Why Does My Pressure Tank Feel Empty? (All Reasons)

Does your pressure tank feel as light as a feather? Or you feel there is no water stored in it? Are you worried about where the water pressure is being stored when the pressure tank feels like there is nothing in it?

Pressure tanks work as shields to protect the overall water pump system in the house. Unfortunately, if something goes wrong with the pressure tank, it can lead your well pump motor to death.

Why Does My Home Pressure Tank Feel Empty

Well pump motors are costly, and replacing them can even get more expensive. Buying and installing a new well pump can cost you roughly between 500 to 2000 dollars.

Therefore, taking care of the pressure tank is highly significant. In this brief guide, we’ll share a handful of reasons that cause your pressure tank to become empty.

Causes That Make Home Pressure Tank Feel Empty:

Home pressure tanks can have a range of problems. Some common issues include waterlogged, broken filters, water leakage, and low water pressure. If your pressure tank is waterlogged, you won’t be able to get any water in your faucets.

Below, we have explained multiple reasons that can cause your pressure tank to feel empty.

1. Pressure Tank Size:

If your pressure tank feels empty, make sure the problem doesn’t lie with your tank size. For a better understanding, let us suppose your house has an 8-gallon pressure tank. Such a small pressure tank would only be able to hold 2 gallons of water.

Now, if you go and check the pressure tank that only has 2-gallon of water in it, you would surely misjudge it to be empty. The small pressure tank will feel like there is nothing in it when you shake or tap on it. Therefore, first, make sure that your pressure tank is actually empty rather than you feeling it empty.

To Address The Issue:

Go and check the size of your pressure tank and whether your pump is functioning properly (that is, it’s running for 30 seconds to 1 minute somewhere between 25 – 45 PSI) or not. If it’s running correctly, then don’t worry; your pressure tank is storing the water.

As mentioned earlier, an 8-gallons pressure tank size would only take 2-gallons of water. Therefore, it feels empty even when it is working just fine.

Also, don’t worry about where the water pressure is being stored as the pressure gets stored in the rest of the space in the tank (8 – 2 = 6). 6-gallons would be enough to hold pressure from a small resident.

2. Air Or Water Leakage:

The pressure tank can also feel empty when there is a hidden air leakage somewhere. But that’s not all to the story. If your air pressure is leaking, so would be your water. Why?

When your pressure tank is leaking the air, it will give the wrong signal to the pressure switch that the pressure tank is empty. Now, to recover the pressure in the tank, the pump will push water into the tank. In such a situation, the water will leak instead of air, making the tank empty or lightweight.

To Fix The Issue:

To check the air leakage and faulty pressure switch, follow these steps:

  • First, switch off the electrical power to your well water pump.
  • Then, empty your pressure tank by opening the taps.
  • Let the water run until the pressure drops to 0.
  • Using an air pressure gauge, check the pressure of your tank. Place the gauge on the air charging valve that is present on the top of the tank.
  • Leave at least one tap open and start pumping air into the pressure tank with the help of a compressor.
  • Now, carefully listen to the tank to notice any air leakage. If you can hear the sound, you already know what’s the problem with your tank.
  • Call a professional rather than taking things into your hands. You surely wouldn’t want to mess further with the tank.

3. Voltage Drop Under Load:

The pressure tank may also feel empty due to the problems with your voltage. When the voltage drops (under load), the strength of an electric current increases, causing the well water pump and pressure tank to malfunction.

Both low and high voltage can negatively affect the appliances in your house.

4. Failing Water Pump:

This can be the worst-case scenario if your pressure tank feels empty. Your water pump is failing and, consequently, cannot supply enough pressure to fill the tank.

But, what makes the pump unable to supply enough pressure to fill the tank?

Clogged well screens in the pumps or dropped water table or aquifer around your area can make a water pump unable to supply sufficient pressure to fill the tank.

Generally speaking, most of the residential areas use either a jet pump or a submersible pump. Both these residential water pumps have their own perks. Both pumps, jet pump & submersible pump, have a well screen that allows water to flow directly into the well casing after getting filtered.

The well screen is responsible for preventing gravel or dust particles from entering the deep well water pumps. Sometimes, the well screens in the pumps get clogged with gravel or dust particles. Thus, not allowing water to enter into the well casing.

However, it is difficult to be confident that the culprit behind the empty pressure tank is a clogged well screen. Well screens are fixed along with the actual casings and, therefore, removing them to check whether they are clogged or not means pulling the entire well casing.

To Fix The Issue:

Once you have become certain that clogged well screens fail the deep well water pump to supply enough pressure to fill the tank, call a professional. In such a situation, you need to have a new Well installed.

5. Dropped Water Table Or Aquifer:

With the human population growing rapidly, the water table or aquifer is dropping significantly as well. Water is being used for almost everything from irrigation and cooking to washing and cleaning.

Therefore, if you are living in an area where the water table or aquifer is dropping significantly, you may not get enough water to fill the pressure tank. To be extra sure, you can ask your neighbors if they are facing the same issue or not.

To Fix The Issue:

If your neighbors, too, have lost the water pressure, you need to redrill the well. Call a professional to dig a new well and do deeper than you previously had. Hopefully, with the new well, you will have sufficient water in the casing to keep the tank filled.

Pressure Tank Feels Empty – The Takeaway:

To conclude, the pressure tank can feel empty for several reasons. Ensure the pressure tank is not leaking air or water, getting enough water pressure from the pump, having no damaged wire (open circuit). It would help if you regularly pre-charged pressure in the tank.

A failing pressure tank can force you to replace the costly deep well water pump earlier than you want to. Buying and installing a new well pump can cost you roughly between 500 to 2000 US dollars.