How To De-Waterlog A Tank

Pressure tanks periodically become waterlogged - this occurs when the compressed air in the top of the tank that creates pressure and forces the water into the distribution lines dissipates over time.  This is usually not an issue with submersible pump systems but is a common occurrence with jet pump systems that have galvanized or painted hydro-pneumatic pressure tanks.  If you have a water well with a submersible pump and the tank is waterlogged, there is a problem with the air injection system and the well should be serviced immediately by a trained professional.  Evidence of a water logged tank is when the pump rapid cycles on and off while water is being used. Rapid cycling due to a water-logged tank is the number one reason for damage to pump motors and should be repaired promptly.

  1. Fill up a 5 gallon bucket with water – for jet pump wells only (you may need this to re-prime pump after draining the tank)
  2. Turn off the power to the well
  3. Open a faucet on the pressure tank (or the closest, lowest faucet to the well) and drain water until there is zero pressure remaining in the tank (**see warning below)
  4. After pressure on the tank is down to zero, remove the air control device from the side of the tank or the plug from the top of the tank.
  5. Once the appropriate fitting is removed the tank should start draining again (even though tank pressure reads zero there is still water in the tank – the draining process can be slow and take up to thirty minutes)
  6. Once the water stops draining from the tank, reinstall the appropriate fitting in the tank (the fitting must be tight enough to prevent water leakage and/or loss of air from tank when it is under pressure)
  7. Turn the power back on – the pump will start and the tank should fill up and shut off normally with the proper amount of air in the tank. (There should be at least 30 seconds to 1 minute between cycles while the water is running from the faucet)
  8. On jet pump wells, if the pump loses prime while draining tank use the 5 gallons of water to re-prime pump (see How to prime a jet pump)

** The pressure gauge must be in good working condition in order to accurately assess if there is pressure on the system.

**Never remove a fitting from the pressure tank if there is ANY pressure showing on the pressure gauge. Always bleed all pressure before removing a pressure guage/switch, plug, or air control device! Removing fittings from a tank under pressure can result in serious injury.

 


How To Prime A Jet pump

Over time, the down-hole foot valve and/or leather packers on the down-hole jet on 2” wells may start deteriorate and allow water to slowly leak back into the well.  If the pump does not run for an extended period (due to loss of electricity or from pump shutting off due to overheating), all the water in the tank and pump may run back into the well causing the pump to lose its prime.  This is not uncommon on jet pump systems, particularly systems that are more than 5 years old.  Here are some simple steps to re-prime the pump:

  1. Turn off the electricity to the well.  (usually by turning off the correct breaker)
  2. Open the faucet nearest the tank discharge and completely drain all the remaining water from the pressure tank.
  3. Remove the pressure gauge and bushing from the pump (**see warnings below)
  4. Remove the small plug on the side of the pump (only on pumps that have a side plug)
  5. Slowly re-fill the pump with water until all air is purged from the pump (this normally does not take more than 5 gallons of water)
    • On pumps with a side plug you will know the air is purged when water starts coming out of the hole for the side plug
    • On pumps without side plug, you will know the air is purged when pump fills up and water starts coming out of the hole for the pressure gauge
  6. While water is coming out of side plug port, screw the side plug back in tight
  7. Fill the pump with water up to top of the pressure gauge hole.
  8. Screw the pressure gauge and bushing back in the pressure gauge port.
  9. Shut off the main tank discharge valve. (turn clockwise)
  10. Turn on the electricity to start the pump.
  11. On jet pumps with a back pressure valve you should immediately see about 20-30psi on the pressure gauge. If you do not then turn off the power and repeat steps 3-9.
  12. On jet pumps without a back pressure valve you may hear water running in the tank or you should see pressure beginning to build on the gauge within 3-4 minutes.  If you do not then turn power off and repeat steps 3-9.
  13. When tank has pressured up and the pump has shut off, open up the main tank discharge valve (turn counter-clockwise) so water can go into the distribution lines.

** The pressure gauge must be in good working condition in order to accurately assess if there is pressure on the system.

**Never remove a fitting from the pressure tank if there is ANY pressure showing on the pressure gauge. Always bleed all pressure before removing a pressure guage/switch, plug, or air control device! Removing fittings from a tank under pressure can result in serious injury.