Title:
Pressure control isolation and flood preventative tank for a hot water based heating system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides a pressure control isolation tank for a closed loop heating system. A diaphragm within the tank separates heating system fluid from non-system fluid. The heating system fluid is provided under constant pressure, typically 12 PSI. Usually the non-system fluid is service water or clean water flowing through a pressure reducing valve. As the heating system loses system fluid through tiny leaks, and also loses air through vents, the non-system fluid causes the diaphragm to displace the volume lost by the leaked heating system fluid and leaked air. Thus, the heating system fluid is maintained at a constant pressure.



Inventors:
Polkhouskiy, Nikolay (Whitesboro, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/352974
Publication Date:
08/16/2007
Filing Date:
02/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24H9/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NAMAY, DANIEL ELLIOT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID GIGLIO, ESQ. (UTICA, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fluid pressure control isolation tank for a hot water based heating system which utilizes a heating system fluid for controlling temperature, said isolation tank comprising: a housing having a system fluid orifice through which heating system fluid is exchanged between said housing and a heating system line and an inlet orifice through which non-system fluid enters said housing from a non-system fluid line; a first reservoir disposed within said housing having only heating system fluid disposed therein forming a first volume; a second reservoir disposed within said housing having only non-system fluid disposed therein forming a second volume; and a diaphragm disposed within said housing which separates said heating system fluid from said non-system fluid.

2. The tank of claim 1, further including a system fluid replacement means through which replacement heating system fluid is added to said first reservoir.

3. The tank of claim 2, further including a non-system fluid removal means through which non-system fluid disposed in said second reservoir is removed from said housing.

4. The tank of claim 2, further including an air vent means which interconnects the first reservoir to the outside system air.

5. The tank of claim 3, wherein said diaphragm provides a fluid barrier within said housing and said diaphragm further includes flexing means which allows a ratio change of the first volume to the second volume.

6. The tank of claim 3, wherein said diaphragm includes a barrier member which further includes at least one o-ring which contacts an inner surface of said housing to provide a fluid barrier between said first reservoir and said second reservoir, and wherein said diaphragm is movable to allow a change in the ratio of the first volume to the second volume.

7. The tank of claim 3, further including a third volume containing a gas, in which said third volume is partitioned from a volume selected from the group consisting essentially of the first volume and the second volume by a second diaphragm and further including a valve for charging said gas to said third volume.

8. The tank of claim 3, further including a shutoff means for shutting down an associated boiler, said shutoff means responsive to a level of heating system fluid disposed within the first volume.

9. The tank of claim 8, wherein said shutoff means further includes at least one reed switch and wherein said isolation tank further includes an elongated member disposed within said first reservoir, and further including a magnetic member disposed at a first end of said elongated member, and wherein said elongated member is movably responsive to displacement of said diaphragm, such that said magnetic member is forced adjacent to said at least one reed switch when said first volume is reduced to a predetermined level.

10. The tank of claim 3, further including at least one fluid pressure switch responsive to the pressure of the heating system fluid.

11. The tank of claim 3, further including an alarm means responsive to a level of heating system fluid in the first volume.

12. The tank of claim 3, further including a pressure reducing valve disposed in a line selected from the group consisting essentially of a heating system line and a non-system fluid line.

13. The tank of claim 3, wherein said diaphragm further includes an upper diaphragm superposed over a lower diaphragm separated by a layer of air.

14. The tank of claim 13, further including a fluid detection means disposed on an outer surface of said tank adjacent to said layer of air.

