Is Your Well's Pressure Tank Causing Low Water Pressure Throughout Your Home?

Construction & Contractors Blog

There are many reasons for low water pressure in the shower or at the sink. If your whole home has low water pressure, then there's likely an issue with your pressure tank. Here's what you should know.

Understanding Your Pressure Tank

Pressure tanks hold the water that's pumped out of your well. The tank has both water and air inside it, which is what creates the pressure. Sometimes, that ratio of water-to-air can become one-sided. This can lead to water pressure issues in the home.

In general, you likely have one of three main types of well pressure tanks.

Galvanized steel pressure tanks – Many older homes have galvanized pressure tanks. Sometimes called "air-over-water" tanks, they have a single chamber that contains water and pressurized air. Nothing separates the air from the water.

Diaphragm pressure tanks – These tanks have a diaphragm that separates the chamber containing water from the chamber containing air. When water comes into the tank, the diaphragm rises. This creates more pressure in the air chamber and signals the pump to stop sending water.

Bladder pressure tanks – These types of pressure tanks have separate chambers for water and air. A rubber bladder separates the chambers. As water fills the tank, the bladder expands. When you use water in the house, the air pushes down on the bladder to give you the proper pressure.

How Your Tank Can Ruin Your Water Pressure

Each type of pressure tank comes with its own set of potential issues that can cause your water pressure to drop. The main cause of water pressure issues comes from waterlogging.

A pressure tank becomes waterlogged when there's too much water in the tank, but not enough air. This can cause the pressure inside the tank to fluctuate. This, in turn, will cause your home's water pressure to cycle between weak and normal.

Signs of water logging can include:

  • Frequent cycling of the well pump motor
  • Stagnant tasting water
  • Outright tank failure

If you let the issue of a waterlogged tank continue, then weak water pressure is the least of your concerns. When there's only a slight issue with waterlogging, you can fix it by draining the water and adding pressure with an air compressor. When the waterlogging issues is severe or happens frequently, it's usually best to replace the pressure tank.

Call in the Professionals for an Evaluation

Waterlogging represents the majority of overall water pressure issues. However, there are other components of your private well system that can contribute to the problem.

If you're experiencing issues with low water pressure throughout your home, you should call in a professional to evaluate the problem. If you do want to attempt to troubleshoot on your own, you should check the manufacturer's instructions first. 

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