Hoping someone may be able to give me some help in figuring out a problem.

I just opened up a house last night that had been shut down for over a year with the plumbing system drained and winterized. It is uses a jet well pump with 2 lines running back to the well and a pressure tank.

I had to go through the whole priming process to get the water going from the well again, and it took a couple attempts before I got prime and the water flowing. Once I had water I went around and opened all the faucets to bleed out the air and winterizing fluid, and then let the pump run until it built up pressure and shut off.

The issue I am having is that now when I turn on any fixture I am getting a lot of air coming out as well as the water. I will get water and then it will sputter and be a blast of air and then back to water, more air, more water, etc. It keeps doing this until it reaches the point that the well pump switches back on, and then all is fine. No more air coming out, just water.

If I then shut the faucet off and let the pump build pressure back up, which I think is taking an abnormally long time, and then open up the same faucet, the whole air/water thing repeats, sometimes quite violently, until the pump kicks on and then it is just water running fine again.

I did some research and read stuff about maybe a leak in the line from the well to the pump or a low well water level, but I would think if that were the case I would still be seeing air even when the pump was running.

I am not sure what is going one. Maybe the long time getting prime got a lot of air into the pressure tank bladder? Just not sure what the issue is. Any help you can give me on what the issue could be and how to solve it would be greatly appreciated.

1 Answer 1


There could be 2 problems but I would check your pressure tank first, it sounds like your bladder or diaphragm has failed, if a really old system a diaphragm tank needs to be replaced, you can check the air pressure at the tank there is normally a shrader valve that you can check the pressure with a car or bike tire pressure gauge, if the diaphragm has failed if you turn the pump off and drain the system by opening a faucet and you get a bunch of air just prior to nothing more time to check the tank pressure it will probably close to 0 psi but if it has ~40 psi (or a couple psi less than the turn on value of the pressure switch the tank is good and you have not purged the air out of the system, air in the pump side creates air in the jet and more air in the tank, it can be tough to get the air out but high flowing a couple of faucets usually will do it. If the tank pressure goes to zero or close you can temporarily get the system running by putting some water in the tank, charging the tank with air a bike pump or air compressor is used to fill the tank to just below the turn on pressure for the pump, many times 40 psi. Now let the pump fill the tank, I have had this work for a short while so I could replace the tank on the weekend, if left in for a while you might find your water starting to taste bad because of exposure to air in the tank. So check your pressure tank, it could be a cracked line in the well or at the jet but if you are reaching pressure with the pump shutting down and pressure is solid it is probably the diaphragm or bladder in the tank that has failed. Note in most cases it is cheaper to replace the tank but some bladder based tanks the bladder can be replaced for less, but it is a fair amount of work and a new tank has a better warranty.

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