What Is An Expansion Tank For A Water Heater

What is a Water Heater Expansion Tank and Why Do I Need One?

2) Turn off the tank’s COLD water supply. 3) Connect a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank to drain the water. Connect the hose to a drain that is handy for you. If you’re using a low-cost garden hose, use caution. When hot water is sent through them, some of them become extremely mushy and may leak! If you don’t have a basement floor drain or a proper sump hole, please accept my condolences. With a bucket, this drain-down process can take quite some time! Oh. Additionally, if you are using a soft plastic bucket, exercise caution.

4) Turn on the hot water faucet on any faucet.

It’s Miller time.

Nota Bene: If the drain valve becomes clogged, switch on the tank’s cold water supply to force water pressure through the obstruction.

  1. The churning motion of the cold water in the tank will loosen up even more silt in the tank.
  2. Moreover, when sediment begins to jam the drain valve, you should switch on the cold water supply to the tank, which will aid in loosening the material and blasting it out.
  3. Take a look at the drainage water.
  4. Close the drain valve and allow the tank to fill by turning on the cold water supply.
  5. You may now re-ignite the power or gas to re-heat the water.
  6. This is dependent on the source and quality of your water supply.
  7. If you see any silt in the tank, I would propose performing a partial drain down once a year; otherwise, every couple of years.
  8. Even a partial drain down may cause the higher heating element to be exposed to the air, resulting in irreparable damage!

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.

If you’re concerned that your water heater doesn’t have an expansion tank, ServiceMark can assist you with that worry. Related Article:Gas vs. Electric Furnaces: Advantages and Disadvantages

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.” Water flow backward out of the house through the supply pipes is prevented by these one-way check valves, which prevents potential pollution from entering the public water supply. 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

It absorbs the extra pressure if it is put correctly.

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.

  • When subjected to high water pressure, these components are significantly more prone to break prematurely.
  • The pressure lowering valve is responsible for this (PRV).
  • The persistent fluctuation of high pressure generated by thermal expansion in a closed-loop system is protected against by this device.
  • For example, in the city of Frisco, Texas, a PRV and an expansion tank are presently required on any new construction.
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The second method of determining whether or not your expansion tank is operational is to tap it with a metallic item. However, while it is not a foolproof method of verifying the results, it is a very simple one. Your home’s plumbing system supplies the water that fills the bottom half of an expansion tank that is properly working. Pressurized air is pumped into the chamber at the top of the structure. It should be possible to distinguish a noticeable difference in sound generated by tapping on the top and bottom of the tank with a metallic implement.

The expansion tank may be faulty if there is no discernible variation in the sound.

See also:  How Water Heater Thermostat?

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.

  1. 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
  2. Head over to the water heater’s expansion tank and connect the pump’s outlet to the Schrader valve
  3. 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
  4. 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.

Does My Water Heater Need an Expansion Tank?

When water is heated, it expands. Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this phenomenon. Because your water heater has a maximum capacity of just a certain number of gallons, all of the surplus water must be disposed of somewhere. An expansion tank absorbs surplus pressure, allowing your water heater and piping system to function more efficiently.

How Does an Expansion Tank Work?

An expansion tank is a tank that connects to the cold water line that feeds into the tank of the water heater. A rubber baffle separates the two halves of the cylinder. Heat from the bladder causes it to expand, pushing the baffle downward into a chamber filled with compressed air, which absorbs the pressure. The tension on the tank is relieved, and your plumbing joints, toilet valves, and solenoid valves on your washing machine and dishwasher are protected from harm as a result of this.

How Do I Know If I Need an Expansion Tank on My Water Heater?

It is possible that your residence is on a closed-loop system: In an open-loop system, any extra water produced by thermal expansion would be sent back to the main water supply. All of the additional pressure in your home’s closed-loop system will force the tank to expand and contract, resulting in the unit failing prematurely as a result of the expansion and contraction. Unless your main water shutoff valve is equipped with a pressure regulator, a backflow prevention device, or some other bell-shaped mechanism, you have a closed-loop system in your house.

