(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: pressure tank bladder leak

  1. #1

    Default pressure tank bladder leak

    My pressure tank has a leaky bladder. Toward the end of the fill cycle, I can hear water squirting around inside the tank...the tank hits pressure and the pump shuts off normally. Can anyone tell me why the system still works properly?..this has been going on since last October. I will try replacing the bladder in the fall, rather than just throw out the tank...but I am very curious how the bladder can be leaking and still everything seems normal!

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member Mike Swearingen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    On Albemarle Sound In Northeastern NC
    Posts
    621

    Default

    I don't think that the bladder is leaking, or things wouldn't be functioning properly. What you hear may just be the normal operation of the pressure tank. Water goes in and out of it all of the time against the air-filled bladder.
    To check the bladder, turn off the pump, drain the water pressure off, and check the air pressure of the tank with a tire gauge. (If the bladder is leaking, water will probably come out of the air valve of the tank.) If no water comes from the tank air valve, it should read two psi below your pump cut-on pressure (i.e. if your pump is set at 30/50 cut-on/cut-off, the pressure tank should be at 28 psi).
    If it is low, air it back up with a bicycle pump or portable air tank or compressor. If it doesn't hold that pressure, then the bladder is probably shot, and you need a new pressure tank. You can usually replace a bladder, but replace the entire tank instead.
    Good Luck!
    Mike

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,984

    Default

    For a leaky bladder try these


  4. #4
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Riverview, Fl.
    Posts
    4,540

    Default

    I agree, don't replace the bladder, replace with a better tank.

    bob...

  5. #5

    Default more pressure tanks questions

    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    I agree, don't replace the bladder, replace with a better tank.

    bob...
    I am becoming confused. The pressure tank has been working fine BUT there is lots of squirting going on inside as it fills and comes up to pressure. Usually the squirting continues about a minute after the pump has shut off on pressure. The pressure guage holds steady after filling and the tank operates fine. I have had this tank for 16 years and this squirting has just been going on since last October. If it's not the bladder leaking, why am I hearing all this activity in the tank? What do you think is going on in there if it's not the bladder leaking?

  6. #6
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,307

    Default

    It is possible to have a leaky bladder and still have enough air in the tank to operate the system. If the tear in the bladder is large enough you can operate the tank like a bladderless tank. You just have to be a little more careful about precharging the tank. That is not a recommendation; it is a statement of what you can do until you can get a new tank.

    If there is water on the air side of the bladder (leaky bladder) it is sometimes difficult or impossible to get all of the water out of the tank because even a little air can push a leaky spot against the inner wall of the tank, temporarily closing the leak.

    Shut off the pump and open the valve to drain the tank. Then shake the tank if you can to see if it has water in it. If it does, you almost certainly have a failed bladder.

    Try adding some air to the tank. If it still has water in it with any air pressure, then you certainly have a failed bladder.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Swearingen
    I don't think that the bladder is leaking, or things wouldn't be functioning properly. What you hear may just be the normal operation of the pressure tank. Water goes in and out of it all of the time against the air-filled bladder.
    To check the bladder, turn off the pump, drain the water pressure off, and check the air pressure of the tank with a tire gauge. (If the bladder is leaking, water will probably come out of the air valve of the tank.) If no water comes from the tank air valve, it should read two psi below your pump cut-on pressure (i.e. if your pump is set at 30/50 cut-on/cut-off, the pressure tank should be at 28 psi).
    If it is low, air it back up with a bicycle pump or portable air tank or compressor. If it doesn't hold that pressure, then the bladder is probably shot, and you need a new pressure tank. You can usually replace a bladder, but replace the entire tank instead.
    Good Luck!
    Mike
    Mike: Thanks for the info. I have a jet pump system at my cottage and I draw water from the Lake.The system is working but when no water is used the pump still comes on every 30 to 40 minutes and works for about 20 seconds. I cannot find any leaks on the intake pipe and I have replaced the foot valve. My questions for you are:
    I understand from my manual that when I get water out of the air valve this may be due to a waterlogged bladder and can find no refererence to a broken bladder. the local plumbing contractor who specializes in cottage water systems from lakes tells me that the bladder contains the water NOT air?
    Any advise you can provide on the bladder and how one would confirm that it needs replacement would be appreciated.
    PS .I am a newby here and delighted to discover there is a site to discuss cottage water systems.

