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Thread: Well Pressure Tank Problems - HELP!

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member qpm's Avatar
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    Default Well Pressure Tank Problems - HELP!

    I moved my well pressure tank down into my crawl space and now having issues with pressure. The pressure reads zero with the tank empty. It is a bladder style tank so I thought it should read a pressure even with no water in the tank (could be completely wrong here). When I turn on the pump on the pressure switch the pressure goes up to about 23 PSI and then drops back down to zero and water pressure decreases and eventually ceases. The pump does not cycle back on. When operating normally it would go up to 23 PSI then drop down to 20 PSI and eventually cycle back on after about a minute or so. I changed the gauge and same scenario, so that is ruled out. I pressed on the Schrader valve and only air is coming out as far as I can tell. No water is coming out of the valve.

    Has the bladder burst? Is there two problems going on here tank and pressure switch??? I should only have to recharge the tank if the bladder burst correct? I have considered adding air but would rather just get a new tank if what I have described is indicative of a breach in the bladder. Please help! Thanks.

  2. #2
    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    f you have all faucets closed (not running any water) and the pressure gauge falls to zero after the pump cycle, that means that there is a leak in the system or the check valve is bad. Is the pump in the well?

    In most installations, 20 psi is the minimum water pressure setting at which point the pump should start to increase the pressure to 40 before it turns off.

    The gauge measures water pressure, not the air pressure in the tank. With the tank empty of water, the air pressure needs to be adjusted to 2 psi less than what the water pressure gauge normally reads when the pump turns on. To do this you use an air pump and an air gauge, just like airing up a bike tire.

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    DIY Junior Member qpm's Avatar
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    Ok, so there shouldn’t be any pressure reading on the gauge when the tank is empty of water, correct? It sounds like I need to adjust my pressure switch to shut off the pump once the water pressure is higher (~30-40). I still don’t get why the pressure is going to zero and pump won’t turn back on. (Please note the pressure goes to zero while I’m running water; the pressure is stable with all valves closed so no leaks). The pump should turn back on once the pressure drops to around 20PSI right? It sounds like this might be a pressure switch problem? Or maybe not enough air in the tank??? To check my air pressure I need to check the pressure at the Schrader valve? The pump is located down the well. Many thanks for the response.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    With no water in the tank, there should be no pressure on the gauge.
    The pressure tank has NOTHING to do with the water pressure dropping to zero.


    What has changed since you moved the tank? The pressure switch must be mounted at the tank. The pressure switch must be wired to a 220 VAC source. The water pipe inlet to the pressure switch must be clear of any debris and sometimes becomes plugged up. When the water pressure drops below the set cut-in pressure of the switch, the switch contacts should close and the pump should run. When the water pressure reaches the set cut-out pressure of the switch, the contacts should open and the pump should stop.

    Assuming that the inlet pipe on the switch is clear, when the water pressure drops below the cut-in pressure and the switch contacts do not close, the pressure switch is at fault.


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    DIY Junior Member qpm's Avatar
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    Thank you for the information. I took a closer look at my pressure switch and noticed one of the very small cotter pins had broke off that holds the connectors that press against the red wiring (as shown on your pic) when the pressure drops. I may use a piece of wire in the mean time to hold it back together and test if that fixes the issue. Not sure were I can find a cotter pin that small, maybe an auto parts store. If that doesn't do the trick I'll look and see if the inlet pipe on the switch is clear. I'd imagine the broken cotter pin is the culprit. I'll report back once I find out what is wrong - maybe this thread will help others too. Thanks again. You have been so helpful.

  6. #6

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    I would seriously consider replacing the switch. It is an important part of the system and only costs about $20.

    Mark

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    DIY Junior Member qpm's Avatar
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    Ok, all is working now. Thanks cacher_chick. So the broken cotter pin was part of the problem but also the inlet pipe and the base of the switch were clogged with sediment. I cleaned up and the pressure switch worked just fine.

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