Pressure regulation will be accomplished by the use of a hot water jet discharged. Despite the mess, it’s preferable than the alternative, which is an exploding water heater. If the TPR valve trips on a regular basis, you may require an expansion tank.

Water Heater Tank Maintenance

The compressed air is pumped into the bottom half of the expansion tank, which is typically between 50 and 60 pounds per square inch in compression (PSI). It is possible that the tank will lose some pressure over time. The tank is equipped with a Schrader valve, which is the same sort of valve used on a bicycle tire. Check it with a pressure gauge once a year to ensure that it is adequately charged. Using a bicycle pump, you can pressurize it if the pressure is less than 50psi. The bottom truth is that the water heater installation process is straightforward.

If you are interested in arranging an appointment with PlumbingA/C Medic, please contact (602) 975-2306.

Do I Need an Expansion Tank on My Water Heater?

Typically, compressed air is used to fill the bottom half of the expansion tank, which is between 50 and 60 pounds per square inch (PSI). Over time, the tank’s pressure may begin to drop somewhat. An oversized Schrader valve, similar to those used on bicycle tires, is installed on the tank. A pressure gauge should be used once a year to ensure that it is fully charged. A bicycle pump can be used to pressurize the tire if the pressure is less than 50psi. Finally, the water heater installation procedure is described in detail in the following paragraphs: In order to evaluate if your water heater will benefit from an expansion tank, Gilbert and Chandler are delighted to check its condition.

What Type of Water Heater Do You Have?

This may appear to be a simple question, but it is one that many people do not actively consider when they are faced with it. Due to the fact that a tankless water heater lacks a primary tank, you will not need to bother about an expansion tank. If you have a typical tank-style water heater, on the other hand, you will almost certainly need to examine whether or not an extension tank is required.

What Does an Expansion Tank Do?

Despite the fact that this appears to be a simple question, it is one that many people fail to consider. If you have a tankless water heater, you won’t have to worry about an expansion tank because there won’t be a primary tank to begin with. For those who have a typical tank-style water heater, an expansion tank may be required, although this will be determined by the manufacturer.

What Size Expansion Tank Do I Need?

When it comes to determining the amount of the expansion tank that your home will require, there are two considerations. The first of them will be the size of the water heater that you currently have in your residence. This information can be found on the water heater’s factory label, which may be found on the back of the water heater. The second aspect to consider is the pressure of the water in your system. With these two considerations in mind, you can make a choice on the size of the expansion tank to purchase.

Due to the fact that there is no uniform solution, you’ll have to conduct some research or just contact a plumber (click herefor a free quote). Here are a handful of illustrations:

  • Chart from PlumbingSupply.com
  • SupplyHouse.com calculator
  • HomeDepot.com expansion tanks
  • And more.

You may, on the other hand, find yourself in a position where you are unclear if the size of the expansion tank is appropriate. In order to avoid selecting an expansion tank that is too small, it is customary to pick one that is somewhat bigger than necessary. This is due to the fact that a tank that is too small might result in the discharge of the relief valve. On the other hand, if the tank is overly large, it will have no detrimental affect on your plumbing system whatsoever.

So Do You Need an Expansion Tank?

If you have a standard storage tank water heater, the chances are good that you do. To be certain, conduct thorough research on your specific type of water heater or consult with a plumbing professional. This is one of those things that you want to make absolutely certain you have done correctly.

Do I Need a Water Heater Expansion Tank?

You almost certainly do if you have a standard storage tank water heater. In order to be certain, conduct thorough research on your specific type of water heater or consult with a plumbing professional. When it comes to anything like this, you want to make absolutely certain that everything is correct.

Why Do We Need Water Heater Expansion Tanks?

First and foremost, if you do not have a storage tank water heater, this essay will not be of any value to you at all. Extension tanks were developed solely to address a problem that was unique to storage tank water heaters: overheating. When water is heated, the water within your water heater expands, and this is a special problem to be aware of. Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this phenomenon. As an example, when heated, a tank that stores 50 gallons of cold water will expand to accommodate 52 gallons of cold water.

