Want to extend the life of your piping system? Keep an eye on the expansion tank and air separator!


The operation of the expansion tank and the health of the air separator are two important elements that keep the piping system and circulating pumps working properly. The expansion tank works to keep the system pressure stable. As liquid travels through the air separator, a device separates air from the water, trapping it and allowing it to rise and be vented.

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Keeping the hydronic water pressure stable and free from air will help extend the life of the piping system and circulating pumps. Excessive air in a system will cause pump cavitation and interior pipe corrosion. If an issue arises in the system, this can also create leaks which cannot be repaired.


Monitoring the expansion tank and keeping a close eye on the air separator are easy ways to prevent problems in the system. It is necessary to conduct testing and take corrective action on an expansion tank before issues arise. Testing for leaking bladders and setting the proper bladder pressure will help keep a system running smoothly. Expansion tank testing should be done at least twice a year.

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After a period of time, air separators can get clogged up with rust and debris if a proper blowdown schedule has not been followed. A clogged air separator allows air to travel through the system and causes corrosion. New air separators and vents should be installed and tested regularly. Testing should be done at least twice a year, depending on the system runtime as well as the age of system. The older the air separators are, the more likely they are to have corrosion or even mud build up in the system.


If you want to learn more about preventive maintenance for your piping system, contact our Service department at 800.777.1629. You can find all of Wilkinson’s Solutions and Services here: https://www.gtwilkinson.com/solutions


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Topics: Preventive Maintenance

Written by Elaina Schlumper