Why are Water Pressure Tanks used?
Years ago, the most common pressure tanks used with water systems were galvanized or glass lined and had no separation between their air and water contents. With the air quickly dissolving in the water, these tanks required constant draining and re-pressurizing to prevent them from becoming water logged - or full of water with no air. Waterlogged tanks were undesirable because water with no air is virtually incompressible, and would cause pumps to cycle (i.e. turn on and off) rapidly - leading to premature motor failure.
Some attempt was made in the past to solve this problem by inserting a round float in the tank to act as a barrier between the air and water. This was successful in slowing down the dissolution of the air. However, a more satisfactory solution was achieved with the introduction of the captive air bladder tank or the "pressure tank" as we know it today.
Pressure tanks feature a flexible chamber that separates the air from the water. This feature allows the tank's air pressure to be preset at the factory, eliminating the need for ongoing pressurization maintenance. The factory set pressure also allows water to be drawn from the tank without the pump having to run every time a faucet is turned on.
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