A thermal expansion tank is a small tank that is usually about 2 gallons that is designed to protect a plumbing system from excessive water pressure. A portion of this tank is filled with air, which is usually set to about 75 lbs. This air that is compressed in the tank will help absorb shock from both water hammer and thermal expansion.
It is important to make sure that you have the proper expansion tank installed as they are not all the same. Mechanical equipment such as a boiler will use a specific type of expansion tank that is not designed for potable water.
We can come out to determine if one is needed. We will also test your water pressure to determine if any preventative maintenance is needed. A Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) is becoming more and more common in the Kansas City area. As cities expand or change their infrastructure, the demand on your plumbing system needs to adapt as well.
We have lived in our house for over 25 years and have never needed an expansion tank before. Why do we need one now?
We are frequently questioned on why an expansion tank is needed when replacing a water heater. The main reason that we install expansion tanks is because of the constantly changing infrastructure of the potable water supply. When a water main is serviced by a utility company the service men will often add various check valves. A check valve will only let water go in one direction. These check valves can isolate a particular neighborhood or street. The down side of this is when a pressure surge occurs in the line it doesn’t have anywhere to go. This pressure surge can easily cause a water heater to start leaking.