Despite a wide range of technological updates in recent decades, water wells still hold an antiquated place in many people's minds. They picture creaky wheels and laborious hand pumps. Yet most modern wells actually come equipped with electric pumps, designed automatically carry water up into a receptacle known as the pressure tank.
If your property contains a well with a pressure tank, it behooves you to understand as much about it as you can. This will help to prevent the likelihood of problems occurring down the line. This article will increase your overall knowledge of pump mechanics by discussing the role played by the pressure tank, as well as the problems it may face as time goes on.
The most common misconception about residential water wells involves the assumption that water comes straight up from the well to the plumbing fixtures of their home. If this was the case, however, it would result in an abysmally low degree of water pressure. Each time you turned on a tap you would likely be greeted with no more than a literal trickle.
A pressure tank allows your well to deliver the same sort of water pressure as you would get from a municipal system. As you can probably guess, the pressure tank acts to increase the pressure of the well water, which has very little pressure in its natural reservoir. Most pressure tanks are designed to deliver a water pressure of between 40 and 60 psi, depending on the specifics of your system, and your particular desires.
The Pressure Switch
Every pressure tank contains a critical internal component known as a pressure switch. The pressure switch acts to ensure that the pressure within the tank remains within acceptable limits. As water flows out of a pressure tank to the fixtures of a house, the pressure inside of the tank will correspondingly go down.
When the pressure reaches its lower threshold, the pressure switch activates. This causes the pump to come on, bringing more water into the tank. As this water flows in, the tank's pressure will rise back up into the correct range. Without a pressure switch, your water pressure would grow lower and lower until it barely flowed out of your fixtures at all.
Pressure Tank Problems
Well pressure tanks often develop problems as time goes on, often resulting in less than optimal pressure inside of your home. A large number of such problems tie back to issues with the pressure switch. If the switch cannot accurately gauge the tank's pressure, it will not come on. This in turn will prevent new water from flowing into the tank.
Oftentimes the problem involves sediment that has clogged up the pressure switch orifice. This effectively blocks the switch from reading or responding to the tank pressure. A professional can often resolve the problem by cleaning out the pressure switch orifice. If this does not yield the desired results, however, it may be the case that the switch has burned out.
A pump technician can verify this hypothesis through the use of a non-contact voltage tester. This will tell them whether the switch remains capable of conducting electrical impulses. If not, a new switch must be installed. If, on the other hand, the pressure switch still conducts electricity, the problem may have to do with the setting of the nut that controls the trigger threshold.
By adjusting this nut, a technician can often restore proper functionality. Should this still not correct the problem, some internal component in the switch has likely become irreparably damaged. The solution in that case will be to install a new pressure switch. For more information about how to keep your well pump running strong, please don't hesitate to contact the professionals at McCall Brothers Inc.