When your home depends on a well for your water supply, it's important that you understand the core components of that well structure and the signs that there's a problem. Recognizing issues early can help to save you from a complete loss of water. One common culprit for problems with well water supply is the pressure tank. Here's a look at some of the things you should be attentive to with your well's pressure tank to recognize impending failures.
Fluctuating Water Pressure From Your Fixtures
The goal of a well's pressure tank is to maintain your water supply at a consistent level of pressure. The tank has a pressure regulator that engages the well pump when the tank's pressure is reduced due to water consumption. However, when your pressure tank is not maintaining adequate pressure, you'll notice that the water pressure at your fixtures starts to fluctuate. In most situations, you'll notice it in the furthest fixtures from the tank first. If you notice that this fluctuation is happening, especially if it's recurring, you may have an issue with the pressure tank.
Pressure Gauge Issues
You should monitor the pressure gauge on your tank regularly to ensure that it's maintaining pressure the way that it should. In most cases, that gauge should stay consistent unless you're actively running water. At that point, it should engage the well pump and restore the pressure level to its proper setting.
If you see that the pressure gauge has dropped, or if it's reading 10 PSI or below, that's a key warning sign that there's either a problem with the tank or the gauge. You'll need to have both tested to determine the source of the problem and resolve it.
When you examine your pressure tank, there should be no signs of leaks. If there's water under the pressure tank, that usually means the tank is leaking somewhere and will need to be repaired or replaced.
Signs of corrosion on the tank are also problematic. Any corrosion can lead to a tank failure if it's allowed to progress. You'll need to have a contractor assess the problem and determine if the tank can be cleaned up and treated or if it needs to be replaced.
When you check your tank, you should also feel the top of the tank. Tap on it and listen to the sound. If it sounds hollow, that's a good thing. That means you have the proper air pocket at the top. If, however, you get a deeper thump that sounds full, that means your tank isn't managing the pressure correctly. In those cases, the top of the tank will likely feel cold as well because of the water level.