Do I Need an Expansion Tank?

Expansion TankYou may have had a plumber come out to look at an issue with your water heater and they recommend installing an expansion tank. But what purpose does an expansion tank serve? Do you really need it installed in your home? Let’s discuss what an expansion tank does.

When water in your water heater heats up, it expands. The process is called thermal expansion and it can cause strain on your plumbing system. Water heaters are made with extra space inside of the tank to allow for some expansion. If there’s too much pressure built up in tank from hot water, generally, the T&P (temperature and pressure) valve will protect the water heater from excess pressure and discharge water if the temperature and pressure reach a critical point. Your T&P valve is an emergency valve and are not meant to operate regularly. A dripping T&P valve on your water heater is a sign of a thermal expansion problem.

Installing an expansion tank on your water heater will take on the extra volume of water from thermal expansion and protect your water heater from damage. It will also increase the efficiency of your water heater. An expansion tank has a rubber bladder inside that separates an air chamber from the outside of the tank that you see. When pressure from your water heater increases, water enters the expansion tank compressing the air. When pressure is relieved in the water heater, the compressed air in the expansion tank pushes the water back into the water heater.

If you find that you have water from your T&P valve leaking occasionally from your water heater, give us a call at 785-341-4193 and let our technicians assess your situation and take care of your thermal expansion needs!

De Hart Plumbing Heating and Cooling, serving Manhattan Kansas, Junction City Kansas, Wamego Kansas, Topeka Kansas, and some surrounding areas.

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