Is An Expansion Tank Really Necessary For A Hot Water Heater
So many of our clients have asked us this question over and over again. ″Does my hot water heater really need an expansion tank?″ you might wonder. Thermal expansion protection is required on all new water heater tanks, regardless of their age. It is possible to guard against thermal expansion in three distinct ways:
- Incorporating a thermal expansion tank that is appropriately sized for the tank
- Thermal expansion relief valves are used in this situation.
- Using a governor 80 ballcock, for example
Increased thermal expansion is induced by a change in the temperature of the liquid.Water expands when heated to a certain temperature.As a result, 40 gallons of water at 50 degrees entering into the home becomes roughly 40.5 gallons of water when heated to 120 degrees, representing an increase of around 0.5 gallons in volume.
As a result, the excess water must find a way out, which means it either causes leaks in the house or stretches the water pipes in supply lines.It may also leak out of the relief valve or push backwards through the meter (if there is no dual check valve or backflow preventer), but when the water has nowhere to go, the pressure in the system rises as a result.The strain of increasing pressure shortens the life of the water heater and commonly results in pipes bursting, leaking fixtures, and running toilets as a result of this increased pressure.
Using a thermal expansion tank to alleviate this problem on most smaller water heater systems is a straightforward solution.There is plenty of air in the tank.When the heater goes through a heat cycle, the extra volume of water pushes into the tank and compresses the air, but the water pressure remains constant throughout the cycle.
The compressibility of air is greater than the compressibility of water.When it comes to thermal expansion protection, the two additional options (the thermal expansion valve and the governor 80 ballcock) are both designed to pour the excess water down the drain at the end of each heating cycle.These two alternative options are legal and provide protection against thermal expansion.They are typically used in situations where there is insufficient space for a thermal expansion tank or if the size of the water storage tank is greater than the size of a standard thermal expansion tank (for example, in an apartment complex there may be 10 water heaters protected by one thermal expansion valve, this situation is only by an engineered design, and is only in a situation where the is no check valves on the individual units).
Why Do We Recommend An Expansion Tank?
First and foremost, our objective is to assist you in ensuring that your hot water heater continues to operate efficiently and securely for the longest period of time feasible.That is something that an expansion tank will assist you in doing.While you can see, the natural thermal expansion that happens as the hot water heater heats your water may put a significant amount of strain on your plumbing pipes and other fixtures.
It is possible that this tension can develop cracks, which will subsequently result in leaks, and we don’t need to tell you what occurs when your pipes begin to leak.A significant amount of money can be spent on detecting and repairing leaks in water pipes.It is natural for water in your hot water heater to expand as it becomes hotter and hotter.
Consider the following scenario: a 40-gallon tank with water temperature now at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.It will expand by about one-half gallon when the water is heated to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.Installing an extension tank can assist to reduce the likelihood of incurring this additional price.
What Is An Expansion Tank?
Heat exchangers and expansion tanks (sometimes referred to as Thermal Expansion Tanks) are essentially safety equipment that assist you reduce the likelihood of damage to your hot water tank.They are considered a ″add-on″ to your current hot water heater and are often put on the water supply pipe that leads to the water heater.Typically, this is located on the wall adjacent to or very close to your hot water heater.
They take up very little room, but they may save you a significant amount of money in the long run, particularly as your tank matures.Expansion tanks are available in two different sizes: 2 gallon and 4.5 gallon.We can assist you in selecting the most appropriate one for your residence.
To learn more about the benefits of installing an expansion tank to your hot water heater, contact us at 770-505-8570 now.All of your inquiries concerning the project and its pricing will be answered promptly by our team of experts!We are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions.
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What is a Water Heater Expansion Tank and Why Do I Need One?
Regardless of whether the water heater is powered by oil, natural gas or propane, or even electricity, all water heaters are susceptible to the negative effects of thermal expansion as cold water entering the tank is converted to hot heated water.This results in an increase in overall water volume through expansion, as well as an increase in pressure inside the tank.For the sake of general safety, this rise in volume and pressure must be alleviated.
What is an Expansion Tank?
As a result, when the expansion tank is properly designed and fitted, it absorbs the ″extra″ water into a bladder that is positioned within the expansion tank, reducing the amount of surplus pressure within the water heater unit.Expansion tanks aid in the reduction of water hammer difficulties as well as the protection of the plumbing system from stress and damage, resulting in a longer tank lifespan.These tanks must be appropriately situated, sized, and piped into the overall system in order to be effective, and they should be inspected on a yearly basis.
We will ensure that each expansion tank is properly fitted and maintained in order to prevent water hammer, excessive water bills and unnecessary wear on the water heater and plumbing fixtures.If you’re concerned that your water heater doesn’t have an expansion tank, ServiceMark can assist you with that worry.Related Article: The Advantages and Disadvantages of Gas and Electric Furnaces
What Causes These Plumbing Issues?
The hot water heater in your home is integrated with a check valve, which is inserted in the cold-water feed pipe to improve efficiency and comfort when heating water.Plumbing industry professionals who are licensed to work in the field refer to the check valve and the pipes as a ″closed system.″ It is the function of these one-way check valves to prevent water from flowing backward out of the house through the supply pipes, which helps to prevent potentially contaminated water from entering the public water supply system.Water pressure builds up in a closed system until the check valve is opened, which is an inherent issue with check valves installed in the system.
Because of the high pressure in your water heater, an expansion tank will help to prevent an explosion.If your water heater tank is equipped with a check valve or a pressure-regulating valve, we recommend that you purchase an expansion tank to supplement it.
ServiceMark Can Install Your Expansion Tank!
In addition to being thoroughly trained, our great heating, cooling, and plumbing professionals and support personnel are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you in making your house not only pleasant, but also safe!We provide same-day service and qualified professionals that are guaranteed to come on time, every time, on the job site.Make a call to the ServiceMark team to guarantee that your house is secure and pleasant throughout the year.
