Water Heater Safety Tanks

August 10, 2015 09:16 AM

For your information you may want to consider a WATER HEATER SAFETY TANK or EXPANSION TANK, if you don’t already have one. It is now required by the Indiana Plumbing Code that you allow for thermal expansion in your homes’ water system. The Town of Schererville DOES require this in all new construction.
A water heater safety tank is a specifically designed pressure absorbing device. It protects your entire plumbing system, including your water heater, from over pressurization caused by thermal expansion. As water is heated, it expands, and since water is not compressible, a rapid increase of pressure in the water heater and throughout the entire plumbing system results. This increase in pressure is known as thermal expansion, occurring every time your water heater heats water, when the expanded water is not allowed to return to the supply line.

Common problems signs of high pressure caused by thermal expansion:

  • High surges when opening faucets.
  • Relief valve on water heater opening to release high pressure/ DANGER: NEVER PLUG RELIEF VALVE.
  • Frequent faucet washer failure rate.
  • Short water heater life.
  • Problem deformities with pipes and fittings.

Your water heater safety tank operates as a collection point to accept thermally expanded water. As water enters the tank, the diaphragm is pressed downward, compressing the captured air cushion in the tank. The air volume is specifically engineered to control pressure well below the water heater pressure relief valve setting. As water is used, the thermally expanded water is expelled from the tank back into the piping system by the compressed air cushion. If you do not know how to install one yourself, please call a qualified plumber.

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