How to Install a Well Pump Pressure Gauge

Installing a pressure gauge on a private home well pump system allows the user to troubleshoot problems. The pressure gauge is most always installed on the water tank or the piping manifold that is directly connected to the tank. The closer the gauge is to the pressure tank, the more accurate the reading. Most all water pressure gauges use a 1/4-inch male pipe thread for the plumbing connection. A female pipe thread is located on either the pressure tank or the brass manifold.

Gauges aid in troubleshooting.
  1. Shut off the electrical power to the well pump system.

  2. Open a nearby faucet or drain valve to relieve all water pressure. Wait until all water has stopped flowing from the open valve.

  3. Locate the small 1/4-inch pipe plug that will house the pressure gauge fitting. The square neck plug is located on the side of the pressure tank or on the lower piping manifold near the bottom of the tank. Fit the jaws of the plumbing pliers around the neck of the plug and turn in a counterclockwise direction. A small amount of water may flow from the opening once the plug is completely removed.

  4. Wind a few rounds of the pipe thread tape around the male threads of the pressure gauge. If possible make the winds in a clockwise direction. This will keep the tape from unwinding while being installed into the female thread opening.

  5. Hold the male threads perpendicular to the female thread opening and turn the gauge in a clockwise direction. Do not force the threads into the opening. Allow the male threads to work into the female threads gently. Turn the gauge two to three full revolutions by hand.

  6. Fit the jaws of the plumbers pliers over the square brass fitting that sits below the dial on the gauge. Do not turn the dial face with the pliers. You will break the gauge. Turn the pliers in a clockwise direction approximately four to five full revolutions. The goal is to tighten the gauge and on the final turn face it outward for easy observation.

  7. Close all faucets and drain valves. Turn the electrical power back on. Watch the gauge as the pump is under operation and water pressure builds. If a small leak develops at the thread intersection, turn the brass fitting one more full revolution to tighten the gauge. Do not turn the gauge backwards as this will cause a leak in the thread fitting.

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