This article may be of interest: Should I Repair or Replace My Heat Pump System?
Do You Need a Water Heater Expansion Tank?
Because of the usual thermal expansion that occurs when water is heated, a basic tank water heater can cause stress on your plumbing pipes and fixtures when used in a closed system.Basically, any closed system where water is heated can have an issue with this.Both water heaters and boilers for home heating systems might be susceptible to this type of damage if no precautions are taken to avoid it from occurring.
When used in conjunction with a plumbing system, a water heater expansion tank can help to reduce the likelihood of pressure damage to the plumbing system.For current on-demand, tankless water heaters, this is often not an issue.Only older models with storage tanks are susceptible to this problem.
What Is a Water Heater Expansion Tank?
An expansion tank for a water heater serves as a safety precaution (sometimes called a thermal expansion tank).As the name implies, it is an overflow receptacle that helps to relieve pressure created by the typical thermal expansion that occurs when water is heated.It functions as an overflow receptacle by absorbing surplus water volume that happens during the heating process, as well as changes in the incoming water supply pressure, which are all absorbed by the expansion tank.
The thermal expansion of water causes it to expand when heated, resulting in the creation of more water volume every time the water heater heats the water.When heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the cold water in a normal 50-gallon water heater is predicted to expand to 52 gallons, according to industry standards.This increased water volume can result in a rise in pressure in the plumbing system, which, if the pressure is high enough, can cause damage to the water heater, plumbing fixtures, and the water pipes themselves over time, depending on the situation.
Closed Water Supply Systems
An open system where expanding water has the ability to push back into the city’s water supply is not likely to encounter any issues.The majority of residences, on the other hand, have a closed water supply system that is fitted with a one-way valve such as a backflow preventer, a check valve, or a pressure-reducer (PRV).Due to the fact that the increased water pressure caused by thermal expansion cannot be sent back into the city water supply, it is most likely to cause damage in a closed system.
Even if you are using a city water supply (whether or not there is a check valve or a pressure relief valve installed), the additional pressure created by the heating of the household hot water might cause the relief valve to disperse water in many circumstances.It is possible that thermal expansion tanks or cushion tanks will be required on the incoming cold water supply line.The installation of expansion tanks in residential closed plumbing systems is required in most municipalities.
You may be needed to install a water heater expansion tank if you have a backflow preventer installed on your main water line, depending on your state of residence.If you do not have a backflow preventer installed, you may be forced to install one.For more information, see the local building code or contact the building and safety department.
How a Water Heater Expansion Tank Is Installed
- In the event that you do not have a one-way valve put on the main water line and, as a result, do not have a closed water system, a water heater expansion tank may still be beneficial to you in some circumstances.
- It is customary to put expansion tanks above the water heater, on the cold water line before it enters the water heater; however, they can be positioned virtually anywhere on the cold water line prior to entrance into the water heater.
- The presence of an expansion tank helps to avoid leaky faucets and running toilets by preventing the additional pressure that has built up in the system from reaching the fixtures and causing them to fail prematurely.
- Prices for water heater expansion tanks begin at approximately $40 and can reach around $200; the price is mostly determined by the size of the tank.
- A basic 2-gallon tank will suffice for the majority of household setups that use 40- or 50-gallon water heaters.
- The tank is quite simple to install because it uses a standard 3/4-inch threaded connection.
If there isn’t currently a tee fitting placed above the water heater, one will need to be installed as soon as possible.If you’re hiring a plumber to install a water heater, it’s a good idea to ask for a quote for the installation of an expansion tank at the same time as well.If it is done at the same time as your other bills, it may not cost much more than you are already paying.
In the event that you are building a water heater yourself, consider adding an expansion tank even if it is not necessary, since the advantages greatly exceed the time and money involved in the process.
What Does an Expansion Tank Do On a Water Heater and How to Fix
- In my water heater, I was told that I required a ″expansion tank″ to be installed.
- When I first turned on my faucet, my water pressure fluctuated in an unusual way.
- What is the point of this?
- If any of these questions apply to you, continue reading!
- Here’s all you need to know about inflated cans, which are commonly disregarded by the general population.
You may also be interested in: How to Determine If Your Hot Water Heater Is Leaking From The Overflow Pipe
What is a thermal expansion tank like?
A typical domestic expansion tank resembles a tiny propane tank in appearance. It is equipped with a Schrader air valve, which is similar to the one used on the majority of tires. A threaded pipe connection is located at the bottom of the structure. They are typically the same size as a basketball, with the size varying more or less depending on the size of the water heater they service.
How does the expansion tank of the water heater work?
- When a pot of water is brought to a boil on the stove, the kettle will ultimately begin to whistle as the pressure built up inside the vessel causes the steam to escape.
- Despite the fact that the water in the water heater does not reach the boiling point and does not convert into steam, it expands as it is heated.
- Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this phenomenon.
- This increased pressure will merely be absorbed by the municipal water distribution system, and will eventually become inconsequential.
- If a check valve or pressure regulator (PRV) is put on the pipe leading into your home, however, there will be no problem since all excess pressure will be held in your home pipe system, which will push on your pipes, lamps, and other household equipment.
- It is at this point that the expansion tank is utilized.
When properly fitted, it effectively absorbs the extra pressure.Approximately half of the tank is filled with water from your home’s main water supply.The other half is completely filled with compressed air.
In the centre of the bladder is a butyl rubber bladder.With increasing temperature and swelling, the water from the water heater pushes into the bladder, further squeezing the air from the opposite side.
When do you need it?
- In the event that you have a ″closed-loop system,″ which means that you have any form of check valve or pressure regulator put in your home’s water supply line, it is always strongly advised that you employ expansion tanks.
