. If this “on” and “off” continues, it will place a strain on the parts of your pump, ultimately causing it to fail to function.
- Moreover, if the cut-on is too near the cut-off pressure point, the tank will not store enough water and will not supply a consistent amount of water.
For a Well tank to ultimately function, you must follow specific criteria and regulations, especially in pressure settings. However, before changing pressure settings, you must be aware of other factors.
This article has highlighted all that you need to know about changing pressure settings and more. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get the most out of your Well tank now.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.For more information, check ourAmazon Affiliate Disclosure page.
Hey there bud,
James A. Porter here, a veteran plumber, coming to you from New Orleans, Louisiana.
As I grew up in one of the most rain-infested areas of the USA, I had to pick up a thing or two about plumbing. While most people stop after picking up a few plumbing tricks, I began my career in plumbing.
Please click here to read the full bio.