Understanding the Terminology: The Name for a Pressure Tank

Pressure Vessel

Introduction to a Pressure Tank

In the vast landscape of industrial equipment and household systems, the term “pressure tank” is often encountered. But is there another name for it? What exactly is a pressure tank, and why might it go by different names? This article aims to demystify the terminology surrounding pressure tanks and provide clarity on their function and nomenclature.

What Else People Call It

  • Expansion Tank: If you’re messing with heating or cooling systems, you might hear a pressure tank called an “expansion tank.” It’s there to deal with the fluid getting bigger or smaller as it heats up or cools down.
  • Bladder Tank or Diaphragm Tank: These are special kinds of pressure tanks with a flexible part inside that keeps the water and air from mixing. It helps stop the system from getting waterlogged and keeps the pressure right.
  • Well Tank or Well Water Pressure Tank: In places hooked up to a well, the pressure tank is often called a “well tank.” It’s what makes sure your tap doesn’t run dry and keeps the water coming steady.

The Big Jobs They Do

  • Keeping Pressure on the Level: A big deal for pressure tanks is making sure the system pressure doesn’t go wild, which helps pumps last longer.
  • Dealing with Volume Changes: For heating and cooling setups, these tanks help handle when the fluid inside grows or shrinks, stopping the system from getting messed up by too much pressure.

How They’re Made and What’s Inside

  • The Build: You can find pressure tanks made out of stuff like steel, stainless steel, or fiberglass, depending on what they need to do and the kind of pressure they’re dealing with.
  • What’s Inside: A lot of modern tanks have bladders or diaphragms inside that keep the liquid and air from mixing, which means they work better and need less fixing up.

The Special Names in Different Worlds

  • Hydropneumatic Tank: In places with water pumps, these tanks are often called “hydropneumatic tanks.” They use the air’s squishiness and water’s non-squishiness to keep the pressure steady.
  • Surge Tank: In some industries, if a tank is all about handling sudden pressure spikes, it’s called a “surge tank.”

Setting Them Up Right

  • Choosing the Right Size: Making sure your pressure tank is not too big or small is key to keeping your system running right.
  • Check-Ups: Since they’re under pressure, it’s important to regularly check tanks for any signs of trouble, like rust or damage, to keep them going strong.

Playing It Safe

  • Pressure Relief Valves: A lot of tanks have these safety valves to stop them from getting too pressurized and going kaput.
  • Picking the Spot: You gotta put your tank somewhere it won’t get banged up, too hot or cold, or messed up by chemicals.

Why It’s Worth the Dough

  • Saving Energy: A pressure tank that’s doing its job can save you some serious energy, especially if your system uses pumps.
  • A Smart Investment: While they cost some upfront, the perks they bring in making your system more efficient and less harsh on your gear can save you cash in the long run.

Good for the Planet

  • Less Water Waste: A tight pressure tank system means less water gets wasted.
  • Greener Materials: Nowadays, tanks are often made with stuff that’s easier on the planet, which is a win for everyone.

What’s Next?

  • Smart Tanks: The future’s looking at tanks that know things, like with sensors for checking the pressure in real-time and telling you when stuff needs fixing.
  • Better Materials: There’s also work going into finding materials that are tougher, lighter, and don’t rust, which could make pressure tanks even better.

Deep Dive into Pressure Tanks

  • There’s more to pressure tanks than meets the eye. They’re not just about keeping the pressure even; they’re key players in making sure our systems are efficient, safe, and last a long time. As we get more tech-savvy and our needs change, the way pressure tanks are made, used, and called will probably shift too.

Need a reliable partner?

Red River specializes in the design and manufacturing of pressure vessels. We also fabricate related items such as prefabricated spools and skid packages.

Reach Out to us today and experience the Red River difference. Where American Made and American Values come together, we care more

FAQ: Understanding Pressure Tanks

1. What is a pressure tank and how does it work?

A pressure tank is a type of vessel designed to hold gases or liquids at a pressure substantially different from the ambient pressure. They are essential in various industrial and commercial applications. The working principle involves using air or gas pressure to exert force on the stored liquid, facilitating its movement out of the tank when required. This mechanism is crucial in systems like water wells, where consistent water pressure is needed.

2. What are the different types of pressure tanks available?

There are several types of pressure tanks, each suited for specific applications. The most common types include:

  • Hydro-pneumatic Tanks: Used in water systems, balancing water pressure and volume.
  • Expansion Tanks: Employed in heating and cooling systems to absorb excess pressure.
  • Air Receiver Tanks: Used in compressed air systems.
  • Fuel Storage Tanks: Designed for storing fuel under pressure.
  • Each type has unique features tailored to its specific use.

3. How do you determine the right size of a pressure tank for a specific application?

The size of a pressure tank is determined based on the application’s demand for pressure and volume. Key factors include:

  • System Flow Rate: The rate at which liquid or gas is required to flow out of the tank.
  • Pump Capacity: In water systems, the pump’s ability to fill the tank.
  • Application Requirements: Specific pressure and volume needs based on the system it’s integrated into.
  • A professional assessment is recommended to ensure the correct size is chosen for efficiency and safety.

4. What are the safety considerations when using pressure tanks?

Safety is paramount when dealing with pressure tanks due to the high potential for hazardous incidents. Key safety considerations include:

  • Regular Inspections: Ensuring the tank’s integrity and functionality.
  • Pressure Relief Valves: Essential for preventing over-pressurization.
  • Proper Installation: Following manufacturer guidelines and local regulations.
  • Material Compatibility: Ensuring the tank material is compatible with the stored substance.
  • Emergency Protocols: Having clear procedures in case of a malfunction or leak.

5. How often should pressure tanks be maintained and what does maintenance involve?

Regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity and safety of pressure tanks. The frequency of maintenance depends on the tank’s usage, material, and environmental conditions. Key maintenance tasks include:

  • Inspection for Corrosion and Damage: Checking for signs of wear or damage.
  • Pressure Testing: Ensuring the tank can safely hold its designated pressure.
  • Valve and Seal Checks: Ensuring all valves and seals are functioning correctly.
  • Cleaning: Removing any sediment or contaminants.
  • Record Keeping: Maintaining logs of inspections and repairs for safety compliance.


In the realm of industrial solutions, Red River emerges as a pioneer, offering a diverse range of custom-engineered products and facilities. Among our specialties is the design and production of Custom/OEM Pressure Vessels, meticulously crafted to meet individual client requirements, ensuring performance under various pressure conditions. Our expertise extends to the domain of prefabrication, where Red River leads with distinction.

The company excels in creating prefabricated facilities, modules, and packages, reinforcing its stance as a forerunner in innovation and quality. This proficiency is further mirrored in their Modular Skids offering, where they provide an array of Modular Fabricated Skid Packages and Packaged equipment. Each piece is tailored to client specifications, underlining their commitment to delivering precision and excellence in every project they undertake.

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Pressure Vessels

Custom/OEM Pressure Vessels designed to fit your needs.

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Red River is a leader in prefabricated facilities, modules and packages.

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Modular Skids

Modular Fabricated Skid Packages and Packaged equipment manufactured to your specifications.


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