Expansion Tank Installation
Expansion tank installation becomes necessary when the pressure within your plumbing system increases as the water heater turns on, causing water to heat and expand. This is called thermal expansion, and its common in high-pressure areas.
Thermal expansion occurs even when the home’s pressure regulator is working properly. The pressure will continue to increase within the system until a valve is opened up to bleed it off, such as a faucet or toilet. Thermal expansion can, over time, cause significant damage to water lines, faucets and other household appliances.
Having an expansion tank installed is the solution to bleeding off excess pressure, without having to do so manually. It will allow heating water to expand without putting stress on other parts the system. Running toilets and leaky faucets can be signs of thermal expansion, particularly when it happens during the night or at times when faucets, toilets and irrigation systems are not being used.
Increasing water pressure can eventually trip your water heater’s temp/pressure valve, which opens up at 150 p.s.i. If this happens, you can expect the water heater to discharge a large amount of hot water. Sometimes, especially with older water heaters, the temp/pressure valve doesn’t close properly after it’s activated, which creates a new problem altogether.
If you think you may have a problem with thermal expansion, you should have an experienced plumber inspect your system as soon as possible to determine whether or not expansion tank installation is necessary.