- A frequent comparison contrasts hypertension at home with hypertension in a hospital or clinic setting.
- The majority of the time, it does not have an instant detrimental impact.
- However, over time, the wear and tear caused by this extra pressure can diminish the life expectancy of everything in the plumbing system.
- If you have a water pressure of more than 80 AD provided to your house by an urban water supply, the expansion tank will not fix the situation.
- Pressure relief valves are responsible for this function (PRV).
The thermal expansion tank is activated when the pressure supplied to your house is at an appropriate level between 40 and 80 PS and has a pressure relief valve (PRV) or check valve installed.In closed-loop systems, this prevents the occurrence of persistent high pressure variations produced by thermal expansion.The city may need an expansion tank when building a new water heater, regardless of whether or not there is sufficient water pressure at the location where the tank is being installed.
A PRV and an expansion tank, for example, are required in all new residences in Frisco, Texas at the present time.Consult with your city’s plumbing inspector to ensure that the piping code in effect in your region is followed.
If there are several water heaters, do I need more than one?
- You’ll need a thermal expansion solution that’s appropriate for your particular plumbing system.
- For example, a 2-gallon expansion tank can provide enough water to supply a 50-gallon water heater.
- In the case of many heaters operating in the same system or networked together, you may either equip each heater with an expansion tank or utilize a single bigger expansion tank to accommodate the additional capacity.
What is the life expectancy of expansion tanks?
- When it comes to the lifespan of expansion tanks, the results are quite unexpected.
- Many factors, such as the quality of the tank, the quality of the water, and the correct inflation and maintenance of the tank, among others, influence the length of time the tank may be used.
- We saw numerous tanks that collapsed in as little as two years and eight months, inflicting significant harm to the water supply, and others that broke after eight years.
- It is recommended that you replace them within a year of the expiration date of the manufacturer’s warranty as a preventative measure.
- As a result, tanks erected in this region often have a guarantee of one to five years, which means that they should be replaced every two to six years.
Can my expansion tank leak?
- Yes, the expansion tank, like the rest of your home’s plumbing system, is susceptible to failure when it is in use.
- It is common for them to fail in two ways.
- First, the rubber bladder within them becomes worn out, and the tank comes to a complete stop as a means of releasing the heat generated by thermal expansion.
- Twond, corrosion will occur at the connecting point between the pipe and the tank, resulting in the formation of leaks.
- If you want to make certain that the expansion tank does not cause harm, one thing you can do is get it installed correctly by a certified and skilled plumber.
- A reputable plumber will install the water tank, ensuring that it is adequately supported and that it is connected to the rest of the system.
It will also install it (if at all feasible) in the pot of the water heater or someplace else, reducing the possibility of harm in the event of a leak.The purchase of high-quality cans with a five-year manufacturer’s guarantee is another way to extend the service life of thermal expansion solutions.A good tank with a stainless steel thread connection that is constructed of high-quality materials such as thick butyl rubber, polypropylene, heavy carbon steel, and other similar components.
The majority of manufacturers recommend inspecting new expansion tanks once a year, with frequency increasing as the tanks age.
How can I test if my thermal expansion tank is working?
- In order to assess whether or not your expansion tank is still operational, you can try any of the following methods: The most straightforward task is to regulate the water pressure.
- Under some situations, you will be able to perceive oscillations in water pressure if your closed-loop system does not have operating expansion tanks.
- When a large amount of heavy water is consumed for an extended period of time and there is no more water available, the system creates pressure.
- Turn on the water faucet and keep an eye on everything.
- There will be a significant increase in pressure for a period of time, followed by a decrease in pressure.
- If there is an excess of pressure released, the flow will be smooth and consistent.
Due to the fact that there are other elements that impact the flow and pressure, this is not the final test of the expansion tank.When you strike the expansion tank with a metal item, you will be able to see whether or not it is functioning properly.Despite the fact that it is not a comprehensive test, this is a fairly basic method of checking.
In order for an expansion tank to operate, the lower half of the tank must be filled with water from your house plumbing system.The top of the container is filled with compressed air.When you alternately tap the top and bottom of the tank with metal items, the sound that is produced should be noticeably different from one another.Where there is air, there should be more empty rings than there should be a jingling sound.If the sound does not change, it is possible that the expansion tank has been damaged.Another more reliable method is to feed a little amount of air via the Schrader valve located on the top of the tank to check if the expansion tank is broken.
If air escapes from the rubber bladder, the bladder will stay intact.If the water starts to pour out, it’s a busted pipe.
Procedure to be Followed
- Finally, if you have completed the above-mentioned test and determined that your expansion tank passes, there is a straightforward method for determining whether or not your expansion tank is in excellent condition and making the necessary changes.
- It will necessitate the use of a hydraulic meter and an air pump, similar to those used for vehicle tires.
- Open the outside tap with the hose connection and allow it to flow for approximately 15 seconds before closing it.
- This will alleviate any possible overpressure caused by thermal expansion, leaving just the pressure set by the PRV as the only pressure in the system.
The water pressure in the current system may be determined by hanging the meter on the faucet.
- Close the water to your home with the main shut-off valve.
- Turn on the tap, drain all the pressure from the system.
Make your way to the expansion tank and connect the pump outlet to the Schrader valve on the expansion tank.
The pump gauge will inform you of the amount of air pressure present in the tank. The majority of tank manufacturers recommend that the preload pressure of their tanks be set at the same pressure as the prior water pressure readings taken in step 2 of the process.
The pump can be used to modify the tank preload to the proper P.S.I. if it is not in sync with the input pressure at the time of filling.
As soon as you have disconnected the pump, you may reconnect it and thoroughly check for leaks throughout the home again.
- After completing this operation, you can rest comfortable that your expansion tank is now operating as it was intended to do so.
