A water storage tank collects water and stores it for later use and timely access. When you turn on your kitchen faucet, water is carried from the tank to your tap, providing you with fresh water on demand. Reverse osmosis systems work slowly, purifying water one drop at a time. A reverse osmosis storage tank ensures you can access this water whenever you need, without waiting for the system to painstakingly fill up your glass. Many wells are low-pressure and low-recovery and are tasked with providing pressurized water throughout a household or business. A well pressure tank ensures that when you turn your shower on or flush your toilet, you have immediate access to pressurized water. They also help extend the life of the well pump by protecting the pump from short-cycling.
Water storage tanks come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations, and are used for a variety of purposes across the water treatment industry. From a small, 5-gallon reverse osmosis tank stored neatly under your sink to a towering 120-gallon well pressure tank, water storage tanks are an integral part of many household water systems. Large, outdoor atmospheric tanks can store thousands of gallons of rainwater, well water, or be used for fire suppression. These tanks are usually equipped with UV inhibitors, preventing sunlight from facilitating algae and bacterial growth within the tank. Thermal expansion tanks prevent water heaters on closed water supplies from leaking and bursting.
How does a water storage tank work?
A water storage tank holds clean water from your reverse osmosis system until a demand for water is initiated in the house or business. Water is pumped into the tank from the water source, like a well or a reverse osmosis system. The tank accumulates water until it is full. When you need access to water, be it to fill your glass up with crystal clear water, run a bath, or irrigate a field, the storage tank provides you with instantaneous access to water.
Water storage tanks are generally either pressure tanks or atmospheric tanks. Point-of-use applications, like reverse osmosis storage tanks, usually implement pressure tanks. Outdoor applications or large scale municipal water storage operations usually use atmospheric tanks.
How do pressure tanks work?
Pressure tanks use compressed air to create water pressure within the tank. A pressure tank is constructed with an air chamber or bladder and comes with a pressure pre-charge. As the tank fills up with water, the weight of the water will begin to compress the air. As the air continues to compress, the pressure within the tank builds. When the tank reaches a certain internal pressure, it signals to the feed source to cease delivery. When you open a faucet in your kitchen, the air pressure bears down on the water as it is released from the tank, propelling pressurized water through your pipes and out of your kitchen sink. When water exits the tank, the air will start to expand again, reducing the tank pressure, and signaling to the water source to recommence delivery. If the pressure tank is being used to store well water, this means the tank will signal the well pump to turn back on. If the storage tank is collecting RO water, lowering pressure will signal the reverse osmosis system to restart production. These tanks are known as hydropneumatic tanks because they use the combined power of water and air to generate pressure within a tank.
Pressure tanks allow for pressurization without the aid of pumps. Since air will compress and water will not, the air within the tank will organically increase the pressure of the water as the tank fills up. There are also pressure tanks that do not rely on hydropneumatic pressure. These are known as constant pressure tanks. Constant pressure tanks provide city-like water pressure at all times, regardless of how many appliances are demanding water. A hydropneumatic tank can become overwhelmed if too much water is being drawn from it and sent to multiple sources concurrently (for example, if the shower is running at the same time as the dishwasher.) This results in a loss of pressure throughout the home. Constant pressure tanks use a sensor to monitor water pressure and keep the water in the tank at a stable, consistent pressure.
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