Bladder tanks use a flexible membrane to store, distribute or pressurize fluids. Bladder tanks commonly store and distribute water, but bladder storage tanks can be used to house hazardous chemicals. The design of the bladder tank depends on its intended use, but all bladder tanks separate a fluid from the surrounding air. Storage bladder tanks consist of only a bladder and are often found temporarily storing water, fuels and oils at project locations. Other types of bladder tanks use a bladder within a tank made of a protective material such as steel.
With the exception of bladder tanks used solely for storage, this type of tank uses the air pressure between the bladder and the outer tank to function. Companies often use bladder tanks to resolve pressure fluctuations within their applications. Residential and commercial plumbing, HVAC and industrial water applications all use bladder tanks. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or ASME, code dictates the standards of bladder tanks with ASME tanks labeled as such. When purchasing a bladder tank, consider the following:
1. Buy bladder pressure tanks for water storage and distribution.
2. Use bladder storage tanks for on-site storage.
3. Install bladder tanks in HVAC applications.
Purchase bladder tanks for water storage and distributionBladder water tanks used for water storage and distribution function as both a tank and a pump. The pressure that builds up between the bladder and surrounding air releases when a line, such as a faucet or toilet, opens. You use this type of bladder tank to resolve pressure fluctuations in plumbing applications and deliver pressurized water in industrial water applications.
Use bladder tanks for on-site liquid storageBladder storage tanks, also referred to as flexible tanks and pillow tanks, provide quick on-site storage. This type of bladder tank isn't housed in a larger outer tank. You can use the collapsible bladder for both temporary and long-term storage. Many storage bladder tanks are designed to store hazardous liquids, including fuel and oil.
Order bladder expansion tanks for heating and cooling applicationsBladder expansion tanks are installed in heating, ventilating and air conditioning applications to absorb expanding fluid and limit building pressure. The flexible bladder accommodates the different water volumes, as the water heats and cools. The use of a bladder tank allows a much smaller design of the HVAC unit than units that use a traditional pressure tank.
- A leak or hole in the bladder causes a bladder pressure tank to lose pressure. Many manufacturers sell replacement bladders individually.
- Bladder tanks placed directly on the ground are susceptible to rust, with the exception of bladder storage tanks.