Does a Well Used for Lawn Irrigation Need a Pressure Tank?

pipes and pressure gauge for water well tank

For home irrigation, a constant source of water is vital. Many folks with homesteads or off-grid plots dig wells for these purposes, since using tap water for lawn irrigation can be costly.

Depending on the depth of the well and the size of your system, pumping water can be a challenge. A pressure tank can make this more efficient.

Pressure Tanks for Well Irrigation

Well system pressure is governed by air in the tank. While you use water, the air cushion in the tank expands, leading to reduced pressure. Pressure tanks have switches used to turn the water pump on and off.

Pressure pumps are likely to wear out quickly if you start and stop them frequently for short intervals. Air leakage can also pose problems, increasing the cushion and hindering water movement.

To prevent issues like this, place your the pressure tank strategically between the pump and the first point of use—in this case, the sprinkler zone. The tank doesn't need water outlets and inlets, just one pipe off a tee in the waterline.

It's important to have an air valve on the pressure tank to adjust the air cushion size easily. These valves make it much easier to control the intensity, and therefore efficiency, of your irrigation flow.

water well pump system

Other Factors to Consider

The size of your watering zones need to match your pump's output. If your sprinkler controller lets out too much water, the pressure will fall too low. On the other hand, if the zone doesn't let out sufficient water, pressure can get too high.

A small system might not need a tank at all. Pressure tanks are most helpful in situations where a setup isn't working efficiently. Some people like to install a constant pressure valve to pump water from the well when using this equipment.

Pressure valves are important because they help keep the water pressure constant, preventing excessive water flow. These valves can hold the pressure steady across a wide range of zone sizes. With these valves, you're free to run zones as small as you want, but they shouldn't exceed your well's output.

water well pump system in lawn

While a pump start relay is ideal for many purposes, it has a few disadvantages. For instance, you can't run water for house chores, use a hosepipe, or any other part controlled by a sprinkler timer. Generally, larger systems will have water hammers when you use a pump start relay.

Big setups are also more susceptible to problems like rodents eating wires leading to the sprinkler valve. This means the valve won't open when the pump starts operating.

In such cases, a pressure relief valve can help reduce the pressure and prevent burnouts, another value of the stability offered by pressure tanks.

While lawn irrigation doesn't require a ton of water, they need regulated, regular flow. Especially for sprawling systems attached to deep wells, pressure tanks can offer peace of mind by supporting a smooth operation, and investment value by preventing inefficient water loss.