Expansion tanks installed in residential hot water systems prevent the buildup of water pressure caused by thermal expansion. Virtually every jurisdiction in the United States now requires them to be installed in all new homes and remodels as well as when replacing old or defective hot water heaters.
Without the expansion tank, the hot water heater would discharge water through the pressure-relief valve to relieve the pressure in the tank. If the valve were to become clogged or broken, the tank would be unable to discharge water and the pressure would continue to build, either bursting a pipe somewhere in the house or possible causing a tank rupture.
- Helps reduce water hammer
- Helps prevent fluctuations in water pressure
- Helps prevent damage to water lines and water fixtures
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