How much should Air Pressure be in a Well Water Tank?

The water tank is a critical component in your home’s well water system. It is used to store water pumped from the well. To make sure the tank runs optimally, you need to adjust its setting. The two most important settings in a well water tank are water pressure and air pressure.

In this article, we will explain the air pressure in a well water tank, how much air pressure should be in a well water tank, and how you can change the air pressure in a well water tank.

How much should Air Pressure be in a Well Water Tank?

The rule is simple: the air pressure on your well water tank must be set at 2 PSI below the pressure switch’s cut-on point. Water tanks come with different pressure readings such as 20/40, 30/50, and 40/60. The air pressure on your well water tank must be 18 for a 20/40 water tank, 28 for a 30/50 water tank, and 38 for a 40/60 water tank.

So now that you know what should be the correct pressure on your well water tank? It is time to see how to check this pressure on a new tank or one installed at your home.

How to Check Air Pressure in your Well Water Tank?

You will need a high-quality air pressure gauge for this step. You can also use the one you use with your car but make sure that it is accurate and works flawlessly.

The pressure tanks used for domestic water systems are shipped with 38 PSI pressure. It is made mandatory by the department of transportation for safe shipping.

Steps to Check Air Pressure in your Well Water Tank

  • Turn off the power to your water tank and remove the plug. Be extra cautious when working with water and electricity at one point in time. These two things present a deadly hazard.
  • Locate the pressure switch and remove the cover. The pressure switch is located on the pump or the discharge of the diaphragm tank.

The pressure switch is located on the pump or on the discharge of the diaphragm tank.

  • You will find the cut-on and cut-off pressure settings for your water tank underneath the cover. If it is difficult to read from the sticker or the specifications have gone dull due to dust accumulation or any other factor, you can check the user manual to see the cut-on and cut-off pressure. If you don’t have the user manual, search online for pressure tank specifications with your model number, and you’ll get the correct answer.

tank specifications with your model number and you’ll get the right answer.

  • Identify the cut-on pressure; it is the lower number on the sticker. For example, if you see 30/50 underneath the cover, 30 is the cut-on pressure, and 50 is the cut-off pressure.
  • The air pressure must be 2-3 PSI below the cut-on pressure. In this case, it will be 27-28 PSI. A 0.1-0.5 PSI difference doesn’t impact the pump’s working and flow rate at your taps. Moreover, you don’t have industry-grade applications to check the pressure and refill air in the tank.
  • It is now time to determine the air pressure in your water tank. Make sure that the unit is off before proceeding to the next step.
  • Open a faucet in your home and completely drain the water tank. It is suggested to open a nearby faucet, so it takes less time to empty the water. You can plan this activity around your gardening day, so you don’t waste water; instead, use it to water your plants and lawn.
  • Once the water stops coming out from the faucet and the pressure on the pressure gauge comes down to 0 PSI, you will know that you have completely drained the water tank.

comes down to 0 PSI, you will know that you have completely drained the water tank.

  • Locate the air valve on your well water pressure tank. The air valve is usually located at the top, bottom, or side of the tank.

The air valve is usually located at the top, bottom or side of the tank.

  • Remove the valve cap, connect your pressure gauge, and insert it into the air valve. If the pressure on the gauge is below 2-3 PSI below the cut-on pressure, then all is good here.
  • Put back the valve cap as the primary seal stops air from leaking out from the pressure tank.

How to Adjust Air Pressure in a Well Water Tank?

Follow the steps below to adjust the air pressure on your well water tank if it is not below 2-3 PSI of the cut-on pressure.

You will need an air compressor, inflator, or air chuck for this task.

  • For Removing the Air: If you are removing the air, use a screwdriver or the back of the inflator to push the air out of the valve. It is similar to removing air from your car’s tires or a swimming pool.
  • For Adding Air: Insert the inflator into the valve and turn on the air compressor. Air will flow into the valve. Recheck the pressure and make sure the pressure is under 2-3 PSI below the cut-on pressure.
  • Reinstall the valve cap back after you are done adjusting the pressure.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between air pressure and water pressure in a water tank?

Many users confuse air pressure with water pressure in a water tank. The air pressure in a water tank is the pressure compressed air exerts at the top of the water to force water out of the tank.

The water pressure is related to your well’s pump working. It controls the pump’s functionality and determines at which pressure the pump will turn on and turn off.

What are cut-on and cut-off pressures in a well water tank?

The cut-on pressure is the low pressure that starts the pump, and the cut-off pressure is the high pressure that turns off the pump.

How can I find cut-on pressure on my water tank from the pressure gauge?

If you can’t find the pressure switch settings, you can determine the cut-on pressure by simply closing all the faucets and then opening one nearby faucet. Take note of the pressure gauge reading when the pump turns on. This is the cut-on pressure on your water tank.

How to detect an air leak on my well water pressure tank?

If you think that your well water pressure tank has an air leak, you can check this by using soapy water on the valve and tank seams to check for air leaks. If there is a leak at the bottom of the tank, you can easily notice it by water dripping out from it.

How often should I check the air pressure on my well water tank?

You must not frequently check the air pressure on your well water tank as you can lose pressure every time you check. The best time to check such settings is after 6-8 months or when you notice a sudden drop in the water pressure at your taps.

What happens if the air pressure is higher than the cut-on pressure of the water tank?

If you use a captive air tank, higher air pressure will not let the pump start. If you are using a bladderless water tank, this problem will self-correct itself as the excess air will gush out every time you open a tap. However, you should not let the air pressure exceed the cut-on pressure regardless of the pump type.

Final Words

Air pressure is a critical factor that makes your well water tank work smoothly and optimally. You must make sure that it is kept constant and within the safe limit to ensure the longevity of all the well components and parts.

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