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Tank Trouble Shooting For Reverse Osmosis Water Accumulator Storage Tanks

The air tank pressure must always be properly set for a Reverse Osmosis system to work properly.  As Reverse Osmosis systems operate on the hydraulics of the water, the tank must have the air pressure accurately set.  The tank's air pressure  will work in conjunction with the incoming water pressure to operate the non electric, hydraulic water pressure.   A RO system will not function properly without the tank's air pressure set correctly.  Also, you cannot properly diagnose an RO system's problems until the air pressure in the tank is confirmed.  

If you can only get a few glasses of water at a time empty tank air pressure is the first thing to check.  Low storage capacity in the tank is usually the result of an under inflated tank.   Systems with under inflated tanks can continue to run too long and quickly foul a membrane, requiring membrane replacement.   It also depletes carbon filters and plugs sediment prefilters too quickly.  
Systems that continue to run can also be in need a Replacement Flow Restrictors.

Symptoms of RO tank low air pressure or bladder failure:
              *System Runs Too Much
              *Low Dispensing Pressure From Faucet
              *Not Much Water In Tank
              *If the tank is still heavy like a small bowling ball after opening the
                  faucet and allowing all of the water to drain from the tank. 

To keep your system operating correctly, check the tank pressure each time you change the filters. 

Other problems can occur if the tank is not providing the correct pressure to the system (7 PSI when empty of water).   The membrane and filters will not last as long, being prematurely exhausted or fouled.   It is important to monitor the pressure and correct it if it is not maintaining the correct pressure.  

Proper tank pressure (7 PSI) must be maintained for the hydraulic functions of the water to work correctly within the RO system.   Tank bladders can lose air pressure just like a tire looses air pressure.  We suggest a SPECIALLY CALIBRATED AIR PRESSURE GAUGE to monitor your system's air tank pressure to help insure proper system operation.

1.   Turn off the RO system's inlet water line.
2.   Open the faucet and allow the water to run until the flow stops.  Close the faucet.
3.   Turn off the tank valve.
4.   Lift the tank.  Is it heavy like it has water in it?  About the weight of a bowling ball? (If the answer is yes, replace the tank)
5.   Check the air pressure of the tank.  There is an air stem on the tank similar to the ones on a tire.  They are usually covered with a rubber or plastic cap to protect them.  You must remove the cap to expose the air stem.
6.   Inflate or deflate tank to reach the desired 7 PSI air pressure.  You can use a standard air pump similar to a bike pump or compressor.  Easy does it with the compressor, this is a low pressure system.  Do not over inflate and damage the air bladder.
7.  Open the tank valve.
8.   Open the inlet water valve.
9.  Allow the tank to fill.  This may take a few hours.  Once filled, see if the system now operates correctly after you corrected the air pressure.  If not, see the following:

The other problem is that Reverse Osmosis tank bladders frequently fail, requiring replacement of the tank.   If the bladder in the tank starts to leak  water into the air side of the bladder,  the tank will have to be replaced.  
Open the faucet and drain all of the water from the tank. 
Pick up the tank.  If the tank feels heavy like it is full even though you can't get water out of the faucet, the bladder is ruptured.  Also, as this happens the air stem sometimes may be wet, or the air valve may even rust from water that passed to the air side of the bladder.   Lift the tank when empty and hold it upside down so that the air stem is at the very lowest point on the tank.  Then discharge some air from the air valve.  Did you get any water?  If so, the tank must be replaced.  Another problem is that the air valve may leak air just like a bike or car tire.   Air valves leaking air is actually is a very common failure.  See Replacement RO Tanks.

