The air pressure within the tank is what makes the water pressurized and allows it to be delivered into your home. When you turn on the water in your home and you have either no water or very low water pressure, then the pressure tank is the likely culprit of the issue.
The good news is that pressure tanks are easy to troubleshoot and most problems you can fix yourself, even if you don't have any plumbing repair experience. Below is information on three major issues and how to troubleshoot and fix each of these problems.
Lack of Feed Water into the Pressure Tank
Your home's pressure tank has a water line feeding into it from either your well or your holding tank. Between the piping and the pressure tank, there is a check valve installed. This spring-loaded valve serves the purpose of keeping the pressurized water in your pressure tank and keeps it from running back into your holding tank or well when the water is not running in your home.
To troubleshoot this valve, turn on your water and let the pressure tank build up its pressure. As soon as the water stops running into the tank, place your ear on the pipe to the tank and see if you hear water running back down the pipe. If you do, then the check valve has failed and needs to be replaced. To replace the valve simply cut it out and replace it with a new one from your local hardware store.
Low Air Pressure in the Pressure Tank
If the air pressure becomes too low in the pressure tank, then your water pressure will significantly drop. Check the pressure gauge and ensure that it reads 30 PSI. If it is lower, then connect an air compressor to the tank's air valve and add air until the tank reaches 30 PSI.
Failed Water Bladder in the Pressure Tank
If your home's pressure tank has a pond of water below it, or if it does not have any water inside of it, then the rubber water bladder has failed. The contact of water and rubber makes this a common failure point.
The only way to really fix a failed water bladder is to replace the pressure tank with a new one.
Pressure tanks are essential appliances for low flowing wells and are prone to problems. If you need additional help with your home's pressure tank, you should contact a local well drilling company or a licensed plumber.