Expansion Tanks on Water Heater: Is It Required or Optional?

Posted July 12, 2022 by in Home
woman making a hot bath for herself

If you’re a homeowner, then you know that there are some things that you have to take care of yourself and other things that you need to hire someone else to do for you. 

When it comes to home maintenance, one of the big questions homeowners often ask is: “are expansion tanks required on water heaters?”.

In this blog post, we’ll answer that question for you and give you some information about expansion tanks in case you’re thinking about adding one to your system. 

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What is an expansion tank and what does it do on a water heater system? 

An expansion tank is a small, pressurized tank that is installed on a water heater system. 

The expansion tank works by absorbing the extra pressure that is created when water heats up and expands. This prevents the water heater from becoming damaged or overworked. 

Homeowners with expansion tanks often have fewer issues with their water heaters, as the tanks help to regulate the pressure and prevent problems. As a result, expansion tanks can be a valuable addition to any home’s plumbing system.

Are expansion tanks required on water heaters in residential spaces?

Homeowners generally have a lot of questions and concerns when it comes to their plumbing, and one of the most common is “are expansion tanks required on water heaters in homes?”. 

The answer depends on the specific model of water heater, the general rule of thumb is that if the unit is over five years old, then an expansion tank is a good idea. 

The purpose of an expansion tank is to provide a space for the excess water that is created when the water heater heats up the water in its holding tank. This prevents the pressure from building up too much and causing damage to the pipes or the unit itself. 

Additionally, an expansion tank can help to extend the life of your water heater by preventing corrosion. While an expansion tank may not be required, it’s certainly worth considering if you want to keep your home’s plumbing system in proper working order.

Now you know the answer to the common question, “are expansion tanks required on hot water heaters?”.

How to determine if you have an expansion tank or not 

There are several factors that need to be considered in order to determine if an expansion tank is present, including the age of the home, the type of water heater, and the location of the unit. 

In most cases, homes built after 1985 will have an expansion tank if they have a hot water heater. However, there are a handful of exceptions to this rule that homeowners should be aware of. If you’re unsure if your property has an expansion tank, we recommend calling a professional plumber for assistance.

What are the benefits of having an expansion tank on your water heater system? 

Expansion tanks are an important part of any well-functioning plumbing system, and they can provide a number of benefits for homeowners. 

For one, they can extend the life of your water heater by preventing premature wear and tear. They can also help to prevent costly repairs by protecting your pipes from excessive pressure. If you’re experiencing water heater problems, an expansion tank may be the solution. Contact a qualified plumbing company for more information.

How to install a water heater expansion tank in your home

Water heater expansion tanks are an important, but often overlooked, piece of plumbing in your home. If your water heater does not have an expansion tank, it can cause problems down the road.

Here’s how to install one in your home:

First, shut off the power to your water heater. Then, drain the unit completely and disconnect the cold water supply line. Next, disconnect the hot water outlet pipe and relieve any remaining pressure in the unit by opening the pressure relief valve. Once you have access to the unit, remove the old expansion tank and install the new one in its place. Finally, reattach the cold water supply line and hot water outlet pipe and turn the power back on. 

That’s all there is to it! 

Tips for maintaining your expansion tank so it lasts longer

Like any other plumbing component, an expansion tank requires regular maintenance in order to function properly. 

By following these effective and straightforward tips, you can help to extend the life of your expansion tank and avoid costly repairs:

Get the right sized expansion tank

Make sure that the expansion tank is properly sized for your home. An undersized tank will be overworked and is more likely to fail prematurely. 

Regularly check for leaks and corrosion

Second, check the tank regularly for signs of corrosion or leaks. If you see any damage, replace the tank immediately. 

Keep the expansion tank warm

Third, if your expansion tank is located in an area subject to freezing temperatures, insulate it to prevent the tanks from freezing and bursting.

Are expansion tanks required on electric water heaters? — Conclusion

Having a reliable expansion tank on your water heater is generally a good idea. If you have any questions about your water heat, reach out to a licensed plumber at your earliest convenience.

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