Cut the power to your well tank. Make sure that you shut off your well’s submersible pump to prevent it from starting. Ensure any other electrical connections to the well tank or pump are also turned off. If you have any water filtration equipment between the pump and the pressure tank, use the bypass valve to divert water away from the tank.
Drain the well tank.It’s very important to empty the well tank before checking the tank’s pressure. If you try to read the pressure of a tank full of water, you will only read the pressure of the water inside the tank, not the pressure. This is inaccurate. To drain the tank, locate the boiler drain on the tank’s manifold (also called the tank package). Connect a garden hose to the boiler drain, turn the drain on, and drain the tank outside your home or garage. If your well pressure tank does not have a manifold, open a faucet in your home and continue to run the water until the tank is emptied and the pressure switch reads 0.
Locate a pressure gauge.To test the tank’s internal pressure, you will need a pressure gauge. Pressure gauges (also known as tire gauges) read the pressure of the tank by using a piston to propel a calibrated spring when exposed to pressurized air.
Use the gauge to check the tank’s pressure.All well pressure tanks have a schrader valve. Schrader valves, which can also be found on automobile and bicycle tires, are used to both check pressure and add air pressure. On standard metal well tanks, the schrader valve will be located at the top of the tank. On composite tanks, the valve can be found toward the base of the tank. Unscrew the cap covering the valve, and press the tire gauge down on the valve. The air will trigger the piston inside the gauge and measure the air pressure within the tank.
Adjust the pressure with an air compressor if necessary.The ideal pressure for your well tank depends on the pressure switch setting. As stated before, the pressure of your tank should be 2 psi below the pressure switch’s low cut-in point. On a 30/50 switch, this would be 28. If your pressure is below this, carefully use an air compressor to amplify the pressure until it has reached the appropriate pressure setting. Be careful not to add too much pressure: an overpressurized tank will hold less water and can empty out entirely without signaling the well pump to kick on.