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.
If you’re concerned that your water heater doesn’t have an expansion tank, ServiceMark can assist you with that worry.
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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!
To improve the efficiency and comfort of your hot water heater, it is integrated with a check valve, which is inserted in the cold-water feed pipe. Licensing technicians in the plumbing business refer to the check valve and associated pipes as a “closed system.” The function of these one-way check valves is to prevent water from running backward out of the house through the supply pipes, so preventing possible pollution 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 problem with check valves that are installed in systems.
Due to the high pressure in your water heater, an expansion tank will help to prevent an explosion. It is recommended that you purchase an expansion tank if your water heater tank contains a check valve or pressure-regulating valve.
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.
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. 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.
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?
Yes, the expansion tank, like every other component of your home’s plumbing system, is susceptible to malfunction over time. Most of the time, there are two ways in which they will fail. First and foremost, the rubber bladder within them wears down, and the tank ceases to operate as a means of mitigating thermal expansion as a result of this. Secondly, corrosion and leakage might occur at the connection point between the water supply pipe and the storage tank. Having the expansion tank put properly by a competent, certified plumber is one of the best things you can do to guarantee that no damage is done.
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 leak occurs.
Tanks of high quality feature a stainless steel threaded connection and are constructed with high-grade materials, such as thick butyl rubber, polypropylene, heavy gauge carbon steel, and so on.
Most manufacturers recommend that expansion tanks be checked once a year when they are first installed and more often as the tank ages.
Monitor Pressure: Easy
Yes, the expansion tank, like every other component of your home’s plumbing system, is prone to breakdown over time. It is common for them to fail in two ways. First and foremost, the rubber bladder within them wears down, and the tank ceases to operate as a means of mitigating thermal expansion. Secondly, corrosion and leakage might occur at the point of connection between the water pipe and the storage tank. One thing you can do to guarantee that the expansion tank does not cause harm is to have it installed by a trained, 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 leak.
Good tanks feature a stainless steel threaded connection and are constructed of high-quality materials such as thick butyl rubber, polypropylene, heavy gauge carbon steel, and so on.
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.
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
It is also possible to detect if your expansion tank has been compromised by releasing a small amount of air through the Schrader valve located at the top. This method is considerably more reliable. If air escapes from the rubber bladder, it indicates that it is still in good condition. A rupture has occurred if water begins to flow out of the hole.
- 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
Make sure you have a hose connection to an outdoor water faucet and allow it to flow for about 15 seconds. 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 now present on your system, connect your water pressure gauge to that faucet; Close the main shut-off valve to your home and turn off the water. Open a faucet and allow all of the pressure in your system to drain out.
It is possible to detect how much air pressure is in your tank by looking at the gauge on your pump.
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.
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?
During the heating process, water expands. Thermal expansion is the technical term for this. It’s necessary to dispose of excess water since your water heater can only hold so many gallons in total. An expansion tank absorbs surplus pressure, reducing the amount of strain placed on your water heater and piping system.
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.
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?
Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links.
This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. We will answer these questions and provide you with a better picture of what is happening with your water heater if you continue reading.
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?
First and foremost, you must comprehend how your water heater operates. When the water in your water heater is heated, it expands as it cools. Thermal expansion is the term used to describe this process, which can put a strain on your plumbing system. What happens is that if your water heater stores 50 gallons of cold water, it will expand to around 52 gallons once it has been warmed up. As a result, if the excess volume has nowhere to go, it will press against the walls of your plumbing system.
- Your water heater is analogous to this paper clip; if there is enough pressure built up from the expanding and contracting, the tank itself can begin to leak or even rupture.
- Unfortunately, many residences have closed water supply systems, which means that the water supply is only available in one direction.
- The manufacturer of your water heater may even invalidate your guarantee if you do not use an expansion tank in conjunction with your closed system, according to the manufacturer.
- You may, on the other hand, hire a plumber to complete this particular work for you if necessary.
- Your expansion tank may be able to assist you in saving your system.
- The expansion tank acts as a fail-safe device, preventing your plumbing from becoming overworked.
- This, in turn, shields it from further harm.
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 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.
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.
Do I Need a Water Heater Expansion Tank?
It’s possible that if you’ve never heard of a water heater expansion tank before, it appears to be nothing more than a simple attachment for your water heater to you. Alternatively, it might be some sort of technology that increases the capacity of your water heater, allowing you to utilize more hot water at the same time. These are reasonable assumptions, but in reality, an expansion tank is a safety feature that keeps your water heater from being harmed by high amounts of water pressure. Not just anyone, on the other hand, should have one installed.
Don’t be concerned; we’ll explain what expansion tanks are and whether or not you require one.
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.
