Steps For Installing a Thermal Expansion Tank to a Water Heater
Peace of mind is priceless – especially when it comes to something as invaluable as your home. That’s why we recommend that customers think about adding a thermal expansion tank to their traditional tank water heater. In this article, we’ll explain why this is important and the critical steps for installation.
What does a thermal expansion tank do?
A thermal expansion tank is a safety component that is attached to a tank water heater. As the water temperature increases, the volume of the water expands. When this happens, some water from the water heater is temporarily diverted to the expansion tank to avoid pressure build-up that could cause the water heater to leak or break down. When the pressure inside the main tank recedes to a normal level, the expansion tank pushes any water back into the water heater.
How a thermal expansion tank is installed
- The size of the expansion tank is determined by the capacity of the water heater, which typically ranges between 40-80 gallons.
- The home’s water pressure is checked to ensure it’s around 50 PSI. If the water pressure is high (above 80 PSI), a pressure-reducing valve should be installed.
- The internal air pressure of the thermal expansion tank is adjusted to match the home’s maximum water pressure.
- The thermal expansion tank is typically installed on the horizontal cold-water pipe near the water heater.
- After water is drained from the water supply line, the pipes are cut, and the new connections are made to the expansion tank.
- Once the tank is installed, a hot water outlet (such as a sink faucet) is opened to remove any trapped air in the pipes.
- Final checks are made to make sure hot water is flowing into the thermal expansion tank and the pressure inside the tank is appropriate (based on the manufacturer’s recommendations).
Thermal expansion tank installation in Lynn, MA, and the North Shore area
As you can see, installing a thermal expansion tank is a fairly technical process that requires plumbing knowledge and proper equipment. If a homeowner performs a DIY installation incorrectly, it can result in leaks, damage to the water heater, or further property damage.
A better option is having a licensed plumber install the thermal expansion tank for you. Not only will you gain peace of mind that the installation is done properly, but you can rest easy knowing that you have this important backup feature on your water heater for many years to come.