15. A heating system in which a heating system fluid is used to control the temperature of an area via at least one heat transfer member within the area, in which the heating system fluid flows through said at least one heat transfer member, said heating system comprising: a boiler for raising the temperature of the heating system fluid; at least one heat exchanging member which exchanges heat from the heating system fluid with an ambient environment relative to said at least one heat exchanging member; and a pressure control isolation tank interconnected to said boiler via at least one heating system duct, wherein said pressure control isolation tank includes: a housing having a system fluid orifice through which heating system fluid is exchanged between said housing and a heating system line and an inlet orifice through which non-system fluid enters said housing from a non-system fluid line; and a first reservoir disposed within said housing having only heating system fluid disposed therein forming a first volume; a second reservoir disposed within said housing having only pressurized non-system fluid disposed therein forming a second volume; and a diaphragm disposed within said housing which provides a fluid barrier between said heating system fluid from said non-system fluid.

16. The heating system of claim 15, further including an expansion tank interconnected to said pressure control isolation tank, wherein said expansion tank includes a volume of gas which absorbs a system fluid expansion caused by heating the system fluid.

17. The heating system of claim 15, wherein said diaphragm provides a fluid barrier within said housing between said first and second reservoirs and said diaphragm further includes flexing means which allows a change of ratio between the first volume and the second volume.

18. The heating system of claim 15, wherein said diaphragm includes a barrier member which further includes at least one o-ring which contacts an inner surface of said housing to provide a fluid barrier between said first and second volumes, and wherein said diaphragm is movable to allow a change in the ratio of the first volume to the second volume.

19. The heating system of claim 15, further including a system fluid replacement means through which replacement heating system fluid is added to said first reservoir.

20. The heating system of claim 19, further including an air vent means which interconnects the first reservoir to the outside system air.

21. The heating system of claim 19, further including a non-system fluid removal means through which non-system fluid disposed in said second reservoir is removed from said housing.

22. The heating system of claim 21, wherein said housing further includes a third volume containing a gas, in which said third volume is partitioned from a volume selected from the group consisting essentially of the first volume and the second volume by a second diaphragm within the housing.

23. The heating system of claim 21, further including a shutoff means for shutting down an associated boiler, said shutoff means responsive to a level of fluid within the first volume.

24. The heating system of claim 23, wherein said shutoff means further includes a reed switch and wherein said pressure control isolation tank further includes an elongated member disposed within said first reservoir, and further including a magnetic member disposed at a first end of said elongated member, and wherein said elongated member is movably responsive to displacement of said diaphragm, such that said magnetic member is forced adjacent to said at least one reed switch when said first volume is reduced to a predetermined level.

25. The heating system of claim 21, further including at least one fluid pressure switch responsive to the pressure of the heating system fluid.

26. The heating system of claim 21, further including an alarm means responsive to a level of fluid within the first volume.

27. The heating system of claim 21 further including at least one visual aid means which indicates a relative system fluid level of said first reservoir.

28. The heating system of claim 21, wherein said diaphragm further includes an upper diaphragm superposed over a lower diaphragm separated by a layer of air.

29. The heating system of claim 28, further including a fluid detection means disposed on an outer surface of said tank adjacent to said layer of air to indicate the presence of fluid within the layer of air.

30. The heating system of claim 21, wherein said non-system fluid comprises service water and wherein said heating system fluid comprises previously injected service water into said heating system, and further including a first bypass line which interconnects a service water source to said heating system line.

31. The heating system of claim 30, further including a second bypass line which interconnects said second reservoir to said heating system line, and further including a second reservoir service water shutoff which prevents service water from entering said second reservoir when said shutoff is in an off position.

32. The heating system of claim 15, further including a second pressure control isolation tank disposed between said first control isolation tank and a service line, wherein said second pressure control isolation tank includes: a second housing having an outlet orifice and an inlet orifice; a second tank first reservoir disposed within said second housing in which said outlet orifice provides a conduit through which a clean water volume is exchanged between said second volume of said first isolation tank and said second tank first reservoir, in which said second tank first reservoir is defined by a second tank first volume; a second tank second reservoir disposed within said second housing in which service water enters said second housing thereby forming a second tank second volume; and a second tank diaphragm disposed within said tank which provides a fluid barrier between said clean water from said service water.

