Pressure Tank, Whole-House Water Filter and Water Softener: How Our Well Works, Part 2

| 9/30/2015 9:27:00 AM

Water from Sink Faucet

The Small Home, Big Decisions series follows Jennifer and her husband, Tyler, as they build a self-reliant homestead on a piece of country property in northeastern Kansas. The series will delve into questions that arise during their building process and the decisions they make along the way. The posts are a work in progress, written as their homestead-building adventure unfolds.

This week, we’ll continue our homestead water series. The first post on our well water system covered drilling the well and other aspects of the well outside of the home. This post will focus on what the water-well system looks like inside the home, as some features are different from the equivalent for a home on a city or rural water system.

First, we have a breaker switch for our well. This controls whether the submersible well pump is "on" or "off." The switch must be flipped "on" for the pump to work and bring water into our house. (We're the only ones who can turn off our water now!) The incoming pipes from the well are in our basement, and the whole system that the water runs through before going into the other pipes and, ultimately, to the faucets throughout our house is shown in the picture below.

water pressure tank filter and softener 

With the pump on, the water comes in, via underground pipes, to a pressure tank in our basement (large blue tank on right, shown above). When on a city or rural water system, the water pressure is controlled outside of your home by whoever controls the entire water line network. But, for a home well system, you need a pressure tank to provide a constant pressure level in between well pump cycles, and to create a buffer for the well pump so it doesn’t have to turn on each time we just need a quick shot of water. (Plus, we don’t have to wait for it to turn on and deliver water at a decent pressure level each time either.)  How you maintain and work with your pressure tank will depend on whether you have an air-over-water, diaphragm or bladder pressure tank. Your contractor should be able to help with this decision, but you can read at the link above to get familiar and make your own decision.

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