Well Tank FAQ

Q: Why are well tanks needed?
A: All well systems require pressurized water storage to reduce pump cycling. Most pump motors are designed to run for a minimum of one to two minutes to prevent over-cycling and potential failure; an expensive repair or replacement often costing thousands of dollars. Without supplemental storage, small water uses like running a faucet or flushing a toilet would cause rapid pump cycles. A well tank provides a buffer of stored water, protecting the system and reducing energy use.

Q: How does a tank function?
A: Water Worker well tanks utilize a flexible diaphragm, that separates stored well water from a compressed air charge. This air charge provides positive pressure, allowing the tank to fill and empty with water usage. During operation, the pump fills the tank, providing a reservoir of pressurized water. As fixtures are operated, the tank supplies water to meet demand. When the tank is nearly empty, the well pump activates, refilling the tank and repeating the process. This cycle allows the pump to run intermittently, rather than continuously allowing time for the motor to cool.

Q: What is the correct procedure to set the pre-charge in a well tank?
A: With the pump off and the tank empty of water, the compressed air pre-charge should be adjusted to 2 psi below the pressures switch cut-in pressure. This procedure is detailed in the installation manual and should be performed during every installation, as individual system pressures and tank pre-charge can vary.

Q: Does increasing the tank pre-charge pressure increase water pressure in the house?
A: No. Well tanks come pre-charged. Increasing the air pressure in the tank will only decrease the total amount of storage available unless combined with a pump and controls that can achieve the desired pressure.

Q: Aren’t all well tanks alike?
A: No, all well tanks are not alike. Other tanks may be blue on the outside, but they can be quite different than a Water Worker tank on the inside. Water Worker employs a heavy duty diaphragm, polypropylene liner, deep-drawn steel construction, a steel base, a stainless-lined acceptance fitting that is welded to the tank, a high gloss enamel finish on the outside and a 5 year warranty.

Q: What’s a diaphragm?
A: It is a heavy-duty rubber barrier that has seamless construction for uniform strength. It meets NSF61 and FDA requirements for potable water supply, does not support bacteria growth and is the best material to prevent air loss.

Q: What type of diaphragm will other companies use?
A: Some manufacturers use a diaphragm that is often only 50% as thick as the diaphragm used in Water Worker well tanks. Other manufacturers use a rigid bladder instead of a diaphragm.

Q: Is there a benefit over using a bladder vs. a diaphragm?
A: No. A bladder tank uses a bag-type membrane that is subject to creases and folds. This can lead to reduced drawdown and trapped sediment. A diaphragm operates in a uniform and repeatable motion, promoting full drawdown and a clean water reservoir.

Q: Is the diaphragm replaceable?
A: No. Water Worker diaphragms are locked into place to remain water tight and have a long service life.

Q: What’s the advantage of the polypropylene liner?
A: The polypropylene liner in the water reservoir is non-metallic and will not flake, chip, crack, or peel and will not impart taste and odor to the water. Both the diaphragm and polypropylene liner meet FDA requirements for potable water.

Q: What type of liners do other tanks employ?
A: Some brands use a sprayed-on lining as a cost-saving measure. This epoxy paint is subject to imperfections and eventual corrosion and tank leakage. Bladder tanks use the bag itself as both a water reservoir and liner. Because the bag is not affixed to the sides of the tank, this design has a reduced lifespan and is known to trap sediment and debris. The polypropylene liner used in Water Worker well tanks is formed with no gaps between the liner and the tank shell eliminating cracks and leaks.

Q: What is the advantage of a deep-drawn steel dome?
A: The deep-drawing process provides twice the tensile strength of traditional steel construction. This provides a sturdy and safe pressure shell, a critical component in a well tank.

Q: What type of dome do other companies use and how does the quality differ?
A: Some manufacturers use a construction method called head-and-shell. For a given thickness, this design has only half the strength of an equivalent deep-drawn tank. As a result, head-and-shell construction requires a heavier tank and does not attain the pressure rating of a deep-drawn design.

Q: Don’t all manufacturers use a stainless steel fitting on their tanks?
A: No. Some manufacturers use plastic fittings. Others use steel connections with painted liners that are prone to thread damage when subjected to aggressive water conditions found in many wells.

Q: Don’t all companies use steel bases?
A: No. Many companies offer a plastic base to reduce cost. Complaints of poor fit, flexing and cracking are common.

Q: How do you know what size tank to buy?
A: To select the proper size well tank, count the number of plumbing fixtures inside and outside your home, including showers, appliances, toilets, etc. and refer to the chart below:


Q: Can a tank be too big?
A: No. Larger tank sizes have benefits over smaller tanks including; reduced pump cycles, more consistent pressure, and increased storage volume. Larger tanks are especially helpful with large water demands like whirlpool tubs and sprinkler systems.

Q: What is the size range for Water Worker tanks?
A: Gallon sizes — 2, 4.4, 5.3, 7.6, 14, 20, 30, 32, 44, 62, 86, 119. The Water Worker line has models to fit any residential application.

Q: Are all the tanks vertical in design or are some available as a horizontal unit?
A: Yes. The 5.3, 14 and 20-gallon tanks are available in a horizontal configuration for jet pump applications.