33. A method of controlling fluid pressure within a hot water based heating system, said method comprising: filling system fluid into a first reservoir within a pressure control isolation tank disposed within said hot water based heating system, wherein said first reservoir includes a boundary portion defined by a first surface of a diaphragm; and exposing a second surface of said diaphragm to a non system fluid under a constant pressure.

34. The method of claim 33, further including the step of resetting system fluid within said system, which further includes the steps of draining non-system fluid from said pressure control isolation tank and re-filling replacement system fluid into said first reservoir.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of fluid based temperature control systems and, more particularly, to a pressure control isolation tank that keeps a constant fluid pressure within a hot water heating system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There are many types of hot water based heating systems, which use water, antifreeze or a combination thereof. These hot water based heating systems include, but are not limited to, baseboard and cast iron radiator systems, in-floor radiant heating systems, in-sidewalk radiant heating systems, solar heating systems each of which contain fluids under pressure.

It is well known that during operation of the hot water heating systems, air in the heating system separates from water and is typically vented into the atmosphere through automatic vents installed throughout the system. It is also a fact that tiny invisible leaks of the fluid may occur in the hot water heating system through threaded connections, gaskets, etc. the air venting and the leaks lead to pressure drops in the system and, therefore, the systems typically contains a fluid makeup devices to maintain the proper pressure in the system.

One example of the fluid makeup device, which is also an example of prior art, is so-called glycol makeup system. This system typically consists of the reservoir tank, electricity-powered fluid pump and pressure switch and is piped to the heating system. The tank is filled with the fluid such as antifreeze, water or a combination thereof.

The pressure switch senses the pressure in the heating system and triggers the pump which pumps the fluid into the system when the pressure in the system drops below a predetermined minimum level. The pressure switch stops the pumps when the pressure rises above a predetermined maximum level. However, these glycol makeup systems are expensive and thus usually limited mostly to commercial and industrial applications.

A second example of feeding a hot water based heating system is where a pressure reducing valve is in-line with the service water supply system. The valve maintains pressure in the system by automatically adding water to the system from the water supply. There are some problems inherent in this system.

First, where the hot water system incurs a significant leak, the pressure reducing valve feeds the system with water from the water supply so that the fluid, water, antifreeze or combination thereof leaks from the system until somebody notices such leak. The leak can cause extensive damage to the building, surrounding objects as well as to the heating or cooling system.

Second, due the air venting and the tiny or significant fluid leaking, the system containing antifreeze is constantly diluted with water from the water supply via feeding the pressure reducing valve whether the system operates normally or the system incurs a significant leak. Such dilution leads to freezing and bursting heating system components such as water lines, radiators, etc, which are expensive to repair.

Third, where water fed to the heating system from the water supply is hard, containing certain minerals, such as lime, sulphur, etc., the pressure reducing valve as well as other heating system components become corroded due the presence of the minerals. This corrosion, as a rule, leads to seizing of the pressure reducing valve in an open or closed position and the pressure cannot anymore be controlled by the valve thus resulting in an underpressurized or overpressurized system. Both conditions have serious negative consequences for the system and its surrounding items.

Fourth, when for any reason the pressure in the service water supply drops below a certain level, typically below 12 PSI, and a check valve or backflow preventer fails, system fluid which could contain antifreeze backflows into the service water supply, thus affecting the household drinking water.

Fifth, the system containing antifreeze and pressurized by a pressure reducing valve is cumbersome to service. Before replacing the system components containing antifreeze, such as a circulating pump, expansion tank, pressure relief valve etc., some antifreeze containing fluid must be drained from the system and charged back into the system afterwards. Often times when replacing the component, air pockets develop into the system, which requires air purging. Charging antifreeze back into the system and purging air pockets requires a portable pump and often a significant amount of time. Because of the relatively high cost of the pump, the pump is often not available for a technician on call. Thus, the technician usually just adds more water into the system which leads to all of the negative consequences of the diluted fluid.

