What Is the Purpose of a Water Heater Expansion Tank?
Because water will expand when heated, the excess pressure inside the water heater tank needs to be released. In the past, the expanding water in the tank would simply drain back out into the municipal water supply where it came from. Today, the water main is designed to prevent the backwards release of pressure, known as backflow, by employing a check valve. The check valve prevents waste water from inside the house returning to the water supply where it can contaminate the supply of fresh water.
A water heater expansion tank is another small tank that is attached to the water supply pipe of the water heater. The expansion tank is designed to handle the thermal expansion of water as it heats up in the water heater, preventing excessive water pressure. If water pressure gets to high it can damage valves in plumbing fixtures, joints in supply pipes and the water heater itself. Expanding water from the water heater flows into the expansion tank, relieving water pressure in the system.
What if my water heater doesn’t have an expansion tank?
Most homes that have a check valve on the water main do not have an expansion tank, since it wasn’t required until recently. This may or may not cause excessive pressure buildup, depending on the specific design of the plumbing in the house.
If you are noticing that washers in plumbing fixtures are deteriorating rapidly, or water is dripping from the relief valve on the water heater, it may be wise to add an expansion tank. It can be low cost insurance against more costly damage to your home’s plumbing system.
Neighbors Are Saying About ABC
“Keith and his crew were top notch. Calm/cool, trustworthy, efficient, respectful, reliable, thorough, communicative and reassuring. And at the end of the day, quality work! For the bigger projects, I feel confident knowing we have a go-to service to call.”–
“ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric are fantastic. I recently used them to replace my sump pump, which had exploded! They were very friendly on the phone and Rick H., our technician was fantastic. He explained things thoroughly, we was efficient and very nice. Will definitely be using him and…”–
“On only a day's notice, Adam came very prepared. He knew immediately what was the issue in each case. He replaced one toilet and repaired another. The bathrooms were left in great order and very clean. I am looking forward to having more work done by Adam and ABC.”–
“ABC was reliable and professional. Mike G was our technician and was a pleasure to work with. Down to earth, no pressure and gave you a straight answer to what you needed. Felt like I got an honest appraisal and was given a great quote. Will be calling them back…”–
“You never know for sure what you'll get when you need a contractor in a pinch. I chose ABC Plumbing out of my 2017 Best Picks Report for contractors because ABC was their top choice. After working them, I will use them again and tell everyone who needs this kind…”–
“EXCELLENT and FAST service provided by ABC plumbing and superb work at our home provided by Tom Glaza. He fielded, diagnosed and fixed all electrical issues. Tom is knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and explains everything in detail to customer so you know what he is fixing and gives accurate up front…”–