What Is An Expansion Tank For A Water Heater?

Is an expansion tank necessary on a water heater?

An expansion tank is always highly recommended if you have a ‘closed-loop system’ caused by any kind of check valve or pressure regulating valve installed on your house’s water supply line. However, the long-term wear and tear of this excess pressure can reduce the life expectancy of everything in your plumbing system.

Do I need to replace the expansion tank when I replace my water heater?

The average life of your tank can be anywhere between five and 10 years. You can extend the life of your expansion tank by making sure that your home’s water pressure matches the air pressure in your expansion tank. But in some cases, you’ll need to replace it.

Is an expansion tank required by code?

The California Plumbing Code (Section 608.3) and the California Mechanical Code (Section 1005.0) requires a thermal expansion tank, or listed equivalent, to be installed to water heating systems to relieve excessive building pressure during the heating process.

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What happens when a water heater expansion tank fails?

Oftenthe diaphragm dividing the two systems will fail, causing the two systems to become one. When this happens, the expansion tank turns into a “dead leg” that will eventually cause damage and premature failure to your water heater.

How much does it cost to install an expansion tank on a water heater?

The cost to install a thermal expansion tank can range from $300 to $400. Often the expense of the thermal expansion tank is included in the cost of the new water heater.

Does expansion tank go on hot or cold side?

Although expansion tanks can be installed on the hot side, we strongly recommend they be installed on the cold line, downstream of the shutoff valve.

Where should an expansion tank be located?

The expansion tank (potable water type) should be installed on the inlet cold-water line. It can be installed anywhere in the building on the cold-water supply (after the regulator). It is usually installed by plumbers on the cold-water inlet of the water heater.

Can an expansion tank explode?

In fact, the tank may explode! Thermal Expansion Can Cause Hot Water Heaters to Explode! A typical hot water heater in an “open” sys- tem has only a temperature and pressure (T&P) valve to prevent a rupture of the hot water heater (figure A). This compressibility allows the ex- panding hot water a place to go.

Can a water heater be installed directly on the floor?

Gas water heaters can sit directly on the floor if they are FVIR (flammable vapor ignition-resistant). All gas 30, 40, and 50-gallon water heaters sold to the North American market after 2005 must comply with ANSI Z21. 10.1a-2002 standards and are FVIR. All electric water heaters can be placed directly on the floor.

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Is an expansion tank required for a water heater in Florida?

Water heaters installed in compliance with the current plumbing code will have the required T & P Valve and thermal expansion tank. For public health protection, the water purveyor may require the installation of a check valve or backflow preventer downstream of the water meter.

Can a homeowner install a water heater?

Most codes or ordinances allow a homeowner to install their own water heater, and some jurisdictions allow unlicensed individuals to install water heaters, but they still must pull a permit and have it inspected for safety.

How do I know if my water heater expansion tank is bad?

How to Tell If an Expansion Tank is Working

  1. Tap on the tank. It should be hollow about half way up.
  2. Check the temperature by feeling the top and bottom of the tank.
  3. Use an air gauge to check the pressure inside the tank.
  4. Check to see if your release valve is spurting water.

What happens if expansion tank is full?

The loss of air cushion in the expansion / compression tank means that at each heating-on cycle the system pressure can be too high, causing the temperature/pressure relief valve to spill. Air in the hot water heating system can cause loss of heat: air in baseboards radiators keeps hot water out – they don’t get hot.

Why is my water heater expansion tank leaking?

But sometimes, due to wear and tear, your expansion tank may start leaking. If the leak comes from the pipe fiting (seen at the top of the tank), try using a wrench to tighten the fitting. If the leak comes from the tank itself, though, you’ll need a professional to repair or replace the expansion tank.

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