What is a thermal expansion tank, and do you need it?

26th July 2018
Tankless Water Heaters

Water heaters can have a lot of problems. However, some of them can be solved by a thermal expansion tank. Do you know what is that? I think most people have never heard of it. As a result, we are going to explain it in this blog article.

Are you tired of the hot water heater always leaking? Do you need to replace yet another heater and can not figure out exactly what keeps going wrong? The compounds used for your water heater tank along with your home's pipes are slightly stiff by design. So unless the increasing pressure has some sort of release, it will continue to push against the pipes and sides of the tank. If that's you, you might need to put in a thermal expansion tank.

If you are a good student in school, you might remember from high school physics, most liquids enlarge as they warm up. Since the water within your water heater tank increases in temperatures, its volume increases also, and it pushes harder against the faces of the tank.

Backflow increases the risk of water contamination, so you may wish to consider having a plumber come in and asses your risk, also you may need a backflow prevention valve and an expansion tank.  In extreme cases, the building pressure may cause the pipes to burst. But the typical outcome is for the water tank to be distorted only enough to break the rubber seals with time passing by, leading to leaks and inadequate performance in general.

A thermal expansion tank aids, however.  A thermal expansion tank is a sort of canister which hooks on the cold water pipe feeding to the water heater. Within the metallic casing, it comprises a rubber diaphragm and a compacted pocket of air.

To make you understand better, we are going to explain more here. The Issue with hot water pressure is that an expansion tank does not increase the amount of hot water your own water heater may hold. On the contrary, it forms a kind of pressure buffer to regulate the water pressure in your pipe, and this also can extend the lifespan of not just your water heater, but also your entire plumbing system as well. In this way, the expansion tank functions as a shock absorber, relieving the increasing strain without damaging the tank or pipes. When the water pressure builds, water may float back toward the expansion tank. The flexible diaphragm allows some water to join the volume of the tank area, taking pressure off of the rigid pipes. The atmosphere pressure ensures the water will be pushed back into the pipe system when it cools.

What about old homes? If you have a house that was built before the mid-2000s, you probably do not require a thermal expansion tank. This is because backflow prevention devices were not needed in homes at that time, and the two-way stream of water allows for some natural pressure release. Is this surprising? Many people think that old dwellings usually need more significant repairs, but actually, this is not true in this case.

Would you want an expansion tank set up, or have you got another problem with your water heater? Give Republic a call. Our knowledgeable service professionals are accessible 7 days a week and 24 hours a day! Do not hesitate to call us any time.

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