What Is A Water Heater Expansion Tank

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

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Because of the high pressure in your water heater, an expansion tank will help to prevent an explosion. If your water heater tank is equipped with a check valve or a pressure-regulating valve, we recommend that you purchase an expansion tank to supplement it.

ServiceMark Can Install Your Expansion Tank!

In addition to being thoroughly trained, our great heating, cooling, and plumbing professionals and support personnel are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to assist you in making your house not only pleasant, but also safe! We provide same-day service and qualified professionals that are guaranteed to come on time, every time, on the job site. Make a call to the ServiceMark team to guarantee that your house is secure and pleasant throughout the year. This article may be of interest: Should I Repair or Replace My Heat Pump System?

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.

Gilbert and Chandler would be delighted to check the condition of your water heater in order to decide whether or not it might benefit from an expansion tank installation. 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).

  • 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?

When you are unclear whether or not the expansion tank is the proper size, you may find yourself in a predicament where you must decide. In order to avoid selecting an expansion tank that is too small, it is customary to pick one that is somewhat bigger than required.

A tank that is too small might cause the relief valve to discharge, which is why this is necessary. If the tank is overly large, on the other hand, it has no detrimental influence on your plumbing.

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.

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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?

First and foremost, if you do not have a storage tank water heater, this post will not be of any value to you; otherwise, please disregard this article. In order to address a specific difficulty with storage tank water heaters, expansion tanks were developed. When water is heated, the water within your water heater expands, and this is a unique problem to be aware of and address. Thermal expansion is the technical term for this. As an example, when heated, a tank that stores 50 gallons of cold water will expand to accommodate 52 gallons.

Even with those two extra gallons, your plumbing system will be put under pressure.

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

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?

We strongly recommend that expansion tanks be installed on the cold line, downstream of the shutoff valve, even though they can be installed on the hot line.

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.

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.

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.

Water that has overflowed into the expansion tank is disposed of in the waste tank.

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There is a pressurized air bladder contained within the expansion tank, which absorbs the extra water by expanding and compressing. Because water in your water heater expands as it heats up, the pressure in the tank and piping system increases as well. The surplus water, however, enters the expansion tank instead of allowing the pressure to increase.

A faucet in the house is opened (or water cools), allowing the water in your thermal expansion tank to be re-introduced into your hot water system. Water that has overflowed into the expansion tank is not stored there. Unlike a reservoir, it does not hold water indefinitely.

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?

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.

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How to Install an Expansion Tank

If you’re unsure about the size of your thermal expansion tank, it’s advisable to err on the side of caution and get a larger tank rather than a smaller one. Even if you have an expansion tank that is too large for your system, it will be able to properly manage the additional water. In contrast, an insufficiently sized tank may cause the temperature and pressure relief valve to open, releasing the excess pressure.

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. Providing that it is properly placed, a thermal expansion tank has an average lifespan of six years on average.

Checking the Bladder

Expandable tanks are constructed with an interior bladder that separates the contents of the tank into two parts: air and liquid. The bladder will lose air through a process known as “diffusion.” One psi of pressure every year can be experienced by the leak, which is sufficient to see a difference after just 12 months. Upon rupture of the internal bladder, the expansion tank will fill with water and will not be able to adequately empty itself. It is not possible to repair the bladder in this situation, thus you will have to acquire a new expansion tank.

  • 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

To examine your tank quickly and easily, you may just press the Schrader valve, which is situated on the exterior of the tank and can be found by pressing the button on the side of the tank. It means that the bladder is in good operating order if air comes hissing out when you press down on the valve. 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.

Watch the Video

Last updated on February 25, 2022 / Affiliate links included / Images sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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

How and why do you require an expansion tank with a closed loop system; Find out how to identify whether you have a closed plumbing system by following these steps:

Why you need an expansion tank with a closed loop system

Why do you need an expansion tank with a closed loop system? How to detect whether your plumbing system is closed;

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

Nick Gromicko, CMI®, and Kenton Shepard contributed to this article. What is an expansion tank, and how does it work? An expansion tank is a metal tank that is attached to a building’s water heating appliance and is designed to tolerate changes in the volume of hot water supplied to a building’s water heating appliance. Due to the fact that water expands in volume as it heats up and contracts in volume as it cools, these variations occur. When the volume of water in a closed system increases, the water pressure might become dangerously high.

  • In contrast to water, which cannot be compressed, air is employed as a cushion because it exerts less stress on its container than water.
  • If the bladder begins to lose air over time, a Schrader valve, which is similar to the fill valve used on bicycle and automobile tires, may be used to inflate the bladder with more air.
  • When compared to water heaters, expansion tanks are very smaller, often holding around two gallons in residential systems, however tank capacities vary in accordance to the volume of water delivered by the hot water supply system they service.
  • InterNACHI inspectors should make sure that tanks are installed high enough above the water heater so that water can readily drain back into the water heater tank when the water is turned off.
  • It may also be mounted horizontally, but vertical installation is preferable.
  • If the expansion tank is not properly supported or installed, it should be examined for corrosion or leaking.
  • Not to be used as a replacement for a Temperature Pressure Relief (TPR) valve.
  • TPR valves have the capability of lowering water pressure at a rate greater than the pace at which the water heater can raise it, hence preventing the potential that water may become superheated (more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit) and pose a major harm to the user’s health.
  • The release lever should also be exercised monthly by the homeowner rather than an inspection team.
  • As the temperature of the water heater tank climbs over the boiling point and the water gets superheated, pressure will continue to develop in the water heater tank.
  • Depending on how severe the situation is, the water heater might be launched like a rocket or explode like a bomb, inflicting significant property damage, personal harm, or even death.

In summary, the expansion tank should be examined for correct placement and support, corrosion, and leaking before being used. Despite the fact that they are not required in many jurisdictions, they are extremely important to the successful and safe running of residential drinking water systems.

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 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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