Thermal expansion tanks are installed to protect your water piping and water heater from over-pressuring, which could result in catastrophic failure. Most water systems have check valves in place where the water enters the building, which leaves no room for the water to expand and go once it’s heated. Installing a thermal expansion tank provides a safe place for that extra pressure to expand.
Where Can I Find My Expansion Tank?
In Saskatchewan, thermal expansion tanks are most commonly located near the water meter or the water heater. They can come in a variety of colors but are most often tan, blue, or green. If you are unable to locate an expansion tank on your water system, we recommend calling our professionals to have one installed.
How Does an Expansion Tank Work?
Thermal expansion tanks are divided into two compartments. The first is an air compartment with the pressure set to allow room for the water to expand into, but not to fill the entire tank. The other compartment is directly connected to your domestic water system.
Oftenthe diaphragm dividing the two systems will fail, causing the two systems to become one. When this happens, the expansion tank turns into a “dead leg” that will eventually cause damage and premature failure to your water heater.
How Can I Check to See If My Expansion Tank Is in Good Working Condition?
There are two simple checks you can perform to verify if your thermal expansion tank is doing its job:
1. Knock on the tank. If it sounds hollow, your tank is still in good operation. If it makes a thud sound, your tank has been compromised.
2. Check your relief valve on the water heater. It’s located on the side of the water heater with a tube that goes to the floor. If the relief valve is dripping, this could indicate your expansion tank has failed.
Call Us for Help
If either of the tests we listed above reveal failure of your expansion tank, you should call our AquaTemp professionals at 306-370-8678 as soon as possible to restore your water system to a safe condition.