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Question DetailsAsked on 12/5/2017

Pressure tank air valve spits out water when I tried to check the pressure. Appears the bladder has ruptured. ???

Pressure began pulsating. Checking the tank pressure water spouted out so there is no air in the bladder. Does this indicate the bladder has ruptured?

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1 Answer


You don't say if this is on a water heater or a boiler - will try to answer so it covers both cases.

Assuming this is a bladder-type tank (not an old- plain steel tank - commonly larger than the normal 3-5 gallon water heater and individual living unit boiler size, so normally in the 20-60 gallon range and look like a plain metal water heater), then yes. (These days non-bladder type tanks are most commonly used on large boilers and on well pumps).

If a bladder-less tank then either the air in the tank dissipated into the water and vanished, in which case it needs to be drained and refilled with air - or the Schrader valve (the tire-type valve at the top) has leaked and let the air bleed out - same solution.

If a bladder type then the water needs to be turned off and pressure bled off, the tank unscrewed from its base which holds the needle valve which the bladder moves to let water in (which maybe or may not need replacement - tanks come with and without that), the new tank installed (use teflon thread tape), then pressured up with compressed air if not precharged (most come from factory with a normal pre-charge of air, check with low-pressure tire pressure gauge to be sure not too high for your boiler or water heater), turn water back on and confirm that pressure behavior is correct.

Note these tanks are used both on water heaters (so typically about 20-80 psi operating pressure in the system) and on boilers (typically 10-20 psi in the system) - ones sold for water heaters commonly come with about 40-60 psi in the tank, boiler ones about 15-20 commonly - so check the precharge specs for your unit and set tank pressure to that range before operation.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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