A bladder tank for a well is a type of water storage tank that incorporates a flexible bladder inside the tank to separate the water from the air or gas pressure.

This design allows for efficient and controlled water pressure within a building's plumbing system, particularly in areas served by well water systems.

Bladder tanks are commonly used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings to maintain consistent water pressure and reduce the need for the well pump to cycle on and off frequently.

Bladder Tank

bladder tank for well


Here's how a bladder tank for a well works:

Components & Operation


  • Bladder: The bladder is a flexible, airtight membrane located inside the tank. It separates the water and air/gas within the tank.
  • Water Inlet/Outlet: The tank is connected to the well water supply and the building's plumbing system. Water flows in and out of the tank through these connections.
  • Air Valve: The bladder tank has an air valve that allows for adjustment of the air pressure inside the tank.
  • Pressure Switch and Pressure Gauge: These components monitor the water pressure within the tank and regulate the operation of the well pump.



  • When the well pump is active and filling the bladder tank, water enters the tank and compresses the bladder. As the bladder compresses, it pushes against the trapped air or gas in the tank.
  • As water is drawn from the tank to supply the building's plumbing fixtures, the bladder expands, maintaining a constant pressure within the tank.
  • The pressure switch and pressure gauge detect changes in pressure within the tank. When the pressure drops to a certain level (known as the "cut-in" pressure), the well pump is activated to refill the tank and maintain the desired pressure. When the pressure reaches the "cut-out" pressure, the pump turns off.

Advantages of Bladder Tanks for Wells


  • Provides consistent water pressure to the building's plumbing system, reducing pressure fluctuations and water hammer.
  • Reduces the frequency of well pump cycling, which can extend the life of the pump and improve energy efficiency.
  • Helps prevent pump short cycling, a condition where the pump turns on and off rapidly, potentially causing wear and tear.

Sizing & Installation


  • Proper sizing of the bladder tank is important to ensure it can accommodate the well pump's flow rate and the water demand of the building.
  • Bladder tanks are installed downstream of the well pump and before the pressure distribution system.
  • The air pressure inside the bladder tank should be set to a level that corresponds to the desired water pressure in the building.

Bladder tanks for wells are available in various sizes and configurations to suit different applications. It's important to consult with a qualified well professional or plumber to determine the appropriate size and setup for your specific well system and water pressure requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bladder tank used for?

A bladder tank is a storage vessel with a flexible internal bladder that separates liquids or gases from the surrounding air or gas pressure. It is used to maintain consistent pressure levels within closed systems, ensuring smooth operation, reducing pressure fluctuations, and extending the life of equipment. Bladder tanks find applications in various industries, including water systems, hydraulics, industrial processes, and emergency preparedness, where stable pressure control is essential.

Is a bladder tank same as a pressure tank?

A bladder tank and a pressure tank are similar in function but have a distinct design. A bladder tank uses a flexible bladder to separate liquids or gases from the surrounding air or gas pressure, maintaining consistent pressure levels in closed systems. A pressure tank, on the other hand, is a container that uses compressed air to maintain pressure in a system. While both serve to regulate pressure, a bladder tank relies on a flexible bladder, whereas a pressure tank uses compressed air directly to achieve the same goal.

What is the problem with bladder tank?

One common problem with bladder tanks is the potential for the bladder to develop leaks or tears over time, which can lead to loss of pressure control and compromised performance. Additionally, improper installation, incorrect air pressure settings, or contamination can affect the bladder's effectiveness. Regular maintenance, proper installation, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines are crucial to avoid these issues and ensure the reliable operation of bladder tanks.

What is a bladder container?

A bladder container is a type of storage vessel designed with a flexible, airtight bladder inside. This bladder separates the contents, such as liquids or gases, from the surrounding atmosphere or pressure. Bladder containers are used to maintain consistent pressure levels, prevent contamination, or accommodate varying volumes of the stored substance. They find applications in various industries, including water systems, industrial processes, and transportation, where controlled storage and pressure regulation are important.

What is the advantage of bladder tank?

The advantage of a bladder tank lies in its ability to maintain stable pressure levels within closed systems. The flexible bladder separates liquids or gases from the surrounding air or gas pressure, preventing contact that could lead to contamination or pressure fluctuations. This design reduces wear on equipment, extends operational life, and enhances system efficiency. Bladder tanks are particularly valuable in water systems, hydraulics, and industrial applications, where maintaining consistent pressure is essential for optimal performance and reliability.

How long do bladder tanks last?

The lifespan of a bladder tank varies depending on factors such as the quality of the tank, usage conditions, maintenance, and the type of liquid or gas stored. On average, well-maintained bladder tanks can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years or more. Regular inspection, proper installation, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines for maintenance and pressure adjustments can help extend the life of a bladder tank and ensure its continued reliable performance.