If you live in a regular suburban-style home or are thinking of moving into one, one of the things you might have to consider getting initially for your home is a pressure tank. It is a device that uses compressed air to push water from a water source upward. In homes that have two or more stories, they are needed to push water from a ground water source to the plumbing fixtures above. Without it, you won’t be able to use water in the upstairs part of your home, especially if the ground water source doesn’t have a very strong force.
Getting a pressure tank is easy but requires a bit of research as you need to know what type is appropriate for your home. You can consult with a professional when in doubt, but the process is fairly straightforward so long as you read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly. It helps to be friendly with hardware store owners that sell tanks because they can give you helpful tips on how to install it yourself.
Choose the right kind. There are various sizes. The larger ones may be more expensive, but they can hold more water so the pump switch will be turned on less, extending it’s life. There are several types available. You can get a galvanized (which is one of the oldest types), a pre-charged, an air pressure tank, and a sealed diaphragm. Do your research to check which is best for your home-try consulting with a plumber if you’re not sure.
Prepare. Pumps use electricity to be able to function properly. Be sure that you have completed the electrical connections that you need. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any valves that need to be installed. Certain kinds of valves need to be installed in the pump in order to allow it to re-pressurize automatically.
Check your water source. Pressure tanks need a water source from a discharge pipe, to be fitted with a gate valve according your manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure the water is clear and free of any sediments or debris. If not, let it run until it is clear.
Install the pressure tank. You will need an air volume control on it to monitor the amount of compressed air pushing the water into the pipes; it needs to be just the right amount. Place your pressure tank on a raised platform, to allow water to drain out when necessary. Concrete blocks would be good for this. Once that’s done, connect the pump to the water pipes. Test it out and allow the pressure tank to fill up until the pump automatically shuts off. Do this a few times to be sure that it works properly.
Install any water filters or water softener systems, if necessary. You’re done! Be sure to periodically check on your pressure tank to make sure that it is working at optimum conditions.
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