How to Install a Well Pressure Tank

Table of Contents

Well Pressure Tank

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to plumbing a well pressure tank. First, you must decide how to position the tank within your home or outbuilding. When it comes to determining the proper size of the tank, you must account for how much water your household uses. You also must consider the flow rate, minimum run time and pressure switch settings. If it seems like a lot, then consider hiring a plumber to complete this plumbing job.

Inlet and Outlet Pressure Tank Connections

When plumbing a pressure tank, the inlet pipe connections are critical to ensure the correct flow of water into and out of the well. Depending on the specific well and its water supply system, there may be some adjustments necessary to the inlet pipe sizes and outlet stub-out connections.

Several types of union tank tees are available to connect the inlet and outlet pipes. They are designed to eliminate the need for multiple nipples and fittings that add clutter to the area around the pressure tank.

Some of these tees come with four FPT accessory ports that allow for the installation of a pressure switch, pressure gauge, relief valve and drain valve. They also eliminate the need for several individual fittings and nipples that are difficult to install and remove.

If the inlet elbow or inlet on a bladder type pressure tank is smaller than the hole going into the tank, the water will not be able to flow as fast as it would with a larger size inlet. This can cause the pressure switch to bounce and can result in a loss of water pressure if not corrected immediately.

Inlet and Outlet Stub-Out Pipe Connections

In addition to the obvious swivel fittings for connecting the pump and drain valve, you’ll need two short inlet and outlet stub-out pipe connections for plumbing a pressure tank. Apply three layers of plumber’s tape on the threads of each stub-out, and screw them into the appropriate inlet and outlet ports on the tank, instructs Home Depot.

In the realm of pipe connections, a coupling is a classic, but for smaller bore pipes where dismantling is required more frequently, you’ll want to opt for the union. A union consists of three parts: a nut, a female end and a male end. The nut provides the necessary pressure to seal the joint as the female and male ends are linked. The best part is that it’s easy to dismantle for maintenance. The most impressive is that the slickest ones can be made of aluminum and are compatible with all standard tubing sizes. This is especially true for flexible tubing.

Well Pressure Tank Pump Connections

The pump on a pressure tank is used to control the flow of water from the storage tank. During normal operation, the pump fills the tank with water to its preset pressure and shuts off. When the pressure falls below its cut-in pressure, the pump cycles on again and fills the tank again until it reaches the set pressure again.

Some bladder type pressure tanks may have a small opening, making it impossible for the pump to feed water as quickly into the tank. In these situations, you need to connect a nipple or tee that is the same size as the tank inlet elbow.

This nipple or tee is connected to a long length of pipe that runs between the pump outlet and the inlet of the tank. You can use a threaded tap or a length of copper tube or poly line to connect this to the pressure switch or switches.

Drain Valve Connections

Drain valves allow excess liquid or air to flow out of a storage tank. Some drain valves automatically open when a specific pressure or temperature is reached, while others are opened manually by twisting a handle.

For a water tank, a drain valve typically sits in the bottom of the pressure tank. This is a good idea because it ensures that no water accumulates in the tank, which can rust and cause damage.

A brass drain valve is preferred for use in a pressure tank because of its durability, corrosion resistance, and ability to withstand high temperatures. It is also available in different sizes and configurations, so it can fit many applications.

A tank tee eliminates the need for multiple fittings and nipples, saving you time and money. Its four FPT accessory ports let you install a pressure switch, pressure gauge, relief valve, and drain valve.

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Casey Loeber

Casey Loeber is the founder of His mission is to share the best information online about plumbing jobs and help plumbers lead fulfilling careers.

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