Expansion tanks are a protective measure that handles water thermal expansion. Whenever the pressure in the water rises uncontrollably, some of it escapes into the thermal expansion tanks. This protects the supply pipe joints and valves in your plumbing fixtures from damage. It also ensures that the water heater tank doesn’t explode. Fortunately, you can protect your expansion tanks and water heater by having a plumber near me in Bloomington, IL come for routine inspection and maintenance. But what are the common issues with a water heater thermal expansion that a professional plumber can resolve?
Common Thermal Expansion Tank Problems
If the expansion tank has served your home for a long time, it might start showing signs of wear and tear. This might result in the tank leaking water. Hence, you must closely monitor the thermal expansion tank to determine where the leak originates. A routine inspection by a plumber near me can make this process easier. Tightening the fitting if the leak is from the pipe at the top of the thermal expansion tank. Although you can use a wrench to tighten the pipe, you could over tighten it. For this reason, it is recommended that if you see the thermal expansion tank venting water, you call a plumber near me and have them properly tighten the pipe and apply some sealing to ensure that water doesn’t leak. They also will tell you whether it is time to replace the expansion tank.
Your thermal expansion tank has been designed as an air handler for your hot water plumbing system. Although air is necessary for any plumbing system, it may be trapped, resulting in a hydronic airlock. This issue could result in water not flowing via the heater or pipes, meaning that you should have it checked by a plumber near me. If you notice no water in the radiator, that could be experiencing an airlock. An expansion tank should prevent the air block from arising at all. If you realize that you have a hydronic airlock, that shows that your thermal expansion tank is not normally functioning. A plumber near me in Bloomington, IL will inspect the system and help you determine whether you need a repair or to replace the tank.
Your Tank Needs to Be Recharged
Water heater thermal expansion tanks are of two types. The older versions are made from steel. These tanks normally combine water and air within to contain the excessive pressure from the water heater. Unfortunately, the water within may absorb some small quantities of air. Whenever such happens, the thermal expansion tanks can lose their pressure. Recharging is the solution to this water/air ratio problem. Whenever you notice such a problem, you should have a plumber near me recharge the expansion tank. Unfortunately, some homeowners choose to recharge the tank themselves. Adding more water than necessary will result in overcharge problems.
The other sign that the expansion tank is faulty is condensation on its surface. Have you noticed an accumulation of condensation in the thermal expansion tank? That problem should be investigated further by a plumber near me. The condensation on the thermal expansion tank might result in rusting. It also might make the water start dripping over the electric wires, causing short circuits. If the condensation problems aren’t immediately addressed, there will be water puddles below the tank. Because determining the reason for condensation is difficult, a plumber should inspect the expansion tank.
Not Having Sufficient Air in Its Diaphragm Tank
Newer thermal expansion tanks use the rubber diaphragm system. This diaphragm is used for separating water and air. The expansion of the diaphragm doesn’t lose any pressure as the water absorbs the air. The most frequent issue with a diaphragm expansion tank is that the valve occasionally leaks air pressure. When this happens, the tank needs to have more air added to it. Simple steps must be taken to introduce air to the tank. All you need to do is use an air compressor or a bicycle tire pump to add air to the tank. The tank must then be pumped up to 12 PSI. The likelihood that the tank won’t maintain air pressure after being overfilled with water or after the repair is finished is very high. In that situation, the entire diaphragm needs to be replaced. A plumber near me in Bloomington, IL can inform you whether a minor repair will suffice or if you have to replace the entire diaphragm.
How Backflows Impact Thermal Expansion
If you install a backflow check valve or backflow preventer to your cold water line, the likelihood of thermal expansion will rise. Water flows unidirectionally from the supply unit via the meter to the outlets at your home tap, as is well known. Even though water flows in one direction, there are some situations where the flow direction is reversed. The reversal of water’s direction of flow is called backflow. It arises when there is a back-siphonage or a backflow condition in the water supply line.
The backflow prevention device helps prevent hot water from leaving the water heater through a pipe meant to carry cold water.
Backsiphonage is the unintended change in the water’s flow direction caused by the vacuum’s strong suction. A vacuum can occur when the distribution system is shut down, when the plumbing fails, or when the system loses pressure due to a large water withdrawal. When the pressure falls below atmospheric pressure, the pipe system experiences a vacuum, which leads to a back-siphonage. Backpressure can happen when a source pressure, like thermal expansion, creates much more pressure than the distribution system supplies. The extra pressure may push water backward and in the other direction. A plumber near me recommends that you don’t install a backflow preventer near the water heater.
We Can Help!
Does your water heater thermal expansion tank show signs of damage? Contact us at Covenant Plumbing for a resolution.
See our previous blog post here!