  8. #8
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Riverview, Fl.
    Posts
    4,540

    Default

    If your getting water from the schrader valve at the top of the tank, it's shot. Get a new one.

    Check your toilet tank. It may be leaking slightly. Just enough to make that faulty tank force the pump to run again.

    bob...

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Thanks for your prompt reply. What is the "Schrader Valve " ? I don't see any water at the base of the toilet so I doubt that it is leaking.

  10. #10
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Riverview, Fl.
    Posts
    4,540

    Default

    The little valve on top of the bladder tank. Where you add the air.

    Toilets have a way of leaking very slowly. It's like watching paint dry to find such a small leak.

    bob...

  11. #11
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,307

    Default

    The valves on your tires are Schrader valves. You should have one on the top of your bladder tank where you can add air and measure air pressure.

    If water comes out when you depress the core pin, then you have a leaky bladder.

    Turn off power to the pump, run all of the water out of the tank; leave the water valve open, and put air in at the Schrader valve to 2 psi less than your pump start pressure. You will need a tire gauge and means of providing air pressure.

    I have also seen cases where the metal tank leaks on the air side. They symptom is that it won't hold pressure for even a day. If that happens, replace the tank. If the bladder leaks, replace the tank.

  12. #12
    Previous member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Riverview, Fl.
    Posts
    4,540

    Default

    If your tank is full of water, which it must be if your getting water out of the "air valve" you need to replace the tank. It will just waterlog again if you add air and your now getting water that is entering a non painted surface. The inside of the tank where the air used to be. I see no reason to add air to a bad tank. Just replace it and get on with your life.

    bob...

  13. #13
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,395

    Default

    A bladder tank uses the bladder to separate the captive air from the water. The pump pushes water into the tank, compressing the air and storning energy so it doesn't have to turn on each time you open a valve - it is using the stored energy from the compressed air. If the tank leaks between the bladder and air sides, it needs to be replaced. As noted, if you get water out of the air valve (Schrader valve), the tank needs replacement. There are a few tanks that can be repaired, but at 16-years, yours may not be a good candidate.

    Another cause of noises after the pump turns off is rust accumulation in the pipes. The inside passage can get so constricted that only a trickle can pass through. If there is any galvanized piping in the system around where you hear those noises, it could be the pipes are basically nearly clogged.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob NH
    The valves on your tires are Schrader valves. You should have one on the top of your bladder tank where you can add air and measure air pressure.

    If water comes out when you depress the core pin, then you have a leaky bladder.

    Turn off power to the pump, run all of the water out of the tank; leave the water valve open, and put air in at the Schrader valve to 2 psi less than your pump start pressure. You will need a tire gauge and means of providing air pressure.

    I have also seen cases where the metal tank leaks on the air side. They symptom is that it won't hold pressure for even a day. If that happens, replace the tank. If the bladder leaks, replace the tank.
    Thanks for the comments:
    Para #3Why or when would I do this ? What does it solve if water comes out when I depress the core?

    Par#4 ..."metal tank leaks on the air side" what do you mean by air side please?

  15. #15
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,395

    Default

    Very few things in our world are perfect. Do you ever have to put air into your tires? No visible leaks, but eventually they lose a little bit. Same can happen with your bladder tank. If it doesn't contain the proper amount of air at the proper pressure, it won't perform properly. The 'dry' side of the bladder tank is the side there should only be air. It is adjusted by using an air compressor or pump - a bicycle pump would work fine, although maybe more work than you want, it is doable. If by checking the pressure (looks like and is made like a tire's valve) you get water out, the bladder that separates the air from the water in the tank is shot...replace it.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •