Water Heater Expansion Tank
A standard water heater expansion tank may stress your plumbing tanks by the normal thermal expansion that takes place during the process of heating. This special device also called the thermal expansion tank will help in minimizing the risk of pressure damaging the whole plumbing system. This problem, however, is not on the modern and tankless water heaters but the tank heaters are the ones that are faced with this issue.
This water heater expansion tank acts as the overflow receptacle by taking excess water volume from the tank heater while heating water, plus absorbing fluctuations from the pressure of the incoming water supply. Since water expands after heating as a result of thermal expansion, the water heater creates additional volume each time the water gets heated. For instance, it is estimated that the fifty-gallon water heater will expand to fifty-two gallons when it gets heated to 120F. the additional volume creates excess pressure in the system, and in case this pressure is less, with time, may cause damage to the plumbing fixtures, water pipes, and water heater.
Water heaters have the tendency of causing plumbing issues as a result of water expanding when heated. It is, fortunately, possible to alleviate water heater expansion tank issues through installation. There are so many benefits that come with expansion tanks and they include;
Extending the lifespan of the water heater
As noted, the water volume will increase as the temperature rises. This will result in several issues that relate to pressure. The reason behind this is that water does not have a place to go. Due to this, the stress increases on the heater’s seams of water, valves, and components of the tank. The water heater expansion tank gives excess water a destination. In that way, the pressure inside the tank and anywhere else will remain at safe levels.
Few plumbing repairs
Just as you might be able to deduce currently, high pressure resulting from water expansion may have negative effects on more than the heater alone. The pressure will soon rise high enough that the water will start pushing into pipes of the plumbing system. The stress may lead to pipes that are leaky and result in problems for plumbing items like toilets and sinks. The expansion tank will be vital for reducing the need for repairs to the other sections of the plumbing system.
Being able to use a lot of hot water
The expansion tank will give you the allowance of maximizing the water amount that is available to you. Immediately you turn on the hot water valve, it will draw water out of the expansion tank automatically before utilizing the water in the heater. Minus the expansion tank, the water will go to waste, because it ends up being pushed from the heater to the cold water pipes where the heat runs out.
How to install a water heater expansion tank
In case you do not have the one-way valve installed on your main water line, and so do not possess a water system that is closed, you will still benefit from the water heater expansion tank. These tanks are usually installed above water heaters on cold lines before entering water heaters, but they can be installed at any location on the cold line before entering the water heater. Having the water heater expansion tank helps in preventing running toilets and dripping faucets by keeping additional pressure build-up in the system from getting to these fixtures and damaging them prematurely.
In case you are employing a plumber to install the heater, it is good to start by asking about the installation price of the tank. It might not be more than what you are paying when you do it at the same time. In case you are installing the water heater on your own, consider installing the water heater expansion tank even when not needed, because the benefits outweigh the cost and work involved.