Amtrol Expansion tank - turbulator does not fit - bad part, or bad instructions?

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Temp945

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Hi all,

I recently purchased an Amtrol expansion tank. I'm hoping someone familiar with these tanks can help me with a problem I've run into.

I purchased model ST5:

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Amtrol-140N43-THERM-X-TROL-ST-5-Expansion-Tank-3714000-p

Amtrol has a unique (?) part that installs in the incoming water connection called a "turbulator". I have attached a photo.

The instructions state to: "Press Turbulator fully into connector prior to installing tank." The included illustration (attached) shows the part fully inserted up to the top of the ribs which prevent the turbulator from going inside of the tank. Link to instructions here:

https://www.amtrol.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/9015-942-06_20-Thermal-Expansion-Tank-IO.pdf

However, when I insert the turbulator into the tank, it only inserts about halfway - well short of the top of the ribs. I have attached a couple photos. As you can see, the turbulator is tapered and is too large to insert any deeper into the tank.

My guess is that I either have an incorrect part (turbulator is too large and meant for a larger model) or the instructions are incorrect (turbulator does not need to be fully inserted on my model).

Does anyone have experience with this particular model (ST5)? What's the deal with the turbulator - should it in fact fully insert into the tank's opening?

Thanks for reading :)

EDIT: to answer my own question - it seems that the turbulator part is manufactured a bit too large for the opening in the ST5. It can be forced in, which scrapes just a bit of the plastic off the sides of the part. I had to turn the tank upside-down and push it on the ground to force the turbulator part inside as designed. I could not push it in by hand. I would consider this a small manufacturing error on the part of Amtrol; in my opinion, the turbulator should easily slip into place.
 

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Michael Young

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Hi all,

I recently purchased an Amtrol expansion tank. I'm hoping someone familiar with these tanks can help me with a problem I've run into.

I purchased model ST5:

https://www.supplyhouse.com/Amtrol-140N43-THERM-X-TROL-ST-5-Expansion-Tank-3714000-p

Amtrol has a unique (?) part that installs in the incoming water connection called a "turbulator". I have attached a photo.

The instructions state to: "Press Turbulator fully into connector prior to installing tank." The included illustration (attached) shows the part fully inserted up to the top of the ribs which prevent the turbulator from going inside of the tank. Link to instructions here:

https://www.amtrol.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/9015-942-06_20-Thermal-Expansion-Tank-IO.pdf

However, when I insert the turbulator into the tank, it only inserts about halfway - well short of the top of the ribs. I have attached a couple photos. As you can see, the turbulator is tapered and is too large to insert any deeper into the tank.

My guess is that I either have an incorrect part (turbulator is too large and meant for a larger model) or the instructions are incorrect (turbulator does not need to be fully inserted on my model).

Does anyone have experience with this particular model (ST5)? What's the deal with the turbulator - should it in fact fully insert into the tank's opening?

Thanks for reading :)

EDIT: to answer my own question - it seems that the turbulator part is manufactured a bit too large for the opening in the ST5. It can be forced in, which scrapes just a bit of the plastic off the sides of the part. I had to turn the tank upside-down and push it on the ground to force the turbulator part inside as designed. I could not push it in by hand. I would consider this a small manufacturing error on the part of Amtrol; in my opinion, the turbulator should easily slip into place.

Looks like some bullshit to me. I've been using standard expansion tanks for 35 years. This is nonsense. My translation = not necessary = one more thing to cause a failure. throw that shit in the garbage and go to your plumbing supply and buy a plain old boring $25 2-gallon thermal expansion tank.
 

John Gayewski

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It's a good way to keep people like like me, who think domestic water should should have flow through expansion tanks only, from regulating the old design out of existence.
 

Valveman

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The "tubulator" is a gimmick to try and solve one of the many problems with variable speed pumps or VFD's. When a VFD is maintaining a set constant pressure like say 50 PSI, the water in a tank does not ever get exchanged. Only when the pressure goes up and down like with a regular 40/60 pressure switch does a tank supply/retain water. When held at a steady 50 PSI all the time the water in the tank gets old, stale, and contaminated. The "tubulator" is supposed to circulate water in the unused tank. With a normal system where the pressure goes up and down a bit, the "turbulator" does nothing. Certainly not needed when using the tank for expansion. However, the "turbulator" is a good idea with VFD type pumps and just proves a VFD type pump doesn't work well with a pressure tank.
 
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