  1. Air Pressure Gauge for Reverse Osmosis Water Accumulator Tanks -1000
    Air pressure gauge for reverse osmosis water accumulator tanks
    Air pressure gauge for reverse osmosis water accumulator tanks - Specially calibrated for reverse osmosis system tanks. Scale from 1 to 20 PSI. Large scale reading over small PSI range allows optimum accuracy. Just like car tires lose air pressure, so does the bladder of your reverse osmosis water accumulator tank. Improper tank air pressure will cause your system to operate improperly. This is a must for all reverse osmosis system owners. Learn More
    $24.99 Special Price $17.99 As low as $12.99
  2. Our water tank meter kit for reverse osmosis systems will help you keep an eye on your system pressure
    Tank water pressure meter kit for reverse osmosis system
    Tank pressure meter kit for reverse osmosis system. SG-100 2 1/2" dry meter. Range 0-100 PSI. Includes Tee and hex nipple for tank valve installation. Tank shut off valve optional. Easy installation. Learn More
    $32.99 Special Price $19.99 As low as $17.99
  3. Tank stand for reverse osmosis RO water accumulator tanks
    Tank stand for reverse osmosis RO water accumulator tanks
    Tank stand for reverse osmosis RO water accumulator bladder tanks. Allows tank to be mounted laying on its side. Fits all tanks 2 to 5 gallons. Great for tough tank installations. Learn More
    $11.99 Special Price $7.99 As low as $3.99
  4. Teflon-Tape-100-1000
    Teflon Plumbing Tape To Seal Threaded Water Connectors
    PTFE thread sealant tape permits quick, clean, economical sealing of male pipe threads of all sizes. Reduces the risk of system contamination common with liquid and paste sealants. A must use on all male threads used in reverse osmosis and pure drinking water filtration systems. Learn More
    $2.99 Special Price $2.39
  5. Pro Products Sani System Water Filtration System Sanitizer
    Pro Products Sani System Water Filtration System Sanitizer
    Sani-System ® Pro Products is proud to introduce Sani-System, the first and only EPA product approved for sanitizing water softeners, RO units and Water Coolers. Alos NSF certified. Sani System is proven to kill 99.9% of E. coli, E. coli O157:H7, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and other harmful bacteria. It does not use chlorine, other oxidizers or acids that can harm water softener equipment parts. Use is simple; each dose comes in a pre-measured pouch. Just cut, pour and regenerate softener. No measuring, No mess! Sanitizing Equipment! Applications Interior Surfaces of Water Softeners, Reverse Osmosis (RO) Units, Ice Machines, Water Coolers, Water Holding Tanks and Pressure Tanks. Pro Products Sani System Sanitizer. 0.25 fl. oz. concentrate is perfect for your RO reverse osmosis drinking water system sanitizing.. Learn More
    $7.99 Special Price $4.99 As low as $2.49
  6. Tank Ball Valve with Jaco Compression Fittings - 3/8'' Size- 1000
    Replacement Reverse Osmosis RO Water Storage Accumulator Tank Ball Valve With Jaco Compression Fittings
    Replacement Reverse Osmosis RO Bladder Accumulator Water Storage Tank Ball Valve With Jaco Compression Fittings. Fits all standard Reverse Osmosis RO tanks. Very easy to use. Learn More
    $13.99 Special Price $9.99 As low as $6.39
  7. John Guest Speedfit Water Tank Valve For Reverse Osmosis Systems
    John Guest ® Speedfit Water Tank Valve For Reverse Osmosis Systems
    John Guest ® Tank Valve For Reverse Osmosis Systems - These valves are manufactured in white polypropylene with food grade EPDM 'O' Rings for use with potable water. This fitting is made of the following components: The body is produced in polypropylene. PPSV500822W and PPSV501222W. Learn More
    $17.99 Special Price $11.99 As low as $9.99
  8. 4 Gallon RO Water Tank-1000
    4 Gallon Water Tank for RO Reverse Osmisis Drinking Water Systems - GGN-Tank-PL4
    4 Gallon Water Tank for RO Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Systems - GGN-Tank-PL4- Plastic 4 Gallon (15L) Water Storage Tank. 10.83" Diameter X 16.15" Height. NSF Certified. UPC #850901003514 Learn More
    $79.99 Special Price $49.99 As low as $44.99
  9. GOES GREEN - REVERSE OSMOSIS Stainless Steel Water Storage Tank - 1000
    SS Stainless Steel Reverse Osmosis Storage Tank - Premium Quality

    SS Stainless Steel Reverse Osmosis 4.4 Gallon Total Capacity Tank

    This is one of the finest RO tanks we have ever seen. The patented O-ring seal on the air stem assures "set and forget" pressure settings. Keeping the pressure in the tank set correctly is an important factor in operating your RO system. Approximately 14" high (without the tank valve) X 11" in diameter.

    Learn More
    $149.99 Special Price $88.99 As low as $75.99
Be sure to check our Parts Department for important parts such as TDS Testers For Reverse Osmosis Membranes, Replacement Tanks, O-rings , Filter Housing Wrenches, Faucets, Pumps, Fittings, UV Systems and more parts for your reverse osmosis pure water filtration system.   View maintenance and servicing tips online at our Installation & Trouble shooting Guide.