Pressure tank problems?- air in faucets

booboo60January 19, 2007

Don't know if this will make any sense but here goes: after a 5 day power outage, which is now about a month behind us, our faucets seem to have alot of air in them. We are on a well and the pressure tank has been replaced in the last couple of years. DH thinks that there must be a problem with the bladder in the pressure tank because of all the air in the pipes. He thinks he just needs to add some air. Even the washing machine seems to have air when it is filling and today when I ran a load of towels in hot water/cold rinse, when I unloaded the washer the towels had mud and dirt on them!? DH said maybe that came from the hot water tank! What is your best guess as to what is going on here?? Thanks in advance!!

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Put a garden hose onto the drain faucet of the water heater and run it over to a drain or out a window. Open the drain valve and take a look at the water coming out of the hose. If it's muddy, then run it until it runs clear. Get a glass jar and fill it from time to time during the draining process.

Looking through the filled jar will tell you how clear the water is. No matter what the problem is, flushing the water heater is a good idea.

You didn't say if you had a deep well or a shallow well. It may be that the dirt is coming from the well. Let's hope not.

If the bladder in your pressure tank ruptures, then the bsrrier between the water and the air in the tank no longer exists. The water will absorb a certain amount of air but it takes a long time for that to happen to any great extent. Eventually, all the air would be absorbed and the tank would become "water-logged". When that happens, the well pump cycles on and off at a rapid rate and if not caught quickly, it can be damaged.

It is quite possible that, in spite of the recent replacement, this bladder has ruptured and released the charge of air behind it. The excess air may be finding it's way into the plumbing pipes and into the hot water tank. That air can stir up any sediment on the bottom of the tank. Top load washing machines can use upward of 70 gallons per wash cycle and depending upon the temp setting, much of that can come from the water heater.

Once the excess air is gone, you may form the belief that the problem doesn't exist but you could be wrong. I think that you need someone to test the pressure tank to see if the bladder is ok or not.

My two cents.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2007 at 11:40PM
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Thanks castoff, sounds like good advice!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 1:17AM
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Just to give an update: DH drained the hot water tank today and found nothing or at least not too much "stuff", a little rust water, not much, a tiny bit of sediment so....then refilled the tank and proceeded to add air to the pressure tank. DH said there was not much pressure left in tank so added the correct amount with the air compressor and checked after filling with his gauge. Then ran water in the house, faucet outside(closest to pump), all faucets in the house.....seemed to have all the air out. He felt satisfied he did the right thing then I went to use the sink while preparing dinner and the faucet in the kitchen started sputtering and spitting!!! Then after a minute or so there was a steady stream again!! Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 9:26PM
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The question that comes to mind is this. What happened to the charge of air that was originally in the bladder?

The "bladder" is a rubber membrane that is fastened and sealed to the sidewall of the tank. It totally separates the water from the air above the bladder. Many of these tanks are pre-charged at the factory and then checked by the installer PRIOR to pumping water into them.

If your bladder has failed, it might be some time before you realize it and perhaps the warranty will be expired. I think that the only way to tell one way or the other is to shut the pump off, drain the water system pressure off and then drain the tank completely. Since your husband put air into the bladder via the air fill valve, it should still have the same PSI rating as when he recharged it.

If it doesn't, and you still have the tank drain open, then any air that he attempts to put into the bladder will escape from the open drain cock because it will find its way into the tank through the rupture in the bladder.

If the bladder

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 10:25PM
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you have a leak in your system either in pipe from house to well or pipe going down the well if its the pipe from well to house (usually will have mud or dirt in system) you can fix that with a lil work start diggin lol,if its the pipe from well top to well head you need a boom truck to get the pipe lifted out good luck

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 12:31PM
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The pressure on the gauge slowly drops with no water running. Pumps cycles every 2 hours or so. Causes? Do I need to get this fixed soon?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:21AM
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Approximately every one and a half to two weeks the pressure goes way down until there is only a trickle of hot water flowing out of the faucet,running the water for at least ten minutes still does not seem to improve the pressure but sometimes it will restore itself within an hour or two but usually it will take the remainder of that day before the pressure returns.
The question is how to relieve this problem?
Could there be a problem with the pressure relief valve?
Is it wise to increase the pressure at the relief valve?
Could there be sediment trapped in the PRV?
Or is there another problem I don't know about,is there something else that can be done to relieve this problem?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 12:16PM
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1. start a new thread. This one is 4 years old.
2. check the air pressure in the pressure tank. Should be around 38lb. If water squirts out, you have a bad diaphragm and the tank needs to be replaced.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:18PM
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