- When installing an expansion tank, it is typical for plumbers (particularly construction plumbers) to neglect to pre-charge the tank to the necessary pressure before starting the job.
- If the tank has not already been damaged as a result of the installation issue, this process can fix it.
- The installation of an expansion tank may be recommended if you see that washers in plumbing fixtures are failing at an alarming rate, or if you notice water leaking from the relief valve on your water heater.
- It can be a low-cost kind of insurance against more expensive damage to your home’s plumbing system in the event of an emergency.
- You may also be interested in: How to Descale a Tankless Water Heater in Simple Steps for a Clean Flush
Water Heater Expansion Tank
Water expands when it is heated and, if it doesn’t have any place to go, this can create a dangerous situation.
- Consider the interior of your home’s water heater with an excessive amount of pressure in it.
- Previously, any pressured water that accumulated would just drain back into the city’s water distribution system.
- However, this is not always feasible.
- It’s likely that something is in place to prevent this discharge, but you’ll still need additional protection, which gets us to the water heater expansion tank.
- It is an additional tiny thank you that is added to your water heater unit and serves the purpose of storing water.
- It is intended to deal with the extra water that accumulates over time.
If your home’s water pressure becomes excessive, the water will flow into your expansion tank rather than harming your home’s plumbing valves, fixtures, and joints or triggering a burst line that would cause irreparable damage and cost.When your water expands due to thermal expansion, a water heater expansion tank minimizes unwelcome increases in pressure.When water is heated from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it expands by approximately 2 percent.
Install the expansion tank further down the line from the intake valve that supplies hot water to the rest of your house.The tank is divided into two portions by a rubber valve.The tank is made of two sections.Water runs through the top section, and pressured air is contained inside the bottom portion.Due to the presence of this air pressure, the tank is able to absorb the excess pressure generated by your water heater, keeping it away from the rest of your home’s systems.
Share & Save this graphic to refer back to!
Common questions about water heater expansion tanks include:
What is a check valve?
An example of a check valve is a device that prevents the backflow of thermally expanded water in the incorrect direction. If you don’t have an expansion tank, the extra pressure might put undue strain on your plumbing fixtures, including your water heater, shortening their lifespan.
Does the expansion tank have to be installed on the cold side?
We highly urge that expansion tanks be put on the cold line, downstream of the shutdown valve, even if they can be installed on the hot side.
Where should an expansion tank be installed in relation to the hot water heater?
The location of your expansion tank on your plumbing system is entirely up to you; it is not required to be built in close proximity to your water heater. The most frequent method of installation is to use a ″T″ at the cold water heater’s intake valve. However, it may be put anywhere along the cold inlet line in terms of functionality.
Can the expansion tank be installed at any angle? Pt. 1
- It is possible to place the expansion tank at any angle.
- This will be in contradiction with the information provided with any expansion tank purchased from a retail retailer.
- According to the installation instructions that come with retail expansion tanks, the tank must be put in a hanging vertical position to function properly.
- ″Saddle Fitting″ is included with your retail expansion tank purchase when you purchase it from a retailer.
- This eliminates the need for soldering and makes the process of installing an expansion tank simpler for the general public.
- The saddle fitting is a basic clamp that attaches to the pipe.
It also has threading that allows you to attach the tank to the saddle fitting.
Can the expansion tank be installed at any angle? Pt. 2
- To begin, you must first create a tiny hole in the current pipe.
- As a last step, the clamp should be tightened so that the hole lines up perfectly with the outlet for the expansion tank.
- Despite the fact that this is a possibility, we do not advocate these fits for a variety of reasons.
- Their reliability is questionable since they only allow the tank to be positioned in one position (vertical).
- As an alternative, we propose that you solder the appropriate fittings into the system or that you use galvanized fittings.
How to know if you need a water heater expansion tank replacement
- The lifespan of a typical water heater is estimated to be 10-15 years; however, your expansion tank may fail before this time.
- First and foremost, effective installation of your expansion tank will guarantee that the air pressure in the tank is equal to the water pressure in your house, hence extending the life of the tank.
- By examining your expansion tank on a regular basis, you may avoid a potentially costly mishap.
- If you notice dripping water under the tank or near the fittings, it is possible that the valve has become clogged.
- This can occur as a result of foreign matter, such as mineral deposits.
- A pressure gauge, for example, should be installed to monitor the pressure in the tank.
This will tell you if the tank is operating well or whether the diaphragm has been broken, which is important information.It is possible to replace a water heater expansion tank without having to replace the complete system in most cases.
Who needs a water heater expansion tank?
- It is possible that thermal expansion will cause considerable pressure rises in your household plumbing system if you have a ″closed system,″ which means that your home is protected by a backflow preventer or other device that prevents your water from flowing back into the main water supply.
- In these conditions, not only should you have a thermal expansion tank, but some towns may also compel you to have one.
- Furthermore, if you have a closed system and do not install this protection, your water heater’s manufacturer may invalidate your guarantee.
- If you have a tankless water heater, you won’t require an expansion tank because there is no tank and hence no buildup of pressure.
- Similarly, if your property is served by an open water supply system, where excess water is recycled back into the municipal water supply, your home’s plumbing system will not be subjected to any additional pressure.
What Is the Purpose of a Water Heater Expansion Tank?
- Because water expands when heated, it is necessary to discharge the extra pressure that has built up inside the water heater tank.
- For a long time, the growing water in the tank just drained back into the municipal water system, where it had originally come from.
- Today, a check valve is installed in the water main to avoid the release of pressure in the opposite direction of the flow, which is known as backflow.
- When the check valve is closed, waste water from within the home is prevented from returning to the water supply, where it might pollute the supply of fresh water in the house.
- Water heater expansion tanks are tiny tanks that are linked to the water heater’s water supply line in order to provide additional capacity.