Over time, the strain on your water heater might cause it to leak and, in the worst case scenario, burst! 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 easily understood, why aren’t water heaters in Glendale, AZpre-engineered to deal with this problem from the start? They are, in fact, correct! Check valves and temperature-regulator valves are commonly found in water heaters to combat 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 home. 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 more likely scenario, on the other hand, is that you have a water supply system that is closed.
However, even with the valves mentioned above in place, the pressure created 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 |
Water Heater Expansion Tank
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.
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 water is heated from 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it expands by approximately 2 percent.
The tank is divided into two portions by a rubber valve.
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.
Common questions about water heater expansion tanks include:
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.
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.
A pressure gauge, for example, should be installed to monitor the pressure in the tank.
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.
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.
Thermal Expansion Relief Valves Replace Expansion Tanks
Similarities Between Thermal Expansion Relief ValvesExpansion Tanks
Because it acts in a similar manner to a water heater expansion tank, the Thermal Expansion Relief Valve can be used in place of one. Thermal expansion causes an increase in pressure in the plumbing system, which both items help to alleviate. As plumbers are well aware, the expansion tank helps to maintain equal pressure throughout the plumbing system by providing a room for hot water to flow into. In the absence of an expansion tank, pressure would be dispersed throughout the whole piping system, causing it to strain and shorten its lifespan.
- Managing the thermal expansion of water
- Balancing the pressure in the system Pipes should be protected against bursting or wearing out prematurely.
Thermal Expansion Relief Valve instead of keeping water discharges it, which eliminates some of the issues associated with the use of an expansion tank.
Common Expansion Tank Problems
Despite the fact that expansion tanks are required by law in the majority of closed-loop water heater systems, they have a reputation for malfunctioning. The following are some of the most common expansion tank problems:
- The rubber diaphragm begins to wear out. When the tank was installed, it is possible that the pressure below the rubber diaphragm was not adjusted at the proper level, enabling water to enter the tank too frequently and prematurely wearing out the diaphragm. Pinhole Leaks are a type of leak that occurs when a pinhole is present. There’s also a history of expansion tanks having pinhole leaks in the rubber bladder, and there’s no way to tell unless you go out of your way to test it or notice that theTemperaturePressure Relief Valve (T P) is cycling on and off a lot. Problems with Excessive Condensation Additionally, if there is an excessive amount of water in the tank, condensation can build up on the surface of the tank, resulting in messy pooling, potentially dangerous leaking, and finally a rusted expansion tank.
The fact that there are coordinated valves and elements on the outside and inside of a water heater that decide whether water pressure is adequately and securely handled means that there are several failure spots that might result in damaged plumbing systems – all without notice.
Why the Thermal Expansion Relief Valve is the Better Option
To get more done in less time while still keeping your clients satisfied, you need dependable solutions that allow you to do the work more quickly and efficiently while yet staying cost-effective. In the following ways, SharkBite’s innovative Thermal Expansion Relief Valve puts you in the best possible position for success.
With the Thermal Expansion Relief Valve, there is no need to make educated guesses. It’s a combination of a ball valve and a relief valve that opens and drains water to a pipe drain when water pressure reaches 125 psi. It’s installed in the same location as an expansion tank and works in the same way. That means no more pondering whether or not a diaphragm or bladder is functioning correctly, and no more dreading the ultimate replacement. What’s more, the finest thing is. It satisfies the criteria of the code.
It’s also less difficult for you to install because there are no large things to maneuver around when putting everything in its proper spot. Regardless of how large or tiny the area surrounding the water heater is, you won’t have to be concerned about finding space for a tank any more. The Thermal Expansion Relief Valve is constructed using SharkBite push-to-connect end connectors that are compatible with PEX, copper, CPVC, and PE-RT pipe. It is installed directly into the water line with no additional support required.
And with simplicity comes greater affordability. The Thermal Expansion Relief Valve and a drain line are all that are required, but an expansion tank necessitates the purchase of a number of extra accessories that add up.
While expansion tanks have long been the standard method of preventing thermal expansion from causing damage to plumbing systems, they have a number of drawbacks, including dependability concerns, additional installation costs, and the requirement for more space.
We designed the Thermal Expansion Relief Valve to provide you with the functionality of an expansion tank while eliminating the difficulties associated with it.
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.
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
Are you curious about what a water heater expansion tank is and why it is such a crucial part of any tank-based water heater? Read on to find out. Throughout this article from G C Plumbing, we’ll go over the fundamentals of this water heater component, and we’ll help you grasp how it works – as well as why it’s so critical. Let’s get this party started. When water is heated in a water heater, it expands in volume. When water is heated, it expands in the same way that the great majority of other substances do.
- Uncontrolled rises in pressure have caused the tank to break, which is why you may have heard of water heaters exploding before.
- It is possible for an explosion to occur if the relief valve is not working properly.
- Today, however, a “check valve” prevents this from happening.
- Excess pressure is produced by an expansion tank.
- If you have a more recent water heater, the solution is an expansion tank.
- Heat is generated as the water expands, and if the pressure ever rises over a certain level, part of the increasing water can be emptied straight into the expansion tank.
- In the event that I do not have a water heater expansion tank, what should I do?
- If you discover that plumbing components such as washers are wearing out rapidly, or if you observe a significant amount of water flowing from the relief valve on your water heater, you may want to consider installing an expansion tank in your home.
- Do you require a new water heater or an expansion tank for your existing water heater?
- G C Plumbing is a full-service plumbing company that can assist you with plumbing jobs of any size or scope.
Contact us online or call us at 508-541-8783 if you have any questions regarding expansion tanks or if you’re in the market for a new water heater. What Our staff of skilled plumbing contractors is available at all times to assist you.
Expansion Tanks: What Are They and Why Are They Important?
Diagram of an expansion tank courtesy of SupplyHouse.com SupplyHouse.com has sponsored this article and would like to thank them for their support. BobVila.com is the source of the information and viewpoints presented. When it comes to increasing the efficiency and lifespan of their heating and cooling systems, homeowners should consider installing an expansion tank, which is a simple and affordable way of adjusting water pressure and minimizing costly damage to other components, such as pipes.
What Is an Expansion Tank?
An expansion tank is a pressure relief device that may be used in both potable water and closed hydronic heating systems to release pressure. It ensures that a consistent pressure is maintained within the pipes, preventing them from being damaged by excessive pressure during operation. “An expansion tank in a heating system is a vital component because it protects the entire system from the increased pressure and volume caused by heating,” says Daniel O’Brian, a technical expert from online retailer SupplyHouse.com.
- Due to the fact that water takes up more space and has nowhere to go, the pressure will rise and potentially damage the system, which will occur most often in the system’s weakest points, leading to a leak or a pipe rupture.
- Get free, no-obligation repair quotes from qualified HVAC experts in your local area now.
- Expansion tanks function by bringing the pressure in the system back to normal.
- The water is contained on one side, which is connected to the pipes of the heating system.
- As more hot water is introduced into the heating system, the pressure within the system rises.
- As a result, the air in the tank is compressed, allowing for more water to enter through the opening.
Installing an Expansion Tank
A proficient do-it-yourselfer can usually accomplish the procedure of installing an expansion tank in less than an hour if they have a little patience.
Installation by a qualified plumber is required in some areas, so you should check with your local building authority before beginning any work.
Choosing an Expansion Tank
There are many different sizes of expansion tanks, with capacities ranging from tanks that contain as little as two gallons to tanks that carry several hundred gallons. A convenientExpansion Tank Sizing Calculator is available on the website of online retailer SupplyHouse.com, which can be used to estimate the size of the tank required for your system. Calculate the optimal size and model of expansion tank for your system by utilizing this calculator.
Expansion Tank Costs
Price ranges for expansion tanks start at approximately $30 for small residential tanks and may reach as high as $800 to $1,000 for bigger commercial tanks, depending on the size. Extrol expansion tanks, manufactured by Amtrol, are used for hydronic heating systems; the Watts ET series and BellGossett HFT expansion tanks, both designed for use with closed hydronic heating systems; and Therm-X-trol expansion tanks, which are designed for use with potable water open systems, are among the leading brands.
Expansion Tank Maintenance
Alternatively, if your property already has an expansion tank in place, you may wish to inspect it on a regular basis to ensure that the tank is still operational. Simply placing your touch on the expansion tank and feeling the warmth will tell you whether or not the tank is functioning correctly. The top section of the tank should be warm to the touch, while the bottom half of the tank should be at room temperature. a. Unless the diaphragm breaks, it is probable that the tank has entirely filled with hot water, which occurs only if the entire tank is heated to a comfortable temperature.
SupplyHouse.com, an online store, has a huge range of expansion tanks and accessories from the most reputable manufacturers in the business at competitive prices.
Get free, no-obligation repair quotes from qualified HVAC experts in your area by filling out the form below.
Water Heater Expansion Tanks: What You Should Know
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.
A bursting pipe might possibly be the result of this condition! An expansion tank for a Watts DET-5 water heater. The Watts DET-5 is the ideal size for water heaters up to 50 gallons in capacity.
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.
Water that has overflowed into the expansion tank is disposed of in the waste tank.
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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|
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?
It is critical to choose the proper size thermal expansion tank, however if in doubt, it is better to err on the side of caution and get a larger tank rather than a smaller tank.
Even if you have an expansion tank that is too large for your system, it will be able to manage the additional water safely. A tank that is too small, on the other hand, might cause the temperature and pressure relief valve to open, allowing the excess pressure to be released.
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.
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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.
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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