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Dealing with a ruptured reverse osmosis tank bladder is never fun, especially if it’s already started leaking heavily.
You have to address the problem as soon as possible though – this is not the kind of issue where you can afford any delays.
Here is how to diagnose, fix, and prevent a reverse osmosis tank bladder rupture.
There are several steps you should take to verify the current state of your RO bladder including possible rupture.
Try to lift the reverse osmosis tank to check if it has any water inside. You should feel the weight of the stored water – even a small, 4-gallon tank should typically weigh around 20-30 pounds when mostly full.
If it feels like the tank is full but it’s not releasing any water, then you’re most likely dealing with a ruptured bladder. You can try repressurizing the tank, but if the problem appeared suddenly, then it’s very likely to be a bladder issue.
To repressurize your tank;
If there’s still low/no flow from the tank even after repressurizing and waiting a few hours or days, then its bladder is very likely ruptured.
There’s just a small chance that you could also have a clogged post-filter or a kink in your connecting tubing, but the likelihood of those issues is rather small. Still, you should do a quick check to exclude that possibility, as it’s a simple fix.
Water leaking from the air valve is another common indicator of a ruptured air bladder. Check the air stem – if it’s damp, that’s not a good sign. Another thing to look out for is the air valve leaking when you’re connecting the pump during repressurization. That also indicates a ruptured bladder.
The bladder inside of a reverse osmosis tank is in constant motion and deformation. All materials eventually wear out under such conditions, and your tank bladder is no exception. After it has been in operation for long enough, it will rupture at some point, no matter how carefully you’re using your reverse osmosis system.
Your tank bladder might also fail faster if the seal between it and the tank gives away. This is a rare occurrence, but it requires a full tank replacement.
Even if you’re an avid fan of rolling up your sleeves and fixing things by yourself, fixing a ruptured RO tank bladder is not exactly something you can do alone.
Due to the way reverse osmosis tanks are made, it’s just not possible to swap out the bladder for a new one. The only option you have if you’re dealing with a ruptured bladder is to replace the entire tank. This might seem costly and wasteful, but it’s the only viable approach.
There’s unfortunately nothing you can do to prevent your reverse osmosis tank from eventually rupturing. You can put some effort into increasing its lifespan, though…
There are several things you can do to ensure that your RO tank lasts as long as possible. Here’s a brief list of recommendations:
Like reverse osmosis systems themselves, RO tanks vary in price and quality. You can get one for as little as $30, though if you want your tank to last longer, we recommend going with a higher-end model.
Check your local hardware store and local water treatment expert if you need a new tank. Take a look at online stores as well, starting with the site of your RO system’s manufacturer.
A reverse osmosis tank is split into two sections – one for water, and one for air. The sections are separated by a bladder. When you start filling the tank with water, this causes the air section to compress, creating pressure. Once you open the faucet, water is automatically dispensed without the need for pumps or other auxiliary pressure tools.
The bladder also helps prevent excessive use of the RO system. Once tank pressure has reached a certain level, this triggers the automatic shut-off valve, preventing any more water from being filtered until you’ve used some of your currently stored supply.
If you have any questions about RO tank bladder rupture please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
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