It is likely that those two more gallons will put additional pressure on your plumbing system.

This pressure can be alleviated by using a water heater expansion tank, which gives just enough extra capacity.

Isn’t My Water Heater Equipped to Deal With This Already?

You might be wondering: If the phenomenon of thermal expansion is so simply known, why aren’t water heaters in Glendale, AZpre-engineered to cope with this problem from the start? They are, in fact, correct! Check valves and temperature-regulator valves are commonly seen in water heaters to tackle this problem. The true source of the problem, on the other hand, is the way the plumbing systems are set up between the city and your property. These water delivery systems can be either open or closed, depending on their design.

This completely eliminates the problem, allowing you to utilize your water heater without the need for an expansion tank.

The most likely case, on the other hand, is that you have a water supply system that is closed.

This is a one-way valve, which means that water cannot be returned to the city through it. However, even with the valves stated above in place, the pressure caused by thermal expansion cannot be fully alleviated at this time.

Does My Water Heater Need an Expansion Tank?

Checking to see what sort of plumbing system you have is the most straightforward solution. In the event that your home is connected to a closed water distribution system, we strongly advise that you install an extension tank. Don’t underestimate the harm that may be done if you don’t have one—in several areas throughout the country, expansion tanks are now required by law! We can assist you in determining whether or not your property requires a water heater expansion tank. To obtain an estimate, please contact The Trusted Plumber right now.

in Water Heaters |

Do You Need a Water Heater Expansion Tank?

Through the usual thermal expansion that occurs when water is heated, a typical tank water heater can cause stress on your plumbing pipes and fixtures in a closed plumbing 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 occurring.

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. Because water expands when heated owing to thermal expansion, every time the water heater heats water, the water heater adds to the total amount of water in the tank.

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.

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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-reducing valve (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.

It is possible that thermal expansion tanks or cushion tanks will be required on the incoming cold water supply line.

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.

A basic 2-gallon tank will suffice for the majority of household setups that use 40- or 50-gallon water heaters.

If there isn’t currently a tee fitting placed above the water heater, one will need to be installed as soon as possible.

If it is done at the same time as your other bills, it may not cost much more than you are already paying.

Does My Water Heater Need an Expansion Tank?

What’s the short answer? If your home is equipped with a “closed” plumbing system, then an expansion tank will be required. As you may be aware, homes are either equipped with an open or a closed plumbing system. It is impossible for water to flow in the other way via a closed plumbing system (i.e., water cannot flow back into city lines after it enters your home’s plumbing system.) Because most new houses are constructed with a closed plumbing system, it is likely that you will require an expansion tank.

The following are the subjects that will be covered in this article:

  • How and why do you require an expansion tank with a closed loop system? How to determine whether or not you have a closed plumbing system

Is it necessary for a plumber to build an extension tank for your hot water tank?

Why you need an expansion tank with a closed loop system

What is the succinct response? An expansion tank will help to keep your water heater and plumbing system in good working order. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of the question. Similarly to what we discussed at the outset, a closed system establishes a single conduit for water to flow into (but not back out of) your home. When water is heated, on the other hand, its volume increases (this is calledthermal expansion). When the volume of water in the tank increases, it places more pressure on the tank.

And it is at this point that an expansion tank is required.

Once an expansion tank has been installed, the additional water volume generated by thermal expansion is automatically sucked into the expansion tank, lowering the pressure inside your water heater.

In fact, some manufacturers may invalidate your water heater warranty if your piping system is closed and does not include an expansion tank or a pressure relief valve.

Now that you understand why you require an expansion tank, let’s take a look at how to determine whether or not you have a sealed plumbing system.