Another alternative to the above described systems is to maintain system pressure by keeping the shut off valve on the service water line closed and adding water to the system by opening the valve manually or adding antifreeze mixture via the pump. However, this requires constant monitoring which is not convenient.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to improve the art of temperature control systems, namely, closed loop heating systems.

It is another object of the present invention to preserve the integrity of a pressure reducing valve and other components within a temperature control system.

It is a further object of the present invention to maintain pressure of a heating system fluid within the temperature control system.

It is yet another object of the present invention to prevent destruction associated with major leaks from temperature control systems.

It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a more reliable and efficient heating system than that of the prior art.

It is still another object to provide a safe barrier between heating system fluid and service water so that no contamination can be had in drinking water.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to automatically maintain pressure of the system fluid within the temperature control system, while at the same time keeping constant the balance of chemicals within the system fluid.

It is still another object of the present invention to add/charge system fluid to the closed loop temperature control system without the necessity of a pump.

These and other objects are provided in accordance with the present invention in which there is provided a fluid pressure control isolation tank for temperature control systems which utilize a system fluid for controlling temperature. The isolation tank includes a housing having a temperature control system orifice through which temperature control system fluid is exchanged within said temperature control system and an inlet orifice through which non-system fluid enters the tank.

A first reservoir within the housing contains only temperature control system fluid, thus forming a first volume. A second reservoir within the housing contains only non-system fluid, thus forming a second volume. A diaphragm disposed within the housing separates the temperature control system fluid from the non-system fluid.

The diaphragm is secured to an interior surface of the tank and the diaphragm flexes to change the ratio of the first volume to the second volume, thus maintaining the system fluid pressure as some system fluid escapes through tiny leaks in the closed loop system.

Other diaphragm designs includes a barrier member which further includes at least one o-ring which contacts an inner surface of the housing to provide a barrier between the first reservoir and the second reservoir. The diaphragm is movable to allow a change in the ratio of the first volume to the second volume.

The pressure control isolation tank further includes a drain orifice integral with the second reservoir. A fill orifice integral with the first reservoir allows fluid system to added therethrough.

In yet another embodiment, the pressure control isolation tank includes a third volume which contains a gas, which is partitioned from either or both of the first and second volumes by a second diaphragm. A valve on the pressure control isolation tank allows gas to be charged therethrough into the third volume. When the system fluid is heated expansion occurs within the fluid. Thus, the second diaphragm flexes to compress the gas and accommodate the expansion of the fluid.

The pressure control isolation tank further includes a shutoff device which shuts down an associated boiler when the first volume falls below a predetermined minimum level. The pressure control isolation tank may also further include an alarm which is also responsive to the amount of fluid in the first volume. Further still, a visual alarm indicates the level of fluid in the first volume so that it can be determined whether the system nearly need to be reset.

The shutoff and alarm device can be comprised from reed switches which are responsive to a movable magnetic member, or may also be a fluid pressure type switch. In use with a reed switch, the movable magnetic member moves in response to the change to the first volume. The magnetic member moves toward the reed switches as the first volume decreases, thus triggering the reed switch.

A pressure reducing valve is disposed adjacent to one of the orifices and keeps the system fluid pressure at twelve PSI.

In yet another embodiment, the pressure control isolation tank further includes an upper diaphragm superimposed over a lower diaphragm separated by a layer of air. A viewing glass disposed on an outer surface of the tank adjacent to the layer of air allows the user to determine whether there is a leak within either of the upper or lower diaphragm.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be understood and appreciated more fully from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a cross sectional view of a pressure control isolation tank in accordance with a preferred embodiment in which the tank is produced by welding an upper and lower portion;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of a pressure control isolation tank in which an upper and lower tank portion are secured via an annular ring;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of a preferred embodiment of the pressure control tank of FIG. 1 in use in a hot water based heating system;

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the pressure control tank of FIG. 1 in which the plumbing integrated with the pressure control tank allows for easy system reset;

FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of a pair of reed switches in use with a pressure control tank of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the pressure control isolation tank of FIG. 1 in which a pressure reducing valve is provided directly within the heating system fluid line;

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view of the pressure control isolation tank of FIG. 1 installed in series with a Filtrol® valve and Filtrol® expansion tank;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of a pressure control tank in accordance with a preferred embodiment in which a dually situate diaphragm provides added features;

FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view of a pair of pressure control tanks of the present invention installed in a series configuration, wherein the upper pressure control tank shows a visual aid which is controlled via a multiple reed switch which allows the user to determine the actual displacement of the diaphragm in the upper pressure control tank;

FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view of a pressure control isolation tank using a bladder type diaphragm in which the bladder is not in a fully displaced state;

FIG. 11 is a cross sectional view of the pressure control isolation tank of FIG. 11 in which the bladder diaphragm is in a fully displaced state and must be reset;

FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view of a pressure control isolation tank using a bladder type diaphragm in which the bladder function in a reverse manner to that of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a cross sectional view of the pressure control isolation tank of FIG. 12 in which the bladder is a fully displaced state and must be reset;

FIG. 14 is a cross sectional view of a pressure control isolation tank in accordance with the present invention in which a gaseous volume separated by a second diaphragm absorbs volume expansion associated with raised temperature of the heating system fluid; and

FIG. 15 is a cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment of a pressure control isolation tank of the present invention in which a cylindrical disk moves up and down the interior surface of the tank and a pair of rubber o-rings provide a watertight seal during such movement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

The present invention shall now be described in accordance with a number of varying embodiments, although care should be taken not to limit the scope of the invention to those embodiments, but must be determined according the claims that follow herein.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a pressure control isolation tank 10 for a closed loop heating, namely a hot water based heating system, in which the pressure control isolation tank 10 prevents an interchange between fluid of the heating system and the service supply water and also helps maintain a constant pressure within the heating system fluid. The heating system fluid is typically hot water, antifreeze of a combination thereof.

The pressure control isolation tank 10 has a desirable feature of preventing a major flood in the event of a rupture within the heating system. In the event of a leak, the heating system fluid leaks from the system through the rupture. However, service water cannot escape through the rupture, as is common in the prior art, because a diaphragm isolates the service water from the boiler and other heating system components.

The pressure control isolation tank 10 is made from any suitable material including a plastic, fiberglass or a metal and includes a housing 12 formed by mating a top portion 14 with a bottom portion 16. Typically, the top 14 and bottom portion 16 are united by a weld 300, depicted in FIG. 1, although to an artisan an annular ring 17 may also be used to clamp the top portion 14 to the bottom portion 16 to provide for a secure union, depicted in FIG. 2. The pressure control isolation tank 10 may be manufactured in other ways as is apparent to one skilled in the art.

A pot type diaphragm 18 is secured to a rib 27 of an inner surface 20 of the top 14 or bottom portion 16 of the pressure control isolation tank 10 by a diaphragm bead 22 with an annular retaining ring 23. Alternatively, the diaphragm bead 22 is clamped between connecting members of the top 14 and bottom portions 16 of the pressure control isolation tank 10.

In a two piece tank the top portion 14 of the tank and bottom portion 16 are separated, thus allowing for installation of the diaphragm 18. In a one piece tank, depicted in FIGS. 10 and 11, a cover 28 secured to the tank by bolts and/or nuts is removed to allow installation and replacement of a bladder diaphragm 30. An inflatable bubble diaphragm may also be used in conjunction with the present invention.

Turning now to FIG. 3, an orifice 32 integrated with the hot water system allows fluid to be interchanged between the pressure control isolation tank 10 through a heating system fluid duct 34 and then off to one or more heating system components. Thus, heating system fluid 76 fills a first volume 36 within the pressure control isolation tank 10. A second orifice 38 is in line with a service water supply line 40, in which service water 41 fills a second volume 42 within the pressure control isolation tank 10. A pressure reducing valve 44 in line with the service water supply line 40 reduces the water pressure to approximately twelve psi.

As air or heating system fluid is ejected from the closed loop heating system through tiny leaks in threaded fittings or through air vents, the heating system incurs a drop in pressure. The service water 41 immediately takes advantage of this loss in pressure and fills the second volume 42 within the pressure control isolation tank 10 thereby causing displacement of the diaphragm 18 which forces some amount of heating system fluid 76 from the first volume 36 through heating system duct 34, thus maintaining the pressure within the heating system at twelve psi.

Once the diaphragm 18 displaces to the top 46 of the pressure control isolation tank 10, the heating system fluid 76 within the first volume 36 of the pressure control isolation tank 10 must be reset or else the heating system begins to lose pressure with further formation of air pockets, since the diaphragm 18 cannot displace any further. To reset the system, a shut off valve 48 on the service water line 40 is shut, a shut off valve 50 to the closed loop heating system is also shut, and then a drain valve 52 is opened to drain the water from the second volume 42 of the pressure control isolation tank 10. At the same time, a fill valve 56 and fill plug 54 are opened and fluid is inserted back into the first volume 36 of the pressure control isolation tank 10 through a fill orifice 58 simply by pouring. The fluid can be either water, antifreeze or a combination thereof. An air vent 60 is also open which allows the fill to be smooth. Thus the diaphragm 18 is forced down to its original position.

A separate valve 39 is optionally provided for multi-looped systems, in which one or more loops may require only antifreeze mixture while other loops use only service water to provide heating. For the embodiment depicted in FIG. 3, a duct 45 leads to a separate loop than that of heating system duct 34.

Some heating systems require antifreeze mixture, such as in-floor radiant heating systems or in-sidewalk heating systems. In the prior art, a portable pump was required to add antifreeze mixture to heating systems. However, in accordance with the present invention, to add or initially charge the heating system with an antifreeze mixture, it is simply poured into the pressure control isolation tank 10.

For heating systems which use only service supply water as the heating system fluid, such as depicted in FIG. 4, a first bypass line 67 includes a shut off 69. A backside bypass 73 includes a shutoff 75. When the heating system is initially in use both shut offs 69 and 75 are closed. When it is necessary to reset the system, a shut off 71 leading to the second volume 42 is closed, a shut off 50 leading to the heating system duct 34 is closed and both shut offs 69 and 75 are opened. In this manner, the first volume 36 now becomes the pressure controlling volume, while the second volume 42 leads directly through the heating system duct 34 via the back side bypass 73. In this embodiment, it is not necessary to drain any part of the pressure control isolation tank 10. The advantages of this embodiment are that major flooding is prevented in case of a rupture within the heating system and also it is easy to maintain system pressure without the need to drain or refill fluid.

Alternatively, the pressure control isolation tank 10 may be conventionally reset by closing valve 71, closing valve 50, opening valve 69 and opening drain valve 52. Thus, filling and draining occurs simultaneously and no pouring is required.

A fluid pressure switch 62 installed into a heating system line 64 senses the fluid pressure within the heating system. The pressure switch 62 triggers an alarm and/or system shut off (not shown), via wired or wireless communication systems, when a sufficient predetermined pressure drop or rise is sensed. Typically, the fluid pressure switch 62 should be set to be triggered at ten PSI in which the heating system still functions, yet service to the heating system is required. For rises in pressure, the pressure switch 62 is typically set for twenty seven PSI to prevent unnecessary opening of a boiler relief valve (not shown) which normally opens at thirty PSI.

Turning to FIG. 5, there is shown a control device 65 which contains a pair of reed switches 66, 68. Each of the reed switches 66, 68 are responsive to a magnetic charge. The first reed switch 66 trips an audio or visual alarm, via wired or wireless communications, to indicate that the heating system needs to be reset, while the second reed 68 switch shuts off the heating system boiler (not shown). An elongated member 70 partially disposed through the fill orifice 58 includes a magnetic member 72 at one end 74 of the elongated member 70. As the diaphragm 18 displaces due to ejection of the heating system fluid 76 it moves the elongated member 70 upward until the magnetic member 72 is adjacent to the reed switches 66, 68, thus triggering at least one of the reed switches.

Other types of switches, alarms and measuring devices should be readily apparent to one skilled in the art to monitor, provide alarm signals and shutoffs for the heating system as is required.

Turning now to FIG. 6, the pressure reducing valve 44, which reduces fluid pressure to twelve psi, is installed directly in heating system fluid line. The fluid within the heating system contains only clean or soft water. The diaphragm 18 separates the heating system fluid 76 from the service hard water 41. Thus, there are no minerals within the heating system to corrode certain components including the pressure reducing valve 44.

Still looking at FIG. 6, a by-pass line 77 allows the system to be initially charge using only service water when a valve 79 is opened in the by-pass line 77. At the same time, a valve 71 and a valve 78 are closed to isolate the service water from the pressure reducing valve 44 and the pressure control isolation tank 10. Then, clean water only may be added through fill opening 54 to fill the pressure control isolation tank 10 up through the pressure reducing valve 44 so that only clean water contacts the pressure reducing valve 44. In this embodiment, the most of the entire heating system is quickly filled from the service water, while a small portion is slowly filled using the clean water.

FIG. 6 depicts the diaphragm 18 in a fully displaced position, in which the heating system or pressure control isolation tank 10 needs to be reset.

In yet another embodiment depicted in FIG. 7, the pressure control isolation tank 10 is installed in series with a Filtrol® expansion tank 80 and Filtrol® pressure reducing valve 82. The expansion tank 80 includes a diaphragm 84 which separates the heating system fluid 76 from a pressurized gas 86. The pressurized gas 86 absorbs expansion associated with the temperature rise of the heating system fluid 76.

Diaphragms are typically made from a flexible butyl rubber, neoprene, etc., although it is also known to use a flexible metal or plastic material to provide a suitable diaphragm. Regardless, the diaphragms do not last forever and sometimes develop leaks. A leak in the diaphragm disables the functionality of the pressure control isolation tank and most of the advantageous features associated therewith. In certain situations, a temporary loss of a heating system has devastating consequences.

Turning now to FIG. 8, a dual diaphragm system 88 includes a first diaphragm 90 superposed over a second diaphragm 92 in which an air layer 94 separates the two diaphragms 90, 92. The first and second diaphragms 90, 92 are interconnected via a number of ribs 96, which prevents the first and second diaphragms 90, 92 from physically enveloping the other which would have the unwanted effect of removing the desired air layer 94 in which leaky fluid could travel so that it may be detected. A viewing glass 98, or a valve 102 is installed at an annular outer edge 104 of the air layer 94. In the event of the viewing glass 98, the user simply looks therein for the presence of fluid. If fluid is present, then at least one of the diaphragms 90, 92 has developed a leak. In the event of the valve 102, the user simply opens the valve 102 and if fluid flows therefrom then a leak is present in one of the diaphragms 90, 92. A fluid detection alarm may be installed in conjunction with the air layer 94 to signify a leak in one of the diaphragms. The alarm provide signals via wired or wireless communications which alerts the user that it is time to replace the dual diaphragm system 88 or the complete pressure control isolation tank 10. The dual diaphragm system 88 may also be a bladder type diaphragm even though a pot type diaphragm is depicted in FIG. 8.

Turning now to FIG. 9, a first pressure control isolation tank 10 is installed in series with a second pressure control isolation tank 100 separated by a pressure reducing valve 44. The supply side of the first pressure control isolation tank 10 is in line with the service water supply line 40. Clean or soft water 43 is added to the upper volume of the first pressure control isolation tank 10 as previously discussed.

