If you have a gas water heater and you've never heard of the expansion tank, then I'm going to explain what it does and why you need one. If your water heater is old or has been a while since the last time someone serviced it, there's a good chance that your water heater's expansion tank is low on fluid. This means that when the thermostat tells your water heater to turn on (on-demand systems), it will run for hours before shutting off automatically. This can lead to two problems: firstly, overuse of gas which means higher bills; secondly, shortened lifespan because holding too much heat in any closed system causes wear and tear on everything from valves to hoses.
In this article, we'll cover what a hot water heater expansion tank does, why they're important for both safety reasons as well as efficiency reasons, and how to determine if yours might need to be replaced or checked out by an expert technician who can tell you whether or not it is working correctly — those are always good questions! So let's get started!
What Does A Water Heater Expansion Tank Do?
A properly functioning expansion tank will allow for normal fluctuations in temperature without affecting the flow of water through your home's pipes. A faulty or damaged tank can cause problems like low flow rates, noisy pipes, and reduced heating efficiency due to increased resistance within the system.
Prevents Thermal Expansion: A water heater expansion tank is a safety device that protects your water heater from damage. When heated, water expands and can cause pipes to burst if not adequately supported. The purpose of an expansion tank is to allow for this thermal expansion by storing extra water that would otherwise be lost through the faucet or showerhead.
Prevents This Pressure Buildup: The expansion tank prevents the pressure buildup that would otherwise cause your water heater to burst. When the water inside a tank heat up, it expands in volume, creating more room for itself. This is known as thermal expansion and can be very dangerous if not correctly handled by the appliance's design: if enough pressure builds up from repeated cycles of heating and cooling, your tank can burst open!
The expansion tank helps ease this problem by absorbing excess energy before reaching dangerous levels. It acts like a sponge that absorbs moisture when full but releases extra moisture when drained out (like when you open your faucet). In doing so, it prevents overfilling or bursting while keeping things running smoothly at all times without any additional effort required!
It Protects Against Pressure Loss Due To Excessive Use (And Thus Heat Loss): When there's no room left inside your water heater for more steam/gas mixture after being heated up sufficiently by its burner(s), any additional heat added via electric heating elements will escape through cracks around flanges connecting pipes inside each compartment where they meet one another.
It Prevents Overfilling Of The Tank: This can cause scalding hot water to leak out of your faucets or pipes, resulting in severe injury or even death if you're standing nearby. If this often happens over time, you may need a new tank altogether!