How to tell if you have a closed plumbing system

Backflow prevention devices (such as check valves or pressure-reducing valves) that are linked to your main water shutoff valve indicate that your plumbing system is closed. Note: Although backflow prevention devices can be designed in a variety of ways, the most of them will look somewhat like this. The following is typically where your water shutdown valve is located:

  • On the exterior of a building
  • In a basement
  • In a utility room or closet
  • In a spare bedroom

If you are having difficulty locating your main water shutoff valve or if you are unable to locate a backflow prevention device, call a plumber for assistance. They’ll be able to tell you if you have an open or closed system, and they can make recommendations for expansion tanks.

Need an expansion tank? Contact a Tampa plumber

A water heater expansion tank, also known as a thermal expansion tank, is a safety device that is meant to protect your domestic piping from thermal expansion when your water heater is operating. Tankless water heaters are rarely at danger of pressure damage due to thermal expansion, but if you have an older tank-style water heater, your plumbing system may be at risk. The additional 2-gallons of water will not fit in the water heater’s tank when you consider that 50-gallons of cold water will become at least 52-gallons after it is heated, thanks to thermal expansion.

What is a Water Heater Expansion Tank?

An expansion tank for a water heater is just a tiny tank that absorbs water into a bladder in order to relieve excess pressure in your water heating system. Once upon a time, when water expanded, it didn’t cause an issue since the extra few gallons just flowed back into the city’s water supply system. However, because existing plumbing laws restrict the increased water from entering the city’s system, where it may contaminate the public water supply, the expanded water has nowhere to go for the time being.

Consequently, there is an increase in needless wear and strain, which can lead to damage to hot water-using equipment, including your water heater.

An expansion tank for a Watts DET-5 water heater.

How a Thermal Expansion Tank Works

It consists of an expansion tank with a compressed air bladder within, which absorbs any extra water by expanding and compressing repeatedly. As the water in your water heater heats up, it expands, increasing the pressure within the tank and throughout the rest of the plumbing system. The extra water, however, enters the expansion tank rather than letting the pressure to build up to a dangerous level. When a faucet in the home is opened (or the water cools), the water in the thermal expansion tank is released back into your hot water system.

This helps to conserve energy. Water that has overflowed into the expansion tank is disposed of in the waste tank. It is not capable of storing water on a long-term basis.

Watch the Video

It is dangerous to use a water heater without an expansion tank. Despite the fact that many water heaters do not come with an expansion tank, we strongly recommend that you install one. It will keep your pipes, appliances, and water heater safe and secure. In the event of an overflowing hot water supply, the pressure in the water tank may grow to dangerous levels, resulting in the failure of several components. It is possible that excess hot water may seep out via the T P Valve and create considerable water damage, as you might expect.

The extra strain placed on the heater as a result of an excessively full tank of hot water might limit the heater’s service life, not to mention the fact that the heater’s components may wear out sooner than intended.

Finding the Right Water Heater Expansion Tank

A hot water heater expansion tank is not only a wonderful idea, but it is also required in most locations, so choosing the appropriate size for your system is critical. It’s unfortunate that when it comes to thermal expansion tanks, there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution available.

How to Properly Size an Expansion Tank

Choosing the appropriate size is a rather simple process. There are two key considerations that must be taken into consideration:

  • -The capacity of your water heater may be discovered on the factory label that is affixed to it. Measurement of Household Water Pressure- A gauge may be used to measure the water pressure in your home’s plumbing system, which is measured in psi (pounds per square inch). Simply connect the gauge to a hose or faucet and turn on the water to test the pressure. It is recommended that you monitor your water pressure during a 24-hour period of time. Another alternative is to get in touch with your local water provider.

Keep in mind that if your water pressure is higher than 80 psi, you should consider installing a pressure reduction valve. The optimal water pressure is between 50 and 60 pounds per square inch (psi). Gauge for measuring water pressure This water pressure gauge is equipped with adapters that allow you to measure the water pressure in a variety of locations with ease.

General Guidelines for Sizing an Expansion Tank

This chart will guide you through the process of selecting the correct size expansion tank for your household water heater. It is presumptively set as 150 degrees Fahrenheit in this case.

