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WATER PUMPS, TANKS, TESTS, WELLS, REPAIRS
WATER CONSERVATION MEASURES
WATER CONTAMINANT LEVELS
WATER FILTERS, HOME USE
WATER HAMMER NOISE DIAGNOSE & CURE
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER PUMP SHORT CYCLING
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WATER TANK REPAIR PROCEDURES
WATER TANK: USES, TROUBLESHOOTING
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WELLS CISTERNS & SPRINGS
WELL CHLORINATION & DISINFECTION
WELL FLOW RATE
WELL WATER PRESSURE DIAGNOSIS
WELL YIELD IMPROVEMENT
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes Where do we find the water pressure tank drain valve on a private well, tank, and pump system, how is it used during water tank service or repair, and how we replace or repair leaky drain valves.
Readers of this document should also see WATER PUMP REPAIR GUIDE an specific case which offers an example of diagnosis of loss of water pressure, loss of water, and analyzes the actual repair cost.
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In the page top photo you can see a round black handled drain valve in the center of the picture, just below the pressure gauge. This valve is used to completely drain the water tank (and possibly the entire water piping system too).
Usually the water tank drain is connected to a hose which is run outside of the building or to a nearby floor drain.
[Click to enlarge any image]
This water tank drain is not normally opened when the pump is turned on since you'll simply run the pump and flood the building, but we have used it as a convenient way to connect a water hose to the system. We once put out a small fire in this manner.
In an emergency if your building has lost water pressure but a neighbor's water system is working, you can "back feed" your building's water piping by connecting a garden hose from your neighbor's outside water faucet to this water tank drain.
You'll need a double-female-ended washing machine hose to complete the connection. Of course you could back-feed from a neighbor to any easily accessible hose connection on your building such as an outside water spigot or a washing machine cold water hookup as well.
Water tank drains should be piped to a visible location: not installed with a drain to a crawl space as this owner did. For convenience, the owner wanted to be able to drain the water system to avoid freezing when this home in Rhinebeck New York was unoccupied.
But first of all, sending water into the crawl space risks mold, rot, and insect damage to the building, and second, it's generally a bad idea to send any drain, overflow, or relief valve to a hidden location. If the piping is leaking we want to know it.
If the water tank drain is leaking it needs to be repaired (usually a simple internal washer) or replaced.
But you can defer this repair by screwing a garden hose cap onto the gauge threaded outlet. We put these caps on all of our tank drains in areas where children are playing since on occasion they've been opened by curious kids.
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