- This tank is intended to accommodate the thermal expansion of water that occurs when it heats up in the water heater, so avoiding overly high water pressure from forming.
Increasing the water pressure in a water heater can harm the valves in plumbing fixtures, the joints in supply pipes, and even the heater itself.Water from the water heater expands as it goes into the expansion tank, reducing the amount of water pressure in the system.What should I do if my water heater does not have an expansion tank built into it?
The majority of residences with a check valve on the water main do not have an expansion tank, since they were not compelled to do so until relatively recently.The design of the plumbing in a house will determine whether or not this will result in an excessive buildup of pressure in the system.The installation of an expansion tank may be recommended if you see that washers in plumbing fixtures are failing at an alarming rate, or if you notice water leaking from the relief valve on your water heater.It can be a low-cost kind of insurance against more expensive damage to your home’s plumbing system in the event of an emergency.
Do I Need A Water Heater Expansion Tank in Texas?
- I’m curious about the strange-looking tank above my water heater.
- ″My next-door neighbor in North Dallas informed me that I required a ‘extension tank’ for my water heater!
- Why?” If I turn on my faucet for the first time, I notice a strange variation in my water pressure.
- ″What exactly is going on?″ If any of these questions apply to you, continue reading!
- Here’s all you need to know about the expansion tank, which is often ignored.
- Please keep in mind that this post is just for informative reasons.
Plumbing work should only be performed by a licensed and insured expert.Legacy Plumbing is not liable for any harm or injury that may occur as a consequence of the use or misuse of the information provided.You acknowledge that you are entirely responsible for your access to, use of, and reliance on any information given on this website.
What does a thermal expansion tank look like?
- The most popular domestic expansion tank resembles a small propane tank in size and appearance.
- The most often encountered hues are off-white or blue.
- On the top, it contains a Schrader valve, which is similar to the air valve found on the majority of tires.
- A threaded pipe connector is located at the bottom of the container.
- It is common for them to be roughly the size of a basketball – or somewhat larger or smaller, depending on the size of the water heaters they service.
How does a water heater expansion tank work?
- While heating a kettle of water on the stove, the kettle will ultimately begin to whistle as the pressure that is building inside it causes steam to be released into the air.
- Regardless of whether or not the water in your water heater reaches the boiling point and condenses to form steam, it does expand when heated.
- Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this phenomenon.
- This additional pressure will simply be absorbed by the municipality’s water distribution system and will eventually become insignificant.
- It’s not an issue.
- If, on the other hand, a check valve or a pressure regulating valve (PRV) is installed on the water supply line entering your home, it prevents all of that extra pressure from being retained in your home’s plumbing system, putting unnecessary strain on your supply lines, fixtures, and appliances.
In this case, a large expansion tank is required.It absorbs the extra pressure if it is put correctly.One-half of the tank is filled with water drawn from your home’s main water supply system.
The remaining half of the container is filled with compressed air.In the centre of the bladder is a butyl rubber bladder.With increasing heat and expansion of the water in your water heater, it presses on the bladder, further compressing the air on the opposite side.
When is it required in Texas?
- Having an expansion tank built on your home’s water supply line is usually suggested if you have a ‘closed-loop system,’ which can be created by any type of check valve or pressure regulating valve that has been installed on your water supply line.
- High water pressure in your house is sometimes compared to having high blood pressure, as seen in the following graphic.
- In most cases, it has no immediate detrimental implications on the person’s life.
- The long-term wear and tear caused by this excessive pressure, on the other hand, might shorten the life expectancy of everything in your plumbing system.
- The toilet fill valves, the supply lines, and the solenoid valves found in washing machines, dishwashers, and ice makers are often the weakest sections of the system, according to the manufacturer.
- When subjected to high water pressure, these components are significantly more prone to break prematurely.
The installation of an expansion tank alone will not correct excessive pressure over 80 PSI delivered to your property by the city water supply.The pressure lowering valve is responsible for this (PRV).When the pressure in your house is between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch (psi) and you have a pressure relief valve (PRV) or a check valve, the thermal expansion tank comes into play.
The persistent fluctuation of high pressure generated by thermal expansion in a closed-loop system is protected against by this device.The installation of an expansion tank may be necessary by the city, depending on where you reside in North Dallas, regardless of whether or not you have good water pressure, in order to pass plumbing inspections, such as those required when installing a new water heater.For example, in the city of Frisco, Texas, a PRV and expansion tank are presently required on all new construction residences.Additionally, as of the time of this writing, an expansion tank is needed on all new and replacement water heaters in Little Elm, TX, regardless of size.This is due to the fact that the water meters are equipped with check valves, which allow for the creation of a closed-loop system.Consult with your city’s plumbing inspector to ensure that you are following all of the necessary plumbing codes in your community.
Do I need more than one if I have multiple water heaters?
- You require a thermal expansion solution that is appropriately scaled for the plumbing system in which it will be installed.
- It is possible to service a 50-gallon water heater with only one 2-gallon expansion tank, for example.
- If you have more than one heater on the same or related system, you may either use an expansion tank for each heater or use a single, bigger expansion tank to accommodate the additional heaters.
- To be sure you have proper information for your circumstance, double-check local plumbing code modifications as well as the manufacturer’s specs for the expansion tank you’re considering purchasing.
What is the life expectancy of an expansion tank?
- When it comes to the lifespan of an expansion tank, the results are highly unexpected.
- There are several elements that might influence how long a tank will endure, including the quality of the tank placed, the quality of the water, and the correct inflation of the tank, to mention a few.
- We have seen some tanks fail in as short as two years, causing significant water damage, while others have survived for eight years or longer without a problem.
- If you want to be extra cautious, we recommend that you replace them no more than a year after the manufacturer’s guarantee has expired.
- Tanks erected in this region are often covered by a one- or five-year guarantee, which means that they should be replaced every two to six years.
Can my expansion tank leak?
- Yes, the expansion tank, like every other component of your home’s plumbing system, is susceptible to breakdown over time.
- The majority of the time, they fail in two ways.
- After a period of time, the rubber bladder within them wears out, and the tank ceases to operate as a means of reducing thermal expansion as a result.
- Secondly, corrosion and leakage might occur at the point of connection between the water pipe and the tank’s pressure relief valve.
- If you want to be sure that the expansion tank does not cause harm, one thing you can do is have it professionally installed by a competent and certified plumber.
- When the tank is installed, a qualified plumber will ensure that it is adequately supported and that the connection is secure.
He will also position it (where feasible) above the water heater pan or somewhere else where the danger of harm is minimized in the event of a leakage.Another thing you can do to increase the lifetime of your thermal expansion solution is to invest in a high-quality tank that comes with a five-year manufacturer’s guarantee.In addition to having a stainless steel threaded connection, high-quality tanks are constructed of high-quality materials such as thick butyl rubber, polypropylene, heavy gauge carbon steel, and so on.
Most manufacturers recommend inspecting expansion tanks once a year when they are first installed and more often as the tank ages.
How can I test if my thermal expansion tank is working?
- NOTE: Before you begin testing, double-check that the shut-off valve before to the expansion tank is operational.
- If a catastrophic failure occurs while you are testing, it has the potential to do significant harm.
- Any testing should be carried out by a licensed specialist, according to us.
- If you see any evidence of corrosion on the expansion tank connection (as shown in the photographs), immediately stop off the water supply and contact a competent contractor.
- Legacy Plumbing disclaims any and all liability for any damages resulting from faulty testing or failure of fittings while testing is being conducted.
- There are a few things you may perform to determine whether or not your expansion tank is still functional.
Monitor Pressure: Easy
- The most straightforward method is to visually monitor your water pressure.
- If you have a closed loop system and do not have a functioning expansion tank, you may notice that the water pressure fluctuates under specific situations.
- When there is a prolonged period of high hot water use followed by an extended period of minimal water consumption, pressure will build up in the system.
- Turn on the hot water faucet and keep an eye on it.
- It will begin to emerge with a noticeable increase in pressure and then begin to decrease in pressure.
- As soon as the extra pressure is released, the flow will level out and remain constant.
Just keep in mind that this is not a final test of your expansion tank due to the fact that there are other elements that impact flow and pressure.
External Tapping: Easy
- The second method of determining whether or not your expansion tank is operational is to tap it with a metallic item.
- Despite the fact that it is not a foolproof test, it is a fairly simple technique to double-check.
- The bottom half of an expansion tank that is correctly operating is completely filled with water from your home’s plumbing system.
- The top of the container is filled with compressed air.
- If you tap on the top and bottom of the tank with a metallic item alternatively, you should notice a noticeable variation in the noises that are created.
- Instead of a clank where there is air, it should be more of a hollow ring where there is air.
If there is no discernible difference in sound, you may have a faulty expansion tank on your hands.
Check the Valve: Easy
Another, far more reliable method of determining whether or not your expansion tank has been compromised is to bleed a small amount of air out of the Schrader valve located on the top. If air escapes from the rubber bladder, it means that it is still in good condition. If water pours out, it means that the seal has been breached.
Pressure Check: Advanced
Finally, when you have completed the preceding tests and determined that your expansion tank has passed, there is a definite way to establish whether or not your expansion tank is in excellent working order and has been appropriately adjusted. It will necessitate the usage of a water pressure monitor as well as an air pump similar to that which would be used to inflate a vehicle tire.
- Turn on an outside water faucet with a hose connection and allow it to flow for approximately 15 seconds before turning it off. This will alleviate any potential extra pressure caused by thermal expansion and leaving you with only the pressure that your PRV is set at, as a result.
- In order to ascertain the water pressure that is currently present on your system, connect your water pressure gauge to the faucet in question.
- Close the main shut-off valve to your home and turn off the water supply.
- Activate a faucet and allow all of the pressure to drain out of your system
- Head over to the water heater’s expansion tank and connect the pump’s outlet to the Schrader valve
- It will be shown by the indicator on your pump how much air pressure is present in the tank. Most manufacturers specify that the pre-charge of their tanks should be set to the same pressure as the previous water pressure reading you took in step 2
- however, other manufacturers specify a different pressure.
- If the pre-charge of your tank does not correspond to the incoming water pressure, you can modify it with your pump to the correct P.S.I. level.
- It is possible to re-establish the water supply to your home after unplugging your pump and double-checking for leaks
- After completing this operation, you can rest comfortable that your expansion tank is now operating as it was intended to do so.
- When installing an expansion tank, it is typical for plumbers (particularly construction plumbers) to neglect to pre-charge the tank to the necessary pressure before starting the job.
- If the tank has not already been damaged as a result of the installation issue, this process can fix it.
Do You Still Have Questions?
Here at Legacy Plumbing, each and every one of our service professionals has received extensive training in the diagnosis and proper installation of expansion tanks. Any issues or concerns concerning your expansion tank and its installation may be addressed by contacting us, and we’ll do everything possible to assist you.
Has Your Expansion Tank Failed?
- Here in the Martensville region, we have a lot of failed expansion tanks, which we see at AquaTemp.
- Do you have a sneaking suspicion that yours failed, but you’re not sure?
- Continue reading, and we’ll give you some pointers on how to find it out.
- It is necessary to install thermal expansion tanks in order to prevent your water pipe and water heater from becoming over-pressurized, which might result in catastrophic failure.
- Check valves are often installed where water enters a structure, which provides no room for the water to expand and escape when the temperature is raised over a certain point.
