Heating up your home with hot water is the most environmentally friendly method of dealing with the cold. Expansion tanks in hot water heaters need to be maintained to keep your house warm. The working of an expansion tank is carried out by balancing pressure throughout the system. Hot water expansion tanks are divided into two parts. The two sides of the expansion tanks are divided into a water tank heating system and a dry side which contains the pressure to move out the water from the other side. Hot water enters the tank from pipes and the pressure increases on the other side. Hot water is constantly moved around in the expansion tank so you can expect some glitches in its working.
In order to find the best method of maintaining an expansion you must first look at the most common water heater expansion tank problems:
Most Common Hot Water Heater Expansion Tank Problems:
A leak in the Expansion Tank
Hot water expansion tanks can be damaged by small leaks near the pipe. Leaks are formed by corrugation caused by hot water swirling in the tank. If the expansion tank is unheeded, the water from the leaks might run over the wiring of the tank. Hot water heaters work better when they are filled up with hot water to the top. Make sure that there are no leaks in the tank if you want to use the hot water expansion tank for a long period of time.
Air pressure is necessary to interlock the pressure created in the expansion heater. Although some air pressure is needed to work the hot water expansion tank, there are some instances when the air is trapped in the water column. As a result, the water cannot move easily from the pipe. You need to release the pressure from the expansion tank by opening the pressure valve or hire a professional to do the job for you.
Condensation is the buildup of steam in the form of water droplets on top of the hot water expansion tank. If you ignore the buildup of condensation in your tank then it will become rusty easily. Hot water heaters work mostly on the steam buildup therefore the excess water can leak from the pipes and the top of the tank. Sprinkling water on the wires would cause sparking starting mass electrocution throughout your wiring.
Gear Up for a Recharge
Steel hot water tanks have a habit of being unbalanced when it comes to air pressure and water. In a steel tank, there is no diaphragm. Water and air are mixed in the tank in an affixed ratio. More often than not the water will absorb the air leading to an unbalance air-water pressure. You will have to recharge the hot water steel expansion tank by closing the isolation valve and draining out the water.
In modern tanks, the water and air pressure are divided by a diaphragm. If the diaphragm of the expansion tank is damaged the water might leak into the water reserve. Sometimes the water can also move out of the tank even when the diaphragm is not damaged. In such cases, the air pressure can be reserved by using a pump to keep the air pressure at 12 PSI. It is however advisable to get a professional to look at your hot water expansion tank.
Fixing Up Hot Water Heater Expansion Tank Problems:
You can also use the following hacks to solve the hot water heater expansion tank problems. Most hot water heating systems are not too complicated but need care and precision. Calling your plumber should be your first priority rather than waiting it out till the bitter end. Expansion tanks can be fixed easily by adjusting some of the settings and screws:
Repairing a Leak
When a leak occurs in the expansion tank through the main pipe you can fix it by tightening the screws. If the main tank is lined with leaks then you need to hire a professional or replace the hot water expansion tank. Gluing the tank with a seal might seem like a good idea but the glue will melt in a day. So do not try to repair the main body of the hot water expansion tank on your own. You might cause more damage than the repair you have in mind.
Managing the Pressure
In a steel hot water tank, you can maintain the air pressure by unlocking the isolation tank and draining the water tank. If you have a diaphragm tank you can release the extra pressure by opening a valve. You can also manage the pressure by keeping the hot water tank placed in a closed position away from the air currents. External pressure can also hamper the pressure inside the tank by balancing out the internal pressure against it.
Dealing with the Diaphragm
A diaphragm of the hot water expansion tank can also be restored by repairing the damages over the top of the tank. Professional plumbers repair an expansion tank by installing a new diaphragm inside the tank. Maintaining a hot water expansion tank can be tricky if the expansion tank is not fitted with a diaphragm. Buy a new hot water expansion tank to avoid the practice of recharging a steel tank again and again.
Calling a Professional:
Hot water expansion tanks are built-in systems and cannot be repaired at home. In order to repair the hot water expansion tank, you need to hire a professional plumber. The professional plumber will fix all the leaks as well as other problems. Pressure problems with the expansion tank can be resolved by the pumps used by the professionals.
The problem with a Do-It-Yourself approach is the technicalities involved in the working of the hot water expansion tank. The delicate balance of steam buildup against condensation, corrosion, and water leakages can only be handled with the proper tools If you are in a fix as to which professional plumbers to hire you can use google to check out the repair costs online. Hot water heating systems are commonly used so you won’t end up with an over-the-top repair price.