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Thread: What lubricant to use for installing bladder into pressure tank?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Joelk's Avatar
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    Default What lubricant to use for installing bladder into pressure tank?

    I have a pressure tank that I was going to use for another project, so I pulled the bladder out. I put dish detergent in the tank to lubricate it and let the bladder to slide out.

    The bladder appears to be in good condition and I would like to put it back into the tank. What lubricant should I use for installing it?

    Thanks, Joel

  2. #2
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    1.5 litres of wine or a bottle of whiskey, taken internally. Not a project I do any longer.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Water is a lubricant.

    KY is Water soluble.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    Test, Don't Guess! cacher_chick's Avatar
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    Joel, what they are trying to tell you is that no one bothers replacing tank bladders. When a bladder fails, the pros will always install a new tank. There is a lot less labor involved, and it will have a warranty.

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    DIY Junior Member Joelk's Avatar
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    I realize that it may not be worth the COST to replace the bladder, but all I want to do is put the good one that I took out, back in. The tank/bladder are not very old and seem to be in good condition so I don't want to throw them away.

    I think I can put it back in, in less than 10 minutes using dish detergent as a lubricant, but was thinking there might be a lube that would not need to be rinsed out as extensively as the dish detergent will.

    Would Clorox work well? It would have some lubricant effect and disinfect things in the process, but would it be detrimental to the bladder/tank?

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Seems to me that Clorox could be caustic if it gets trapped in between the tank and the bladder. If the tank is metal that may not be good.

    I think Ivory dish washing soap would be as safe as anything.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Junior Member Joelk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply.

    It is a "plastic" tank, and I can use Ivory/Palmolive, but was just wondering if there was something that would be better for the project.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joelk View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    It is a "plastic" tank, and I can use Ivory/Palmolive, but was just wondering if there was something that would be better for the project.

    If it was working and is good, I am not sure why you removed it.

    If it is not broke why fix it ?

    After said and done it may not last very long.


    Plastic tanks do not last very long here because most are outdoors and in the sunlight.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Joelk's Avatar
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    I removed it because I originally planned to us it for something other than a pressure tank.

    I re-installed the bladder this evening. I decided to try installing it without any lubricant so that I would not have flush out the lubricant. It may have been even easier w/lube, but it went in very easily WITHOUT ANY LUBRICANT. It was VERY easy to do and took less than 10 minutes to install.

    From the little research I did, it appears that you can buy a new tank/with bladder for not much more than just a bladder(you can get big discounts on tanks, not so much with bladders), so it is probably not something you would want to pay a professional to do, but if you are a DIYer, and your tank is good, it should take less than 1 hour(perhaps less than 1/2 hour) to remove and replace a bladder once you have the plumbing disconnected.

  10. #10
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    The impossible ones are the old bottom hole sears type flotec style. Better to wrap on your knees with a hammer than try and fix one of those slime balls. You must have the new fiberglas ones that are designed to actually be replaced.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member Joelk's Avatar
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    It is fiberglass wrapped "plastic" and is fairly new.

  12. #12
    Moderator valveman's Avatar
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    The fact that it is a replaceable bladder means it will need replacing. It is how the bladder fits in the tank that causes the problem. If the bladder can touch the tank, it will rub a hole in it. Most diaphragms or bladders that cannot be replaced are made in a fashion not able to touch the inside of the tank as they move up and down, and generally last longer.

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