Diagnosing A Leaking Pressure Tank Bladder

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Diagnosing A Leaking Pressure Tank Bladder

2 May 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


One of the more advanced types of pressure tanks is the bladder pressure tank. The bladder is designed to keep the water and air separate so that the pressure tank remains effective. However, the bladder pressure tank can sometimes leak and will need to be repaired or replaced in order to ensure that the pressure tank has enough pressure to supply well water.

Diagnosing A Leaking Bladder

You will be able to discover if your tank has a bladder leak by checking its air charge. Before doing this, disconnect the pump from the power grid. Locate the faucet nearest to the pressure tank and open it to drain the tank. Use an air pressure gauge to check the air pressure valve. If the pressure is below 2 psi, add air. If it is above 2 psi, release air. Then, add soap to the air changing valve. Then, run the pump again. If there is a leak in the bladder, the location of the leak will bubble as a result of the soap solution. You may also experience an abnormal pressure drop, which also indicates a leak in the bladder.

Checking The Air Valve

Another way to check is to remove the cap from the air valve and depress the pin. Normally, air should be released and generate a hissing sound. However, if the bladder has burst, water may come flowing out of the air valve. Air might also be rapidly released out of the plumbing fixtures. The air charge is being released into the building's plumbing system.

Identifying A Burst Bladder

When the bladder has burst, sometimes the bladder will block the exit of water within the tank. This will lead to the building not having water pressure and the water will not be able to exit the tank.

Why You Should Repair Or Replace The Tank

If the bladder is leaking, the tank should be repaired or replaced. Some owners of pressure tanks will use compressed air to recharge the pressure tank and may get some temporary use out of it. However, the amount of water that the pressure tank will be able to discharge will be smaller. The collapsed bladder sticks to itself and will interfere with the ability of the pressure tank to deliver well water. Depending on the tank, it may be possible to simply replace the bladder or it may be necessary to replace the entire unit.