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Effective Use of Break Tanks

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A break tank, also known as an air gap tank, is an unpressurized closed water tank which is used to supply a system with water from the mains when the water supply is insufficient for demand. In order to get the most out of break tanks they must be installed properly and maintained efficiently. The tank should be sized correctly for the demand required, with the principle of storing no more than a 24-hour supply. This article takes a look at some of the most effective uses of break tanks, explains their advantages and disadvantages, and reveals how you can use them within your existing water supply systems.

A number of factors need to be taken into consideration when installing break tank systems into buildings. You will need to think about the type of building that it is to be installed into and the amount of water usage that the building requires. For example, a multi-story hotel will require a larger system in comparison to a smaller residential building. Another thing to think about is the amount of storage space that is available to install the break tanks and allow enough room around and above the tank for maintenance, additional room may be required for AB Airgap tanks as these would usually incorporate a Raised Ball Valve Housing on top of the tanks with screened spill over weirs. Finally, you should calculate the expected peak flow rate of the property, a minimum recommended supply of 15 minutes’ available water storage within the water tank when the tank is feeding a booster set so that it can effectively provide water for enough time so the system does not run short.2

Break tanks and booster sets that are used in tall buildings must be installed in a special way to allow them to create manageable pressure zones. In skyscrapers, tanks can be used to supply both taps within the boosting zone and provide water for all the zones that sit above it.

There are several advantages to installing Airgap tanks. A water break tank system with AB Airgap may be a requirement of most Water Authorities and will provide high mains protection as it give a Category 5 Backflow protection system to the mains water supply should the system get contaminated. Cold water break tanks that are not maintained properly also have an increased risk of bacterial growth. So it’s essential that the closed water tanks are properly cared for to prevent contamination of the water system.

Drayton Tanks provide a huge selection of products and devices relating to break tank and airgap backflow prevention systems that are available to purchase. By taking into consideration the amount of water storage and the peak flow rate you will be able to find and choose the very best system for your needs. If you’re still unsure about what type or size of tank to purchase, you can contact Drayton Tanks on 0871 288 4213 or visit

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