A well tank, or pressure tank, stores water and moderates the pressure at which it’s supplied to your home. It uses water and compressed air to force water into the pipes in your home when a faucet comes on. Water flows into the tank from beneath, and air pressurizes at the top. The pump self-regulates, hitting max pressure at about 60 psi.
When you use water in your home, the pressure is released. Pressure must then rebuild in the well tank to work again. If there’s a problem with your well tank, water won’t be delivered to your home at the appropriate pressure. This could result in poor water pressure or no water at all.
At Blue Heron, we know a thing or two about the importance of well tanks and regular maintenance. We get a lot of questions about how best to maintain wells. Here, we’ll talk in-depth about well-tank neglect and how routinely servicing your tank is beneficial.
Symptoms of Well Tank Neglect
If your well tank hasn’t been maintained regularly, it will begin to show signs of wear. Some of the symptoms reflective of neglect include:
- Discolored water
- Smelly or weird-tasting water
- Visible sediment
- Air bubbles (more than usual or for no reason)
- A high water level in your tank
- Low water pressure
- High utility bills
- Fluctuating pressure
If you begin noticing any of these changes, call for help. Catching well-tank problems early makes them easier to fix. The longer you leave them, the more damage they might cause.
Risks of Unpressurized Well Tanks
If your tank is left unpressurized or the pressure is off, your tank will have lasting issues. Some of the risks include the following:
Hydraulic shock is sometimes referred to as water hammer when your pipes begin making clanging and banging noises. This is due to instant changes in water direction. It makes pipes hit each other as pressure changes. This can lead to bigger issues, including burst pipes and flooding.
Total system damage
An unpressurized well tank can lead to the pump’s short cycling. Short cycling is when your pump turns on/off in very short intervals. This can not only cause the pressure switch to burn out, but it can also shorten the life of your pump. A well pump uses the most power when turning on/off, and by continuously starting and stopping, your pump can be damaged by overheating.
High water use
A rise in utility bills could be due to well-tank pressure issues. When the pressure is off, your well needs more energy to do what it usually does at decreased levels of efficiency. High water and energy bills are never a good sign, especially if you can’t account for the changes.
Waterlogging is when there is a hole in the bladder, and it fills with water. If you remember our description of a well tank’s purpose above, the air at the surface of the tank is there to maintain pressure. When water levels get too high, it causes there to be insufficient air to pressure the tank. This leaves water stranded in the tank instead of pressurized out into your tub, shower, stinks, and toilet.
Simple Solutions to Maintain Your Well Tank
Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure your well tank stays in working order. The tank should be inspected and air charged once a year. You should also check the pressure switch for signs of aging or overuse.
Like all good things, your well tank has a shelf life. Routine maintenance makes it last as long as possible, but eventually, everything must be replaced. On average, you can count on a bladder pressure system to last roughly 7-years. A high-quality tank with routine maintenance can last as long as ten years if kept clean.
How to Deal with a Major Problem
While there are some things you can do yourself as a homeowner, major well tank problems are best left to the professionals. If you notice any major issues, call for help. Trying to deal with pipe and well problems alone could lead to bigger issues.
Professionals in well-maintenance deal with tank problems regularly. The job will be completed faster and more affordably if you go with a team experienced in well-tank repair.
Contact an Expert in Bucks County, PA
Maintaining a properly pressurized well tank is detrimental to your home’s water distribution. When well tanks fail, energy bills spike, water pressure drops, and all that fancy indoor plumbing is rendered moot. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for many well-tank-related issues.
If you live in Bucks County, PA, and surrounding areas and are concerned about your well tank, give us a call. Our team is well-versed in all things wells. Visit us online to learn more about our services today.