Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 9/7/2011

what wold cause water to come out of faucets with a pulsing, surging action? We have a well and pressure tank.

I don't think its the well or pump because the same amount of water comes out of the pipes as before. I don't think the bladder in the pressure tank is ruptured because the PSI is 80 or so. Any thoughts?

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

3 Answers


Air is getting into the system somehow. It could be from any number of ways.
After the pressure gets up to 80psi, will it stay there for a while ie. 30-60 minutes?
Is the pressure tank at the well or your house?
If it is at the house, can you check the pressure in the pipe to the house?
Are there any check valves in your system?
If you have steady pressure in all points in your piping system (no pressure drop) then have a good well company check the well.

Answered 9 years ago by leakdetective


Its just air in the line.

Answered 9 years ago by MaintenancePro


OK - several possibilities:

1) With all water demand turned off, let the pump pressure the system till it turns off. Then turn on a faucet, while someone else watches pressure and pump - if the pressure drops off immediately and drastically rather than very slowly, and pump turns immediately when faucet is opened and shuts off almost immediately after faucet is turned off, then you have probably lost your air in the pressure tank. It should take several seconds of full foow for the pump to turn on (at its low-pressure setting), and after the faucet is turned off, it shoud astay on for a few seconds to as much as a minute to build the tank pressure back up to the shutoff pressure. Its shutting off immediately after faucet is turned off means there is no air cushion for it to compress in the tank. Read instructions on how to drain (if pressure tank) or repressurize (if bladder tank).

2) I presume you have a positive displacement (piston) pump - hence the surging with every stroke. One other possibility is that the valve in the pump (has one per cylinder) is not seating completely, so instead of only pumping the water one way, it is placing a suction on the lines on the backstroke, causing a surging action. The same thing can occur, on a lesser scale, with a centrifugal pump with one or more broken vanes or sticking backflow valve.

3) Pressure at the tank being 80 pounds means nothing - that is just the max pressure the pump will turn out, or the setting on the pressure regulator, it does not indicate the tank is or is not working, and if a bladder type you cannot tell if the bladder is ruptured that way, though you should be able to feel a temperature difference between the top and bottom of the tank - the air pocket will be warmer, at the top. If not temperature difference can be felt, then you probablky have no air pocket, or a very small one.

4)) feel the suction hose from the well (if surface pump) or the downpipe to the pump, if submersible - if "kicking" you may be low on water or have a partial blockage of the foot screen. In this case, the pump will be pumping a mixture of water and air (low water) or pumping a slug of water and then none (screen or foot valve) - check for this at the first valve in the system, before the pressure tank. Since you say the same amount of water comes out as before, this is far less likely the cause, and this would usually cause dirty water as it kicks loose accumulated silt and algae and such in the lines. However, if you have a submersible pump or jet pump, then this or a pump failure occurring is a possibility.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy