If your home uses a private well to provide water, that water isn't pumped directly into your pipes. Rather, your home's water is held in a pressure tank after it has been pumped out of the well itself. The well water tank maintains the water pressure in your pipes at a stable level, but if your pressure tank or valve is leaking, it may be a sign of a serious issue and you should investigate it immediately.
Pressure Tank Functions
A well water pressure tank acts as the intermediate between your home's electric water pump and your domestic water system. The tank uses a pocket of highly compressed air to determine when your home's water system has reached its maximum pressure, at which point it sends a signal to stop the water pump – or start it up again if the system pressure drops below the minimum. As a result, a failure or problem with the pressure tank runs the risk of damaging the entire water system in your home.
Well Water Tank Troubleshooting
If you've noticed that your pressure tank is leaking from the bottom or some other location, there's a problem that should be diagnosed and solved as soon as possible. Though this may have led to sudden losses of water pressure or the occasional surge in pressure, which can be annoying but not a major problem, the potential risks to your home water system could be devastating. As soon as you notice a leak, inspect your water tank and the area around it. Ideally, the source of the leak will be a pipe or connection leading to or from the tank. If this is the case, attempt to tighten or replace the problem component and determine if that solves the problem. If it doesn't, or if your tank is leaking directly, the problem is likely an internal one.
Tank Problems and Solutions
Water pressure tanks have been known to degrade after a few years of consistent service. Most often, this results in a "pinhole," where rust and other degradation causes a small opening in the tank to form. If you identify a pinhole in the tank exterior, this may be solved temporarily by plugging the hole with an appropriate sealant. However, it's more likely that any pinholing on the exterior of the tank is hiding a serious issue within the unit. If problems persist after sealing any pinholes, or if the leak's source can't be determined, call a professional as soon as possible. You'll likely need to replace the entire pressure tank.
- Water Doctor: When to Replace Your Well Water Tank
- Family Handyman: Well Pump Troubleshooting and DIY Repair
- Skilling and Sons: How a Water Well Pressure Tank Works
- King Pumps: Pressure Tank Troubleshooting
- Hague Water of Maryland: Well Pressure Tank Repair and Replacement
- R&G Water Systems: 3 Well-Related Causes of Low Water Pressure
Blake Flournoy is a writer, reporter, and researcher based out of Baltimore, MD. As a handyman's apprentice operating out of the Atlanta suburbs, they made a name for themselves repairing appliances and installing home decor. They have never seen Seinfeld and are deathly scared of wasps.