Hot Water Heater Expansion Systems: The Basics

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If you are getting ready to install a new hot water heater in your home, you need to be sure that you cover all of the necessary components to keep your system running at its best. One thing that you may need to add with your hot water heater is an expansion tank. If you are not familiar with these devices, it's hard to understand their benefits. Here's what you need to know about hot water heater expansion tanks.

Expansion Tank Basics

Expansion tanks are smaller tanks, usually only large enough to hold a couple of gallons of water. Installed next to your standard water heater, the expansion tank will be connected to the water input line. The purpose of an expansion tank is to ensure that your water pressure remains consistent.

When the water inside your hot water tank heats up, it expands in response to that heat. Without an expansion tank, there's nowhere for that expanded water to go. This increases pressure in your tank, which can be damaging to the tank. When you add an expansion tank, the water flows to the expansion tank instead. This preserves the consistency of the pressure in your hot water tank and your plumbing lines.

Expansion Tank Reasons

There are many different reasons why you may need to add an expansion tank to your hot water heater. Here are a few of the most common indications that your hot water system could benefit from the addition of an expansion tank.

One of the most common reasons to add an expansion tank is if you have a closed hot water heating system. You'll also want to consider one if your hot water system includes a pressure regulation valve. In addition, if you start to see any fluctuation in your hot water pressure, that's a good indication that your system needs an expansion tank.

In some places, an expansion tank isn't optional. Your local city or state ordinance may require the installation of a tank like this when you install a new water heater. You may not have one now, however, because your existing water tank may have been grandfathered when the ordinance was passed. By default, you lose that protection when you install a new hot water system.

The more you understand about expansion tanks for your hot water system, the easier it is to see how they can help you. Reach out to a water heater installation service technician today for more information and to have a new expansion tank added to your system.

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11 October 2019

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