Water Heater Capacity Supply Pressure (psi) Expansion Tank Size
40 to 60-gallon 40-50 psi 2-gallon
40 to 60-gallon 60-80 psi 3.2-gallon
80-gallon 40 psi 2-gallon
80-gallon 50-60 psi 3.2-gallon
80-gallon 80 psi 4.4-gallon

If your water heater’s static supply pressure readings or capacity go outside of these ranges, it’s recommended to consult with a specialist. They may come out and perform the necessary calculations, as well as build the expansion tank if you so want it. Amtrol Expansion TankAmtrol manufactures a fantastic 2-gallon water heater expansion tank that is both durable and affordable.

What Happens if the Expansion Tank is the Wrong Size?

The best course of action is to call a professional if your water heater’s static supply pressure or capacity goes outside of these ranges. They may come out and perform the necessary calculations, as well as build the extension tank if you so choose. Amtrol Expansion TankAmtrol manufactures a high-quality 2-gallon water heater expansion tank that is both durable and affordable.

How to Install an Expansion Tank

The installation of an expansion tank should be doable for anyone who has a basic understanding of mechanics and enjoys doing things for themselves. Alternatively, you may hire an expert to complete the task for you.

Installing an Expansion Tank

  • As previously said, a pressure gauge should be used to assess the water pressure in your home. If the pressure is greater than 80 psi, a pressure decreasing valve should be installed. Make that the air pressure in the expansion tank is correct using an atire gauge. The air pressure in the expansion tank should be adjusted to meet the maximum water pressure in the home. Making use of a hand pump rather than an air compressor
  • Installation Instructions: Connect the tank to the cold water line (see video for details)
  • Open a faucet and turn it on until you get a constant stream of water coming out of it. This will release any trapped air that may have accumulated within the tank.

Watch the Video

Water heater expansion tanks require routine maintenance to ensure that they operate at peak performance.

Every year, the majority of experts suggest that you or a competent professional do routine maintenance on your equipment.

Why is Maintenance Needed for an Expansion Tank?

Expansion tanks are constructed with an interior bladder that divides the contents of the tank into air and water. The bladder will begin to leak air as a result of a process known as diffusion. One psi of pressure every year can be experienced by the leak, which is sufficient to notice a difference after only 12 months. Upon rupture of the internal bladder, the expansion tank will fill with water and will fail to drain completely. It is not possible to repair the bladder in this situation, thus you will need to acquire a new expansion tank.

Checking the Bladder

We’ll offer you a simpler technique, but if you hire a professional to examine your expansion tank, he’ll follow these procedures to ensure that it’s in proper working order:

  • Turn off the water supply to your home and open a faucet to reduce the pressure created
  • Using an atire pressure gauge, connect the cap to the valve stem on the expansion tank and replace the cap. The pressure should be greater than 75 pounds per square inch. If there is no air pressure within the tank, this indicates that the expansion tank is not working properly. The old one will have to be replaced with a new one. If there is pressure within the tank, you will need to check the water pressure
  • Otherwise, you will need to replace the tank. The water pressure in the expansion tank and the water pressure in the reservoir should be comparable. It will be necessary to use a hand pump to provide air to the expansion tank if the tank is not identical.
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To examine your tank quickly and easily, you may just press the Schrader valve, which is positioned on the exterior of the tank and can be reached by pressing the button on the side of the tank. When you press down on the valve, air should hiss out, which indicates that the bladder is in excellent functioning order. The bladder, on the other hand, will most certainly burst if water starts flowing out instead, in which case you will need to get a new one.

Checking the PSI

After ensuring that the bladder is in excellent working order, you’ll want to check the psi pressure in the tank. The right pressure for your tank may be found in your owner’s handbook. In order to avoid having to look this number up again in the future, you may wish write this number down on your tank’s sidewall. Utilize a tire pressure gauge to obtain the reading. If the pressure is too high, you may simply release some air by pressing down on the valve until the desired amount of air has been released.

When adding air, we strongly recommend that you use a hand pump rather than an air compressor.

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Last updated on February 24, 2022 / Affiliate links included / Images sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API

Why You Need a Thermal Expansion Tank

Have you ever noticed the tiny tank that sits right next to your water heater? It’s probably not something you think about. Have you ever wondered what the hell it is supposed to be doing? It’s referred to as an athermal expansion tank, and it’s actually quite a significant development. As it turns out, the thermal expansion tank does a lot more to defend your property than you may think. It is important because it helps to maintain the proper water pressure in your home — and water pressure, if left to its own ways, can cause catastrophic harm.

What Is Thermal Expansion?

With increasing temperature, matter has a natural propensity to expand in mass or volume, which is known as thermal expansion. There are some universal rules of science that apply to just about anything, and this is one of them. Water is the most vulnerable component of your home’s thermal expansion. Because all of the water in your home is being held up by incredibly rigid pipes, it’s something you might want to be aware of. Water heaters are one of the most fundamental components of our contemporary way of life, and it is one that we take for granted on a regular basis.

Additionally, every time it is activated, the water in that tank increases.

What happens to all of the extra water volume? Even while it appears to run directly out of your house, it is not quite that simple. This is due to the fact that most homes have a closed plumbing system, which means that any surplus water is effectively contained within your home.

Closed Plumbing Systems

Plumbing systems are either open or closed depending on their configuration. The water main, in an open system, allows water to flow both into and out of your residence. If the water pressure in the system rises as a result of thermal expansion, water will naturally flow out of the system since the incoming water is flowing at a lower pressure than the existing pressure. This is impossible to happen in a closed system. In addition, the fact is that the vast majority of households in the United States function on a closed system.

  1. Having an open system for municipal water supply, for starters, might constitute a potential threat to public health.
  2. As a result, check valves are installed in household plumbing systems to prevent backflow into the municipal water supply.
  3. Because municipal water providers often pump out water at extraordinarily high pressures, households are equipped with pressure regulators that allow them to lower the water pressure to a more safe level for consumption.
  4. In this case, how does your plumbing network deal with the increased pressure and volume created by your water heater if the water cannot leave the building?

What Is A Thermal Expansion Tank?

Thermal expansion tanks are the hidden heroes of contemporary plumbing because they operate at low temperatures. They provide a destination for all of the excess water in your plumbing system, allowing the remainder of your plumbing system to function normally without having to worry about excessive water pressure. Essentially, a thermal expansion tank is a tiny tank that is put on the supply line that feeds into your water heater. Compressed air and a bladder are contained within the tank. The compressed air is pressured to match the pressure of the water in your house.

This high-pressure water eventually makes its way into the bladder of the expansion tank.

However, an expansion tank is not infallible.

Because water heater manufacturers are aware of this, they incorporate a pressure release valve into their water tanks.

They carry out their duties in a more basic manner, just allowing surplus water to pour out into a pan — or, in some cases, directly onto the floor. So, what’s the big deal about all of this? What exactly is the big deal about having high water pressure?

Why You Should Worry About Pressure

The presence of high water pressure may not appear to be a huge concern at first glance. Water pressure is one of the most crucial parts of your home’s plumbing system, yet it is often taken for granted. When your water pressure is excessive, fixtures, appliances, and pipelines are all subjected to additional strain and wear. Every component of your plumbing system is intended to work at a specific pressure threshold. This includes your toilet, showerheads, and faucets. When the pressure is exceeded, they begin to break down and must be replaced with new ones.

  • It is possible for small leaks to form that go unnoticed for months if they are hidden behind walls, above ceilings, or beneath floors.
  • High water pressure can also result in unexpected pipe breaks, which can cause catastrophic damage and property loss.
  • Fortunately, since the days of manual pressure gauges, monitoring your home’s water pressure has progressed significantly.
  • And you can access all of this information at any time of day or night using the Flo by Moen app.

