Have you ever seen a little tank on top of a water heater tank and wondered what it was? That is most likely an “Expansion Tank”. An expansion tank prevents pressure increases due to thermal expansion of your water. As your water is heated from 50° F to 120° F, it expands by approximately 2%.
If you have a “closed system”, which means there is a backflow preventer or other device that prevents your water from flowing back into the water main, thermal expansion will cause very rapid pressure increases in your plumbing system.
Frequently Asked Questions about water heater expansion tanks include:
What is a check valve?
Does the expansion tank have to be installed on the cold side?
Where should an expansion tank be installed in relation to the hot water heater?
Can the expansion tank be installed at any angle?
Retail expansion tanks come with a “Saddle Fitting”, which allows the installation into the system without any soldering, thereby making installation easier for the average homeowner. The saddle fitting is a device that clamps around the pipe and has female threads that will accept the expansion tank. A small hole is first drilled in the pipe, then the clamp is placed so the hole lines up with the expansion tank inlet. We do not recommend using such a fitting. They are unreliable, and allow placement of the expansion tank in the above mentioned vertical hanging position only.
If you are looking for an expansion tank installation or a complete new water heater, call Oak Plumbing at (877) 959-7030, and please remember to “Like” us on Facebook (click here) and follow us on Twitter (click here).
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Locally owned and operated, Oak Plumbing Inc. utilizes family values while servicing your home. All our technicians are 100% certified by our in house Master Plumber, back-round checked, and drug tested for your family’s safety. It is our pleasure and honor to serve you and we look forward to taking care of all your plumbing needs!