- The installation of a thermal expansion tank offers a safe environment for the expansion of the excess pressure.
Where Can I Find My Expansion Tank?
Thermal expansion tanks are most typically seen in Saskatchewan near the water meter or the water heater, where they serve a dual purpose. They are available in a range of hues, the most common of which being brown, blue, and green. It is recommended that you call our pros to have an expansion tank built if you are unable to discover one on your water system.
How Does an Expansion Tank Work?
- Tanks for thermal expansion are separated into two sections for ease of use.
- For starters, there is an air compartment with a pressure adjusted to provide enough space for the water to expand into, but not enough to completely fill the tank.
- In addition, the second compartment is directly connected to your home’s domestic water supply.
- Occasionally, the diaphragm that separates the two systems will fail, leading the two systems to merge into a single entity.
- When this occurs, the expansion tank becomes a ″dead leg,″ which will eventually cause damage to your water heater and lead it to fail prematurely.
How Can I Check to See If My Expansion Tank Is in Good Working Condition?
- There are two basic tests you may run to determine whether or not your thermal expansion tank is performing as intended: 1.
- Make a loud knock on the tank.
- If it makes a hollow sound, it means that your tank is still in good working order.
- If it creates a thud sound, it means that your tank has been damaged.
- Make sure your water heater’s relief valve is working properly.
With a tube running from the water heater to the floor, it is situated on the side of the unit.A leaky relief valve may signal that your expansion tank has failed, according to the manufacturer.
Call Us for Help
If one of the tests we listed above reveals that your expansion tank has failed, you should contact our AquaTemp technicians at 306-370-8678 as soon as possible to get your water system restored to a safe operating state as soon as feasible.
Average cost to install 40 gallon hot water heater
- It is possible that your water heater is not the most expensive appliance in your home, but the mess it may generate when it breaks down might make it the most expensive item in your home.
- Thousands of water heaters are inspected annually by Comfort Heroes’ technicians.
- We find that many of the water heaters we evaluate are capable of being properly certified for an additional year of operation.
- Others, on the other hand, have rusted-out tanks, significant mineral deposits, depleted anode rods, and seized temperature and pressure safety relief valves, among other things.
- When you’re dealing with problems like these, it may be in your best interests to replace your water heater before it causes a flood in your basement.
- ″How long do water heaters typically last?″ is a question we get asked a lot by our customers.
Since the quality of the water and the frequency with which it is maintained are both important considerations, this might be a difficult topic to answer.Generally speaking, a water heater will last around 7-8 years before it has to be replaced.The amount of money saved by conducting routine maintenance and installing water filtration, on the other hand, can be significantly increased (or even quadrupled!) By reading this article, you will acquire a better grasp of not only how your water heater works, but you will also have a better notion of how much a new water heater system would cost if you find yourself in the position of having to make that decision.
Electric vs. Gas Water Heaters
- When it comes to heating water, gas (either natural gas or propane) and electricity are two of the most common options.
- Natural gas water heaters typically operate at a cost that is approximately one-third that of an electric water heater.
- Although an electric water heater may be marginally less expensive than a gas water heater, the total cost of ownership is significantly greater due to the higher utility bills per BTU of heat produced by the electric water heater.
- This criterion is only broken when it comes to hybrid electric water heaters, which use a heat pump to provide energy efficiency that is comparable to that of a gas-style water heater.
Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters
- A tank model gas water heater will work at around 60% energy efficiency, however a tankless gas style water heater may function at up to 98 percent energy efficiency when properly installed and maintained.
- Thus, for every $100 spent on water heating, a gas tank style water heater will allow around $40 worth of heat to escape via the exhaust pipe, but the condensing tankless water heater will only allow approximately $2 worth of heat to escape through the exhaust pipe.
- This represents a significant energy reduction, and it is one of the primary reasons that more of our clients are switching to tankless water heaters.
What Are Water Heater Code Upgrades?
- You may need to make some ″extra additions″ to your new water heater, depending on when it was initially built and whether or not it meets the current plumbing code criteria.
- The 2015 Uniform Plumbing Code has been accepted by the City of Sioux Falls as the plumbing code to be followed.
- What this means is that if your water heater is old enough to require replacement, there is a good chance that it will also require upgrading to bring it up to current standards.
What are some of the most common code upgrades?
Thermal Expansion Tank
As your water heater heats the water, the amount of the water increases. In order to prevent the additional pressure from causing unnecessary wear and tear on the water heater and other fixtures in the home, the thermal expansion tank’s purpose is to absorb the extra water volume. It is possible that the cost of installing a new Thermal expansion tank will vary from $279 and $443.
- The National Fuel Gas Code specifies that gas appliances in an enclosed mechanical room must have a capacity of 50 cubic feet per 1,000 BTUs per hour.
- Therefore, if you have a mechanical room in your basement that contains a 40,000-BTU/hr water heater, an 80,000 BTU/hr furnace, and a 22,000-BTU/hr dryer, the mechanical room must be unobstructed, have 8-foot ceilings, and be at least 365 square feet.
- If the space is smaller than that, it will be necessary to bring in fresh air from outside the room in order for the gas to properly burn in the equipment and not cause a fire.
- If there is not enough fresh combustion air in the room, it is likely that the room may experience negative pressure and that carbon monoxide will begin to collect.
- It is possible to spend between $279 and $689 to install a new combustion air intake system.
- There are several older plumbing and furnace exhaust vent systems that may not satisfy current code clearances or BTU requirements and may require replacement.
- One inch of clearance is required from a single wall exhaust pipe, but just one inch of clearance is required from a B vent exhaust pipe.
- If no clearances can be achieved, it may be required to tin the walls in order to prevent further damage.
- Installing new b venting from a water heater or furnace might cost anywhere from $689 to $1,682 depending on the size of the system.
