If you’re in the market for a new water heater, you might be wondering if you need an expansion tank. This device is designed to help regulate the pressure in your water heater and prevent damage to your plumbing system. In this article, we’ll explain what an expansion tank is, why you need one, and how to install it.
What is an Expansion Tank?
An expansion tank is a device that’s installed near your water heater. It’s designed to help regulate the pressure in your plumbing system by providing extra space for your water to expand as it heats up. This is especially important if you have a closed plumbing system, where water has nowhere to go as it expands. Without an expansion tank, the pressure in your plumbing system can rise and cause damage to your water heater, pipes, or fixtures.
Why Do You Need an Expansion Tank?
If you have a closed plumbing system, you need an expansion tank to protect your water heater and plumbing system from damage. Without an expansion tank, the pressure in your system can build up and cause your water heater to fail prematurely. This can also cause leaks, burst pipes, and other expensive plumbing problems.
How to Install an Expansion Tank
Installing an expansion tank is a relatively easy process that can be done in just a few hours. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Turn off the Water Heater
Before you begin, make sure to turn off the power to your water heater. If you have an electric water heater, turn off the circuit breaker. If you have a gas water heater, turn off the gas supply valve.
Step 2: Turn off the Water Supply
Next, turn off the water supply to your water heater. This will prevent water from flowing into the tank while you’re installing the expansion tank.
Step 3: Drain the Water Heater
To install an expansion tank, you’ll need to drain some of the water from your water heater. You can do this by attaching a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and opening the valve.
Step 4: Install the Expansion Tank
Once you’ve drained some of the water from your water heater, it’s time to install the expansion tank. The tank should be installed on the cold water supply line near the water heater. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, making sure to use Teflon tape or pipe joint compound on the fittings.
Step 5: Connect the Pipes
Once the expansion tank is installed, it’s time to connect the pipes. Use copper pipes or flexible connectors to connect the expansion tank to the cold water supply line and the hot water outlet.
Step 6: Turn on the Water Supply and Power
Finally, turn on the water supply and power to your water heater. Check for leaks and make sure everything is working properly.
Installing an expansion tank is a simple and cost-effective way to protect your water heater and plumbing system from damage. By regulating the pressure in your plumbing system, an expansion tank can help extend the life of your water heater and prevent expensive plumbing problems down the line. If you’re not comfortable installing an expansion tank yourself, don’t hesitate to contact a licensed plumber for help.