The pressure gauge that is located outside of my water tank is dripping about twice a minute. It seems like this is something I could simply replace but I wanted to get some advice as this is something I have not run into before. It is definitely not being caused by high water pressure because the pressure is at about 30 psi. Here is a picture of what is going on.

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What you pointed at is the pressure relief valve. Seeing that the pressure is fairly low, it could either need adjustment or be failing.

The pressure relief valve is basically there to release very high pressure before a pipe/filter/faucet relieves it (eg: blows up). It's basically just a spring pushing against a piston.

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You can try adjusting it first by turning the end clockwise just until the flow stops. Best to do this at the pump cut-off pressure (which is the highest pressure you'd normally see) -- basically open a tap until the pump runs, wait for the pump to shut off, and then adjust the relief valve. A lot of the valves actually have a ridged edge you can turn, though yours looks like it probably requires a nut/screw driver or pliers.

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If that doesn't work, it is probably just that the valve is failing. Could be a cheap valve or have a manufacturing defect, or could be corrosion. Replacements cost a few dollars at any home improvement or plumbing store and are very easy to install (use teflon tape on the threads).

  • When you say "bets to do this at the higher pressure" how would I increase the pressure before adjusting it. – Matt Rockwell Jan 6 '15 at 17:30
  • @MattRockwell edited my answer to explain that – gregmac Jan 6 '15 at 18:31
  • Great that makes sense. I think I might just go on the safe side and replace it. – Matt Rockwell Jan 6 '15 at 18:33
  • If the new relief valve leaks, then you should replace the pressure switch and pressure gauge. – mbeckish Jan 6 '15 at 19:35
  • 1
    @mbeckish No, if the new valve leaks, either there is something else very wrong (eg: the pressure is actually really high and the pressure gauge is broken) or there is actually a leak from somewhere else that dripping onto the relief valve and just making it appear that's where the leak is. Don't just blindly replace other components. – gregmac Jan 6 '15 at 20:54

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