The pressure reducing valve 44 reduces the pressure emanating from the first pressure control isolation tank 10 to twelve psi. The volume 104 defined between the diaphragm 18 present in the first pressure control isolation tank 10 and the diaphragm 118 present in the second pressure control isolation tank 100 contains only clean or soft water, thus preserving the pressure reducing valve 44 as antifreeze or hard water would corrode the pressure reducing valve 44.

Heating system fluid is supplied to the heating system as previously discussed through the upper volume 136 of the second pressure control isolation tank 100. Thus, the heating system fluid 76 is separated from the service water 41 by two diaphragms 18, 118, which provides additional security to prevent the antifreeze from entering the service water supply line 40. Either of the first or second pressure control isolation tanks 10, 100 acts as a first alarm to signify that the system requires recharging. Again either or both of the first or second pressure control isolation tanks 10, 100 is drained and filled as previously described.

A visual aid 93, controlled by a multiple reed switch 83, indicates the actual displacement of the diaphragm 118 as the upward displacement of the diaphragm 118 moves the elongated member 70 upward.

In another embodiment depicted in FIGS. 10 and 11, a bladder diaphragm 30 is installed instead of the pot type diaphragm but functions essentially the same. As the heating system ejects heating system fluid and air, service water 41 fills the bladder diaphragm 30 which displaces the heating system fluid 76 from a first volume 108. The pressure control isolation tank 10 is reset as previously described.

In yet another related embodiment depicted in FIGS. 12 and 13 the bladder diaphragm 30 functions oppositely of the previously described bladder diaphragm. In this situation the bladder diaphragm 30 is filled with heating system fluid 76, shown in FIG. 12. As the system eliminates heating system fluid and air over time, the bladder diaphragm 30 deflates, depicted in FIG. 13, and the system must be reset.

Turning now to FIG. 14, the pressure control isolation tank 150 includes a second diaphragm 114 that separates a gas reservoir 116 within the tank 150 from the heating system fluid 76. Thus, expansion of the heating system fluid 76 is absorbed by the gas reservoir 116, while the heating system fluid pressure is maintained constant by the first diaphragm 18 which separates the heating system fluid 76 from the service water 41. A first partition 113 prevents the diaphragm 18 from bursting upward, while a second partition 115 prevents the diaphragm 114 from bursting downward. Alternatively, a single partition can prevent the diaphragm 18 from bursting upward and the diaphragm 114 from bursting downward. The partitions 113, 115 are not necessarily required, but are only an added safety feature should a diaphragm unexpectedly have a weakness in its structure. A gas valve 117 allows gas to be charged into the gas reservoir 116.

Turning now to FIG. 15, a pressure control isolation tank 160 in accordance with an alternative embodiment functions essentially the same as the pressure control isolation tanks described herein, with the exception that a cylindrical disk 162 conforms to the shape and size of an interior surface 163 of the pressure control isolation tank 160. A pair of rubber o-rings 164 provides a watertight barrier between the heating system fluid 76 and the service water 41. Thus, as the heating system fluid 76 is ejected from the heating system, the service water pressure forces the cylindrical disk 162 upward, thereby displacing the heating system fluid 76 from the first volume 166. Once again, the pressure control isolation tank 160 is reset as previously described.

The pressure control isolation tanks includes legs 168 for standing the tanks upright. Further, the interior surface of the tank can include a liner or epoxy coat 200, shown in FIG. 1, which prevents the tanks from corrosion.

In some situations, the pressure control isolation tank 10 is installed in parallel to increase the volume of displaced fluid in which it is necessary to reset the system.

Various changes and modifications, other than those described above in the preferred embodiment of the invention described herein as well as various combinations of those embodiments that have been described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. While the invention has been described with respect to certain preferred embodiments and exemplifications, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention thereby, but solely by the claims appended hereto.