Avoid Common Problems – Expansion Tank Maintenance

Thermal expansion tanks, on the other hand, do not endure indefinitely. The majority of tanks ultimately get waterlogged, rendering them unable to fulfill their intended function any more. Every five to ten years, professional plumbers recommend that you replace your pipes. Here are a few suggestions for maintaining your expansion tank:

  • Keep an eye out for condensation. This might be caused by a clogged expansion tank, or it could just be the result of living in an extremely humid environment. If your water heater is located near any electrical equipment, it might represent a threat in any case
  • Do the “tap test.” Take a moment to tap or bang on your expansion tank and listen to the sound that is produced. This means there is still air trapped within the container when it creates the hollow ringing sound. The sound is duller if the tank is full of water and has to be replenished
  • If the tank is empty, the sound is duller. Feel the tank in your hands. Feel the top and bottom of your expansion tank with your fingers. Temperatures should be comfortable to the touch at the top of the tank, which should be partially filled with compressed air. The water should be warm at the bottom of the tank, where it will eventually drain. if the top of the tank feels exactly the same as the bottom of the tank, you know you have a problem
  • Pay close attention to the pressure release valve on your water heater. Do you remember the pressure release valve from before? If there is too much pressure for the expansion tank to manage, it will begin to release water into the system. If you find that the release valve is frequently pouring, it might be a sign that your expansion tank is no longer functioning properly. Replace your tank immediately. No need to wait until a problem arises before making the decision to replace your expansion tank! As a general rule, replace your tank anytime your water heater is replaced or serviced. If your tank is damaged or malfunctioning, have it replaced immediately. Unless your expansion tank is functioning properly, your home is at risk of suffering from water damage or, in the worst case, a water heater explosion. As soon as you discover that something isn’t quite right, contact a plumber and begin the process of having a new expansion tank fitted.


As you can see, thermal expansion is always at work in your home, and your thermal expansion tank is one of the most vital plumbing components you can have installed. It helps to maintain your pipes and fixtures in good condition, as well as protecting your water heater. It will take excellent care of you if you take good care of it.

What Is a Water Heater Expansion Tank? (And Why You Might Need One)

A water heater expansion tank is a small tank that connects to your water heater and holds additional water. Your water heater tank will be protected against leaking or exploding as a result of this device. The problem of thermal expansion and how an expansion tank can aid will be discussed in detail in order to demonstrate how this works.

The problem: Water expands when it’s heated

Temperature expansion is a feature of water that refers to the fact that water expands when it is heated. As a result, as the water in your water heater heats up, the water expands. Furthermore, the additional volume requires a home. The additional volume is forced back into the cold water inlet and into the city’s water delivery lines in the majority of Phoenix households. However, there is an issue. Check valves or pressure-regulating valves (PRVs) are now often seen on the water main in many residences.

These are beneficial because they help to avoid pollution of the city’s water supply and/or help to maintain a more consistent rate of water pressure in your house.

And that typically signifies that it is dripping out of the T P (temperature and pressure) valve on your water heater.

However, you will be left with a puddle on your floor all of the time.

In addition, due to a lack of maintenance, the T P valve in many homes becomes stuck closed. In that instance, the pressure in the tank builds up until the tank finally bursts or leaks, allowing the pressure to be released from the tank.

The solution: Water heater expansion tank

An expansion tank is linked to the water pipe that feeds into your water heater tank in order to absorb any surplus water that occurs. The expansion tank is able to absorb extra water because it is equipped with a diaphragm that is similar to rubber and an air cushion. In this expansion tank, overflowing water from the water heater is channeled, and the air in the tank is compressed to compensate for the increased volume of water in the tank.

Get a water heater expansion tank installed

In the event that you have a storage tank water heater and a PRV or check valve on your water main, you should consider installing a water heater expansion tank. For more information on plumbing services in the Phoenix area, call George Brazil Plumbing.

Further reading:

  • Should I Replace My Old Water Heater Now?
  • Storage Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters for Phoenix, Arizona
  • Should I Replace My Old Water Heater Now?

Plumbing and electrical services are provided across the greater Phoenix metropolitan region, including the cities of Glendale, Ahwatukee, Queen Creek, Apache Junction, and everything in between.

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