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Guthrie and Frey Inc.

Waterlogged Pressure Tanks

A waterlogged pressure tank is caused by the confined space within the tank having an improper ratio of water to air (too much water, not enough air).  Given the physical characteristics of water (incompressible), this condition causes the pressure to fluctuate rapidly and the well pump to go on and off too much.

Remedies for a waterlogged tank:

  1. Captive Air / Bladder tanks:
    Drain the water pressure by turning off the electric to the pump and opening the drain faucet on the tank. Any filtration equipment (softener, iron filter, reverse osmosis system, other) should be by-passed or turned off, as draining the tank may cause sediment in the pipes or tank to be disturbed. Once the water has been drained from the tank, the air pressure should be checked using a tire gauge. If possible, the air pressure should be adjusted to approximately 30 psi. In some cases, the tank is internally faulty, which can necessitate that the tank be replaced. If the air can be adjusted, the system should be re-activated and flushed until the water is clear. Once clear, all filtration equipment can be put back "in service".
  2. Air over Water Tanks:
    These type of tanks do not have a “permanent” air charge, and many need to have air added on a routine basis.  The procedure described below is helpful in many cases, but, since not all tanks need air added,  it is not applicable in every instance and we suggest you call for assistance prior to starting.  Guthrie & Frey, Inc. does not guarantee that air charging will solve your problem and it is a relatively complicated procedure that not all homeowners are qualified to perform.  Many of our customers prefer to have one of our service technicians air charge their tank to ensure that it is done properly and the system is in good working order.


  • Turn off power to pump.
  • By-pass all water filtering equipment.
  • Open faucet on laundry tub or other faucet that does not have a screen.
  • Continue running water until pressure drops to 0.
  • Leave faucet open; begin pumping air into tank with compressor.
  • Continue pumping air into tank until tank is nearly empty of water.
  • Shut off main valve to plumbing.
  • Continue pumping air into tank until tank has approximately 25 pounds of air pressure.
  • Discontinue pumping air into tank and turn power back on to pump.
  • Open main plumbing valve and run water until clear.
    Put filtering equipment back in service.

"Thank you for the professional service and support throughout the building process. Your entire staff was great."

J&J., Mukwonago, WI

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