Gas Valve, Drip Leg, Union
- With the installation of a new water heater, the gas piping must also be brought up to code.
- A gas shut off valve, drip leg, and union must all be present in order for this to be true.
- The gas valve’s primary function is to shut off the flow of gas in the case of a leak or future replacements of the valve.
- Water, mud, silt, pipe dope, and other contaminants that may make their way through the gas lines to the appliance are caught by the drip leg, which serves a protective function.
- The union makes it easy to provide service to the system.
- According to the code, the cost of replacing the gas cock and water heater gas supply is $259 (plus tax).
Shut Off Valve –
- Installing a new water heater home shut off valve at the same time as replacing a water heater is a great idea.
- A valve to cut off the water is not only required by code, but it is also quite useful in the event of a leaking water heater or other emergency.
- Modern ball valves are also far more dependable than earlier globe design valves, which are still in use today.
- The cost of installing a new water heater shut off valve ranges from $128 to $279.
Average Cost of A Water Heater Installation
- As previously said, it is hard to provide an accurate estimate of the cost of an HVAC system without taking the size, design, and layout of the system into consideration. We can, however, get a good idea of where we’re going. A tank style water heater will cost between $1,150 and $2,300
- a tankless water heater will cost between $4,200 and $12,000 for a domestic hot water system
- and a tankless water heater will cost between $1,150 and $2,300.
It is reasonable to expect a wide range of expenses for new water heaters as well as code upgrades. This is due to the wide variety of differences between homes and sizes, as well as the fact that what your home may require is not always what your neighbor’s house requires.
- If you believe you may require a new water heater or an infinite hot water tankless system, contact our team and one of our registered service specialists will come to your home to assess the situation.
- We can determine what type of water heater you require and go through all of the many options available to you in order to construct the most appropriate system for your family and your budget needs.
About Comfort Heroes
- Alan Gentry launched Comfort Heroes, LLC in 2014, and the company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- In his mind, he wanted to create a home service firm that consumers could come to for virtually any problem that they would have as a homeowner.
- As a result of this expansion, Comfort Heroes now provides plumbing, heating and cooling services in addition to sewer and drain cleaning and remodeling and insulation.
- More information may be obtained by calling (605) 656-5737 or visiting the website www.CallGoldenRule.com.
What Size Expansion Tank Do I Need for a 50 Gallon Water Heater?
- Water heater expansion tanks are smaller tanks that are situated above your water heater and serve a critical role in supplying your home with the water it requires to function properly.
- Because of the differences in size and design of water heaters, different sized expansion tanks are required.
- As a general rule, the size of the expansion tank corresponds to the size of the water heater.
- For a 50-gallon water heater, you’ll need an extension tank that holds 2-gallon of water.
- However, depending on how strong your water pressure is, you may need to upgrade to a 4.5-gallon expansion tank instead.
- If you’re looking for an expansion tank, the only things to consider are the size of your water heater and the strength of your water pressure.
More information on how to pick an expansion tank and why you need one will be covered in greater depth in this post.Whatever your location (city or country), water heater expansion tanks may save you both money and time by preventing you from having to replace or repair your water heater.Sale
What Sizes are Expansion Tanks Available in?
- Expansion tanks, also known as thermal expansion tanks, are available in two different sizes: 2 gallon and 4.5 gallon.
- The size that you require is determined by the size of your water heater as well as the pressure of the water that is being delivered to it.
- Because of this expansion, the water in your water heater warms up faster.
- As a result, thermal expansion tanks are used to refer to expansion tanks that have been heated.
- When water is heated, a gallon of water will expand to a gallon and a half, or 52 gallons in total.
- As a result, a 2-gallon expansion tank is generally sufficient to accommodate a 50-gallon water heater with ease.
When in doubt, however, it is always preferable to increase the size of the expansion tank rather than decrease the size.Having a tank that is too large is not a problem, but having a tank that is too tiny might be a problem.
How Much Does It Cost to Install an Expansion Tank?
- The entire cost of installing a thermal expansion tank often ranges between $250 and $500 dollars.
- When evaluating overall expenditures, it is important to take into account the cost of the expansion tank itself as well as the time it will take to build it.
- Most plumbers charge between $70 and $150 per hour, and installation of expansion tanks can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the intricacy of the job.
- The tank itself will only cost between $40 to $200, depending on the size of the tank and the brand you want to use.
- A 4.5-gallon tank will cost more than a 2-gallon tank, and better brands such as A.O.
- Smith and Amtrol will be more expensive than lower-quality ones.
Thermal expansion tanks are similar to most other things in life in that you get what you pay for.Cheaper tanks will be less expensive to install, but they might end up costing you a lot more money in the long run.Poor-quality expansion tanks are more likely than costly expansion tanks to leak and fail.
A faulty expansion tank will need the replacement of the tank much more frequently than is necessary, and it may even result in the failure of the water heater.
When Do I Need an Expansion Tank?
- Depending on where you reside and what city or county you live in, expansion tanks for all water heaters may be necessary.
- Nevertheless, this is not always the case, and expansion tanks are optional in some areas.
- Aside from being required by law, the most common situation in which an expansion tank is advised is when you have a closed-loop water system installed.
- When a closed-loop water system is established on its plumbing system, it is defined as one that has any type of check valve or water pressure regulating valve installed on it.
- These sorts of valves, on the other hand, are required if the water pressure that comes into your home is between 40 and 80 pounds per square inch.
- An expansion tank will not reduce the pressure of the water flowing through it, but it is essential to battle the heat buildup that occurs as a result of the use of pressure valves in the system.
A closed-loop system is characterized by the accumulation of heat pressure, which has nowhere to go if there isn’t an expansion tank present.In the case of a water heater that fails due to thermal expansion, it seems as if the